United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1874
[Colorado], pp. 271-276 PDF (3.0 MB)
REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 273 person be ordered by the agent to accompany them, whose duty it shall be to see that they do not come in collision with any of the other tribes. I desire to congratulate the Department upon the success of its management of this service in Colorado, and I have the pleasure of acknowledging the uniform courtesy and promptness of its officers. Very respectfully, your obedient servant, JAMES B. THOMPSON, United States Special Indian Agent. The COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, llfashington, D. C. Los PINOS AGENCY, September 10, 1874. SiR: I have the honor to submit the following report. The report must necessarily be confined to information obtained during the single month of my administration here, and to suggestions diffidently made on account of my brevity of acquaintance with these Indians and the affairs of the agency. I found the buildings, for the most part, in good condition. The house for the agent can hardly be surpassed for comfort, convenience, and neatness on any other agency. On account of my predecessor's long expectation of my arrival, which was unavoidably delayed, the Indians had been for several weeks scantily supplied with provisions. At about the time of my arrival, however, 51 sacks of flour came, which were quickly issued. A little larger amount of supplies than usual in the two or three first issues seemed to satisfy them. Evidently some of them did not like a change of agent, and they are dissatisfied with the treaties; but there is no complaint whatever to be made of their behavior. Ouray and sev- eral of his chiefs plainly say that it is neither right nor for their interests to have any trouble with the Government. While the Government is obliged to use force against other tribes, the almost universal opinion of the Colorado people that they never will have to do so against the Utes is certainly worth something. The dissatisfaction with the treaties is nothing new. While many of the chiefs understand, and did understand while making the last two treaties, the boundaries by straight lines, and that some of the farming-lands might be included in the portion ceded to the Government, others probably did not so understand it; and these make trouble which it may be difficult to allay, though there can hardly be any danger of an out- break from it. But precisely because the Indians of this tribe are peaceably inclined, it seems just and proper that the Government should be solicitous to grant Lem promptly all the treaties call for, if not more. When the Utes receive the horses and guns they have expected under the last treaty, they will doubtless feel more contented. I would most earnestly recommend establishing by survey, at a very early period. the boundaries of the portion lately ceded to the Government, and the erection of conspicuous and lasting monuments which people inexperibMced in surveying, and even the Indians, can readily find. Accustomed to look upon these grand mountains as their land-marks, they need something more than small stones, inscribed however legibly-mounds, perhaps, and not less than three or four feet high. The Utes being suspicious that Gunnison Town, a mew settlement about five miles from the agency cattle-camp, was on the reservation, I, with one of the settlers and another man, spent the greater part of a day in searching the monuments of Darling's sur- vey of the eastern boundary of the reservation, of which I have received from Washington a copy of the field-notes. The lay of the country so corresponded with the description in the surveyors' notes, and the assertion by Mr. Wilson, of Mr. Wheeler's surveying expedition, that the line was three or four miles west of our herding-camp, satisfied us that we were in about the right place; but we could see none of the monuments, although they and their location were minutely described. I found on my arrival at the agency a hot-bed, with very little in it, and a small patch of oats, making it evident that there was very little courage here about agriculture. The oats, however, looked very promising. and I was encouraged to plan in my mind the cultivation of several acres next summer; but on the 3d of this month there came a heavy frost, so that we found ice a quarter of an inch thick. The oats, which were just filling, were destroyed. Meanwhile there were brought to me from the new settlement on the Gunnis oo, near the pro- posed sight for the agency, some very good potatoes, turnips, and beets-very complete evi- dence that some years, if not all, some of the most important articles of food could be raised there. And now in regard to changing the location of the agency. I have already written to the Commissioner that the proposed location is not the proper one. The raising of the crops above mentioned, however, convinces me that it is not so unfa- vorable as I had supposed, and a conference with Ouray, thd head-chief, satisfies me that it is the best to which the Indians will at present consent. It may, therefore, be well to erect good' but inexpensive adobe buildings, with the hope that before a great many years no serious objection will be made to removing to a warmer situation in the heart of the reserva tion. 18 IND.
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