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

Reports of agents in Oregon,   pp. 126-136 PDF (5.1 MB)

Page 132

132               REPORTS OF AGENTS IN         OREGON. 
There are some beach gold mines on this reserve, and much feeling and speculation
is had in regard to them. Parties have applied to me with propositions which
I could 
not consent to. I have told them that I had no authority to allow them to
work them, 
and have referred them to the Hon. Secretary of the Interior. 
We are happy in the fact that we have a good square Christian man as trader
these Indians, keeping such goods as are needed, and with fair prices. 
Some of the cows purchased by the Government and distributed to the Indians
Agent Swan have been sold by those to whom they were given. I have forbidden
further sale of such cows. Several were sold and butchered before I was informed
the manner in which they came in possession of them. In such cases I have
the Indian to buy another one in the place of the one sold or butchered.
I have also 
forbidden them to sell their stock cattle, as there is plenty of room here
for many more 
cattle than they have now, and, if managed well, in a few years they will
have plenty 
of cattle to sell. There is a general disposition to get horses, and not
being able to get 
first-class ones, they take up with cheap and inferior stock. The horses
here belong- 
ing to the Government are getting old and worked down, as are many of the
work oxen. 
There are at present, by actual count, 637 Indians on the reserve. The census
1880 shows 998 belonging here; of that number, about 360, composed principally
the Sinslaws, Coos, and Umpquas, are scattered along down the coast all the
between here and the California line. Many of them desire to return to the
tion, but have not the money necessary to make the trip, and I am not provided
funds to send for them. I think steps should be taken looking toward their
to the reservation. 
Very respectfully, 
United States Indian Agent. 
Uniatilla Agency, Oregon, August 10, 1883. 
SIR: In compliance with instructions from your office dated July 13, 1883,
I have 
the honor to submit this my first annual report of affairs at this agency,
to embrace 
the 10th of August. On the 1st day of May, 18S3, I assumed charge of this
relieving R. H. Fay, my predecessor, in accordance with instructions of April
6, 18 3. 
The Iudiaus have been actively engaged during the past few monthi in work
various kinds, such as fencing, splitting rails, cutting cord-wood, farming,
&c., and 
on the whole they have done as well, if not better, than ever before. They
see more 
and more the necessity of depending on their own exertions for a living,
and there is 
no doubt but what they will succeed, more especially, surrounded on all sides
by the 
whites as they are, they will be compelled to take land in severalty and
live like their 
I have issued, in accordance with instructions from the Department, a fair
amount of 
agricultural implements, at which my Indians seem to be much gratified, and
I am 
satisfied that they will take good care of them, more particularly as I have
upon them your orders and the consequences that will ensue for a violation
The late order from the Department appointing Indian judges, although but
a short 
time since, has been productive of good results. There have been only 5 cases
have come under their surveillance and punished by fines, which were all
paid. This mode of punishment I am compelled to adopt, as, until I can get
lumber sawed, I have no place for confinement. I am under the impression
that the 
Indians will not give much trouble, as they perceive that their own judges
are in 
earnest to carry out the wishes of the Department. 
Surrounded as we are on all sides by the whites, the greater part of whom
with longing eyes on this reservation, it is not to be doubted that every
means will 
be resorted to in order to get a chance at this land, which is, perhaps,
about the best 
in Oregon. The inst effective weapon for this purpose is, of course, whisky,
or some 
other intoxicant. Notwithstanding all our efforts, viz: the United States
judge, mar- 
shal, commissioner, and myself, there are cases of this nature whiich we
are unable 
to discover with certainty. The punishment inflicted in the few cases brought
the United States district judge at Portland, Oreg., have been punished in
instances by fine of from $10 to $'25. In my opinion, where a person is convicted
selling liquor to Indians, in addition to a fine, a term of imprisonment
should be 

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