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

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


Page 63

COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
No. 19. 
PAJUTAZEE, September, 1855. 
Shortly after the last annual report was written, the Dakotahs 
moved off to attend the payment at Redwood, from which few of 
them returned before the first of December. 
The attendance on the school for the quarter ending with that 
month is equal to seven and a half scholars for sixty days, or rather 
more than twenty a day, from the time the Indians returned to this 
neighborhood. For. the next quarter, also, the attendance exceeded 
an average of twenty for sixty days. 
During the quarter ending in June, owing to the scarcity of food 
in this neighborhood, they were so much absent that the average 
attendance was only equal to twelve and one-third for forty days; 
and it has been still less during the present quarter, as the children. 
when about home, have been chiefly occupied in guarding their corn 
from the birds, or in assisting to gather it. 
It is, however, painfully manifest to us that the Dakotahs here are 
less disposed to send their children to school than they were a year or 
two ago. This, we believe, is owing to the gwvernment keeping back 
their educational annuities; and if these annuities remain unex- 
pended for a few years longer, it is doubtful whether we shall be able 
to have any school. 
The females of the mission family spent much of their time in 
instructing the Dakotah women in knitting, needle-work, washing, 
ironing, &c., and with a good measure of success. In this depart- 
ment, Miss Williamson, who has charge of the school, has been 
aided much by Miss Briggs, and, since she left, by Miss Daws. 
The whole number who have attended the school here within the 
year (exclusive of four children who have no Indian blood and are 
not included in the above average attendance) is fifty-five. 
Of these, seven have studied the arithmetic, twenty-four writing, 
of whom eight write a good hand, four read the English Bible, two 
Webster's spelling book; the others have studied only the Dakotah 
language; fifteen read Wowapi Wakan, the Holy Scriptures, nine 
read Wowapi Inonpa, Second Reading Book, five read and spell in 
Woonspi, Dakotah Primer; thirteen are learning to spell, five 
learning the alphabet. 
Two Dakotah children are boarded in our family, and two others 
are, through our influence, properly cared for and instructed in white 
families in the settled parts of thG Territory. Towards the support 
of one of these the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign 
Missions, which sustains us here, pays forty dollars a year. 
We are grieved that so little success attends our labors for the 
spiritual welfare of the Dakotahs, but we have evidence that these 
labors are not in vain. 
It is the province of the superintendent of farming to speak of their 
advances in that and in building. These advances are made, so far 
as I have had an opportunity of seeing them, by those only who have 
attended our schools and religious meetings. The Dakotah, so long 
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