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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 81

REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN                 AFFAIRS.       81 
BOARD OF INDIAN COMMISSIONERS, 
Washington, D. C., Noveniber 28, 1874. 
SIR: I have the honor, by direction of the board of commissioners, to transmit
for 
your information and such action as you may deem advisable the inclosed copy
of a 
special report, made by myself to the board of commissioners, on the subject
of the 
removal to the Indian Territory of the remaining portion of the Modoc Indians.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
F. H. SMITH, 
Secretary. 
Hon. C. DELANO, 
Secretary of the Interior. 
BOARD OF INDIAN COMMISSIONERS, 
Washington, D. C., November 21, 1874. 
SIR: While inethe Indian Territory, in company with Col. J. W. Smith, special
com- 
missioner of the Indian Department, in Septemberlast, I visited the portion
of the Modoc 
tribe of Indians now located in that Territory, and found them in camp near
the Qua- 
paw agency headquarters. I learned that a portion of the Shawnee reservation,
under 
that agency, had been obtained by purchase for the permanent home of these
Modoes. 
The Shawnees declined to sell except upon condition that possession was not
to be given 
until the first installment of the purchase-money had been paid, which condition
not 
having been complied with, the Modocs were still at the agency. Funds for
that pur- 
pose had, however, reached the superintendency, and it was expected the Indians
would enter upon their new reservation during the succeeding week. 
The report of Special Agent Jones, and of every one about the agency, as
to the con- 
duct of these people was very encouraging. No difficulty had occurred in
enforcing 
the strictest discipline. The agent had, as far as practicable, furnished
them employ- 
ment during the season, and had found them willing and energetic in the discharge
of 
every duty. One instance of friction had occurred in the persistence of some
of the 
nembers of the band in the practice of gambling, resulting in some instances
in the 
disposition of blankets and of every other article of clothing. The acting
chief, Scar- 
faced Charley, declining to interpose his authority for discontinuing the
practice, was 
deposed, and Bogus Charley appointed. The change proved acceptable to the
band, 
and in its moral effect was excellent. 
Twenty-five of the children had been in constant attendance on the school
of A. C. 
Tuttle, in care of the Friends, twelve or fifteen miles distant, and had
made unusual 
progress in the acquisition of the English language and rudiments of education.
Sev- 
eral of the adults remaining at the agency had also learned to read during
the summer. 
In a formal talk, for which every member of the band, male and female, assembled
on the morning of the 23d of September, the expression of satisfaction in
their present 
location and prospects, and of their determination to go to work immediately
on their 
new reservation and become like white men as rapidly as possible, was hearty
and 
unanimous by the chiefs, and assented to by the entire band. 
On learning of my intended visit to Oregon, and that I might possibly see
the re- 
maining portion of the tribe, great solicitude was expressed for the removal
of their 
Oregon brethren to this Territory, and a large number of individual Indians
were de- 
sirous immediately to send messages, photographs, and fraternal greeting
to their 
friends in the west. 
It was impossible, in the time at my disposal, to visit the Oregon Modocs,
but, at the 
instance of the Department in Washington, I made inquiries of Agent Dyar
and others 
in respect to theirpresent condition and probable assent to removal, if deemed
advisable 
by the Government. I was informed that no objection would probably be interposed
on their part. The number now remaining in charge of Agent Dyar at Klamath,
men, 
women, and children, is about one hundred and fifty. The country in which
they are 
located is not favorable to cultivation, and the inclination and habits of
the Indians 
(lo not lead them to engage in industrial pursuits, nor are they likely to
make any 
advancement in civilization under their present conditions. 
The cost of transportation to the Quapaw agency in the Indian Territory,
should 
removal be determined upon, will not be far from $12,000, nearly all of which
would 
be applicable to railroads, the interest of whose bonds are guaranteed by
the Govern- 
mient, and under existing law the money would not actually be withdrawn from
the 
Treasury. 
I respectfully recommend that authority be given by Congress for the removal,
and 
that the amount named be appropriated for the purpose of transportation;
also, that 
the additional sum of $_,000, or so much thereof as may be necessary, be
appropriated 
for subsistence, and to defray such incidental expenses as may be incurred.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
F. H. SMITH, 
Indian Commissionher. 
lton. C. B. FISK, 
Chairman Indian Commission. 
6 IND 


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