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without any apparent effect. In the spring I induced two Indians, who had hewed logs for houses, to haul and erect them, and furnished sufficient lumber to complete the houses. Since that time an entire change of opinion has transpired in reference to tbis subject. Fourteen similar houses have been finished, and several log-pens, partially finished, have been transformed into comfortable dwellings. I now have numerous applications for lumber, to build and repair houses, that I cannot furnish, having exhausted all the money at my command applicable for the purpose. It will be understood that previous to building and repairing these houses they occupied dwellings made of bark and some lumber, but generally with an open space in the top for smoke to escape, and really unfit for occupancy. They have now undoubtedly abandoned all desire or intention to occupy such places in the future.
The relinquishment of their prejudices on these and other subjects, and their cheerful confession of the superiority of knowledge and experience over crude ideas and routine plans, are vital points gained toward their thorough civilization. Their fields, with the exception of a few very wet ones, were planted early in the planting season. The crops have generally been well cultivated, and at this time give promise of a plentiful yield. They have paid more attention to raising potatoes and cultivating garden vegetables than usual, and seem to appreciate the advantages of having a variety of vegetable food. They have been engaged cutting and stacking hay for the past two weeks.
The increased amount of wagon and blacksmith work necessary to be done for these Indians has necessitated the building of a larger and more convenient shop for those purposes. The one now in course of erection is 20 by 40 feet in size, with a 12-foot room, solidly built of good lumber. It will be conveniently arranged, and will be sufficiently large for the requirements of the tribe for many years to come.
The Pottawatomies have $93,924.72 temporarily invested for their benefit, which they desire to have permanently arranged for the support of a wagon-shop and purchase of agricultural implements and lumber. A number of communications have been forwarded to the Indian Office in relation to this subject without any effect. It is greatly to be hoped that leg. islation may be secure], during the coming session of Congress, that will authorize the employment of the annual interest thereon, with interest already accrued, for the promotion of the parposes I have mentioned.
The Kickapoos have comparatively large fields and moderately good log-houses. About one-half of these Indians are thrifty farmers and keep their farms, houses, and stock in good condition. The remainder are careless in these respects, and are disposed to coutinue in the old tracks of a previous generation. They have broken but little prairie and made but few improvements. "A few are taking some interest in raising hogs and cattle, and all of them are endeavoring to improve and increase their stock of horses and ponies. They hold to property with tenacity, make expenditures carefully, and are economical in the use of the produce of their fields.
A portion of these Indians belong to the class to whom lands were allotted in severalty in accordance with the provisions of the treaty with the Kickapoos proclaimed May 28, 1863; they now reside on those allotments, but have not drawn their pro rata shares of the cash eredits of the tribe. This treaty established a division of interest between the allottees and those who hold in common, that in their present relations is prejudicial to both parties. While the allottees have developed more individuality than those holding in common, and perhaps acquired more property in proportion to their number, I have not deemed them qualified for citizenship and have refused to recommend them for the exercise of the prerogatives of that position. Several of this class have lately made application to be received back on the reserve in common, and others seem to bave abandoned the desire to receive head-money and become citizens. I think if an amicable arrangement to this effect could be made between the two parties at interest it would, perhaps, be wise to place parties mak. ing the request back into the tribe and have the lands allotted to them appraised and sold and the proceeds applied for the benefit of the tribe in common.
There are also 640 acres of land, reserved by the provisions of the aforesaid treaty of 1863, for a mill-site. This land is located outside of the limits of the reserve in common, and is of Do practical benefit to the tribe. I believe that this land should be appraised and sold, and the proceeds applied for the promotion of the educational and agricultural interests of the tribe.
During the last two years considerable ill-feeling has existed between factions in this tribe in reference to the question of moving south. The larger and more industrious portion desire to remain, tbe restless and idle portion are anxious to remove, and urge as a Teason therefor “ their inability to cope with the white man. The opposing party retort by saying, " They never will be, if they move among wild Indians." Had it not been for this unfortunate controversy, and the ill-feeling engendered by it, I am satisfied that the tribe would have been in a far more prosperous condition than it is. Many practical and progressive Indians have been discouraged and deterred from making improvements, upon which ibey bad determined, through fear that they would not be allowed to enjoy the benefit of them. The southern party, during the last three months, seem to have abandoned the discussion, and the members of the tribe are now getting along more pleasantly.
