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 1856

[Southern superintendency],   pp. 131-172 PDF (17.5 MB)

Page 131

ters pertaining to the Indian country, it is very difficult for an Indian
agent to perform with promptness the duties of his office. I much 
regret to say that the worst evil that ever befel the Indian race has 
been for the last year or two greatly indulged in by the Kansas In- 
dians. Whiskey is obtained by quantities in the Territory; and when 
not immediately made use of, is secretly brought into the Indian 
country, where it is freely and excessively used; while the Indians are 
enabled to procure a full supply of this filthy, adulterated stuff, it 
seems that I cannot, by ordinary means, suppress this detestable prac- 
tice, which will inevitably result in a great injury to the Indians. 
There are some of the Kansas who are becoming tired of the roving 
life, and wish to adopt the modes and customs of the white people; 
and if they only had twice the annuity that is paid to them, with a 
liberal agricultural fund, it is now my belief that several of the 
Indians could easily be induced to throw off the blanket and breech- 
cloth, and adopt the apparel of the white man, dwell in houses instead 
of the skin or bark lodge, and to cultivate the soil. I have done all 
in my power to stimulate their desire to acquire a knowledge of the 
principal arts of civilized life. That these Indians can be civilized, 
there is no doubt; but they must first be free from all annoyance and 
embarrassment, confined to a smaller scope of country, and sufficient 
means furnished them to begin with; and also a school, conducted on 
a liberal scale, would be greatly to the advantage of this nation; as it
is, their present condition is anything but good or promising. The 
Kansas have done unusually well throughout the past year-only one 
or two cases of the small-pox having occurred; and notwithstanding 
the extreme drought the last season, they have raised corn, beans and 
pumpkins sufficient for their subsistence during the coming winter. 
Although there has been from the last December, 1855, up to this 
time, no blacksmith for these Indians, it cannot be inferred that the 
absence of that mechanic would be of material injury to them, as the 
labor in this shop consisted chiefly in the repairing of fire-arms. I 
have recently employed another smith, who is by me instructed to 
abstain from any work on fire-arms, as it is my opinion the gun is in 
nowise advantageous to the cause of civilization. 
Respectfully submitted by your obedient servant, 
Indian Agent. 
Superintendent Indian Affairs, St. Louis, Mo. 
No. 43. 
1ort Smith, Arkansas, October 13, 1856. 
St The past year, like the two immediately preceding, has been 
one of no inconsiderable trial to the Indian agriculturist. From the 
extreme southern to the northern limits of this superintendency, the 

Go up to Top of Page