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

Reports of agents in Utah,   pp. 357-360 PDF (1.9 MB)


Page 357

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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