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OFFICE OF PUEBLO INDIAN AGENCY,
Santa Fé, N. Mex., August 20, 1877.. SIR: I have the honor to submit hereby my fifth annual report as United States Indian agent.
The Pueblo Indians are supposed to be the rempant of the once powerful Aztec race. They number at present about 10,000 ; 8,400 of these, living in nineteen villages, constitute the “Pueblo agency" of New Mexico, and 1,600 the “Moqui Pueblo agency” of Arizona. The present name of these Indians is derived from the fact that they live in villages-pueblo being the Spanish for village or town. It is impossible to ascertain definitely, by comparing the population of one year with that of the next, whether the Pueblos are increasing or diminishing, because it is impossible to ascertain the numbers exactly; but, judging from the fact that one of the pueblos lately gave up its separate existence, and several more are evidently much smaller than they were a number of years ago, we are forced to the conclusion that they are slowly decreasing. They are a law-abiding, peace-loving, industrious, reliable people, possessing much of the best land in the Territory; and why they should gradually disappear like the nomadic and war-like tribes, is a question not easily solved except by the hypothesis that their time has come.
The Pueblos sustain themselves, with very little material aid from the Government, by farming, fruit-raising, stock-raising, wool-growing, making pottery, (for which they are somewhat famous,) and hunting. All their work, farming, weaving, pottery-making, &c., is done with the rudest implements ; but in this respect they are nearly as well off as the general population of the Territory, which is called civilized.
The duties of the United States agent for the Pueblos consist of establishing and supervising schools, protecting the Indians as against citizens, procuring the survey of their lands, and perfecting their land-titles, &c. In the year under report there have been six Goveroment schools in operation; but only five at any one time, except during one month, with six teachers, and an attendance of about 155 pupils. The advancement made at most of the schools has been fair; but the success attending the efforts to educate the Indians in day-scbools has not been as complete as could be desired on account of the irregularity in attendance, and also on account of the children generally being taken out of school to work as soon as they are able to read and write, and often before.
The school at the pueblo of Laguna, which was placed upon & permanent basis last year by the guarantees of the board of missions of the Presbyterian Church, is now the most flourishing. The teacher has lately added a printing-press to his other appliances for helping the Indians, and is now printing lesson-cards, &c., in both the English and Indian languages. The average attendance at this school bas been nearly 50, and nearly the whole population attend Sabbath service, more than filling the house. Arrangements have now been completed for another school, to be established upon the same basis, at the pueblo of Zuñi, with Rev. Henry K. Palmer, M. D., and his wife as teachers. They are to start sometime this month from Colorado for their new home, where they will doubtless be well received by the Indians.
Tbe lands of four of the pueblos have been surveyed during the year, and additional land has been set apart by Executive order as a reservation for the Indiaus of the pueblo of Zuñi. Suit was brought and gained by the pueblo of Jemes, in the last term of court at Santa Fé, for the ejectment of settlers from their land. This success of the Indians, together with the fact that the United States district attorney is authorized to appear for the Pueblos in all similar suits, has had a good effect.
According to the survey of the lands of the pueblo of Acoma, which was first made last September, the site of old Fort Wingate belonged to the Indians. This survey was contested before the surveyor-general of New Mexico, by settlers desirous of owning that val. uable tract; and by promising tbe Indians that they would procure for them a certain tract which was ascertained to be on the Laguna Indians' side of the line, and which the Acomas desired very much to retain, they procured testimony which set aside the survey. A second survey has been made which, it is threatened, is to be the cause of further litigation by reason of the promise of the old Fort Wingate settlers that the Acomas should have part of the Laguna lands for their service in swearing away their own. On account of the same promise, I am led to believe, the Acomas first undertook to hold possession of the desired land by force, and but for the timely interposition of the agent an ugly fight between the Acomas and Lagunas wonld have ensued. With the help of a detachment of cavalry from Fort Wingate I placed the Lagunas in possession of the land without trouble, and then started to Santa Fé with tbe Acoma officers as prisoners. After the first day's march they concluded that they had been misguided by their friends (?) and expressed a desire to respect the surrey in the future. After taking their written agreement to that effect I released them, and there has been no actual trouble since, but much threatened.
