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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1873
([1873])

[Quinaielt agency],   pp. 311-312 PDF (1004.5 KB)


Page 311

REPORT    OF COMMISSIONER       OF INDIAN    AFFAIRS.        311 
ceived a cent for his place. During the past summer the land has been surveyed,
and 
turns out to be on a railroad section. Mr. Fisher had, however, completed
the requisite 
four years' residence, and is entitled to a patent ahead of the railroad
company. Were 
he now paid what he should have been years ago, he could complete his title
and give a 
good deed to the Department, and this would secure this tract of land to
the Indians 
and also be an act of justice to the former owner. I recommend that this
matter he in- 
vestigated, and such action taken as will mete out justice to both parties,
and secure to 
them their just rights. 
In conclusion, I would say that the moral advancement of the Indians here
is truly 
gratifiug. The new council-house, which has been recently erected and is
also used 
for a church, is filled every Sabbath with attentive listeners to the Word
of Life, and 
the seeds of truth thus sown seem to be taking root. We are gratified also
that the 
reservation is so soon to be sub-divided into spjall lots and assigned to
the Indians in 
severalty. I believe this will be followed by marked improvement. 
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
EDWIN EELLS. 
United States Indian Agent, fWashington Territory. 
Gen. R. H. MILROY, 
Superiatendent Indian Affairs, Olympia, Wash. 
66, 
QUINAIELT INDIAiN AGENCY, WASHINGTON TERRITORY, 
September 1, 1873. 
SiR: I have the honor submit my annual report of the condition of this agency
during the past year. The condition of these Indians has improved in many
respects. 
I have endeavored by every means in my l)ower to awaken a desire upon their
pIrt to 
improve, but have succeeded only to a limited extent. Some few of them have
cleared 
small pieces of land, and planted potatoes and other vegetables. 
The land is all of a nature that requires much time and labor to bring into
a state 
available for farming purposes. The upland is covered with a heavy growth
of spruce, 
hemlock, and cedar, of poor quality, and the river bottom, which is narrow,
and sub- 
ject to overflow in winter, is covered with spruce, vine, maple, and crab-apple.
When we take into consideration the fact that nature has surrounded these
people 
with an abundance of game, such as elk, deer, and bear, and that the river
abounds 
in salmon of the finest quality, it is not to be wondered at that they prefer
to obtain a 
support from the river and forest, as was done by their fathers, to going
into the dense 
forests by which they are surrounded to clear a farm. For these reasons,
I am of the 
opinion that they will depend principally upon fishing as a means of obtaining
a living. 
Having in view the enlargement of this reservation, as recommended by you
In your 
report f,:r 1872, which is entirely too small for the sulpport of the number
of Indians 
included under this treaty, and to inform myself as to the character of the
country, 
in company with Lieut. S. R. Jones, United States Army, and a party of Indians
to 
manage the canoe, we went from the agency up the river to Quinaielt Lake,
some 
fifty miles distant, the river being very crooked, and difficult to ascend
on account of 
rapids. 
The country along the river is generally unproductive, although there are
small 
tracts of land in the bottoms which would produce well if dleared. The lake
is a 
beautiful sheet of water, clear and deep, so deep that at the distance of
a quarter of a 
mile from shore we were unable to find the bottom with 300 feet of line.
It is sur- 
rounded by high mountains, upon some of which snow remains the year round.
The 
extent of the lake is about three miles in Width by five in length, lying
in a north- 
easterly and southwesterly direction the longest way. From the west side
we went 
out into the country'to see a prairie, wlhch our guide informed us lay about
three 
miles distant. The country over which we passed is worthless, being nothing
more 
than a deposit of sand and gravel. When we found the reported prairie it
proved to be 
nothing more than an old burn, covered with gravel, unfit for farming, a
nd affording 
little grass, showing signs of having been occupied by elk and deer. We were
infoirmed 
by our guide that it was about one day's journey to the Queets River, north
from where 
we were, across a range of mountains in sight, which he said was the divide.
From the 
character of the country and the elevation we had attained, I think the Queets
River 
would be reached about fifty miles from its mouth. 
Knowing what I do of the country, I respectfully ask that the reserve be
enlarged 
as recommended by you, including the Queets River on the north, the Quinaielt
Lake on the east, thence from time southern extremity of said lake to the
south line of 
the reserve as it is. This will furnish the Indians with good hunting and
fishing 
--"m 


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