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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1856

[Texas],   pp. 173-180 PDF (3.4 MB)

Page 173

No. 68. 
Texas, September 18, 1856. 
Sm: I have the honor, in compliance with the regulations of the 
Indian bureau, to submit the following as my annual report: 
You have been advised, in accordance with your instructions, from 
time to time, during the past year, of all changes worthy of note in 
our Indian relations by the monthly and quarterly reports of the spe- 
cial.agents under my supervision, and I deem it unnecessary again to 
allude particularly to occurrences thus brought to your notice. 
Enclosed with this you will find the annual reports of special agents 
Roes and Baylor, to which I would respectfully call your attention, 
as they show the exact condition of the Indians now settled on the 
There are now settled on this reservation 948 Indians against 794 
last year, showing an actual increase of 154 during the year. At 
Comanche agency there are now 557 settlers against 277 last year, 
showing an actual increase of 280 during the year; showing an actual 
increase of settlers of 434. 
You will also perceive, by reference to the reports of the special 
agents, that there are now in cultivation at Brazos agency 540 acres 
of land, and 200 at Comanche agency, making a total of 740 acres of 
land fenced in and cultivated during the past season; and that the 
Indians thus settled on the reserves have made considerable progress 
in building houses, and other improvements; thus showing that the 
present policy in regard to the Indians of Texas has been as successful 
as its most sanguine advocates claimed for it, aDd demonstrating the 
fact that it is practicable to settle down and civilize the wildest of our
Indian tribes. That the yield on the Indian farms this year is not 
commensurate with the expenditure in the preparation, affords no 
good grounds for doubts in the success of the policy, when it is taken 
into consideration that there has been an almost entire failure in the 
corn crops in Texas, from the grasshopper in the spring, and the ex- 
treme drought during the months of June, July, and August. On 
the Indian reserves, the grasshoppers destroyed all the early crops, 
and, in many instances, the fields were planted for the third time 
before there was a stand of corn. 
In order to avoid a failure next year, preparations are now made to 
sow wheat on a portion of their lands; and it is confidently believed 
by the resident agents that, by so doing, the Indians will be able to 
raise their own bread, even if there should be another failure in the 
corn crops. 
There has been great improvement for the last year in the moral 
and physical condition of the Indians now settled. They are gradu- 
ally falling into the customs and dress of the white man; and by being 
well clothed, having houses to live in, and relieved from the continued 
anxieties attending a roving life, their health has greatly improved, 
and they now, for the first time for several years, begin to raise 
healthy children. Every old settler who has visited the reserve has 

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