Page images

Their minds have been poisoned on the subject of a reservation, and they have been made to believe that it was a sort of corral in which they were to be confined ; and when I explained to them that it was a home with which they were to be provided, and on which they were to be made comfortable, and where they could approach the condition which the wbites en joyed, each having his own rights well defined, it made a marked ditkerence in their temper and disposition.

It certainly will not answer to let them remain as they now are, on the borders of the settlements, subject to all the malign influences of the bad men in the neighborhood, without any of the advantages of civilized life. This matter must first be disposed of, if only as a question of humanity to the Indians. And, in the second place, the demands of the people who are flocking into the country from every direction, along the foot hills of the mountains, in the mines, and on the banks of every stream, require that they should

be removed to prevent the constant uneasiness and occasional alarms that now prevail. The demands of the citizens are not unreasonable; they see no reason why there should not be the same effort made by the public authorities to protect them as has been done for all the frontier settlements since the foundation of the government.

The Utes have been the most peaceable of all the mountain or plain Indians, and have even resisted the efforts of bad white men to induce them to engage in depredations. During my visit a case was brought before me, and established quite satisfactorily, of a man who had formerly been engaged in the service of the government as an interpreter who had endeavored to incite them to raids upon the settlements, using as a pretext the failure of the government to fulfil its treaty stipulations ; but they steadily resisted this fiendish effort, saying they had faith in the purposes and wish of the Great Father.

It will naturally be asked how many of these people there are to provide for as I have sug. gested, and I confess this question puzzles me. The numbers in the two agencies of this superintendency have usually been estimated at from 8,000 to 10,000. I have no doubt that this is very much exaggerated, and I incline to the belief that half that number would be a fairer estimate; from what I can learn, the other bands of Utes, the Mohuaches, Capotes, &c., do not much exceed them, so that it would not be difficult for the government to adopt measures which, while liberal to the Indians, would actually be economical as well as humane, so that if, as is now evident, they are destined to vanish from the earth, their extinction may be unaccompanied by cruelty,

In relation to the Indians in charge of Agent Taylor, of this superintendency, I have nothing to report, for the reason that they have been, during the year, under the care of the special agency appointed by the department with a view of settling the serious difficulties existing with them. I have the honor to be. very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ALEXANDER CUMMINGS, Governor and ex-officio Superintendent Indian Affairs, Colorado Territory. Hon. D. N. COOLEY,

Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Washington, D. C. P. S.-I had closed the foregoing report, and was much gratified in being able to announce to you the condition of affairs as they existed, and that during the year of my superintendency there had been no Indian war. As I was about to forward it, however, I received, by special messenger, a communication from General Carson, commanding at Fort Garland, enclosing a despatch from Colonel Alexander, recently in command of Fort Stevens, which I immediately forwarded to you, first by telegraph and afterwards by mail.

It appears from these communications that, while this Territory is the scene of trouble and disaster, the Indians of this superintendency are, thus far, in no way implicated. But it is impossible to predict, with any certainty, what may be the result of the present disturbance in the southern portion of the Territory. I have great hope, however, from General Carson's well-known influence over the Indians, that, assisted by his prudent counsel, Agent Head may be able to avert what seems to be an impending calamity. 'I have no further reliable information than that already communicated to you, but casual reports show the whole southern country to be in a state of great alarm.


No. 51.


Denver, February 14, 1666. Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your letter of February 1, containing directions for the conduct of Indian affairs in this superintendency, and the returns, reports, &c., necessary to be made. It contains sufficient instructions to enable me to conform my proceedings to the usages of the department.

Upon my arrival in this Territory, I made inquiry of my predecessor and of his clerk for the rules necessary to my information and guidance in the transaction of Indian business,

bat could obtain nothing more definite than a reference to what had been the usual practice of former superintendents of Indian affairs in questions which might arise under their superintendence.

I immediately placed myself in communication with the different agencies. Major D. C. Oakes, agent for the Uintah and Green River bands, was residing in Denver, and had had little intercourse with the Indians of his agency since his appointment. The residence of the agent, more than 200 miles from the Indians whom he is expected to care for, seemed to me to be entirely contrary to the intention of the department. In order that the agent should have a proper knowledge of the wants of the Indians, and obtain the influence with them whieh he must necessarily possess to enable him to exercise a proper control over their movements, it appeared to me essential that he should live near or with the tribes which he is appointed to take charge of. Agent Oakes had, under the instructions of Governor Evans, made an attempt last summer to have an interview with the Indians of his agency, with a view to find a place suitable for a reservation for them in the vicinity of the reservation established by the treaty of 1864 with the main body of the tribe, under the agency of Major Head. He had failed entirely to accomplish the object of that expedition, and had returned to Denver about the time of my arrival here.

