United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1879
Report of agent in Utah, pp. 137-140 PDF (2.0 MB)
138 REPORT OF AGENT IN UTAH. done were they equally distributed, but while some have more than they need, others have very few, and, as is the case with white people, the most industrious and provi- dent are the best supplied. I would recommend that in the future all the beef needed for this agency be purchased of the Indians themselves, as it will encourage the indus- trious and provident and stimulate the others to imitate their example. By the means thus obtained they will be enabled to procure for themselves what they would otherwise have to obtain from the government. They are gradually raising a better class of horses, and utilizing them more and more in their farming operations, having, as might be supposed more taste and genius for the management and use of horses in their industrial pursuits than for oxen. Five additional wagons, one new and four second-hand ones, have been purchased by the Indians, also several-sets of double harness, thus showing a laudable ambition to supply themselves with necessary and useful articles. More labor has been expended in the removal and building of fences and corrals than in any former year, thus necessitat- ing the employment of more wagons-and teams at one time than can be made available. These are a great disideratum, and no one thing would so much add to the amount and efficiency of their labors as a good supply. DISPOSITION OF INDIANS TO ADOPT CIVILIZED HABITS AND USAGES. We are not able to supply houses as fast as they are desired. Only one frame house has been built, but so anxious are they for them that several have, with a little help from my employds, erected rude log houses for temporary occupancy. Several have furnished themselves with cook-stoves, table ware, &c., and are anxious for tables, cupboards, bedsteads, chairs, &c. Their adoption of citizens' dress is only limited by the supply, and many of them spend their own means to procure it. It must, however, be admitted that some still prefer the Indian costume, but there is a growing disposi- tion to discard it. In their intercourse with our families there is a growing disposi- tion to conform to our usages and desires. Many things which it would be difficult and tedious to name indicate growth towards civilization. Profanity and vulgarity are seldom noticed in their intercourse with the whites. SCHOOLS, MISSIONARY AN]D RELIGIOUS TRAINING. After our last year's experience our hopes of success were not bright as to the main tenance and success of a school, but we determined to give it another faithful trial I accordingly employed the teacher, and by giving the children dinner to induce them to attend regularly, succeeded in maintaining it for seven months at a cost to the gov- ernment of $412.37, but the labor of cooking and waiting on the pupils was too great for my wife and the teacher, upon whom it devolved. My wife became sick, so that feature had to be abandoned, and of course the school fell off, and finally the teacher resigned. During the continuance of the school most of the pupils made gratifying progress. Several bright little girls, which was a new feature, gave promise of much usefulness. Altogether we had reason to be pleased with the results as long as it continued, but the time was too short to accomplish much. As stated in my last report, we do not consider these efforts without good results, but certainly not as productive of good as they would be if continuous. As I have heretofore stated, from the distance of the In- dian houses and lodgesfrom the agency buildings, and the irregular and careless habits of the Indians, the best results can only be secured by a boarding industrial school, where the children of both sexes can be separated from their families and be taught not only the ordinary branches but industrial pursuits and habits, and the moral cul- ture attended to more than it can otherwise be. The culture of the young is the only hope of this or any other tribe or band of Indians, and I sincerely hope provision may be made for a school such as above alluded to. In a late conversation with our In- dians relative to this matter they expressed themselvesstrongly in favor of such a one, and most of them are pleased when the school is going on, but of course they do not fully appreciate the subject. I fully believe that the small amount necessary to es- tablish and maintain a school-here would show as good results as any other place in the service. No missionary or religious services have ever been inaugurated for the benefit of our Indians, except our regular Sabbath services, upon which they are encouraged to at- tend, but which of course are inadequate from their being imperfectly understood to produce any marked or decided improvement. The fact, however, that these services, upon which some of them attend, are held and all work ceases on the Sabbath , has a manifest beneficial influence. In this matter again as in the case of theschool I am decidedly of the opinion that the labors of at least one missionary would be produetive of as much good as in any other field.
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