The Indians of all the pueblos seem to be in a prosperous condition except those of Taos, San Juan, Santa Clara, aud San Ildefonso, whose growing crops of wheat and corn were largely destroyed by grasshoppers early in the season. It is feared that some of these, if pot all, will require assistance before another crop can be raised.
By direction of the honorable Commissioner of Indian Affairs, I took charge of the Cimaron agency, New Mexico, on the 1st of October, 1876. The Indians of that agency number 749; of this number 307 are Muache Utes, and 412 are Jicarilla Apaches. They are all vagabonds, and there is no hope of improving their condition as long as they remain at their present location, and they will not go elsewhere until they are compelled to by a large military force. They do nothing for their own support except a little hunting. The Goy. ernment gives them a little clothing and other presents and issues them woekly rations of beef and flour. They have no reservation where they are, and the agency is located in 8 small county-town where the Indians can usually procure all the whisky they can pay for. The agency has been a success during the yoar, in that it has kept the Indians quiet, and so protected the settlers in person and property at the least possible cost.
In May last, by direction of the honorable Commissioner, I assisted Agent F. H. Weaver in selecting a location for the “Southern Ute agency," Colorado, about to be established. If that agency proves to be a success, it will be the proper place for the Utes of Cimarron, as the Mescalero Apache agency, New Mexico, is the proper place for the Cimarron Apaches.
It is hoped that in time there may arise a favorable opportunity for so disposing of the Cimarron agency. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
BEN. M. THOMAS, . United States Indian Agent, Pueblo and Cimarron Agencies. The COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS.
SOUTHERN APACHE Indian Agency,
Ojo Caliente, N. Mer., August 10, 1877. SIR: In compliance with instructions of July 10, 1877, I have the honor to submit the following report :
In entering upon the discharge of my duties October 16, 1876, as agent of the Southern Apache Indians, I found them idle and dissolute in their habits, strongly opposed to any beneficial labor, and impatient of restraint in any form ; addicted, also, to the use of intoxicating liquors, " tiswin," which they manufacture from corn, and wbisky obtained from traders, which is the cause of frequent bloody encounters among themselves. To cut off this supply as far as practicable, the issue of corn was discontinued, and the issue of beef on the block substituted for the issue of cattle on the hoof, which the Indians have frequently driven away and sold for corn or whisky, preferring to suffer hunger rather than thirst. Al. though the above measures were in a degree effective, yet so strong was the desire for liquors that many still continued to trade their rations for corn or whisky, and as no Indian could be induced to inform of whom he obtained these articles, it was, with the means at my com. mand, impossible to entirely suppress the traffic.
The sanitary condition of the Indians has been good, notwithstanding considerable suffering and discontent was caused during the cold weather on account of the usual annual supply of blankets and clothing not having been received.
During the months of March and April, after much persuasion, quite a number of Indians were induced to commence farming operations, taking out irrigating ditches, &c., and though they did not show as much industry as could have been wished, still, considering their reputation and habits of idleness, the result was encouraging
On the 30th of April and int of May, 1877, 450 of these Indians were removed, by Agent J. P. Clum, to the San Carlos reservation in Arizona, a full report of which was forwarded at the time. The above number includes all the Indians who did not leave this reservation on the arrival of Apache scouts from San Carlos and United States troops to effect their removal. Very respectfully,
United States Indian Agent. The COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS.
UNITED STATES AGENCY FOR INDIANS OF New YORK.
Forestville, N. Y., October 9, 1877. SIR: In making my eighth annual report, I have the honor to state that there have been 31 schools in the agency, taught the average period of eight months, during the school-year ending the 30th day of September last. The number of Indian children between the ages of five and twenty-ove years, residing upon eight reservations in the ageacy, is reported at 1,645, of which 1,246 are registered as having attended school some portion of the year. The average daily attendance during the eight months the schools were taught was 623. The
number attending school one month or more during the year was 1,106, Twenty-seven of these schools were supported by the State of New York, at an expense of $7,682.35; one boarding-school at Allegany reserve by the Society of Friends, at Philadelphia, at cost of about $3,000; one day-school at Onondaga reservation, by the Episcopalians ; one day-school at Cornplanter reserve, by the State of Pennsylvania, and one industrial school at Cattaraugus reservation by the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions, and by voluntary contributions from benevolent persons. The Indians contributed $480 for their support. Of the 27 teachers in the Indian State schools of New York, 9 were Indians, who, having been judiciously selected, and having previously received thorough education and training for their work, in high schools, with aid of appropriations from the United States, succeeded admira. bly. The day-schools under instruction of the Indian teachers are generally better sustained by the Indian parents, and have larger attendance of scholars, than the others. The largest school in the agency, being the one connected with the Thomas Orphan Asylum at Cattaraugus, with an average daily attendance of about 90 students, is instructed by competent Indian teachers, and is in all respects a model school. I deem it quite desirable for the suc. cess of these Iudian schools that an appropriation should be made for the training of teachers therein, aud I respectfully renew the recommendation therefor in my last annual report.
