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

[Arizona],   pp. 286-300 PDF (7.4 MB)


Page 291

REPORT     OF THE    COMMISSIONER       OF INDIAN     AFZAIRS.     291 
out to the Pima and Maricopa Indians, two of whom, when distributing annuities,
gave 
them a small number of implements, most of which are in use to-day. The extremely
im- 
poverished condition of these Indians was doubtless owing in part to continuous
depreda- 
tions upon them by the Apaches, as well as to the want of the supervision
of one who would 
protect them and their interests when necessity demanded. Through the fostering
care of 
Government many of their wants have been supplied, thereby impressing them
with the 
belief that, notwithstanding they were neglected for a long time, their necessities
and wants 
have at last been made known to Government, and little by little are being
supplied. 
Since they became convinced that Government was looking to their interests,
with a view 
of rendering them assistance, they have become very submissive, and anxious
to conform to 
any law which might be interpreted to them as necessary to their well-being.
Heretofore 
intemperance was fast making advancement among them; but good and repeated
advice, 
given in proper time, as well as making a few examples of those addicted
to drunkenness, 
has had its effect, so that now a drunken Indian in this tribe is the exception,
and not the 
rule as heretofore. The dislike to this evil and its accompanying results
has been so well 
canvassed among them, and is now so well appreciated, that when one does
get under the 
influence of drink, he immediately requests all his friends not to inform
the agent of it lest 
he should be offended with him. Neighboring settlers, who used to make their
whole liveli- 
hood out of the Indians by selling them liquors, find it a very difficult
matter to make so 
much of a success of this traffic as heretofore. The other day a party of
traders visited one 
of the Papago towns, having for sale whisky, calico, and sugar; but when
the captain of the 
village learned of it, he immediately requested them to leave, and would
not let them expose 
for sale even the calico and sugar. While an improvement, has been going
on in regard to 
this the worst of all evils, they have also become very diligent and careful
in hunting and bring- 
ing in loose or stray stock. This is a great accommodation and saving to
the adjoining ranch- 
men, as when one of their animals strays into the Papago country there need
be no anxiety 
or pursuit; they need only wait patiently a few days for the Indians to find
and bring the 
stock into the agency, to be claimed and taken away by the owners. In this
way during the 
past year more than one hundred animals, lost to their owners to all intents
and purposes, 
have been restored. 
The improvement in farming this season is notable, as nearly all of the arable
land at their 
disposal has been planted. New fields have been inclosed and tilled, andhouses
built, and they 
have a full harvest for the reward of all their labor. As soon as the reservation
shall have 
been established, a new impetus will be given to agriculture and stock-raising,
for the arable 
and grazing portions of the granted reservation were formerly theirs, and
it has long been their 
desire to re-occupy them. A large btiilding for educational purposes has
been erected during 
the past year, and a school opened which lasted nearly nine months. At the
commencement 
but few children attended, but as time advanced the number increased until,
at vacation, we 
had eighty-nine. The progress made by the children has been all that could
have been 
expected. A new prospect has been opened to them, which, if rightly taken
advantage of, 
will make of these children useful and intelligent men and women. The girls
are instructed 
in sewing during two days of each week, and a few are being instructed in
cooking. 
And now permit me to refer to a new and dangerous difficulty that has arisen
in the path 
of my official duty to the Papago Indians. Since this agency has been given
to the Catholic 
Church I have done everything in my power to aid the Church in its religious
teachiigs and 
influence among the Indians, believing that I was carrying out the policy
of the Govern- 
ment by so doing. But some time ago, the fact was forcibly impressed upon
me that the 
bishop and priests had a larger interest in securing the fruits of the labor
of the Indians 
than in any spiritual good they might be able to confer upon them. As an
example, these 
Indians complain that the bishop holds a valuable piece of agricultural land
obtained from 
them through promises he has never fulfilled; that frequent attempts have
been made to compel 
them, (the Indians,) to give the bishop one-tenth of all their earnings,
as a tithe for the benefit 
of the church, and they complain that, generally, the designs and actions
of these priests, if 
not kept under strict control, or entirely removed, will lead directly to
placing them, (the 
Indians,) as in olden times, in a condition of vassalage and servile bondage.
My own 
views, from practical experience, correspond with those of the Indians, and,
in proportion as 
I have not acceded to unjust demands, I have become obnoxious to these priests,
and con- 
stant and frequent misrepresentations have been made to these Indians and
to citizens, in 
order to weaken my influence over my charge; as, for instance, the Indians
have been told 
by the bishop that the captains were entitled to pay, and told to make demands
on me for 
the same, when, according to your instructions, there is no law by which
I am authorized to 
make any such payments. Constant misrepresentations of this character are
being made ; 
but, ignorant as the Indians are, they, with great unanimity, seem to understand
the motive 
of the falsehoods, and exhibit a confidence in my fidelity to their interests
that is truly re- 
markable, and certainly very gratifying to myself. There are localities in
the United States 
where the representatives of the Catholic Church seem actuated by motives
becoming Amer- 
ican citizens, but, as represented in this Territory and the neighboring
States of Mexico, the 
clergy of the Catholic denomination have announced themselves as opposed
to every insti- 
tution and object most cherished by the American people. Right here in the
capital of 
Arizona, this bishop and the priests, who have for some time past been doing
their utmost to 


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