They suffered from the effects on the soil of an unusually heavy rain-fall during the plant. ing season, and while they should have been cultivating beir crops. The corn, potatoes,
and garden vegetables growing on a majority of their farms promise a fair yield, though some few fields, from the cause I have mentioned, are nearly barren of crop.
Until the close of the last fiscal year the Kickapoos had their wagon and blacksmith work done at a shop off of their reserve. Traveling to and from the shop consumed their time and brought them in contact with evil associations. To remedy those evils and economize expenses for such work, I have built, at a suitable location on their reserve, a shop sufficiently commodious for the reqnirements of the Indians, and employed a mechanic, who, in addition to the work to be done in the shop, is expected to assist the Indians in repairing their houses.
Since my last annual report the average attendance at the Pottawatomie industrial boarding-school has increased considerably. Several of the new scholars enrolled belong to families that have bitterly opposed education, and denounced those Indians who encouraged it as traitors to their race and the principles that should control it. The advantages of the school, however, have become so apparent, to even the most blind, that any public expression or demonstration against it is not likely ever to occur again. There is a farm of 63 acres belonging to this school, planted in corn, potatoes, and a great variety of garder vegetables. All of these are looking excellent, and promise nearly as great a yield as the soil is capable of producing. The farm is stocked with the necessary work-borses, 45 head of cattle, 50 hogs, and 300 fowls. All of these, with the exception of the work-borses and 5 head of cows, have been raised on the farm. The property belonging to this school and mission has been purchased with the annual interest of the Pottawatomie school-fund; the current expenses of the school are derived from the same source.
The attendance at the Kickapoo industrial boarding school has been good during the year. There is a farm, containing 35 acres, attached to this school, planted in corn, potatoes, and vegetables. These crops are maturing finely, and will produce quite up to the average of the surrounding country. The farm is stocked with 3 mules, 16 head of cattle, and 25 hogs. A part of this stock and all other property connected with the mission and school has been purchased with the annual interest of a fund established by treaty with the Kickapoos for the support of school and encouragement of agricultural pursuits. The school is subsisted by funds derived from the same source. Considerable improvements in the way of stock-yards and additions to buildings have been made at both the Pottawatomie and Kickapoo missions during the past year.
The moral and religious cultivation of the pupils at these schools is sought to be accomplished by uvremitting and conscientious teaching of these principles and by practical Christian example. Their studies in school are conducted on the same principles as white children are taught in the better class of district schools in the State of Kansas. They are generally diligent in their studies, and when they bave learned to speak English I think learn as rapidly as white children do. The boys are taught to feed stock and work on the farm. They perform the work assigned to them cheerfully and well; indeed, some of them did quite as good work on the farm during the past season as could have been expected from adults. The girls are taught to cook, wash, sew, and to cut and make garments for themselves and male scholars. Many of the older pupils now realize the duties incumbent upon them in life, and are exerting a useful influence toward elevating their parents and friends.
The system of thorough farming by the use of improved farmiug implements on these school-farms has had a highly beneficial effect throughout the entire Pottawatomie and Kickapoo tribes. The success of those in charge of the farms in raising good crops has induced the Indians to follow their example and plow deeper and better, to plant earlier, to cultivate more thoroughly, and has entirely disabused their minds of prejudices against horse corn-planters and other improved agricultural implements. The adult Indians who visit the schools are circumspect in their behavior and as careful not to violate the rules and regulations established for their government as cultivated white persons could be.
The tribal government of these two tribes has been greatly weakened since my last report. But few general councils are held, and personal applications for assistance and advice have been substituted for demands made by the authorities of the tribe.
The religious and educational interests of the Chippewa and Christian Indians are under the supervision of the Moravian Church North. This church annually contributes about $500 for the propagation of these principles. The resident missionary is a conscientious and faithful worker for the true interests of those under his spiritual charge.
Had it not been for the greater industry and improved moral principles of the Indians in this agency an increase of drunkenness might have been expected during the past year, as there is no law to punish persons for selling wbisky to them. As I have before stated to the Department, I do not know of any greater good to be accomplished for the Indian race, here and everywbere in the United States, than the enactment of a law at the next session of Congress making it a criminal offense to sell intoxicating liquors to an Indian, the law to be applicable to an Indian guilty of the offense equally with a white man.
