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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1879
([1879])

Reports of agents in Nevada,   pp. 109-112 PDF (2.3 MB)


Page 109

REPORTS OF AKTENTS IN WVADA.                        iO- 
Our steam-engines are iun by fullblood Indians, and the shoe, carpenter,
and black- 
smith shops at both agencies, and the day school at the-Omaha Agency, are
conducted by 
Indians, some of whom are excellent workmen. It has-been the policy to remove
the 
white employds and to advance the Indian mechanics as rapidly as their knowledge
and ability would warrant, until now there are but few white employds remaining.
Many of the Indians are clamoring for the rights and privileges of citizenship.
As 
these are generally the most thriftless, I-doubt the propriety of conferring
any more 
privileges upon them at present. They certainly should not be granted the
opportu- 
nity -of disposing of their lands and trust funds. 
Very respectfully, 
HOWARD WHITE, 
United States Indian Agent. 
The.CoMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRIS. 
NEVADA INDIAN AGENCY, 
Pyramid Lake Reservation, August 16, 1879. 
Si: In compliance with department instructions I have the honor to submit
the fol- 
lawing as-my annual report for this agency. 
I entered upon the discharge of my duties April 16,1879, consequently the
report 
for this year is the first one exhibited by me and covers only a period of
four months. 
I regret it will be found meager and deficient. Upon my arrival here I found
I had 
the charge of three reservations, widely separated from each other-: Moapa
River Reser- 
vation, located in the extreme.southeastern part of the State; Walker River
Reserva- 
tion, 60 miles south of Wadsworth, on the Central Pacific Railroad; Pyramid
Lake 
Reservation (my headquarters), 18 miles north of Wadsworth. 
Owing to the great distance from here of the Moapa River Reservation, and
the ex- 
pense incident to visiting the same, I concluded to rely upon the report
of the farmer 
in charge as to the condition of affairs there. He says: "I found the
farming land in 
very poor condition, much having been overflown, caused by the ditches having
be- 
come choked with moss and tule ; there a~rl no crops on the land; the buildings
on the 
reservation are in a wretched condition; there is not a window on the place;
some of 
the buildings without doors, and one minus a roof; the farming implements
almost 
worthless, and a very few Indians upon the reserve." 
Walker River Reservation I visited and gave a personal investigation. The
farming 
or bottom and I should judge to be about twelve miles in length, by an average
width 
of a half mile, well-timbered-and plenty of water. The buildings consist
of one small 
log house, occupied by the farmer; one brush stable and corral, and one board
store- 
house about 12 by 16. These comprise the buildings, all told. I found nothing
done 
in the way of farming, owing, as I was told, to the scarcity of water in
the river. 
Pyramid Lake Reserve is located on the Truckee River, 18 miles north of Wadsworth.
This reserve has plenty of good farming land, timber, such as it -is (cottonwood),
and 
the large valuable lake (valuable for its fishery), from which it takes its
name lies 
wholly within the reservation line. The buildings here are good ; a saw,-mill
in run- 
ning order, large dwelling-house, good barn, and corrals, interpreter's house,
store- 
house, and tool-house. Upon this reservation considerable farming has been
done, 
:considering the fact that the Indians put in their crops trusting to a favorable
stage of 
the water in the river. 
In looking over the reports of this agency, covering a period of ten years,
I find that 
the Indians have been reported as steadily improving each year, and as cultivating
more land each succeeding year; in fact, in a fair way of becoming self-supporting.
I deem :it best at this particular time to inform the department of the real
condition 
of -these reservations, not only for the welfare of the Indians, but for
my own protec- 
tion, as I am expected to make an actual improvement over that of the past
reports. 
I am reliably informed that these Indians have gradually been leaving the
reservations 
for the past five years, caused by the failure of crops, for the want of
irrigating ditchesr 
encroachment of white men upon the fisheries, and an inadequate appropriation.
The 
larger portion of the Indians that reside upon the reservations during farming
season 
are those that are the owners of ponies, that stay for the purpose of guarding
pasture 
lands from white men's cattle, that their ponies may get fat so they can
realize a sub- 
sistence from the.sale thereof; and there is another class that were born
in these val- 
leys, and that dislike to leave the place of their birth. There are Indians
that lived 
here four.and five years ago, that had small farms fenced and under cultivation,
that 
-have left and gone to-make a living working for white menon ranches and
around the- 
.mining camps and railroad :towns for the reason of a failure in the crops
each succeed- 
ing year. 
I have been here, I think, long enough :to reailize that a little advancement
only can 


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