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

[Arizona],   pp. 286-300 PDF (7.4 MB)

Page 299

to the middle of winter, when, by reason or cold weather, malarial fevers
were very unfre- 
quent. During the intermediate time the Indians had been moved to the high
ground in 
the Black Hills, and on the approach of winter had been allowed to return
to the river-bot- 
tom. For a number of months they were very badly scattered, and it was impossible
to as- 
certain how many had actually died, and how many left the reserve or were
hidden in the 
About the 1st of December the count included all except bands of renegades
who had left 
before the sickness could afford them an excuse. Some of these bands were
afterward driven 
in by the the troops, and in February the number of Indians at the count
amounted to 
The operations of the troops during March, April, and May drove in several
more large 
bands, and at the general muster on the 28th June, 1874, the number present
was 1,544, of 
whom 369 were Apache Yumas, 678 Apache Mojaves, and 497 Apache Tontos. 
It was the intention of the agent to prepare for the spring planting by the
construction of a 
dam and irrigating ditch which would enable the Indians to put in about 250
acres of grain. 
For some reason this was not done, and April found the reservation in about
the same con- 
dition as when first occupied by the Indians a year before. 
About the 20th of April the agent was rendered by illness incapable of duty,
and Capt. J. W. 
Mason. Fifth Cavalry, then commanding Camp Verde, Arizona Territory, was
dettiled to 
take charge of the reserve. Captain Mason immediately procured a competent
assistant in the 
person of Mr. D. Marr, and undertook the construction of a dam and acaquia.
In less than 
one month this work was completed, the labor being done by Indians, and the
leveling and 
superintendence by Captain Mason himself. The Indians were encouraged to
work by 
presents of tobacco, and the whole enterprise was conducted without expense
to the Govern- 
ment except the salary of an additional employ6. Owing to the late date at
which this work 
was commenced, it was impossible to do extensive planting, but by July 1
the Indians 
had planted about 35 to 40 acres of corn, with a very considerable quantity
of pumpkins, 
melons, potatoes, and beans. The ditch is one and three-fourths miles in
length, with ex- 
tension of about one-fourth of a mile staked out; when fully completed it
will irrigate about 
250 acres of good arable land. 
On the 1st of June the agency was moved to a large spring, at the foot of
the Black Hills, 
about three miles distant from its original position, and at about 300 [feet]
greater elevation. The 
Indians were at the same time camped near the agency, among the foot-hills
of the mountain, 
where they would be free from malaria, and would find good spring-water.
On the 20th of June, having finished my operations, I relieved Captain Mason,
in charge 
of the reservation, in pursuance to instructions from department headquarters.
that time I have been engaged in carrying out the system inaugurated by Captain
I had intended to make the Indians build permanent dwellings and villages
; but the 
early commencement of the rainy season, which prevented adobe-making, has
compelled me 
to postpone this until a more favorable opportunity. However, they have improved
on their old style of building, many living in roomy huts with dirt roofs.
The crops, which 
are duly irrigated and cultivated by the Indians, are looking as finely as
any I have seen in the 
Territory, and, unless some unlooked-for accident intervenes, the Indians
will realize about 
75,000 pounds of corn, and about 2,000 pounds *of potatoes, besides pumpkins
and melons. 
I can confidently state that, with one other irrigating-ditch, which can
be constructed this 
fall, the Indians can, next season, put in at least 300 acres of grain and
large quantities of 
vegetables. They display great interest in the progress of their crops, and
seem to fully un- 
derstand that they will have to become self-supporting in a short time. 
There are now in possession of the Indians about 150 horses, and I shall
soon make an at 
tempt to get them interested in cattle and sheep. 
During the past month I have constructed a store-house for supplies, 80 by
20 feet in the 
clear, adobe walls covered by a canvas roof. The adobes, to the number of
about 15,000, 
were made by Indians, and the walls laid with their assistance. These laborers
were paid 
50 cents per diem. 
Recent intercourse with other tribes has given an impetus, which, if properly
taken ad- 
vantage of now, will go far toward inducing them to work hard for themselves,
and their 
future condition promises to be comparatively prosperous. They have apparently
made up 
their minds to remain in future at peace, and to imitate their white neighbors,
and are en- 
deavoripg to learn as much as possible of our ways of living and thinking.
There are, I am compelled to state, a small number of perfectly incorrigible
men who 
refuse to comport themselves properly, and who only come to the reserve occasionally
harass those who are inclined to do right ; but when these are apprehended
there will be 
but little trouble with the remainder. At the head of these renegades is
the notorious Chief 
Delche, who left this reservation last August. This man recently visited
the Tonto camps 
here, and advised them to rise and return to the mountains, telling them
that we intended to 
send them to some desolate islands where they would all perish. This is but
one example 
of the many attempts which are made by these renegades to drive the peaceably-disposed
into warfare, and, of course, they occasionally recruit their ranks from
the young men of 
the reservation. 

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