« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
order ; if so, we will finish our shops and barn at an early day, and by spring have every building required on the place erected and completed except an agency building.
Your remittance to the assistant United States treasurer at San Francisco, for par of employés for third quarter 1865, and second quarter 1861, was received August 4, 1866, and places me easy as far as funds are concerned for present use. I hope hereafter you will be able to remit me funds through my superintendent, two quarters at once.
Checks on San Francisco are only worth seventy cents to the dollar. Checks on Virginia city and Helena, eighty cents; but greenbacks are worth ninety cents here. So far, I have paid out my checks the same as greeu backs, but it has been hard work for me to do so, and will be an impossibility hereafter.
The reason that I request funds remitted me two quarters at a time is, that it requires twelve days for me to visit my superintendent, and that, too, at a cost of about six dollars per day, and in a short time the roads from here to Virginia City will be impassable, and remain so for some four or five months on account of cold weather and deep snows.
After the present fiscal year the estimates for current expenses for the agency can he reduced $2,500 to $3,000 per year, and the surplus products of the farm will certainly net in that amount, thus reducing the expenses of this agency at least $5,000 per year, (that is, if the crickets and grasshoppers do not destroy what we raise.) Take it all in all, the future prospects of this agency and the three tribes of Indians under my charge, (the Pend d'Oreilles excepted,) are decidedly encouraging, all of which is respectfully submitted. Respectfully, your obedient servant,
AUGUSTUS H, CHAPMAN,
United States Indian Agent. Hon. D. N. COOLEY,
Commissioner of Indian Afairs, Washington, D. O.
PAWNEE INDIAN AGENCY,
Nebraska Territory, September 15, 1866. Sir: I have the honor to submit, in compliance with instructions, the following report in relation to the affairs at this agency for the past year. The manual labor school is in a flourishing condition, and teachers and scholars have enjoyed unusually good bealth for the past year, there not being a single death or protracted case of sickness, owing, I think, very much to the correct habits and etringent sanitary regulations adopted for all those employed by the very able and energetic teacher in charge, Rev. J. B. Maxfield, who was retained by me as teacher when I was placed in charge of this agency. The children are very kind in disposition, pleasant in their deportment, and quick to learn, and for the number of scholars together, and their age, and former life and habits, will compare favorably beside any school of white children of same number and age. As the great and principal object of the government is to civilize the Indians, teach them the habits, manners and customs of the whites, this school to a great extent has been an object of solicitude and care with me during my time here. I have at all times endeavored in every way possible to advance it by rendering every assistance possible, and still leaving the charge of the same with the principal teacher.
As you are aware, nothing has been raised on the agency farm for two years past, and much work had to be done during the last winter in getting wood, logs for lumber, and such other work as was needful preparatory to a hard and perhaps profitless summer's work. The spring was late, and but little work could be done until about the first of April. The ground that was to be prepared for wheat, oats and corn, was covered with a heavy growth of large weeds, which we found impossible to burn, and could only partially cover with a plough. Thus it was exceedingly hard work for teams and men, but I succeeded in having thirty acres of wheat sown, and ten acres of oats, and seventy acres of corn. The wheat and oats yielded very abundantly considering the condition of the ground. The wheat and oats were harvested in July and August, and stacked near the farm-house. On the 10th instant I secured the services of Mr. Graham, with teams, threshing machine and hands, and threshed the oats and a portion of the wheat. Both kinds of grain are of a fino quality. The corn will be a light yield, for the reason that early in this month myriads of grasshoppers came upon us, eating and destroying nearly every green thing. They covered the fields, eating of all the blades and part of the ears of corn; the yield will therefore bo light; still I think enough can be harvested to supply all the necessities of the farm. The mill was in a bad condition wben I took possession of the agency. The bolt was in a very, bad condition, having had something run through it, which completely ruined it. I secured
the services of a millwright and purchased the cloth, and have had it put in excellent condition for milling.
The Indians bave been very successful in growing crops, and are almost above want, so far as corn, beans, and squashes can make them. They had a very successful hunt during the winter, and another very successful hunt during this summer, leaving the agency on the 6th of July, and returning about the 25th of August. It is reported by some of the citizens of Kansas t}at the Pawnee Indians, with the Ottoes and Omahas, committed numerous depredations on the white settlers while out. This report I do not credit, for the PawDees are, and have been ever since I have been with them, on the most friendly terms with all whites. At all times where there have been differences they have ever been ready to do justice in all cases ; and then, too, when the Pawneeg started on their hunt, I talked to them, teiliug them the consequences if they did do wrong, and placed the whole tribe in charge of Baptiste Bay hylle, the government interpreter, who is a very intelligent hall-breed, and & man whom I have ever found honest and reliable. When I took possession of the agency on the lst of July, 1865, I found among the tribe a number of horses that had been stolen from the Kaw Indians, a tribe with whom the Pawnees were on friendly terms. I took charge of the horses, and sent the interpreter with ten Pawnees to take them back to the Kaw Indians. The Pawnees and Yankton Indians have had some differences for some two or three years past, but with the assistance of Agent Conger of the Yancton Sioux Indians, I got the two tribes to make a peace treaty at tbe Yankton agency this spring, and sent a copy of the treaty then made to you in June last.
