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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1874
([1874])

Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs,   pp. [3]-17 PDF (6.6 MB)


Page 11

REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS.        11 
ing with them to have reference hereafter only to what is right and best
for them, and in my judgment the following course is practicable, expe- 
dient, and humane: Procure from the Cherokees, Choctaws, and Chick- 
asaws a sufficient quantity of land, in four different tracts, suited to
herd- 
ing and agriculture, and disarm and dismount these wild Indians and re- 
move them to these localities, furnishing them cattle in return for their
ponies, and rations and clothing in return for their labor in building 
houses and opening farms for themselves. 
The principal objection to such a course will be found in the neces. 
sarily large expense for the first two or three years, additional to the
amount now required for rations and clothing. Allowing for stock and 
implements and house-building $250 to a family, about $500,000 annu- 
ally for the next two or three years will be needed. But this course, 
pursued for three years, will practically relieve the Government fiorn 
further annual expenses, except for schools and a few employes. The 
cost of lands required for their new location will be more than compen- 
sated by the territory relinquished in exchange; and this relinquished 
country may be held for occupation by other and peaceful Indians to be 
removed to the territory, or may be surrendered for homesteads of set- 
tlers. This course, successfully pursued, will put an end to depredations
by these Indians, and thus save a large expense to the Government. 
During the past five years claims for depredations committed by these 
Indians have been allowed by the Department in the amount of nearly 
$1,000,000. These claims represent actual damage sustained, and in 
the main will be recognized as just and be paid by the Government. 
These facts establish conclusively the economy of the proposed re- 
moval. Of its humanity and kindness there can be no question; and if 
adopted at the present favorable time, when the consent of the Indians 
thereto may be required as the condition of their return to allegiance 
and support by the Government, it will. in my judgment, be found en- 
tirely practicable. 
NORTHERN ARAPAHOES AND CHEYENNES. 
A portion of the Arapahoes and Cheyennes who belong in the Indian 
Territory are still roaming among the Sioux in the vicinity of Red Cloud
agency. In accordance with the provisions of the act appropriating 
$25,000 for their support, the agent has been instructed to withhold any
further rations until they remove south. Such removal, however, has not 
been deemed advisable, pending the settlement of hostilities in the In- 
dian Territory. 
THE INDIAN TERRITORY WITHOUT LAW. 
Lawlessness and violence still continue in the Indian Territory. The 
two or three United States marshals sent to enforce the intercourse 
laws by protecting Indians from white thieves and buffalo-hunters have 
been entirely inadequate to cover a country of 30,000 square miles, and 
out of this inadequate administration of law have come the irritation 
and retaliation which have led to the present hostilities. 
The constitution adopted by the Ocmulgee council in 1870 has not 
been ratified by the legislatures of the several civilized tribes of the
Ter- 
ritory, and all efforts on the part of the Indians to establish a govern-
ment have failed. Such administration of the law in this country as mi 
possible through the United States district courts of-Arkansas scarcely 
deserves the name. Practically, therefore, we have a country embracing. 


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