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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 10

REPORT OF THE 
and the wrong and injury they have suffered at the hands of the whites, 
they have maintained a steady neutrality in all the difficulties in Kan-
sas. Their means have been applied to repairing and improving their 
buildings and extending their farms. A commodious Methodist 
church has been erected by them, a large school building is in the 
course of construction, and they express great anxiety about the edu- 
cation of their children. They have enjoyed good health the past 
season, and slightly increased in numbers. Unfortunately their crops 
have been damaged very much by the backwardness of the season, and 
the drought which has prevailed in that region. The first public sale 
of the lands ceded by them in trust to the United States was to com- 
mence on the 11th of this month. Such regulations and precautionary 
measures were adopted as would, it is hoped, secure a fair sale of 
them. They are regarded as very valuable. 
The Wyandotts and Shawnees will shortly experience a very radi- 
cal change. As soon as the lands of the former are assigned to them 
in severalty, which is now being done, their tribal state will be dis- 
solved, and gradually, as provided for in the treaty of 1855, they will 
become citizens of the United States. Some of them are distinguished 
for their intelligence and probity, and are fully competent for all the 
duties and responsibility of their new relation. Others are unfit, and 
will necessarily have to pass through a state of pupilage; and with 
reference to such and their interests, a great responsibility will rest 
upon their more intelligent brethren. 
The Shawnees are perceptibly advancing. In consequence of the 
backwardness of the surveys, they have not yet been able to select and 
have assigned to them their homes, as provided by the treaty of 1854; 
but this will soon be done, and then new trials will await them, by 
reason of the introduction of white society into their midst. Should 
these people be equal to the occasion and the circumstances with which 
they will then be surrounded, resist all improper influences, and judi- 
ciously apply the large money annuities to which for several years to 
come they will be entitled, they may attain a higher state, possess 
more extended improvements, and place themselves in more comforta- 
ble circumstances, than any other Indian tribe on the continent. In- 
deed, they have the means, if judiciously applied, to become the most 
wealthy population, white or red, within the Territory of Kansas. 
Those of the Pottawatomies who have turned their attention to 
agriculture have made good crops. Many of them are averse to aban- 
doning their ancient habits and customs, and the disorderly conduct 
of portions of the white inhabitants of Kansas Territory has served to 
confirm in their views, such of them as are opposed to civilized pur- 
suits. One of the chiefs, with his band, one hundred strong, has left 
for the Cherokee or Creek country, having expressed the opinion that 
perhaps he would never return. The Baptist manual labor school has 
improved slightly since last year, and the St. Mary's mission is in a 
very flourishing condition. The agent states that he is unable to 
make a full report because of the loss of his papers. He represents 
that a band of lawless men drove him from his home, took every hing 
he possessed, scattered his official papers, broke open the boxes con- 
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