University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1857

California superintendency,   pp. 387-408 PDF (8.6 MB)

Page 402

some time to come. But after the 30th of January but little rain 
fell, and the result was an almost entire failure of the crops, except 
what I succeeded in saving by irrigation ; but in consequence of the 
limited supply of water, this was but a small proportion of the crop. 
Indeed, so great has been the drought for the past three years 
that the ground is dry in many places to the depth of eight or ten 
feet. Added to the calamitous effects of the drought, the little wheat 
we did succeed in saving was so seriously injured by smut as to render 
it unfit for seed and quite inferior for flour. 
The Indians have seeded about one hundred and fifteen or one hun- 
dred and twenty acres in corn, beans, squashes, melons, &c., which, by
constant irrigation, are producing a fair return; added to this, they 
have succeeded in raising several hundred bushels of wheat and barley 
in small patches at their rancherias. 
There are now growing in the garden connected with the agency 
about fifteen hundred grape vines, part of which produced a small 
crop the past season; forty-five fig trees, some of which bear; and 
a quantity of pomegranates which bear luxuriantly. 
In addition to ordinary garden produce, we will have a few hundred 
bushels of potatoes and a small quantity of corn. 
Since my last report, in compliance with instructions, I removed to 
this place about two hundred Indians from Tule river; these, with 
small accessions from various other points, have increased the number 
brought to the reserve during the year to about three hundred and ten. 
This number will therefore make the total number resident on the 
reserve somewhat over one thousand. In addition to these, there are 
living near the reservation some two or three hundred Indians who 
draw more or less of their subsistence therefrom. 
Owing to the failure of the crop, a portion of the Indians will be 
sent to collect wild food for their subsistence during the winter; and 
all will be required to depend more or less on the spontaneous pro- 
ductions of the soil for subsistence. 
Our proximity to the fort, with the usual concomitants of grog shops, 
kept by men who have neither "the fear of God nor respect for the laws
before their eyes," have increased drunkenness on the reserve, notwith-
standing my utmost endeavors to prevent it. The Indians are assisted 
in smuggling whiskey on the reserve by a disreputable class of Mexi- 
cans and Americans, and so expert are they as to elude vigilance. 
This great curse is the source of almost all the insurbordination and 
difficulty I have to contend with among the Indians. Added to this, 
the roads from the Tejon and Caion de los Uvas passes lay through 
the reserve, thus placing us on the two thoroughfares which constitute 
the means of communication between all the country south and east 
of this and the Tulare and Sacramento valleys, thereby bringing the 
Indians in frequent contact with a set of men whose character, calling 
and disposition, render them the least desirable of all others to give 
impressions to beings of the character of California Indians. And 
I would here state, that, from the experience of the two past years, 
and a careful study of the Indian character, as exhibited by those under
my charge, in order to be eminently successful in the objects for 
which reservations are created, they should be entirely isolatedfrom 

Go up to Top of Page