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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 72

and in the spring proceed northwardly in pursuit of-buffaloes. They 
pitch their lodges on the banks of the Arkansas, and there await the 
annual arrival of their agent with the -goods for destribution among 
them. The annuities they receive from the government they regard 
as a compensation for permitting travellers to pass unmolested along 
the Santa F* road. They, like the Kioways, are audacious and in-" 
solent, and always exhibit to the Indian agent evidences of their 
power, and their utter contempt for the officers of the government. 
Higher up the Arkansas are the Cheyennes. They have generally 
preserved a reputation for quiet and peaceable conduct. Industrious 
as hunters, they furnish large quantities of well prepared buffalo 
robes, and other peltry. I regret to perceive that they have been 
recently charged with murders on the Platte, near Fort Kearny, 
to which point they extend their wanderings in pursuit of game. 
One of the Cheyennes, who escaped from the guard at Fort Kearny, 
last summer, and who, in his flight, received several wounds," 
denied any participation in the alleged murder, and expressed to the 
agent at Bent's Fort his anxious desire to be at peace with the whites, 
At the same time a Kioway Indian, known as "The Little Mountain,"
avowed that he and his band had committed the murders charged 
upon the Cheyennes.    The bands of Comanches, Kioways, and 
Cheyennes, who assemble annually on the thoroughfare between the 
United States and New Mexico, are reported to hold in bondage many 
Mexicans and some Americans. The Indian agent is entirely power- 
less to free these prisoners. These Indians are becoming more inso- 
lent every year, and the most serious consequences may be appre- 
hended, unless the government adopts some adequate mode of enforc- 
ing respect and repressing their hostile spirit. The establishment of 
one or more military posts along this line seems to be indispensibly 
neoessary, and this subject should be submitted for the consideration 
of the proper department. Suitable points may be found on Walnut 
creek, and the Big timber, each presenting favorable positions for 
military establishments. 
The agent for the Upper Arkansas agency has never had the benefit 
of a competent interpreter, although obliged to hold communications 
with three large and distinct tribes. He has been dependent solely 
upon the occasional services of the Indian traders in that quarter. 
There is not throughout this whole region a single house which can 
be occupied even for temporary storage of the annuity goods, and the 
traders have refused to permit the Indian agent to carry them within 
their premises. A suitable Comanche. interpreter could probably be 
procured by agent Neighbors, or some other agent in that country. 
The Indian tribes on this frontier are fast passing away, and, with 
the exception of a few of the smaller tribes, the number of deaths ex- 
ceeds that of births. Intemperance is one of the most fruitful causes 
of death amongst them; bat cholera, small-pox, and measles -have 
prevailed also with fatal effect among many of the tribes, who now 
discover that the simple remedies which were adapted to the condi- 
tion and diseases of their fathers are totally inefficacious in the treat-
ment of those acquired from their white neighbors. 

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