University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

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

Report of the Ute Commission,   pp. [170]-177 PDF (4.1 MB)


Page [170]

REPORT OF THE UTE COMMISSION. 
WASHINGTON, D. C., December 27V 1878. 
"To the President: 
The undersigned beg leave to report that by authority of an act of Congress
ap- 
proved May 3, 1878, Edward Hatch, William Stickney, and N. C. McFarland were
:appointed by yourself a commission to negotiate with the Ute Indians, the
purpose of 
which fully appears by instructions issued June 29, 1878, from the Department
of the 
Interior, which instructions are as follows: 
"DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, 
"OFFICE OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, 
"Washington, June 29, 1878. 
"SIR: By direction of the honorable Secretary of the Interior you were
notified by 
letter from this office, dated May 24 last, that the President had designated
you, Hon. 
William Stickney, of this city, and N. C. McFarland, of Topeka, Kans., to
act as a 
commission to visit nd endeavor to secure from the Ute Indians, in the State
of Col- 
orado, their assent to the provisions of an act of Congress approved May
3, 1878, au- 
thorizing negotiations with the said Indians for the consolidation of all
their bands at 
one agency, to be located on or near White River; and for the extinguishment
of their 
right to the southern portion of their reservation in said State. 
"Each member of said commission having signified his acceptance of said
appoint- 
ment, the following detailed instructions are given for the guidance of the
commis- 
sion in the performance of its duties under said act: 
" The commission will convene at Fort Garland, Colorado, at the earliest
date practi- 
cable, thence proceed without delay to the Los Pinos Agency, and, after consultation
with the agent in charge thereof, assemble all the different bands of said
Indians in 
open council, at such time and place as you may deem most convenient and
desirable 
for the accomplishment of the object of the commission. 
"Agents N. C. Meeker, of the White River Agency, Joseph B. Abbott, of
the Los Pinos 
Agency, and F. H. Weaver, of the Southern Ute Agency, have each been notified
of your 
appointment and instructed to afford you all the assistance in their power
in securing 
a full attendance of the different bands of Utes, and in the promotion of
the objects 
of the negotiations. Agent Abbott has also been instructed to provide the
necessary 
subsistence for the Indians during the council. 
"' You will fully explain to said Indians, when assembled in council,
the purport of 
said act, and the object of your visit to them, taking care in all cases
that you shall 
be clearly understood by them. 
The precise objects of your negotiations are set forthin the bill, which
is as follows: 
"'Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America 
in Congress assembled, That the President of the United States be, and he
is hereby, 
authorized and empowered to enter into negotiations with the Ute Indians,
in the 
State of Colorado, for the consolidation of all the bands into one agency,
to be located 
on the White River, or near said river, and for the extinguishment of their
right to 
the southern portion of their reservation in said State, and to report his
proceedings 
under this act to Congress for its consideration and approval.' 
" It is the desire of the department to allow you the largest latitude
in conducting 
your negotiations. You will, therefore, take the act as your guide and make
such an 
agreement with the Utes as you may be able, and may consider to be for the
best in- 
terest of the government and the Indians. 
"Any arrangement or agreement entered into with said Indians for the
cession of any 
portion of their reservation should be executed and signed by at least three-fourths
of 
the adult male Indians occupying or interested in the saute; and in every
instance the 
assent and concurrence of at least a majority of each and every band of said
Ute In- 
dians is requisite to give validity to the results attained through, your
negotiations. 
"To avoid any possible difficulty or misunderstanding in the future,
you are im 
structed to make every effort and use every reasonable inducement to secure
una- 
nimity on the part of the Indians in the approval of any cession or agreement
that may 
be made. 
"Particular care will be exercised in selecting a location for the future
settlement of 
these Indians to secure a sufficient quantity of arable land to enable them
to become, 
by agricultural pursuits, a sellsupporting people. You are instructed to
thoroughly 
impress upon the minds of the Indians the fact that any agreement entered
into by 
them will be binding only upon its ratification by Congress. 


Go up to Top of Page