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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 144

144      REPORTS OF AGENTS IN WASHINGTON             TERRITORY. 
On the 1st of October I had 43 scholars attending the industrial school.
This num- 
ber was increased to 58 during the winter and the average attendance has
been 50. 
The school room is 21 by 24, and is well crowded with that number of scholars.
Sixty 
is the outside number that can be accommodated unless the buildings are enlarged,
but 
as 200 of the Makah Indians live from seven to fifteen miles distant from
the agency it 
is not likely that more than 60 scholars can be had for the school. I am
aware that a 
greater number have been reported by a former agent as attending school regularly,
but facts will not justify the reports. The teacher, J. H. Forrest Bell,
has, in addition 
to his duties as teacher, supervised the manual labor of the boys, conducted
a Sab- 
bath school regularly, and preached a short sermon every Sunday evening.
I deem 
it of great importance in the work of improving the Indians to teach them
a due 
observance of the Sabbath, and Mr. Bell has been a faithful helper in this
work. He 
is a missionary of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and through his efforts
a large 
number of useful presents were sent to the scholars by the Episcopal Board
of Missions 
of New York, evidencing to the children that people living at a distance
were inter- 
ested in their improvement and welfare. All of the school employ6s have been
faith- 
ful and attentive to their duties and a gradual improvement has been made.
The sanitary affairs have been looked after by the agency physician, Dr.
Robert. 
Lyall, and there is a perceptible improvenment in cleanliness and a gradual
lessening 
of the Indian methods in caring for the sick. Some of the old and fanatical
ones 
still try to maintain the influence of their medicine men, but it is a rare
thing to find 
them attempting to practice their tomanous. 
I have endeavored to establish an Indian court as directed by the rules governing
the court of Indian offenses, but so far I have not been able to find suitable
Indians, 
who are willing to serve in that capacity. All offenses are examined into
by myself 
or, in my absence, by the agency physician, and the offenders are punished
by con- 
finement in the agency jail and at hard labor, in proportion to the nature
of the 
offense committed. I have no serious trouble in governing them, and am satisfied,
that with firmness and fair and honest treatment no serious trouble need
be appre- 
hended. 
There has not been any serious offenses committed by the Indians of Neah
Bay 
Agency since I have been in charge, and the credit for good behavior is,
to some ex- 
tent, due to the vigilance of the Indian police. As a rule they have been
prompt to 
perform every duty required of them. Those who have been negligent were promptly
discharged. 
The Quillehute Indians are 30 miles from the agency by land and 40 miles
by water 
and so difficult of access that I cannot make frequent visits to them. The
route by 
land is along the ocean-beach at low tides and over the spurs of the bluffs,
and can 
only be traveled on foot. In my visits to them I have taken advantage of
a smooth 
sea and made the tri o in a canoe. These Indians are anxious to have a day
school, 
and I have repeatedly urged to have their reqtnest granted. There would be
an 
average attendance of 25 scholars, and I again respectfully request to have
a school 
for them. 
The Maliah and Quillehute Indians depend almost entirely on sealing and fishing
for a living. The sealing this year has been a comparative failure. From
the best 
information I can gather not more, than 5,000 seals have been taken, and
the average 
price paid will not exceed $3 per skin. Under the rules of sealing one-third
of the 
catch is given the schooners furnished for sealing purposes, and this leaves
but 
$10,000 for the Indians a falling off of $15,000 of the amount reported last
year. 
But little can be done in the way of farming, for the land at both locations
is of 
very inferior quality and constant fertilizing is required to produce a respectable
crop. 
I have given every'possible encouragement to farming, assisted them in plowing,
and 
furnished seed in many instances, but the late spring rains prevented seasonable
planting, and the dry summer has hindered the growth of vegetables to that
extent 
that the harvest will be very small. 
QUINAIELT AGENCY. 
Robert M. Rylatt has been the teacher at Quinaielt Agency since October 1,
1882, 
and has had general charge of the affairs at that place since that time.
I have visited 
there regularly at the end of each quarter to pay the employis and make up
the 
reports and returns, and found that reasonatde progress was being made in
the school 
and in general work among the Indians. The task of taking full charge of
the agency 
and teaching the school is a laborious one, and Mr. Rylatt is entitled to
great credit 
for the faithful performance of his dtties. The other employ46s have also
been faith- 
ful an] attentive to their duties, and art) entitled to a share of the progress
made. 
Dr. J. B. Price, agency physician, sent in his resignation in May, to take
effect 
June 360. Circular No. I)1 prohibits the agent from selecting a physician
to fill the 
place. On the 4th of June I informed the Department of the vacancy, and after
waiting tintil the 15th of , uly for an answer, or the appointment of a physician,
I em- 
ployed Dr. George A. Dearden to the place, and forwarded a descriptive statement
for 


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