The timber on the reserves of these Indians, and other personal property, have been protected without resort to law, other than proving property and determining the amount due on horses and animals posted by whites in magistrates' courts. The Indians are now exercising a much stricter supervision over their stock than formerly, and considering that their
reserves are entirely surrounded by white settlers, difficulties in regard to strayed stock are of less frequent occurrence than might be expected.
I have been convinced by personal observation for some time that the system of holding land in common is very unfavorable for educating an Indian to personal independence. Though he may build and improve for a time, he must to some extent be subordinate to his tribal government, and this will operate against continued personal efforts in building, enJarging fields, planting orchards, or acquiring other property of an immovable nature, the permanent possession of which is uncertain, and may be disposed of contrary to wishes of the owner without personal remuneration for the value thereof. The very fact of his en. joying some home comforts will render him suspicious of the uncertain tenure by which they are held, and make him irresolute in regard to prosecuting further improvements. As timber becomes scarce, and pastures contiguous to their improvements become worthless, contentions will originate that will mar the pleasant relations that existed between them when a wigwam and a patch sufficed for their wants. I believe that to obviate these difficulties, to break down the traditional rule of Indian government, and to aid the Indian in achieving mental independence, each Indian should receive an allotment of a subdivision of land, and should hold the same by certificate-title. They can then feel secure in the possession of their liomes, can protect the timber belonging to their claims from either white or Indian depredators, and will be invested with a feeling of pride and contentment that will incite them to greater energy in cultivating the soil and raising cattle. I respectfully invite an earnest consideration of this subject by the Department.
I consider the religious condition of the Indians in this agency greatly improved. There are evidences that the principles of Christianity that have been taught have found a lodgment in the hearts of some, and effected at least a modification of their traditional views on the subject of religion. Their is another class, upon whom example, argument, or entreaty Las no effect, so firmly are they wedded to the belief of their fathers; and yet another class, who have accepted the consolations of revealed religion, who look upon the promises of our Redeemer as a pillar of strength in this world and a source of eternal joy in the life hereafter. Herewith forwarded find statistical reports for the tribes in this agency, Respectfully,
M. H. NEWLIN,
United States Indian Agent. The COMMISSIONER OF Indian AFFAIRS.
Ypsilanti, Mich., August 28, 1877. SIR :: I have the honor to submit herewith my annual report. The statistics given with it will give a view of the general condition of the people in this agency.
No inportant change has occurred since iny last report to disturb the peaceful relations of the Indians of this agency toward the Government or its people ; and I am free to assert that, so far as peaceful citizenship is concerned, there are no people of whatever nationality among our citizens who are more peaceful and law-abiding than the Indians of this agency. But for the intermeddling interference of bad white men and their infernal whisky, we might reasonably hope for them a peaceful if not a happy future.
I cannot but regard the opening of their reservations to occupation and setilement by white men, and permitting them to sell their lands, as a serious mistake, for reasons which I shall give hereafter. While they have adopted the dress and mode of living of that practiced by their civilized neighbors, yet they, like people of all nationalities, have a strong love of social intercourse with their own people; and it is only under such circumstances that they seem to act without restraint and enjoy themselves. Being naturally of a proud and haughty disposition, and fully aware they cannot speak our language with correctness or propriety, they almost invariably decline to speak it at all, lest they may become subject of ridicule for their blunders. The taking of lands in severalty would have been well for them if an inflexible rule had been insisted upon that they should not alienate them except in cases of inability to make them available, on account of sickness or other permanent disability to cultivate, and theu only by permission of the agent in charge, and approval of his recommendation by the Department; and, if so sold, the avails to be used only for the benefit of the patentee, or his or her rightful heirs or representatives.
The Indians do not naturally take to the cultivation of the soil for a livelihood : their early life and training was in an entirely different occupation; and while accustomed to endare great hardships and fatigue incident to the life of a hunter or fisherman, they were not accustomed to apply themselves to that daily toil necessary in clearing and cultivating their lands, from which they would not realize immediate results: and while many of them are good men to work for others, they do not seem to have the energy or inclination to work for themselves; therefore their farm improvements are small and slow. The princial part of their settlements are in the immediate vicinity of the lakes, which abound in fish, from which they derive a very large proportion of their subsistence.
