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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1904, Part I
([1904])

Report of agent for New York agency,   pp. 702-[704] PDF (940.0 KB)


Page 702

REPORT OF AGENT FOR NEW YORK AGENCY.a 
NEW YORK AGENCY, 
Salamanca, N. Y., December 20, 1904. 
SIR: I have the honor to submit herewith my annual report for the fiscal
year end- 
ing June 30, 1904. 
The census.-The census of the several tribes connected with the agency, taken
June 30, 1904, classified according to instructions, is as follows: 
6 to 18. 
Males. Females.                Total of 
Males. Females. all ages. 
Cayuga.......................................83       92     22      26 
    175 
Oneida  ............................................  139  122  (a)8 .  
    261 
Onondaga .........................................  288  268  86     78 
    556 
Seneca-......................................... ... 1,456  1,290  343  379
 2,746 
St. Regis.                                          .    ..........     
   1,239 
Tuscarora . ...................................... ... .203" 158  49
 45   361 
Total .........................................  2,169  1,930  500  528 
5,338 
a The only accessible census of the Oneidas does not give ages. 
The year was marked by few events of special interest or consequence. Aside
from lawlessness, some petty, some quite serious, growing out of the uncontrollable
thirst for fire water on the part of a few of the red men, and the ever-present
comple- 
ment, some one, red or white, anticipating such demand and ready to satisfy
it, the 
most significant occurrences were the controversies amongthe Indians over
property 
rights, chiefly inherited property.                                  °
As a matter of fact, a considerable and constantly increasing number of the
Indians 
connected with this agency have outgrown the tribal-reservation system, although
not all of them realize the fact. The graduates of Carlisle and other schools
mainly 
have wholly forsaken their reservation homes; have gone out into the "white
man's 
world," following varying pursuits and occupations, precisely like young
people of 
other nationalities. These, as a rule, are fully aware of the fact first
above mentioned, 
and generally are looking forward longingly to the complete abolition of
tribal affairs- 
to the time when they may become citizens. But there is another class, in
much 
larger numbers, who have unconsciously, yet none the less truly, outgrown
the coin- 
munal life, and unconsciously, or with only partial conception of the situation,
are 
secretly chafing under existing conditions, yet, through lack of courage
and confi- 
dence in their own powers, are afraid of allotment and citizenship and desire
merely 
some minor changes regarding their property rights. This latter class, while
they 
clearly perceive and frankly admit that their so-called governments, whether
by 
chiefs or councilors elected by ballot, are inefficient and practically powerless
as pro- 
tectors of property rights, still hesitate and hang back from seeking the
only real 
remedy. 
An industrious, well-to-do Onondaga married a woman known as an Oneida, 
although born and reared on the same reserve and the daughter of a full-blood
Onondaga. According to ancient Onondaga custom, ten days after a death the
"death feast" is held, at which the effects of the deceased are
disposed of by the 
friends, ostensibly in accord with the known or presumed wishes of the deceased.
This system may have worked satisfactorily when the property to be disposed
of 
consisted chiefly of a tomahawk, a bow and quiver of arfows, a string of
nicely cured 
scalls, another of wampum, etc., but seems ill adapted to a case like this
under 
consideration. The couple had some 50 acres of fertile land under a good
state of 
aThis report was received too late for insertion in the proper place. 
702 


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