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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1884
([1884])

Reports of agents in California,   pp. 9-18 PDF (4.6 MB)


Page 17

REPORTS OF AGENTS IN CALIFORNIA. 
17 
TULE RIVER AGENCY, CALIFORNIA, 
August 12, 1884. 
SIR: I have the honor herewith to submit my ninth annual report for this
agency. 
There are within a radius of about 75 miles of this reserve some 600 or 700
Indians, 
all of whom could at an early day have been gathered on one reservation.
While this 
nlight have incurred greater expense, it certainly would have been more humane
and 
becoming a wise and Christian Government. This agency was not located until
after 
the more desirable lands were occupied by whites; consequently could be nothing
but 
a poor selection. Although it embraces an area of more than 75 square miles,
only 
about 250 acres can be utilized for agricultural purposes. Quite a large
portion of it 
is second-class grazing land, and about one-half entirely worthless. 
The Indians, numbering 315 eight years ago, have decreased by death and removal
until now there are only 143 on the census roll. We frequently have almost
twice 
this number, but not as permanent residents. I have tried to discourage visiting
both among my own Indians and those of the surrounding country; still I am
fre- 
quently annoyed by the visits of dissolute characters who seem to have no
permanent 
dwelling place. 
Notwithstanding the embarrassment of a rocky and sterile reservation, these
In- 
dians have been gradually advancing, so that now many of their homes will
compare 
favorably with their white neighbors. They all occupy board houses, and have
their 
tillable land fenced, while some of them have vineyards and orchards, with
sufficient 
fruit for their families. 
AGRICULTURE. 
The past season has been an exception to all the years of the last decade.
During 
the spring and early summer we had so much rain that some of our grain land
was 
rendered almost worthless. In fact, nearly all of the grain was so overrun
with weeds 
and grass that it was only suitable for hay. Some of the crops have been
gathered 
and some I will have to estimate. The yield will be about as follows: 200
bushels 
wheat, 200 bushels corn, 100 bushels potatoes. 20 bushels onions, 200 bushels
beans, 
20 tons melons, 20 tons pumpkins, and 50 tons hay.  The agency farm, used
exclu- 
sively to produce forage for Government teams, yielded 30 tons hay. With
our mild 
winters, the supply of forage is abundantly ample. 
EDUCATION. 
During the last fiscal year there has been a day school eight and one-half
months. 
The average daily attendance during that time was 15J.  The largest attendance
was during the months of October, November, and December, averaging 20. While
this is an exceedingly difficult field, in connection with agency work on
this reser- 
vation, I am satisfied it can be made a success. The school closed the 15th
of March, 
with aV average daily attendance for that fractional month of only six pupils.
 We 
know this is not a very "creditable showing," but there were very
peculiar circum- 
stances, not necessary now to explain, contributing to this result, which
we hope in 
the future to avoid. We purpose opening the school again the first of next
month. 
MISSIONARY. 
As stated in a previous report, all of the missionary work performed for
the benefit 
of these Indians has been by the agent and employ6s, except an occasional
visit of a 
Catholic priest. No class of persons are so hard to influence morally as
those who 
think they are good enough already. That is precisely the condition of these
In- 
dians. By the example they have in the Mexican population of this country,
they are 
led to believe that drunkenness is not incompatible with high Christian profession.
This is their great weakness. 
INDIAN INDUSTRY. 
The most of these Indians are industrious; some of them are good models for
their 
white neighbors. Every year I can discover more of an inclination toward
industrial 
habits. Nearly all of the able-bodied Indians of the agency have for a month
past 
been working in the harvest fields of the adjacent settlements for $2 per
day. 
The stock which was issued to them last year will in a short time contribute
greatly 
to their support; that is, if they are not compelled to kill it to supply
their imme- 
diate wants. I hope the Government will supply them with beef for a few more
years, so that they will not be tempted in that direction. 
4266 I    D-2 


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