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

[Central superintendency],   pp. 68-118 PDF (20.8 MB)

Page 89

do not work too much; but when we see that their habits of industry 
and economy are all to be formed here, and that until these habits are 
formed letters can be of but little use to them, there seems little dan-
ger of carrying this essential part of their education too far. We 
have always observed that the more uniform and strict they are kept 
at business the more amiable and contented they seem to be. 
There still seems to be a lingering disposition among the relatives 
and professed friends of some of the children to persuade and entice 
them off to their new settlements. They come with friendly preten- 
sions, eat and lodge at the mission, and e'er we are aware some of the 
scholars are missing. And when once away it is exceedingly hard 
for us to recover them; no one seems to know where they are. Sym- 
pathy seems to run in favor of the relative, and sport and ridicule is 
sometimes the reward for a toilsome trip to find the little runaway. 
Still we can well sympathise with the kind hearted relative, who 
thinks he seeks the good of the child. Their attachments are not 
tempered with knowledge; they cannot value an education, because 
they know not what it is; and when they hear of their children being 
at work, a thing not most congenial to themselves, or of their being 
chastised in school, it is not strange that they should feel desirous of
having them with themselves. 
But we are happy to say that these cases of stealthful departure 
from school, through the influence of relatives, are growing less fre- 
quent; and we trust that with the aid which, under the new regula- 
tions, you will be able to give they will soon be unknown. 
The only hope now for the remaining fragments of these dying 
tribes is a thorough training, both in letters and manual labor; and 
we look with interest to the new contracts between the government 
and the mission board for the more full and decidea fulfilment of these 
desirable objects. We are well prepared with clothing, rooms, pro- 
visions, &c., for the fulfilment of the board's contract; and we are
ready and anxious to render all the aid in our power to collect the full
number of scholars from all those tribes when contracts have been 
I should like to say something with regard to the religious and 
moral condition of the children and school, but these lines having 
been put off now to the latest hour, on account of sickness, and having 
nothing that would be striking or decidedly interesting on this point, 
I must close. 
With best wishes, I am, dear sir, your friend and obedient servant, 
No. 32. 
September 30, 1855. 
SIR: In obedience to your notice of the 27th instant, I report that 
the operations of the farm of the Sacs and Foxes of Missouri have 
been but partially successful. I had twenty-five acres of wheat well 

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