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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1865

California superintendency,   pp. 110-127 PDF (7.9 MB)

Page 110

No. 14. 
San Francisco, California, September 15, 1865. 
SIR : In conformity with the requirements of the department with which I
am connected, I have the honor to transmit to your office this my first annual
report of the condition of Indian affairs within my superintendency. 
Most of the time since entering upon the duties of my office has been em-
ployed in receiving the public property from Hon. Austin Wiley, my prede-
cessor, and in visiting the different reservations, in company with the Hon.
William Higby, one of the Committee on Indian Affairs, in his examination
the condition of the Indian service in this State. 
Additional duties have been required of me by the honorable Commis- 
sioner of Indian Affairs, in going to Hoopa valley, and, in connexion with
the United States surveyor general and the Indian agent of that reservation,
making an appraisement of the improvements of the settlers, as required by
the act of Congress approved March 3, 1865; which duty has been performed,
as I believe, with justice to the citizens, and will, I trust, meet with
the ap- 
proval of the honorable Secretary of the Interior. 
In the discharge of those duties, which has occupied most of my time up 
to the present, and during which I have travelled over twenty-eight hundred
miles, I have had the opportunity to become acquainted, by personal obser-
vation and information, with the wants and condition of the Indians on the
different reservations, as well as those living in various parts of the State.
It gives me pleasure to inform the department that I have found the In- 
dians, in the different portions of the State that I have visited, well disposed
and peaceable. No fears of any further Indian troubles or difficulties need
be entertained if the policy of colonization and subsisting the Indians on
reservations is continued. 
On the different reservations I found the Indians generally contented and
satisfied, willing to engage in labor to provide for their own subsistence,
case they could be assured that the fruits of their industry would be used
for their support and benefit, which I have to say has not been always the
There has been formerly in this State considerable difficulty attending the
removal of the Indians to and retaining them on the different reservations.
This trouble has arisen, in part, from an occasional failure of the crops,
from a deficiency in the supply of clothing and subsistence which they had
right to expect, and large promises have been made them to induce them to
come in to the reservations, which promises have not been fulfilled. 
I am pleased to notice a growing disposition among the Indians to remain
and become permanently located on the reservations. They are beginning 
to see the necessity of, and feel the security they have in, obtaining subsistence
and protection, which they could not have and obtain otherwise. Their for-
mer means of obtaining subsistence is rapidly passing away. Their lands,
which heretofore supplied them with roots and seeds, are being ploughed 
by the husbandman. The oak and pine which gave them the acorn and nut 
are disappearing by the woodman's axe; fishermen occupy their fishing 
places, while before the unerring rifle of the backwoodsman their game, 
which gave them meat and skins for clothing, has passed away. 
Many of the Indians have expressed a desire to come upon and remain on 
the reservations permanently as soon as provision can be made for their sub-
I have found the Indians on the reservations, as well as others, very des-
titute of clothing. The amount furnished them for the last three years has

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