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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 146

146      REPORTS OF AGENTS IN         WASHINGTON       TERRITORY. 
QUINAIELT INDIAN AGENCY, WASHINGTON TERRITORY, 
A gust 3, 1883. 
SIa: In compliance witb your orders, I respectfully submit my report of affairs
at 
this reservation. Having been intrusted by you to take charge here on the
1st day 
of October last, and having hitherto been an entire stranger to these Indians
and 
their habits, and taking into consideration the many duties I am called up)on
to ful- 
fill as teacher in charge, 1 may be pardoncd if, while yet possessing but
a limited 
knowledge of my widely scattered charges, I am unable to furnish as satisfactory
a 
report as you would desire. 
In presenting to you the labors and results of those employed at this agency,
and of 
the Indians generally, I will commence with my own immediate charge, "the
school." 
The average attendance during the year has been 25. During that time 3 male
and 2 
female scholars have been iermitted to withdraw, having attained maturity,
and 4 
new scholais have been added, leaving a present total of 24 boarding scholars.
I 
take great pleasure in rendering a favorable report of the progress made
by the 
scholars in all branches of learning taught. In the school-room they are
attentive, 
and pliable to the will of the teacher. At out-door employment they are cheerful,
obedient, and industrious. The girls are quick to take in and retain the
instructions 
of the matron and cook; some of them are excellent seamstresses, good plain
cooks, 
good washers and ironers; equally good at bread and pastry making. The boys
at- 
tain a general knowledge of gardening, and some knowledge of field work;
also in 
the use of the ax and other tools, and in the management of a team. I estimate
the 
boys of the school will this year realize some 200 bushels potatoes, 20 bushels
beets, 
300 bushels turnips, 75 bushels carrots, 5 bushels onions, and sufficient
of pease and 
cabbage lor school requirements. As you are aware, sir, many kinds of garden
pro- 
duce do not thrive or mature well so close to the ocean in this latitude.
Our onion 
crop is almost a failure. Cucumbers, tomatoes, beans, and green corn do not
thrive 
well here. We expect to secure about 12 tons hay; 45 rods fencing has been
done by 
the employ6s and the scholars. A great portion of this has been in the renewal
of old 
fences: also, 4 acres new ground have been broken. 
Of the employ6s of this agency I cannot speak too highly ; they are all that
could be 
desired. I may specially mention the employ6 holding the position of teamster
and 
blacksmith, whose duties are multitudinous, and none other than a worker,
and a 
man capable of turning his hand to anything, could fill the position. Such
a man I 
fortunately possess. The work of a teamster alone at this agency during one-half
of 
the year is no sinecure. 
There are no apprentices here; there are no employs to teach apprentices;
save 
the physician and teacher, this agency hai but one white male employ6. There
are 
no missionaries here; the employds have exerted themselves in the good work
to the 
best of their ability. There are many aged and indigent Indians here, whom
it is 
found necessary to supply with necessaries from time to time. 
The death rates shown indicate the climate to be a healthy one, and, in fact,
the 
general sanitary condition of these Indians is good. Considerable scrofula
exists, but 
not to the extent I have known with some tribes. 
The three Indian police of this agency do not display the zeal I could wish.
They 
have done good service certainly, and a good police force is indispensable
here; but 
on two occasions I have had to recommend changes in this small force. There
seems 
to be a laxity it is hard to overcome. I should strongly recommend that this
force be 
increased-in fact, doubled. There is a field here for their usefulness, as
at times it is 
necessary to dispatch them to a considerable distance, often leaving the
agency with 
but one of these officers at command. 
Of the agricultural improvements by the Indians of this agency I can say
but little. 
The tribes are so scattered, or live at so great a distance, that but little
can be ascer- 
tained; and I might add that the ideas of these Indians, living isolated
from civili- 
zation, are so limited that it is hard to get at facts and figures. Moreover,
my duties 
are such, that to visit them has hitherto been out of the question. I can,
therefore, 
only give by approximation the following: 1,000 bushels potatoes, 1,000 bushels
tur- 
nips, 100 bushels carrots, 10 bushels onions, 20 bushels beets. A few have
cabbage 
and pea patches; and of their hay crop probably 20 tons. But little has been
done by 
these tribes so far as I can ascertain in breaking new land during the past
year; and, in 
fact, it is hard to turn their attention from their old pursuits of hunting
and fishing. 
These modes of life are more remunerating than farming patches of land, and
they 
adhere to them with the tenacity they adhere to some of the heathenish customs
and 
superstitions of their forefathers. 
This allusion to the heathenish customs of these tribes leads me to speak
of the code 
of rules governing courts of Indian offenses, dated March 20 last, and issued
by the 
Indian Department, in pamphlet form, for enforcement at the several agencies.
I 
called agen eral meeting of the Indians, and had a good gathering. Each rule
was 
carefully read and explained, and as carefully interpreted. The Indians were
invited 
to ask a further explanation of any rule they did not fully understand, and
the same 


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