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No trade is permitted with any other tribe or tribes at any other place or places than are specified in the license.

The trade with the Indians is required to be for cash only—the use of tokens or tickets prohibited. Agents are also instructed to require traders to furnish price-lists of all the principal articles proposed to be kept for sale to the Indians; said lists to be posted up in conspicuous places and a copy furnished the office and the office promptly notified of any cases in which Indians are charged higher prices than whites for similar articles,

A bond in the penal sum of $10,000 is required to be furnished by the person or persons licensed that they will faithfully observe all the laws and regulations made for the government of trade and intercourse with the Indian tribes, and in no respect violate the same.

The principals of all trading establishments in the Indian country are held responsible for the conduct and acts of their employés, and any infraction of the terms or conditions of a license is considered good and sufficient reason for revoking it, in the same manner as if committed by the principals themselves. No Indian agent or other person employed in the Indian service is permitted to have any interest, directly or indirectly, in the trade carried on by any licensed trader at his agency. Where application is made to sell ammunition the same is forwarded to the War Department under a regulation adopted by this office during the past year. No permission is granted for the sale of ammunition by the Interior Department.

A record is made of the bonds and licenses of traders by the clerk who has charge of this branch of work, and he also conducts the correspondence which has reference to the license business.

APPOINTMENT OF AGENTS, ETC. There are in the service seventy-four agents, three inspectors, and two special agents at large. These agents and inspectors are all required to give bonds, which vary in sums from five thousand to fifty thousand dollars. The several sums in which their sureties justify must in all cases aggregate at least double the penalty of the bond and be properly authenticated. One clerk has charge of the business of examining and transmitting these bonds to the Secretary for approval; of recording them after their approval, and transmitting them to the Second Comptroller of the Treasury; of recording and issuing commissions and issuing general instructions to agents. He also makes a record of all letters assigned to the division and a record of all claims on account of depredations; conducts the correspondence with the agents relative to their appointments, and also with the Interior and Treasury Departments in regard to the same; has charge of agents' monthly reports, examining same and transmitting to the different divisions having charge of the particular business to which they may relate; keeps the roster of agents, inspectors, &c., and transacts such miscellaneous and special work as is required of him.

CLAIMS ON ACCOUNT OF DEPREDATIONS. This business is transacted in the Civilization Division and embraces all claims for depredations committed by Indians against whites and by whites against Indians, where provision is made for the latter by treaty stipulations. A record is kept of all these clains, and the rules adopted by the department under the act of Congress, May 29, 1872, require a thorough examination of such claims by the agent of the Indians charged with having committed the depredation, their submission to the Indians in council, and transmission to the office, accompanied with his report. They are then examined, and a report made thereon to the Secretary, and are transmitted by him to Congress. The claims of this character presented to the office since 1864 amount, in the aggregate, to over $6,000,000. The work pertaining to this branch is now performed by the chief of the division and the clerk who has charge of appointments of agents, the records of the division, &c.

The copyist, or fifth clerk, makes copies from the original transcripts, of all letters, reports, and miscellaneous matters which are sent out from the division.


1st. This division, as its title implies, has custody of all permanent records and files, with the exception of those pertaining to the “Land Division" of the bureau.

2d. The records consist of yearly “Report Books,” in which are recorded in permanent form all reports to the honorable the Secretary of the Interior.

3d. Yearly “Letter Books," of three classes, viz, Miscellaneous, Finance, and Accounts, in which is recorded all outgoing correspondence of every nature pertaining to the business of the Office of Indian Affairs

4th. “Register of Letters Received," kept by the quarter, in which all incoming correspondence, except claims, after being briefed, jacketed, if necessary, and stamped, is registered by abstract, in alphabetical order, and according to date of receipt, the name of the writer being the guide, with proper file-marks on margin of register, said filemarks duplicated on each paper and inclosure to identify them for the future in their ramifications through and final disposition by the office.

For convenience and rapidity of reference a system of double notations, in red ink, is kept mp throughout this book in all important cases. Hence it will be observed that the clerk in charge thereof receives and distributes to the respective divisions of the ottice all incoming correspondence.

l'pon the return of each paper, after final action has been had thereon by the division to which it was referred, said action is entered opposite the original entry on this register, and the paper then placed in its proper file, thus presenting in concise form a complete history in brief of each and every paper or document received.

oth. “Recond or Claims and Contracts," in which abstract entry is made of all claims and contracts except those on account of depredations by whites or Indians (which latter are entered upon the “Register of Letters Received," and sent to and acted upon by the Civilization Division). l'pon the return of all papers pertaining to claims, having been acted upon by the division to which they were referred, said action is enter i opposite the original entry in the "Claims Book," and they are ready for the files, thus again presenting in concise form a complete history in brief of that class of

oth. Yearly "Abstract of Letters Sent," in which are kept abstracts of all outgoing corrependence, with proper notations of date from what division, to whom addressed, subject, and finally the number of record er letter book, and page, within and upon which each and every letter can be found recorded in full. The system of keeping this book is by "tile-mark," running from "Annuity," the first, to “Wyoming," the last. This book is a complete and clear index of all letters sent. The importance of the thny faneguing registers as meeliums for constant and quick reference, for the information of prery division of the ottice in the transaction of the business thereof with cerity and disweh, annot be overestimated.

ith 4 m polohe - The tiles are arranged in file-boses properly marked with the ranks of agencies Superintendencies and lerairies by dates, and these filemarks are in every particular with this referred to in the registers hereinbefore

teated. They are placui alphalarticaily, and the paper within alphabetically and mun i r arranged. It is imposible shat acts can be had thereto escept by those

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incomplete list of articles purchased upon government requisitions may prove instructive: Beef on the hoof, 35,000,000 Sewing machines.

