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

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

Page 135

REPORTS OF AGENTS IN         OREGON.                  135 
at which time I had the help of Rev. Mr. Dick, from the Willamette Valley.
a number professed Christianity and united with the Church. No contributions
been made during the year by any religious societies or other persons. The
building, 24 by 40 feet, which I reported as commenced last year, has been
so far 
completed that services are held in it every 6abbath, and have been since
the first 
Sabbath in July last. Most of the work has been performed upon it by my own
hands, often in weariness and painfulness. I did it as my last legacy to
the Indian@ 
I loved and whom I have so long helped. 
The year has been quite free from the more aggravating crimes. The few of
latter that we have had to deal with were nearly always brought about by
cating liquors. One Indian doctor was murdered last spring by an Indian whose
father had been killed by this doctor, as he boasted. Two other men were
in the 
tragedy, but there was no proof that they took part; but all three were drunk,
the drunken doctor was strangled by one man while the other two looked on.
murderer is now bound over to appear next September in the circuit court
for Wasco 
County, to answer to the charge of manslaughter. I report but six Indians
and punished by civil law, and all for being drunk. Personal encounters are
rare among Indians. I report only three cases. Indians punished by an Indian
council, 15, the causes being mostly for stealing horses or wives of other
men. The 
court for the trial of Indian offenses has not been fully organized, hence
I cannot say 
how it will succeed. I have great confidence in its ultimate success when
fully car- 
ried out. I report no crimes as against the Indians by the whites, nor contrarywise.
At least two whisky sellers have been arrested for selling liquor to these
but as only nominal fines were imposed, there results but little fear of
the law. 
By the Indians, I estimate 2,000 acres as having been cultivated; by Government,
but 12 acres, and these were sown for grain-hay. The season has been the
known for years; in fact, there is no record of its equal since the settlement
of this 
country. For all this, the crops are turning out much better than last year.
This is 
owing to the bountiful rains in April aud May, which so well saturated the
that the crops in most places got a splendid start. Had the favorable weather
tinued the year's crop would have been the largest ever harvested, for all
a scarcity 
of seed-grain prevented a much larger acreage from being sown. I estimate
bushels of wheat and 1,000 bushels of oats as the probable yield of the principal
products. Gardens generally look well, and there will likely be 1,000 bushels
of po- 
tatoes with other vegetables in smaller quantities. 
No allotments to any persons have as yet been made. A part of the reservation
was surveyed years ago into lots suitable for allotment, as provided for
by treaty of 
June 25, 1-55, but nothing more has been done. Each passing year will make
satisfactory allotment more difficult. 
Number of horses is estimated at 5,800; cattle, 500. During the year upwards
200 head of cattle have been sold off or butchered for home use; so that
there is no 
gain. But two men have sheep, of whom one has 200 and the other 100 head;
latter purchased this snmmer. The brokeu character of this reservation makes
better adapted to stock, and especially sheep, than anything else. The winters
milder than at any other point east of the Cascade Mountains. Last winter,
the mercury was marking from 100 to 300 below zero in other localities, at
agency the lowest was 60 below, and but little snow on the ground; so that
all wintered in good condition, and we had fair beef all the time right off
t e ranges. 
The saw-mill has cut upwards of 139,000 feet of lumber, mostly for Indians.
ing most of the time it has been ran by an Indian. 
The grist-mill was run but little, as compared with former years, for there
was but 
little wheat to grind. What time it was runaan Indian had charge of the work,
my miller for the present year is an Indian. 
The run of salmon has been unusually good, and most of the Indians have secured
a liberal supply of salt and dried salmon. But few furs are taken now-a-days,

Go up to Top of Page