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

Report of agent in Kansas,   pp. 291-293 PDF (1.5 MB)


Page 291

REPO 
)RT OF AGENT IN KANSAS. 
291 
I 
tribal relations, but oppose, as a majority, any infringement upon what is
deemed their relig- 
ious belief or traditional laws arid customs. Situated as they are, they
are in a true sense 
citizens, but lack that protection of person and property, by being considered
wards of the 
Government, that should surround them, and suffer frequently from lack of
authority through 
the agent to provide in civil and criminal actions the necessary means for
appeals, and to 
furnish bonds for appearance and costs. My opinion is that they should be
treated as white 
persons in this respect, and authority given to the agent to act by adequate
legislation. 
These Indians do not need the charity of the people so much as wholesome
protection. 
By educating them they become wiser; but a firm and unyielding effort to
instill in their minds 
the idea of self-dependence, reached by honest industry, will in time produce
the desired result. 
They should be taught the relation of property to labor, and have removed
from their minds 
the old prejudice that labor is degrading, and that idleness and vagrancy
are crimes. Means 
should be provided for building them comfortable houses, and they should
be removed from 
their bark dwellings, which would in a great measure do away with their roaming
all over 
the country, and give better protection to life and health. Means should
also be provided, 
independent of their annuity, to bny farming implements and mechanical tools.
Their an- 
nuity procuring a bare subsistence, they cannot buy, while if these things
were placed before 
them they would learn their use, as abundant testimony has proven. They should
in every 
way become permanent, and made to feel that what they do is for themselves'and
the good 
of their families, and all doubts bru hed from their minds that the Government
is going to 
remove them from their present home, which has been told them so often that
it has become 
a saying ot truth, and renders them suspicious of any advancement. 
I cannot say that these Indians are well and regularly fed, and that they
are comfortably 
and properly clothed. Some few of both sexes have adopted civilized dress,
but there is great 
room for improvement, both for comfort and health. The morals of the tribe,
so far as my 
knowledge extends, is a subject of praiseworthy remark, considering their
surroundings and 
condition. 
Permit me to say, in conclusion, that perceptible improvement has been made
during the 
last year, based upon the clearly defined policy of the Government to mete
out kindness and 
uniform protection to these people in such a manner as will best subserve
their common interest. 
No other policy can succeed except that of christianizing and educating them,
and impressing 
upon their minds the necessity of their obligations to each other and to
the laws, at the same 
time bestowing a warm approval and reward upon any conformity or acceptance
by them of 
such measures as may be intended for their mutual good. 
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant, 
THOMAS S. FREE, 
United States Indian Agent. 
Hon. EDWARD P. SMITH, 
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Washington, D. C. 
AGENCY INDIANS IN K 4NSAS, 
Ninthmonth 10, 1875. 
ESTEEMED FRIEND: In accordance with instructions from the Indian Bureau,
I herewith 
submit my annual report for the year ending Eighthmonth 31, 1875. 
The tribes in this agency are the Prairie band of Pottawatomies and the Kickapoo
tribe of Indians. 
Of the Prairie band there are about 450 persons present on the reserve and
about 175 
who are voluntarily absent in Wisconsin. The absentees are not enrolled for
annuities, and 
receive no portion of the benefactions to which they would be entitled if
present on the 
reserve. 
The reserve of these Indians contains 77,357.57 acres of land. It is well
watered by 
springs and running streams, contiguous to which are considerable bodies
of cottonwood, 
oak, and other kinds of timber, sufficient at least for the present wants
of the people. The 
larger portion of the uncultivated prairie is covered with a magnificent
coating of blue-stem 
grass, which makes splendid pasturage or hay, as may be required. The soil
is a rich 
sandy loam, yields large crops of corn and oats, and produces fair returns
of potatoes, 
wheat, and rye. Atmosphere is dry, with heavy winds in autumn and spring.
The Prairie band in the last two years have made considerable effort to raise
small grain, 
but owing to drought last year and grasshoppers this spring they have failed
both years. 
During the planting-season their corn in some fields was destroyed two and
three times. 
The Indians, however, continued to replant until the grasshoppers left, and
now have their 
reward in the prospect of a good crop of corn. During the past three months
I have issued 
o these Indians, purchased by their own funds, over thirty wagons, about
forty sets of 
harness, and agricultural implements, sufficient, with what they had on hand,
to complete 
a fair supply for the present wants of the tribe. 
Since the Prairie band have been settled within the limits of their present
reserve, and 
Sarea of territory over which they were previously permitted to roam and
make tn - 


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