In complying with the request from your office to embrace in this report a comprehensive history of the several tribes and reservations in the agency, I have the honor to report such history of the six tribes and nine reservations therein, so far as able from time allowed au i facilities at hand therefor.
This reservation is located on both sides of the Allegany River, in the county of Cattaraugus. It is about 35 miles long, and contains 42 square miles. Its width varies from 1 to 21 miles ; it was reserved by the Seneca Nation of Indians, in the treaty with Robert Morris at Big Tree, now Geneseo, on Genesee River, September 15, 1797.
The Senecas of Allegany, Cornplanter, and Cattaraugus reservations, numbering 2,311, own the Allegany and Cattaraugus reservations, subject to what is known as the pre-emption right of the Ogden Land Company, and subject also to whatever right of occupancy the 299 Onondagas and Cayugas residing with them may have therein. This pre-emption right is derived from the prior discovery of the territory by civilized man, aud restricts the Senecas from selling to others than the Ogden Land Company or its assigns. The Ogden Company 'claims that this right embraces the fee of the land, and that the Indians have the right of occupancy only so long as their tribal relation continues. The Senecas claim the absolute ownership of these reservations in fee, subject only to the right of the Ogden Company or its assigns to purchase whenever they shall elect to sell.
The State of Massachusetts claimed title to the lands in the western part of New York, in. cluding tbe two reservations named, by grant from King James I, of England, to the Ply. mouth Company. New York claimed the sanfe lands by charter from Charles II to the Duke of York. By the convention between New York and Massachusetts held at Hartford December 16, 1786, this dispute was settled by Massachusetts ceding to New York all claim to the " government, sovereignty, and jurisdiction" of such lands, and New York, by the sec. ond article of the compact, in terms, “ceded, granted, released, and confirmed to Massachusetts, and the use of the commonwealth, their grantees, &c., and the heirs and assigns of such grantees, forever, the right of the pre-emption of the soil from the native Indians, and all other the estate, right, title, and property (the right and title of government, sovereignty, and jurisdiction excepted) which the State of New York hath of and in or to the described lapds."
The tenth article of the compact provided that no purchase from the native Indians should be valid unless made in the presence of, and approved by, a commissioner appointed by Massachusetts, and confirmed by the commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Massachusetts conveyed its title and interest in such lands (about 3,600,000 acres) to Robert Morris by four deeds dated May 11, 1791, for the cousideration of £55,000, or at about 7 cents per acre.
The Senecas conveyed their title, to such lands by the treaty at Big Tree September 15, 1797, to Robert Morris for $100,000, being at less than 3 cents per acre, excepting nine small reservations, containing in all about 336 square miles, all of which reserved lands the Senecas have since sold, excepting the Allegany reservation of 42 square miles, Cattaraugus reserva. tion, containing 21,680 acres, and Tonawanda reservation, containing 7,549.73 acres.
The pre-emption right of the Ogden Land Company in the last-named reservation was extinguished by the United States paying to such company the sum of about $150,000, as provided in the treaty between the United States and the Tonawanda band of Senecas dated November 5, 1857, and ratified June 4, 1858.
The larger portion of the Allegany reservation, immediately adjoining the river, is level and fertile ; the balance broken and hilly. It was formerly covered with heavy pine timber; and until recently the lumbering business, which was extensively carried on ihere, tended greatly to demoralize the Indians by diverting their attention from farming and bringing them in contact with corrupting influences. The Erie Ruilway passes through the eastern part of the reserve to Salamanca, and the Atlantic and Great Western Railroad runs from
Salamanca westerly along the river to Cold Spring, to within 12 miles of the southwest end of the reservation. The Rochester and State Line Railroad also intersects the other roads named at Salamanca. The most of the Indians reside on the south west part of the reserve, which is more isolated than the rest from railroad-towns, and are making fair progress in civilization. The Society of Friends at Philadelphia have for many years maintained a boarding and manual labor school adjoining this part of the reserve, at an annual expense of about $3,000, which bas been of great benefit to the Indians. The school bas an average attendance of about 30 Indian children.
