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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1856

[Northern superintendency],   pp. 34-65 PDF (12.8 MB)

Page 64

might have been had the people felt as much interest in education as 
at some former time. 
The average attendance for the several quarters of the year has been 
as follows: 
For the quarter ending December 31, 1855, 91 for 30 days. 
For the quarter ending March 31, 1856, 13- for 60 days. 
For the quarter ending June 30, 1856, 91 fbr 40 days, 
For the quarter ending September 30, 1856, 10 for 40 days. 
About equal to an average of ten scholars for three quarters, of twelve 
weeks each ; and if the attendance of the scholars boarded in our family
and that of five of the imost advanced scholars of mixed blood was 
taken out, this average would be reduced about one half. It is painful 
to notice this diminished interest of these Indians in education, and 
to recur again to what we believe to be the cause of it, namely, the 
withholding by the United States government of that part of the 
annuities of this people set apart for education. This, as viewed by 
these Indians, is saying to them in the strongest language that the 
rulers of the United States think education is for them useless. 
You cannot be ignorant of the efforts making to divert this fund to 
other purposes, in such a way that the fund set apart to promote edu- 
cation among this poor ignorant people would serve as a bribe to 
them to oppose schools and Christianity, since but for your vigilance 
and activity in defeating it, an attempt of this kind last winter would 
probably have proved successful. Though we must lament that the 
Dacotas give too little attention to instruction in religion or letters,
we do not think our labors have been in vain. Some, we hope, are 
truly pious ; and you have seen that those who have attended most 
to our instructions are doing more to improve their temporal condi- 
tion, by cultivating the earth, and erecting houses, than the other 
Though the season has not been particularly favorable, the Dacotas, 
both in this neighborhood and Lac qui Parle, where we formerly 
labored, have made more corn and potatoes than they can eat in a 
year, a circumstance which never occurred before. 
Very respectfully, yours, 
Major R. G. MURPHY, 
Agent for Dacotas. 
No. 20. 
October 21, 1856. 
DEAR Sn: The year past at Hazelwood Mission station has been 
occupied much as its 'predecessors. The chapel which we had com- 
menced last fall, although not yet completely finished, has been occu- 
pied for the purposes intended since the 1st of May last. When com- 
pleted it will have cost about $650; of which $200 were furnished by 

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