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The health of the different tribes the past year has been remarkably good, taking into consideration the extreme heat and dry weather. Owing to the failure of springs, caused by the drought, many families were compelled to use stagnant water from pools; this was the occasion of some sickness, and a few deaths were attributed to this cause. No malignant diseases prevailed during the year. The diseases incident to this country are of a malarious type, easily controlled by proper care.
One of the greatest difficulties our physicians have to contend with in the treatment of Indians, is their exposure to all kinds of weather, and want of proper care in the administration of medicines given them. They are gradually becoming convinced that the white man's medicine is the best, but many of them still adhere with great tenacity to their medicine-men.
TRANSPORTATION OF INDIAN SUPPLIES.
During the past year the Indians have transported with their own teams, from Muskogee, Ind. Ter., a distance of 100 miles, 35,550 pounds of government's freight, at the cost of $273.50. Our supplies arriving at a season of the year when Indians are busily engaged in haying, it is difficult to procure teams to do the freighting and occasions some delay in getting supplies to the agency.
During the past year I have had a police force consisting of a captain, one lieutenant, and an average of 12 privates. The former agent having neglected to estimate for supplies for the force, I obtained permission from the Hon. Secretary to purchase in open market five hundred dollars' worth of supplies. This was sufficient to provide for the force until April 30, 1880. It being then so near the end of the fiscal year, I considered it unnecessary to make an estimate and purchases for the short time, and I discharged the force. They did very effective service during the period the country was infested with outlaws, in protecting government stores and private property. I am now entirely without police, as none seem willing to serve for the pay allowed.
During a portion of the past year we have had stationed at this agency a Baptist minister, Rev. David King, who held service in a small church erected by the Baptist Association. They have a small congregation, and although Rev. Mr. King was indefatigable in his efforts, the membership was not very perceptibly increased during the year. Service is now conducted by one of the chiefs, "Keokuk," a member of the church, the attendance being rather limited.
I find the Sac and Fox Indians rather adverse to religious teachings of any special sect or denomination, preferring to exercise their own choice in their manner and form of worship. Although they pay but little apparent attention to religious matters, they will compare favorably with other tribes that make greater pretensions. I have in no manner interfered with the Indians in religious interests, but have given what encouragement I could to the religious societies, in the conversion of as great a number of proselytes as possible. We have a well-conducted Sabbath-school held every Sabbath in the school building at the manual-labor school, which is regularly attended by the scholars and others of the agency.
At Shawnee the Society of Friends have a missionary, Rev. F. Elliott, a gentleman of advanced ideas, who is working with a will in his efforts as a civilizer. Without being intrusive, he appears to be one among the few that understand that the schools of Indian agencies are under the immediate control or supervision of the agents. There being no chapel or church edifice in which to hold service, he has regular service in the school building of the manual-labor school. He is well liked by the school children and employés, and since his advent at Shawnee I notice a very perceptible change for the better in the feelings of the parents and children, and I have no hesitancy in saying that the society of which he is a member made a wise move in the right direction when they sent this gentleman to Shawnee to succeed Elkanah Beard.
Horse-thieves still continue their depredations, but since the capture, by the military, of the band of desperadoes in this vicinity, the thefts have been principally committed by Indians of neighboring tribes who enter the reservation in the night season, steal the ponies, and run them over the line. In many instances the owners have succeeded in recovering their property, but have failed to capture the thieves.
There have been but few instances of intoxication during the past year until within a few weeks past, which occurred from the smuggling of whisky into the Creek Nation by Creek Indians, being in close proximity to the Sac and Fox Reservation, affordi ng an opportunity for the half-breeds of this tribe to purchase what they wanted and
become beastly intoxicated. I have made arrangements for the capture of the guilty parties and hope to be successful. During the last winter my police force captured a Creek in the act of retailing whisky at this agency. I sent him to Muskogee, under guard, and had him delivered to a United States deputy marshal, to convey with other prisoners to Fort Smith for trial, but he succeeded in effecting his escape, since which time he has not been heard from.
