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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1865
([1865])

Washington superintendency,   pp. 67-101 PDF (14.8 MB)


Page 68

68 
WASHINGTON SUPERINTENDENCY. 
are his-worst enemies. He would yield to the influence of him whon he 
rezarded as'his friend, and like a simple child would be drawn into safe
and 
salutary habits. 
Hence my first recommendation is this  Whenever vacancies occur in 
the Indian service, let those vacancies be filled, not necessarily by the
first 
man or any man who asks it, but by such men and only such as the condi- 
tions above stated require. 
There is no other work in the gift of the government which requires such
peculiar qualifications as that of teachers and laborers among Indians. If
the 
servants of the government in this field are the right sort of men, who are
able 
to govern the Indians by the force of their own moral power, then the money
expended for Indians will do them good; otherwise, if they arc selfish, un-
principled and unfaithful men, then the money expended will do the Indians
harm instead of good, and the whole service will prove a failure in their
hands. 
There is'no doubt that the policy which tends most strongly to entice the
Indians to abandon their wild and wandering mode-of life, ancdcome on the
reservations and make their permanent abode there, is the best policy both
for the Indians and the vhite people. Wherever this is accomplished it is
easy 
to keep them away from evil influences from without, to cultivate habits
of 
industry among them, and to keep their children within reach of instruction.
Only a part of the reservations of this Territory are as yet sufficiently
im- 
proved to offer inducements adequate to bring the Indians on them; conse-
quently they stroll about in pursuit of subsistence, and are generally found
loitering near those white settlements where the means of their demoraliza-
tion are the most abundant. 
My opinion is that most of the money appropriated for beneficial objects
should be invested in the improvement of reservations, supplying proper 
biTildings, clearing and fencing land, purchasing stock, farming implements,
&c., and that the benefits of such appropriations should in all cases
be re- 
stricted to those who make their homes on- the reservations. The issuing
of annuities,-either in the form of money or goods, to wild wandering Indians,
is a positive injury to them, since it adds so much to their stock on which
to gamble and trade for whiskey; and if all such Indians were to be made
distinctly to understand that they could get no benefit from the government
except by settling upon the reservations, and giving their time and attention
to the work there carried on for their support, the tendency would be to
gather them in and bring them under safe influences. 
Take the Skokomish reservation, at the head of Hood canal, as an exam- 
ple. There is a large tract of rich intervale land, sufficient, if properly
im- 
proved;, to yield ample subsistence for the large number of Indians belong-
ibg to that agency; yet the great body of those Indians live a wild and 
wanderinglife; only a small proportion of them ever come upon the reserva-
tions, and but very few of those pretend to reside there. 
The appropriations for school purposes are insufficient to erect the neces-
-sury building, and maintain a school upon an effective basis; and I have
thiought best thus far, since I came into office, to retain the school money
in 
my possession, hoping that at no distant day the fund will be so increased
that I shall be justified in undertaking to establish an industrial school,
such 
as the wants of that agency require. I am satisfied that to disburse the
small amount now on hand, with the present condition of the agency, and 
the present facilities for a school, would be tantamount to throwing it away.
The great end now to be accomplished is to-get the fertile land~of the reser-
vation cleared up and improved, so that the Indians can be maintained upon
it; and to this end the efforts of the present employes are tending. There
is no better grass land in the world than the'Skokomish b'ottom, the best


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