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

[Central superintendency],   pp. 68-118 PDF (20.8 MB)


Page 72

REPORT OF THE 
bands to their senses and restoring peace and safety to all whites 
travelling in their country, and better conduct towards the traders. 
On the 26th June we arrived at Fort Pierre, where I expected to 
have found the larger portion of the different bands of Sioux;. but, to 
my disappointment and regret, found but one band, the "Two Ket- 
tles," and a small portion of one band of the Upper Yanctonais, say
twenty-seven lodges. 
I first gave the Two Kettles band their portion of the annuities, on 
the prairie west of the fort, but they did not receive them with any 
demonstration of gratitude; on the contrary, they seemed dissatis- 
fied and evinced a disposition to complain; they, however, said noth- 
ing. As this band has always been considered one of the most 
friendly disposed towards the whites, I cannot account for their 
conduct in any other way than as the troops were to take possession 
of Fort Pierre they would be deprived of a place at which they loafed 
and begged the greater part of the year, only going out to hunt when 
actual necessity drove them. They have made several attempts to 
raise corn, to accomplish which I have rendered them every assistance 
in my power, and their failure to do so can only be attributed to their 
indolence and want of energy; and never, in my opinion, until their 
band is greatly reduced by starvation, can they be made to look to 
the soil for subsistence. 
I afterwards distributed to the small band of Yanctonais a portion 
of the presents for the band; but, like the others, they received them 
coldly and with evident signs of dissatisfaction. 
About 100 miles above Fort Pierre I found erected twelve lodges of 
the Yanctonais, built with dirt, after the manner of the Arickarees 
and Mandans, and they are tilling the soil in the same manner of 
those bands. I am sorry to say that the great drought in that region 
of their country was such that all kinds of vegetation presented but a 
very languishing appearance. This is the first attempt of this band 
to form a permanent village and cultivate the soil ; and if success at- 
tend their efforts it will, no doubt, induce many of their band to fol- 
low their example. I distributed to them a portion of their presents, 
which they received with evident indication of satisfaction. 
On the 5th of July we arrived at Fort Clark, where the village of 
the Arickarees is built. They were all assembled on the bank of the 
river and greeted the arrival of the steamer with firing of guns and 
shouts. As soon as the boat landed I met the chiefs and principal 
men, and after the usual salutations, shaking hands, &c., I invited 
them all on the boat to a feast, which had been prepared in anticipa- 
tion. Then a long talk en-ued, principally relating to the depreda- 
tions and murders on their people by the Sioux bands, their inability 
to cope with them in numbers, as well as their destitute condition of 
the munitions of war to defend themselves. They rejoiced when they 
heard that their Great Father had sent soldiers in the country to 
chastise those who had violated their treaty stipulations, and protect 
those who have and are disposed to observe them. The manner in 
which I was received by this tribe, and their general talk and deport- 
ment, gave me great satisfaction. They are in a prosperous condi- 
tion, generally raising a superabundance of corn and vegetables, the 
72 


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