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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1865
([1865])

Washington superintendency,   pp. 67-101 PDF (14.8 MB)


Page 71

WASH NIGTON SUPERINTENDENCY.                     71 
which extensive and costly improvements were made under former adminis- 
trations, was abandoned, as I am told, by reason of poisonous plants which
grow there, and which are destructive to the stock ranging in that locality.
It was on this account that former Superintendent Hale deemed it advisable
to abandon the old reservation and commence improvements on the river, 
where the Indians lived, and where the land, though somewhat difficult to
clear, is of an excellent quality, and is free from the objections which
lay 
against the old reservation. I think the sub-agent in charge is doing the
best he can tp improve the new reservation, but it is manifest from his re-
port that the process is sl6w and the task laborious. As soon as suitable
preparations can be made for a school I shall be in favor of appointing a
teacher, but at present I doubt whether money can be applied to school 
purposes there to advantage. It is my purpose to provide lumber to the 
extent of the means at my disposal, and to encourage the erection of the
buildings necessary to the wants of the agency. I think that as soon as 
sufficient land can be cleared to make the business of farming an object,
the Indians can be induced to turn their attention to it. In laying before
you 
the report of Agent Webster and his employs, I am forced to express re- 
gret that so much expensive outlay upon that agency, especially in the ap-
pliances for education, should be fruitful of so small results. The school-house
upon this reservation is both capacious and tasteful, reflecting much credit
upon the architectural taste of the agent, or whoever else projected it;
it is 
a building that would be creditable to a New England shiretown, where two
hundred children required school privileges; and yet the report shows but
little done in the way of gathering into it the Indian children for instruction.
I hope that in future, since the preparations are so ample, and since a teacher
is maintained by the government, more will be done in the way of practical
instruction among the Jndians and their children. I lay the report before
you, with all its suggestions and recommendations, forbearing further com-
ment. 
The report of Agent Elder relative to the Puyallups, Nisqually, Squaksin,
and Chehalis reservations, will be found full and explicit respecting the
con- 
dition of the Indians there. It is lamentable that no schools of any sort
are 
in existence for the children under the treaty of Medicine. Creek. The neces-
sity of a manual labor-boarding school, upon a plan sufficiently ample to
ac- 
commodate the children of these tribes and those upon the Chehalis river,
is 
manifest to every observer, and I cannot discharge my duty here without 
urging it upon the consideration of the department. The Indians on the 
Chehalis, now estimated at 600 in number, are parties to no treaty, but have
quite generally turned their attention to the cultivation of land and the
growing of stock; they have one of the most fertile tracts of land in the
country, and with reasonable encouragement will in a few years be indepen-
dent. Mr Hubbard, the farmer in charge, is economizing their business, and
his statement, accompanying Agent Elder's report, will show the wants of
the 
reservation and the results of his labors. I desire to call especial attention
to the statement of George A. Paige, esq., now in charge at Fort Colville,
from which the interesting character'of the Indians in that part of the Terri-
tory, and the necessity of more elaborate appointments for their encourage-
ment, instruction, and protection, will be manifest. The affairs of the de-
partment among these Indians have heretof(re been administered by the 
military officer in charge at Fort Colville; but deeming the service there
of sufficient importance to justify the appointment of a special agent under
the 
title of farmer in charge, and being desirous to learn more definitely of
the 
number, character, and condition of the Indians there, I appointed MVr. Paige,
who is a man of long experience in the Indian service, and who understands
well the Indian character, to take charge there, to investigate the state
of 


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