United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1879
Report of the Ute Commission, pp. -177 PDF (4.1 MB)
REPORT OF THE UTE COMMISSION. WASHINGTON, D. C., December 27V 1878. "To the President: The undersigned beg leave to report that by authority of an act of Congress ap- proved May 3, 1878, Edward Hatch, William Stickney, and N. C. McFarland were :appointed by yourself a commission to negotiate with the Ute Indians, the purpose of which fully appears by instructions issued June 29, 1878, from the Department of the Interior, which instructions are as follows: "DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, "OFFICE OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, "Washington, June 29, 1878. "SIR: By direction of the honorable Secretary of the Interior you were notified by letter from this office, dated May 24 last, that the President had designated you, Hon. William Stickney, of this city, and N. C. McFarland, of Topeka, Kans., to act as a commission to visit nd endeavor to secure from the Ute Indians, in the State of Col- orado, their assent to the provisions of an act of Congress approved May 3, 1878, au- thorizing negotiations with the said Indians for the consolidation of all their bands at one agency, to be located on or near White River; and for the extinguishment of their right to the southern portion of their reservation in said State. "Each member of said commission having signified his acceptance of said appoint- ment, the following detailed instructions are given for the guidance of the commis- sion in the performance of its duties under said act: " The commission will convene at Fort Garland, Colorado, at the earliest date practi- cable, thence proceed without delay to the Los Pinos Agency, and, after consultation with the agent in charge thereof, assemble all the different bands of said Indians in open council, at such time and place as you may deem most convenient and desirable for the accomplishment of the object of the commission. "Agents N. C. Meeker, of the White River Agency, Joseph B. Abbott, of the Los Pinos Agency, and F. H. Weaver, of the Southern Ute Agency, have each been notified of your appointment and instructed to afford you all the assistance in their power in securing a full attendance of the different bands of Utes, and in the promotion of the objects of the negotiations. Agent Abbott has also been instructed to provide the necessary subsistence for the Indians during the council. "' You will fully explain to said Indians, when assembled in council, the purport of said act, and the object of your visit to them, taking care in all cases that you shall be clearly understood by them. The precise objects of your negotiations are set forthin the bill, which is as follows: "'Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the President of the United States be, and he is hereby, authorized and empowered to enter into negotiations with the Ute Indians, in the State of Colorado, for the consolidation of all the bands into one agency, to be located on the White River, or near said river, and for the extinguishment of their right to the southern portion of their reservation in said State, and to report his proceedings under this act to Congress for its consideration and approval.' " It is the desire of the department to allow you the largest latitude in conducting your negotiations. You will, therefore, take the act as your guide and make such an agreement with the Utes as you may be able, and may consider to be for the best in- terest of the government and the Indians. "Any arrangement or agreement entered into with said Indians for the cession of any portion of their reservation should be executed and signed by at least three-fourths of the adult male Indians occupying or interested in the saute; and in every instance the assent and concurrence of at least a majority of each and every band of said Ute In- dians is requisite to give validity to the results attained through, your negotiations. "To avoid any possible difficulty or misunderstanding in the future, you are im structed to make every effort and use every reasonable inducement to secure una- nimity on the part of the Indians in the approval of any cession or agreement that may be made. "Particular care will be exercised in selecting a location for the future settlement of these Indians to secure a sufficient quantity of arable land to enable them to become, by agricultural pursuits, a sellsupporting people. You are instructed to thoroughly impress upon the minds of the Indians the fact that any agreement entered into by them will be binding only upon its ratification by Congress.
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