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

[Idaho],   pp. 284-286 PDF (1.4 MB)

Page 285

leave, yet as they seem to know nothing only what evil-minded or interested
men tell them, 
and as they can always get men, even men of standing sometimes, to sympathize
with them in 
their fears, they are easily and successfully persuaded to stay where they
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
United States Indian Agent. 
Hon. E. P. SMITH, 
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, JVashington, D. C. 
Lapwai, Idaho Territory, September 7, 1874. 
SIR: In compliance with the requirements of the Department, I would respectfully
the following as my annual report of affairs connected with this agency for
the year ending 
August 31, 1874. 
During the year many of the wilder portion of the tribe have tried to induce
some of the 
young men who have commenced living a more civilized life, by tutning their
attention to 
agricultural pursuits, to leave the same, and go with them to the buffalo-
country, and were 
in a few cases successful. When I found out the influence being brought to
bear upon such 
members of the tribe was in a measure a success, I gave notice to the effect
that all Indians 
abandoning their farms and going to the buffalo-country would, by so doing,
forfeit their 
right to their farms so abandoned, and upon their return, if they found said
farm occupied 
by another Indian,. the one in possession would be protected and should hold
the same. 
This notice, together with the influence exerted by Lawyer, head-chief, and
the two sub-chiefs, 
kept many from leaving their farms and going to the buffalo-country. Not
until the wilder 
portion of the tribe are compelled to remain, either in the buffalo-country
or at home, will the 
trouble from this source abate. If severe measures were but once adopted
and they compelled 
to remain at home one season, I think the worst would be over. The treaty
Indians begged 
me to force the Indians in question to remain at home this year, saying if
they were allowed 
to go they would return next year worse than ever; and, in my opinion, so
long as these 
Indians are allowed to exercise their will and pleasure, by going when and
whele their fancy 
leads them, so much the more are they becoming ungovernable. 
Joseph and his band have been in the Wallowa Valley for a month or more.
The soldiers 
stationed there have kept said Indians from committing any depredations.
In making my estimate of wheat raist-d last year I made the same much below
the actual 
amount. Eight thousand b'ushels was my estimate. At the Kamiah mill we ground
for the 
Indians 7,436 bushels of wheat, and at Lapwai mill 6,730 bushels of wheat;
total, 14,166 
bushels of wheat. In addition to the above, we have ground about 1,%00 bushels
for the 
Spokan and Cceur d'Aldne Indians. The Indians (Nez Perces) sold a considerable
of wheat in addition to that which was ground. The crops this season at Kamiah
and cer- 
tain other portions of the reserve were very good, but on the Lapwai and
Clear Water, 
owing to the ravages of the crickets and extreme drought, the crops are a
complete failure. 
At Kamiah about one-third more land was cultivated this year than last, and
as near as I 
can estimate they will have from 10,000 to 12,000 bushels of wheat to grind
at their mill 
during the coming year. 
The Indians at Kamiah, being more isolated and more free from the influences
of bad and 
unprincipled white men, are making more rapid progress -in agricultural pursuits
and civil- 
ized life than those living on the Lapwai. We are so near Lewiston that when
an Indian 
wants money or provisions he has but to catch a horse, take the same to Lewiston,
and sell 
it for ten or fifteen dollars, and buy what he wants instead of working for
In addition to their farm-duties, the Indians on the Lapwai have cut 350
cords of wood 
for the contractor, who furnishes the same at Fort Lapwai, and received $1
per cord in coin 
for cutting the same. The Indians at Kamiah have cut about 300 saw-logs.
For particu- 
lars as to farming population, wealth, &c., of the tribe, see statistical
During the year ten houses have been built for the Indians. The window.sashes,
glass, doors, casings, &c., were all furnished from the carpenter- shops,
and the carpenter 
assisting in building the houses. Three or four will be added to the above
number this fall 
For particulars see report of superintendent of instruction herewith. 
I have used my best endeavors since I came here to persuade some of the Indians
to learn 
trades, but to no effect. I have had three young men in the blacksmith-shop.
They would 
stay until they had learned so much that they could handle the tools with
some prospect of 
amounting to somethisig, when, influenced by Indians who consider to work
or learn a trade 
a degradation, and seeing others going off to the root-ground or fishing-resorts,
they would 

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