University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

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 41

REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS.               41 
to grazing; most of the rest is tillable, except 6,000 acres wooded, and
12,000 useless. The Indians have broken 191 and planted 840 acres, 
an increase of 340 acres over last year. The crops promised finely, espe-
cially their 206 acres of wheat, but the grasshoppers took nearly every-
thing. 
Two years ago there were on this reservation 26 houses occupied by 
f ndians. They have now 209 houses and 256 log stables; 105 of the 
stables and 68 houses have been built by themselves during the year. 
They have also dug 65 cellars, made 903 rods of fencing, and cut 3,000 
tons of hay. They own 383 head of horses, 332 cattle, 179 swine, 1,804 
chickens, and 176 turkeys. All the men and most of the women wear 
citizens' dress. There are four district day-schools and one manual-labor
boarding-school. These have been taught by 9 teachers, with an attend- 
ance of 95 pupils, in most cases with gratifying results. The 18 scholars
in the girls' and the 15 in the boys' department of the boarding-school,
despite the want of proper accommodations, have made such commend- 
able progress in every way as to justify the expectation that on the early
completion of the new school-building, with accommodations for 60 pupils,
the educational progress already witnessed upon this reservation will be
largely accelerated. 
The following is taken from the annual report of their agent: 
The Sabbath is generally observed by rest from labor and traveling and by
attend- 
ance on divine services. Very little if any spirituous liquors have been
introduced or 
used during the year on this reservation. We show no quarters to the liquor
dealers, 
excepting it may be a small stone bulding erected at this agency last autumn
for such 
lawless and defiant men. 
Polygamy and bigamy are fast passing away, and we trust that all such old
practices 
are destined soon to be numbered among the things and customs of the past.
Chief- 
tainships and warriors' honors are alike failing to command even the respect
of the 
intelligent, working, and progressive Indians and half-breeds here,-and no
unreason- 
able tribute can be laid upon them for the maintenance and support of any
old claims 
of this kind. 
There are six Presbyterian churches organized on this reservation, with a
member- 
ship of 410, and a native pastor for each church. Public religious services
are held 
regularly in all these churches, besides at several out-stations. I am happy
to testify 
to the general consistency of the members of the churches, their devotion
to their 
religious services, and their self-denials, and liberal support of the means
of grace, 
which they have voluntarily assumed. Also to the fidelity and devotion of
the native 
pastors to the work of their calling, and their uniform fidelity to the United
States 
Government in relation to the education and material advancement of this
people. 
Sioux at Flandreau.-The Flandreau Sioux are located on the head- 
waters of the Big Sioux River, a fertile country, but subject to drought
and grasshoppers and scantily wooded. In March, 1869, twenty-five 
families of the Santee Sioux, including four of the chiefs who signed the
old treaty, convinced that they could make more rapid advancement in 
civilization as citizens, voluntarily dissolved their connection with the
tribe and came to this place, selected homesteads of 160 acres each, paid
the fees, and with nothing but their hands began life in earnest. Nearly
all were members of the Presbyterian Church. They endured great hard- 
ships and some of their best men perished in snow-storms, but they per- 
severed and were joined by others, who have also taken homesteads, 
until they have increased to 75 families, containing 312 persons. A 
year ago the Government came to their assistance with oxen, wagons, 
plows, and smaller farming implements for 36 families. The Presby- 
terians have built them a church and the Government has bought a 
school-house and pays the teacher. As the result of the four years' ex- 
periment they all live in houses built by themselves-twenty during the 
year; have 370 acres under cultivation, and own 70 horses and 94 head 
of cattle. One hundred and nineteen read the Sioux language fluently. 


Go up to Top of Page