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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 New Mexico,   pp. 326-335 PDF (5.0 MB)

Page 326

326             REPORTS OF       AGENTS IN     NEW    MEXICO. 
The other has been well attended by a large portion of the school-children
and the men of 
the tribe together with a few women and girls. The exercises consist of singing,
and read. 
ing from the Testament; all those that can read joining in, after which the
lesson is inter- 
preted to them. 
The fifth section of the late act of Congress requiring all agencies to come
within a certain 
limit for pay of employds falls heavily upon this tribe. Within the past
two years they have 
increased their working capacity nearly one-half, making it necessary that
they should have 
a full corps of efficient foremen to lay out and prepare work for the Indian
apprentices in 
the different departments who have shown an increased desire to learn the
industrial arts. 
This act will deprive us of many of our best employds, and I fear retard
the progress of the 
The health of the tribe has compared favorably with last year. Some deaths
have occur- 
red, though mostly from old age or long-standing complaints. No disease of
a contagious 
or malignant character has been among them during the past year. We still
feel the need 
of a hospital where the infirm and blind could have a comfortable home and
be properly 
cared for, and where the physician and matron could contribute more to their
wants than in 
their desolate and uncomfortable homes. 
Those of the Wisconsin Winnebagoes who have remained on the reservation,
and have 
taken allotments of land, are showing a disposition to provide for themselves.
Quite a num- 
ber have broken and fenced their land, and planted it in corn, which promises
an encourag- 
ing yield. There is still a restless and dissatisfied spirit among some of
them, and occasion- 
ally I hear of one who has left and gone back to Wisconsin. 1 last spring
let a contract 
for building 25 frame houses, with brick basement, containing winter-kitchen
and cellar, 
at a cost of $668.75 per house. The underground kitchen and cellar it is
hoped will be a 
means of inducing the Indians to live in their houses during the winter,
and also affords 
them a place for storing their vegetables. These houses are now being constructed
on the 
allotments of those who have proven the most worthy and industrious. 
There has been furnished for the tribe during the year, by contribution from
New York 
Friends, clothing and cash to the amount of $1,500. In this is included $50
in cash for 
sanitary purposes, which has all been expended in providing delicacies for
the sick, and has 
been of great benefit in this way. The balance of cash donated the tribe
was expended in 
supplying the service of a village matron, and in purchasing suitable clothing
for the most 
needy and the school-children, which, together with the clothing sent by
Friends, was 
issued under the directions of the matron and school-teachers. 
A summary of the general work, and the results of the work accomplished by
the Winne- 
bagoes the past year, is quite satisfactory, and shows a steady improvement.
Especially is 
this noticeable in the awakening of many of the Indians to the great benefits
arising from 
individual improvements, and in owning tools and implements. One of the Winnebagoes
has earned the means to supply himself with a new wagon, a set of double
harness, and 
a team. This is the first instance of the kind which has come to my knowledge,
and I can 
even now see the interest excited by the success of this one man. During
the past winter I 
was much at a loss to provide work for the numerous Indians desiring the
same, but fina4ly 
set them at work cutting down the timber (of which there is a large amount)
into cord- 
wood, and paying them at a reasonable rate for their work. In this way they
were kept 
employed, and also over 1,200 cords of wood and about 400,000 feet of logs
were cut, much 
of which would otherwise have decayed and been lost. There are, in the work
of "civilizing 
the Indians," as in all other works, many discouraging features ; but
with the past year's 
results before me, I am unswerving in my opinion that the true way to christianize
civilize the Indian race is by a practical method of teaching by illustration
and example, 
and not by force, or a spirit of monarchy. 
Very respectfully, 
United States Indian Agent. 
Hon. EDnV. P. SMfTH, 
Commissioner Indian Affuirs, WVashington, D. C. 
I                   September 3, 1875. 
SIR: In compliance with the requirement of the Department, I have the honor
to submit 
my annual report. 
During the past year there has been but one complaint made to me of depredations
the ]ndians, and that was abandoned immediately upon proof being required.
This is a 
gratifying fact, and I think worthy of note, in view of the fact that he
agency is in a Mex- 
ican village, the country settled by Mexicans, and that there is a ger~eral
intermixture of 

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