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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 15

COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS.1 
vated ; and at the latter, two hundred acres. The Indians have made 
considerable progress in building houses, and making other improve- 
ments, and have advanced in their moral and social condition. Whis- 
key has, by great vigilance on the part of the agents and the military 
and State authorities, been kept entirely away; and in every point of 
view the enterprise, in its present state and future prospects, is more 
encouraging than its most sanguine friends had anticipated. 
The forays and depredations occurring last spring on the confines 
of Texas, were not, it is said, to be traced to the indigenous tribes of
that State, but were committed entirely by Indians that had not any 
connexion with the reserves. The chastisement of some of these pre- 
datory bands has happily been succeeded by a period of unusual 
quiet and peace. 
The flattering success in Texas, gives promise that, by a similar 
policy, the southern Comanches, Wichetaws and other wanderingbands 
near the northern frontier of that State, may be successfully colonized 
on the western end of the Choctaw country, for which provision was 
made by the treaty of June 22, 1855, between the United States and 
the Choctaws and Chickasaws. It will be expedient to take early 
steps to set off the western end of the Choctaw country, and an ap- 
propriation will be necessary to consummate the arrangement for the 
location and colonization of these Indians after the survey is com- 
pleted. An amount deemed adequate has been estimated for, and 
will no doubt be placed by Congress at the disposal of the department. 
The depredations committed by the Indians of New Mexico have 
been less serious this than for any one of several preceding years. 
The Mimbres Apaches have remained peaceable and are cultivating 
the soil. The Mescalero Apaches are charged with committing depre- 
dations, and it is not deemed practicable to work a change in their 
habits without the advantages of a permanent home. The Gila 
Apaches have not made any improvement. They live chiefly by the 
chase, and occasionally commit robberies. The Jicarilla Apaches 
have been furnished with provisions and agricultural implements, 
which have enabled them to live in comparative comfort. They de- 
sire to be located in permanent homes. These Indians have been 
charged with robberies and murders, but the superintendent expresses 
the opinion that they are not guilty. The Utahs are quietly awaiting 
the ratification of the treaties concluded with them, and will com- 
mence farming whenever permanent homes are assigned them. The 
Navajoes cultivate the soil and are improving in their condition. 
This tribe has made partial reparation for the thefts and murders 
committed by a few bad men among them, by remunerating, accord- 
ing to their ability, the owners for the property stolen, and a promise 
to make good the remainder. The pueblo Indians maintain their 
character as peaceable, industrious communities. Some of them have 
lost the title-papers for the grants of land obtained by them from 
Spain and Mexico. In such cases their agent has taken testimony in 
their behalf. They deserve the fostering care of the government, and 
Congress will no doubt confirm their titles. About five thousand 
Indians are embraced within the Gadsden purchase. They are mostly 
pueblos and reside in six different villages. They have houses and 
15 


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