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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1855

[Minnesota superintendency],   pp. 48-68 PDF (8.7 MB)

Page 50

as 1 have been able to learn. While upon this subject I beg leave t> 
recommend that your office, in view of the heavy expense incurred 
annually in forwarding Indian supplies to the Winnebago and Sioux 
agencies from St. Paul, ask Congress to appropriate about $30,000 for 
constructing a road from some point on the Big Sioux and Mendota 
(government) road, via Fort Ridgeley to Red Wood and Yellow Med- 
icine, the Sioux agencies. This would greatly facilitate the transpor- 
tation of soldiers, munitions of war, and supplies to Fort Ridgely, 
and a like advantage would accrue to the Indian Department in for- 
warding Indian supplies to said posts, and I sincerely trust that you 
will lay this matter before Congress at an early day. I need not dis- 
cuss it, as a glance at the map and your knowledge of the annual 
expense and difficulty in forwarding the Indian supplies will point 
out the great necessity for such a road. 
I beg leave, also, to urge that a small appropriation of $10,000 be 
requested to make a road from Mankato, or the nearest point from the 
Winnebago agency, to the Big Sioux and Mendota (government) road, 
say a distance of twelve or fifteen miles. At present, this last named 
distance is mostly through heavy timber and marshes or wet lands, 
and, consequently, at times utterly impassable; and none so much 
interested in making the agency easily accessible as the government. 
The distance from the government road now being constructed from 
Mendota, on the Mississippi river, to the Big Sioux, on the Missouri, at
its nearest point from Fort Ridgely, is, perhaps, about forty-five miles
in the direction of St. Paul, entirely over prairie land, with frequently
wet and marshy places, which, during a rainy season, render trans- 
portation by wagons utterly impossible. The distance from   Fort 
Ridgely to the Lower Sioux agency is twelve miles, and from thence 
to the Upper Sioux agency twenty-eight miles. 
These appropriations are so essentially necessary that I sincerely 
trust that you will feel called upon to urge them upon Congress at an 
early day. 
I have the honor to be your obedient servant, 
Governor and ex offlcio Superintendent Indian .4tairs. 
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Washington City, D. C. 
No. 15. 
CIPPEWA AGENCY, October 17, 1855. 
SIR: Each year's experience strengthens the opinion formed during 
the first year of my residence among the Chippewas of the Mississippi, 
"that these Indians can be civilized."  All that is required is
adhering to that line of policy which experience has proved to be the 
most beneficial. 
One, and perhaps the greatest, hindrance to the advancement of the 
Indians in civilization is the frequent changes in general policy pur- 

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