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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1892
61st ([1892])

Reports of superintendents of schools,   pp. 647-708 PDF (30.2 MB)

Page 651

REPORTS OF      SUPERINTENDENTS OF          SCHOOLS.           651 
substitutes within easy reach. As to clothing, I consider them very well
supplied. They make 
buckskin clothing and sell to the Navajoes. They have blankets to sell and
buckskins to sell. 
As to shelter, they have no houses. They live in little wickies or willow
huts. It isnever very 
cold and very little rain, so they do not suffer for shelter. Moral condition
of these people seems 
to be good. There seems to be no depravity and very little polygamy. 
Condition of land.-The land is a rich sandy loam. I should judge at one time
or times 200 
acres have been under cultivation, but only about 15 acres were cultivated
last year. The rest 
had been given up to weeds and willows. 
Difficulties.-I experienced many difficulties in getting them to work for
supplies "as in- 
structed." They had been so instructed by unscrupulous whites, that
they had come in pos- 
session of the idea that when I should come all earthly wants would be fully
gratified from an 
inexhaustible supply which the United States Government had on hand for all
Indians, and 
they expected me to deal out to all their various wants for no recompense
on their part. But 
I have labored to convince them that I wished to be just, to deal by them
as fairly as they 
would by me. exchange work with them and pay them honestly for what they
did. As to 
prices on their work. I will recount. For a day's lazy work they want me
to give them from 
one to three sacks of flour. For bringing a sack of flour from the hill top
they want me to 
give it to them and throw in a can of baking powder and a little sugar and
coffee. But I have 
labored to impress on them as far as possible the equity of values, and think
in a measure I 
have accomplished this. 
There are 47 families, about 200, or posssibly 250, souls in all. So far
I have been unable to get 
a correct census of them. I am satisfied I have done them real good, although
if the work should 
drop with this fiscal year no permanent good would result from present outlay.
They have 
land enough and water enough so their acreage could be greatly increased.
All they need, in 
my judgment, is about two or three small plows and as many sets cheap harness.
They are 
very well supplied with hoes and shovels. 1 think it would be wise for the
Department to fur- 
nish them with seed wheat and rye. Also about 100 pounds alfalfa seed. There
is plenty of 
water to run a mill which would grind their meal and flour. They raise good
corn. I think this 
an excellent fruit country. Their trees are in very poor condition for fruit
raising, as they are in 
a thicket growth. I think if some of the more intelligent ones were taken
to California and 
shown the proper way of planting and caring for trees, it would help to advance
their ideas very 
much. They have a desire to raise stock; sheep and goats would do well there.
It might be 
well to give them a small start in these lines. 
They detest the name of a school, but an institution under any other name
would do well. 
The goal of their ambition is to write; they are great imitators and will
sit for hours and work 
with a pencil on a written copy. My wife has shown them how to cut and fit
dresses; they take 
wonderful interest in it. I would encourage the building of a schoolhouse
on the reservation. 
I think it could be built out of stone at a very small cost to the Government.
They are very 
muchopposed togoing away to schoolon account of having been so prejudiced
by unscrupulous 
men for the purpose of accomplishing other ends. 
I am,-very respectfully, yours, 
S. M. McCowAN. 
Superintendent Indian Schools, Fort Mojave, Ariz. 
FORT MOJAVE, ARIZ., JTuly 20, 1892. 
SIR: So little seems to be known of these Indians, and so many false reports
have been sent to the Indian Office regarding them, that I desire to make
complete a report as possible, based upon actual and personal knowledge of
their home, habits, resources, etc. Upon orders from your office I have person-
ally, in the past two years, visited them in their wonderful and almost inaccessi-
ble cafion home, and my report is based upon what my own eyes perceived.
Their origin is somewhat clouded. Judge Sanford, of Williams, Ariz., believes
them to be a blending of the Mojave andApache tribes. Others incline to the
belief that they were persecuted outcasts from the Hualapai tribe, whose
guage is very similar. 
Their villages are in Cataract Caion, about 75 miles north of Williams. This
caiion ranges from 3,000 to 5,000 feet in depth and ranks next to the Grand
in natural beauty and grandeur. Their homes are not more than 8 or 10 miles
from where the Cataract Caflon joins the Grand Cation, and in this distance
depth of the canon is increased many hundred feet by a series of magnificent
cascades and waterfalls. Nowhere in the world has nature been more lavish
in her demonstrations of power and exquisite beauty. It hardly seems possible
that a race of people, however savage, could live for even one generation
the Book of Nature is always invitingly open before them without imbibing
at least 
a few of its primary lessons. But I can not see that these Indians have learned
any of its teachings. 
I saw them two years ago, when the Messiah craze was at its height. and they
were dancing day and night for the coming of their Savior. To make these
dances more impressive to the uninitiated, certain members would pretend
receive messages from the Messiah, and. suddenly breaking away from the cir-
cling dancers, would rush into the center of the circle, throw themselves
the ground, writhing, shrieking, moaning until utterly exhausted. Their su-
perstition is wonderfully dense, their every act being guided by signs and

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