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

[Minnesota],   pp. 195-198 PDF (1.9 MB)


Page 196

196 REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
yet moved here to any extent. I have visited them at Pembina, and have every
reason to 
believe that the greater part of both bands will come down at the time of
payment and re- 
main. 
Up to this date I have not been able to get the schools started; but have
made arrange- 
ments to have them commence early in September, when I will open three. 
The religious supervision is that of the Episcopal Church. They have a fine
church 
build.ing, with English-speaking pastor and native rector, and over two hundred
members. 
They have also, in connection with their mission, the Bishop Whipple Hospital,
which is 
now complete, and promises to be of great benefit to the Indians. 
During the month of August I was visited by four chiefs of the White Oak
Point Indians, 
who are under the supervision of the agent at Leech Lake. They were much
pleased with 
this reservation, and expressed a desire to be located here. I would recommend
an appro- 
priation of $25,000 to help them here and assist them after their removal.
Having only been here two months, I cannot say what has been the progress
or what im- 
provements have been made during the year; but my judgment is that the Indians
on this 
reservation are steadily progressing, and their civilization only a question
of time. They 
take great interest in the education of their children; many of them are
regular attendants 
at the church service, and all with whom I come in contact seem to recognize
the fact that 
to live they must work. 
I think an appropriation of $15,000 for the purpose of buying for them wagons,
oxen, and 
agricultural implements generally, and furnishing them with provisions while
improving 
their land, could be expended with advantage. 
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
LEWIS STOWE, 
United States Indian Agent. 
Hon. E. P. SMITH, 
Commissioner Indian Affairs, Washington, D. C. 
LEECH LAKE, September 12, 1874. 
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the agency under
my charge, 
consisting uf the Pillager and Lake Winnebagoshish bands of Chippewas and
Chippewas 
of the Mississippi at White Oak Point: 
My commission bears date April 8,1874. Immediately on receiving notice of
my appoint- 
ment I proceeded to the agency under my charge, arriving there April 30,
1 found the 
employds carrying on the spring woik under great disadvantage, for the want
of suitable 
implements and supplies. The steamboat used for ferrying teams and tools
to different 
points around the lake was nearly useless, the hull being in a very badly
decayed and 
leaky condition. It has, however, been used thus far during the season, but
at a great ex- 
penditure of time and labor. It will not be possible to keep her afloat another
season. 
No requisitions for supplies for the blacksmith, carpenter, or farming purposes
having 
been filled since October last, I found them in their several departments
badly situated for 
want of materials. All, however, were earnest in accomplishing what they
could for the 
welfare of the Indians. 
Not receiving any funds from my predecessor in office, and being unable to
obtain any 
knowledge of funds applicable, only such purchases were made as were indispensable.
I found the Indians on my arrival in a very excited state in regard to the
sale of their 
pine. Their ideas of the matter were very vague, the chief one being that
they were grossly 
insulted and defrauded. This idea was largely owing to outside influences
brought to bear 
upon them through their ignorance of business matters. They are at present
quiet and 
orderly, and seem to be inclined to listen to advice for their best interests.
In referring to my statistical report you will observe that a very small
proportion of this 
reservation is classed as tillable  This is in scattered parcels, requiring
the use of the 
-steamboat, at a great expense of time and money, to reach and plow it for
the Indians. Even 
if there should be a chance for colonization, there will be for a number
of years many families 
around the lake who will prefer to remain here and cultivate their gardens.
I would recom- 
mend that there should be oxen issued at the principal points around the
lake to be under 
the supervision of the agent, that they should do the plowing in the spring,
and that the 
funds applicable to farming purposes be expended in that way. The failure
of civilization 
under the present existing tribal relations is too evident to need comment.
The only hope 
of civilization is in individualization and voluntary colonization. There
are some twenty- 
five families who are ready and anxious to colonize, if they can have assurance
of assistance 
aid protection. This would open the way for the permanent improvement of
the Indians 
under my charge. There should be some place set apart for this purpose where
schools and 
churches could be successfully introduced. 
I would respectfully refer you to the annual report of my predecessor, E.
Douglass, con- 
tained in the annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs for 1873,
page 180, under 
the head of "Leech Lake." I would fully indorse his 'recommendation
in regard to the 
setting apart of that portion of the public domain for the purpose of colonization
of such 
as may wish to remove there for agricultural purposes. 


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