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

[Puyallup agency],   pp. 315-316 PDF (1002.4 KB)


Page 315

REPORT    OF COMMISSIONER       OF INDIAN     AFFAIRS.       315 
include their fisheries; thirdly, there are no root-grounds on that side
of the river, and 
an insufficieiy of farming-land whereby they could subsist themselves by
agricul- 
ture. Until such time as they may be able to cultivate the soil, the different
fisheries 
and root-grounds now frequented by them must be their main source of subsistence.
As to whether or not their objections to the reservation are well founded,
you will 
be able to decide froni your recent careful and patient examination. For
myself I am 
free to say that I deem the reservation, as now defined, entirely insufficient
for the 
number of Indians belonging to this agency, and would give my reasons niore
in de- 
tail did I not know that you are now thoroughly acquainted with it, and in
your report 
will set forth its merits and demerits more forcibly than I can possibly
do. 
At the council held here on the 11th and l2th of August, by General Shanks
and 
yourself, the Indians renewed their objections to the reservation, and asked
that Col- 
ville Valley be given them for a reserve. The propriety of acceding to their
wishes 
in that respect is now the all-important question, both to the Indians and
the white 
settlers of the valley, which I hope will be eventually settled to their
mutual satisfac- 
tion. For many reasons, which I shall soon make the subject of a special
report, I 
would earnestly recommend that a commission be appointed to assess the value
of the 
property of the white settlers of this valley, with a view of its being set
apart as an 
Indian reserve. 
The unsettled question of the location of this agency, the want of agency-buildings,
and the insufficiency of means at my disposal, have seriously impeded the
anticipated 
advancement of the Indians under my charge; yet, under your directions, much
has been 
done for their advancement. A day-school for Indian children was organized
January 
1, 1873, and placed under the instruction of Father Tosi, at St. Frances
Regis Mission, 
in Colville Valley. The average attendance was forty-five. The progress made
much 
exceeded iny expectation. The children generally manifested a desire to learn,
and 
Father Tosi and his assistant were zealous and untiring in their efforts.
The school 
was discontinued March 31 by reason of the annual visit of the Indians and
their fami- 
lies to the root-grounds. I would state in this connection that I have recently
estab- 
lished a boarding and industrial school, as directed by yourself, and placed
the same in 
charge of Sisters of Charity, the Catholic Fathers having kindly proffered
the neces- 
sary buildings for temporary use of the school. The school has not been sufficiently
long in operation to warrant extended remarks; yet, from present indications,
I am 
sanguine of its ultimate success. 
Much difficulty has been experienced in inducing the Indians to agricultural
pursuits. 
They are unwilling to inclose farms while the possibility of their being
at any day 
removed from them exists. And further, I have been unable to provide with
proper 
implements and seed all who are disposed to farm; notwithstanding, some advancement
in this particular has been made; between three and four thousand bushels
of wheat 
have been harvested, and from fifteen hundred to two thousand bushels of
potatoes 
have been cultivated, besides sufficient hay to subsist their horses and
cattle during the 
winter. They have also cut and corded about five hundred cords of wood, for
which 
they have received one dollar and fifty cents per cord. 
The Indians of this agency, with the exception of the San Poels, are peaceable
and 
well-disposed, and have made considerable advancement in Christianity and
civiliza- 
tion. There are quite a number of thrifty and intelligent farmers among them,
and 
they show more disposition to work and make their living by the'arts of civilized
life 
than any Indians I have met with on this coast during a residence of more
than twenty 
years. The Colvilles have this year built for themselves a large church of
hewn logs, 
capable of accommodating nearly a thousand persons, and they take much pride
in 
their handiwork.  The San Poe] Indians have a religion of their own, and
are under 
the influence of men called dreamers. Although never in open hostility to
the whites, 
they have never been disposed to cultivate friendly relations with th m,
and have uni- 
formly refused to accept presents from the Government agents, or hold any
intercourse 
with them. The wants of the sick and destitute have been as liberally administered
to as the limited means at my disposal would allow. 
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
JOHN A. SIMNS, 
Special Indian Agent. 
General R. H. MILROY, 
Superintendent Indian Ajffairs, Olympia, Wash. Ter. 
69. 
P UYALLUP INDIAN :RESERVATION,  VASH. TEE., 
October 1, 1873. 
Sin : I have the honor to transmit this, my third annual report. 
The Indians on this reservation during the past year have made considerable
pro- 
gress in the arts of civilized life. They have been farming quite extensively,
with fair 


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