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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1884

Report of agent in Colorado,   pp. 18-20 PDF (1.1 MB)

Page 19

REPORT OF AGENT IN        COLORADO.                   19 
This branch of the service at this agency may be called a failure; not but
there is good material here for Indian police, but because they have no accommo-
dations whatever at the agency. Could suitable quarters be provided, and
a full 
ration be issued, which would insure their presence here at all times, discipline
be established and they would doubtless become efficient and be of great
service to 
the agent. 
Out of the 27 children sent to Albuquerque Indian school in May, 1883, 3
of that 
number have died from sickness. The remaining 24 are making satisfactory
I am authorized to build a school-house here, with a view of establishing
a day-school. 
This I consider a premature move, as I am certain it will be next to impossible
secure an attendance. My idea of educating an Indian is to learn him to work
earn his own living. By doing this he becomes locatedl; you will know where
to find 
him. You could take his children into a day-school then with some certainty
of hav- 
ing a regular attendance. With the present condition of affairs I consider
the estab- 
lishment of a day-school will be a failure. 
Under this head there is a question whether these Indians are guilty or not.
ing the month of July there was an attack maae on Indians by cattle-men about
miles west of the reservation line, the cattle-men clai ilug the Indians
to be Southern 
Utes and having a large number of their horses. The Utes deny the statement,
say the thieves are renegade Indians, that belong to no agency, of which
class of In- 
dians about 400 live in Utah. However, it would not be surprising if some
of the 
renegades belonging to this agency (of which there are always more or less
in any 
tribe) were engaged in the trouble referred to. 
The suppdies furnished last year were largely deficient for the number of
who received rations. I have 991 Indians on this reservation. About 800 receive
tions every week; the remaining 200 frequent the agency seldom, except to
cash annuities or clothing. This visit is made about twice a year. For these
800 In- 
dians during last year I was furnished 75,000 pounds of flour, 100,000 pounds
of beef, 200 
pounds of coffee, and 3,500 pounds of sugar, and am expected to keep them
on a reser- 
vation where no game to speak of exists. The fact is simply this: it is inpossible
keep starving Indians on a reservation when they can go into the mountains
few miles and get plenty of game to subsist on. They will eitherdo that or
kill cattle, 
which graze on the reservation by the thousand, and the Indians receive no
for the same. The Indians say that before they sent their children to school
commenced farming they had plenty to eat. I consider the present action on
part of the Government a reward for depredations. Why ? Because as soon as
Indian shows a disposition to become civilized the Government cuts off his
and he must either steal or starve. 
Last October these Indians leased a portion of their reservation to Mr. Edward
Wheeler, of Fort Lewis, Colo., for grazing purposes, subject to the action
of the 
Department, and were to receive $10,000 per year in advance for the privilege.
amount of money equally divided among the Indians, as it would have been
had the 
lease been approved, would have gone far towards their support. The Department
refused to recognize any agreement of this kind, and of course it went by
At the same time there is, and has been since the establishment of this agency,
grazing on the reservation, for which the Indians receive no benefit. 
This part of my report has been referred to so often and by so many different
spectors, &c., I deem it hardly necessary to make mention of the situation.
I will say that the buildings for the storage of supplies and the accommodation
the agent and his employdis consist of two old log buildings, which are insufficient
for accommodation and comfort of agent and employds and unsafe for the protection
of supplies. The dwelling-house is overrun with vermin. After repeated efforts

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