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OFFICE OF SUPERINTENDENT OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, UTAH,
Great Salt Lake City, September 29, 1866. SIR: In your last annual report is a recommendation that the salaries of the various agents and superintendents be increased. The suggestion is an excellent one and will, I trust, be again urged upon the attention of Congress. An additional reason to those suggested in your report has occurred to me, to which I beg to call your attention. The Indians, far more than civilized people, are influenced by the personal views and wishes of those in whom they have confidence. An agent or superintendent who has been sufficiently long with his particular tribes to know personally the greater portion of the Indians, if he pursues with them an upright course, can acquire an influence over their actions almost without limit; it is of the highest importance, therefore, not only that appointees be men of integrity, but they be retained as long as possible in their particular situations.
A new officer, with the best intentions, will be months or even years in acquiring the personal influence necessary to the highest success in the discharge of his duties. As the service is at present organized an agent will often either by stealing endeavor to make his compensation sufficient, in which case he will have no influence over his Indians, who are sufficiently shrewd to detect such wrongs, or he will become dissatisfied with the service and retire; in either event the efficiency of the service is greatly impaired by the continued changes of agents.
The salary of the superintendent should be doubled; that of agents increased to at least $2,500. This is a greater difference between the relative salaries than now exists, but for this there are sufficient reasons: the duties of a superintendent are much more onerous, his responsibilities are much greater. In my own case, in addition to the usual duties of a superintendent, I am required to perform the duties of an agent for more than two-thirds of the Indians in the Territory; the principal reason, however, for the greater discrimination consists in the fact that agents are usually located upon reservations where laborers are employed and boarded, and where they board, with other employés of the department, free of expense, while superintendents must pay their own expenses of every character. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. H. HEAD, Superintendent. Hon. D, N. COOLEY,
Commissioner of Indian Affairs.
NEW MEXICO SUPERINTENDENCY.
Report of Special Agent J. K. Graves. DEAR SIR: I have the honor to submit herewith a detailed report of the Indian affairs of New Mexico-the result of personal observation during my recent visit to that Territorymade in accordance with the instructions received by me from your department, under date of September 12, 1865. I completed my arrangements, and was ready to commence my official duties October first, but, owing to unforeseen circumstances over which I had no control, did not leave Fort Leavenworth for the toilsome journey across the plains until November sixth, following. A severe snow storm overtook and detained us at Fort Aubrey for several days, and no sooner had we resumed our travels than the weather became most intensely cold-so intense as to freeze one of my feet, but fortunately not severely. We remained at Fort Lyon for several days, hoping the weather would moderate, but found ourselves doomed to disappointment, and forced to re-encounter the raging storm. At the Arkansas crossing, near Bent's old fort, we were compelled to cut a channel through the ice before we could cross our ambulance to the opposite shore ; from thenceforward we encountered no serious obstacle, save the loss by death of two of our mules. We reached Santa Fé at about twelve o'clock December 30, 1865, and were most courteously received by the citizens.
I found the Indian question the all absorbing topic of conversation among the entire com, munity; each individual seemed to have peculiar ideas on the subject, and freely announced and advocated them. The main controversy seemed to be upon the selection of the Bosque Redondo reservation as a permanent home for the Navajoes, and while very many favored, others opposed this policy, as being detrimental to the interests of the Territory; and from this stand-point the whole matter seemed to drift off into a question of political expediency which, while it engulphed the primary cause of this party feeling, and recognized the Bosque ques. tion solely as a party measure, supplied all absence of argument by the most violent and partizan denunciations of men rather than of principle or expediency.
In some of the most prominent instances I soon found that the opponents of the Bosque system were actuated by personal feelings of dislike towards the military commander of the department of New Mexico, having in fact never seen the Bosque Redondo reservation. Under these circumstances you will readily understand and appreciate the embarrassment of my situation. However, I assured the citizens and the legislative assembly then in session, and to whom (as als ) to the military commander, General Carleton, his excellency Governor Connolly, Secretary Arny and others) I submitted my letter of instructions, that I visited them unbiassed in opinion, and solicited their hearty co-operation, and assured them that I should seek facts with an unprejudiced eye, and base my report to you in accordance with nothing but the facts-impartially and unreservedly.
