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

[Oregon],   pp. 317-326 PDF (5.0 MB)


Page 321

REPORT     OF   THE   COMMISSIONER        OF  INDIAN    AFFAIRS.       321
for farming is apparent. Many have purchased teams and cows by their labor
for farmers 
in the vicinity. A year ago not more than two or three were the owners of
cattle, and none, 
I think, made any use of the milk. Now a considerable number own from one
to three 
cows, which they milk regularly, and some are manufacturing butter for sale.
The desire 
for allotment of land is increasing and should by all means be gratified.
Several have built 
good houses and barns that will compare favorably with those of white settlers
in the vicin- 
ity, though as a general thing they hesitate about building till they receive
farms in sever- 
alty. The improvement in other respects has been still more marked. 
The quarrels and fights, heretofore so frequent, have now, under the influence
of Christian 
teaching, nearly ceased. A better treatment of their women is apparent, and
I have had no 
occasion to inflict punishment on an Indian for months. During the past winter,
while 
with all of them it was a struggle against starvation, the cattle of white
settlers ranged in 
the woods on the borders of the reservation, within two miles of the agency,
yet no single 
case of depredation has been committed; no whisper of complaint has been
made. Theft, 
once the besetting sin of these people, has become exceedingly rare, and
we feel greater 
security for life and property here than we should in more civilized communities.
They are 
learning to become neat and cleanly in persons and houses. The ladies of
the reservation 
have been in the habit of visiting them at their homes, and instructing their
women in house- 
Ikeeping and other accomplishments of civilized life. At each return they
would find on the 
part of the Indian women an evident desire to profit by their teaching ;
some fault.rectified, 
some improved method adopted. 
The religious interest continues. Nearly one hundred have united with the
church, and 
were evidence necessary to prove that Christianity is the best civilizer,
it could be afforded here. 
The manual labor school was organized about the 1st of October last. The
lateness'ot 
the season, and necessity of hauling all lumber used in repairing the building
from seven to 
ten miles, over a rough, mountainous road, prevented its complete organization
last winter. 
A number of boys were taught, and preparations were made to add a department
for girls as 
soon as practicable to procure lumber in the spring, when we were compelled
to suspend 
operations from failure to receive sufficient funds the last half of the
fiscal year ending June 
30, 1874. I very much regretted this, as the good influence of the school
was just beginning 
to be apparent. 
A day-school, kept in operation during the winter, was well attended, and
good progress 
made by the pupils. 
The sanitary condition has been good till within the past month, since which
time it has 
-not been at all satisfactory. Several of our most robust men have died,
and others are now 
sick. The reason for this state of affairs is this: As previously stated
the potato-crop was 
last year an entire failure, and subsistence had to be issued to the Indians.
As soon as the 
crops were planted in the spring, I did not feel justified in longer issuing
food, and there 
being none on the reservation, was compelled to permit them to leave and
seek labor outside. 
While there, living in tents, usually on the bank of some sluggish stream,
they contracted 
disease. Unwilling to quit their work till absolutely compelled, the disease
would become 
fully seated before they would return, and then frequently too late. I am
more and more 
confirmed in the opinion that the proper place for the Indians is on the
reservation, and I 
earnestly deprecate the practice of permitting them to leave for any length
of time. As sit- 
uated here, however, it is impossible for me to put my convictions into practice.
Had we a grist-mill, the Indians could raise not only enough wheat for their
own subsist- 
ence, but also sufficient surplus to procure clothing, groceries, and other
necessaries. The 
moral effect of long-continued residence off the reservation is also bad.
They are frequently 
brought into contact with unprincipled whites, whose influence is every way
bad, and we 
find on their return our labor of instruction must be begun anew. I do not
see how this is to 
be remedied till they are provided the means of raising their subsistence
.n the reservation. 
I beg to again repeat my earnest :ecommendation that the land should be allotted
in sev- 
eralty.  It is not possible to overestimate the importance of this. No other
measure would 
give so much satisfaction; no other measure so much encourage them. A tract
eight miles 
square would give land enough for all, and the remainder of the reservation,
if thought nec- 
essary, might be opened for white settlement, reserving, of course, the right
of the Indians 
to fish in the rivers. 
A grist and saw mill should by all means be provided. With these they could
subsist 
themselves, without the necessity of roaming through the white settlements
seeking labor 
and food. 
In conclusion I desire to say that I am more than gratified at the evidences
of improvement 
already made and the encouraging prospect for the future. 
In my efforts to assist and improve, I have had the co-operation of a most
efficient corps 
of Christian employds. To them, and especially to the Rev. W. C. Chattin,
former teacher of 
school, I feel my thanks are due. 
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
J. H. FAIRCHILD, 
Hon.E.  . SMvHUnited States Indian Agent. 
Commissioner Indian Aflairs, Washington, D. C. 
21 IND 


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