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

[Arizona],   pp. 286-300 PDF (7.4 MB)


Page 287

REPORT     OF   THE   COMMISSIONER       OF   INDIAN    AFFAIRS.      287
cost the Government at least $3,000. After this was done the Indians got
ready to com- 
mence planting on their original planting-grounds, when I was informed by
the command- 
ing officer of this post that orders from General Crook, commanding department,
were that 
the Indians of this agency must remain in close proximity to the post, and
would not be al- 
lowed to plant only at such places as the military directed. This sudden
and unexpected move 
on the part of the military placed the agent in rather a precarious situation.
As we are two 
hundred and fifty miles from any telegraph or post-office, it was impracticable
for me to write 
or telegraph for instructions in this matter, for by the time I could get
a reply it would be too 
late for the Indians to plant. Seeing at a glance the situation I was placed
in, and not 
having necessary animals or plows to break up sufficient land for the Indians
to plant, I 
came to the conclusion that the only plan for me to pursue was to secure
the services of some 
party who had teams and plows and have them break up 100 acres of land. I
secured the 
services of Mr. Barth, and he went to work and broke the land up, and the
Indians com- 
menced planting corn, and they have a very large crop. 
We have no school as yet, but I am informed by the Department that a teacher
has been 
secured for this agency and is now on his way here. 
In order to civilize the Indians and make them self-sustaining, it will be
necessary for the 
Government to disarm them ; for so long as Indians are allowed to run around
armed with 
the best guns the Government possesses, it will be a very hard task to make
them labor for 
themselves; but once disarm them, and no trouble need be apprehended of their
ever leav- 
ing a reserve. 
The improvements at this agency for the past year have been the breaking
up of 110 acres 
of land by contract, and about 30 acres by the employes. Next season it is
the intention of 
the present agent to have 200 acres more of new land broken up. This will
give the In- 
dians sufficient land to plant wheat and corn. 
The Indians at this agency have during the last year cut and delivered to
the Government 
over 150 tons of hay. One chief alone last year sold $100 worth of corn.
Their present 
crop of corn will yield, I think, about 6,000 bushels, and they will have
about 100 bushels of 
beans. 
A great many of the Indians of this reservation dress in citizen clothes,
and others would 
do the same if they had means to do so. Take it upon the whole, I think the
Indians of 
this reserve, for the time they have been on a reservation, have advanced
in civilization a 
great deal faster than some that have been on reservations for years. If
I understand the 
peace policy of the President, which I think I do, this policy can never
be carried to any 
success as long as the agent is placed under military jurisdiction. An Indian
agent is 
looked upon by the military as nothing more or less than a commissary sergeant,
and is 
treated with about as much respect.  I have been subject to untold annoyances
and trouble 
in discharging my duties as agent, both by the military and citizens. 
Before closing this report I would recommend that this reservation be surveyed
at as early 
a day as possible. I would also recommend that this agency be furnished with
a saw-mill; 
if we had one here we could build comfortable frame houses for the Indians
and fence in all 
their land. 
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
JAMES E. ROBERTS, 
United States Indian Agent. 
Hon. E. P. SMITH, 
Commisswner of Indian Affiairs, Washington, D. C. 
CHIRICAHUA INDIAN AGENCY, 
Pinery CaTion, Arizona, September 1, 1874. 
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following as my second annual report
upon the con- 
dition of affairs at this agency: 
On September 1, 1873, in compliance with instructions from your office, I
moved the 
agency from Sulphur Springs to the San Simone Cienega, a location admirably
adapted for 
agricultural purposes, with good grazing and plenty of water; but, unfortunately,
before 
two months had elapsed the Indians became so unhealthy it was impossible
to remain, and 
I therefore, in November, removed them, by the authority of Gen. W. Vandevere,
United 
States Indian inspector, to the present location of the agency: a valley
on the west side of 
the Chiricahua Mountains, and a favorite resort of the Apaches. It is supplied
with good 
water, plenty of grass and timber, and is very healthy. 
I was sorry to leave the San Simone, it being the only part of the reservation
where farm- 
ing can be carried on, but, having had five deaths among the children and
almost universal 
sickness, the Indians begged to be brought here. Since then the general health
has been 
very good, the diseases being merely local, and the average number of patients
treated during 
the year but 145. 
During last fall considerable dissatisfaction existed among the Indians on
account of the 
want of clothing, as, although they had been promised that their wants should
be supplied 


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