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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 Nevada,   pp. 109-112 PDF (2.3 MB)


Page 111

REPORTS OF AGENTS IN NEVADA.                          111 
were working for white citizens, on lands of the government, in the different
valleys 
of Nevada, their labor accruing in some cases for their own bonefit, in others
for their 
employers'. In addition to these were a large number doing but little, and
lounging 
about the railroad and mining towns, with doubtful means of support. 
Early in November you directed ineito take charge of the Indians at Carlin
Farms, 
and all other Shoshones, including a band of Gosh Utes $hat were living in
Nevada. In 
carrying out these instructions I visited the different camps and informed
them that 
the object of the government was to give them a borne on the Duck Valley
Reserve 
where they would be supplied with farming uensils and grain for sowing and
plant- 
ing, also waogons, oxen, &c., and durin the fall and winter I would aid
in their sup- 
port from t lie atnuity aud supply goods received for that purpose. During
the season 
from the 1st of November, 1878, to April, 1879. I relieved over '2,500 Indians
of both 
sexes and all ages, having deposited goods at Tuscarora, Cornucopia, Carlin,
and Elko 
for that purpose. In distributing the goods among them I became better acquainted
with their wants and dispositio s, and it gave me a better opportunity to
explain the 
object of the goverinnmient. 
Early in March they called a council at Carlin, which was numerously attended.
Two additional councils were called at Elko the following weeks, and the
concentra- 
tion of the tribe at Duck Valley fully discussed. The usual speeches of want
of faith 
in the white man and regret at leaving their homes and the homes of their
fathers, 
&c., were made. The Carlin Indians, who had been doing weil on their
farms, were 
reluctant to leave, and could not understand why the land which they hadoccupied
for years, and which had been but lately discovered to have been sold to
white citizens 
before the Indians' occupancy, could not be held by Washitgtou, as they term
the gov- 
ernment, against all chaimants. In explaining these objections satisfactorily
and in 
overcoming the interference of the Mormons and others, great difficulty was
experi- 
enced, the main facts of which I reported at the timp. About the 4th of April
the 
Carlin Indians, accompanied by those of Elko, and joined en. route by those
north of 
the railroad under Captain Sam., arrived at Duck Valley, and lost no time
in putting 
the plows into the soil of the reservation. By the 10th of May we had over
1,000 on 
the grounds, most of them showing a disposition to do the best they could.
The sea- 
son was late and cold, and sage-brush houses and wickiups afforded but little
pro- 
tection; but fed well by the department, they persevered against all difficulties.
The Duck Valley Reserve, as set apart by Presideit Hayes for the use of the
Western 
Shoshones, has proved well suited for that purpose, both in regard to its
distance from 
white settlements and the fertility of the soil. The Owyhee River, running
through 
its center, gives ample water for irrigating purposes. The salmon ascending
the river 
has aided us very much this season, and we hope in another year to utilize
them as 
permanent food. 
Our prospects for heavy crops are most sanguine, and an excellent feeling
prevails 
amoDg the Indians. They call it their home and feel it to be so. They have
built 
about three miles of fence, dug two miles of water ditches, and have 200
acres of wheat 
.and barley under cultivation; also 25 acres of potatoes, turnips, pease,
&c. Our harvest 
is just commencing, and if no early frost reaches us, it will prove all that
is antici- 
pated. 
It will be seen that we have only about one-third of the tribe on the reserve
at 
present, leaving two-thirds of them in the valleys south of the railroad
and in the 
mining towns. Within the last two months a wish has been expressed by these
Indians 
to join those at the reserve, but as they refused to go last April, I have
discouraged 
their going at present. I have, however, invited them to send delegations
to see 
what has been done and is still doing. I have been informed by a messenger
from one 
of their chiefs at Austin that he with a number of the tribe will visit the
reserve about 
the first of September next to examine, and if favorably impressed would
be willing 
to go there next spring. I have no doubt they will be in favor of it. I have
discour- 
aged their going this fall, for the following reasons: Those on the reserve
have by 
their own industry supplied themselves with food, and I propose to distribute
one-half 
of the annuity goods or clothing to them; bringing in other Indians at this
late day, 
and discriminating, as I would have to do, between those who have worked
and those 
who have not, would cause a feeling I wish to avoid, and if not directed
otherwise by 
the honorable Commissioner, I shall take care of those south of the railroad
as I did 
last winter from the supplies and the balane of annuity goods. 
As yet we have no houses of any kind on the reserve; employ6s are living
in willow 
and sage-brush huts, but are now preparing adobe8; and lumber is on the way
with 
which to erect houses, granaries, sheds, &c., and before the winter is
upon us, hope to 
be made comfortable. In reviewing the yea, I feel satisfied with the progress
made 
in establishing this new agency, and I hope  the department will also be.
I cannot say too much for the disposition shown by the Shoshones to further
the 
plans I have made for their benefit as well as their kindness and obedience
to orders ; 
especially as interested parties have stated to the contrary-persons who
were in favor 
of having a military post established near the reserve, and who maligned
the Indians 


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