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

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


Page 185

COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
sent pacific policy towards our Indian population. I have been upon 
the borders of Texas in war, and felt the evils. I was a party to much 
of the negotiation with these people in 1842, and have been present 
at many councils since. The last twenty-six months I have spent 
almost constantly among them, and think I know them and the coun- 
try, the difficulties to be encountered in bringing military force to 
bear upon them, and the facilities with which their movements can 
be controlled and their dispositions changed, their minds enlightened, 
and condition improved by kindness. We have a country, once occu- 
pied by them, worth millions. Let us improve their condition by its 
acquisition, and save blood and treasure that would be expended by 
forcing a war upon them, for if had with-those settled on this reserve 
it must be forced. I have been long convinced of the importance of 
the adoption of the present policy; to be in a condition to recommend 
it was the great object of accepting the agency; yet the progress 
made by the Indians at this agency has far exceeded my own expec- 
tations. They are very poor, but not indolent. They are not a 
thoughtless people; they will deal justly by those who grant them 
justice. With proper aid for a short period, they will produce of 
themselves a surplus, and I have no doubt that pacific efforts, properly
directed by the Departments of War and Interior in concerted action, 
through agents who understand their execution, would, in a few years, 
bring every Indian in Texas or upon its borders to the position now 
occupied by those at this agency. 
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
G. W. HILL, 
Special Agent for Texas Indians. 
R. S. NEIGHBORS, Esq., 
Special and Supervising Agent. 
No. 93. 
BRAzos AGENCY, TEXAS, September 30, 1855. 
SIR: I have the honor to submit to you the following as my report. 
On the 1st day of September, 1855, I entered upon the duties of my 
office as special Indian agent at this agency. Everything went on 
smoothly until the 14th instant, when an express arrived here from 
Fort Belknap, and informed me of the murder, by two Indians, of an 
old settler, Mr. Skidmore, ten miles above the post. 
On the receipt of the news, which was late in the night, I dispatched 
runners to the different tribes or bands of Indians, actual settlers on 
this reservation, informing them that there had been a murder com- 
mitted by the upper Comanches, and wished their assistance early 
next morning to pursue the murderers. A little before sunrise the 
next morning I had sixty-six well armed and mounted men ready for 
the pursuit. After issuing them provisions and ammunition, we 
started for the residence of Mr. Skidmore, (where he was murdered,) 
took the trail, and folluwed them for two days, and found that they 
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