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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1904, Part I
([1904])

Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs,   pp. 1-128 PDF (50.3 MB)


Page 9

COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
the Department of Justice. January 29, 1891, the Acting Attorney- 
General replied to Department letter of January 15, 1891, that action 
had been withheld by the district attorney awaiting the arrival of the 
president of the company. 
February 20, 1891,. the Attorney-General further reported that 
information was needed as to certain physical features connected with 
the actual amount of water theretofore used by the Indians, and as to 
what part of them the canal would cut off; that as matters then stood 
they were not by any means in such shape as to proceed summarily to 
a suit, for the Department had no conclusive evidence that the Indians 
had been or would be injured and that it would seem necessary to have 
a personal inquiry upon the ground by some competent man who could 
prepare himself to testify for the Government. 
By Department authority of March 5, 1891, the Pima agent was 
instructed on March 11 to employ Mr. Lewis A. Hicks to investigate 
and report plans relative to irrigation improvements on the Gila Reser- 
vation, and to qualify himself to become a witness for the Govern- 
ment in the suit against the canal company, if it should be deemed 
advisable to continue that suit. 
He was further advised that the district attorney stated that the 
Florence Canal Company had not constructed any dam, or rather 
obstruction, in the Gila River above the Pima and Maricopa Reserva- 
tion, by which the waters of that river had been diverted from their 
natural channel to the prejudice of the prior right of the Indians, and 
that there were no data in his office to show how much water the Pima 
and Maricopa Indians had theretofore actually appropriated, nor how 
many acres of land they had actually cultivated to the one 'crop, which 
he-claimed was all they had been accustomed to irrigate. 
The report of Civil Engineer Hicks, dated April 22, 1891, stated that 
in order for him to testify whether the diversion of the waters of the 
Gila River by the Florence Canal Company had been or would be 
prejudicial to the prior rights of the Indians it would be necessary for
him to be on the ground from.the time the river commenced to get 
dry on the reservation until the flow had entirely ceased. May 30, 
1891, Agent Crouse telegraphed that it was not too late in the season 
for Engineer Hicks to make such test, and June 5 he was telegraphed 
to employ Mr. Hicks and such assistants as might be considered neces- 
sary to complete the investigation. February 16, 1892, Agent Crouse 
was directed to report whether Mr. Hicks had made ,the investigation; 
and if so, to forward his report. This report, if made, never reached 
this office, and an examination of Agent.Crouse's accounts to June 30, 
1893, fails to show any payment to Mr. Hicks. 
November 23, 1894, Inspector Duncan reported that the anticipation 
of the Geological Survey as to the disastrous effects of the construc- 
tion of the Florence Canal had been realized; but he failed to make any 
9 


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