Circumstances were transpiring which seemed to me to require renewed attention to the subject.

The overland stage line bad just completed a survey for a new route for their line from this point through the mountains to Salt Lake. The road had been in large part finished, and the company announced their intention to place their stages upon it in the early spring. This road traverses for a long distance the country occupied by these two bands of Indians. In anticipation of the adoption of this new route of travel, immigrants in considerable numbers were making arrangements to establish themselves upon it. One party alone, numbering from twenty-five to thirty persons, supplied with all the means of settlement, agricultural implements, &c., corn and other grain for seeding in spring, were about to leave here for the western part of the Territory upon that route.

Under an apprehension that, unless suitable guards were thrown around their movements, difficulties might arise between the settlers and the Indians, I deemed it wise, with a reDewal of the instructions given by Governor Evans to Agent Oakes, to despatch him immediately to the region of country occupied by these two bands, with such additional instruc: tions (copy of which are enclosed) as would secure the prevention of collision between the Indians and the settlers, and also, if possible, to find a suitable site for a reservation, as be. fore indicated. He was delayed somewhat in making his arrangements for starting ; but, notwithstanding, left under very favorable auspices, and had crossed the Snowy Range, and proceeded a considerable distance into the Middle Park, nearly half-way on his journey, when he met with a disaster which compelled him to return.

In enclose a copy of his report to me, marked An.

I regret that this second attempt should have failed so signally. I had hoped by this time to have received from him a report giving a full account of the condition of the Indians, which I could have submitted to the department for its action in regard to the disposition of these bands.

I think it highly important that a treaty should be made with these Indians at the earliest practicable moment, to prevent the possibility of aggressions by either party on the other. which might lead to trouble and perhaps loss of life, and would certainly involve the government in large expense. Perfect security can in my opinion only be obtained by prompt action.

So soon as the weather permits, I propose to send Agent Oakes again to the Indians of bis agency, and if possible will visit thein myself, and will promptly advise you of the result. I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. CUMMINGS, Governor and ex-officio Superintendent Indian Afairs, C. T. Hon. D. N. Cooley,

Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Washington, D. C.

No. 52.

DENVER, February 12, 1866. Sir: I deem it my duty under existing circumstances to make a special report to you in relation to the affairs of this agency.

On the 26th of September last I made a distribution of presents to my Indians at Empire, C. T., who immediately thereafter crossed the range en route to their usual winter hunting grounds in the western part of the Territory. While at the distribution they gave me every assurance of their firm friendship to the whites and desire to remain at peace with them. I informed them that the overland mail road was being constructed through their hunting grounds, and the wish of the government, as expressed by Superintendent Evans, that they should assist in protecting the same. To this their answer was that they were willing the road should be constructed through their country, but wished to be distinctly understood that they objected to the location of settlements along the same other than those actually necessary for the stations. Superintendent Evans made a speech to Anthro, one of their headmen, in which he promised that a satisfactory treaty should be made with them for the hunting grounds which would be affected by the location of the proposed road, which speech I afterwards repeated to the other chiefs, by order of Superintendent Evans. I am informed by General Hughes, who is constructing the road, that it is completed from Salt Lake City to Green river in this Territory, a distance of 175 miles, and the hardest part of the road to be constructed, and that a train of twenty-three wagons was brought from there to Denver, and that he intends to have the entire road completed from Denver io Salt Lake in the spring, or early in the summer, which is generally believed he will accomplish. The completion of this road will open to our hardy and adventurous prospectors an immense area of country of which but little has heretofore been known, but wbich has ever since the settlement of the Territory attracted much attention.

Last summer gold, silver, and coal were discovered in this section, which is reported to have many fertile valleys, abundance of timber and water powers, a fine climate, and all the requirements for profitable occupation. Many parties are preparing to invade this new land early in the spring, one of which has already started and is now wintering just beyond the range, waiting for the melting of the snow to resume travel. In view of these facts I deem it of the utmost importance, both to the general government and to the Territory, that a treaty be made with the Grand River and Uintah bands at as early a day as possible. It is important to the government, as a matter of economy, that it be made immediately, as it will be attended with little expense in comparison with what will be necessary if it shall be neglected until the rights of the Indians are trespassed upon; which, under existing circumstances, it will be next to impossible to prevent, and which would sooner or later, and probably immediately, incite them to open war against the whites.

