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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 306

306     REPORT     OF  THE    COMMISSIONER       OF  INDIAN    AFFAIRS. 
of them going to the Comanche country, others to Old Mexico. During the last
four months 
many have returned, most of them being well armed and having many valuable
horses. 
There are at this time about 700 Indians on and near the'supposed reservation.
There are, 
as I hear, many on their way from Old Mexico to join their friends at the
agency. In view of 
the roving habits of the Mescalero-Apaches, it is gratifying to report that
the Indians who 
have returned and those who remained at the agency manifest no inclination
to leave. 
The only complaint among them is that the supposed reservation is not sufficiently
large to 
give them hunting facilities. They are desirous to have the hunting-grounds
of their fathers 
embraced in their reservation, being the Sacramento Mountains, adjoining
their supposed 
reservation on the southwest, and the White Mountains on the northwest. A
portion of 
each of these mountains is embraced in the supposed reservation; and, in
view of these 
mountains being worthless to the Government, I would earnestly recommend
that the reser- 
vation be enlarged so as to embrace the territory so much desired by the
Indians. This 
being perfected, I feel sanguine that the Indians would be content, and their
roving be con- 
fined to the reservation. 
DEPREDATIONS. 
Since my connection with the Mescalero-Apaches but few complaints have been
made as 
to their committing depredations of any kind; in short, no complaint has
been made against 
them, only when they were under the influence of liquor. The traffic in liquor
is an evil 
which I have to contend against, and one which is not confined to this agency
alone. I 
take pleasure, however, in reporting that, by the assistance of Maj. D. R.
Clendenin, U. S. 
A., commanding this post the traffic is being much abated, and hope, by perseverance,
that 
it will be seldom that an occurrence of the sale of liquor to Indians will
take place. The 
impression has been until recently that the Indians could not be induced
to inform on par- 
ties engaged in the traffic; but late developments have caused a remarkable
change in the 
minds of those who are only restrained by a fear of the penalty of the law.
One party is 
now held in confinement awaiting the sitting of the United States court.
The testimony 
given by the Indians before the United States commissioner was of the 'most
positive char- 
acter, and there was also very strong circumstantial evidence given by white
men, and as 
to the guilt of the prisoner there can be no doubt. 
CIVILIZATION. 
The Mescalero-Apaches have made but little progress in civilization, and
evince but little 
native intellect. No effort has been made to establish a school among them,
and until the 
lines of their reservation be defined, it will be useless to make the effort,
as they do not feel 
that they have a permanent home. The consequence is they remain but a few
days in one 
place. No effort has been made to teach them agriculture, nor are they the
least inclined 
to labor, feeling that labor is degrading to the red man. Should they be
educated to feel 
otherwise, their reservation (as is contemplated) will afford no lands susceptible
of irriga- 
tion; consequently it cannot be contemplated by the Government that the Mescalero-
Apaches can become self-sustaining by teaching them agriculture. Their only
resource, 
apart from the Government, is that of hunting. In view of it being the policy
of the Gov- 
ernment that Indians should be kept on reservations, I would respectfully
suggest that, so 
soon as the lines of the reservation are defined, to every head of a family
who will make 
a location, there be given 160 acres of land and a sufficient number of sheep
to make 
his home a matter of interest, so as to abate their natural roving disposition,
as I feel con- 
fident that so soon as the Indians can become interested in herds the military
will have but 
little trouble in keeping them on their reservation. Unless this plan is
adopted, I cannot see 
any way in which the Mescalero-Apaches can finally become self-sustaining.
This would 
be the only way white men could sustain themselves if the contemplated reservation
was 
placed in their possession, there being comparatively no portion of it adapted
to agriculture. 
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
W. D. CROTHERS, 
United Mates indian Agent. 
Hon. E. P. SMITH, 
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Washington, D. C. 
NAVAJO INDIAN AGENCY, 
Fort Defiance, Arizona, September 15, 1874. 
SIR: In conformity with the instructions from your Office, I submit this
my second annual 
report of the Indian service under my charge. 
The past year has been much more quiet and satisfactory than former years
; there has 
been less petty stealing by the Indians from the citizens of Utah and New
Mexico, and by 
my organization of the chiefs and principal men into a police force I have
been enabled to 
have much stolen property returned by them. In the month of" May last
I selected two 


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