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)
58 REPORTS OF AGENTS IN INDIAN TERRITORY. STATISTICS. 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- ----------------- 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. NORTHERN CHEYENNES. Of the 937 Northern Cheyennes who arrived at this agency in the summer of 1877, 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 the agency on the night of September 9th, 1878, and endeavored to return to their old homes in the north. The history of their march north, their conflict with United 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. have 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 from this office about the 12th of May, 1878, and the supplies embraced in said estimate 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 action. As to rations, the precise rations specified in their treaty were not all furnished, 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 increased, 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 their 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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