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])

[Washington],   pp. 326-340 PDF (7.2 MB)


Page 326

326     REPORT    OF   THE   COMMISSIONER       OF INDIAN     AFFAIRS. 
is otherwise engaged, and various considerations have prevented my hiring
help for this 
purpose to any great extent. The mills, although kept running, and having
so far proved 
adequate to the actual requirements, are not in condition to insure it for
the future without 
extensive repairs, amounting in the case of the saw-mill to almost entire
reconstruction of 
the running part, forebay, &c. But as has been mentioned it is desirable
that it be removed, 
and therefore nothing has been done except what was actually necessary to
keep it running. 
The grist-mill, although not in such condition as private individuals would
deem it profit- 
able to keep one, is capable for the work it has to do, and can be got along
with for some time 
with only the repairs required by the usual wear and tear of machinery, and
as expenditures 
for other things are more pressing, it may, perhaps, be well not to incur
any unnecessary 
expense upon it. 
The amount of roots, berries, fish, game, &c., obtained by the Indians
can scarcely even 
be approximately estimated, owing, as before mentioned, to the almost entire
absence of 
reliable data. 
I am conscious that my statistics are not as full or reliable as they might
or could be, but 
there are always so many other things pressing which seem to be more essential,
that the 
time and pains have not been taken to gather them. 
In regard to any suggestions or change in policy or methods of treatment,
I have to say, 
that my experience goes to show that those at present pursued have been productive
of im- 
portant results, and as long as improvement continues it is not best to change
more than pos- 
sible. The prime need is that agents and employcis be always men who are
more devoted to 
the best interests of those placed under their charge than to schemes of
personal aggrandize- 
ment, men who are not ashamed to take an Indian by the hand and commend him
for a 
good deed, or too indifferent and time- serving to reprove and punish a bad
one, always bear- 
ing in mind that the end to be gained is not merely to stop bad practices
but to bring about 
the adoption of good ones. 
A few years of such administration would produce wonderfuil results and give
effectual 
quietus to those who are so fond of disparaging all efforts for the improvement
of the Indians, 
and put a stop to all further complaints of Indian depredations, and failures
on the part of 
the Government to repress and control them. 
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
JOHN SMITH, 
United States Indian Agent. 
Hon. EDWIN P. SMITH, 
Commissioner Indian Affairs, Washington, D. C. 
OFFICE UNITED STATES INDIAN AGENCY OF THE 
NESQUALLY, PUYALLUP, AND OTHER INDIAN TRIBES, 
Olympia, Washinoton Territory, September 28, 1874. 
SIR: In compliance with the request of the Indian Bureau, I have the honor
to submit 
the following as my first annual report: 
I was recently appointed to this agency, and only arrived at this place from
my home in 
Iowa on the 2d instant, and of course it could not be expected that during
the brief period 
since my arrival I have become informed and fully able to advise as to the
situation, re- 
quirements, and best interests of the Indians of the six reservations belonging
to this agency. 
This will be a sufficient apology for the brevity of this report. 
In company with General Milroy, whom I found in charge of the reservations
and Govern- 
ment property of this agency, I visited and inspected these reservations
and the public prop- 
erty belonging to them, which was transferred to me on the 10th instant.
I found General 
Milroy very fully informed upon Indian matters in this Territory, and am
much indebted to 
him for valuable information in relation to the Indians and the six reservations
of my agency. 
I found these Indians and reservations of two classes, viz, treaty and non-treaty.
The first- 
named are embraced in what is known as the Medicine Creek treaty, negotiated
December 
26, 1854, and ratified on the 10th of April, 1855, following. The reservations
under this 
treaty are the Nesqually, Puyallups, Squaxins, and Muckleshoots. The annuities
provided 
by this treaty extended twenty years from the date of its ratification, and
of course will ex- 
pire on the 10th of April next, and to this matter I desire to call the especial
attention of the 
Government. The expiration of these annuities will require the attention
of Congress as to 
whether the school and employds provided for by the treaty shall be continued,
and on this 
point I refer especially to your last annual report, page 303. There are
two non-treaty 
reservations belonging to my charge, viz, the Chehalis and Shoal Water Bay.
I find nine 
different tribes mentioned in the report of 1870, page 18, as belonging to
this agency, to wit: 
the Chehalis, Shoal Water Bay, Hokeum, Whiskah, Humptalups, Chinooks, Cowlitz,
and 
Klickatat, numbering in all 1,434, but from what I can learn I think this
is an overestimate, 
although it purports to be a true census. 
I find that the reservations of my charge have recently been surveyed into
forty-acre lots ; 
that many of the Indians have ,made their selections of lots for permanent
homes, and that 


Go up to Top of Page