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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1856
([1856])

Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs,   pp. [3]-24 PDF (10.1 MB)


Page 6

6                       REPORT OF THE 
could be expected. They are inducing many to labor and perma- 
nently settle themselves, and from the good results already obtained, 
and the better influences and more favorable circumstances with which 
they are surrounded, a rapid improvement may be expected. For the 
first time, several of the Mississippi bands planted and worked their 
own fields, and would, no doubt, have been amply compensated in the 
yield of their crops, but for a very destructive visitation of the grass-
hopper, which appeared in that region in July, and destroyed all 
their prospects. 
It is hoped that some arrangement may be made by which the 
deadly strife between the Sioux and Chippewa Indians may cease. 
The conviction and execution, under our criminal laws, of all Indians 
guilty of the murder of Indians, would, it is believed, put a stop to 
the war parties of the Sioux and Chippewa, as well as other Indian 
tribes ; but there has been no fund provided by which such prosecu- 
tions can be commenced and carried on. It would, in my opinion, be 
an act of humanity, if such a fund was placed at the disposal of the de-
partment,-as the prosecution, conviction, and execution of a few In- 
dians would, no doubt, have a most salutary influence. 
With the Red Lake and a few other scattered bands of Indians, next 
to the British possessions, and in the valley of the Red river of the 
north, we have no treaty arrangements. They are said to be very 
poor, and if it be not thought advisable to extinguish their claims to 
lands occupied by them, it is believed that it would be a humane act 
to give them some aid in the way of a gratuity. A few seeds and 
agricultural implements would be of great service to them, and would 
serve to instil in them a grateful sense of the liberality of the govern-
ment. 
The matter of disposing, according to the law of Congress of July 
17, 1854, of the interests of the half-breed Sioux, in the Lake Pepin 
reserve, set apart for them by the treaty of July 15, 1830) it is confi-
dently expected will now soon be brought to a final decision and de- 
termination. The subject has been one of some difficulty and intri- 
cacy, but the final report of the commissioners has just been received, 
and steps will be taken at once to cause the scrip to issue to the par- 
ties entitled thereto. It is proper to observe, that the law provides 
that no transfer or conveyance of any of the scrip shall be valid, and 
all assignments thereof will therefore be disregarded. 
The central superintendency embraces within its limits all that vast 
country bounded on the north by the forty-ninth parallel of latitude, 
on the west by the Rocky mountains, on the south by the Arkansas 
river and the country of the Osages, and on the east by the Missouri 
State line and the Missouri river, to near the mouth of the Big Sioux 
river, and thence in a northerly direction to the British line. Of the 
Indian tribes, and the operations of the service for the past year within
this superintendency, it may be remarked that- 
. The Blackfeet, Flatheads, Nez Perces and the other tribes parties 
to the treaty of the Judith, residing on or near the headwaters of 
the Missouri river, have, since the negotiation of that treaty in Octo- 
b~er, 1[855, remained at peace, and refused all participation in the 
hostilities of the tribes of Oregon and Washington Territories. The 


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