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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 307

REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 307 
hundred of the principal men and placed them under the chiefs, with instructions
that they 
must, for the credit of the Navajo Nation, do all they could to prevent robberies
from the 
surrounding settlements, and I agreed to pay them for their services, (with
the consent of 
the chiefs,) out of the annuity-goods, a surplus of which remained after
the annual issue. 
This agency is in Arizona, just over the New Mexico line, and more than two
hundred 
miles from the capital of Arizona, or any place in that Territory where I
can have the aid 
of civil authorities in the punishment of Indians or other persons who violate
the law. 
The nearest military post to this agency is Fort Wingate, about forty-five
miles from here. 
There have been several Indians arrested by me and sent to that post for
safe-keeping; but 
in every case in less than a week they have been allowed to escape. Under
all these cir- 
cumstances, I would respectfully suggest that, during the next session of
Congress, an act 
be passed attaching the Navajo Indian agency and reservation to New Mexico
for all judicial 
purposes, civil and criminal. This will aid the agent to bring to punishment
bad white men 
who are constantly violating the law and also Indians that should be punished.
During the past year I cannot report as much progress in the way of civilization,
farm- 
ing, education, &c., as I expected to do when I made my report last year;
but as much 
has been done as could be reasonably expected, when the adverse circumstances
under which 
I have labored are all known and understood. 
Referring to my annual report of last year, as found on pages 270, 271, 272,
and 273 of 
the Report of the honorable Commissioner of Indian Affairs for 1873, which
I respectfully re- 
quest be read with this report, I have to state that the number of Indians,
as ascertained by 
a count in May last, was as follows, viz: Men, 2,976; women, 3,129; children
under 16 
years of age, 2,963 ; total number of Indians who claim to live on the reservation,
9,068. 
In reference to those living off the reservation, I respectfully refer you
to page 27 1, Report 
of the honorable Commissioner last year; and I trust that arrangements will
be made this 
coming session of Congress to provide for their permanent location, so that
they will be 
under the care and control of the agent; and to effect this a modification
of the treaty of 
1868 will be required, and to which the chiefs will agree when they visit
Washington this 
fall. 
NAVAJO LANDS. 
The reservation contains 3,328,000 acres of land, a portion of which is adapted
for min- 
ing-purposes, &c., and which lies on the north end of the reservation,
and joins to the Ute 
reservation, in the Territory of Colorado. This portion the Navajoes propose
to exchange 
for lands equal in quantity adjoining the Navajo reservation on the south,
and the chiefs 
hope to arrange this matter when they visit their Great Father. For further
information on 
this subject, I respectfully refer to my statistical report herewith, and
to page 271, Report of 
the honorable Commissioner for 1873. 
FARMING, ETC. 
On this subject the report of the agency-farmer, Dr. W. B. Truax, herewith,
will give all 
that can be presented, except to state that the short season prevented the
maturity of corn. 
We had frost on the  20th of May, and again on the 3d of September, and more
than half 
the corn is yet in the milk, and is being used by the Indians. My experiments
in wheat and 
oats this season satisfy me that the farmer's recommendation for seed-wheat,
if complied 
with, would benefit them much more than corn-planting; and if they are supplied
in time 
with seed, and furnished with cows and sheep, I am confident in two years
from this date 
they would be entirely self-sustaining. 
HORSES, SHEEP, ETC. 
The Navajoes have about 10,000 horses. Their sheep have decreased, owing
to the unprece 
dented snows of last winter. Snow on the ground from one to five feet deep,
from December 
3 to the last of April, caused many sheep to perish, and, as near as I can
now ascertain, 
they have about 125,000 sheep. 
The farming and mechanical tools are all worn out, and new ones are required,
for which 
made estimates with my last report; and I trust the next Congress will make
appropriation 
of funds for their purchase. 
EDUCATION? ETC. 
On this subject I respectfully refer to my report of last year, on page 272,
report of the hon- 
orable Commissioner, which, after another year's experience, I have no cause
to change. I 
also respectfully refer to the report of Professor Freise, school-teacher,
and Mrs. Catharine 
A. Stowe, matron, which are forwarded herewith. The experiments of the establishment
of 
a boarding-school and home for Navajo children indicate that, with proper
facilities, my 
plan, as presented on page 272 of the Commissioner's Report for last year,
will be a success; 
and, with the means there asked for, the 2,963 children at this agency can
be educated in 
practical labor and a primary English knowledge, and before the expiration
of the treaty, 
all the Indians of this reservation be civilized, Christianized, and made
self-sustaining. 
SANqITARY STATE OF THE IN DIANS. 
The health of the Navajo Indians during the last year has improved in general.
A hos-. 
pital is much required ; the sick cannot be properly cared for, medicines
will not be properly 
I 


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