These Indians occupy a mountainous country inaccessible at present, except in the summer season, and then only with pack animals; a war with them would consume several years of time and a frightful amount of treasure. Your instructions of the 20 December last directed me to find a suitable place for a reservation and to locate an agency, also to confer with the Indians in reference to a treaty for the relinquishment of the lands through which the proposed mail road is located. I had hoped to fulfil so much of the instructions as related to the location of the reservation and agency during the present winter, but did not expect to get the Indians into council until spring, they being scattered over a large extent of country pursuing their winter hunt. Unfortunately I have been prevented from accomplishing

either result thus far, having my entire outfit of provisions and camp equipage destroyed by fire, and being compelled to return from across the range on snow shoes, leaving my pack animals behiud, as I have had the honor previously to report to you. The probabilities now are that I shall not be able to get supplies sufficient for the continuance of the expedition across the range before April. I respectfully submit the following suggestions in reference to a treaty with these Indians : That I be instructed to collect them at some suitable place by the 10th of June next; that the Hot Sulphur Springs in the Middle Park be adopted as the place of council, and that I be furnished with provisions sufficient to feed them not only while there, but while coming from and returning to their hunting grounds.

I offer the following estimate of what will be needed for this purpose, viz:

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Your instructions of December last say, “If the Indians desire to communicate with this office, or with government through this office, you will afford them every facility for doing so." In reference to this instruction it is proper for me to state that my pack animals are only sufficient to carry the provisions and camp equipage of my small party, consisting, with myself, of four persons, and it would not be possible for me to bring to Denver and feed on the trip a sufficient number of Indians to make a treaty which would be binding on the rest of the tribe, and this disability on my part is a further argument in favor of the suggestions that supplies be forwarded across the range in wagons in June, or as early as practicable, to some point where you could see and confer in person with all the chiefs and headmen of the tribe.

Such an interview had at some point on the west side of the range would tend greatly to discourage them from constantly visiting the settlements on this side of the mountains, as

they did last year, to the great annoyance of the settlers and to the imminent danger of the public peace.

I make these suggestions in good faith, trusting that you will not consider that I am presuming to dictate. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


l'nited States Indian Agert. His Excellency ALEXANDER CUMMINGS,

Governor and cr-officio Superintendent of Indian Affairs.

No. 53

PHILADELPHIA, June 9, 1866. SIR: After mature reflection on the subject of the conversation at our last interview, I am impelled to the conclusion that it is now too late to accomplish the purposes proposed in my correspondence in February last, to which I beg leave to call your attention, at least so far as the Tabequache-Utes are concerned, so as to effect their transfer to their new reservation within the present year. In relation to the Uintah and Green river bands the case is somewhat different, and steps may be taken now in reference to them, looking to the same end I proposed in that correspondence.

In lieu, therefore, of the plan then submitted, I would now suggest that a formal council be held with the latter in the month of August, say about the 5th, for the purpose of making a treaty with them that will accomplish the surrender of that portion of their territory necessary to the security of the new line of travel and the settlements incident to it, and also their consent to settle on a reservation in close proximity to that now occupied by the Tabequaches. This can be done in August, perhaps, as well as at an earlier period, inasmuch as it would, in any event, only be a preparatory step to an arrangement to be carried into effect next year.

With regard to the Tabequaches, I think it would be well to make an effort to have as general an assemblage of the tribe as possible at the annual distribution of the goods and provisions, to take place, say, about the 20th of August; and endeavor to withhold their cattle and sheep this year, with the distinct assurance that the full number belongiug to this year and the next shall be given them as early as may be desired in the coming spring, with a view to secure their certain transportation to their reservation during the summer. This can be readily dene, so far as next year's supply is concerned, as the next session of Congress is a short one, and the appropriation bills will be certain to pass before the 4th of March. This plan will, probably, involve a larger expenditure than would have been incurred if my first suggestions had been acted upon and the plan i proposed had been carried out, because you will naturally have to take great pains to keep the Indians in good humor, which will be rendered more difficult by withholding their cattle this year, and will necessarily require some compensating measures. The increased expenditure, however, will be a small consideration when compared with the result to be obtained.

I feel quite confident that, with a little effort and the skill you have usually evinced in the management of the Indian affairs, you will be able to accomplish it. I have the honor to be, respectfully, your obedient servant,

ALEXANDER CUMMINGS, Governor of Colorado Territory, ex-officio Superintendent Indian Affairs. Hon. D. X. COOLEY,

Commissioner of Indian Affairs.

No. 54.

