University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

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

[Wisconsin],   pp. 185-195 PDF (5.5 MB)


Page 185

REPORT OF TIE      COMMISSIONER      OF INDIAN     AFFAIRS.    185 
judge they are gradually on the increase. Their reservations are located
in an ex- 
tremely healthy part of the State, and no general sickness or epidemic has
prevailed 
among them for many years. Their dwellings are mostly quite comfortable log-houses,
and they wear the dress of citizens. The patenting to them of their lands
has stimu- 
lated them to labor and improve their farms. Their religious advantages are
better 
than I heir educational. The Roman Catholic and Methodist Churches are doing
the 
principal work in this regard. 
CHIPPEWAS OF SAGINAW, SWAN CREEK, AND BLACK RIVEJI. 
This tribe is the most prosperous in every particular of either of those
in the State. 
About one-half of the tribe only reside on the reservation. The balance reside
in seven 
or eight different settlements, where they have purchased lands and are doing,
I am of 
the opinion, better in every respect than those located on the reservation.
This is owing 
to the fact that they are more contiguous to, and have the benefit of the
example of, 
the whites. 
The agricultural statistics of this tribe for this year show a most gratifying
advance 
beyond any previous year. By special application for a poition of their educational
funds to be expended for seeds, cattle and farming implements, I was furnished
with 
the means of giving them the best supply of these articles last spring that
they had 
ever had. I took great pains to suitably distribute these among them just
at the time 
required for putting in for a spring crop, and the result has been very satisfactory,
and 
I am convinced that money thus expended for them is five times more advantage
to 
them than it would be to be put into their hands. I am nearly convinced that
money 
disbursed to Indians is, on the whole, a damage to them. 
In the matter of school facilities they are very well furnished. The tribe
is nearly 
all Protestant in faith, and under the missionary care of the Methodist Episcopal
Church. They are a peaceable and law-abiding class of citizens, gradually
rising to a 
better and higher condition in intelligence and respectability. Many of them
are men 
of sterling Christian integrity. 
THE CHIPPEWAS OF LAKE SUPERIOR 
are located on their reservation, which is on the upper peninsula of the
State, and on 
either shore of Keweenaw Bay. They have a beautiful and excellent tract of
land, 
Iurnishincg them good fisheries and agricultural advantages- They are a peaceable
and 
improving tribe of Indians, numbering about twelve hundred. 
In religious character they are about equally divided between the Catholics
and 
Methodists. The present generation shows a vast improvement over the former.
They 
have two Government schools and two missions. 
During the month of July I made an allotment of their lands as provided in
the 
treaty of September 30, 1854. This pleased them very much, and I think will
call out 
extra exertions in the improvement of their circumstances. This fall they
receive the 
last of twenty annual appropriations in money and goods. 
In reviewing the year I can see a considerable degree of progress has been
attained 
in the moral and material condition of the Indians. Being very much scattered
and 
far removed from each other in their settlements, it is impossible for me
to be with 
them as much as I could if they were collected upon one reservation, and
the clerical 
duties of my office requiring my personal attention, (not being allowed a
clerk,) I am 
not able to devote that personal attention to their instruction that I could
wish, and 
that I believe would aid them very much in improvement in the arts of civilization.
For further )articulars I respectfully refer to my statistical report. 
Very respectfully submitted. 
GEO. L BETTS, 
United States Indian Agent, Michigan. 
Hon. EDW. P. SMITH, 
Conunissioner of Indian Affairsg, Washington, D. C. 
UNITED STATES INDIAN AGENCY, 
Keshena, Wis., September 1, 1874. 
DEAR Sin: The following report of this agency, for the year ending August
31, 1874, is 
respectfully submitted : 
The statistics of the tribe have not been completed, and I cannot therefore
refer to them. 
+ONEIDAS. 
This tribe receives from the Government only $800 in annuity and about $1,000
in support 
of schools, and the agent has been accustomed to give them little attention.
Their reserva- 
tion is completely surrounded by whites. A large portion of them speak English,
and many 


Go up to Top of Page