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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1883
([1883])

Report of agent in Iowa,   pp. 90-91 PDF (1.0 MB)


Page 91

REPORT OF AGENT IN IOWA. 
91 
Two hundred and fifteen acres are under cultivation this year; the crops
look very 
promising, and the estimated yield will be: Corn, 8,000 bushels; potatoes,
700; beans, 
900; turnips, 150; onions, 25. Also of squash, pumpkins, melons, and other
vege- 
tables, there will be about 100 wagon loads. This will give the tribe an
abundance 
of food and a surplus to sell. 
The Indians have worked very well this season, the men doing more work in
the 
fields than ever before. They have made 250 rods of fence, and built ten
new houses 
out of bark and boards. A number have also been employed by white people
to work 
in the harvest field. 
The tribe numbered at the last enrollment about 350 persons. Since then 20
chil- 
dren have been born, and there have only been 2 deaths, which will make the
number 
at the next enrollment about 368. 
About 700 horses are owned by this tribe, which constitute their principal
wealth. 
They also own personal property to the value of about $20,000. Last fall
they re- 
ceived $10,000 in annuities, that, with the sale of furs trapped during the
winter, and 
the sale of ponies, has clothed them well, while the crops raised have given
them 
plenty to eat. So that they are well off, for Indians, and are content and
happy. 
The conduct of these people has been exceedingly good during the past year.
They have lived peaceably with one another, and with their white neighbors.
I have 
iot heard of a single crime committed among themselves, or to white people,
and there 
has been much less drinking among the young men than at any time since I
have 
had charge of them. The women continue well-behaved, chaste, and industrious.
The children are brought up strictly to be good Indians, according to their
views. 
These Indians are still making some progress in educating themselves, but
all in 
their own way; they are still opposed to sending their children to school,
and still 
more bitterly opposed to any missionary work being done among them. They
still 
adhere to many of their old customs and religious ceremonies. 
The chiefs and headmen will petirion (through the members representing this
State 
in Congress) to have a more equitable and just division of the annuities
belonging to 
the Sac and Fox tribe of Indians. They claim the Fox tribe all live in Iowa,
except 
about 20 that are with the Sacs in Indian Territory; also, that they number
3,50, the 
Sacs 440. That all the country ceded to the United States by various treaties
was 
owned one half by each, and that in justice they ought to receive one-half
of all the 
proceeds received by the Sac and Fox tribes from said treaties; that the
annuities 
belonging to both tribes amount to over $51,000, and that they only receive
a little over 
$11,000, while the Sacs in Indian Territory receive the balance. They also
say the 
allotment when made by Congress was made under the impression that there
were 
only 80 Fox in Iowa. The reason they intend bringing the matter before Congress
is, 
that the allotment being made by them, it is not in the power of the Indian
Depart- 
ment to adjust it. 
The health of the Indians has been very good this season, and only two deaths
have 
occurred since last fall. 
The Industrial School was suspended on the 1st of October last, the teacher
hav- 
ing resigned. The school was hgain opened in May, under the charge of Miss
Allie B. 
Busby, assisted by Miss Anna Skea, who represents the Ladies' Home Missionary
Society of Iowa. Both these ladies have had several years' experience as
teachers 
among the Sioux Indians. The attendance so far at the school has been very
small, 
but we hope it will gradually increase, as the prejudice of the Indians (which
was ex- 
cited against the school some years since) is, in a measure, overcome by
time. It may 
at length disappear altogether, and they will be willing to send their children
to 
school. I have done everything in my power to induce them to do so. 
As soon as the Indians gather their crops, and receive their fall payment,
they will 
all leave, excepta few families who have no horses and scatter over different
parts of 
the country, one or two families in a place, to hunt and trap. They all have
friends 
among the farmers, who permit them to camp on their land, and allow them
to have 
fuel. They help husk the corn, and get jobs to cut wood and make posts during
the 
winter. The farmers also let them have the stalks in the field to feed their
ponies. 
The young Indians associate with the farmers' boys, and they sometimes teach
them 
to read and write and figuire. In this irregular way they have acquired what
educa- 
tion they have. They return to their homes about the first of May, in time
to put in 
their crops; but as lonig as they continue this practice of wandering around,
and only 
remain on their own land five months in the year, they cannot advance much
in civil- 
ization, or in accumulating property. They must settle down, and have permanent
houses, and raise hogs, poultry, &c. 
The farmer has done all he could to assist the Indians in farming, as well
as helping 
those that remain during the winter to get in fuel. 
I respectfully inclose herewith the statistical information called for. 
Very respectfully, 
GEO. L. DAVENPORT, 
United States Indian Agent. 
The COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 


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