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

Information, with historical and statistical statements, relative to the different tribes and their agencies,   pp. 23-[84] PDF (29.5 MB)


Page 36

36   REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
and on farms in their new home, the funds which may be advanced by 
the Government for this purpose to be re-imbursed from the proceeds of 
the sale of their lands. 
Their lands in Nebraska were reserved out of the cession made by 
these Indians by the treaty of September 24, 1857. By the terms of 
this treaty, the reserve for their future home was to be a tract of coun-
try "1 thirty miles long from east to west, by fifteen miles wide from
north 
to south." Upon a resurvey of the eastern boundary line of said reser-
vation, it has been ascertained that the east and west lines are but 
twenty-nine and a half miles apart, in place of thirty miles, thus leaving
a deficiency in the proper area of the reservation of 4,800 acres. The 
Indians asked indemnity for this deficiency, and it was deemed just 
that Congress should provide for the same. An estimate for an appro-.. 
priation for that purpose was submitted to Congress at the last session,
but the appropriation was not made. 
The manual-labor boarding-school has had a prosperous year, with 
82 pu)ils, as many as.the building would accommodate. The two day- 
schools have been attended by 75 children, who have made good prog- 
ress in reading and speaking English. Irregularity of attendance is 
the principal difficulty in the education of these people. 
SANTEE AGENCY.-The Santee Sioux, 791 in number, are located in 
Northern Nebraska, on the Missouri River, on a reservation of 115,200 
acres, of which one-fourth is adapted to tillage, and nearly all the rest
is suitable for grazing. These Indians have been for many years under 
the influence of missionaries, and are intelligent and industrious, wear
citizens' dress, and are the most advanced in civilization of all the Sioux.
The year just closed has been full of misfortune, but notwithstanding 
their discouragements the agent reports steady improvement on the 
part of the tribe. Early in September, 1873, the agency-barn and hay- 
stacks were burned. In the latter part of the same month the small- 
pox broke out on this reservation and continued for over two months. 
A temporary hospital was erected, the reservation placed under the san- 
itary control of a competent physician, and the Indians were vaccinated 
as rapidly as possible, but despite all efforts there were 150 cases, of
which 70 proved fatal. These Indians hold their lands by allotment 
in severalty. They have planted 562 acres, a larger number than ever 
before, largely to wheat and corn. A severe drought ruined the wheat, 
and the potato-bugs and grasshoppers took the rest of the crop. A se- 
vere rain-storm in June carried away a part of the dam and caused the 
grist-mill to stop working. The saw-mill has turned out 62,000 feet lum-
ber. An agency-barn, a building for saw-mill, two frame-houses, and 
one log house for Indians have been erected this season. In addition 
the Indians have themselves built 8 houses and removed and rebuilt 
fifteen on their respective allotments. Four Indians, apprentices under 
the agency-carpenter, have become good workmen. One who has 
labored steadily at the trade for three and a half years is now capable 
of doing any work required for Indian houses, both building and fur- 
nishing with cupboards, tables, &c. The blacksmith has two appren- 
tices, one of whom has been with him since 1871, and is competent to 
shoe horses and repair wagons and other farm-implements. These Indi- 
ans own 300 horses and 400 head of cattle. They have cut 450 tons hay, 
and built 1,900 rods fence. There are five schools on the reservation. 
A manual-labor boarding-school, supported by Government, with three 
teachers and 36 pupils, was opened for the first time this year. A girls'
industrial school, with 14 pupils, and a young men's boarding-hall, with
15, are supported by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign 


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