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

[Dakota],   pp. 238-259 PDF (10.7 MB)


Page 255

REPORT     OF  THE    COMMISSIONER       OF   INDIAN    AFFAIRS.     255
ecessor, J. W. Daniels, relative to the enrollment of certain men and their
ownership 
property and improvements on homesteads which they had accumulated, under
the provision 
of the treaty of 1867, as working Indians. 
This marauding party, led on by a few leading men and half-breeds, proceeded
to seize 
oxen, wagons, plows, cows, &c., from their lawful and rightful owners,
and reported the 
same to me, threatening, in the mean time, that if successful in this movement,
they would 
banish not only the owners of said property but others, also, against whom
they entertained 
personal animosity. Whereupon I ordered at once-]. The return of the wrested
prop- 
erty, as reported to me, to the proper owner. 2 The delivery to me of two
of the ringleaders 
of the said marauding party for proper punishmttnt. 3. I ordered that all
those who partici- 
pated in that disorderly and revolutionary conduct should be deprived of
certain rights and 
privileges, which they would otherwise have received at the agency, for the
space of two 
months. 
I am happy to be able to report the best of results from the timely measures
adopted and 
discipline exercised in the premises. At peace, now, with one another, friendly
and kindly 
disposed toward the white people, these working Indians and half-breeds are
working with 
very commendable industry and discretion, and with cheerful and hopeful state
of mind. 
The official position and acts of your agent are respected, and there is
manifestly a more 
hearty co-operation of this whole people in all the means and measures adopted
by the 
United States Government for their real advancement and substantial improvement.
AGRICULTURE AND STOCK-GROWING. 
Our plan here, is to locate favorably as to prairie-timber, water, &c.,
the head of each 
family on 160 acres, as a homestead, under the fifth article of the treaty
of 1867, and to en- 
courage and aid all who thus locate in good faith and engage in breaking
the land, culti- 
vating and harvesting the crops, building fences, houses, and barns, and
such like permanent 
improvements. Each farmer-Indian enrolled on the working-list is supplied,
so far as is 
deemed advisable and the means will justify, with a yoke of work-oxen, wagon,
plow, chains, 
scythes, axes, and hoes, with instruction in their use and proper care, with
special reference 
to their becoming self-sustaining at an early day. 
The results of this plan and our labors among this people.have, in most cases,
been very 
gratifying indeed. A few men only have abused their privileges and the means
placed in 
their hands. Two have killed their oxen, cows, and calves, and left, irregularly,
for other 
parts, and when last heard from they were at Devil's Lake, begging enrollment
and a new 
outfit at that agency. 
A much larger amount of land was planted on this reservation this season
than ever be- 
fore, and the prospect for good crops was very fine during the early part
of the season, but 
the grasshoppers have destroyed, to a fearful extent, the best of the fields
and gardens. In 
some localities the destruction of the crops is total, which fact has much
to do with al 
increased demand already upon us for substantial supplies to carry this people
through this 
fiscal year, and, in the mean time, supply them with seed for the next planting
season. 
AREA PLANTED. 
There were 840 acres planted by Indians on this reservation this year, being
an increase 
of 340 acres over the amount planted the previous year. Of this there were
planted to wheat, 
206 acres; oats, 35 acres ; corn, 360 acres ; potatoes, 140 acres ; turnips,
37 acres; beans, 
16 acres; vegetables, 46 acres. Some of the Indians have not yet finished
stacking their 
hay. It is estimated that they will have cut and stacked this season, 3,000
tons of hay. 
We have about 100 tons of hay cut and stacked at the agency for our own use.
We succeeded in breaking some 40 acres of new ground at the manual-labor
boarding- 
school site, also in putting in a good stone basement for a small barn for
the Government 
use of that institution. Repairs and improvements have been made on the dwellings
and out- 
houses at the agency. We have sawed for the Indians, at the agency-mill,
141,441 feet ot 
lumber, they drawing in the logs and taking home the lumber for building
and fencing 
purposes. 
SCHOOLS. 
Besides the manual-labor boarding-school, at or near the agency, we have
four day- 
schools, taught in as many settlements or school districts. The school at
Ascension, taught 
by Mrs. Mary B. Renville, is an industrial school and successful, chiefly
from the faithful 
and persevering labors of the teacher, who, through her husband, Rev. John
B. Ren- 
ville, the pastor of the church in that district, reaches the homes and tho
hearts of the par- 
ents of these pupils in her school, relative to the order, discipline, and
aim of the school. 
Christian parents appreciate such labors in behalf of their children. The
school in district 
No. 1, taught by D. T. Wheaton, is not without some cheering evidence of
faithful service 
and of real progress in the acquisition of the English language, and mental
and moral ira. 
provement; but the almost total absence of tune, order, restraint, discipline,
or parental 
authority in the homes of the pupils there, render it difficult to secure
prompt and constatt 
attendance, and that advancement which such faithful and skillful tuition
and training!lcad 
us to desire and reatonably to expect. The school taught at Long Hollow last
fall and 


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