I eneluse the report of the engineer, miller, farmer, and teacher with this report, cordially indosing what each has suid relative to his respective department. I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant.
DANIEL H. WHEELER,
United States Indian Ayent. Colonel E. B. Taylor,
Superintendent Indian Affuirs, Omaha City, Nebraska.
PAWNEE MANUAL LABOR SCHOOL,
Pawnee Indian Agency, September 15, 1866. Sie: In accordance with your request I have the honor to present this report in relation to the Pawnee manual labor school for the year just past. During the year there is one fact of so great importance that I mention it before proceeding to state matters of less mo. ment It is this, with a family embracing fifty-four persons, many of them quite young, there has not been a single death nor a case of serious sickness.
It has been believed by many that to take children from the unlimited freedom of Indian life and confine them to a school-room, and induct them into habits of civilized life, would have an injurious effect upon them, so that many would pine away and die in consequence of the change.
Quite on the contrary, we have more than one child which seemed emaciated and sick, and in all human probability would have lived but a short time longer, who as soon as brought under the influence of civilized habits began immediately to change for the better, and who are now among the healthiest children in the school. For the invaluable gift of such a period of good health we are devoutly grateful to the Giver of every good and perfect gift
We have pursued a regular course of instruction in the day school, under the care of the teachers. The scholars have made commendable progress in the rudimentary branches of edncation.
A number of those last introduced to the school, something like twelve months since,
Spelling. Reading Writing. Arithmetic. Geography Grammar.
The facilities for imparting instruction to the children could be greatly improved by additional furniture, as you propose to furnish as soon as sufficieut funds are secured from the department, and by having a plat of ground fenced, and thus prevent vagrants from the tribe from annoying both teachers and pupils.
One year ago this September we had twenty-two pupils in school, which number was by you increased to forty-seven, as shown above, and which constitute as many as can be accommodated until additional furniture and help are furnished.
Particular efforts are made, while they are improving in intellectual lore, to impart in their minds correct moral and religious ideas. Nor bas this labor of moral culture been entirely vain, as can be readily seen in the sprightly deportment of those who have been under the longest training.
While we bear willing testimony to the general excellent conduct of all, it will be no disparagement to the school at large to make special and honorable mention of one who, by his uniform good conduct, merits and receives the highest praise.
This boy is Merritt Platt, who is a model of scbolarly deportment to any school. The boys have been regularly instructed in manual labor, and have worked with cheerful alacrity a portion of each day. The girls receive a thorough course of instruction in sewing and housekeeping, and reflect great credit upon themselves and the ladies who supervise them.
In conclusion, allow me to thank you for the uniform courtesy and respect shown myself and others connected with the school by you in endeavoring at all times to advance the interests and general good of the school. In the steady progress evinced by these forty-seven children pow in school, we have an earnest of the very best results in future when they shall have completed their course of education and go out to enter upon the activities of civilized life.
It can have none other than a salutary influence upon the rest of the tribe when they shall thus, pursuing the aims and arts of civilized life and Christianity, be respected and happy. Contrasting their condition, their wants, and their privations as a tribe, with the comfort, ease, and happiness of those who are now being educated, I think it will go far toward inducing the uncivilized to renounce the habits and customs of barbarism and try the civilized mode of life. With assurance of great respect, I am, sir, very truly, &c.,
J. B. MAXFIELD, Teacher. Major D. H. WHEELER,
United States Indian Agent.
TEMPORARY CREEK AGENCY, October, 1866. SIR: I bave to offer the following as my second annual report concerning the condition of affairs within this agency. Since my last report the habits contracted in a lawless civil war of five years' duration have given place to those of peace. With a country almost devastated in that struggle the people are settling down into more regular habits of industry, and seem determined to build up their former prosperity. Here, as among all Indian nations, there are many improvident persons, who, saving nothing, still expect to reap; whose minds are not proinpted to industry until hunger and cold harass them. Under more favorable circumstances these people might not suffer, being protected by the generosity of the more thoughtful around them. But, with the late return of many to their homes, the scanty crop that this season has produced, the poor advantages for agriculture, and the desolate condition of an impoverished country, this is now impossible. Inexcusable as this neglect may be in many cases, there are still many instances to which the most cautious charity might relent.
