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

[Miscellaneous],   pp. 260-282 PDF (6.5 MB)

Page 260

ince the settlement of this section of the country by the whitef, 
(which began about the year 1851,) the Indians (then much more numer- 
ous than now) have considerably decreased in numbers, as far as relates 
to those immediately in juxtaposition with the whites. War with each 
other and with the whites, whiskey, and a variety of diseases unknown 
to them until the advent of the whites, have been the cause of this ; 
and it is a fact well established that the Indians, when brought in 
contact with the whites, are prone to contract their vices instead of 
their virtues. 
The uprooting of the soil for farms, the grazing of stock, and the 
working of the streams for gold, has a tendency to stop the supply of 
game, roots, and fish, which the Indians have heretofore relied on for 
subsistence. All this has a tendency to engender thieving propensities 
among the Indians. who are to some extent imbued with the belief 
that it is just, and who assert, with some show of reas on, that the 
whites have taken from them their hunting grounds. 
I regret that at present I cannot give a more detailed account of the 
.character, number, and mode of living of the Indians, as much of the 
country has as yet been but little explored, especially on upper Pitt 
,aAd McCloud rivers. If you deem proper to correspond with me on 
t4he subject, I shall take pleasure in availing myself of all useful in-
formation, and in furnishing you with it at the earliest date. 
1 am, very respectfully, sir, your most obedient servait, 
Col, THos. J. HENEy, 
$uperintendent Indian A..Ja6r&, California. 
No. 107. 
Offlce [ndian Affairs, M1ay 26, 1855. 
SIR: In an article from your pen, published in the Washington 
Union during the session of the last Congress, I find a paragraph in 
these words:"1 Without the military arm, however, nothing could be 
successfully accomplished. The sword and the olive-branch cannot 
be separated. It is undeniable that since the disunion of the two, by 
transferring this branch of service from the Department of War, the 
management of our Indian affairs on the line of the frontiers has not 
gone on as well." 
This paragraph has been considered as reflecting on the present 
"management of our Indian affairs;" and, in addition, may be re-
garded as expressing the opinion, that becau8e of the transfer of the 
Indian Bureau from the War to the Interior Department, things 
"C on the line of the frontiers have not gone on as well." 
I beg leave to call your attention to the subject, to the end that it 
may have your consideration more maturely, believing that the ex- 
aggerated statements which were made in the winter in relation to 
the movements and intentions of the frontier Indians may, perhaps, 
have caused you to err in your judgment in relation to the facts, and 
the causes for whatever of irritation there actually was among the 

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