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 Washington territory,   pp. 141-157 PDF (8.3 MB)


Page 143

REPORTS OF AGENTS IN         WASHINGTON     TERRITORY.       143 
MISSIONARY WORK. 
The missionary work among these Indians is still carried on by the Jesuit
Fathers, 
who have labored among them forty-three years past with a degree of success
worthy 
of all praise; and much of the general good rendered to the public and to
the Gov- 
ernment by their influence over the Indians will never be known. 
REDUCTION OF THE EMPLOYI$ FORCE. 
The continual reduction of the employ6 force of the agency from year to year
until 
we are at last deprived of even an interpreter, although there are eight
different dia- 
lects spoken by the tribes of this agency, would seem to imply great proficiency
on 
the part of the agent or that very small results are desired. It can scarcely
be ex- 
pected that an agent can perform the office work required and the necessary
corre- 
spondence with your office, and at the same time give the proper attention
to some 
3,50 Indians, scattered over a tract of land equal in area to at least two
of the New 
England States; and if some of the Indians complain of being neglected it
should 
not be considered very surprising. 
The practice of allowing parties having no connection with the agency to
go 
among the Indians, without the knowledge of the agent, with authority from
some 
official source, to inquire into their wants and make them promises which
the agent 
would have no authority to do (and which would require an act of Congress
to com- 
ply with) is calculated to impair the service and to render the Indians dissatisfied,
and to destroy the authority of the agent. Too little has been done to strengthen
the hands of the agent, and too much license has been given to persons to
interfere 
with his work. 
PROGRESS OF THE INDIANS. 
Although there has been much to contend with in the management of this agency
from the meager appropriations, the lack of the necessary employgs, the want
of mills 
and suitable buildings, the encroacbments of whites upon their domains, and
the 
difficulties attending the land titles of the Indians, the most incredulous
will have to 
acknowledge that there has been a steady progress made in the right direction
among 
the greater number of the tribes. They have maintained peaceable relations
with 
the whites; they have abandoned their nomadic habits, and from the pursuit
of 
game and fur-bearing animals they have turned their attention to agricultural
pur- 
suits. They have learned to appreciate the advantage of education for their
children, 
and are fast becoming a self-sustaining and independent people. With fair
dealing 
towards them by the Government there is no reason but to anticipate that
their 
offspring will become good citizets and useful members of society. 
The statistical report is herewith inclosed. 
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
JOHN A. SIMMS, 
Uvited Statea Indian Agent. 
The COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
NEAH BAY AND QUINAIELT AGENCY, WASHINGTON TERRITORY, 
_Neah Bay, Augu8t 15, 1883. 
SIR: In compliance with the instructions contained in your circular-letter-of
July 
13, 1 have the honor to submit the following report for the fiscal year ending
June 
30, 1883, being my first report for Neah Bay and Quinaielt agencies consolidated,
and 
my sixth report as Indian agent. 
This agency is located on the straits of Juan De Fuca, just inside of Cape
Flattery, 
and the tribes and bands of Indians belonging thereto are scattered from
the straits 
to the Columbia River, a distance of 200 miles by the coast line, and inland
at Gray's 
Harbor and the Chehalis River, a distance of 50 miles. With Indians so widely
scat- 
tered it is a very difficult matter for the agent to visit them as often
as is really 
necessary for good government. 
NEAH BAY AGENCY. 
On taking charge of the consolidated agency September 17, 1882, I found the
popu- 
lation of the Neah Bay Agency reported as follows: Makahs, 701; Quillehutes
318; 
and a school population of Makahs, 139, Quillehutes, 109. These numbers were
re- 
ported by me until I cmuld take a correct census, which was carefully done
by the 
agency physician and myself during March and April last, and there are 507
Makahs 
and '236i Quillebutes; total, 743. The census also shows 88 children of school
age of 
the Makah's and 48 children of school age of the Quillehutes. 


Go up to Top of Page