There have been several murders committed during the past year immediately adjoining this reservation, but I have knowledge of but two in the limits of this agency; one was the killing of a soldier of the Fourth Cavalry by outlaws, while doing guard-duty in camp; the other a white man, supposed to have been killed by an Indian while passing through the Territory. The frequent visits of soldiers to this agency in search of invaders and outlaws has been the means of preventing much lawlessness, and the breaking up of bands of desperadoes that made this their headquarters.
In concluding my report, I wish to express the deep obligations I am under to the Hon. Secretary of the Interior, Hon. Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and the attachés of the Indian Office for their generous treatment and prompt attention to the interests of this agency. I also desire to express thanks to Major-General Pope for courtesies extended; the officers of his department with whom I have come in contact in my official capacity, I desire to kindly thank for favors shown.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN S. SHORB, United States Indian Agent.
The COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS.
UNION AGENCY, MUSKOGEE, IND. TER.,
SIR: I have the honor to submit herewith my annual report: This agency includes what is known as the Five Civilized Tribes, being the Cherokees, Choctaws, Chickasaws, Creeks, and Seminoles, and differs from other agencies in this respect: Each of these tribes has executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government, on the same plan of the States, and has exclusive jurisdiction when all the parties are citizens of the nation.
The duties of the agent, with the exception of the payment of annuities to the Delawares and Creek orphans, and the investigation of claims ordered by the department, are of a judicial character. There is no court with jurisdiction to try cases when an Indian is one party and a citizen of the United States or corporation is the other, so the agent is compelled to act as arbitrator. Each party enters into an agreement to abide the decision, subject to an appeal to the Hon. Commissioner of Indian Affairs, in cases involving large amounts. By this arrangement several hundred cases have been tried, as the time of the agent permitted. The present unsettled condition of so many questions of interest to these people is a prolific source of correspondence between them and the agent. The letters received from within the limits of the agency, asking for information, decision, instruction, or advice, average from ten to fifteen daily.
Last year these nations suffered from the drought, which continued until May last, which compelled many to sell their stock short, but the later rains have given abundant crops. Of all kinds of grain there will be a surplus, while the cotton crop (which is fast becoming king here) is one-third larger than ever before. The boll-worm damaged it somewhat along the southern portion of the agency, but very little at the northern.
These people have recovered slowly from the effects of the war, but they are now in a position, if not disturbed, to become a strong and wealthy people. Their only fear is that the United States will forget her obligations, and in some way deprive them of their lands. They do not seem to care for the loss in money value so inuch as they fear the trouble and the utter annihilation of a great portion of their people, if the whites are permitted to homestead in all portions of their country, as is contemplated by so many of the measures before Congress. They are willing that the wild Indians from the plains shall be settled on their unoccupied lands, but they most emphatically object to the settlement of the wild white man from the States among them.
Complaint has been made by Indians that drovers from the States were buying stolen cattle, and permitting estrays to get into their herds. Whenever they could locate the drove, I ordered the Indian police to detain the cattle until the matter could be investigated. Not more than 5,000 head of cattle were stopped by the police, and then only for a week or ten days, and always on good range, care being taken that innocent parties should not suffer from the detention. The law prohibits cattle from being removed from the Territory, under heavy penalty. While it is not enforced it
prevents the department from issuing license to responsible cattle dealers and irresponsible parties from the States overrun the Territory to the detriment of the Indians. The law should be repealed at once.
As near as can be estimated, there are 6,000 citizens of the United States living within the limits of this agency who have no rights whatever. The authorities have reported to me such as are very troublesome, and they have been removed from the country. It is the determination of these people to have all intruders removed, and steps are now being taken to ascertain their names and location, with a view to report .and demand the action of the government as the treaty provides. The intruders as a class are unfit to be in the Indian country, and some measures should be adopted that will rid these people of their presence.