Coffee. pounds per annum. Agricultural implements


Mechanical implements. Tobacco.
Mess beef.

Mess pork,

Tin ware.

Wooden ware.

Hard bread.

Groceries (general).
Paints and oils.

White lead.


Medical stores.


Surgical instruments. Boots and shoes.

Hats and caps.
Saddles and saddlery. School books.

Dry goods (general).
Harness leather.
School furniture.

Harness oil.


· Shirts. Mowing-machine. Molasses.

Woolen yarn. At the letting of contracts in June last more than three hundred and fifty proposals were received for the foregoing articles and for transportation, and it has been the aim of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs and the Board of Indian Commissioners, in awarding contracts, to secure the best values offered, a faithful delivery of identical value by the contracting party, a careful distribution to the several agencies, and safe transport thither, reserving original samples, so far as practicable, for verification if required.

An active participation in these transactions during four years justifies the confident belief that the present methods of administration in this branch of government service are eminently suited to the protection and security of the best interests of the government and the Indians, and that for general fidelity, integrity, or efficiency the mercantile department of the Indian Bureau cannot suffer by comparison with any other branch of public service. Very respectfully,

Chairman Purchasing Committee,

Board of Indian Commissioners.


Of late years there have been many and radical changes in the administration of Indian affairs. The present methods of accounting for proyerty and money, and of doing the business generally, are so different from those of former years that a few comparisons may not be amiss.

Until the fiscal year of 1876 and 1877, each Indian agent had charge of the disbursements of the funds which were appropriated for his agency. At the present time the total disbursements of Indian agents for other purposes than the payments of cash annuities and the salaries of employés do not exceed $100,000.

Formerly almost all the money expended for the Indian service was spent in payment for open-market purchases. Now almost all expenditures are made by payments through the Treasury Department for goods purchased under contracts made by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs.

Formerly agents were the sole judges of the necessities for making purchases. Now they must submit their proposals and estimates and give satisfactory reasons to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, who, if he approves, must ask the Secretary of the Interior for authority to make the purchases.

Formerly there was nothing to prevent contractors putting in straw bids, or withdrawing after a contract had been awarded to them, in order that a bidder at a higher price (oftentimes the same party under another name) might receive the award. Now bidders are obliged to deposit certified checks upon some national depository for five per cent. upon the amount of the contract to be awarded, which checks will be forfeited if, upon the award being made, the party fails to enter into contract.

Formerly contracts were so drawn that those to whom beef and flour contracts were awarded could and did habitually take advantage of the necessities of the Indians to force agents to accept grades inferior to those called for by the contracts. Now these contracts are so drawn that if a contractor fails to carry out his agreement in good faith he is subjected to a heavy loss.

Formerly agents bired as many employés as they saw fit and paid them such salaries as they chose. Now all employés must be approved by the Secretary of the Interior, and legal limits are fixed to the amounts which may be expended for agency employés.

Formerly agents' accounts ran on for years without settlement. Now, their accounts are settled quarterly.

Formerly funds were remitted qnarterly to agents, even thongh their accounts might not have been sent in for two or three years. Now remittances to agents are not made and the salaries of their employés cannot be paid until their accounts for the preceding quarter have been received in the Indian Office.

Formerly the unexpended balances of funds which remained in the hands of agents at the end of a fiscal year were carried over by them to succeeding years until their retirement from the service. Now balances are covered into the Treasury at the end of each fiscal year.

Formerly agents expended government property in such manner as they thought best. Now sufficient reasons must be given for the disposal of any government property, and authority must be obtained from the Secretary of the Interior before any expenditure can be made.

Formerly supplies issued to Indians by Indian agents were receipted for by the chiefs. Now each head of a family and each individual Indian who is of age must receipt for himself.

Formerly when annuity moneys were paid to Indian tribes in fulfillment of treaty stipulations a large percentage of the whole sum was divided (or supposed to be) among a few prominent chiefs. Now each individual Indian, including chiefs, receives his per capita share.

Formerly flour was accepted at an Indian agency without any inspection. Now it is inspected before shipment and again upon its arrival at the agency,

Formerly when beef-cattle were delivered at agencies two or three head were selected by the contractor's herder and the agent, and by their weights an estimate was made of the weight of the whole herd. Now the agent must render a certified weigher's return for all animals received.

Formerly Indian traders were permitted to charge whatever prices they might elect to put upon their goods. Now their prices are controlled by the Indian Office.

Formerly a trader might charge an Indian two or three times the price charged a white man for the same kinds of goods. Now traders are forbidden to make any distinction in prices, under pain of the forfeiture of their licenses.

Formerly the Indians were imposed upon through a system of brass checks, tokens, and store-tickets. Now traders are forbidden to use anything but money.

Formerlr contracts were made with Indians for collecting claims against the gorernment, by which attorners took from one-half to two-thirds of the sums which were collected. Now all contracts made with Indians must be approved by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs and the Secretary of the Interior before attorneys can have any standing in the Indian Office; and, if contracts are approved, attorneys are obliged to show what services they have rendered before any parments can be made.

In the fiscal year 1874 the appropriations for the Indian service amounted to $9.329.915.80, and the actual number of Indians to be cared for by the government was less than at the present time. For the service during the present fiscal year there was but $4,733.375.72 appropriated, and there now are 20.Indians to be cared for.

In addition to the three Indian inspectors which were formerly allowed, there are now two special agents connected with the burean. With this force, and a proper administration of the business, there need be no difficulty in detecting frauds and reforming the service. Time alone is needed.


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