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

[Nebraska],   pp. 199-211 PDF (6.1 MB)

Page 210

seeds were last spring purchased in sufficient quantities to supply their
wants, if planted 
and properly cultivated. It has been the custom heretofore to give them their
seed. This 
year, however, they received their wheat and oats seed with the understanding
that they 
would return an equal amount of each when their crops were thrashed. The
Indians have 
also received pay for all work they did, whether for themselves or others.
I have endeav- 
ored to teach those who have been helped heretofore to help themselves until
others who 
were less fortunate could be brought on an equal footing with them. I think
it very im- 
portant that this reservation should be well supplied with cows, for the
purpose of raising 
stock, and that the Indians be instructed in that direction. There is no
crop that could be 
made more profitable, nor contribute more to the support of the tribe, than
the grass-crop, 
always sure and in abundance, and yet it is all, or nearly all, allowed to
waste and be con- 
sumed by fire annually. Hundreds of cattle could be raised here each year,
after once the 
start was made, with no other cost than the employment of a little undeveloped
which could not be put to a better use. 
The grist-mill at this agency is now undergoing repairs. The capacity of
the mill has 
,been insufficient to supply the tribe with meal and flour, and the decayed
condition of the 
foundation made it unsafe for storing the grain raised upon the Department
farm. It is the 
intention to supply the mill with a new engine and boiler, and another set
of burrs for 
grinding corn and teed for the urgent wants of the tribe. The old engine
and an excellent 
saw-mill, which have been useless for some years, being so far from timber,
will be removed 
to a large tract of timber recently purchased of the Omahas for the Wisconsin
The annual election of chiefs, which occurs upon the last Tuesday in the
third month, 
(March,) resulted in the election of eleven new ones, only one of the old
chiefs being 
re-elected. The influence of the new chiefs has been against the advancement
of the tribe. 
The greater portion of them are strongly in favor of the medicine-dance,
and take little 
interest in the welfare of the schools. An efficient corps of police, consisting
of twelve 
men, chosen by the chiefs, are always on hand, whose duty it is to arrest
depredators and 
maintain good order in the tribe. 
Two day-schools were in operation at the commencement of my administration,
by Caroline Thomas and Lucy A. Lamb. A building for a third one was erected
and partly 
finished, which was completed, and a school opened therein the first of the
present year, 
,with Mary E. Bradley as teacher. The three schools were well attended until
the new chiefs 
used their influence against attendance, and by the close of the term it
was very difficult, 
and almost impossible, to get the children to the school-house. 
TheTe has been no religious service held at the agency since I have been
here, except the 
Sabbath-school, which is held regularly each week in one of the school-houses
most centrally 
located, and is tolerably well attended by the male portion of the tribe;
but few of the 
women or children attend. The exercise consists in singing and reading from
the Testament. 
All of the Indians who can read join in the exercise, after which the lesson
is read to them 
in their own language. 
I very much regret the necessity of reducing the salaries of employds at
this agency. It 
will have a tendency to retard the progress of our work-civilizing and christianizing
Indians-and I fear drive from the service good and efficient laborers in
the cause. I would 
earnestly suggest that such legislation be had at an early day as will secure.
a reasonable 
,compensation for good and efficient employds at this agency. The reduced
rates bring 
their salaries (counting the cost of obtaining a living here) below the price
of common labor 
in civilized society. 
The health of the tribe during the past year has been comparatively good,
although the 
measles prevailed to a considerable extent during the past winter, and proved
fatal to the 
children in many cases. This is almost certain to happen when coming upon
them at that 
season of the year, owing to their peculiar treatment of the disease. We
see and feel the 
great need of a hospital where the old, infirm, and blind can have a comfortable
home and 
be properly cared for, and where cases of a malignant character can be taken
and properly 
treated by the physician. It is almost hopeless when a serious case of sickness
occurs and. 

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