The legislative assembly passed a series of very complimentary resolutions relative to the general government and its officers, which I have included in the following pages.
I conceive it to be the imperative duty of the department over which you have the honor to preside, to adopt energetic measures of improvement and reform in all that relates to the Indian affairs of this Territory. Although Indian depredations have been committed for years, and the people are loud in their complaints against the red men, and the Indian ques. tion bears in the minds of the masses of community the same varying phases noticed in the changing forms of the kaleidoscope, and though in fact the direct road to the peaceful solution of all these matters would seem to be surmounted with difficulties, yet in fact the whole matter is susceptible of easy adjustment, as I trust the result of my investigations will assure you.
I had arranged to furnish in connexion with my report a series of photographic views illustrative of this section of country, but owing to the inclemency of the weather during my sojourn in the Territory I was unable to do this, save in a few instances, but hope to furnish you with complete illustrations of the Indians and their houses, &c., ere many weeks shall have elapsed.
In order that you may the more fully observe the connecting link in the history of the Indians, and note the important results destined to inure to this section by reason of a thorough reformation of the Indian affairs of the Territory, I have included a brief history of New Mexico, gathered from territorial archives, the people, and from published works on this section of country.
My correspondence with the legislature, the superintendent of Indian affairs, together with the several agents located in the Territory, as also other documents relating to the objects of my mission, will be found under the appropriate heading.
I found it impossible, for several reasons, to count the number of Indians in each band, but ieel sure that my estimate respecting them exceeds rather than falls below the actual number.
Although the Pueblo Indians are under charge of the superintendent like the other tribes, still, as will appear by reference to my detailed report under the appropriate head, they are ils distinct in all their habits and customs as light and darkness; and, as the department is aware, are self-sustaining. Hence, although these Pueblos tend to increase the number of Indians” in numerical strength, they in reality belong to the “people of the country," and, properly speaking, should be included with the citizens rather than the Indians. This race of Indians, like very many of the people of the southern portion of the Territory, manufacture considerable wine from the native grape, which grows here to the full perfection of quality and size.
By reference to my report on the Utah Indians, it will be noticed that I have recommended their removal to the reservation recently selected in Colorado for the Tobequache and other bands of this tribe. From the report of Mr. John G. Nicolay, secretary to the commission appointed to treat with the Utahs of Colorado, I am satisfied the reservation determined upon by them is amply sufficient to include also the several bands of this tribe who now belong to the superintendency of New Mexico; in fact, these bands, viz: Webrinoche, 700; Capote, 590; and Maquoches, 600, formerly lived most of their time in Colorado, and the two first named bands still spend most of their time in that Territory.
Of the whole number given above as constituting these bands, I have reason to believe that not more than one-ball, or at most three-fourths of the Capote and Webrinoches visit their agency at Abiquin, but subsist in some manner in the Colorado Territory near by, and owing to this fact, as also the immediate proximity of Abiquin, the present agency of the Capote and Webrinoche Utahs, to the aforesaid Colorado reservation, the removal of these two bands can be easily effected. Although, as will be noticed in my report on the Moquache Utahs, they favor a reservation, yet dislike to leave their present home on the Cimaron river, still, with a little management these Indians would very readily locate with the other bands. If, in view of the avowed objections raised by the Capote and Webrinoche Utahs to their settlement upon a reservation, it should be deemed impolitic at this time to inaugurate such a movement tending to their concentration, I would recommend that the agency at Abiquin be dispensed with and a new one opened at Terra Amarilla, which, besides being near the Colorado line and a long step towards the proposed reservation, is also sufficiently remote from the settlements to insure greater peace and tranquillity than is enjoyed by the people under the present location of this agency. And as I can see no possible reason why these Capote and Webrinoche bands should have a sub-agent, I would further recommend that this othee be abolished at once. The annual salary now paid the said sub-agent would be of far greater service expended for clothing or implements for these Indians than it can possibly be under the present arrangement.
