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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1875

Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs,   pp. [3]-40 PDF (17.4 MB)

Page [3]

R E I1 0 R T 
Washington, -November 1, 1875. 
SIR: I have the honor, in accordance with law, to submit the annual 
report of the Indian Bureau, accompanied with reports of eighty-two 
superintendents and agents. Only one agent has failed to forward his 
The attention of the honorable Secretary is especially invited to the 
general encouraging tenor of these reports, conveying unmistakable 
evidence of a year of advance in the civilization of Indians. This testi-
mony is entitled to great weight. It comes from competent witnesses 
on the ground, men of ordinary intelligence and common sense, speak- 
ing out of personal knowledge and experience of from one to five years. 
With few exceptions, abundantly accounted for by untoward circum- 
stances, their testimony is uniform to the fact that the civilization of
Indians is not only entirely practicable but is fairly under way. While 
public attention is being directed principally to the great Sioux tribe in
its disturbed condition, the larger portion of the remaining 225,000 
Indians who have passed the year comparatively unnoticed furnishes 
the field of labor from which the encouraging facts are gathered. 
A comparative statement, made from statistics covering a period 
of five years, gives ample concurrent testimony to a steady progress 
year by year. The statistics of the present year, gathered with more 
than usual care, furnish important facts for consideration. By the num- 
ber of Indians returned they substantially verify the counts and esti- 
mates of last year, making a total, as now enumerated, of 278,963. 
This population is dete'rmined by actual count of the tribes, with the 
exception of Navajoes, Papagoes, Pueblos, Mission Indians, roamers 
in Oregon,. the Blackfeet, Piegans, non-treaty Sioux, and a portiom of 
the Utes, in all less than fifty thousand, and for these fifty thousand,
with the exception of not exceeding ten thousand, the estimates have 
been based on long acquaintance with the condition and habits of their 
tribes, and cannot be far from correct. 
Taking labor which Indians undertake for theiaselves and its results as 
a. standard of progress, the reports show forty-two thousand six hun- 
dred and thirty-eight male Indians, represeliting not far from the same 
number of Indian familes, undertaking self-support by labor with their 
own hands. A portion of them have labored awkwardly enough,and with 
little profit to theniselves, except that which comes front the effort, but
the ma jority of these laborers have procured the larger portion of their

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