United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1884
Report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, pp. [III]-LV ff. PDF (21.4 MB)
REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, OFFICE OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, Washington, October 15, 1884. SiR: I have the honor to submit herewith my fourth annual report, and believe that a careful perusal of it will show that along the pathway of progress in the last twelve months some dark spots have been removed and some bright spots made brighter. More Indians are living in houses and fewer in tepees than there were one year ago. More are cultivating the soil and fewer following the chase than when I made my last annual report., There are more in the carpenter, blacksmith, and other me- chanical shops, trying to earn an honest living, and fewer at the war dance, scalp dance, and sun dance than in October, 1883. There are also several hundred more Indian children in industrial, agricultural, and mechanical schools, fitting themselves to become useful, intelligent citizens, than there were twelve months since. During the same period many Indians have with the proceeds of their own labor purchased im- proved farm machinery and agricultural implements, and are making praiseworthy efforts'to take their places among the independent agri culturists of the country. Taken altogether, an impartial view of the situation warrants the belief that some time in the near future it is fair to presume that, with the aid of such industrial, agricultural, and me- chanical schools as are now being carried on, the Indian will be able to care for himself, and be no longer a burden but a help to the Gov- ernment. EXPENSE OF INDIAN SERVICE. 1 am not aware that any report from this office has ever shown just how much the Government contributes from the United States Treas- ury to feed and clothe the 200,000 Indians who are its wards, outside of the five civilized tribes. The public at large finds from the proceed- ings of Congress and the public press that $5,000,000 in round numbers have been appropriated for the Indian service, and this gives to each Indian $25, which, if true, would not enable any person, either white or Indian, to live very luxuriously, for it is a fraction less than 7 cents a day.
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