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

Reports of agents in Idaho,   pp. 258-261 PDF (1.9 MB)

Page 258

258                  REPORTS 'OF AGENTS IN         IDAHO. 
serve. I would recommend in this connection that a large tract of land be
broken up on 
the uplands for an agency wheat-farm, this coming season, as theold lands
on thi bottom 
are worn out.and unfit for wheat-culture. Three or four hundred acres, well
will produce all the wheat needed. The work of breaking and cultivating this
agency farm 
can all be done by Indians. I believe it will be for the welfare of the Indians
to employ as 
large a force as possible in this way. They are not yet fit to work for themselves
the constant aid and suoervision of white men. 
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
Hon. E. P. SMiTi,                                   United 6tates Indian
Commissioner of Indian "Affairs, Wishington, D. C. 
September 7, 1875. 
SIR : I have the honor to submit the following annual report of affairs atthis
agency for 
the year ending August 31, 1675. 
When I took charge of this agency, in July last, there were about 500 on
the reservation. 
There are, according to the estimates of my predecessors, about 1,500 Indians
here, divided into two small bands, viz, 600 Bannacks and 900 Shoshones.
Owing to the small amount appropriated for their support the majority of
the Indians 
have been obliged to resort to the mountains in quest of game for their subsistertce.
after assuming the duties of agent I gave permits to all who were not working
on the farm 
to.go on a summer's hunt, knowing they could subsist themselves very comfortably
by the 
chase. While this line of policy is to be deprecated, I am forced to resort
to it in order to hus- 
band their food for winter use, when most needed. Quite a number of the Bannacks,
who have 
heretofore gone to the Yellowstone country to spend the winter hunting buffalo,
last fall to forego their annual hunt and spend the winter on the reservation.
the supply of beef became exhausted about the 1st of January, and they, together
with the 
Shoshones, were here all winter with scarcely any meat at all. They became
disgusted with the reservation, and early this summer struck out for their
old hunting- 
grounds. [lad the agency been prepared to subsist them they would have undoubtedly
mained here-permanently, and given up hunting for a livelihood. To feed 1,500
Indians it 
requries 547,500 pounds of flour, and the same amount of beef, net weight.
The allowance 
for them for the present fiscal year is only 125,000 pounds of flour, and
the same amount of 
beef, net weight. There is, however, to be added to this amount, the produce
of the agenc. 
and Indian farms, which will be given in another part of this report. 
It was known in early spiing that the Mormons had out their emissaries seeking
with these Indians, urging them to go to Salt Lake City to be baptized in
the Mormon 
Church. Quite a number of them went without the knowledge of the agent, were
baptized, and. then returned as missionaries to work among their tribes.
By these efforts 
quite a number who were out on permits found their way to Corinne, where
the Mormons 
had an encampment and furnished rations to all Indians who would come to
them and be 
baptized in the Mormon faith. They were told that by being baptized and joining
church, the old men would all become young, the young men would never be
sick, that the 
Lord had a work for them to do, and that they were the chosen people of God
his kingdom upon the earth, &c. ; also that Bear River Valley belonged
to them, and 
if the soldiers attempted to drive them away not to go, as their guns would
have no effect 
upon them. Their whole teachings were fraught with evil and calculated to
make the Indians 
hostile to the Government, and especially to the people of Corinne. As near
as I have been 
able to ascertain there were about twenty lodges or one hundred and twenty
there from this agency. They had no idea of fighting the troops, and when
ordered by them 
to leave started at once. They seem very much disgusted with the whole proceeding,
lost faith in the Mormons, and say they did not know they were doing anything
in opposi- 
tion to the Government. I have no fears of any more trouble in that direction
at present. 
It is said by the settlers in this vicinity that the reservation embraces
everything in thi 
portion of Idaho that is deshable. 'Ihe location was ce tainly well chosen
;it is ampl 

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