University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

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

[Central superintendency],   pp. 65-131 PDF (28.8 MB)

Page 68

necessary- that a well defined line should be established between the 
parties, which will tend to prevent future aggresions. Both of these 
bands of Sioux cultivate the soil to some extent. The Yanctonees, 
however, depend chiefly on game for subsistence, which with  them 
still continues abundant. The: Yanctons, on the contrary, in conse- 
quence .ofa precarious supply of game, realize the necessity of relying 
to a greater extent upon cultivation: agriculture, in a short time, 
will be their only reliance for food. 
On the south side of the Missouri are found the Unc-Papas, Sans Arcs, 
Three Kettles, and Blackfeet band of Sioux. In addition to these, 
the Brules, Minnicarguis, and Ogalalla bands of Sioux occasionally 
penetrate this region from the country adjacent to the Platte. All 
these bands depend exclusively on the products of the chase- for sub- 
sistence ; they are audacious and insolent. The Sioux, who live far 
distant from-the scenes of the tragical affair of Lieutenant Grattan, 
near Fort Laramie, were surprised to find themselves involved in a 
war on that account; but as they knew that hostilities were declared 
against their whole nation, I think it is to be regretted that the officer
in command of the Sioux expedition did not penetrate further into the 
Sioux country. These Indians may not consider the withdrawal of 
our troops as an act of mercy towards themselves, but ascribe it to a 
far different cause; still, the carnage of the "Blue water" will
be remembered, and trust that the future conduct of the Sioux will 
not justify its repetition. 
Agent Twiss reported, on the 4th ultimo, that the annuity goods for 
1856 had reached Fort Laramie. The Sioux, Arrapahoes, and Chey- 
ennes of his agency were on their summer hunt, but their return to 
the Platte was daily expected; martial law having been suspended 
he is now engaged in the duties of his agency. 
The Ponca Indians have no existing treaty with the United States, 
and such is also the case now with the Pawnees. The former tribb 
inhabits the valley of the I' Eau qui Court, and the adjacent country 
below that river. They plant corn to some extent, but pass much of 
their time on the roads leading to the Platte. Their lands are being 
settled upon by squatters. 
The Pawnees, who sold their lands on the south side of the Platte 
river, were compelled to leave those which they had retained on the 
north, by the hostility of the Sioux. They are now driven to the ne- 
cessity of infesting the roads to procure a precarious livelihood by theft
and mendicity. Their lands on the north side of the Platte are being 
settled upon by the tide of population now so rapidly flowing to that 
and the contiguous regions. These Indians cultivate the soil to some 
extent, but the uncertainty of reaping the fruits of their labor has a 
very depressing effect upon their exertions. I would respectfully re- 
commend that treaties be made with both Poncas and Pawnees, in 
order to establish them permanently upon reserves sufficiently ample 
for their now greatly reduced numbers; and I would suggest that the 
Poncas be located on the "Blackbird Hill" reserve with the Omahas,
who are of the same-origin & nd speak the same language. The Pawnees
are at peace with the Ottoes, -and -lands suitably selected for them on 
or near the Ottoc reserveo-tpon the Blue would, donbtless, prove accept-

Go up to Top of Page