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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1857

Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs,   pp. [1]-12 PDF (5.2 MB)

Page [1]

Odice Indian Affairs, November 30, 185T. 
SIR: The accompanying reports and statements from the several 
superintendents, agents and teachers furnish valuable and interesting 
information in regard to the condition and prospects of our various 
Indian tribes, and exhibit in detail the operations of this branch of 
the public service during the past year. 
The New York Indians continue gradually to improve; they have 
generally adopted agricultural and mechanical pursuits, and, to a 
considerable extent, the habits and customs of their white brethren. 
A treaty recently entered into with the Tonawanda band of Senecas, 
should it receive the favorable consideration of the Senate, will, it is
hoped, terminate the complicated and embarrassing difficulties which 
for some years have materially interfered with their happiness and 
The treaties of July 31, and August 2, 1855, with the several 
bands of Indians in Michigan, provided for a material change in their 
condition and relations. They were relieved from the obligation to 
remove west of the Mississippi river; secured limited but sufficient 
quantities of land, to be held in severalty, and were provided with 
ample means for educational purposes. Under the liberal legislation 
of the State they can attain to citizenship, and it is hoped that, by a 
discreet and judicious supervision of their affairs on the part of the 
general government, and such co-operation as may be requisite by 
the authorities of the State, aided by the kindness and benevolence of 
her citizens, they may soon be prepared for the enjoyment of that high 
The treaty of 1854 with the Menomonees, and that of 1856 with the 
Stockbridges of Wisconsin, released those tribes from their engage- 
ments to emigrate west of the Mississippi, to which they were opposed, 
and located them in other positions within the State, where, it is hoped,
they will improve and eventually become fitted for and invested with 
The small band of Oneidas, formerly of New York, remain in the 
vicinity of Green Bay, where they were placed by the treaty of 1837. 
They are advanced in civilization, and there is no good reason why 
they should not thrive and prosper, if the State authorities would 
rigidly prohibit the traffic with them in ardent spirits. 
By the treaties of September 30, 1854, and February 22, 1855, the 
great Ohippewa tribe, residing in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and the 
northern peninsula of Michigan, ceded nearly the whole of the lands 
owned by them to the government ; there being set apart for the dif- 

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