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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1855

[Northern superintendency],   pp. 40-47 PDF (3.1 MB)

Page 40

No. 8. 
lilwaukie, October 1, 1855. 
SIR: In obedience to the regulations of the Indian Department I 
submit my annual report. 
Of the Indian tribes under the superintendency of this office the 
Oneidas, Stockbridges, and Brothertons are commonly classed among 
the civilized Indians, while the Menomonees have, so far, been classed 
and considered as uncivilized or wild Indians. However, this tribe of 
Indians have lately, and particularly within the last year, improved 
much and made considerable progress towards civilization. 
In accordance with the stipulations of the treaty of May 12, 1855, 
the means were furnished to begin a systematic effort to improve and 
civilize them, and though I had hoped that more progress would be 
made this season, the results obtained are such that perhaps the his- 
tory of the civilization of Indian tribes will not show an instance 
where more has been accomplished in so short a time. The leading 
idea expressed in my report of October 27, 1854, that, "as much as 
practicable, all the work to be done for the Menomonees is to be done 
by them, and whites are to be employed only to superintend the work 
and to teach them how to work," has been adhered to; and when 
funds for improvements to be made were placed in my hands, (Febru- 
ary 1, 1855,) many of the Indians were persuaded to go to work at 
getting out fence rails, fence posts, timber, clearing, grubbing, and 
some at making shingles, &c. A part of this work was done by 
different individuals, while other parts-were performed by the young 
men of one or more bands, forming themselves, under their own fore- 
men, into gangs of hands. A carpenter shop was at once put into 
operation, and the public buildings b3ing erected at the pay-ground 
are offering a fine opportunity for a number of the young men to be 
instructed in the carpenter trade. A dwelling house for one of the 
teachers, and the agency and interpreter's house, have already been 
built by Indian hands; and a number of young men have made such 
progress that, in building houses for themselves, they need no instruc- 
tion from the carpenter who is superintending the work at the public 
buildings. Many young men show, comparatively, far more inclina- 
tion for, and dexterity and perseverance in, mechanical labor than 
farm labor; and, to some extent, the old prejudice of looking upon 
farm labor as properly to be left to the women is clinging to them. 
However, since the new agent, authorized by Congress to be appointed 
in lieu of the Green Bay sub-agent, has taken charge of their im- 
provements (in May last) they have made considerable progress in 
In addition to the remaining working cattle-of the few yoke fur- 
nished them annually under stipulations of the treaty of 1836-ten 
yoke were delivered to them in May last, and these cattle are now 
well provided for; and under the instruction of a competent farmer, a 
number of the Indians'are learning well to attend to and drive cattle. 
It is to be expected that enough land will be ploughed to enable the 

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