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The prejudice on the part of the people of these nations against the freedmen is rapidly passing away, and their treatment of them has not been so bad and cruel as might be inferred from my former report and letters, although there is still much that is wrong and cruel.
This wrong and cruelty on the part of these people towards the freedmen is the result of bad and improper laws of these nations- elave code, which is considered by them as still in force, and executed upon all blacks accordingly. A treaty embodying correct principles will be the most speedy and sure correction of this evil.
There is quite a strong sentiment in the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations in favor of sectionizing the country and the organization of a territorial government.
These nations will look with no disfavor upon the location of the freedmen of their tribes by the government upon a portion of the leased country along the False Washita, or in that vicinity, and I respectfully recommend that a reservation of at least thirty-six miles square be set apart there for the exclusive use and benefit of the freedmen of these two tribes, or an equivalent tract running from the Canadian to the Red river.
A more thorough knowledge of the condition of the freedmen of the territory induces me to recommend that provision be made by law for each single freedwoman, who has one or more children living with her, to enter one hundred and sixty acres of land in the reservation set apart for freedmen.
There is a very large number of young women who have from one to eight children, born while they were slaves, and who have not and never have had any husbands. Many of the children are mixed bloods, and, with a home, may become quite valuable citizens.
The large number of children of this class of females is a bar to their receiving good hus. bands, and unless sume provision is made for them their case and that of their children is most hopeless. The land thus entered should not be subject to alienation during the life of the person entering the same.
I recommend that four sections in every townsbip of the reservations set apart for freed. men be set apart for the use of schools, the same to remain under the control of Coogress.
My own conclusions as to the action of Congress required to accomplish the greatest good for the freedmen, Indians, and all parties interested in the territory, are as follows:
1. That a territorial government should be erected.
2. That each of the Indian tribes, or affiliated tribes, should be located on some limited reservations, and the country sectionized, and each Indian allowed to enter some legal subdivisions of the land, say eighty acres, and hold the same without power of alienation, and each Indian be paid for any improvements made by him on land that he might be compelled to surrender, for the reason that it was not included in the proper reservation.
3. That proper reservations should be set off for the freedmen of the respective tribes and sectionized, and each male over twenty-one years of age, and each single woman who should have one or more children living with her, be allowed to enter one hundred and sixty acres of the same as a homestead, and that parties entering said land should have no power to alienate the same at any time, and that the same shall descend to their heirs.
4. That a large tract be retained by the government for reservation for such tribes of Indians as may be moved into the territory from time to time.
5. That liberal grants of land, in alternate sections, be made to railroad companies to build a road through the territory north and south and east and west, and that the alternate sections retained be sold by the government, at two dollars and fifty cents per acre, to any party who shall have settled and made his home upon the same for two years, without regard to his color or race, and the proceeds, after deducting all expenses of survey, sale, &c., be applied to school and charitable purposes with the Indian tribes
6. That any land remaining undisposed of should be subject to settlement and entry by any class of people under the present acts of Congress.
My opinion is that such legislation would result in the rapid development of the country, the civilization of the Indian tribes, the enlightenment and elevation of the freedmen and the masses of all the people in the territory, and induce peace and good feeling on the part of all. All which is respectfully submitted. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN B. SANBORN,
Brevet Major General and Commissioner. Hon. JAMES HARLAN,
Secretary of the Interior.
HEADQUARTERS COMMISSIONER FOR REGULATING RELATIONS BETWEEN
Fort Smith, Arkansas, April 13, 1866, COLONEL: I have the honor to report that the existing relations between the freedmen of the Indian Territory and their former masters are generally satisfactory.
The rights of the freedmen are acknowledged by all ; fair compensation for labor is paid ; a fair proportion of crops to be raised on the old plantations is allowed ; labor for freedmen to perform is abundant, and nearly all are self-supporting.
Only one hundred and fifty have applied for assistance this month, and I think the number will be much reduced next month.
Much of the assistance rendered is to freedmen that have been taken south by their masters, and who are now returning to their old homes
Under these circumstances there seems to be little reason for continuing this commission beyond the tenth of next month, unless it should be to correct the few abuses that may arise, and exercise a general supervision over these matters in the territory, and this will probably be more necessary about the time of the maturity of the crops than during the summer months while they are growing
The necessity or advantage of continuing the commission also depends very much upon the conditions of the treaties about to be concluded at Washington, and the laws passei in pursuance thereof. But it seems that the Indian agents, under proper instructions, could well attend to and perform all those duties that now, or in any event after the tenth of next mooth will, pertain to this commission.
