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

[Colorado],   pp. 271-276 PDF (3.0 MB)


Page 274

274     REPORT    OF   THE   COMMISSIONER       OF INDIAN     AFFAIRS. 
No very great steps toward the establishment of the Utes in agricultural
pursuits can be 
made till the agency can be placed where they will remain the year round;
nor till then can 
there be the greatest success in teaching them the trades and the common
branches of 
schooling. The removal to Gunnison River, however, will be some advance in
that direc- 
tion. I have been instructed to employ the Indians, and issue rations in
proportion to their 
work. By the treaties, they consider that they have already paid for the
provisions and 
clothing which are issued, in lands which have been ceded. Still, at the
Gunnison River, we 
might begin by putting in a crop, dividing the land into little patches,
and urging the In- 
dians to take care of them, accepting produce for their compensation ; and
it is possible we 
might get them to sow their gardens also. They might do so the second year
if not the first. 
It is hardly a kindness to the race to feed them for a series of years and
then discontinue, if 
they are not in the mean time taught how to take care of themselves. 
The cattle number 811, including six working-cattle, 175 calves, and 232
yearlings. I 
have aheady recommended the purchase of some sheep to supply the place of
a flock which 
unfortunately consisted mostly of wethers, and which were killed for the
Indians about a 
year since. It is probable that many Indians would herd sheep who are not
inclined to 
herd cattle, and it would be well to raise these against the time of their
demand for theta. 
I am runnirg the saw-mill for a few days to cut a little lumber for our own
use. 
Up to the 31st of August there was no school, the Indian camp being about
six miles from 
the agency. Two or three children only came under the influence of the teacher
from time 
to time. Since that time, however, several lodges have been moved near to
us, and eight 
or ten have come with considerable regularity, and there is good hope of
a small boarding- 
school during the winter. The school of last winter is evidently looked upon
as a failure, 
and we have therefore much prejudice to overcome. Even the more intelligent
chiefs say, 
"School good for white man, no good for Indian." 
The mode of issuing beef now practiced is barbarous. The poor steers are
let out of the 
corral for the Indians on horseback to hunt them down, and they often chase
them, fright- 
ened and wounded, for miles, and are in no haste to put them out of misery.
It is not cer- 
tain that the Indians would readily give up the sport; but it would teach
them humanity, 
and be a mercy to the beasts, if the Government would provide butchers. 
During the month of August the agency was visited by four surveying parties,
three be- 
longing to Professor Hayden's expedition and one to Lieutenant Wheeler's.
Last year, when there was a special opportunity of a count, during the council
for making 
a treaty, the whole number of Indians belonging to this agency was reported
2,663. It is 
said that they have increased about 100. 
Many of the Utes have been granted permission to go to the plains to hunt
buffaloes. 
They will return here in the spring. One Ute, with four sons, cultivated
about one acre 
with spades and hoes. in Uncompagre Valley, very successfully this season,
raising corn and 
melons and bringing samples to the agency. Nine or ten Wemimuches are reported
to have 
met with like success on the Los Animas. Their example will probably be followed.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
Ht. F. BOND, 
United States Indian Agent. 
Hon. E. P SMITH, 
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Jfashington, D. C. 
WHITE RIVER, COLO., September 10, 1874. 
SIR: Agreeable to the instructions of the Indian Department, I have the honor
to submit 
the following as the annual report of the White River agency, for the year
ending August 
31, 1874: 
Upon receiving my instructions at Washington, I proceeded at once to White
River and 
took charge of the agency July 1. I can report that since that time, and
during the pre- 
vious portion of the year, the Indians have been very orderly and well behaved,
preserving 
the most friendly disposition, so far as I can learn, toward the whites.
Nothing unpleasant 
grew out of the affair at Pine Grove Meadows, reported by Agent J. S. Littlefield
in his last 
annual report. There have been no serious disturbances of any kind within
the limi s of 
the reservation, and no acts of violence committed either by the Indians
or by the whites 
upon each other within this portion of the reservation or near its boundary.
About the 
middle of June last, however, Chief Jack, during a friendly visit to Rawlins,
was assaulted 
by two desperate and cowardly characters, and badly cut and bruised. While
Jack will 
probably embrace the first opportunity to avenge this assault upon the individuals
who com- 
mitted it, I do not think that he or any of the Indians harbor any ill-will
against the whites 
on account of it. 
Soon after my arrival here, in July, the Indians requested to have a "talk"
with me 
about a proposed wagon-road which is to pass down the Bear River Valley,
which valley 
they claim as their country. I listened to their remonstrance against the
opening of such 
a road, and at their request wrote to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs
in regard to the 


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