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

Papers accompanying the report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1874,   pp. [85]-[180] PDF (27.0 MB)


Page 90

90     REPORT     OF THE    COMMISSIONER       OF INDIAN    AFFAIRS. 
Aga n, this commission was authorized and instructed to use all proper means
to 
secure the complete abrogation of the eleventh and sixteenth articles of
the treaty 
of 1868. The first, namely, the abrogation of the eleventh article, has been
broached 
for th first time by this commission. and, as we believe, successfully. The
latter it 
was d ermed inexpedient to attempt. The same obligations in this regard were
imposed 
by disinct instructions upon a former commission, but it was not deemed prudent
by 
them to present either proposition to the Indians. 
The sixteenth article of the treaty, (which gives the Indians undisputed
possession of 
all the unceded territory north of North Platte River, and as far as the
eastern side of 
the Bi Horn Mountains,) it appears to me, should be abrogated at the earliest
possible 
period It is imperative that this extraordinary portion of the treaty, of
so little real 
value  o the Indians, and so opposed to the interests of white settlers,
should be 
promp ly disposed of, either by inducing the Indians, in consideration of
suitable com- 
pensat on, to relinquish their rights in this connection, or, in the event
of their refusal, 
by abr :gating at once its obstructive provisions. 
The 'ruth is, this territory is of little advantage to the Indian, while
the removal of 
the re trictions would prepare the way for the settlement of our own citizens.
Besides, 
the Inaian should be kept within limited bounds, and, as far as consistent
with his 
comibir and necessities, his nomadic life abridged. Depredations will never
cease, 
the sa -age will never be controlled until he is either induced or compelled
to give up 
his migratory habits and confine himself to the boundaries designated and
furnished 
by the Government. The Indian himself will thus be materially benefited.
A better 
prospe t will be presented for his ultimate civilization and incorporation
into the 
citizen population of the Territory. Certainly, in the light of impending
influences 
soon to be extended over this wild domain, the ideality and characteristics
of the 
savage tribes cannot be much longer maintained. 
It is due the cause of progress, the Government, and the Indians themselves,
that 
this i portant question should be settled as speedily as possible. The glowing
reports 
of Gen ral Custer (whether true or false) have aroused the frontier, and
scores of organ- 
izations, more or less extended, are preparing to visit the Black Hills in
the coming 
spring. Already small parties have ventured into the forbidden region, and
bloodshed 
has been the result. The tide of emigration cannot be restrained. The exodus
will 
;be effeeted. It may cost blood, but the ultimate occupation of this unceded
territor.y 
by the white settler is inevitable. A recent scientific report, confirming
Custer's 
explorations, has revived much of the ardor and curiosity that had begun
to subside 
under adverse statements. Nothing will now satisfy the people of the frontier
but an 
inspection of the prohibited land, and this will be effected at all hazards.
Besides, this 
u-neede I territory embraces the most productive part of Wyoming Territory,
in an agri- 
cultur 1 view and on account of the coal and other minerals it contains.
It is a great 
wrong to the citizens of this Territory that its domain should not be settled
by a 
white anterprising population. Remove the ban which nowprecludes the location
of 
the -whte emigrant, and thousands will flock to this region, and thus add
greatly to 
the pr sperity of an important region. 
These, crude thoughts, thus hastily penned, may not be concurred in by my
colleagues, 
but all will admit that some method should be adopted by which the vexed
question 
3nay be settled beyond the possibility of further disturbance. 
CHRIS. C. COX, 
Special Indian Commissioaer. 
APPENDIX B. 
Nuw YORK, November 10, 1874. 
ToRev W. H. HARE, S.T.D., Chairman of the Sioux Commission. 
Bisu P: In accordance with your instructions, I have the honor to report
the result 
of our econnaissance of the Sioux country in search of a suitable location
for Spotted 
Tail a, uncy, and to give some description of the country through which we
passed, 
also to report the result of our negotiations with the Brul and Ogallalla
Indians in 
referen e to the surrender of the right to hunt on the Republican River.
It se reed to be the wish of the Department at Washington, as indicated in
our letter 
of inst uctions of May 4, that we should find some place as near the Missouri
River 
as poss ble, and so to enable them to meet the expense of removal by saving
in the cost 
of transportation of freight. We started out on the 5th of August, escorted
by two 
compa les of the Third Cavalry, under the command respectively of Captain
Meinholdt; 
and Li  utenant Crawford, the number of men being 104, and the expedition
under the 
command of Captain Mienholdt,  an old and experienced officer. We were acconipanied
by Maj r Howard, United States Indian agent at Spotted Tail agency, and by
several 


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