I therefore respectfully request that you will either grant me a leave of absence of forty days, to take effect from the tenth of next month, or that you will allow me to proceed to Washington at that time and close my accounts, and there wait further orders. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN B SANBORN,
Brevet Major General and Commissioner. Colonel D. N. COOLEY,
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Washington, D. C.
GREEN BAY AGENCY.
UNITED STATES INDIAN AGENCY,
Green Bay, Wisconsin, September 23, 1866. Sir: I have the honor to submit herewith my first annual report, pursuant to regulations of the department.
The only tribes of Indians in the vicinity of Green Bay are the Oneidas, Menomonees, and Stock bridges, of which the latter have longer been wards of the government, and are more advanced in civilization. They are located on a reserve assigned them in 1856, coinprising two townships of land according to the public survey. The treaty made in that year with the Stockbridge and Munsee tribes, and the census accompanying it, present an aggregate population of both parties numbering 409 souls. A removal and improvement fund was provided them, upon receipt of which the greater portion left the tribe, expend-d their money elsewhere, and their number is now reduced to about 152. This was the fourth removal since occupying their old home in New England. Those now upon the reservation are all Stockbridges, there being but one Munsee left, and constitute, it is believed, the only portion of them desirous of retaining their tribal character.
If their location had been selected in a fertile region instead of the cold and barren sand hills of their present home, their advancement in agriculture and the arts of civilized life would have been more satisfactory, and far more beneficial to them.
There are in the tribe men of intelligence, good farmers, and skilful mechanics. But the forbidding character of their country, not enabling them to realize from it a meagre subsistence without occasional supplies from the government, has bred discontent among them, and they therefore earnestly desire a remodelling of their treaty stipulations, believing that any change must be an improvement upon their present condition.
In consequence of this unsettled state of affairs, their farms have not been enlarged from year to year, as they should have been; their lands are not thoroughly tilled, and
they seem to regard themselves as mere sojourners, looking with anxiety to the future that awaits them.
The number of acres in crops the present year is estimated at 145, less than one acre to each soul The number of bushels of corn raised, 835; wheat, 73; oats, 842; potatoes, 1,553; rye, 145 ; peas, 40; millet, 20 tons.
Their school, under the supervision of the Rev. Mr. Slingerland, a member of the tribe, has enjoyed the usual prosperity.
Of the Oneidas a more flattering picture is presented. The energy and perseverance which more than a century ago characterized this nation, and enabled them to prosecute successful wars, and compelled all the savage tribes east of the Mississippi to acknowledge their power and supremacy, seems not to have been entirely extinguished by their intercourse with the whites.
There are among them worthless vagabonds, whose character and example do much to deter the advancement of the rising generation in civilization and habits of good husbandry, but the principal men of the tribe have ever shown a marked interest in everything tend. ing to elevate the nation in the scale of human progress.
There are upon the reservation many good farms and desirable houses, and a ride through their settlement exhibits evidences of thrift, industry, and good management, highly creditable to the resident population ; their houses appear comfortable, their barns spacious and well filled, and were they further removed from the allurements to dissipation, they would in a few years become a highly civilized and prosperous community.
Their farming operations for the present year, compared with former reports, are very favorable to them. The quantity of land under cultivation is estimated at 3,307 acres, about 31 to each soul, yielding, of wheat, 2,837 bushels; corn, 18,875 ; rye, 575; peas, 830 ; potatoes, 13,495 ; oats, 11,156; and hay, 584 tons.
The proximity of this tribe to the city of Green Bay and to the lumber mills everywhere fpringing up, has been a principal source of discord among its members. Against the advice and injunctions of the chiefs and headmen, individuals would persist in cutting and hauling to the mills, for sale, the most valuable timber on the reservation.
This has been carried on for many years, until it has nearly all been disposed of. It has, however, given rise to a desire on the part of some to have the reservation allotted to them individually, and thus enable them to protect their land from waste; but the mischief having already been done, the interest of the tribe would not, in my judgment, be promoted by the measure proposed. It would be the first step towards a recognition of individual property in the soil, soon to be followed by a desire on the part of the thriftless and dissipated to sell their allotments, and would termipate in the same discontent and embarrassments which have afflicted the Stockbridges for the past twenty years.
