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

Report of agent in Utah,   pp. 137-140 PDF (2.0 MB)

Page 139

-  139 
The want of a trader at this agency has been severely felt for the two or
three years 
last past, and I believe has been a source of much loss abd inconvenience
to the In- 
dians and employ6s, as well as an annoyance to the agent. The exceeding smallness
of the profits arising from the trade, the stringent regulations of the department,
the difficulty of finding a suitable person who could command sufficient
means to carry 
it on, have heretofore rendered all myefforts to secure one abortive, but
within the last 
few weeks a gentleman every way worthy, and it is believed able to fill the
place, has 
made application, and been recommended to the department for the position.
I trust 
his application will be approved, and so far as may be possible the restrictions
be re- 
moved so far as this agency is concerned, and especially as to the sale of
guns and 
ammunition. No fear or danger exists in this section making this restriction
and I am clear in thinking that it would be for the best interests of our
Indians, as 
they have to depend on hunting for much of their subsistence. 
So far we have been unable to induce any of our Indians to become apprentices.
The desire of the department and the importance of the subject has frequently
urged upon the band and individual members of it, but hitherto without success.
head men recognize the advantages and importance of it, but say, which I
know is the 
fact, that they have no power to compel the young men to accept these positions.
only power that can be brought to bear is moral suasion, and no motive within
reach is sufficient to overcome their natural dislike of confinement. 
We have not fully realized our hopes as to the efficiency of our police service.
As was intimated at the time of their first appointment, we did not secure
the services 
of the best men, but had hopes that those we did secure would prove satisfactory.
this, however, we have been disappointed. One of the best resigned, the main
being want of confidence in and inability to work harmoniously with the captain.
The latter we were at length compelled to dismiss for inefficiency and disobedience
orders. We have since been unable to fill either place satisfactorily or
to make up the 
increased number allotted to our agency. There seems to be some prejudice
a police force, hence it is difficult to induce persons to assume a position
which is cal- 
culated to prejudice other members of the tribe against them. Some of our
best men 
assign their desire to farm as the reason for non-acceptance, which we cannot
but ap- 
prove, as the most industrious can make more than the salary paid for police
It has occurredt'to me that it would be well to reduce the number and double
the sal- 
ary, or grant them permission to carry on their farms in addition to or in
with the police service. Notwithstanding the obstacles, no effort will be
spared or 
motive omitted to secure the adoption of the plans of the department, both
as to ap- 
prentices and the police service. 
Daring the last and the present year this reserve has become a thoroughfare
driving stock from the South and southwestern part of the Territory, and
even from 
Nevada, to the great injury of the interests thereof. Over ten thousand head,
it is esti- 
mated, have passed through it from West to East during the present season,
thus ruin- 
ing our grazing and in many places our water privileges along our only thoroughfare
for over one hundred miles, and thereby necessitating the expense of carrying
for animals along the whole route. Some small herds have been located on
the reserve 
for most of the season, contrary to the orders and warnings of the agent.
I have called 
the attention of the department to the matter and received instructions in
the premises, 
which will be ftilly carried out as soon as practicable. It has occurred
to me from the 
difficulty, and almost impossibility, of protecting the distant part of the
reserve, and 
the inconvenience and hardship resulting to many of the citizens of the Territory
absolute prohibition of transit, that it would be well to rent or lease the
western part 
to some person or persons, whose interest it would be to protect it, the
proceeds inuring 
to the benefit of our Indians. I have understood some such plan has been
adopted at 
other agencies, and in my opinion could be adopted here, with the consent
of the In- 
dians, and to their advantage, and save much friction from outside parties.
This mat- 
ter is respectfully submitted for the consideration of the department. 
Referring to this matter as presented in my last, I cannot but regret that
one of the 
greatest still remains, viz, the uncertain tenure by which the Indians hold
th0 ir lands. 
It is known to them as well as to all others in this Territory that there
is a persistent 

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