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

[Dakota],   pp. 238-259 PDF (10.7 MB)

Page 257

each summer, when Rev. S. R. Riggs, the venerable missionary of the American
Board of 
Commissioners for Foreign Missions, has kindly and very acceptably officiated
as our chaplain 
and pastor. 
I am happy to testify to the general consistency of the members of the church
here ; their 
devotion to their religious services, and their self-denials and liberal
support of the means 
of grace, which they have voluntarily assumed; also to the fidelity and devotion
of the 
native pastors to the work of their calling, and their uniform fidelity to
the United States 
Government in relation to the education and material advancement of this
I have here to report the Christian liberality of the Central Presbyterian
Church Sunday- 
school in Saint Paul, in the donation of $25 to supply the children and youth
at this agency 
with a Sunday-school library, much needed and greatly desired. Such tokens
of interest in 
our work here, by the true friends of Christian civilization at home, give
us renewed reasons 
to thank God and work on among this people. 
For the first six months of the past year the general health was good, and
but few deaths 
occurred among our people, for which devout gratitude is due to a kind and
indulgent Provi- 
dence. Latterly there has been much sickness and frequent deaths, chiefly
from whooping- 
cough, epidemic catarrh, and summer-complaints among the children. The annual
report of 
our physician and surgeon, Dr. G. H. Hawes, a copy of which is herewith transmitted,
show more fully the sanitary condition of this people, the prevailing diseases
and our neces- 
sities in this department of our labors, especially the great want of some
suitable hospital- 
accommodations for patients requiring special treatment and care, such as
their own homes, 
are altogether inadequate [to furnish.] 
The death of Wasuiciyapci, "Sweet Corn," a Sisseton Sioux chief,
on the 16th day of Au 
gust, Ji74, enrolled at this agency, and resident for years past on the shore
of Lake Trav- 
erse, although sudden, was not altogether unexpected. He had for years been
afflicted with 
a bone-fever sore, which finally terminated in gangrene and death. He was
[not] one of the 
original signers of the treaty of 1867; still, he acquiesced, and himself
co-operated in its de- 
velopment up to the day of his death. Application was made to me recently
for aid from 
the United States Government by a delegation of three men from beyond the
Big Sioux River, 
representing some sixty lodges or heads of families, stating that during
the war of 1862 they 
were loyal to the United States Government, and held themselves entirely
aloof from the 
Sioux war-parties engaged in that horrible massacre; and that, as before
that time, they 
have always since then been friendly to the whites, planted corn, and occupied
the same 
grounds from year to year until now, when there is no more game in that region,
and the 
white settlers are crowding in upon them, so that they are constrained to
turn their attention 
to cultivating the soil for a livelihood. I have to commend these Indians
to the kind and 
fostering care of the United States Government, and recommend their early
and permanent 
settlement on some plan looking to their civilization. 
I have to report the insufficiency of the warehouse and office at the agency
for the in- 
creased stores required and work involved. I would, therefore, recommend
the erection of 
a suitable warehouse and office, as essential to the security of the supplies
required here, and 
greater efficiency as well as convenience in the prosecution of the agency
In accordance with instructions received, D. T. Wheaton has been employed
to survey 
and define the claims of the Indians located on farms or homesteads on this
reservation since 
the Ist of July, with very gratifying results. Many claims had been taken
and held with- 
out regard to the metes and bounds, limiting to 160 acres to each claimant.
All sorts of dif- 
ficulties had grown out of local contentions about timber, land, &c.
Now that we shall be 
able to describe each man's land and give him a certificate of settlement,
and protect him in 
his rights to hold and improve that particular land, we shall look for peace
and harmony 
one with another, and more earnest endeavors of this people to comply with
the terms of the 
treaty of 1867, on Which titles are to be secured to such homesteads taken
and improved. 
I have to recommend that Congress so amend the terms of said treaty, as that,
instead of 
50 acres, only 10 acres. and consecutive occupancy for five years, be the
conditions on which 
each bona-fide settler shall receive a patent from the United States Government
for 160 acres 
of land. 
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
United States Indian Agent. 
Hon. E. P. SMITH, 
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Washington, D. C. 
YANCTON AGENCY, DAk., September 17, 1874. 
SIR: In compliance with the regulations of the Indian Department, I have
the honor to 
submit this my third annual report as Indian agent for the Yancton Sioux
The record of the Indians under my charge during the past year is, as usual,
good, as fax 
17 END 

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