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

Reports of agents in Dakota,   pp. 19-52 PDF (15.7 MB)

Page 47

REPORTS OF AGENTS IN         DAKOTA.                   47 
Soil for their livelihood; that the government will only lend a helping hand,
and not 
furnish complete supplies forever. As long as the system of issuing weekly
rations is in 
vogue the Indians will farm only for their luxuries and notions, depending
on their 
rations for main support. This policy will be kindness in the end, and in
my opinion 
will soon solve the Indian-support question. 
Wheat will not only grow here, but produce bountifully, and with a run of
stone at- 
tached to the engine we have now, all the flour needed by the Indians could
be manu- 
factured here. 
There are 6 mowing-machines bought and owned by Indians, who run those ma-
chines to the best of advantage. Also 18 wagons of different kind and make
are their 
individual property. The department issued this year 6 improved Wood's mowing
chines, 34 Moline wagons with 34 sets of double harness, 150 scythes, 42
hay and 115 
iron garden-rakes, and other articles too numerous to mention here. 
A careful census of live stock was taken in June last, when all the Indian
cattle were 
branded, and I found 651 head of cattle and 643 ponies. 
The Indians made plenty of hay to winter their stock, and- I havel no doubt,
as they 
take pride in having nice cattle, that they will take the best care of them.
What is 
needed are good larood mares and medium-sized American stallions in order
to improve 
the stock of horses, so that the Indians can raise their own teams heavy
enough to 
pull their plows. 
In order to malke the Indians self-supporting with beef at this agency, I
would re- 
spectfully submit the following points for kind consideration: 
Our yearly allowance of beef cattle on the hoof are 2,200,000 pounds. Since
this has 
to cease, and the sooner the better, if the government would issue for the
perioals of 
five years hence as usual, but take the money allowed for the sixth year
and invest 
the same now in American cows and proportionate extra blooded bulls, the
increase in 
five years would furnish all the beef which is needed for the support of
the Indians at 
this agency for futurity. For example, supposing the yearly sum for beef
amounts to $63,000. For $60,000 can 2,000 milk-cows be bought with calves
by their 
side, at a rate of $30 per head, and 30 bulls at $100 per head. I would stricly
to buy only cows with calves by their side, and thus have at once a start
of 2,000 cows 
and 2,000 calves; in all 4,000 head. The average yearly increase for the
first two years 
would be about 1,500 calves; out of these 3,000 calves about 1,000 additional
cows would be coming in in the third year, and in five years there would
be a stock 
of cattle-after deducting losses-at least 8,000 head for the government,
which would 
give the yearly support in full for all coming years. The stock cows could
be issued 
as follows: 350 to the Industrial Farm School and 3 to each Indian family
to take care 
of them. If Congress should not allow the sum above referred to, I would
further sug- 
gest to spend one-fourth of the beet money for buying cows next spring, when
are wintered and have got calves by their side; and this done for five years,
it is a slower method to reach the desired end, yet it will ultimately lead
to the same 
It has been the practice ever since steam navigation was first inaugurated
on the 
Missouri River, for white men to chop wood along the banks of the river to
steamboats as they pass. This, while clearly in violation of law, cannot
well be obvi- 
ated. Without the wood, steamboats could not run, and as a large proportion
of the 
freight they carry is government freight the entire closing of the wood-yards
cause the stoppage of this as well as private freight. 
The necessity of the wood still exists, but not the necessity of white men.
The In- 
dians on this reservation can and are unxious to chop all the wood required
by steam- 
boats along the entire extent of their reservation, and claiming the special
privilege of 
doing it and selling the wood for the same price as the white man does. I
would re- 
spectfully suggest the privilege be granted them, and an entire stoppage
made to 
white men, who can seek a new field of labor, while the Indians, confined
to their res- 
ervation, cannot. 
On the sixteenth day of December, 1878, through authority received from the
able Commissioner of Indian Affairs, a police force of 14 Indians was organized,
on the first of July this force was increased to 30. These police are a great
benefit to 
he agency. Enjoying special privileges, they are prompt, circumspect, obedient,

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