INDIAN OFFICE, July 22, 1866. SIR : In view of the uneasy condition of the Utah, or Ute, Indians of Colorado, the complaints made by the various bands, and the apprehension felt by the whites lest they may be induced to commence hostilities, it is deemed advisable that measures be taken at the earliest moment possible to meet those Indians in council, and obtain a full and satisfactory understanding with them. Conferences will be necessary with both the Tabequache-Utes, who are under treaty stipulations, and with the Grand River and Uintah bands.

In relation to the former bands, you will be able, it is thought, in connexion with the agent, to explain to them the reasons why they have not received all of the stock promised to them by treaty-their own failure or refusal to remove to the reservation agreed upon be

ing the prevailing reason ; and you will endeavor, by all proper means, to persuade and , induce those bands, including those which have remained north of the mountains, and asso

ciated with the Grand River bands, to join the remainder of their people, assuring them of the desire of the government to provide for them at their proper reservation.

With the Grand River and Uintah bands, hitherto considered as in charge of Agent Oakes, you will, with him, endeavor to negotiate a treaty by which they shall cede to the government all their rights of occupancy to lands in the northern and western parts of Colorado, and retire to such reservation as may be provided further south, and, if possible, in the neighborhood of, or in connexion with, the Tabequache-Utes, to whom they are allied.

Further instructions in detail are not deemed necessary, but you are referred to the tenor of the conversations recently had with the Secretary of the Interior and myself upon this subject as your basis of action. I need scarcely allude to the necessity of limiting, as far as possible, the amount which the government will be called upon to pay for a cession of the right of occupancy of the land by the Indians, but deem it of importance that, so far as possible, no promises of money annuities shall be made, but that all payments shall be made in stock animals, implements, goods adapted to their wants, and for other beneficial objects.

For further reference as to the general policy adopted by the department in its treaties with Indians, your attention is invited to the within copies of instructioùs furnished to treaty commissioners appointed in August, 1865.

You will associate with you Agent Oakes in your negotiations with the Grand River and Vintah bands. As it is reported that these Indians are expected to assemble about August 12th, it seems very desirable that you should be at hand to meet them as near that date as is practicable.

Trusting that, by the exercise of sound judgment and wise discretion, you may be able to reach a satisfactory settlement with the Indians of Colorado, I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Commissioner. Hon. A. CUMMINGS,

Gorernor of Colorado, Continental Hotel, Philadelphia.

No. 55.

Denter, October 11, 18C6. Sir: I had the honor to forward you yesterday by telegraph a copy of a letter from Gen. eral Kit Carson, enclosing extracts from one forwarded by him to me from Colonel Alexander, in relation to a recent outbreak of Ute Indians in the southern part of this Territory. I now enclose copies of those letters in full, together with my reply to General Carson. The emergency seemed to me to require that you should have the information immediately, hence I sent it by telegraph as soon as received. This occurrence is to me as yet wholly inexpli. cable. I returned only a week ago from my visit to the Tabequaches, leaving the affairs with them, as I telegraphed to you, in quite a satisfactory condition.

Several chiefs of the bands now engaged in this disturbance were present at my interview with the Tabequaches. General Carson had kindly sent for them, with the hope of baving a full understanding with them, as well as with the Indians of my superintendency. They are, in fact, so closely related that he thought it well they should all understand what was going on. They had come with apparent cheerfulness, and we left them in, as I supposed, a good humor; and I think now there must have been some blunder to have produced this altered condition. Their chief, Ankotash, who scemed to be the chief of all the Mohuaches, (Taos Indians,) was supposed to be a fair representative of their temper, and to whom Carsou alludes, bad certainly no other than a peaceable disposition.

A few days more will throw further light upon it, I suppose. There is but a weekly mail from here to Fort Garland, and for that reason I despatched my letter in reply to General Carson by a special messenger, by which we gain five or six days. I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Governor, er-officio Superintendent of Indian Affairs. Hon. D. N. COOLEY,

Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Washington, D. C.

FORT GARLAND, COLORADO TERRITORY, October 7, 1866. Dear GOVERNOR: Enclosed I have the honor to forward a letter of Colonel Alexander's of October 3, 1866. By it you will see that war, with Cuncatch's band at least, has com. menced. Yesterday Ulay came to this post to see me; he says he will not fight. Ankotash is with them. He has between 90 and 100 lodges.

I have ordered them to camp in the vicinity of the post and not to go to the Huerfano to receive their presents on the 24th, and would suggest the propriety of our still keeping faith with them and issuing them their presents on that date at some point in the vicinity of this post.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »