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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1879

Reports of agents in Indian territory,   pp. 57-80 PDF (12.8 MB)

Page 58

The following table will show the number of Indians attached to this agency:
Name of tribe. 
4- 4     %-4  4- 
Chey nes.............................................................891
11,121  758  814  .3,584 
545  504  402  451 1,t902 
Cheyennes at Hampton school------------------------------.......  7--------
-- ---- ------ 7 
Arapahoes at Ha pton school........................................  1----------..
......  1 
Cheyennes at-Syraouse ............................. ............  2- -----------------
Total belonging to agency1....................................... 11446 
1,625  1,160  1  265  5,496 
About the 1st of December last a small party of Cheyennes were permitted
to leave 
the agency in search of buffalo, by authority from your office. The hunt
was-quite un- 
successful, and the only point gained was a small saving of rations during
their ab- 
sence. On leaving the agency, four weeks' rations was issued to the party,
which, to- 
gether with the few buffalo and small game they secured, bridged them over
until their 
return to the agency. It is quite evident now that neither the government
nor the 
Indians can place any reliance upon the supply of buffalo in the fuiture
to supplement 
rations, and ample provision must be made for their subsistence for 365 days,
and can 
only be supplemented by their own efforts in industrial pursuits, which will
be men- 
ioned in this report under its proper heading. 
Of the 937 Northern Cheyennes who arrived at this agency in the summer of
alout 300 persons, consisting of 89 men, the remainder women and childrea,
under the 
leadership of Dull Knife, Little Wolf, WiLd Hog, and Old Crow, escaped from
agency on the night of September 9th, 1878, and endeavored to return to their
homes in the north.   The history of their march north, their conflict with
States troops, &c., has been pretty thoroughly presented by pen and press,
and it 
would be needless for me to- cumber this report with the whole history. I
will, how- 
ever, cite a few points bearing upon their dissatisfaotion. They claimed
that many 
promises were made by military officexs to be fulfilled on their arrival
at this agency,; 
that the country was unheathy and medicine scarce, and rations insufficieut.
never been informed just what was promised them- by Army offlcers, nor to
what e - 
tent they were authorized to make promises. That the ordeal of acclimation
for a 
northern Indian to this climate is severe there can be no question, as has
been ab.ux- 
dantly verified in the transfer of other tribes to this country; and such
a policy is 
wrong and should be abandoned. 
As to supplie saf medicines, there was a scarcity, and many persons suffered
and died 
fr lack of proper remedies. The annual estimate for medicines was forwarded
this office about the 12th of May, 1878, and the supplies embraced in said
were received at the agency January 17th, 1879. The attention of the Indian
Office was 
frequently called to the matter by letter and telegram, urging the necessity
of prompt 
As to rations, the precise rations specified in their treaty were not all
and consequently could not be issued, but at no time during their stay at
this agency 
were they deprived of regular prescribed rations of beef ; and in the absence
of flour 
and other substantial food rations, the quantity of the beef ration has been
so that there could be no real suffering, and the comparative satisfaction
and content 
of over 4,000 other Indians at this agency, who have fared no better, will
fully warrant 
this statement. While the government has been doing so much for these people,
I am 
fully aware that we have had and still have enemies to the department who
have in- 
tensified the discontent of the Northern Cheyennes by assuring them that
they were 
not receiving their just dues, and to the extent of their influence such
persons are re- 
sponsible for the evils that have come out of the Dull Knife raid. 
On the 9th of December, 1878, Little Chief, with his band of about 200 Northern
Cheyennes (men, women, and children), reached this agency, and so great was
prejudice against the country and agency that it was extremely difficult
to get a hear- 
ing with them, and, with the except.*on of Crazy Mule and Ridge Bear and
their follow- 
ers, the party under Little Chief still cling to the hope that they will
be permitted to 
return north. 

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