United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1879
Reports of agents in Indian territory, pp. 57-80 PDF (12.8 MB)
REPORTS OF AGENTS IN INDIAN TERRITORY.. 57 by, seventy-four marriages having taken place sinch February 1, the majority being those who had lived for years in Indian custom. Cases of separation between husband and wife are extremely rare. The amount contributed for missionary work among this people for the year was $1,750, forwarded by the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions. INDUSTRY AND CIVILIZATION. They have built during the year, by their own efforts, with a cost to the government of about $70, seven frame houses, furnishing all materials themselves except nails, window-sash and doors. Many more living at present in lodges would build houses were there a mill here to saw timber. They are very anxious that such should be re- built, and in the interest of civilization I hope the department will adopt such a course. They have no way to get wheat ground to flour short of the Kamiah mill, 65 miles away. They also have cut and rafted down the river 650 cords of wood, for which they have received on the average $4 per cord, making some $.2,600 received this year. They also have fenced in many fields this year, one man inclosing 60 acres with a good six-rail fence. They have made during the year 2,096 rods of good rail fence. I have induced many to cut their hair, and the effort has been taken up by the chief and head men and is resulting in great improvements to their looks. During the week in which the 4th of July occurred, about 800 assembled in camp at Kamiah, and feasting and festivity was the order of the day. During all the time the most perfect order was kept. On the morning of the 4th, as the processions formed to march from the camp to the grove where the exercises were held, those wearing blankets and holding to Indian customs attempted to join in such party, but were at once ordered out by the chief and elders; as they expressed it, "No Indians were allowed." It shows they are most thoroughly impressed with the idea that they have to adopt the white man's way. I can do nothing, except in talk, to make them discard their blankets, as the govern- ment furnishes nothing for substitution, their annuities being nearly all in farming utensils. Many would willingly change had they the opportunity. There has been but little drunkenness during my administration. Those who have been guilty were confined in the guard house, Fort Lapwai, for one month bard labor. I take one horse to pay for board while so confined, the sale of which is sufficient pun- ishment for all they fail to receive while confined. The squaws who "err" are con- fined at the agency lock-up, making them work during the day at whatever is needed. My efforts in finding the source from which liquor is procured have been un- availing. AGENCY BUILDINGS. The freshet of the Lapwai in February last carried off the saw and flour mill, under- mined the carpenter and blacksmith shops, and tore the grounds up badly. I have removed the shops to higher ground, out of danger, at a trifling expense to the govern- ment, picked up the rubbish on the grounds, and whitened all the agency buildings with lime. It has been of practical benefit to the Indians, as several after harvest will whiten their houses. SANITARY CONDITION. The sanitary condition of the Indians has been exceedingly good. Very little sick- ness and few deaths have occurred. Rheumatism and ague are the principal troubles. Inherited scrofula is prevalent to some extent. In conclusion will say, on the whole the condition of the Nez Perc6s is all one could ask. They have improved and are doing so still. Some uneasiness was manifest about stories set afloat by renegade whites, in relation to their treatment at the expiration of their treaty next July, but I have talked the matter over and they will wait patiently to see the action on the part of the government. They are well civilized, but one mis- take on the part of the government at this time would destroy the effects of the past thirty years' teachings; but to give them time and attention, they will astonish their most zealous friends in their progress toward civilization. I remain, very truly, yours, CHAS. D. WARNER, United States Indian Agent. The COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. CHEYENNE AND ARAPAHO AGENCY, INDIAN TER., August 31, 1879. SIR: in compliance with department instructions, I have the honor to submit thd following as my eighth annual report of the condition of the service at this agency for the year ending August 31, 1879.
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