University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

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

Reports of agents in Nebraska,   pp. 105-110 PDF (3.3 MB)


Page 109

REPORTS OF AGENTS IN NEBRASKA.                       109 
The Government industrial boarding school, under supervision of agent, is
taught 
by Samuel H. Seccombe, who has a general oversight of the school. Rebecca
F. 
Hobbs is matron, and has a general care of the girls; 58 children have attended
school 
a part of the year (34 males and 24 females); 47 was the largest number attending
during any one month. The boys are taught the various kinds of manual labor.
Mr. 
Seccombe reports that, contrary to previous years, the pupils remained in
school until 
the final exercises were completed; that the school numbered 50 during the
last two 
weeks of school; that an increased interest is apparent in the attendance
and labors 
of the school ; that in the manual labor part there is quite a creditable
improvement ; 
that there were eight girls who could take the material and with no help
from the 
seamstress fit, cut, and make a dress that would be well-fitted and tasty;
that nearly 
every girl in school, from eight years and upwards, understands running a
sewing- 
machine and doing all ordinary work on it; that the smallest girls in school,
with one 
exception, can neatly and correctly set and clear tables, wash and wipe dishes,
make 
beds and darn stockings, while many of the large girls can do nearly all
plain cook- 
ing; that the boys are becoming more accustomed to the details of farm work,
such 
as plowing, harrowing, planting, and cultivating; the larger boys do the
milking, 
take care of horses, cattle, and hogs. 
The school-room work has been marked with much progress; the studies for
the 
year have been reading, penmanship, drawing, spelling, arithmetic, geography,
lan- 
guage, and object lessons. One of the greatest successes has been in getting
the 
children to talk English. This was accomplished by making the language compul-
sory among the children in attendance at the school.- At first the Dakota
was not 
allowed to be talked in the buildings; second, not allowed to be talked about
the 
buildings. The orders being encouraged by all the employ6s. the good effects
began to 
appear and the English language to predominate. We believe as the children
learn 
to talk English they become more interesting and interested scholars, and
uncon- 
sciously assume with the English language the civilization and refinement
that is 
associated with it. 
The subject of allotting land in severalty to Indians has occupied considerable
of 
my reports for the last six years, and it now gives me pleasure to state
that an arrange- 
ment has been consummated by which the Santees are allowed to get patents
for 160 
acres of land for each male person, under article 6 of the Sioux treaty of
1868. They 
are required to have previously occupied the land for three years, and made
improve- 
ments thereon to the value of $200. Considerable of the reservation has been
resur- 
veyed and allotments made to about 100 persons, 50 of whom have filed their
applica- 
tions for patents. The treaty provides that those who receive patents will
be citizens 
of the United States and be amenable to all the laws the same as white citizens
except for taxes, &c., upon the land obtained under this treaty as provided
for by 
special act, which exempts the land so received from taxation and forbids
a transfer 
of it within the period of twenty-five years. This will gradually place the
Santee 
Indians upon the roll of civilization; and I believe if they comply with
the require- 
ments of the treaty and get their patents, they will be fit subjects to thus
be enrolled. 
The Ponca Indians under my care number about 170 souls. They are located
on the 
the old Ponca agency in Dakota, about 15 miles from Santee, along the Niobrara
River, 
which is very bad fording on account of quicksand bottom and swiftness of
current; 
horses often get fast in crossing. They have under cultivation 169 acres
to wheat, 
212 to corn, 31 to potatoes; have broken during the year 116 acres. Their
wheat and 
potatoes are very good. 
I have a warehouse, a blacksmith shop, and dwelling-house for their use,
and for 
Samuel Sullivan, the superintendent; he understands the blacksmithing and
wagon 
making trade. I have two Indians working under him. This I hope will be a
help 
to them as farmers in keeping their tools and machinery in proper repair,
and be a 
center of attraction which I hope will cause them to stay at home and attend
to their 
business. They are very much in need of a school to educate their children.
They 
have a fine location. Help and kindness has been extended to them by the
Depart- 
ment. They are making a start, and I see no reason why they should not soon
be a 
happy and prosperous people. Their land has not been surveyed nor allotted
to them 
in severalty, but they are nicely located, so that when the proper time comes
for the 
allotment it can be done without any special removal. 
The Flandreau Indians are recognized citizens of the United States. They
have pat- 
ents for their land, and are generally conducting themselves like white people.
They 
have under cultivation wheat, corn, oats, barely, potatoes, &c. They
have a day school 
supported by the Government for their benefit. They number about 300 persons.
They have fine locations along the Sioux River about 140 miles north of Santee.
I 
have been told that some of them have sold all or a part of their land to
white people, 
but at present I am unable to give correct figures about the matter. They
have two 
churches in which religious services are held by native ministers. Within
the last 
year they have received 128 oxen, 10 bulls, 325 heifers, 320 hogs, and 50
sheep, two- 
thirds of which have been disposed of, all paid for from money due them from
sale of 


Go up to Top of Page