Whether it is better to make one journey with the Ctahs, and see them immediately located on the Colorado reservation, or whether, in view of other changes in the Indian affairs of
New Mexico, requiring care and attention, it would be more advisable at this time to change the agency merely to Terra Amarilla, I leave you to determine.
I have, as will be noticed by reference to my report on the Apaches, recommended their concentration upon the reservation selected by M. Steck, esq., while superintendent of Indian affairs in New Mexico, located upon the Gila river, and extending across the territorial line into Arizona. The only band of Apaches now living within the boundary of New Mexico are the Icavillas, dwelling at the Cimarron with the Maquoche Utahs, and numbering 800 persons. The Mincalero band ran away from the Bosque Redondo reservation, November 3, 1865; while the Gilas have never really inhabited this Territory, but the adjoining one of Arizona. I believe the proposed reservation is amply sufficient to place not only the Apaches of this, but also those of Arizona Territory upon it, and the reservation lies in both these Territories.
For the Pueblos, as will be noticed, I have recommended an appropriation for the purchase of school-books and the employment of competent teachers to conduct and carry on a system of education amongst these people, who would be largely benefited thereby. 'And I have also recommended an appropriation for the purchase of agricultural implements, household utensils, grist-mills, and fruit trees, which would be of incalculable service and comfort, and tend to facilitate the advancement of this interesting race. Government, while spending millions of money in fighting hostile Indians, should remember the peaceable disposition of the Pueblos of New Mexico, and generously assist their well directed efforts. As a race they are the most interesting of all the Indian tribes of the United States, and the fact of their being self-supporting and peaceable rather than warlike, should be sufficient argument in favor of their immediate assistance by an assortment of implements and utensils, as briefly enumerated.
For the Navajoes I have recommended the Bosque Redondo reservation as their permanent home; the appropriation now asked in further support of this tribe will, in my opinion, be amply sufficient to enable them to support themselves hereafter. With the Navajoes thus located at the Bosque Redondo reservation, the Apaches at the proposed reservation on the Gila river, and the Utahs upon the Colorado reservation, and the assistance of the government kindly extended towards the Pueblos, the troubles connected with the Indians would soon cease in this Territory. Military posts should, of course, be established at each reservation, which could easily be done.
Your instructions communicated to an active and efficient superintendent, ably supported by & corps of intelligent agents, would soon bring all these desired changes about, and henceforward the Indian affairs of this Territory would move along with the precision and regularity of clock-work.
If my views respecting the Bosque Redondo reservation as a permanent home for the Navajoes meet with your approval, I would respectfully suggest that, as tending to detract from the political complications of the Territory, and thereby accomplishing much good, your department take occasion to inform the superintendent of Indian affairs in this Territory that this said reservation has been adopted by goverment, and its continuance or abolition rests entirely with government, and not with any local party or parties resident in New Mexico. It is unnecessary for me to dwell upon this branch of the subject ; suffice it to say that the political parties have often been syled the Bosque" or "anti-Bosque" party, and, as the Navajo problem has been considered to be still in process of solution, this has been a fertile theme for discussion, and over such discussion some of the bitterest feelings have been engendered between citizens, which probably death alone can remove.
Upon the subject of Indian depredations I have bestowed considerable attention. The claims for loss of property by the Indians-mostly by the Navajoes—is very large, and althongh, as will be noticed in my report, some action should be taken upon this subject, yet none of these claims should be audited until they shall have been most thoroughly and critically examined by an experienced board of commissioners; and whether, in view of the continued depredations of this nature, though happily very limited as to number and loss sustained, it would be better to adjust these losses now, or defer their settlement until the proposed measures of improvement are successfully inaugurated, you are best able to determine. That many of these claims are equitable and just, while that there are many entitled to little or no consideration whatever, I am thoroughly satisfied.
