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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 40

40   REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
There seems to be a movement among the wild "Cut-Head" Sioux to
remove to and settle upon this reservation. The few already there are 
among the most industrious and frugal laborers. 
In regard to the results of the year's labor their agent report 5: 
It is estimated that there will be harvested this fall 2,000 bushels corn,
2,500 bushels 
potatoes, 25 bushels beans, and about 100 bushels wheat. The yield would
have been 
far greater but for the devastation caused by grasshoppers. There have been
800 rods 
of fence constructed during the year, by the Indians, and much other labor
performed 
beside field-work, in cutting and hauling fire-wood, hay for the animals,
and in saving 
expense to the Government by transporting the supplies with their own teams,
from 
the nearest point on the Northern Pacific Railroad, a distance of about eighty
miles. 
The agency-house, . frame building 24 by 28 feet, is now in course of erection;
most 
of the material is also manufactured here. The whole will, I hope, be completed
this 
season. 
A kiln of bricks will be finished in two days, when we will have 40,000 bricks
for 
making chimneys, one for each Indian house, if possible, to give proper ventilation.
The manual labor school-house commenced last year is finished and ready for
occu- 
pancy. It is 40 by 60 .feet, two stories high, of brick manufactured on the
ground, as 
welt as the lime with which it-is well plastered, and presents a handsome
appearance. 
The school will be opened on the arrival of teachers from a community of
the Sisters 
of Charity with whom satisfactory arrangements have been closed, they receiving
nothing but the actual expense for their support. A permanent mission for
religious 
education will be opened at the same time, and a church-building will be
completed 
this fall. 
In regard to the prosperous condition of these Indians, Inspector 
Kemble reports: 
It gives me much pleasure to testify to the gratifying progress which the
Indians are 
making on this reservation, not only in house-building and farming, but in
cleanliness 
and comfort in their several homes. Their planted fields are still small,
and there is 
not much variety in the products of their farms, corn, potatoes, and squashes
being the 
staples. But they are trying wheat, and notwithstanding the shortness of
the season 
and the plague of grasshoppers, it is claimed that it can be successfully
cultivated. 
The soil of the greater part of the reservation is very rich, and the working
Indians 
are much encouraged by the results of the past two years' industry. I saw
Indians 
living in good log-houses reared by their own hands, on well-scrubbed floors,
eating 
from clean white crockery laid on neat tables, who years ago were wild men
in their 
blankets, wanderers over the prairies or dwellers in dirty teepees. The transformation
seemed incredible, and certainly much credit is due the agent and his assistants
for the 
good management which has brought about such changes. 
SISSITON AGENCY.-The Sissiton and Wahpeton band of Sioux, on 
Lake Traverse Reservation, on the eastern boundary of Dakota, now 
number 1,677, an increase of 137 over the number reported last year. 
This increase is mainly due to the removal thither of the Wabey band 
of Sioux, who have hitherto resisted all efforts to induce them to give 
up their wandering life. The death of their chief, Eagle Feather, left 
them without a leader, and they have seemed glad to select farmis and 
begin a life of civilized labor. A number of Indian scouts recently dis-
charged from the United States service on the frontier have also come 
to settle vith these Indians, to whom they are related. 
An attempted insurrection, led by the head chief and several head- 
men, was promptly put down by the agent; the oxen, wagons, &c., seized
were returned to their owners; two of the ringleaders were delivered up 
to him for punishment and were imprisoned in Fort Wadsworth for 
nearly a month and a half, and all participants in the affair were for one
month deprived of certain rights and privileges to which they would 
otherwise have been entitled. With this exception the conduct of these 
Indians has been exemplary throughout the year in industry, loyalty, 
and friendship toward the Government and the white people, and in 
hearty co-operation with the present policy of promoting their civiliza-
tion. 
The reservation contains 918,353 acres, of which two-thirds are adapted 


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