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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 12

REPORT OF THE 
The Cheyennes, who reside higher up the Arkansas, have generally 
been regarded as quiet and peaceable Indians.    They are good 
hunters, and furnish large quantities of robes and peltries. Recently 
they have been charged with being accessary to the murders com- 
mitted on the Platte near Fort Kearney, and to which I have referred 
you in connexion with the report of agent Twiss. It is said that the 
Comanches, Kioways, and Cheyennes, who annually assemble on the 
thoroughfares near the borders of New Mexico, hold in bondage many 
Mexican and some American citizens, and the agent is powerless to 
free them. Every year these Indians are becoming more insolent, 
and serious consequences may be apprehended unless some efficient 
and adequate mode be adopted by the government, to enforce among 
them, respect to its authority. 
It is expected that the classification and appraisement of the trust- 
1 ands of the confederated bands of Weas, &c., and the Ioways in Kan-
sas Territory, will soon be completed, when these, with the balance 
of the Delaware trust lands, may be offered for sale. 
Within the bounds of the southern superintendency, the past year 
has been remarkable for peace among the different tribes. Homicides 
have decreased, and but few aggravated crimes have been committed. 
Except the Osages, who have experienced unusual mortality, and 
some sickness among the Cherokees, good health has prevailed. The 
tribes bordering on Kansas have been somewhat excited by the trou- 
bles existing within that Territory, but their fears and apprehensions 
are rapidly subsiding. 
The Osages practise polygamy, detest labor, and are decreasing in 
numbers. Some favorable changes are, nevertheless, seen among these 
Indians, attributable to the influence of the Osage manual labor school,
which is said to be very well conducted. Early in the summer their 
corn crop was much injured by an overflow of the lands under culti- 
vation. The crops of the Senecas, Senecas and Shawnees, and Qua- 
paws, although not much above a half yield, will produce sufficient 
to support them through the winter. 
The Cherokees continue'to improve, especially in agricultural, which 
are greatly in advance of mechanical, pursuits among them. They 
also still manifest a commendable interest in education, but a fund on 
which they have heretofore relied to aid in suppoxting their schools is 
now exhausted, and nothing remains but the interest on an invested 
fund, which will not be sufficient to support their common schools and 
seminaries. It is to be hoped that the council may be able to adopt 
some mode by which all their educational interests, so creditable to 
the Cherokees, may be fully and vigorously maintained. The sale of 
their "neutral land" to the United States, and the appropriation
of 
the whole or a large portion of the proceeds for a school fund, the in- 
terest from which to be annually appropriated for school purposes, 
would give to them ample means, not only to sustain their present 
schools and seminaries, but to enlarge them as the wants of the peo- 
ple require. 
Under the operation of the treaty of June 22, 1855, between the 
United States and the Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians, important 
changes in the political condition of these tribes have taken place 
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