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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1874
([1874])

[Michigan],   pp. 184-185 PDF (987.8 KB)


Page 184

184 REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
given to the railroad companies for right of way and railroad buildings at
Salamanca. 
The courts of New York have adjudged all these leases void. Since the making
of these 
leases, which were supposed to be valid, $1,000,000 or more have been expended
on the 
leased property in the erection of railroad-buildings, dwelling-houses, stores,
churches, 
school-houses, and other buildings. The people of Salamanca are entitled
to some re- 
lief by the legislation of Congress, growing out of this condition of affairs,
and the 
Indians are as yet unable to agree among themselves as to what specific measures
of 
relief to recommend. The village is only of a few years' growth; and the
lands, before 
being used for village purposes, were in part covered with logs and brush,
and were 
but partially cultivated. Some of the smartest of the Indians, seeing that
a village 
was likely to be built up at this point, purchased the improvements on a
portion of 
the lands of the Indian occupants, and they and the other Indian occupants
not so sell- 
ing leased these lands to white men for terms of years, some of the leases
covering 
several acres. The white lessees have sublet to other parties in smaller
lots, on which 
valuable buildings have been erected. The council of the Seneca Nation, which
is an- 
nually elected by ballot, claims the right to extinguish the claims of these
Indian les- 
sors to the leased lands, upon paying them a fair compensation for tho improvements
upon the lands at the time the same were leased to white men, and upon this
being 
done, to have the rents paid to the treasurer of the Seneca Nation of Indians.
I think 
this claim just, and in legislation by Congress affecting these leases provision
should 
be made accordingly, by the appointment of commissioners, with power to determine
the sums to be paid to the several Indian lessors for their improvements
and interest. 
The Thomas asylum for orphan and destitute Indian children on the Cattaragus
re- 
servation was incorporated by the legislature of New York in 1855, and was
by the act 
of incorporation declared to be entitled to share in the appropriations thereafter
to be 
made to the incorporated asylums of the State. It has fifty acres of land
connected 
with it, on which the orphan boys are required to labor a portion of the
time in the 
summer season. In winter they make brooms and do other work. The girls are
in- 
structed in household duties. Au appropriation of $2,500 was recently made
by the 
State of New York for the repair and enlargement of the asylum buildings,
which 
have been greatly improved thereby. It can now accommodate one hundred Indian
children, and over that number has been kept the past year. This asylum is
practi- 
cally a boarding and manual labor school of the best kind. It is under judicious
man- 
agement, aud has done a most excellent work in the civilization of the Indians
in this 
agency. I respectfully recommend the continuance of the annual appropriation
of 
$1,000 for its support, from the fund for the civilization of Indians. I
inclose herewith 
the last report of this institution, which was delivered to me on the 19th
instant. 
The Friends' boarding-school for Indian children, on land adjoining the Allegany
res- 
ervation, under charge of Mr. A. P. Dewees, superintendent, has had an average
daily 
attendance of twenty-five children the past year. It has a farm of about
300 acres 
connected with it, on which the male Indian children are required to work
some, and the 
girls are trained to do house-work. This manual-labor school is wholly supported
by 
the Society of Friends at Philadelphia, and is doing a good and humane work
for the 
Indians of the Allegany reservation. 
I have been unavoidably delayed in making this report by the delay of the
local su- 
perintendeuts of the Indian schools in the agency in forwarding to me copies
of their 
official school-reports. I desired to embrace reliable statistics in relation
to the 
schools, which are contained herein. 
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
D. SHERMAN, Agent. 
Hon. EDW. P. SMITH, 
Commissioner of Indian Affairs. 
OFFICE OF MICHIGAN INDIAN AGENCY, 
Lansing, September 14, 1874. 
Sin: I have the honor herewith to present my annual report of the Michigan
Indian 
agency for 1874. 
The status and condition of the Indians of this State have undergone no particular
change since my last annual report. The religious and civil instrumentalities
engaged 
in their improvement in Christian civilization are too few and feeble to
justify a reason- 
able expectation for any very marked improvement. I deeply deplore the fact
that 
the largest tribe, viz, the Ottawas and Chippewas, are very destitute of
education'al 
facilities. Having no more treaty-funds with which to maintain schools among
them, 
they are retrograding in the matter of education. This, of course, darkens
the pros- 
pect of the coming generation, and seriously affects their progress in the
scale of their 
social and civil well-being. Their material prosperity, however, is gradually
advanc- 
ing, but is not sufficient as yet to enable them to sustain schools among
them. The 
"annuities" to this tribe having ceased, no general enumeration
of it has been made, 
so that I cannot definitely state its number; but from their general condition
I would 


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