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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1855
([1855])

Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs,   pp. [1]-21 PDF (9.4 MB)


Page 6

6 
REPORT OF THE 
partial and temporary continuance is necessary in the execution of 
some of the provisions of the treaty; and they will soon no longer be 
known as an Indian tribe. 
The mass of the Shawnees are not as far advanced in improvement 
as the Wyandotts; and some of the principal men have held, in for- 
mer years, such relations of intimacy and confidence with unprinci- 
pled white men, as to render it very difficult now to exercise a salutary
control over them. They have very large money annuities, and their 
lands soon to be assigned them will be valuable. Their position is 
exposed and their condition critical; and it is of the first importance 
that their leading men be of high integrity. It is to be feared from 
recent indications that some of them are still under the influences re- 
ferred to, and if so they are very unsafe guardians of the rights and 
interests of the Indians. 
The Pottowatomies and Sacs and Foxes of the Mississippi, though 
greatly diminished in numbers, are the two most populous of the em- 
igrated tribes, on the frontier, within the central superintendency. 
They have for many years been in the receipt of large annuities, and 
liberal provision has been made for their welfare and advancement; 
but I regret to say (with the exception of some of the Pottowatomies, 
and a recent commendable act of the Sac and Fox council to suppress 
intemperance) they present no evidences of material improvement. 
The pernicious and corrupting effects of their money annuities, which 
have afforded them the means of indulging in profligacy and vice, 
and enabled them to live the greater portion of their time without 
exertion, and the frequent removals from one locality to another, 
have crippled and counteracted the efforts made to domesticate and 
civilize them. They demonstrate in a striking manner the three 
great evils which have attended our Indian policy-large money an- 
nuities; excessive quantities of land held in common; and continued 
changes of location in advance of our frontier population. We can 
hope for no material alteration for the better in their condition and 
prospects, until they shall have been concentrated upon reservations 
of limited extent, and provision made for the division of the land 
among them in severalty, as fast as this can be safely and prudently 
effected. New treaties with them are necessary for the accomplish- 
ment of these objects. 
A number of the chiefs and other leading men among the Potto- 
watomies are, from their long contact and association with corrupt 
influences, very reckless and dishonest men. They have been wielded 
and controlled by such influences for many years, to the manifest de- 
struction of their own morals and integrity, and the great injury of 
the Indians. To save the Pottowatomies from the injurious and evil 
effects of these influences, it may be necessary for the government to 
resort to an extreme measure, and to cause such chiefs as will not 
sever their association with unprincipled white men to be deposed. 
Such steps may also be necessary with the head men of some other 
tribes in Kansas territory and elsewhere. 
The moral as well as physical condition of confederated bands of 
Kaskaskias and Peorias, Weas and Piankeshaws, and the Miamies, 
constituting the Osage river agency, has improved within the last 


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