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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 New Mexico,   pp. 112-122 PDF (5.2 MB)


Page 113

REPORTS OF AGENTS IN NEW MEXICO. 
113 
amount of producb, each as he desires. They claim that on the Coyote, some
fifty 
miles from here, some years ago they took out a ditch, built a few small
houses, 
and cultivated a few acres of land, but that while away on one of their extended
hunts 
the most of the land was taken possession of by the Mexicans, who refused
to leave. 
They say, however, that there is plenty of land in the country unoccupied
that would 
suit them. 
3d. They want schools, in which the youth of the tribe may learn to read
and 
write, &c. 
Taken altogether, their own inclinations point directly to a speedy commencement
of 
civilization among them, and I would most earnestly call your attention to
this mat- 
ter, and ask that before another farming season commences, the experiment
be tried of 
farming, &c. 
The past year has not been marked by any striking change at the agency. The
sys- 
tem of enrollment, quarterly-ration checks, and issuing of rations required
by the 
department has been substituted in place of the former loose system and works
well, 
so much more to the satisfaction of not only the employds, but also to the
Indians 
themselves. 
A party of Indians, probably 220 in number, formerly belonging at the Cimarron
Agency, left this agency some time during the early spring and returned to
the vicinity 
of the Cimarron. A week ago two men returned, and no doubt for the purpose
of as- 
certaining the condition of the agency preparatory to the return of the whole
party. 
I took considerable pains in pleasing them, and strongly urged the return
of all. They 
left well satisfied, and I am strongly in hopes of the return of most if
not all of them 
before long. 
The general health of the Indians, as well as their comfort, has been most
satisfac- 
tory during the past year, and, altogether, taking the agency in its present
condition, 
not having a reservation, it is in a prosperous and promising condition.
Submitted very respectfully. 
Your obedient servant, 
JAMES H. ROBERTS, 
Farmer in Charge. 
B. M. THOMAS, Esq., 
United States Indian Agent, Santa FJ, N. Mex. 
MESCALERO AGENCY, 
South Fork, N. Mex., August 11, 1879. 
SIn: I have the honor to submit my report for the time I have had charge
of this 
agency. I arrived here on the 15th of last March. In consequence of being
behind in 
the clerical labor of the agency, my predecessor was not prepared to commence
an in- 
ventory of property until the 1st of April. 
In anticipation, as I was informed, of my coming at an earlier date, no preparation
had been made for farming. The fencing was very much out of repairs, and
no grain 
on hand suitable for seed; the fence was put in reasonably good repair, and
about 50 
rods of new fence and corrals made by the agency employds. I found it impossible
to get 
oats or potatoes for seed, and corn was the only crop planted. Of this the
agency em- 
ploys planted about 30 acres; 20 acres more than last year. The Indians planted
in 
different localities on the reservation about 25 acres, about the same as
last year. 
Some of the Indians have worked their little patches of corn well, and have
good 
crops; others have worked theirs but little, and some not'at all since planting.
No 
one family planted as much as two acres, while most of those who did plant
put in less 
than one acre. They are a lazy, thriftless people. I have used all the means
at my com- 
mand to induce them to worn, but without much success; they have promised
to do bet- 
ter next year. Time will tell how much their promise is worth. They will
deliberately 
and daily (if not seen) break down a plank fence and pass through the corn
rather than go 
a few hundred yards out of a direct lineto a certain point. Time and persevering
effort 
may overcome this, but at present it is certainly farming under difficulties.
They give 
as a reason for not working more (and there is some force in it) that on
account of the 
growing crops in the valley, but little of which is fenced, they are compelled
to stay 
in the mountains with their horses. 
Oa what is known as the " agency farm,'" and where most of the
corn put in by the 
employds was planted, but little if any will fully mature owing to late planting
and 
the short season. I am told that corn has very seldom-matured on this farm
because 
of the high altitude. I have sown a part of it in alfalfa, and hope to put
the rest or 
most of it in oats next spring. The Indian farm, two and a half miles below,
is better 
adapted to corn; although so short a distance between them, the grow ing
season i 
said to be one month longer than at the agency farm. 
8 IND 


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