United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1874
[Utah], pp. 276-277 PDF (991.0 KB)
REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 277 IMPROVEMENTS. Since my last report the entire Indian farm, embracing nearly 400 acres, has been in- closed, much of it, as has been stated, by the labor of the Indians themselves. Our mill- house is completed, inclosing grist, saw, and shingle mills all in complete order, having been tested in the manufacture of lumber, shingles, and flour, and have greatly pleased and encouraged our Indians. We have manufactured forty or fifty thousand feet of lumber and about as many thousand shingles, put up an addition to our farm-kitchen and dining-room. rendering it suitable for two families, built another for meat and ice house, besides repairing much of the old fence and building considerable post and board fence on the agency farm. Should the honorable Commissioner and others, while looking over the results of our labors and expenditures for the last year, think little had been acomplished, we will not dispute that point, but we beg that they will bear in mind the disadvantages under which we labor, our isolated and, for the greater part of the year, inaccessible position, and that we procure from the forest and manufacture all our own lumber, erect our buildings, and make improve- ments and do farm-work with our ordinary employes, which is not usually the case. SCHOOLS. Many of our Indians have expressed a desire for the establishment of a school, but up to this time we have not been able to put it in operation, both from the want of the necessary funds to erect and furnish the school-house and pay a teacher, and our inability to procure a suitable person to take charge. Through the liberality of the Department the necessary funds have been secured and a teacher engaged, so that we hope to have our house, which is under way, completed and our school in operation this fall. I cannot but feel solicitous for the complete success of this undertaking. I have reflected much upon the subject; still am not clear as to the kind of school best suited to the condition of our Indians and our resources. My judgment is in favor of a boarding manual-labor school, but I fear our resources will not bear the exoense. No missionary enterprise has been attempted, but we purpose, in all our school instruc- tion and exercises, to inculcate morhl and religious truth so far as practicable. It is unpleasant to be compelled to lodge complaints against any persons with whom you are compelled, in the discharge of your duties, to come in contact; but the repeated corrob- orative reports, and the cumulative evidence presented to my mind, perfectly satisfies me that there is a persistent effort on the part of some of the Mormon leaders to thwart the be- nevolent designs of the Government toward the Indians. by discouraging them from going to, and holding out inducements to them to remain off, the reservation. The only, or at least the most efficient, remedy for this evil is the absolute prohibition of the expenditure of a single dollar in the way of presents or subsistence off the reservation, and liberal support and encouragement to those who go to and remain on it, and engage in agriculture. In conclusion I beg to present some of the wants of my Indians and the agency under my charge, in order that they and it may become self-supporting, or as nearly so as the na- ture of the case will admit, at the earliest possible time. In my opinion, that legislation and that management which do not tend toward this result are radically defective. I have en- deavored, in all my intercourse with and control over my Indians, and in all the labor and expenditures on this agency, to keep that end constantly in view. We think some consid- erable progress has been made, but must confess that it is far below what we had fondly hoped. Various causes have contributed to prevent more satisfactory results. Our isolated position, being almost inaccessible for teams for about seven months of the year, and the almost impracticable road for the other five months, renders the management of our agency both difficult and expensive. A good road is absolutely demanded by effi- ciency and economy. Our greatest items of expense are flour and beef. With judicious encouragement we can in a very few years raise all the flour and other farm-products necessary for subsistence. On the Indian farm, and mainly by Indian labor, we should not only raise all the beef we need, but could and should be able to draw a revenue from the stock raised on the reservation suffi- cient to purchase all the other needed supplies. Could we have the amount of funds it has cost us for beef for the last two years, viz, about $16,000, to invest at once, I feel confident that with judicious management we could not only supply ourselves with beef for all time to come, but be able to encourage deserving Indians by presenting a cow and calf or a yoke of oxen, besides securing the results above indicated. I have had the honor to present to honorable Commissioner of Indian Affairs the views above indicated, and am encouraged by knowing that you, in the main, agree with me; but I am aware you are powerless unless the means are placed at your disposal by provision of law. I there- fore, through you, appeal to the honorable the Congress of the United States to place at your disposal, for the benefit of this agency, the means not only for its mere existence, but for its highest development and the best interests of the Indians thereon, physically, finan- cially, intellectually, and morally. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant, J. J. CRITCHLOW, United States Indian Agent. HIon. E. P. SMITH, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Washington D. C.
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