The Oneidas are not prepared for so advanced a position towards assuming the duties and responsibilities of citizenship, nor is any tribe so long as they retain their mother tongue and use it exclusively in their daily intercourse with each other. Of their schools, I am upable from the short period of my service to speak from personal knowledge, and respectfully refer to the reports of the teachers, herewith transmitted.
The Menomonees made their first treaty, by which they were to receive instruction in husbandry, thirty years ago. They have been twice removed, and are now located upon ten townships of land, perhaps the worst for farming purposes in this State.
There is much of their territory valuable for the pine timber upon it, and none that can be classed as first-class agricultural land. The soil is extremely light, and divided into ridges of sand and marsh, with the exception of a strip running north and south along the eastern boundary, well timbered with maple and beech, which may be called third-class farming land.
Some of the bands have abandoned the farms selected for them fifteen years ago, and opened clearings in the timber above mentioned. It is inconvenient, however, to have them scattered over a space of ten or fifteen miles, on account of the distance from schools, and the difficuity of procuring aid from the farmer in charge whenever it sball be needed in putting in their seed and harvesting their crops.
On the whole therefore, their position cannot be regarded as a favorable one for either moral, intellectual, or social improvement. The people of this tribe are very kind and tractable in their disposition, easily controlled, and many of their chiefs manifest a strong desire to have their children instructed in all branches of knowledge calculated to wear them from their former savage enjoyments, and to muke them proficient in transacting the ordinary affairs of civilized life. In this they have been successful, and their success may be attributed to the fact that they have always had one or more female teachers for their childiren.
I: is by first educating and setting examples of modesty and exemplary conduct before the females that they are improved, and the male portion of the tribe is led to adopt a new life. On my visits since June last, to Keshena, of several days each time, no case of in
temperance or rowdyism appeared, but their men bebaved with proper respect and good breeding, and the women appeared modest and decorous in their demeanor.
Their schools could not, in my judgment, be improved, unless, perhaps, the new mode of instruction about to be introduced should create a inore lively interest among the children, and facilitate the acquisition of the first rudiments of knowledge.
Whether it shall prove a success, or the former mode shall be preferred, the experience in this tribe is conclusive of the fact that female teachers exercise a better influence in elevating the standard of morals, and leading old and young to appreciate the amenities of refined social intercourse.
The farming operations of the Menomonees exhibit as flattering results as could be expected from the character of their lands, and the limited number of those who are skilled in cultivating them. Their crops during the present year have suffered materially from the frosts of June, August, and September, leaving but a brief period for their maturity.
There is no farm managed exclusively by the taimer employed by the government, unless the small tract adjoining the farm house, of two or three acres, can be called one. 'l he Indians have under cultivation 411 acres, about ; to each soul, yielding the present season, of wheat, 276 bushels; rye, 350; oats, 350 ; corn, 1,360 ; potatoes, 4,800 ; beans 36, and turnips, 25 bushels.
They have also cut and put up about 250 tons of prairie or March hay of an inferior quility, owing to the constant rains of August and September, but sufficient, it is thought, to winter their stock.
If they cyuld be induced to engage in sheep-raising, their lands might be put to more profitable use than supplying a small and uncertain grain crop to remunerate their labor.
In closing my report it is but an act of justice to Father Cajetan, the Catholic missionary resident at Kenosha, to mention his constant efforts, during the time he has been in charge, to promote the temporal and spiritual interests of the Indians, and the success wbich has thus far attended them. Respectfully submitted:
M. L. MARTIN,
United States Indian Agent. Hon D. N COOLEY,
Commis:ioner Indian Affairs, Wushinglon, D. C.
No. 150 a.
HONOBED Sır: I have to report that the Protestant Episcopal Mission school of the Oneida tribe of Indians commenced on the 20th day of November, 1865, and continued in session until the 28th day of May, 1866, when it closed for the summer, owing to the prevalence of small-pox in the neighborhood.
The whole number of the children attending the school is 38 in the male department and 28 in the female department-total, 66; the average daily attendance of boys 15), of girls 10-total, 251.
