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

[Oregon],   pp. 317-326 PDF (5.0 MB)


Page 317

REPORT     OF  THE   COMMISSIONER       OF  INDIAN    AFFAIRS.     317 
OFFIcE ALSEA AGENCY, October 1, 1874. 
SI: In submitting this my first annual report of the condition of affairs
at this agency, 
I take great pleasure in being able to report the Indians quiet and peaceably
disposed toward 
the whites, and earnestly striving to advance in the arts of civilization,
so far as the means 
are placed within their reach. 
I first assumed charge of the agency June 7, 1873, as special commissary,
and continued 
in that capacity until July 1, 1i74, at which date I took charge as subagent,
and upon the 
15th day of the same month I received the appointment of special agent. 
Except $500, applicable only to the pay of interpreter, no funds have been
received at ths 
agency since the date of my first assuming charge, and none were on hand
at that date. 
On account of having no funds I was unable last spring to purchase any wheat
or potatoes 
for seeding, and, in consequence, none were grown. About 150 bushels of oats
were raised 
by Government, but on account of the seed being poor it was of an inferior
quality, and 
was cut and put up in the sheaf for winter-feeding. Some 35 tons of timothy-hay
were cut 
for the Department, and those articles comprise all produce, &c., raised
by the Department. 
The Indians under my charge have received no annuity-goods whatever since
I assumed 
charge, and have in the main supported themselves by bunting and fishing,
and by working 
for settlers off the agency ; the only assistance I was able to render being
a few articles of 
clothing and subsistence bought and issued to the old, the helpless, and
the sick. 
I was compelled upon the 31st of March, 1874, to dismiss my farmer, having
no funds to 
pay his salary, and have since that date performed the greater part of the
farmer's duties 
myself, with what Indian labor I could make available. 
By the terms of a treaty concluded with the Cooses, Sinselaw, Umpqua, and
Alsea Indians, 
embraced within the Alsea agency, Oregon, provisions were made for a reservation
for said 
Indians. The treaty was never ratified, but, by an executive order, the district
they now 
occupy was set apart for their use and benefit. As a means of inducing them
to become an 
agricultural and pastoral people, and in a few years become self-supporting,
nothing better 
could be done than to allot them their land and expend a few hundred dollars
in cattle and 
horses. 
The natural resources of this agency are very great ; the streams abound
in fish, and elk 
and deer are numerous among the mountains, and wild berries grow in abundance
upon the 
lowlands. 
.The sanitary coirdition of the Indians upon the agency for the past year
has been very 
favorable under the circumstances, there being no physician allowed ; some
fifteen deaths 
occurred during the year from all causes, and there were twenty-four births
for the same 
length of time. 
The Indians are anxious to have a school established, and I am led to believe
that the best 
results would be attained had I the means at my disposal to erect a school-building
and 
employ a good Christian teacher. 
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
GEO. P. LITCHFIELD, 
United States Indian Agent. 
Hon. EDWD. P. SMITH, 
Commissioner, j'c., Washington, D. C. 
GRAND RONDE INDIAN AGENCY, OREGON, 
September '2, 1874. 
StR: In accordance with the regulations of the Indian Department I have the
honor to 
submit this my third annual report, showing the condition of the agency under
my charge. 
The year past has been quite a prosperous one to the Indians. The large crops
harvested 
last year enabled them to live comfortably during the winter, and since they
have secured 
deeds to their respective parcels of land, and feel secure in the possession
of their homes, 
they have made great improvements in their houses, so that they live better,
are less exposed, 
and the iesult is an improved sanitary condition. The statistics of births
and deaths for 
the past year show an increase of the former. 
The habits anI disposition of the majority of the Indians are gradually but
surely ap- 
proaching that standard of civilized life which will entitle them to be recognized
as citizens. 
The capacity exhibited by them in the management of their local government,
having laws 
of their own making, taken from the laws of the State, having a justice,
jury, lawyer, sheriff, 
clerk, &c., demonstrates that they have an appreciation of the science
of government, and 
could readily adapt themselves to the intelligent exercise of the elective
franchise. 
The question as to whether the Indian is capable of civilization is fully
answered affirma- 
tively by the Indians of this agency. As a community they are industrious
and honest. As 
an illustration of their good conduct, I will mention that the block-house
or jail, which 
in years past used to be filled with offenders for all kinds of misdemeanors,
has not had 
for the past year a single occupant. That the present moral condition of
these Indians 
is not of an unstable or temporary character is strongly shown in their fidelity
to their re- 


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