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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 71

the necessary plats will be furnished in a few days, when the parties 
will immediately proceed to make their selections. 
It seems to have become the policy of the government to tolerate 
squatter settlement upon the Delaware and all the Other trust lands; 
hence, every quarter section has one or more claimants. To prevent 
difficulties between the claimants and the officers of the government 
in the final disposition of those lands, too much care cannot be, be- 
towed upon. the framing of instructions intended for the guidance of 
the persons to be detailed for that duty. - As an act of justice to all 
the parties, I think that the value assessed upon all the lands by the 
commissioners should be published before the day of sale, to enable 
purchasers to make necessary arrangements; and a distinct expres- 
sion ought to be given of the decision of the department in reference 
to the rights of the parties claiming, if they have any. A publica- 
tion is likewise desirable of the manner of ascertaining the value of im-
provements made by individuals or companies, who may be unable or 
unwilling to purchase the lands upon which such improvements have 
been made. 
The policy of the administration, above alluded to. has encouraged 
similar encroachments upon the half-breed Kansas lands, and the 
timber on the reserve is being destroyed by settlers, whose unlawful 
acts are continued in defiance of the government; and to this subject, 
also, I would call the attention of the department. 
The Miamies, Peorias, Kaskaskias, Weas, Piankeshaws, and Otto- 
was, are gradually advancing in the arts of civilization. Their crops 
are well cultivated and abundant; but that region has been the 
theatre of many of the atrocities committed during the recent civil 
war in the Territory of Kansas. The necessity of avoiding all com- 
plication with either of the contending parties has been strenuously 
enforced upon the Indians'of every part of the Territory, and I am 
gratified in being able to state that these efforts have been successful
in all most every instance. 
The Kansas tribe of Indians continue their wandering mode of life, 
as usual, and-may annually be found upon the Santa Fe, and other 
roads in the Territory, begging, and sometimes, I presume, commit- 
ing petty thefts. They seem to me to have a peculiar claim to sym- 
pathy, when it is remembered that they, a few years since, sold, for a 
mere nominal consideration, the most valuable lands in this fertile 
and beautiful Territory, and are now, by force of circumstances, re- 
duced to a state of vagabondage, with a reserve of considerable ex- 
tent, whose boundaries have been only recently defined. A portion 
even of this reserve is in the possesion of claimants who refuse to 
relinquish it, and urge in their defence that the recent survey of the 
Kansas reserve encroached upon the Shawnee lands, which they sup- 
posed open to pre-emption. The Kansas Indians, driven from their 
hunting grounds by their hereditary enemies, have become the vic. 
tims of wars, disease, and poverty. 
The Comanches, who spend the winter months in the country be- 
low the Arkansas, committing depredations along the frontiers of 
Texas as far as the Rio Grande, are a wild and intractable race; well 
supplied with horses, they enrich themselves by rapine in the south, 

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