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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 17

COMMISSION-    ( O INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
the wheat crop, which was cut with German reaping-hooks, used by- 
the Indians with great dexterity. 
The KIamath ad Mendocino reservations have been but recently 
e tablished, and, in addition to land for tillage, have important ad- 
vantages in the abundant supply of fish, muscles, and other means of 
sul stence with which they abound. 
In addition to these reservations, temporary reserves .or farms have 
been established on the Fresno and King's rivers, and at Nome Cult 
valUey in the toast range of mountains. At the Fresno and King's 
rivers about seven hundred acres of wheat and barley, and about one 
hundrkiu acres of corn were planted. Owing to the drought the wheat 
a&__brley crop was an.entire failuxe; the corn, from irrigation, was
expected to be an ordinary crop. Nome Cult valley farm has just 
been established. 
The Indians in every part of California have been made acquainted 
with the policy of the government with reference to them; and, ex- 
cept where. prejudiced by the false representations of interested white 
perMns, are pleased with. it. The number upon And in communica.- 
wtibn th the reservations and, farms, is now about. ten thousand, an&.
increasing as the ..ieans for their accommodation are extended,. 
Although law'less and desperate men commit frequent outrages upea. 
the Indians in that State, the superintendent represents the sentimeat. 
of the great maassof the people of California in relation to them, em 
braing every clss in life, as all that the friends of the Indian could- 
de-sre. 
The usual- annual reports from the superintendents in the Territo.- 
ris of Oregon and Washington have not been received at this office,, 
and I am hence compelled to speak of Indian affairs there, in the ab- 
sence of such information as tihese reports would be expected to fur-- 
nish. In July, 1854, provision was made by law for entering into- 
negotiations with the tribes of these Territories, and shortly there- 
after instructions were issued to the superintendent of Indian affirs- 
in-.Oregon, .and the governor and-erx oio superintendent in Wash& 
ingtomn. Before the expiration of the month-of August,-goods, suita 
ble for presents during the negotiations, were procured iS' Now York- 
and Boston, and shipped to the superintendents, to reah them  in 
tine for use early-in- the spring of 1856. The commissioners were:- 
severally instructed to obtain a relinquishment of the Indian claims 
to lands, with proper rapidity; and, if practicable, to effect the con- 
centration of the tribes and bands on a few reservations, in locations 
not toushing on the white settlements, and to commence their negoi. 
tiations with those tribes or hands nearest to, or brought into actual- 
contact with such settlements, and between which and the settlers 
conflicting claims had arisen, or were likely to arise. 
The officers entered at once with energy upon the execution of thei. 
duties confided to them, and whilst they were appaently in the full 
tide of success, hostilities broke out in southern Oregon 'and with the-
Rogue River Indians; and afterward, in Washington Territory, the 
Yakimas and Klikitats commenced war against the settlers, which 
communicated to a number of the adjacent tribes in both Territories. 
The war raged, in various localities, from October, 1855, till the lst 
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