United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1875
Reports of agents in Utah, pp. 357-360 PDF (1.9 MB)
REPORTS OF AGENTS IN UTAH. 357 not constitute any important element in their means of subsistence. They also consume, as before intimated, a considerable amount of beef raised by themselves. No rations are issued at all. Sugar, rice, and tea are kept for hospital purposes, and sometimes a little is given for a Christmas or Fourth of July dinner or other holiday occasions, and exceptional cases of destitution are furnished with small amounts of wheat or flour when the yield of the Department fields will allow it; but the amount in all is trifling, and they are virtually self- sustaining. - M We lack one important thing: that is, giving the Indians a proper title to their lands. The necessary surveys have been made, and I have repeatedly called the attention of the Depart- ment to it and asked for a plat and order for allotment, and I would again urge that the project, if any is entertained, of removing these Indians elsewhere be abandoned, and that permanent homes be given them here in accordance with their universally expressed wishes. I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant. JOHN SMITH, United States Indian Agent. Hon. EDW. P. SMITH, Commissionr of Indian Affairs, Washington, D. C. REPORTS OF AGENTS TN UTAH. UNITAH VALLEY AGENCY, UTAH, September 10, 1875. SIR: I have the honor to submit, in accordance with Department circular of July 8, 1875, my fifth annual report of the service under my charge. The honorable Uomuiissioner and all others interested in the welfare and progress of our Indians will be pleased to learn that their progress in agricultural and civilizing pursuits indicated in my last report continues, and affords increasing encouragement to themselves and those who have the management of their affairs to increased efforts on their behalf. INDIANS-THEIR NUMBER. The number of Indians belonging to and periodically visiting this reservation is, so far as we can ascertain, about the same as given in my last report. I have estimated them at 650, but the number at any one time on the reservation seldom exceeds 500. From the nomadic habits of most of our Indians it is difficult if not impossible to be accurate in their enumeration. GENERAL CONDUCT. There has, I think, been a steady and marked improvement in their general temper and conduct, evincing a greater willingness to be controlled and counseled by the agent. It must not, however, be understood that they always evince the same good nature. Often when they cannot have what they want, they manifest some dissatisfaction, but it passes away more readily, and is not of so frequent occurrence as formerly. INDUSTRY. It is the opinion of all those who have opportunities for forming a correct judgment in the matter that there is a marked progress in the industrial habits of our Indians. More or them than formerly have directly engaged in agricultural pursuits, and, as an evidence that farming is becoming more popular, some of those who do not work themselves hire others to cultivate their land for them, and thus claim to be farmers. Their progress in this depart- ment of industry, though steady and marked from year to year, can only be fully appreci- ated by those who saw and knew the habits of our Indians and the condition of this agency three or four years ago, and can compare them with what they are now. The products of their farms are every year becoming a more important element in their subsistence. Not only do they cultivate their land themselves, but provide material and construct rude fences for the protection of their crops. A new farm has been opened by a band of our Indians, about eight miles south of the old one, and considerable new land cleared, broken, and put into crops, and partially surrounded by a fence of their own construction. It must not be in- ferred from what has been said of the industry of our Indians that they work continuously through the season. This would be too much to expect. After they have prepared the land and put in their crops, and to some extent made arrangements for their irrigation and care during their absence, many of them, often a majority, leave on hunting-expeditions and visiting-tours among their friends in the settlements and tribes with which they are on terms of intimacy, to gather news and talk abut it. of which they are even more fond than their more cultivated white brethren. It is difficult and almost impossible in our situation to re- strain these roving habits, which materially modify the results of their previous hard work.
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