The present Indian population of this reservation is 932, being an increase of 107 since the census was taken by the State of New York in 1865, and an increase of 178 since the like census was taken in 1855. Over 2,500 white people reside upon this reservation at the railroad-villages of Vandalia, Carrollton, Great Valley, Salamanca, West Salamanca, and Red House, recently laid off and established by commissioners appointed for the purpose under the act of Congress passed February 19, 1875. It is anticipated that these villages will increase rapidly in population, especially Salamanca, which is becoming an important railroad.center.
Owing to the very irregular and improvident manner in which many of the leases at Salamanca have been made by the Indians, and the disputes which have already arisen between the lessees as to boundaries, involving litigation, I respectfully and earnestly recommend that the act of February 19, 1875, be amended so as to prevent the renewal of any lease prior to thirty days preceding the expiration of its term; and providing that no lease shall be made or renewed without written notice be given by the lessee to all persons interested, for confirmation before some court or officer having jurisdiction to hear and determine the sufficiency of the rent proposed to be paid, and all controversies arising between different lessees or claimants to the same property, as recommended in my monthly report for November, 1876, and letter in January following, inclosing proposed amendments to such act, prepared by request from your offiee.
CATTARAUGUS RESERVATION. By the treaty at Big Tree, September 15, 1797, the Senecas reserved a strip of land one mile wide extending easterly 14 miles along the south shore of Lake Erie, from the mouth of Cat. taraugus Creek to the mouth of Eighteen-Mile Creek, which is about fourteen miles southwesterly from the city of Buffalo. Also one other parcel of land, one mile wide, extending southeasterly from the mouth of the Cattaraugus Creek along the north bank thereof 12 miles; also another truct of land about 2 miles wide, adjoining the land above named, and extending along the south shore of Lake Erie westerly froin the mouth of Cattaraugus Creek about 12 miles to the mouth of the Connondauweyea Creek. These reservations in. cluded the lands on wbich are now the thriving villages of Fredonia, Dunkirk, and Silver Creek, and embraced about 50 square miles. The Senecas, by treaty concluded at Buffalo Creek, June 30, 1802, exchanged the above lands with Wilhelm Willink and others, composing the Holland Land Company, for the Cattaraugus reservation now in their posses. sion. This is 12 miles long, and averages about 3 miles in width, and contains 21,6-0 acres of very rich and fertile land, mostly under cultivation, on both sides of the Cattaraugus Creek, in the counties of Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, and Erie. It has a thriving Indian population of 1,617, of whom 1,424 are Senecas, 151 Cayugas, and 42 Onondagas, being an increase of 270 since their census was taken by the State of New York in 1865. The above exchange of lands was a good one for the Senecas in securing a reservation in a compact form of better average quality of land than the other, although of about three-fourths of the size of the original reserve. The pre-emption right was reserved in the treaty and is now owned by the Ogden Land Company.
As I have stated in former reports, this pre-emption right is a source of great uneasiness to the Indians of Cattaraugus and Allegany reservations, resting as a cloud upon the title of their lands. It s'ifles industry by withholding the best incentive to it, growing out of the natural desire to acquire property, and the attachments of home and family. They have heretofore resisted every effort made by the State of New York to induce them to allot their lands in severalty, under the apprehension that such allotment might eventually result in the breaking up of their tribal relations, and so forfeit their reservations to the Ogden Land Company.
Notwithstanding the Indians at Cattaraugus have held their lands in common, and have not possessed the usual incentives to industry of other people, they have made good progress in civilization for the past twenty years. In that tiine their population has increased from 1,179 to 1,617. In education, intelligence, wealth, and the substantial comforts of life, their progress has been quite remarkable.
The Iroquois Agricultural Society of the Indians of the State of New York, which is in. corporated under its laws, held its annual fair and cattle-show upon this reservation during four days of the third week of the past month. More people attended it than at any preceding fair of the society, and the exhibition of fruits, vegetables, and grain was exceed. ingly creditable to the Indians. The receipts of the fair were over $1,400, which were mostly paid out in premiums to the exhibitors, who entered over 1,300 articles for exhibition.
