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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 39

REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS.             39 
duce them to return, with the Southern Kickapoos, to their own country. 
Many others, especially the full-blooded Indians, who became " citi-
zens," are reported by the agent as not having in anywise improved their
condition by being thrust unprepared and without sufficient guard into 
the responsibilities and competition of a civilized life. Several families
of Kansas I         hcitizens"1have come back from Mexico, and are surprised
to 
learn that they are not still Indians, and that during their absence, upon
affidavits before the court that the said "1 citizens" were dead,
in many 
cases administrators, duly appointed under the laws of Kansas, have 
administered upon their moneys and effects. 
The reservation contains 17,357 acres, excellent for both tillage and 
grazing, and fairly wooded. The number of acres cultivated has nearly 
trebled in two years, and is now 500. Agent Newlin reports: 
Every head of a family has a farm or cultivated field, generally improved
by a house 
and orchard, and always by a substantial fence. They have abandoned hunting
for 
game as a means of sustaining life, and with the assistapee of their annuity,
which is 
liberal, depend upon their fields for subsistence for themselves and stock.
Though their crops were cut short last year by drought, they commenced faruing
operations the following spring with more than usual energy. Their method
of farni- 
ing was greatly improved through the introduction-of modern farming-implenleits,
and their fields gave oromise of a bountiful harvest, when a succession of
visitatious 
in the shape of chinch-bugs, drought, and finally grasshoppers, have destroyed
the lasht 
vestige of vegetation, leaving tbe Indians entirely dependent on their annuity,
which 
will be of needed assistance to them during the ensuing year, though I believe
the 
payment of money annuities to be an obstacle in the path of the advancement
of the 
Indians. 
They own 650 horses, 200 head of cattle, and 250 hogs. Ten log 
houses have been built this season, making eighty in all, an increase of
seventy in two years. 
Their annuities are large and permanent. The former strong opposi- 
tion of the Indians to education has been nearly overcome, and a flour- 
ishing boarding-school, with 43 pupils, has been sustained throughout 
the year. 
During the winter and spring whooping-cough and pneumonia pre- 
vailed and have proved so fatal as nearly to decimate the tribe. 
DAKOTA. 
DEVIL'S LAKE AGENc.-The Sissiton and Wahpeton Sioux, at Devil's 
Lake, in the northeastern part of Dakota, number 1,047, of whom 750 
are permanent residents at the agency. 
The reservation contains 230,400 acres of valuable land, 20,000 being 
wooded. Limestone is obtained from the hills, and the ravines form good 
hay-meadows. Eighty families, representing nearly 300 persons, are 
engaged in agriculture, and have cultivated during the year 135 acres. 
An experiment on a small scale has proved the practicability of raising 
wheat on this reservation. Of the 60 head of cattle issued to individual
Indians last year, but four have died, two from want of care and two 
by accident. Forty thousand feet of lumber have been sawed. Nine- 
teen log-houses,-18 feet square, have been built, mostly by Indian labor;
making the whole number of houses occupied by them 84. A hopeful 
indication is the growing desire to build their houses at some distance 
from each other, which it was impossible to induce them to do so long 
as they were in danger of raids by hostile Sioux, and especially so long
as they adhered to the old and pernicious custom of having all things 
in common. Within two years the number of those wearing citizen's 
clothing has increased from 50 men to 152 men and 25 women, besides 
many boys and girls. 


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