These nations have a permit system, by which citizens of the nations can employ citizens of the United States to labor for them one year by paying a small tax to the national treasurer. If these laborers attend to their own business, and carry out their contract in good faith, they remain here for years.
It is estimated that nine-tenths of the crimes committed in this Territory are caused by whisky and its many aliases. It is introduced from the adjoining States, where it can be purchased in any quantity. Many convictions are had under the law, which is stringent, and large quantities of whisky captured and spilled by the United States Indian police and by local authorities, but the profits are so enormous that parties will take the risk.
Crime is no more frequent than in the adjoining States, and convictions by local authority are about as sure. The band of desperadoes, whites and Indians, who made their headquarters in the western part of this agency, and beyond, and who were the terror of the whole country last year, have all been killed or placed in the penitentiary. The feeling among these nations is stronger than ever for the enforcement of the law. The Methodist, Presbyterian, and Baptist denominations have missionaries here, and are doing good work. Some of the missionaries have been here for many years, and their influence for good is great. Their means for support is small, and they work hard, and only those remain in the field who possess a true missionary spirit. The church buildings are not expensive or ornamental, but are built for use. The Sabbath is well respected and observed. Many of the Indians are ordained ministers. Some of them have been educated in the States, and returned to labor among their own people.
The schools of these nations are conducted upon the school system of the States. The English language is taught exclusively. Many of the boys and girls are being sent to the States to be educated at the expense of the nation. Many of the wealthy send their children East to be educated at their own expense. The result is a surprise to the stranger who meets so many well-educated people among the nations. There are also private schools, with good attendance. I am of the opinion that the solution of the Indian question, if it is ever solved before the last one is driven from the face of the earth, will be in the education of the Indian children.
The Cherokees own 7,861 square miles, or 5,031,351 acres in the northeast corner of the Indian Territory, and they number, according to the census taken in June last 19,720, showing an increase of about the same ratio as the States. The nation expended last year $60,803.69 for educational purposes. The public school system is good. The teachers are paid and books furnished from the school fund of the nation. The school-house is built and kept in repair by the neighborhood in which the schoolhouse is located. There are two large seminary buildings, one for male pupils, with an attendance of 89, another for females with an attendance of 85; also an orphan asylum, the inmates numbering at present 120, who are clothed, fed, and educated by the nation from a fund set apart for that purpose.
There are, according to the Cherokee census, 531 families in the nation who claim to be Cherokees and who have applied to the Cherokee citizenship court for confirmation of title and have been rejected. There are about 253 families who are claimants, but whose cases have not yet been tried. These parties are deprived of the privileges of citizens and the benefit of the schools for their children, nor can the nation tax them in any form. This creates a very unpleasant feeling for all interested. Under instructions from the Hon. Commissioner of Indian Affairs, I investigate the claims of these parties, and if I am satisfied they have prima facie a just claim to citizenship, I permit them to remain to await final action in these cases, which is to be determined by rules adopted by the department. The question as to whom shall determine whether claimants are citizens of the Cherokee Nation or not has been before the department for years, and the long delay is a great detriment to the Cherokee Nation and to the claimant. It is to be hoped this matter will be settled at an early day.
The Choctaws own 10,450 square miles, or 6,688,000 acres, in the southeast corner of the Indian Territory. No census has been taken for several years, but they must number nearly 16,000. They expended last year $31,700 for educational purposes within the nation, and an additional sum of $4,200 for the education of 22 students sent to college in the States. They have 59 common schools, the teachers of which are paid on an average $50 per month. There are two seminaries, "New Hope," with 51 girls in
attendance, and "Spencer Academy," with 60 male students. The schools are in a flourishing condition. The Choctaws see to it that those who manage their financial and educational interests attend strictly to their duties.
Among the Choctaws there are more than 3,000 negroes, who were their former slaves, and whom the government stipulated, in the treaty of 1866, to remove and provide for. Nothing has been done, and the Choctaws permit them to remain in their country and treat them well. But these negroes have no school privileges except what the United States Government furnish, to a limited extent, the amount spent annually being $3,500 to support six schools. The Baptist Home Mission Board, who have charge of the schools, under contract with the government, supply them with books and contribute considerably to make the schools as good as possible, but there are many neighborhoods destitute of schools. Some measures should be adopted to define the status of these people, so that the Indian, as well as the negro, could have the benefit of law. The Chickasaws own 7,267 square miles, or 4,650,985 acres, adjoining the Choctaws on the west, and number about 6,000. The nation expended $58,000 for educational purposes, and, in proportion to their numbers, the Chickasaws have more seminaries and more students in attendance than any of the five civilized tribes. The Chickasaw Male Academy, with 60 pupils; the Bloomfield Female Seminary, with 30 pupils; WaPa-Mucka, 45 students; and Chickasaw Orphan School, with 30 children, are in successful operation and well managed. These schools are let by contract for five years. The contractors for the first three mentioned supply everything except clothing, and the pupils in the orphan asylum are found everything. The expense of maintaining these schools is $33,570 per annum. The salary of the common school teachers averages $500 per annum. Fifteen boys and girls are being educated in the States at the expense of the nation.
The same trouble in regard to the status of the negro exists here as among the Choctaws, and they are treated as well; but it is due to all the parties interested that some settlement should be made as speedily as possible.
The Chickasaws are a progressive people, and have among them many wealthy citizens. There are a large number of intruders among the Chickasaws, but under the administration of the new government it is not improbable they will be compelled to seek a more congenial climate.
The Creeks own 5,024 square miles, or 3,215,495 acres, in the central portion of the Indian Territory, and number as near as can be estimated 15,000. The nation spent last year $28,356 for educational purposes. Besides the 34 public schools, they have two high schools-Tullahassee Manual Labor School, under the care of the Presbyterian Board, with 92 students, and Asbury Manual Labor School, under the care of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, with 86 students, are successful institutions. The nation pays $80 per pupil, who is fed and instructed by the institution. The last council appropriated $5,000 towards building a new mission school, under the care of the Board of the Southern Baptist Convention; $3,000 towards the erection of a seminary for the freedmen of the nation.
The Creeks are anxious to have the matter between them and the government in relation to the settlement of the Seminoles on their lands settled, either by removing the Seminoles or by the government paying for the land. The demand is certainly just and should be acceded to.
The Seminoles own 31.24 square miles, or 200,000 acres, adjoining the Creeks on the west. They numbered 2,636 at their per capita payments last spring. They have expended $7,500 for educational purposes. They have six public schools, and six teachers who receives $450 per annum from the national treasury. There is one boardingschool, under the care of the Presbyterian Board, that had an attendance of 18 during the last year. Another building has been erected, but is not yet occupied. I have been informed that the present council propose to make arrangements to send a number of boys and girls to the States to be educated at the nation's expense. These people are making rapid strides to overtake their more advanced brethren, and in a few years will be equal to, and in some respects in advance of, the adjoining States.
The Creeks sold land to the United States on which to locate the Seminoles, but by some miscalculation the Seminoles were located on lands the Creeks had never sold, and at present they (the Creeks) are the real owners. This fact causes a great deal of trouble between these tribes (the Creeks and Seminoles), growing out of the question of jurisdiction. The Seminoles have made improvements, and it would not be right to remove them again, but the Creeks should be paid for the land.
The government owns the agency building on the reservation, and having no further use for it the building should be appraised and sold; it is occupied at present by parties who teach school for the Seminoles, and who take good care of it; should it be abandoned at any time, it would soon go to ruin.
The COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS.
JOHN Q. TUFTS, United States Indian Agent.
SAC AND FOX AGENCY, Tama County, Iowa, August 24, 1880. SIR: In compliance with instructions, I have the honor to submit the following as my second annual report of affairs pertaining to the Indians of this agency for the year ending August 31, 1880.
