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

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

Page 100

subject was first brought up by themselves, they having by some means re-
ceived the impression that I was authorized to negotiate terms of relinquish-
ment. I have placed them right in regard to this matter by explaining to
them what my duties really are. 
Owing to my having been in charge but six weeks, and the large extent 
of country inhabited by these Indians, this report is necessarily brief and
I propose starting in a few days to visit some of the principal encamp- 
ments, from one hundred to one hundred and fifty miles from this post, and
on my return will forward to your office such additional information as I
be able to collect. 
Very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant, 
In charge Colville and Spokane Indians. 
W. 11. WATERMIAN, Esq., 
Sup.-rintendent Indian Afairs for TY. T., Olyi-opia, TV . 
No. 10B. 
FORT COLVILLE, W. T., August 4, 1865. 
SIR: Having just returned from a trip to Lake Pend d'Ornille and the Up-
per Spokane country, I desire to submit the following information concern-
ing the Indians inhabiting those regions, and to request that the same be
made supplemental to my report of the 12th ultimo: 
Taking with me an intelligent Colville Indian whom I had employed as 
guide and packer, I proceeded on the 12th ultimo up the Colville valley on
western side for about forty-five miles, and crossing the mountains by a
reached the Little Spokane on the 15th. Here we found about 350 Indians 
engaged in erecting fish weirs-among them Gairy, chief of the Upper Spo-
kanes, who has been educated and speaks good English. Some of these In- 
dians I ascertained to be the owners of small farms and grain-fields, located
from fifteen to twenty miles above the fishery, in the vicinity of Spokane
plains, and near the Walla-Walla and Kootenai trail, During the few hours
I remained at this encampment several complaints of damages done to their
crops by the animals of packers and drovers were made, most of which upon
a subsequent investigation I found to be well grounded. Promising them 
that every effort on my part should be made to recover damages, and 
taking Gairy as interpreter, I pushed on up the river to inspect their farms
and estimate the damage. Some of the fields under cultivation are quite 
large, and bear evidence of considerable thrift, considering the limited
of the Indians, who have heretofore steadily declined to receive assistance
from the Indian department. Two or three are owners of small bands of 
cattle, and most of the fields are enclosed by good substantial fences. Two
of these fields, containing some five or six acres each, had been broken
and the crops wholly destroyed by the cattle of a drover, who, at the time
of my visit, was encamped in the neighborhood. I compelled this person, 
after some difficulty, to satisfy the owner of one of these fields; but ascertain-
ing that the other belonged to a Cceur d'Alene Indian, and that its location
is a short distance east of the Idaho line, I declined to act in the matter
further than to advise him to refer the complaints to the Idaho agent. Other
damages of a similar character had also been done by pack-trains passing
through their country, but as the parties were hundreds of miles away, I
was of course unable to do anything in the matter, further than to advise
the Indians to keep their fences in repair and remain at home to watch 
their crops. 

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