United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1865
Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, pp. -57 PDF (27.2 MB)
REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, . ... Oce India Afairs, Waskington, D. C., October 31, 1865. ' having assumed the duties of Commissioner of Indian Affairs after the of the third quarter of the year over which this annual report extends, g been xecessarily absent a great portion of the time since, upon pub- h a ss in the southwest, I have been unable to obtain that familiarity with - --of business, or to gain that acquaintance with the condition of Indian Ab eraly, which a longer time would have allowed. I present herewith *-o of such information in regard to the interesting people who are by under the charge of this office as I have been able to obtain from the e w arespondence and annual reports of superintendents and agents, and ai oyes. BW proceeding to refer to the various superintendencies and agencies in N to make such suggestions as seem to be called for in reference to & \are sundry matters of common interest to the whole Indian service, , to several agencies combined, which I deem worthy of special notice. % m g these is the neglect on the part of many of the officers responsi- _ t _ e6ce to forward their monthly, quarterly, and annual reports at the . in disregard of repeated directions from the office. Some of them b- bre imagined that circulars of instructions were mere matters of form, - m owta compliance was not expected, or as applying to everybody but v s. Nor are they sufficiently careful to make these reports complete -Wh",- as required, where they are made. The consequence is that each year, thstanding every endeavor on the part of this office, its annual report fails d mpleteness somewhere, by the neglect of its subordinates; and its statistical W do not give that fulness of information for which they are designed. I s that I do not know of any way to remedy this difficulty except by re- pmg to the department each case of delinquency, and relying upon it to seek = dy by a change of officers. It is an injustice to those who are prompt . Eiorough in their reports to allow them to fail of usefulness because the re- ports of others, necessary to completeness, are not sent, or are deficient in essen- tial particulars. It has been customary, I have learned, for agents who are superseded by others to take away from the agency the papers and books properly belonging there, thus removing the history of the past transactions, and preventing their successors from explaining matters which must be, and often are, necessarily re- ferred to them. I have endeavored to correct this evil by a circular requiring all agents to preserve and leave as public property duplicate copies of all im- portant papers and vouchers, &c., as well as a complete daily record of all agency transactions; and shall observe as a rule of action by this office the suspension of the accounts of all retiring agents who, after knowledge of the circular above referred to, shall fail to show that they have passed over to their successors the books and papers of the agency.
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