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

[Texas],   pp. 173-180 PDF (3.4 MB)


Page 174

INDIANS OF TEXAS. 
remarked the improved condition Of the Indians; and the large in- 
crease of the white population in the vicinity of the Indian reserves 
shows the confidence of our citizens in the present policy. The In- 
dian reserves are now embraced within the limits of an organized 
county, (Young county,) and the utmost harmony and good feeling 
exists between the Indians and the white settlers in the vicinity. 
The legislature, at its last- session, passed a law extending the 
United States intercourse laws forc"preventing the introduction and
sale of wine and spiritudus liquors" within ten miles of the In- 
dian reserves. This measure has been very beneficial; the law has 
been strictly enforced by the resident agents and the military at Fort 
Belknap and Camp Cooper, and the citizens have sustained us in its 
execution; consequently, we have not -been, to any great degree, 
troubled with intemperance, "that curse to the Indian race," and
the headmen of the several tribes deserve great credit for their exer- 
tions in suppressing its introduction. 
At the same time that I can with pleasure report the progress made 
by the Indians now settled, I deem it also necessary to call your atten-
tion seriously to the condition of the Indian population on our borders,
as they should engage the attention of your department. 
Early last spring our whole frontier was thrown into great alarm 
by the frequent depredations committed by Indians, and several mur- 
ders were committed, and a large number of horses stolen from  the 
vicinity of San Antonio and our western settlements. In order to 
check these depredations, and to ascertain to what tribes they be- 
longed, it became necessary to confine the Indians, (actual settlers,) 
by a concerted action between the agents and the military, to the re- 
serves, and to declare all Indians outside of the reserves hostTLe. By 
a strict adherence to this policy, those hostile bands have been checked,
some thirty or forty killed, and our frontier has, for the last three 
months, enjoyed a quiet never heretofore known. This state of things 
is mainly attributable to the energetic action of the 2d cavalry, under 
command of Colonel A. S. Johnson, who arrived on this frontier about 
the 1st of January last. 
There is still maintained on the Comanche reserve a military post 
(Camp Cooper) of two companies of 2d cavalry and two companies of 
infantry. The influence exercised by them, and the protection given 
to the Indians, has been very advantageous in giving permanency to 
our Indian settlements. In fact, it would be impossible to protect the 
Comanches against the outside influences of the more powerful bands 
of these people north without a military force, as they use all their 
influence to induce the young men to leave the reserve and join them 
in their forays to Mexico and our border settlements. 
The depredations committed on our settlements during the past 
spring were traced generally to the northern bands of Comanches and 
Kiowas. By reference to your last annual report, I perceive that the 
agents were instructed to "reside among those tribes," &c.,
&c.; it 
is to be regretted that their exertions have not been more successful in
controlling them. I fully agree-with the views expressed in your lIas 
annual report, (page 11,) "the application to these people of a sys-
tem of colonization, with the means to aid and instruct them in-the 
b-I 
174 


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