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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1884

Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs,   pp. [III]-LV ff. PDF (21.4 MB)

Page [III]

Washington, October 15, 1884. 
SiR: I have the honor to submit herewith my fourth annual report, 
and believe that a careful perusal of it will show that along the pathway
of progress in the last twelve months some dark spots have been removed 
and some bright spots made brighter. More Indians are living in houses 
and fewer in tepees than there were one year ago. More are cultivating 
the soil and fewer following the chase than when I made my last annual 
report., There are more in the carpenter, blacksmith, and other me- 
chanical shops, trying to earn an honest living, and fewer at the war 
dance, scalp dance, and sun dance than in October, 1883. There are 
also several hundred more Indian children in industrial, agricultural, 
and mechanical schools, fitting themselves to become useful, intelligent
citizens, than there were twelve months since. During the same period 
many Indians have with the proceeds of their own labor purchased im- 
proved farm machinery and agricultural implements, and are making 
praiseworthy efforts'to take their places among the independent agri 
culturists of the country. Taken altogether, an impartial view of the 
situation warrants the belief that some time in the near future it is fair
to presume that, with the aid of such industrial, agricultural, and me- 
chanical schools as are now being carried on, the Indian will be able 
to care for himself, and be no longer a burden but a help to the Gov- 
1 am not aware that any report from this office has ever shown just 
how much the Government contributes from the United States Treas- 
ury to feed and clothe the 200,000 Indians who are its wards, outside 
of the five civilized tribes. The public at large finds from the proceed-
ings of Congress and the public press that $5,000,000 in round numbers 
have been appropriated for the Indian service, and this gives to each 
Indian $25, which, if true, would not enable any person, either white or
Indian, to live very luxuriously, for it is a fraction less than 7 cents
a day. 

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