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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1892
([1892])

Reports of agents in Wisconsin,   pp. 512-521 PDF (4.7 MB)


Page 516

516              REPORTS OF AGENTS IN WISCONSIN. 
The farmers report a general improvement in the disposition of the Indians
in 
the direction of farming. 
The Indians were able to provide for their wants during the past winter,
and 
it was not necessary to call upon the Government for assistance. This fact
goes 
to demonstrate that the lessons of thrift and industry which the fa mers
have 
labored to impress upon the Indians have been productive of excellent results.
The industry of these people has improved in other directions. Many of them
have spent several months in the logging camps at remunerative wages, while
others have been engaged in clearing lands for cultivation, and have realized
a 
fair income from the sale of ties, posts, poles, and cord wood, removed in
the 
work of converting the forest into a farm. 
The farmers have expressed themselves as highly gratified at the general
im- 
provement in the industrial affairs of the Indians, and particularly at the
zeal 
and energy manifested in the cultivation of the soil. 
Many of these people speak some English. They all dress like their white
neighbors, and a blanket Indian is a rare spectacle among them. 
A large majority of them reside in houses constructed of hewn logs or sawed
lumber. Some are still found in wigwams, covered with the bark of the cedar
or birch. Many of these houses are provided with the kitchen and household
furniture usually found in the abodes of civilized men. The better houses
are 
occupied by the most advanced and progressive of the Indians. The condition
of the house is an index and a measure of the civilization of its occupants.
Employes.-The following table contains the names of the employes of this
agency, the position of each, and the places at which they are engaged: 
Name.                   Position.            Where employed. 
R. G. Rodman. jr -   -     Clerk -------------------------- Agency. 
J. K. McDonald ----------------- Additional farmer ----------- Vermillion
Lake. 
Daniel Sullivan -------------------........do--------. ------------- Lac
du Flambeau. 
Win. J. Walker ---------------- ----- do ------------------------ Bad River.
J. W. Morgan ---------------------........do ------------------------- Lac
Courte d'Oreilles. 
Roderick MacLennan ............  do ------------------------- Fond du Lac.
J. P. Cox ----------------------- 1 Physician ----------------- Lac- Courte
d'oreilles. 
George E. Wheeler .    .     aek~niih -------------------- Vermillion Lake.
These employes have beeon zealous and energetic in the discharge of the sev-
eral duties assigned to them. 
The clerical labor of this office is too great to be imposed upon one clerk.
During the three years that I have had charge of the office the present clerk
has had no vacation. He has been at his d sk constantly, often pur uing his
labors far into the night to complete official business. The preparation
of the 
rolls for the payment of the cash annuity to the Minnesota Chippewas has
greatly increaed the duties of the clerk. Three years ao the assistant clerkship
which had been allowed this office from time immemorial was discontinued.
A 
prompt and satisfactory performance of the duties of this offiea requires
that an 
assistant clerk should be added to its clerical force. 
Farming.-The past year has witnessed a decided improvement in the art of
farming among the Indians of this agency. The teams provided by the Depart-
ment in the spring of 1891 enabled the farmers to break up new lands and
to im- 
prove the cultivation of those that had been tilled heretofore. 
Notwithstanding the unfavorable season a fair crop was harvested. During
the past year the Indians were so well provided with the products of their
own 
industry that it was not deemed necessary to call upon the Department to
afford 
them special relief, as it has been heretofore. The following statement shows
- he result of the agricultural labors of the indians during the year: 
Hay       -----------------------------------------tons__ 1,197 
Potatoes ----------     --------------------------bushels_ 27,500 
Turnips      --------------------------------------do..-- 6, 125 
Onions      ---------------------------------------do           200 
Cabbage       -------------------------------------heads -    6,000 
Beans      -------------------------------------- bushels -     105 
These farm products have been supplemented by the natural productions of
this 
region, wild rice, blueberries, blackberries, craaberries, raspberries, straw-
berries, and plums. Wild rice is found in great quantities in some of the
lakes 
and streams of this region. It is harvested by the Indians and stored for
winter 
I 


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