The season has been an exceedingly dry one, and the crops have suffered greatly for rain. Particularly has this been the case in the southern and western portions of the country, where the corn crop, the great dependence of these people, is almost a total failure. Much sickness has prevailed, owing, together with the drought, to the diet which has been forced upon them. By order of authority the rations were discontinued on the Ist day of July; since that time green corn, potatoes, and melons have been their only subsistence.
Owirg to this sickness, that has been so genernl, there has not been so much attention
paid to the crop as would otherwise have been, and I cannot look to the coming winter without dread of the suffering that it will surely bring in its train.
Already instances have occurred that bave enlisted my sympathy. I am utterly unable to relieve this want, be it never so severe or its victims never so worthy. I cannot close this subject without most earnestly presenting this subject to your notice, and requesting means to be placed at my disposal to relieve the wants of the worthy people of this nation. I would respectfully urge, as a question of policy, the propriety of placing at the disposal of the agent a limited amount of clothing and provisions, to be distributed at his discretion in cases of absolute necessity.
As peace in its influence grows among the people, a renewed interest in education is exhibited; the freedwen, particularly, are anxious that their children shall be educated. Hitherto the customs of the country have prevented their enjoying the benefits of the schools, but now that they are placed on an equality with their former masters, they are determined to profit by the position. Already in the districts that have been allotted them, schools have been formed at their own advance, anticipating the assistance of government. They lack good teachers, and so far have, in many cases, been obliged to engage teachers of their own color, who, though working faithfully to the best of their ability, are still scarcely fit persons for the great work before them. It would be improving to the young of this nation if those sects who formed schools and missions in the years before the war could again return their representatives and re-establish their work. The field is a wide one, and is one suggestive to the charitable.
There is less prejudice towards the negroes than I had feared. The Indians generally are a people of exceedingly strong passions and prejudices, having little sympathy with new ideas that usurp their established customs, but they have taken this providential result of the war with as much calmness as our most peaceful citizens at home.
In my conversation with several intelligent Creeks, aside from active prejudice, I have ever heard the opinion expressed that the negroes would prove the most capable, intelligent, and industrious citizens; certainly, they promise well. This is the first season on which to form a comparison. With all their disadvantages, the freedmen have planted larger crops, have attended them more faithfully, and are to-day further from want than are their former masters.
As a general rule, property within this nation is more secure than even in the old States of the Union. A few cases of horse-stealing have been brought to my notice.
In the security of horses and cattle the people are particularly interested, for in these animals consists their chief wealth. The law, then, for their protection should be stringent, and should be executed promptly and faithfully. In a wide, open country like this, there is not that peril in crime that holds in the confines of civilization. I would suggest the policy of establishing within the territory a penitentiary, in which might be confined at hard labor the criminals of the different nations. The present system of flogging seems to me very objectionable. Escape is comparatively easy after the crime is committed ; and even in event of apprehension, the punishment is not too severe to be risked in prospect of gain. The peril of branding, which follows the second commission of the crime, is one fruitful of no good. It marks the man a felon, and, marked a felon, he will act the felon. But labor to an Indian is a painful punishment, confinement is irksome, and I believe that the experiment would prove a success, and would secure more general protection to property. Once established, the expenses of this very necessary institution would be smallit is even a question if would not be self-sustaining-and then, instead of sending out from its walls a criminal branded and published to his nation, the man, under force having learned a trade or occupation, might do useful service to his tribe, and forget the criminal habits of former days.
This and other kindred subjects may come before that general council which Congress wisely proposes establishing for the benefit of the several pátions of the territory.
This assembly cannot fail to be beneficial to all-so our most intelligent Indians regard it. It is a great step toward consolidation, which must occur ultimately.
The nation is in great need of mills. Those that were running before the war are now either destroyed or useless. I have endeavored to urge upon ther the propriety of appropriating a sufficient amount from their annuities for the purchase of at least one saw-mill and one grist-mill. These improvements would be of general and lasting benefit to the nation.
In the list of improvements these are most needed, though when I consider the limited means for carrying on agriculture, I can scarcely consider their scarcity less unfortunate. Would not a present of ploughis, harrows, mowers, hoes, &c., at this time be a wise act of the government? It would increase the ability of farming, and, with the naturally lazy disposition of the Indians, anything that lessens labor is acceptable.
They have long been a load upon the department, though there is no just reason why they should not be independent of its generosity.