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

[Nevada],   pp. 278-284 PDF (3.7 MB)


Page 283

REPORT     OF   THE   COMMISSIONER       OF   INDIAN    AFFAIRS.     283
The Indians gathered on the reservation a year ago have all remained, and
their number 
largely increased at different times, especially during the winter and the
season of harvest. 
Fully five hundred Indians, in addition to those now on the reservation,
would have been 
permanently located there ere this, if they had been encouraged to come,
or to have re- 
mained after coming; but the lack of supplies, with the presence of settlers
who still 
occupy different portions of the Moapa Valley, were too serious hinderances.
In the visit of Special Commissi(ners Powell and Ingalls to the different
bands of Pai- 
Utes, one year since, they were informed that a crop would be put in on the
reservation suffi- 
cient for those then there, and for all those Indians who would go there
the following spring 
and remain, the Indians on the reservation meanwhile to care for the growing
crop, irri- 
gating the same, and protecting it from the cattle of the settlers. The failure
of the agent to 
secure the necessary funds and supplies to carry out the recommendations
and instructions 
of the Department, permitted him to do but little for those Indians off of
the reservation. 
It was intended to have had the various tribes or bands scattered throughout
Southern 
Utah and Southeast Nevada cultivate as much land as possible where they lived,
and for 
this purpose they were furnished shovels, hoes, and axes, and promised seeds
and supplies 
of food in the spring following, which promise could not be fulfilled. It
is very desirable 
these Indians should receive this assistance next spring, as it will do much
in securing their 
support, and they will need less aid from the Government, and be better prepared
to farm 
on the reservation when they go there. 
The Indians properly belonging to this agency do not have the opportunity
to labor for 
white settlers in farming and mining as the Shoshones and Utes, as there
are no mines re- 
quiring their services; and but little farming-land, save in Utah, and there
the people are 
too poor, or too numerous, to need their labor. If proper aid is rendered
these Indians, and 
the Pai-Ute reservation secured to them without the presence of the settlers,
they can all be 
made self-sustaining in three years, at the furthest. 
The school started one year ago was continued until late in the spring, but
was then dis- 
continued for want of funds. Nearly all the children who attended the school
learned to 
read in a primer or first reader, and to understand what they read. This
success is remark- 
able, considering the limited supply of books and other aids they possessed,
and is evidence 
of the faithful services of their teacher, Mr. J. Macgarigle. 
No serious trouble has occurred during the past year between the Indians
and whites, nor 
between the different bands of Indians. 
There has been much less sickness and but few deaths; and very much has been
done in 
removing their superstitious views regarding their medicine-men and care
of their sick. 
The supplies furnished the Indians on the reservation have been distributed
to them only 
as a reward for labor. Those who have been engaged in plowing or ditching,
or other 
extra hard labor, were paid 50 cents a day in money, besides daily rations.
The effect of 
this has been to stimulate the Indians to work more steadily, and has enabled
many of 
them to purchase better clothing and horses, which they are very desirous
to possess. 
Many of the Indians have asked to have housees to live in, and for purpose
of storage of 
their grain. These houses can be built of adobe, and, by utilizing the Indian
labor, at very' 
small expense, and would do much in civilizing them. I believe the chiefs
or captains 
should all receive a small salary and be requested to give special attention
in seeing that 
all their people work, as directed by the agent and farmer. 
There is a large amount of grazing-land upon the reservation well adapted
for sheep and 
cattle, and I would recommend the Department to authorize the agent to give
as a reward, 
to those Indians who worked steadily, sheep or cattle. In a short time the
Indians would 
have all the beef needed for their own use, and could raise wool enough to
furnish them- 
selves with clothing and blankets, as the wool could be exchanged at the
Mormon mills in 
Utah for cloth and blankets, on reasonable terms. 
The entire amount of land under cultivation the past year has been 370 acres.
A good 
portion of this land was plowed and prepared by the Indians, who afterward
attended to the 
irrigation of the crops. The settlers were employed to plow and prepare the
remainder of 
the land for the Indians, because there was not teams or plows enough belonging
to the 
agency to d : this work. Of the 370 acres cultivated, 270 acres were planted
in wheat, 5 acres in 
barley, 40 acres in corn, IS acres in grass, 10 acres in melons, 12 acres
in squashes, 15 acres 
in beans. The crop of wheat would have been fully one-third larger if more
white employds 
had been secured in working with the Indians, showing them how to repair
and keep open 
the irrigating-ditches. As it was, this crop averaged fully 20 bushels to
the acre, and, val- 
ued at fair ruling prices in this section, it amounts to over $16,000, and
the value of all the 
crops to over $25,000. 
The success attending the farming operations is remarkable, in view of the
fact that two 
years since most of these Indians were living almost entirely upon the seeds
of wild grass, 
rabbits, mice, lizards, and begging from whites when visiting their settlements.
By many who have traveled among them, these Indians have been considered
as low in 
the scale of civilization as the Diggers of California, and yet they have
demonstrated their 
desire and ability to rise above their condition and to take their place
alongside of others 
of their race who have adopted the white man's better mode of life and have
become indes 


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