University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1883
([1883])

Reports of agents in Washington territory,   pp. 141-157 PDF (8.3 MB)


Page 147

REPORTS OF AGENTS IN        WASHINGTON      TERRITORY.        147 
was made clear to them. Upon conclusion, and after a talk among themselves,
to 
my surprise but one rule was seriously objected to. I had expected much disapproval
of Rule No. 8, but I presume the strict measures you had hitherto adopted
to crush 
this buying and selling of their own kithi and kin had prepared them to acquiesce
to 
this order with scarce an objection. Rule No. 6 was the one sore spot, and
as no modi- 
fication could be allowed, but must be enforced in all its bearings, I was
unable to 
form a court of Indian judges. Many would have been glad of the honor but
for this 
stumbling block. I have not yet seen an Indian of this agency but believes
in the 
efficacy of their native doctors; and I think I am safe in saying these same
doctors 
are the main hindrance to advancement, having so firm hold of the superstitious
natures 
of these people. An Indian doctor has but to spit on the ground and make
certain 
meaningless signs to awe the stoutest of them. Although much has been done
to induce these people to abandou these pernicious teachings, and although
the prac- 
tice is not tolerated at the agency under pain of severe punishment, yet
so firm is the 
belief, that the sick are in many instances carried off to a safe distance
for treatment 
by the magic arts of the medicine man. 
I am of the opinion it would be better if the Indians of this agency were
more broken 
up into factions; but, so far as I can observe, their relationship to each
other, in a 
friendly sense, is very close, and they are not so prone to report irregularities
as is the 
case with some tribes. 
Very respectfnlly, 
R. M. RYLATT, 
Teacher in'charge. 
NISQUALLY AND S'KOKOMISH AGENCY, 
New Tacoma, Wash., August 24, 1883. 
SIR: I have the honor to submit herewith my thirteenth annual report. During
the past year I have occupied three different positions and had headquarters
at three 
different places. First, as farmer in charge at Skokomish Agency up to September
30, 1882. Second, as agent of the consolidated agency, comprising what had
been the 
Nisqually, S'kokomish, and Tulalip Agencies, and including ten reservations,
viz: 
Tulalip, Swinomish, Lummi, Port Madison, Muckleshoot, Puyallup, Nisqually,
Squaxin, Chehalis, and S'kokomish, with headquarters at Talalip. This position
I 
held from October 1, 1882, to July 16, 1883. The extent of territory over
which these 
reservatiotns were scattered, and in which the Indians belonging to them
lived, was 
about 200 miles in length by about 150 in width. Third, as agent of the Nisqually
and 
S'kokomish Agency, comprising the last live reservations above named with
head- 
quarters at the Puyallup Reservation, which service commenced July 17, 1883.
An education being the most important aid to advancement that any one can
have, 
and the Government having appreciated this fact with reference to the IJdians,
there- 
fore nearly all the expense incurred for the benefit of those under my charge
has 
been in the way of schools. There have been four boarding schools and one
day school 
kept tip most of the year, with a total attendance of nearly three hundred
and an 
average attendance of about two hundred and twenty-five. The schools have
been 
distributed as follows: 
AT TULALIP 
is a boarding school conducted under contract between the Commissioner of
Indian 
Affairs and the representatives of the Catholic Church, and managed by six
Sisters of 
Charity and one layman, who acts as industrial teacher, besides the aid of
the priest, 
who has a kind of general supervision over the school, as well as doing missionary
work 
among all the Indians of that subagency. 
The attendance here was limited to an average of 75, and most of the year
the 
attendance was kept up nearly to the maximum. Children attending here were
gathered from the five reservations belonging to this sub-agency, and were
taught, 
fed, and clothed at Government expense. The self-denying and laborious efforts
of 
these teachers show good results in the advancement and deportment of the
scholars. 
The neatness with which everything is kept is highly commendable. During
the year 
two scholars were sent from this school to the Indian training school at
Forest Grove. 
AT PUYALLUP 
is another hoarding school, which, like all those hereafter mentioned, is
conducted by 
Government employ~is, nominated by the agent and appointed by the Commissioner
of Indian Affairs, and the food, clothes, books, &c., are all furnished
by the Govern- 
ment. The average attendance here has been about 65. The school is situated
withini 
2 miles of New Tacoma, the terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad, and
the in- 
fluence that contact with the bustle and enterprise of such a place has is
very appar- 


Go up to Top of Page