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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 Montana,   pp. 89-100 PDF (5.6 MB)

Page 100

The health of the Indians on uthe whole has been as good as could be expected,
sidering their habits and manner ;of living, but there are many eases and
times when 
a good phyiscian would be a most valuable acquisition. 
I have repaired the old buildings as much -as the appropriations would admit
of, and 
they are now in a very passable condition. I have now material sufficient
on the 
ground ready to use in the luilding of warehouse, house, st'able, carpenter-shop,
office. The employls are now engaged in cutting and stacking hay, of which
I propose 
to put up fifty tons (mowing-machine not yet at hand). As soon as haying
is finished 
we shall immediately proceed to erect the several buildings named. 
By telegram dated December 12, 1878, I was notified that the River Crows
placed temporarily under my charge for the purpose of distributing to them
at this 
post their annuity goods and subsistence st6res. I immediately proceeded
to their 
country and after considerable difficulty succeeded in reaching a part of
them, and 
holding a counil with them. I informed them of the change in the direction
of the 
goods, and they were much pleased with the change. Subsequently some 30 lodges
came to this post and received their annuity goods and subsistence stores.
They staid 
here some ten days and then returned across the Missouri River. This past
some 35 lodges agaifi came to this post, and remained on the reservation
some weeks, 
but becoming frightened at the rumors -concerning the Sioux and their intentions,
again returned across the Missouri River. I expect the greater part of their
camp to 
return here in the course of a few weeks. I am'confident that with the settlement
of the 
status of the Sioux, or whenever the situation is such that they, the Crows,
can feel -as- 
sured of their safety on the reservation, the most of the tribe would rather
come here 
for their goods than to go to their old agency. The Crows, Assinaboines,
and Gros 
Ventres appear to get along well together, and by intercourse will soon become
The number of River Crows has heretofore been plac.ed at 1,200 souls. From
the best 
authority I am able to find, there are not to exceed 900 people, which is
probably about 
the real number of River Crows. I did at an early day use all my power to
get the 
whole tribe to come to this post, but the influence of traders and other
interested par- 
ties on'the Yellowstone and vicinity has been so great that I have been unable
to con- 
trol them. 
Since writing the foregoing, I have had the pleasure of reading in the Chicago
buneof July 10 a reported interview with Maj. J. M.Walsh, of the Northwestern
Police. It is perhaps not within my province to notice buch matters, nor
should I, but 
that he appears to go out of his way to attack the Assinaboines belonging
to this agency. 
I :do not claim-for the Indians of this reservation the strict integrity
and virtue that 
he :does for the Sioux under his charge, for I do not believe it exists among
any tribe 
of Indians, but I desire to reiterate that, with one possible exception,
my Indians have 
not stolen any horses either from whites or Indians since I have been with
them, and 
in that one case they were immediately given up to the owner upon demand
made - -and I do know that in that time at least 175 horses have been stolen
-hites and agency Indians within a radius of six miles from this post, and
1.also know 
that during the past spring and summer as many as six Gros Ventres have been
on their own reservation. I do not charge this as all having been done by
the Sioux, 
but a large portion of the horses have been stolen by Indians from the British
side of 
the line, and it is well known that many of the horses went direct to the
camp, and we know that the Gros Ventres that have been killed were killed
by Sioux 
and Nez Perc6. My Indians will do the same thing whenever the occasion presents
self, viz, kill and steal from the Sioux, but no one can truthfully charge
that for the 
last fifteen months they have gone off their own soil to do it. I also wish
to call to 
mind the fact that hundreds of horses have been run off from the Yellowstone
and vi- 
cinity, and numbers of whites killed by the same Sioux and Nez Perc6, and
it is a fact 
that TrapperValentine has just returned from a two months' search for his
horses through 
the various north Indian camps. fie finally found them with a half-breed,
rbut they 
were stolen by the Oneapapas and sold to the said half-breed. In stating
this fact, I 
do not desire to in any way impugn Major Walsh's statements, only so far
as I know 
them to be erroneous, but in my opinion time will show the fallacy of some
other of 
hi8 statements and deductions. 
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
United States Indian Agent. 

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