Upon the subject of peonage I have given considerable thought; and inasmuch as this pernicious system of slavery still exists to an alarming extent in all parts of the Territory of New Mexico, government should at once adopt vigorous measures tending to its immediate abolition. Maximilian, in issuing his decree sanctioning this condition of servitude amongst the people of old Mexico, aimed to secure the co-operation of those people who, having lived amidst this system of labor for centuries, disliked much to obey the decree of Juarez, who in. sisted and insists that all labor is justly entitled to compensation. Upon one hand duty and patriotism called, while upon the other hand the glittering allurements of pecuniary gain riveted their attention, when luckily the official correspondence of Secretary Seward was made public, revealing to old Mexico the fact that the United States would not sanction slavery in any form. This has proven and will continue to prove far more potent than the royal edicts of Maximilian, and is felt even in New Mexico, whose people sympathize and fraternize to a considerable extent with their countrymen in the republic of Mexico; but the citizens here, although strictly enjoined to give recompense for all service, will, nevertheless,
cling tenaciously to their old customs, and unless the government, in adopting a definite policy relative to this remaining blot upon the otherwise fair scroll of freedom, sends a special power to the Territory to direct and superintend the practical details of the work of improvement, the system will continue for years to come, and be marked with all its present degrading tendencies.
A freedmen's bureau, though in politic and impracticable for this distant section, would. nevertheless, if established here, result in vast good to the poorer classes ; and, in point of fact, that the most urgent necessity does now exist in this 'l'erritory for some such ameliorating agency, no impartial traveller through this section of country can doubt.
The present state of commercial enterprise and agricultural interest in New Mexico is mainly the result of government disbursements and military operations in that section o: country. The presence of troops has stimulated agriculture, and created a greater demand for its products than ever before known, while the annual expenditures of this arm of national service has stimulated the mercantile community, through whose hands much of the funds disbursed constantly flow. Let the government withhold the purchase of military supplies, and the paymaster cease for a time the payment of the troops, and New Mexico would instantly assume an attitude of mourning and of sorrow; for, aside from the government, there is no market for the products of the Territory, nor will there be so long as, through lack of proper energy and enterprise, the vast mineral wealth of the Territory is allowed to remain in its mountain bed.
I have, as will be noticed, recommended liberal appropriations for the Indian service of New Mexico, and these appropriations should be made as early as possible so that the implements, goods, wares, and merchandise may reach the Indians before winter. I have recommended the sum of twenty-five thousand dollars for each of the tribes for whom I have recommended reservations—the Utahs and the Apaches—and have suggested how this amount be used, and have, as you will notice, made no special allusion to the necessary cost of the removal of these Indians to their proposed reservations. I have omitted this for the reason that, in my opinion, the inducements which the articles to be purchased by these amounts would, under direction of proper persons, present, be amply sufficient to concentrate these Indians upon their new homes with but trifling expense to government. The Indians would, most of them, probably follow the train containing the goods, and reach the reservation simultaneously with it: then, with proper military assistance, they could be retained there. This is the true way to induce these Indians to leave their present homes; and in adopting this course it should be borne in mind that the Indians seemingly consent to the new order of things, so that they may acquire the presents, and then steal off to their old hunting grounds. An energetic agent would, with the assistance of a military force, be able, with patience and perseverance, to locate most of the Indians, and could, from time to time, capture all those who returned to their former homes, and all this without trouble or bloodshed ; although under the direction of an incompetent agent the most disastrous results might follow such attempt at removal.
I should prove recreant to the duty you have imposed upon me were I to close this communication without bestowing a just tribute upon the wisdom, energy, and in lomitable perseverance with which Major General James li. Carltou has conducied the military department of New Mexico, with special reference to the Indians of the Territory. Under his efficient administration the atrocities which formerly marked the daily routine of life in this section have dwindled into comparative insignificance. He has conquered the greater portion of the powerful Navajo tribe, which for upwards of a century had been a constant terror to the people, and placed these savages upon the broad road to civilization.
The selection of the Bosque Redondo as a home for, and the location of these Navajoes upon this reservation, was a wise and laudable undertaking, shifting, as it did, the scenes of their former barbarisms for the more elevating tendencies of their present bone, surrounded as it is by all the arts of peace, whose victories, as will be acknowledged, in the eventual civilization of their tribe, are more renowned than war.
