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

[Indians of the territory of Utah],   pp. 195-206 PDF (5.2 MB)


Page 199

COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
desire to establish peaceful relations with us, I thought best to nego- 
tiate with them a written treaty, which, after being read and ex- 
pounded to them, they agreed to and signed, a copy of which has 
already been laid before you. They then received their presents with 
great joy, making Poi-gan, (medicine,).as they term it, which con- 
sists in a variety of curious ceremonies, in which the body and limbs 
go through a routine of motions altogether indescribable. At night 
we were serenaded by a party of 50 or 60 young warriors with songs 
and dances. Early the next morning the old chief, Nim-ah-tio-cah, 
came to bid us good-bye. He stood for some time as if in a deep study, 
and then said he was sorry that his people had ever been mad with 
the whites, but now their hearts were good towards the white people, 
and he hoped they would always feel so. The old man wiped a tear 
from his eyes, shook hands with us, and then put out; and since this 
interview it is difficult for me to believe that these Indians are so 
unmanageable as they have been represented to be if properly treated. 
On our return trip we were exceedingly anxious to meet with some 
Indians whom we had reason to believe were haunting the road be- 
tween the Humboldt and Bear river. In Thousand Spring valley 
we saw but one, and had to chase him on horseback before we came 
up with him. I asked him why he and his people were so wild when 
I had come so far just to see them and give them presents. He said 
they were afraid we were Californians and would kill them. I gave 
him his dinner, a shirt, and some tobacco, and told him to go and 
bring his people to see me by the time the sun was up next morning. 
He promised to do so and started off, but we saw nothing more of him 
nor his people, though we staid till 10 o'clock next day. 
As we were descending the mountain from the junction of the Sub- 
lett' s cut-off and Salt Lake roads, one of the party accidentally discov-
ered a horse standing, about three miles off, in the caion of the 
mountain, and on examining through the telescope I discovered one 
or two more, and presently an Indian came darting from behind the 
cedars and drove them back out of sight. I sent my interpreter, Mr. 
A. P. Hanes, with three other men to reconnoitre them, and bring 
them down if possible. But when the Indians saw them approaching 
their camp, they seized their bows and began to prepare for an attack, 
but my interpreter hailed themin their own tongue and told them we 
were friends, whereupon they laid down their arms and invited them 
to camp, and in a short time they all came galloping down to wher 
we had camped for the night. They were rather a rough looking 
set of fellows, and I was soon convinced that they had been stealing, 
for they had four or five head of American horses with them, some 
with their ears freshly cut. I gave them some presents and told them 
to come the next morning and bring the squaws and children, and I 
would give them more. They went away highly pleased and the next 
morning before sunrise they were all back, about fifty or sixty in 
number. After dealing out presents quite liberally, I ventured to 
tell them that I knew they were bad Indians, and had been stealing 
horses from the white people. They denied it, but I soon saw guilt 
in their countenances. I told them that I was Medicine and knew 
very well what they had been doing. At length an old fellow ac- 
199 


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