University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1874
([1874])

Information, with historical and statistical statements, relative to the different tribes and their agencies,   pp. 23-[84] PDF (29.5 MB)


Page 29

REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS.         29 
removed to Nebraska. The results of this removal will be stated here- 
after in connection with the Winnebago agency in Nebraska. 
About 180 Pottauatomies are roaming over the State without any 
home. They have been visited, numbered, and invited to join their 
brethren in Kansas, and it is believed that, under suitable encourage- 
ment, their removal will yet be accomplished. 
MINNESOTA. 
WHITE EARTH AGENCY.-This includes the Mississippi and Pillager 
Chippewas at White Earth, numbering 1,353; the Mississippi Chippewas, 
at Jille Lac, numbering 510, and at Snake River, 263, and the Pembinas, 
numbering 396. 
All attempts at civilization in this agency are made at White Earth, 
a reservation in Becker County, containing thirty-six townships, with 
valuable timber-land, abundance of water, and some of the best farm- 
ing lands ill Minnesota, sufficient to furnish a home upon which the 
Government may establish nearly all the Indians in the State. A few 
of the Pembinas, the Otter-Tail Band of Pillagers, 485 in number, and 
the remnant of the Gull Lake band which refused to remove last season, 
have this year been induced to remove thither for permanent settlement. 
Farms have been allotted, and ground broken for them. The majority 
of Indians on this reserve wear citizen's clothing, live in houses, cultivate
farms, are good workers, and are making constant and rapid progress 
in civilization. Within three years 146 Indian houses have been built, 
around which over 700 acres have been fenced and plowed and put 
into gardens and farms, and a saw and grist mill, shops for blacksmith 
and carpenter, a large farm-barn, 4 school-buildings, and 9 residences 
for employes have been erected. The crops this year consist of 2,300 
bushels wheat, 500 bushels corn, 4,000 bushels potatoes, 1,000 bushels 
turnips, besides a qiantity of onions, beans, beets, and other vegetables.
The Indians own individually 130 horses, 600 head cattle, and 400 hogs, 
and have put up nearly 1,000 tons of hay. Three years ago nearly all 
were -wild blanket Indians, livin'g in wigwams, and obtaining a preca- 
rious and wretched living by hunting and fishing. 
The boarding and day school during the year has been much inter- 
rupted by change of teachers and the burning of the boys' dormitory. 
An evening-school during the winter months was well attended, and an 
unusual enthusiasm for learning was there shown on the part of the 
Young men. In the industrial hall, basket-making and the weaving of 
matting and rag-carpet were taught the Indian women, who proved 
very apt scholars. Nearly 300,000 feet of logs were put in the boom 
at the agency saw-mill, mainly by Indian labor. 
A church of 200 members has a native rector and English pastor. 
The regular Sabbath services and weekly prayer-meeting are largely 
attended by an orderly and well-dressed congregation. In connection 
with this church, a hospital built and furnished by benevolent ,ontribu-
tions opened in February last. The agency physician is in attendance, 
and here the sick not only receive proper care, but learn how to render 
it to others. 
'The Mille Lacs are located around a lake of the same name, on lands 
which they ceded in 1863, reserving the right of occupancy during good 
behavior. N'othing has been done for them beyond the payment of their 
annuities in cash and goods, which payment is itself a source of demor- 
alization, leading directly to indolence and intoxication. Nothing can 
be done for them until they are removed to White Earth, or until the 


Go up to Top of Page