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)
210 REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 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 muscle, which could not be put to a better use. MANUFACTORIES. 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 Winnebagoes. ELECTIONS. 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. EDUCATION. Two day-schools were in operation at the commencement of my administration, taught 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. MISSIONARY. 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. FINANCES. 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 the 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. SANITARY. 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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