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

[Siletz agency],   pp. 322-323 PDF (960.4 KB)


Page 322

322       REPORT    OF COMM1SSIONER        OF INDIAN    AFFAIRNS. 
Jas. Donnally, whose zeal and attention to the scholars is worthy of special
cominenda- 
tion.° He is greatly assisted by the Rev. Father Croquiet, the missionary
of the reser- 
vation, who has devoted the greater part of his life to the benefit of these
Indians, and 
whose interest for them is unabated. 
Under date of August 5, I addressed a communication to you in relation to
the Coast 
Indians, who have never been recogniz ed by the Government. They are anxious
to 
be instructed in the pursuits of industry, have their children attend school,
&c. Col. 
E. C. Kemble, of the Indian Department, made this agency a visit last month
; arranged 
to return in October; will then have an interview with the leading Coast
Indians and 
try and make some arrangements for their benefit. 
Very respoctfully, your obedient servant, 
T. R. SININOTT, 
United States Indian Agent. 
Hon. E. P. SU[Tri, 
Cornmissioner Indian Affaire, Washington, D. C. 
74. 
UNITE) STATES INDIAN AGENCY, 
Siletz, Oreg., Septenber 13, 1873. 
Sin: In compliance with the requirements of the Department I have the honor
to 
submit this my first annual report. 
I assumed charge here April 1, 1873. At that time there existed a general
feeling 
of alarm among the people in the vicinity, caused by the Modoc outbreak,
and rumors 
of intended hostilities on the part of these Indians were everywhere rife.
Many of them had always lived at the fisheries on Yaquina Bay, just outside
the res- 
ervation, and the state of public feeling had induced my predecessor to collect
them 
all at the agency, abandoning in their haste the provisions they had prepared
for their 
subsistence, and relying entirely on those living here for future support.
The food 
prepared for winter use of the Indians at the agency was soon exhausted,
and I was 
compelled to purchase and issue food till the potatoes were sufficiently
grown to af- 
ford means of subsistence. This entailed a heavy expense on the second and
third 
quarters of 1873, and has embarrassed my operations ever since. 
Notwithstanding the advanced season when we arrived here, we have sown a
much 
larger area of ground than ever before on this reservation, aggregating nearly
or quite 
1,100 acres, 1,000 of which are sown to wheat and oats and the remainder
planted to 
potatoes. About 175 acres of this is on Government account and the rest belongs
to 
the Indians. As many of them were destitute of teams we have been compelled
to use 
those belonging to the Government to assist them in putting in their crops.
The 
moisture of the climate here retards the ripening of the crops; and we are
now in the 
midst of our harvest, which promises an abundant yield. The potatoes will
prove a 
total failure. They gave every promise of an excellent crop, but the "potato
rot" has 
developed itself and in all probability will destroy the whole. As this crop
is the sole 
dependence of very many families for their winter subsistence, I fear much
suffering 
will result. 
The health of the Indians has generally been good, but for further particulars
on 
this point as well as statistics of farming operations I refer to reports
of Dr. Geo. W. 
Whitney and superintendent of farming, Wm. Bagley. 
Two schools have been in operation a part of the summer, and a part of the
time 
were well attended, with fair prospect of improvement. The Department has
now pro- 
vided for a manual labor school, which will be organized as soon as the necessary
pre- 
paration can be made and from which I confidently expect the best results.
Since May last we have been favored with the presence and labors of the Rev.
W. 
C. Chattin, engaged as teacher, and who has added to his duties the labors
of a mis- 
sionary, at such times as not engaged in his regular occupation. The results
of his la- 
bors show what might have been accomplished had the present enlightened policy
sooner prevailed. 
These Indians have heretofore borne the character of being the most turbulent
and 
disorderly in the State, and were so represented by Superintendent Meacham
in his re- 
port for 1871. Notwithstanding this character and the little time they have
been un- 
der the influence of Christian teaching, a church of over forty members has
been or- 
ganized, who show by their daily lives that they comprehend and feel the
power of the 
religion they profess. The good accomplished cannot be measured by the number
ad- 
mitted to church memhership. There is an influence proceeding from those
who have 
embraced Christianity that is accomplishing utuch for the elevation of this
people. 
The position of agent here is peculiarly annoying by reason of old feuds
and jeal- 
ousies that arc constantly breaking out, taking'so) much of the time of the
ngent to 


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