A delegation of the headmen from the Navajo and Utah tribes should be invited to visit Washington and other large cities. Such a trip would reveal to these Indians the vast wonders of civilization, the power and grandeur of the United States, and tend to benefit the red men in very many particulars which I need not mention.
As will be noticed, I relieved the urgent wauts of the Pueblo Indians of Isletta, Santa Domingo, and Santa Ana. These people will, however, require further assistance in the way of food by the first of May, to the same extent, probably, that I have already supplied them.
The Utahs asked for food. In view, however, of their statements as to the abundance of game, coupled also with the fact that, unless they have been grossly deceived by their agent, their supply of food should now be ample, I gave them merely a supply of powder
, Jead, and percussion caps to the aggregate amount of $285. This will enable this people to procurė an abundance of game.
It will be noticed by reference to the proper voucher that the lead purchased for these Indians cost forty cents per pound. This is owing to the fact that this article is brought here from the States, although immense quantities of the best Galena ore abounds in all parts of the Territory, yet, for want of proper energy, is suffered to remain undisturbed. If govery.
mect should at any time require any cousiderable supply of lead for use in this or adjoining Territories, I would suggest that proposals be published at Santa Fé, and believe that immense quantities would be offered at from five to ten cents per pound, delivered as desired. The same remarks apply, to a certain extent, with equal force to the purchase of blankets for Indian use in the Territories of New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and the State of Kan*2s. These articles, purchased in the States and freighted to their destination at considerable cost, could be manufactured in New Mexico from the immense wool product of the Territory, which is estimated to reach from a million and a half to two million pounds each year; and ret there are no looms or woollen manufactories in this whole section of country. If gov. ernment could contract with proper parties for a large supply of all-wool blankets, she would probably save upwards of a quarter of a million dollars each year, and at the same time clothe the Indians much better than ever before. Indeed, as most of the blankets supplied to the Territories have cost upwards of $21 per pair, exclusive of transportation, an expendifure for blankets made from the wool raised here would give equally as desirable an article as to quality and quantity as those blankets purchased in the States, and at not to exceed one-half the cost of such foreign fabrics. Again, were government to execute such a contraet with responsible parties, it would of course insure the immediate establishment of a woollen mill in this Territory, which would give an impetus to the present inactive state of commercial enterprise; and such steps would tend also to attract emigration to this country, which, by reason of the vast resources of this section, would result in national benefit.
My task has been somewhat laborious. I trust, however, it has been performed in an acceptable manner, and that the many improvements which I have suggested in the management of the Indian affairs of New Mexico will be inaugurated at an early day. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. K. GRAVES,
United States Special Indian Agent for Noro Merico. Hon. D. N. COOLEY,
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Washington, D. C.
No. 41. ABSTRACT OF PAPERS ACCOMPANYING REPORT OF J. K. GRAVES, SPECIAL AGENT, RELA
TITE TO INDIAN AFFAIRS IN NEW MEXICO,
No. 2.- Vumber of Indians. The following is given as the number of Indians in New Mexico, estimated from the best sources of information : Navajoes at Bosque Redondo....
6,447 Navajoes still at large, and hostile..
7,010 Webinoche Utahs
700 Capote Utahs..
350 Maquoche Utahs.
600 Jicarilla Apaches...
800 Mescalero Apaches.
Add held as captives or peons
No. 3.- Decrease of Indian population. ln 1:40, twenty years ago, the number of Indians in New Mexico was estimated as fol
lows: Navajoes. Pueblos. Utahs.. Apaches.
13,500 11, 380 6,000 7,000
Showing a decrease of about one-half, if the above figures in each case approach accuracy, This decrease is accounted for, in a great measure, by the incessant warfare carried
on against the Indians. A practice, sanctioned by territorial law, has obtained, by which the whites are encouraged to make volunteer expeditions or campaigns against the Indians. Theoretically, those participating in these raids are rewarded with the plunder obtained, but should report