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

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


Page 64

64      REPORTS OF AGENTS IN INDIAN TERRITORY. 
In compliance with instructions I advertised for bids for the building of
two school- 
houses and a warehouse upon the Washita River, according to the plans and
specifica- 
tions presented; but as all these bids were above the sums appropriated for
each, none 
were accepted. It having been determined several mouths sin 3e to construct
these 
buildings with skilled labor hired for the purpose, and under the superintendence
of 
Mr. Bowden, the agency carpenter, who is a very competent man, work was at
once 
commenced upon the school-house for the children of the Wichitas and affiliated
bands, 
which ina few weeks will be completed. This house is being erected very near
to 
one that was built for employis, containing eight rooms, in order that it
may be used 
for school purposes. The two buildings will accommodate about 150 scholars.
The saw-mill is running constantly, sawing timber for a war~house and a school-
house for the Kiowa and Comanche children, and it is intended that work shall
com- 
mence upon them so soon as the Wichita school-house is completed. Logs have
been 
cut some miles up the Washita River, and it was intended to float them down
to the 
mill during a rise in the water, but unfortunately there has been none, and
this will 
necessitate the drawing them some miles with oxen, which is a tedious undertaking.
As in any event it will be some mouths before the warehouse and necessary
build- 
ings can be completed, temporary arrangements will be made for the storing
of com- 
missaries, that all Indians of the consolidated agency may receive their
rations at this 
place. 
When the consolidation was first announced the Wichitas and affiliated bands
made 
some complaints, but when in a council held with them I disabused their minds
of an 
erroneous impression they had received, and stated correctly the effect of
the change, 
all opposition ceased. The Kiowas and Comanches have not made any special
objec- 
tions-indeed.many have been heard to express themselves as favoring it, and
if they 
are not influenced by designing whites, who wish to make trouble, I believe
nearly all 
will acquiesce- in the change. It is natural that a few who have houses and
farms 
opened should prefer to remain where they are, but I think those who have
not will 
willingly remove up and settle near the Washita. 
BUFFALO-HUNTS. 
The Indians did not start on their winter hunt as early as usual. Much opposition
was made to the organization of the police force, and some, especially the
Comanches, 
were not willing to put their chillren into the school. I refused to issue
to them their 
annuities or give them passes to go on the hunt until a sufficient number
of young men 
were furnished for the police and the school-house was filled to its capacity.
It was 
not long after my determination was announced to them that both requests,
had been 
complied with, and they were on the road to the hunting grounds. Finding
but few 
buffalo, and the weather being extremely cold, they were soon in a suffering
con- 
dition. When I learned of this, I sent out Mr. Clark, the interpreter, with
some sup- 
plies for their relief, and with instructions to bring them in as soon as
it was possible 
for them to move. The ground being covered with snow, so that their ponies,
already 
poor, could not graze, some time elapsed before they reached the agency.
They, of 
course, brought in very few robes or very little meat. 
While out on this hunt a very unfortunate occurrence took place. Captain
Nolan 
commanding the company of troops who were escoriting the Indians, while on
the hunt, 
had, in view of the scarcity of buffalo, allowed parties, each accompauied
by a squad 
of soldiers, to go off from the main camp to points where it was said straggling
droves 
of buffalo could be found. While a Kiowa man was one day a short distance
from the 
camp of one of these parties, and alone, he was run on to by a company of
Texas State 
troops, shot down, killed, and scalped. A few moments after this grand military
feat 
was performed, the little Indian camp was discovered and they were just in
the act of 
covering themselves with additional glory by charging it and butchering the
squaws 
and pappooses when the squad of colored troops presented themselves mounted
on 
the bare backs of their horses, having had no time to saddle them, and the
warlike 
band disappeared. 
Upon the return of the Indians to the agency, a request was made that the
Texans 
who murdered the Kiowa should be arrested and punished by the authorities,
express- 
ing at the time no intention of avenging his death themselves. It seems that
after 
waiting some time, and concluding that nothing could or would be done by
the auth ori- 
ties, a party of young Kiowas, headed by the brothier of the murdered Kiowa,
quietly 
left their different camps, dashed huriedly across the line into Texas, killed
and scalpe d 
a white man they met in the road, and returned as secretly to their camps,
apparetly 
feeling that they had avenged the death of their brother and friend by this
taking of 
one scalp. Information of this raid having been brought to the agency by
a young 
Kiowa, formerly a pupil in the school, a company of troops was started in
pursuit, but 
so expeditiously and secretly had been the movement that no trace was found
of the 
party. Indeed, we have not had since any evidence of the absence of any member
of 
the bands at that time, or that the man was killed by the Indians of this
reservation. 


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