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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1879

Report of agent in Michigan,   pp. 84-86 ff. PDF (1.5 MB)

Page 84

84                  REPORT    OF AGENT IN      MICHIGAN. 
The timber growing on the reserves in the agency has been fully protected,
and but 
a very small amount of stock belonging to the Indians has been lost through
or theft. 
I have issued to the Pottawatomie and Kickapoo Indians all the agricultural
plements and machines they actually required; guch articles are purchased
from funds 
established for the purpose by treaty stipulations. 
In gathering the statistical information herewith forwarded, I have found
it neces- 
sary to visit every house and farm occupied by the Indians, which has afforded
me the 
fullest opportunity to observe their mode of living, the manner in which
they save 
their produce, the condition of their farms and stock, and their views as
to future in- 
dustries and conduct. There can be no doubt whatever but that their advancement
of a substantial character, and that if they are not disturbed by sensations
of any kind 
they will in a few years become entirely self-sustaining, as they are now
and peaceful members of society. 
Very respectfully, 
H. C. LINN, 
United Slates Indian Agent. 
Ypsilanti, Mich., September 1, 1879. 
SIR: In accordance with the requirements of the Indian Department, I submit
with my fourth annual report of affairs in this agency. The statistics which
pany this will give a more accurate view of the industrial and social condition
of the 
several tribes and bands of Indians within the jurisdiction of this agency
than I can 
do in the brief space I propose to occupy in my remarks. 
The jurisdiction of the agency embraces the Ottawas and Chippewas, who are
settled along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, the islands in the same,
the north 
shore of said lake, both sides of the straits of Mackinac and the island
of the same 
name, from which the agency takes its title, this having been in olden times
the great 
depot of the American Fur Company and general rendezvous of the powerful
tribes inhabiting the entire Northwest. Of these there are, as near as I
can estimate 
from the most authentic information, about 6,000. 
Next in point of numbers are the Chippewas of Saginaw, Swan Creek, and Black
who are located the entire length of the Saginaw Bay at various points, and
the Sagi- 
naw River and its tributaries. About 1,000 of this tribe are on the reservation
in Isa- 
bella County. These number in all, as near as I can ascertain, about 2,500.
Next come the Chippewas of Lake Superior, who are principally located on
either side 
of Keweenaw Bay, although there are a number of settlements of this tribe,
in the aggregate-to several hundred, at other points, so that I think there
are fully 1,200. 
or 1,500 of these, including half-breeds and mixed-bloods, who acknowledge
as Chippewas. 
Then there are the Chippewas of Sault Ste. Marie, who are indeed parts of
the tribes 
heretofore named, but have been recognized in treaties by the name indicated.
reside along the south shore of the eastern extremity of Lake Superior, and
the entire 
length of the Sault Ste. Marie River, to Detour, on Lake Huron, numbering
at least 
To these are to be added the Pottawatomies, who number, including those known
as the 
Pottawatomies of Huron, three or four hundred. 
The entire extent of territory over which the various tribes are scattered
over thirty counties in this State, and the extremes by any traveled route
cannot be 
reached in a single journey of less than 600 miles. From the foregoing statement
will be seen that this agency has a greater number of Indians, who are distributed
over a greater extent of territory, than any other agency in the United States,
as the 
aggregate is fully 10,000. 
I have been thus particular in the detail of these facts, because great ignorance
ists in regard to them. It seems to be an almost settled conviction of even
our own. 
citizens that the Indian race is nearly extinct within our borders, and therefore
lands set apart for their use and occupancy might as well be diverted to
other pur- 
poses and uses, as they have been in the past few years, much to the injury
of the In- 
dians, both present and prospective. Even at Washington, because they hear
of "wars nor rumors of wars," it seems to be a matter of settled
fact that there are but 
very few Indians in the State, or that they need any further care, since
the extremely 
doubtful practice of annual payments of a few dollars per capita has been
Nearly all these Indians are the occupants of comfortable houses ; a number
of them" 
are frame and painted, while others are made very comfortable from hewn logs,
"chinked" and plastered ; others, less pretentious, are made of
unbewn logs with bark 

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