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

[Indian Territory],   pp. 218-238 PDF (10.2 MB)

Page 236

I have observed with great pleasure that some effort has been made in Congress
to create 
a judicial district in the Indian Territory, and to organize a territorial
form of government. 
This I hail as an evidence that the Government is becoming aware of the importance
of hav- 
ing law and order established in the Indian Territory, as elsewhere. As it
is now, and 
as it has always been, the laws, as administered, referred to in the intercourse-law
regulating trade and intercourse with Indians, amount to simply nothing.
In the last 
three or four years there has been apprehended, on this reservation, 46 persons,
not one of 
whom have received the punishment merited. A few convictions, passed over
by a merely 
nominal fine, has been about the total result of our efforts. This state
of affairs tends to 
make horse-thieves, whisky-peddlers, buffalo-hunters, and law-breakers generally
bold and 
defiant, as was the case a short time since when I was threatened with mob-law
by a promi- 
nent paper in Southern Kansas, for having a party of buffalo-hunters removed
from the 
reservation in order to keep the peace between whites and Indians. 
The lack of power to administer the law-to remove improper characters from
this reserva- 
tion, to break up the various bands of dissolute white men, horse and cattle
thieves known 
to'be operating in our vicinity-is the prime cause that may be assigned for
the serious out- 
break among the Cheyennes on this reservation. As elsewhere stated, the Cheyennes
Arapahoes were assured by the President, on their recent visit to Washington,
that improper 
white men and buffalo-hunters should be kept from their country at all hazards,
and they 
very naturally expected that some effort would be made to keep that promise
; but they 
have looked in vain, and the Cheyennes, being the most restless of the two
tribes, grew 
tired, and endeavored to avenge their own wrongs. The result of such a proceeding
have but one ending, and that was to bring them into conflict with the General
and as they regard neither friend nor foe in times of war, many innocent
whites in the Ter- 
ritory and on the border have fallen victims to their barbarous cruelty,
and it was necessary 
that the power of the Government should be employed in the suppression of
their hostile 
movements, and in the infliction of a proper punishment upon those who were
leaders in the 
When once completely brought to a realizing sense of their own weakness and
folly, and 
of the willingness of the Government to do a good part by all who will conduct
properly and try to help themselves, then I shall expect a golden opportunity
for diffusing 
among them Christian civilization. Their children must be placed in school,
and able-bodied 
males must be employed in some useful labor. 
In reviewing the events of the past year, I find much for which we have cause
to be thank- 
ful. We have received a serious check, no doubt, but one that would have
to come sooner 
or later. I have been aware of that for some time past, and it was necessary,
in the grand 
order of events, that the small handful of willful children, comprising the
Cheyenne and a few 
other tribes, should be made to feel the power of the Government ; to know
and realize that 
the law against molesting the life and property of another was as applicable
to the red man 
as to the white man, and as soon as this wholesome truth makes itself apparent
to all these 
wards of the Government, the germ of civilization is planted, and the door
to future useful- 
ness opened. 
I cannot conclude this report without making mention of one or two very important
which we may reasonably conclude is but the beginning of the fruits of the
vigorous and 
severe chastisement of the hostile elements by the United States troops.
To-day twelve 
Cheyenne braves, headed by two Crows, came into the agency, and surrendered
and their arms as prisoners of war; also at this agency the notorious Satanta
and Big Tree, 
together with Women's Heart and Poor Buffalo, Kiowa chiefs, with 145 of their
" tired of war," they lay down their arms, and surrender themselves
as prisoners of war. They 
claim (and no doubt but it is true, so far as their own feelings are concerned)
that the recol- 
lections of Fort Sill are not pleasant to them. In the adjudication of the
affairs with the 
hostile Indians at this agency, I desire to express my gratitude in being
associated with so 
thoroughly competent and judicious an officer as I have found in the person
of General T. 
H. Neill, of the Sixth Cavalry, who is in command of the troops at this agency.
I desire to gratefully acknowledge the many evidences of support and assistance
during the past year from thyself and other superior officers of the Department.
United 'tates Indian Agent. 
Ninthmonth 1, 1874. 
Superintendent Indian Affairs, Lawrence, Kans. 
In compliance with instructions from the Indian Department, I hereby submit
my fifth 
annual report. 
The number of Indians belorging to this agency varies but little from my
former report, 

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