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

[Dakota],   pp. 238-259 PDF (10.7 MB)


Page 254

254     REPORT    OF   THE   COMMISSIONER       OF   INDIAN    AFFAIRS. 
In the latter part of March a commission, composed of four distinguished
and reliable gen- 
tlemen, examined the affairs of this agency, of which they made a very favorable
report. 
Early in August arrived another commission to select a new location for this
agency, and 
after a thorough exploration of the country for a period of about one month,
including an 
examination of the country at the eastern slope of the Black Hills, between
the North and 
South forks of the Cheyenne, they finally selected a spot at the head of
Beaver Creek, about 
twelve miles from present agency, and instructed the agent to move to that
point. The 
troops now here will also move and put up winter-quarters within half a mile
of our new 
location, where there is excellent water, prime timber convenient, and good
grazing-lands. 
The larger portion of the Indians are camped on Chadron Creek, about fifteen
miles away. 
So much has in former times been suggested as to the proper management of
the Indians 
by those competent to understand such matters, that there appears but little
room fcr other 
suggestions.  I would respectfully, however, express my opinion that much
of the trouble 
caused by Indians on this reservation is caused by young men, who are difficult
to manage 
in any part of the world. Many of these were childien here when the late
treaty was made. 
They know nothing, care nothing about its stipulations, and while the older
men of the 
tribe are peaceable, they find it difficult to control the young men. 
I believe that these tribes can sooner be civilized by teaching the rising
generation to read 
and write than by any other method, and that liberal appropriations for schools
and churches 
would be economy in the Government, and a benefit to the Indians. 
The wagons and oxen purchased for the use of the Indians at this agency will
be very 
useful in transporting the store-houses, shops, and supplies to the new location,
thereby 
saving a considerable expense to the Government in the matter of transportation,
which will 
all be done by these teams, and when the move is completed, these oxen and
wagons will be 
distributed for use among the Indians, where they will prove a valuable aid
toward their 
civilization. 
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
E. A. HOWARD, 
United States Indian Ageat. 
Hon. COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, 
Washington, D. C. 
SISSETON AGENCY, DAKOTA, September 1, 1874. 
SIR: In compliance with the requirements of the Department of the Interior,
I have the 
honor to submit the following annual report: 
The Indians of my charge are composed of Sioux or Dakotas of the Sisseton
and Wah- 
peton bands, and their relatives of mixed blood with-Canadian and French,
and are located 
on the Lake Tra-ierse reservation, which embraces an area of about 1,435
square miles and 
918,352 square acres. 
POPULATION. 
We have enrolled and residing on this reservation-males, 761; females, 916;
total, 1,677. 
This increase of number enrolled at this agency during the past year is owing
chiefly to the 
following reasons: 1. The general good health, and consequently few deaths,
among this 
people. 2. Natural increase. 3. The success had in inducing the Waby Indians,
chiefly of 
the Sisseton and Wahpeton bands of Sioux, referred to in my lftt annual report
as then 
"wild, vagrant, and shy," to comre in and settle upon this reservation,
and avail themselves 
of their privileges and advantages under the provisions of the treaty of
1867. Their chief, 
Big Eagle Feather, died last autumn, and in their affliction and want of
a leader they gladly 
and in good faith selected farms, and have entered upon a life of labor in
the cultivation of 
the soil and preparation of homes for their families. Another source of increase,
as per en 
rollment, is owing to the large number of Indian scouts recently discharged
from the United 
States service on the frontier, and who have cast in their lot with this
people, to whom they 
are related. 
GENERAL CONDUCT OF THE INDIANS. 
This, for the most part, has been good during the year covered by this report.
A large 
majority of the Indians enrolled here are friendly and true to the whites
and loyal to the 
United States Government, and co-operate with its agents in the development
ot the plan 
adopted under the treaty of 1867 for their advancement in civilization. A
few old chiefs 
and chiefs' soldiers, and a few half-breeds only, have manifested a disloyal
spirit and 
attempted to inaugurate some revolutionary measures looking to their independence
of all 
law and order, except as they themselves might ordain or elect. This manifested
itself early 
in December last on the part of a small faction of these Indians, led on
by some of whom 
we had reason to have looked for better service. In violation of my official
order, as well 
as of the tenth article of the treaty of 1867 an impromptu police force or
mob was raised by 
this faction in secret council, presuming to improve on the official acts
of myself and my pred- 


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