University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

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

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

Page 7

year. A vigorous temperance reformation has been set on foot, in 
which several of the principal men of the Miamies are active and 
zealous instruments. An unusual quantity of seed was planted 
in the spring, which yielded an abundant harvest. Large quantities 
of hay have been mowed and secured, and potatoes have yielded 
abundantly. The health of all the Indians within this agency has 
been good. Arrangements have been made with the domestic mis- 
sion board of the southern Baptist convention for the education of the 
children within this agency; and as many of the Indians have mani- 
fested a laudable desire for the instruction of their youth, it is antici-
pated that favorable results will flow from this measure. 
The Kaw or Kansas tribe of Indians residing within the Council 
Grove agency, in consequence of their proximity to the trading posts 
on the Santa F:1 road, where they can procure intoxicating beverages 
from traders and emigrants passing through their country, have be- 
come addicted to habits of intemperance and indolence, and the com- 
mission of such misdemeanors and crimes as usually follow in the 
wake of the liquor traffic. The annuities provided for them by the 
government have proved rather an injury than a blessing, from the 
fact of their having been squandered for ardent spirits soon after their
reception from the government agents. Thus exposed to influences 
of the most deleterious character, they have been guilty, in some in- 
stances, of the commission of depredations upon the property of emi- 
grants on the great thoroughfare leading- to Santa Fe. It cannot be 
reasonably expected that their condition can be improved to any con- 
siderable extent, unless the requisite steps be taken to circumscribe 
the area of their present reservation, with a view to their being con- 
centrated within a smaller sphere where they may be more easily con- 
trolled and influenced to engage in the cultivation of the soil, and 
whatever else may be regarded as indispensable to their civilization. 
The peculiar condition of the emigrated tribes in Kansas Terri- 
tory was stated at some length in the last annual report. They were 
removed thither under the most solemn assurances and guarantees 
that the country assigned them should be to them and their descend- 
ants a permanent home forever. In retroceding large bodies of land 
to the United States, by which portions of the Territory were lawfully 
opened to the occupation and settlement of its citizens, neither the 
government or the Indians sought to change the guarantees and stipu- 
lations of former treaties; but they were recognized as obligatory and 
binding within the tracts of land reserved for the permanent home of 
the Indians. The organic act of the Territory also regarded them, 
and it was expressly declared that nothing in the act should "be con-
strued to impair the rights of persons or property now pertaining to 
the Indians in said Territory, so long as such rights shall remain un- 
extinguished by treaty between the United States and such Indians."
The peaceful possession and quiet enjoyment of the tracts reserved by 
the Indians for their homes are guaranteed and secured to them by 
the faith of treaties and the laws of the land, and it is to be regretted
that, in different sections of the Territory, persons have trespassed 
upon their rights by committing waste and even locating within and 
making improvements upon the Indian lands. As cases have been 

Go up to Top of Page