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

[Texas Indians],   pp. 177-186 PDF (4.2 MB)

Page 179

binding, I deemed it most proper to base our action on that treaty, 
and to place the additional articles, deemed necessary for the govern- 
ment of the Indians settled down, as a supplement to that treaty; 
consequently, on the 27th day of August, all the chiefs and principal 
men of the several bands at Brazos agency were assembled in council, 
and the accompanying document and letter, which I beg leave to sub- 
mit as a portion of this report, marked A, was agreed upon with great 
unanimity. I have full confidence that the Indians, parties to this 
agreement, will adhere strictly to their agreements, and I would re- 
spectfully recommend our action to your approval. 
The depredations committed on our frontier during the past spring 
have been confined entirely to the Comanches, with the exception of 
some forays made by Indians on the Rio Grande, who are supposed to 
be parties of Lipans, Seminoles, &c., who have located in Mexico. 
During the months of May and June last, there was a large number 
of horses stolen, and one or two men murdered; in two instances the 
trail was followed to a considerable distance into the country occupied 
by the northern Comanches, but there being no efficient military force 
on this portion of the frontier, the depredators could not be overtaken.
The evidence is full that they were northern Comanches, and my 
investigations show that they are the parties who have stolen most of 
the horses taken from our frontier citizens during the past year. 
This has been the case for the last two years. The bands, parties to 
the Fort Laramie treaty, come far south during the winter, and re- 
main quiet until the time arrives for them to go north to meet the 
agents and receive their annual presents; so soon as their families are 
placed out of reach, the warriors are sent down to foray on our set- 
tlers, and when pursued they go so far north that they cannot be over- 
taken. Those Indians receive $10,000 annuity annually; they have 
stolen more property this summer from our settlement than that 
amount would pay for. I cannot possibly see any good arising from 
an annual distribution of presents to those prairie bands when they 
are turned loose to depredate again as soon as they receive the goods; 
it only enables them the better to subsist in their roving life, and, in
fact, proves highly detrimental to the course of policy now being pur- 
sued with the Indians on this frontier, but affords no additional secu- 
rity to either travellers or the actual settlers. I think the policy at 
this day a bad one, and would respectfully suggest that the annuity 
be given only to those who settle down and cultivate the soil. Those 
prairie bands of Comanches and Kiowas, as they are now situated, 
commit very serious depredations on the settlements of Texas, and 
continue their forays into Mexico. They have now a large number of 
horses and prisoners that have been stolen, both from our frontier and 
from Mexico, and it is certainly time that the general government 
should take efficient action, not only to make them restore the stolen 
property and prisoners, but to abandon their roving life and come 
fully under the control of the government. A mere chastisement by 
military force will not accomplish the object; they must be provided 
for similar to the mode now being pursued towards the Indians of 
Texas, and forced, if force is necessary, to abandon forever their pre- 

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