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

[Southern superintendency],   pp. 131-172 PDF (17.5 MB)

Page 132

crops, over certain parallels, have been cut short, and in some instances
quite destroyed by drought; over :intervening belts of country the 
harvests have been fair. The loss this season has not been so general 
and wide-spread as it was the last ; in individual cases, and in particu-
lar sections, it is complete; but probably an amount has been produced 
in the aggregatel sufficient for the wants of the people. If any priva- 
tion.and suffering unfortunately should occur, it is to be hoped it will
be but limited, and only in isolated cases. The health of the tribes 
has been generally good throughout the year, except among the 
Osages, who have suffered a heavy mortality. 
So far as I am advised, the past year has been one of even unusual 
pdace and quietness, all the tribes having been pretty much exempt 
from domestic differences and personal feuds ; the number of homicides 
reported has decreased, and but few heinous crimes appear to have 
been committed. In the tribes bordering on the Missouri and Kansas 
frontiers, some little excitement had been created by the unfortunate 
difficulties prevailing in those sections; but the fears excited by those
troubles ard;-Is I believe, rapidly subsiding. 
In Auguft last, the Chickasaw people assembled in mass convention 
to provide for their separation from the Choctaws, and initiate the 
independent government secured them by the treaty of June, 1855. 
They adopted, as their organic law, a written constitution, and pro- 
vided for the election of officers, assimilated in name and in the scopa
of their several duties to those of our State governments. For detailed 
information in relation to this interesting tribe, and their neighbors, 
the Choctaws, I beg leave to particularly refer to the very full and 
suggestive report of Agent Cooper. 
Messrs. Garrett and Washbourne, the agents respectively of the 
Creeks and Seminoles, having been at Washington city the last six 
months or more, assisting in the negotiation of the new treaty between 
those two tribes and the general government, I have but meagre in- 
formation concerning the position of affairs in either of those agencies;
however, nothing of an unsatisfactory character has reached me. Por- 
tions of the delegations of the two tribes recently passed here on their
return from Washington city, and in conversation expressed them- 
selves as highly pleased with the character of the late treaty. Up to 
this date no copy of the treaty has been received at this office, and I 
possess but a general knowledge of its import and provisions, gleaned 
from the prints of the day. 
The goods purchased for the Creeks and Seminoles in 1854, and 
which were so seriously damaged in transportation that their acceptance 
was formally declined by them, still remain here on storage, as I have 
received no instructions as to their disposition.  The purchase of 
agricultural implements, &c., made last year on account of the Creeks,
reached here a few days ago, but had been so badly handled in trans- 
portation that several of the original packages were broken and de- 
stroyed, their contents imperfectly and carelessly repacked, and a part 
of some of the articles called for by the invoices lost in toto. The 
goods purchased for the Seminoles in 1855, as heretofore reported, 
reached here in good order, with the exception of the loss of a part of 
the contents of one package. The purchase of this year, for the same 

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