A temperance convention of the Six Nations of New York was held upon this reservation during three days of the fourth week of the past month. The movement was organized by the leading Indians, of whom seventy were present from the other reservations in the agency. Four Indian brass-bands of music were in attendance, and nearly all the speakers were Indians. Much enthusiasm prevailed. The Indians of Cattaraugus reservation turned out en masse to attend the meetings on each occasion, filling the spacious Presbyterian church to its utmost capacity. Some of the Indians came several hundred miles to attend this convention, besides the delegates who were present from Green Bay, Wis., and from Canada. The Indians of the agency appear to be fairly aroused to the great importance of protecting themselves from the use of spirituous liquors, which have been so great a destroyer of their race. They have temperance organizations upon all the reservations, and I take pleasure in reporting a marked improvement of late in the temperate habits of these people, and in their willingness to aid in the enforcement of the criminal laws against persons who sell them liquors.
The Senecas of the Allegany and Cattaraugus reservations are incorporated by the laws of New York under the name of the Seneca Nation of Indians, with the right to bring actions in the courts of the State in all cases relating to their common property, by an attorney appointed by the governor. They bave maintained for about thirty years à republican form of government, with a president, council, treasurer, and clerk, elected annually by ballot, also a peace-makers' court on each reservation, having jurisdiction in actions between Indians, and authority to administer upon estates of deceased persons.
The Thomas Asylum for the orphan and destitute Indian children in the agency, a history of which was embraced in my last annual report, is on this reservation, and is included among the State charities of New York, and is supported at an annual expense of about $9,500. It continues under good management, with the usual average attendance of about 90 Indian children. It is one of the most beneficent of public charities.
This reservation, on the A lleghany River, in Warren County, Pennsylvania, contains 761 acres of choice land on the river. bottom. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania granted the reservation in fee to the famous war-chief Gy-ant-wa-bia, or Coroplanter, March 16, 1796, for his many valuable services to the white people, and especially that most important one, in preventing the Six Nations of New York from joining the confederacy of Western Indians in 1790-'91, in the war which terminated in the victory of General Wayne in 1794. His descendants, numbering 81 Senecas, reside on the reservation, which was allotted to them in 1871 by commissioners appointed for tbe purpose by the State of Pennsylvania, with power to sell only to the descendants of Cornplanter and to other Seneca Indians. These Senecas at Cornplanter are recognized by the Senecas on Allegany and Cattaraugus reservations, in the State of New York, as owning equal rights with them in those reservations, and share with them in the annuities payable under treaties with the United States. They are a thrifty and temperate people, are good farmers, and are increasing yearly in population. The allotment of their lands in severalty and in fee has greatly contributed to their prosperity by affording new incentives to industry.
This reservation, as reserved in the treaty at Big Tree, and originally surveyed in 1799, contained 71 square miles, and was located in the present counties of Erie, Genesee, and Niagara, in the State of New York. It now contains 7,549,73 acres, the title of which is held in trust and in fee by the comptroller of the State of New York, “ for the exclusive use, occupation, and enjoyment of the Senecas of the Ionawanda band," who reside upon the reservation and number about 62). In 1865 this band numbered 602. The reservation is very fertile and well adapted to the raising of fruit, wheat, and other grain. The band is governed by chiefs, who have appropriated from its trust-fund interest $6,100 for the establishment of a manual-labor school on the reservation.
The State of New York also appropriated $4,500 for the school. These funds have been paid to three trustees of the institution, appointed under the laws of the State, who have purchased 80 acres of land at an expense of $1,600, and after nearly completing the necessary buildings for the school, have temporarily suspended work thereon for want of funds. There are three day-schools on the reservation, instructed by competent Indian teachers, and have been well attended the past year.
The Senecas of this band receive larger money annuities than any of the other Indians in the agency, and own one of the most fertile reservations, yet their progress in civilization has been less rapid than most of the other tribes, attributable, doubtless, largely to the unsettled condition of the title of their reservation, and excitement and almost constant litigation respecting same during twenty-one years, between the date of the treaty of the Seneca Nation with Thomas L. Ogden and Joseph N. Fellows, January 15, 1838, and the proclamation on March 31, 1859, of treaty between the United States and the Tonawanda band, date 1 November 5, 1857.