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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1879
([1879])

Reports of agents in Colorado,   pp. 15-19 PDF (2.5 MB)


Page 17

REPORTS OF AGENTS IN          COLORADO.                   17 
military post, and twenty-two miles east of Animas City, the nearest town.
The above- 
mentioned buildings are inadequate to furnish proper accommodations for agent
and 
employes and their fimilies, and storage for government supplies. 
On my arrival I found chiefs and headmen showing a dispositiou of arrogance
and 
sullenness; inclined to dictate as to when and how rations should be issued.
They soon 
learned that they must submit to the regulations of the department; and in
all cases 
I have dealt with them firmly, and spared no pains in protecting their interests
and 
relieving their necessities.                   . 
I found them in many instances suffering from lack of medical attention,
there 
being no physician at agency. I applied to Captain Dodge, Company D, Ninth
United 
StateĀ§ Cavalry, commanding Fort Lewis, for assistance, which was promptly
rendered 
by Assiitaut Surgeon Martin, U. S. A. (See special report.) The result of
this and 
other attentions is a marked chauge for the better, that spirit of arrogance
and dic- 
tation having wholly disappeared; all seem cordial and friendly as could
be expected. 
Owing to the report that their reservation was soon to be thrown open to
settle- 
ment, many squatters have located claims, and in some cases have built houses
and 
opened small farms on portions of reserve bordering on New Mexico; which
has been 
a frequent cause of complaint from Indians. I have investigated every complaint
in 
person, and removed squatters and herders, having traveled 1,394 miles since
my 
arrival at agency, aid on most occasions I have been accompanied by Ignacio,
chief 
of Southern Utes, and other chiefs and headmen of the tribe, from whom I
have 
received aid in adjusting wrongs committed by either whites or Indians. 
No farming has been done at this agency. In obedience to instructions received
from the honorable Commissioner, estimates for implements, seed, stock, &c.,
were 
forwarded August 25-, 1879. The coming season an earnest effort will be made
to 
carry out the desires of the department. 
The Southern Ute Indians are wholly uncivilized, none of whom speak English.
No schools or churches have been established, and as a class they are opposed
to labor 
in any form, considering the same degrading, and only to be performed by
whites and 
" squaws." 
They are the owners of about 1,500 head of horses, some 900 head of sheep
and 
goats. Cabazon, a prominent subchief, has about 100 head of cattle, most
of them 
"graded stock," which he herds on La Plata River, near the line
of New Mexico. 
The following schedule shows the number of Indians who have reported at this
agency since January 1, 1879: 
Men, 271; women, 290; children, 746; total, 1,307. 
The Muache band are at present off the reservation without authority (as
per special 
report dated June 19,1879). Their reservation is very desirable, furnishing
good graz- 
ing lands for stock; is well watered by San Juan, Piedra, Los Pinos, Florida,
Los Animas, 
La Plata, and other streams. The valleys are susceptible of cultivation when
irrigated. 
The mountains abound in game, such as bear, deer, elk, &c., and the streams
with 
speckled or mountain trout. 
Many of the citizens adjacent to the reservation give their cordial support
in pro- 
moting harmony and good feeling. The behavior of the Indians is as good as
could 
be expected from savages who have none of the advantages of education or
civilization. 
They now in most cases report their grievances to the agent, with the expectation
that 
their wrongs will be redressed without their retaliation. I am confident
of my ability 
to control the Indians under my care, if those in authority will enforce
the laws of the 
State for government of whites. 
Very respectfully, 
HENRY PAGE, 
United States Indian Agent, Southern Ute Agency, Colorado. 
The COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
WHITE RIVER AGENCY, COLORADO, 
August 16,1879. 
SIR: Agreeably to your directions, I herewith submit to you my second annual
report. 
Upon looking over the ground on my arrival in May, 1878, it was seen necessary
to 
remove the agency to a more suitable location, for the reason that there
was no land 
that could be cultivated in the vicinity. You granted my request to this
end early in 
July, and arrangements were made forthwith, by setting a force at work in
Powell 
Valley, 15 miles down the river. Here are several thousand acres excellent
land, lying. 
favorably for irrigation, and since then the work performed has been devoted
to mak- 
ing this settlement; and as the land was a heavy sod, and as the Indians
had never  
worked before, my account must be considered, in one sense, as that of an
agency no 
exceeding a year old. 
2 IND 


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