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

[Colorado],   pp. 271-276 PDF (3.0 MB)


Page 273

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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