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

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


Page 125

OSAGE RIVER AGENCY. 
the high land is too short to mow, and in many instances the Indians 
have to go as far as a mile and a half to get grass tall enough to cut. 
But few of the Indians here have any sheep, and not very many of 
them raise their own pork, although the woods are alive with hogs in 
many places. The cattle business has not attracted as much of their 
attention as it should do, although many of them have fine oxen and 
a few good milch cows. The stock which seems to occupy the most 
of their attention is horses. An Indian who is not the owner of a 
good pony, is considered poor indeed. Many raise horses in large 
numbers. 
I some time since called the attention of the Commissioner of In- 
dian Affairs to the necessity of some action by Congress to prevent the 
destruction of timber on the Indian lands. Much timber has, already 
been stolen, and if the national reservations in this agency are not 
guarded by stringent laws, they will soon be stripped, for the purpose 
of fencing farms on the adjoining prairies, by persons whose honesty 
and fair dealing can only be regarded as the offspring of a dread or 
fear, which prevents them from acting otherwise. 
The Wea, &c., selections having been completed, the surplus land 
is ready for the examination of the commissioners who have been ap- 
pointed to classify and fix a valuation on the different grades before 
proclaiming it for sale. 
The missionary schools here are not in as prosperous a condition as 
could be wished for. The Miami school, however, is not to be com- 
plained of under the circumstances. Its recent commencement, and 
the raw condition of the scholars, will operate against a bright pros- 
pect for a while. It is well attended, however, though but few of the 
children were ever inside a school-room before, or can speak a word of 
the English language. The Wea school, I believe, is closed at the 
present. The superintendent, Mr. Lykins, being absent, I suppose is 
the reason that reports are not made. 
Educating Indians, in my opinion, without teaching them some kind 
of labor at the same time, is leaving the work less than half finished. 
Agricultural and mechanical labor should be so incorporated into the 
system of teaching, that those branches could not be neglected or 
avoided. Indeed I am Well convinced that, for the advancement of 
the Indian to that degree of civilized life which will constitute him his
own guardian, the inculcation of industrial pursuits should be the 
leading condition at those Indian missionary schools. 
With great respect, I am yours, &c., 
M. McCASLIN, indian Agent. 
Colonel ALFRED CUMMINGG, 
Superintendent Indian Affairs, St. Louis, Missouri. 
125 


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