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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1883
([1883])

Reports of agents in New Mexico,   pp. 116-124 PDF (4.5 MB)


Page 116

116 
REPORTS OF AGENTS IN NEW MEXICO. 
fair pasture land for summer and fall use, but the balance of this large
area (200,000 
acres) is absolutely worthless for any purpose except as the home of the
coyote, man- 
eater, rattlesnake, horned toad, centipede, and tarantula. The iron-bound
mountains 
on the immediate east of the reservation buildings and the lava desert plains
on the 
west, cut up with deep cafions and gorges, make up the major portion of the
200,000 
acres above described. The only pleasant portion of the reservation to look
upon is 
along the Owyhee for a distance of 16 miles from the point where the river
leaves the 
mountains on the east, flowing to the northwest, entering the low lava hills,
losing 
itself as it were in the deep caflons, where it seems to be crowded for room
in its struggle 
for exit in coursing its way to the Snake, thence to the Columbia, finally
into the Pa- 
cific Ocean, a distance of 1,200 miles. 
EMPLOYtS. 
I find it very difficult to secure and keep good, sober, and moral employgs
at the 
reservation, for the reason that the salaries paid by the Government are
too low when 
compared with the prevailing rates paid for the same kind and character of
services. 
The common laborer receives from $2.50 to $3 per day. Mechanics or skilled
laborers 
are paid from $5 to $6 per day, such as blacksmiths, carpenters, bricklayers,
engineers, 
machinists, painters, &c. 
All of which is most respectfully submitted. 
Yours, respectfully, 
JOHN S. MAYHUGH, 
United State8 Indian Agent, We8tern Shoshone Agency, Nevada. 
The COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
HEADQUARTERS MESCALERO AND JICARILLA APACHES, 
SouthFork, N. Mex., Augu8t 15, 1883. 
SIR: I have the honor to submit herewith my third annual report, with accompa-
nying statistics, in accordance with printed instructions received from your
office, 
dated July 13, 1883. 
THE RESERVATION. 
In accordance with the Executive order of May 19, 1882, and in compliance
with 
the request of the Interior Department to the honorable Secretary of War,
Lieuten- 
ant Cecil of the Thirteenth Infantry was detailed, and during the year has
completed 
the survey of the exterior lines of the reservation, a large number of the
Mescaleros 
accompanying him, building stone monuments, blazing trees, and thoroughly
mark- 
ing the line upon the ground. At Three Rivers, on the northwest corner of
the res- 
ervation, Lieutenant Cecil discovered that township 10, range 11 east overlapped
the 
reservation some 44 miles. As this township had been subdivided it gave settlers
a 
pretext to locate on the Indian farms at Three Rivers, and several locations
were 
made thereon. In March last, when I acquainted your office with these facts,
all of 
said township was promptly withdrawn from further settlement, pending the
decis- 
ion of the question. I mention these facts for the reason that I have had
much 
trouble with the Three River band of Mescaleros to keep them from forcibly
ejecting 
the settlers from their lands, assuring them that the Government would protect
their 
rights and remedy the error of the Government survey. 
In this connection I wish to refer to the visit made by a delegation of fifty
of these 
Indians to the tertio-millennial celebration at Santa F6, N. Mex., in July,
where they 
had an opportunity of an extended talk with Hon. John A. Logan, Congressman
W. M. Springer, Payson and Laird, and other distinguished gentlemen. As this
was 
the first time the Mescaleros have had an opportunity to see anything of
civilization, 
it was an event of great importance to them; and to the gentlemen named above
they presented their claims and requests for a patent for their reservation.
It is my 
opinion that this visit to Santa F6 will result in great good to the Indians.
They 
were kindly received by the citizens, and, I think, returned to the reservation
with a 
better idea of our civilization than they have heretofore had. 
AGRICULTURAL. 
The Indians have made rapid progress in this direction during the past year.
When 
I first came to the Mescalero Agency there was not a single Indian who could
plow; 
now there are 20 of them who can handle a plow in a skillful manner. I estimate
they have from 250 to 300 acres of land in corn this year, every acre of
which is cul- 
tivated by the Indians themselves. 


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