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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 11

COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
taining the agricultural implements sent by the department to the 
Indians, and carried off large numbers of them. 
Good health has generally prevailed among the Miamies and the 
confederate bands of the Weas, &c., of the Osage River agency. The 
season has been unusually dry in that region, and has operated seri- 
ously against their agricultural efforts. The corn crop has suffered 
much, and their potato crop is almost a failure. The mission schools 
in this agency are represented as not in a prosperous condition. The 
delay in the public surveys, and the troubles in Kansas have prevented 
the Indians from making the selections of lands for their homes, as 
soon as they desired, and otherwise would have done. Hence they 
have suffered in their pecuniary interests, and are not now in as com- 
fortable a condition as under different circumstances they would have 
been. Competent persons have been employed by them to aid in their 
selections, and when this is done, and each head of a family or other 
person entitled shall have his or her home set off, it is to be hoped 
that it will be the beginning of a better time for these Indians. 
The Sacs aid Foxes of the Mississippi are now, as heretofore, dis- 
tinguished for their great energy and their courage in war. In every 
contest with the Comanches, though greatly outnumbered by the 
latter, they have invariably defeated them on the open prairies. They 
continue to reside in bark huts, and persistently refuse the services of
the missionary, and reject the farmer and the teacher. Their agent 
gives a very gloomy picture of these Indians, and one much to be re- 
gretted. They have made no advancement, are decreasing in num- 
bers, and are indolent and intemperate. The Ottowas, of the same 
agency, who reside near the Sacs and Foxes, have good land, are in- 
dustrious farmers, and are advancing in improvement. The Chip- 
ewas of that agency are excellent Indians. They possess a small 
tract of very good land, and all labor for a support. 
But little improvement has been made in the habits or condition of 
the Kansas tribe of Indians. They manifest great aversion to labor, 
and continue to infest the Santa Fe and other roads in the Territory. 
Possessing now but a small reservation out of the large, fertile, and 
valuable country they once owned; trespassed upon by the whites, 
and driven from their hunting-grounds by their hereditary enemies, 
they are the victims of intemperance, disease and poverty. The larger 
portion of the half-breed (Kansas) tract is now in the possession of 
trespassers, who have actually driven from their homes some of the 
half-breed Indian owners. Such lawless conduct is very disreputable, 
and can result in no permanent advantage to those engaged in it, as 
the government must protect the half-breed Kansas indians in their 
rights. 
Those bands of Comanches who spend the winter below the Arkan- 
sas, and commit depredations on the Texas frontier, proceed north- 
wardly in the spring in pursuit of buffalo. They are well supplied 
with horses, and enrich themselves by plunder. They receive their 
annuities on the Arkansas, and regard them as a compensation paid 
them by the United States for the use of the Santa F6 road by emi- 
grants. Like the Kiowas, they are insolent, and treat their ageni 
with contempt. 
I I 


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