The tribe of Indians known as the Sac and Fox that are located in this county are nearly all Foxes, or Masquakes, who were once a numerous and warlike people, who claim to have originally lived on the banks of the Saint Lawrence River, and were driven westward by the continual wars between the different tribes until they passed westward into Michigan and Wisconsin, when they and the Sacs finally located in Illinois and Iowa. Since then, by various treaties made with the government, they sold all their lands in these States and removed to a reservation in Kansas. The Foxes while living there, many of their people died; the climate did not agree with them, so they became dissatisfied with that country; they returned to Iowa, and, on a petition gotten up by the early settlers of Tama County to the legislature of Iowa requesting permission for them to locate here, a law was passed granting such permission to the Fox, or Masquake, tribe of Indians to locate in Tama County; they then purchased a small tract of land, and soon after the department allotted to them a share of the annuities of the Sac and Fox of the Mississippi; they have purchased at various times since with their money several tracts of land, now amounting to nearly 700 acres, at a cost in all of $14,000. These tracts of land are nearly all bottom land, well suited for pasturage, and will in a short time become very valuable, situated as they are on the line of the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad and only three miles from the towns of Toledo and Tama City. This tribe desires to own about 2,000 acres in all, to suit their purposes of stock-raising, and they will appropriate yearly money from their annuities for the purchase of land.
Quite a large sum is held for them by the department of their annuities, which they have refused to receive for nearly four years, owing to an objection they have to signing a new form of pay-roll, which requires them to give the names and ages of all their men, women, and children, which they have all that time refused to sign; every explanation and argument has been used, but of no avail; they refuse because it conflicts with their religious opinions in regard to counting of time or ages and of enumerrating the number of their people.
This tribe are somewhat dissatisfied in regard to the amount allotted to them as their share of the annuities belonging to the Sac and Fox Indians; they claim they ought to have an equal amount with the Sacs, as they owned half of the country sold to the government. Whenever this money matter is arranged then all cause of dissatisfaction will be removed, and then they will be quite a happy people, and be able to support them. selves well, and they will then make good progress toward civilization.
Nearly all of them, more or less, wear citizen dress and hats, and a large number speak English. Most of the young men can read and write in their own language. The conduct of this tribe of Indians has been remarkably good; they are quiet, orderly, and careful to obey the laws of the country in which they live. There is very little drunkenness in the tribe, and every effort is made by the chiefs and council to suppress it. The women of the tribe are very well behaved, modest, and chaste, and the children are kept under good control; not an orchard or a garden in their neighborhood has been disturbed. Not a single crime has been committed by this tribe on the whites or among themselves during the past year.
In their religious belief these people are firm as a rock, and they strictly follow the traditions handed down to them by their forefathers, and many of their ideas and practices appear to be of Jewish origin. They are very strict in bringing up of their children to do right according to their views. If a child disobeys its parents, it is punished by fasting, and not by the rod. They take good care of the sick, the aged, crippled, and blind persons. They are very proud, independent, and tenacious of their liberty.
These Indians have a great dislike and prejudice to regular schools, and all I have been able to do is to teach them in a general and irregular manner. The women who have attended the industrial school have made very good progress in learning all kinds of sewing and household work, and a few have learned to read and write. The Indians prefer to teach one another to read and write in their own language, and great progress has been made in their education in that way. They understand well the use of postal cards and post-office money-orders, and carry on a large correspondence with themselves and the Indians of Kansas and Indian Territory.
This tribe number about 355 people, 170 males and 185 females. There has been more sickness than usual this summer on account of the very hot and dry weather. I have to report 15 deaths and 25 births during the year.
Their village is located on an open plain near the Iowa River, and consists of about 35 rude houses built of bark and boards; these houses are occupied by three to four families each. Their houses and grounds are kept clean and neat. They are supplied with excellent water from a well located in the center of the village. There is in