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

[Miscellaneous],   pp. 206-256 PDF (17.9 MB)


Page 209

COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
No. 104. 
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, 
Ofjice Indian Affairs, April 23, 1855. 
SIR: The subject of postponing the contemplated council with the 
Blackfeet and other neighboring tribes of Indians, at Fort Benton, 
to a more auspicious period, as suggested by your communication of 
the 17th instant, together with the view submitted by you on the 18th 
in relation to the disposition of certain goods already purchased for 
the Indians parties to the treaty of Fort Laramie, and suggesting that 
the purchase of other goods of perishable nature for those Indians 
be also deferred, have had full consideration, and I am instructed by 
the Secretary of the Interior to inform you that it is his "opinion
that the contemplated council should be held, if practicale, other- 
wise the other commissioners may be involved in great difficulty and 
embarrassment," it being deemed impossible now to revoke ordera 
heretofore issued to them. 
You will therefore proceed with the arrangements in progress and 
necessary to the expedition, and prepare to set out from St Louis for 
Fort Benton, at such time in the month of May as to you may seem. 
appropriate. 
It is the opinion of the President and Secretary of the Interior,. 
that the licenses of all persons who may be engaged in trade with 
the Indians involved in the massacre of Lieutenant Grattan and his 
command, and in the subsequent murder of the mail party, or any 
other bands that you may believe to be confederated with them,. 
should be revoked, and the traders be required to leave the country. 
Should there, however, be cases in which, in the exercise of a sound 
discretion, you may be of opinion that it would be inexpedient to, 
remove the traders, but instead thereof that they be prohibited from 
any commerce with the Indians above indicated, you are authorized 
to adopt that course, taking care to note the facts and to make a 
full report of your action in the premises. 
In relation to the propriety of distributing goods and presents, under 
the treaty of Fort Laramie, to the bands who reside on the Upper 
Missouri, and who are parties to that treaty, you will exercise a sound 
discretion, according to the circumstances that surround you, and 
which cannot now be foreseen or anticipated. 
All the goods for these bands are now at St. Louis; and I may 
remark that the goods, &c., for that portion of the bands parties to
that treaty, who have been accustomed to receive the same at Fort 
Laramie and Bent's Fort are, or soon will be, shipped from the east 
to St. Louis. 
It has been thought expedient to have these goods sent forward, to 
the end that they may, if proper storage can be secured for them at 
Fort Laramie, or some other suitable place in the Indian country, be 
carried to their proper destination, to be disposed of and distributed 
as may hereafter be determined upon, according to the circumstances 
and relations which may be found to exist on the part of those bands 
toward the government of the United States. 
You will determine whether it is proper for these last mentioned 
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