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

Report of agent in Michigan,   pp. 293-295 PDF (1.3 MB)

Page 293

REPORT OF AGENT IN          MICHIGAN.                 293 
money over to the trader or traders. In this agency I have endeavored to
correct this abuse 
by introducing an order-systerv, To an Indian applying for an order, I give
one for such 
articles as he needs and an amount corresponding thereto. These orders are
not addressed 
to any particular firm, and are accepted at face-value wherever presented.
When I came among the Pottawatomies I made an effort to induce them to raise
cattle instead of ponies. I partly succeeded, and there are several herds
among them now. 
Since that time, however, a new phase of the pony-business has been presented.
the year five car-loads of ponies have been sold, at an average price of
$32 per head. The 
ponies are much more easily herded and do not require near the amount of
care or feed 
that cattle do during the winter. I have concluded, therefore, that raising
ponies pays them 
fully as well as raising cattle-at least with the knowledge the Indian has
of raising cattle 
at present. Under these circumstances I advise them to raise all the ponies
and cattle they 
can and pay close attention to improving their stock. 
The experience of another year has added to my convictions that a kind and
policy with Indians, either as communities or individuals, will lead them
toward civiliza- 
tion, while an aggressive and arbitrary one will deepen in their minds dislike
of the white 
race and the enlightenment that distinguishes it. The policy alluded to,
combined with 
firmness, decision, and exact justice in all business transactions and dealings
with Indians, 
will surely win their confidence. When this is accomplished and the system
is consistently 
followed up, suggestions or reforms will be reflectively considered, and,
in a majority of cases, 
Indians have deep religious convictions. They are all believers in the divinity
of their 
Creator and worship no other God. Those of mature age depend alone upon the
creed of 
their fathers as an avenue through which, after death, to pass to an endless
existence of 
physical enjoyments. They have a reverential faith in the Creator, but need
an enlightened 
understanding to enable them to comprehend the plan of salvation as proclaimed
by Christ 
for the salvation of the world. Therefore the introduction of religious subjects,
where the 
Indian has not the enlightenment to comprehend them, is not only useless
but injurious. 
To such we can only give the example of Christian lives-lives whose every
day of exist- 
ence is sanctified by the commission of sQme practical Christian action.
With the young people and children rests the solution of the problem of civilizing
dians. Give to them the education which they are mentally qualified to receive,
and through 
its enlightening and christianizing influences the veils of superstition
and relics of barbar- 
ism will disappear from the tribes 
Herewith forwarded find statistical report for Pottawatomie and Kickapoo
tribes of 
Thine, truly, 
United States Indian Agent. 
Commissioner Indian Affairs, Washington City, D. C. 
Lansine, October 5, 1875. 
SIR: I have the honor to present this my annual report of my agency, which
the care of all the Indians within the State of Michigan, comprised of four
tribes, viz, the 
Chippewas of Lake Superior, Ottawas and Chippewas of Michigan, Chippewas
of Saginaw, 
Swan Creek, and Black River, and the Pottawatomies of Huron. 
Are resident of the Upper Peninsula, and number about 1,200. They have two
schools and two Christian missions. One mission is sustained by the Roman
Catholics and 
one by the Methodists. They are about equally divided in locations, numbers,
and religion. 
They are a peaceable and improving tribe of Indians, wear citizens' dress,
live in houses, 
and subsist mostly by fishing and catching furs  The bay, (L'Anse, or Ke.weenaw,)
either shore of which they are located, abounds with fish. During the month
of June I made 
an allotment to them of their lands on their reservation, in severalty. This
has stimulated 
them to efforts at agriculture, and resulted in a larger crop, mostly potatoes,
than they ever 
produced before. By permission of the Department I nade an offer of $5 for
each acre they 
would prepare for and put into seed. It was well received and acted upon.
This is the largest tribe of Indians in the State, nunibering about 6,500.
In 1872 their 
bribad relations to the Government were dissolved, and their last payments
received, so that 

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