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

[New Mexico],   pp. 300-311 PDF (5.7 MB)


Page 301

REPORT     OF  THE   COMMISSIGNER       OF INDIAN     AFFAIRS.     301 
stored, in buildings without doors, windows, or floors, and those erected
by the agent and 
his employ6s, at little, if any, expense to the Government. 
My opinion is, that these Indians should be removed, at the earliest practicable
moment, 
to the Hot Springs reservation; but if you decide otherwise, more permanent
and more 
comfortable buildings ought to be erected at once. The Government supplies
are exposed to 
danger from the weather and from thieves, and the agent, a commissioned officer
of the Gov- 
ernment, is compelled to live in a way which seems a disgrace to the Government
he serves. 
Before proceeding to describe my interviews with Cochise and his people,
I will give the 
two reasons which seem to me to require their removal: First, the reservation
is bounded 
on the south by the Mexican State of Sonora, and while the Indians refrain
from depreda 
tions upon our side of the border, they consider themselves privileged to
make incursions 
into Mexican territory. The Indians say, "Why do you interfere with
us for what we do 
to the Mexicans? If we steal anything from you, and take it there, they will
buy it and 
encourage us to bring them stolen property." During the life-time of
Cochise he was able 
to do much to control his band and prevent these forays, but now he is dead
it is feared they 
will be continued and exaggerated. Second, the reservation has so little
arable land that 
it would be impossible for the Indians to ever become self-sustaining there,
even if they were 
inclined. I understand it to be the wish of the Department to teach the Indians
agriculture 
and other useful arts, so that they may become producers as well as consumers,
and for this 
reason think they ought to be removed to a country where they can be encouraged
to make 
the effort. 
The morning following my visit to the agency, I started in company with Agent
Jeffords 
to visit the camp of Cochise. We followed the Tucson road to Sulphur Springs,
about 
twenty-five miles west of Camp Bowie. At this point we met Tozay, the eldest
son of 
Cochise, and since his death the chief of the tribe, and several other Indians;
and taking 
the agent's horse, I rode on with them in advance of my party, and arrived
at the camp 
nearly an hour before the agent and my men. The camp was located on top of
a high butte 
or foot-hill, and commanded a view of the surrounding valley as far as the
Chiricahua 
Mountains on the east, and as far as the eye could reach to the north and
south, while imme- 
diately in the rear was the great Dragoon Mountains. The place was well chosen
for de- 
fense, and was probably selected with that view. I found Cochise lying down,
with his 
face toward the east, and commanding from where he lay an extended view of
the approaches 
to his camp. The instinct of the warrior to guard against surprise evidently
still lingered 
with this dying man. The old chief was suffering intensely, and I at first
thought he would 
not outlive the night. I found a ready welcome as soon as his son had explained
who I was, 
for I had been expected; and when I gave him a photograph of General Howard
and myself, 
taken together, my introduction to his favor was complete. The picture was
frequently 
examined by the old chief during my stay, and always followed by the warmest
expression 
of feelings of affection for the general. 
Soon after the arrival of Agent Jeffords and the interpreter I commenced
a conversation. 
I found that Cochise had the greatest affection for Jeffords, and was delighted
to see him. 
I told Cochise that I regretted seeing him so ill, and that I would not worry
him then, but 
would go away and come again when he was better; but he insisted upon hearing
me then, 
and said that he would soon die, and that I had better also talk with the
sub-chiefs. They 
were accordingly summoned. After talking for an hour I found Cochise so much
exhausted 
that I decided to leave him for the time. During that night he was unconscious
for several 
hours. I returned to Camp Bowie, and after remaining for three days, again
went to Dra- 
goon Mountains, and found Cochise still alive, but apparently failing rapidly.
A much 
longer talk then than before ensued, and while he expressed a preference
for their location, 
I became convinced that, should he live, Agent Jeffords would have but little
difficulty in 
securing the removal of the Indians. During this second visit I found Cochise
mounted on 
his horse in front of his wickinf, having been lifted there by his friends,
showing his deter- 
mination and strength of will. I asked him why he did so, and he replied
that he wished to 
be mounted once more before he died. The agent and myself both feared he
might die while 
on his horse; and probably he would have preferred such a death. 
Upon the Chiricahua reservation is another band of Apaches called alternately
Southern 
Chiricahua and Pinery Indians. Among this band are many of the Mogollon and
other 
Apaches, many of whom here lived at Comada Allamosa. These Indians can be
removed 
at any time, and many of them would move themselves, if permitted to go.
Agent Jeffords 
said he could give me two hundred and fifty who would return with me at once.
I 
am convinced that should you decide to remove these Indians Agent Jeffords
can do so. 
Time will be required. But I would suggest that he first take, or send in
charge of some 
good man, all who are willing or wish to go; and, with a little patience
and perseverance, 
he could soon have all upon the Hot Springs reservation. I have seen no man
who has so 
complete control over his Indians as Agent Jeffords, and I am sure that if
they removed 
he would be the best man to make agent at Hot Springs. He does not answer
all the require- 
ments of an agent; none that I have seen do fill the bill in every particular.
Jeffords can 
and does maintain discipline, and he has time influence to bring Indians
to his reservation 
and keep them there, and if they go away he generally knows where they have
gone. If 


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