All have made good progress in their studies, and have improved in the regularity of their attendance; but the small-pox interfered, no doubt, in some regions to keep some away, who otherwise might have attended the school
The tribe is prospering in a remarkable degree; the Indians are contented and happy for the most part, and are improving rapidly in civilization. Drunkenness continues to be the great bindrance to a greater advancement.
The church has given during the past year for the support of this mission $750; the Indians dwing the same time bave contributed for the same purpose and other religious objects $331 in cash, and $150 in labor-total, $481. Very respectfully,
E. A. GOODNOUGH,
Teacher of the Protestant Episcopal Mission chool, ONEIDA, WISCONSIN, September 25, 1866.
No. 150 b.
ONEIDA INDIAN RESERVATION, July 30, 1866. Sir : It becomes my duty to report to you the condition of the Methodist Episcopal Mission school here in Oneida. This school was intrusted to iny care in March last, and immediately, on the 28th of the same month, I opened the school, and continued in session, until the 26th of June. During this time small-pox prevented having school one week, from the 7th to the 14th of May.
The school was well attended. The parents, as well as the children, seemed to be well pleased with the change of the teacher, because the children are now made to understand what they read, and all other things necessary to be understood were explained or interpreted to them in their own language.
Whole number of days taught was 59 ; whole number of scholars attending the school was 43, of which 25 were males and 18 females ; average attendance, 21. Yours, respectfully,
HENRY CORNELIUS. Hon. M. L. MARTIN, United States Indian Agent.
No. 150 c.
KESHENA, SHEWANO County, WISCONSIN. July 26, 1866. Sir: The school among the Stockbridges was more thinly attended during the last winter than any previous year, owing to the severity of the cold and the long reason of derp snows allowing none to attend but the larger scholars. Sixteen was the highest number of any one day, and twelve was the average. But as the spring opened and the roads became passable, the school became re-enforced, and since then we have been abie to report twenty-two at one attendance, with an average of eighteen. These have been quite regular, and the teacher has often b: en cheered by the rapid advances of the scholars. It is now time, in the history of the school, when about all the older scholars are leaving, and a new generation of small ones are coming in ; consequently we are obliged to say that reading, writing, spelling, and ciphering among the four first rules have been the chief exercis-s of the school. Our school-books, which have been in use for the last eight or nine years, have become so mutilated and worn, an application for a new set would now accompany this, but for the prospect that a treaty may be soon male with this tribe, in which event the present stock, with care and economy, may serve during the present summer. Of the twenty-two who have attended, there are sixteen boys and six girls, whose ages range from five to fourteen. There is but one school in operation, and one teacher employed. Be. sides the duties of the school, preaching and religious meetings have been sustained, the fruits of which may be seen in the organization of a small church of eighteen or twenty members, and the general good conduct, sobriety, and industry of the tribe on the reservation. This field is under the care of no missionary societv, and no salary sustains pour teacher in his literary and religious labors but that paid by the government for the support of the school Respectfully yours,
JEREMIAH SLINGERLAND, Teacher. Hon. MORGAN L. MARTIN,
United States Indian Agent, Green Bay, Brown County, Wisconsin.
No. 150 d.
KESHENA, August 18, 1866. Sır: I have the honor herewith to present the following report of the primary school under my charge. The number of scholars registered is furty-two; the average attendance twenty. You will perceive that the attendance is disproportionate to the whole number of scholars registered. This is partly accounted for from their being sadly in need of many of the necessaries of life, and in want of clothing; this summer, therefore, the most needy bave been kept out of school by their parents to assist them in gathering berries, which they exchange for food, &c. ; and again, many are afflicted with sore eyes. In view of these obstacles, that necessarily prevented the pupils from attending school, I think I have great reason to feel gratified at the progress of those who attended regularly. The studies pursued are spelling, reading, writing, arithmetic, and geography. Books used in schnol are Sanders's Pictorial Primer, Sanders's First Reader, Second, and Third, Ray's Arithmet:c, part first, Monteith's First Lessons in Geography. I will respectfully inform you that the weather being excessively warm, on the 27th of last month I gave the scholars a vacation of three weeks, which terminates to-day. Very respectfully submitted :
ROSALIA DOUSMAN. Hon. M. L. MARTIN,
United States Indian Agent.