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

[Indian Territory],   pp. 218-238 PDF (10.2 MB)

Page 218

the greatest Christian virtues. Hence I am led to believe that the "antagonism
of the races 
is caused by at least a partial misunderstanding of each other, and that
by the exercise of 
patience and firmness in our intercourse with them, and in ascertaining methods
of amelio- 
rating their condition, which are in some degree at least in accordance with
their views, and 
not antagonistic to their ideas of right and justice, instead of forcing
upon them at once 
rules and regulations which their mode of life for centuries prevents them
from comprehend- 
ing or appreciating, and which, considering their ignorance and lack of judgment,
is laying 
upon them a greater burden than they can bear. 
I am convinced of the propriety of the former course from the fact that during
my associa- 
tion with the Indians I have found many of them to possess strong and reflective
open to conviction, and embracing with thankfulness any suggestion or plan
looking to their 
improvement. I believe that this class of Indians wield a controlling influence
in all tribes 
in which they are found, and in introducing any radical reforms, at-war with
their traditions 
or religious beliefs, it has been through the assistance of such men, and
not by arbitrary 
measures, that success has been won. 
The history of the Indians, from the first settlement of this country by
white people, proves 
them to possess a spirit of dignified independence, a love of liberty of
conscience and person, 
that appeals strongly to our sympathies, from the fact that upon these great
principles of 
human rights the foundation of our Government is based. No calamity or degradation
conquered in them this spirit, so worthy of applause in other races or divisions
of people. 
Surely, then, they are worthy of being saved; worthy of a combined effort,
freed from former 
animosities and dislikes, engendered by whatever causes; worthy of the sacrifice
of any 
personal comfort or continued mental effort in preserving them from the dangerous
in which circumstances have conspired to place them. 
For full particulars of the condition of this agency reference is made to
statistical report, 
herewith forwarded. 
E. P. SMITH,                                        Unitedtates Indian Agent.
Commissioner Indian Affairs, Washington City, D. C. 
1'ia Arkansas City, Kans., Ninthmonth 25, 1874. 
Commissioner of Indian Affairs: 
As requested by Agent Gibson I submit herewith a report for the Kaw Indians
from date 
of my last annual report until this agency was discontinued, Sixthmonth 30,
A few weeks after their annuity-payment, in Eleventhmonth last, all the able
bodied Indian 
men, women, and children, started for the buffalo country, as their head
chief said, to "make 
their last general hunt." They were quite successful, securing about
$5,000 worth of furs, 
besides their subsistence and what meat they brought home. They were healthy,
had but 
few deaths during their absence, and returned in Secondmonth in good spirits,
saying they 
were ready to settle down on farms and go to work as they could not depend
longer on the 
chase, and their actions since show that they were in earnest. As they had
been here only a 
short time but few of them had selected homes, and in order that they might
raise a crop the 
present year ground was broken in only four places for the blanket Indians,
expecting them 
to fence together and plant in the same field. This most of them did, though
several fami- 
lies were not satisfied with the arrangement and made selections where white
settlers had 
lived a short time and done some breaking  Most of the men went to work,
and made rails 
enough to fence about 200 acres, which they planted with corn and other vegetables,
tended as well as they could considering the condition of the ground, it
being newly plowed 
and the sod only partially rotted. The breaking-teams were started early
in. the spring, with 
an Indian either holding the plow or driving the team. Although the drought
was severe, 
they having planted an early kind of corn, realized more per acre than they
would had they 
planted a later variety. Potatoes and other vegetables were a failure. The
contract made 
between William Dusing and myself last fall for the erection of a manual-labor
house, school-house, and a dwelling for the agent, was pushed forward during
the fall, win- 
ter, and spring, as fast as the funds would permit, and was nearly completed
when this 
agency was attached to that of the Osages. The three buildings named above
are of stone, 
and are built in a substantial and workmanlike manner. The school and boarding
will accommodate about seventy-five pupils. During the winter the employds
were en- 
gaged in building hewed-log houses as residences for the blacksmith and physician,
also a 
good frame office, commissary-building, &c., and in fencing the boarding-school
and agency 
farms. Soon after arriving at this place the half-breeds selected homesteads,
built cabins, 
and moved into them, and have fenced from five to forty acres and planted
in corn. Four of 

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