Notwiłbstanding all these drawbacks and obstacles, I am enabled to report a decided
improvement the past year; especially among those to whom agricultural implements and seeds were distributed, to assist them in their endeavors to become self-supporting and independent.
The Indians designated as the Chippewas of Saginaw, Swan Creek, and Black Rider, whose principal reservation was in Isabella County, with the exception of only about 600, have left and gone back to the neighborhood of their original homes and hunting-grounds, where they can live near the “Great Waters" and fish. Having sold the land given them by the Government, each band has purchased, near the homes their fathers, (as their limited means would warrant,) a small tract, where a small garden produces the vegetables in their season, and they can stroll away and pick berries, make baskets or sugar, in its season, and fish, thus eking out an existence which, if they could not have disposed of their lands, might in time have afforded a comfortable home and support. Since the treaty of 1855, money enough has been paid out for these people, if expended as it should and might have been, to have assured and secured their independence and comfort; and while so many have frittered away the lands that were given them, there are many who are working manfully to live, and successfully, upon their farms. The estimated productions upon this reservation this year are: 3,500 bushels of wheat, 5,400 bushels of corn, 2,500 bushels of oats, 3,000 bushels of potatoes, 150 bushels of beans, 60 bushels of onions, 150 bushels of melons, 300 bushels of turnips, 200 tons of bay.
The Ottawas and Chippewas are by far the most numerous, and, I think, are the most civilized, from the fact that for more than two hundred years they have had intimate relations with the French, who were the discoverers and early settlers of their country. They have married and intermarried to such an extent that it is really difficult to tell, when you meet an Indian in appearance, whether he is an Ottawa, Chippewa, or a Frenchman; their language is neither the one nor the other, but a mixture of all these. Their religion, too, partakes largely of that planted by the Jesuits Marquette and Cadillac. There are churches of this faith at Mackinaw, Point Saint Ignace, Sault Sainte Marie, La Crosse, Little Traverse, Middle Village, and Old Mission on Traverse Bay. They are a quiet people and would remain so, but adhere to the babit against which Cadillac remonstrated with the French commandant, of teaching them to drink brandy. He told them there was “only one alternative, French brandy and the true faith, or West India rum and English heresy." Cadillac's scruples seem to have been overcome, and “the true faith” and whisky are to-day the most prominent object of devotion with these people. At one or two points the Methodist Episcopal Church have maintained successful missions, but a large proportion are Roman Catholics. They now number, as near as I can ascertain, something over 6,000. They are scattered along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan and Traverse Bay, from Grand River, and on the islands in the lake; at Point Saint Ignace, Mackinaw, along the straits, on the north shore of Lake Huron, and all the length of the Sault Sainte Marie River, and the southeastern shore of Lake Superior to White Fish Point, embracing the most important fisheries of all the great lakes, a line of nearly 300 miles of coast, and from this industry they derive a large proportion of their support, and by their labor a large proportion of the catch of white-fish and trout (for which this region is celebrated) is secured. Besides, they furnish no inconsiderable amount of the large shipments of wood and hemlock bark shipped from the ports within the distance above named.
This tribe bad, by a treaty in 1855, several reservations set apart for them in the counties of Oceana, Mason, Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmett, Mackinaw, Chippewa, and on some of the islands in Lake Michigan, upon which they were allowed to make selections of 80 acres, or all who had arrived at their majority, which nearly all did who were of sufficient age; and many went to work in good faith to make farms and homes. In 1872, Congress, in my opinion, committed a great error, so far as the peace and well-being of these people were concerned, by opening the remaining unoccupied lands of these reservations for homestead selection to all persons, giving, however, the Indians six months' privilege to make, if they chose, selections under the law in like manner as the whites. This was, however, attended with a payment of $14 for office-fees, and generally as much more to defray expenses of a journey to and from the land-office, and many did not possess the requisite sum in cash, and could not therefore obtain any land, while others, who had the means, obtained certificates; but as neither a white man nor Indian can sit down in a forest and live the first year, neither are very apt to comply strictly with the letter they do with the meaning of the law. The Indians in particular knew no way but to fish for a livelihood ; indeed, the very existence of their families as well as themselves required they should do so or starve. Their absence on this account from their homesteads was made the occasion to advertise their homesteads as abandoned. Generally this has been done by persons who want it as a matter of speculation, and the complainants are given the preference by the officers at the land offices, either to locate themselves, or for such persons to do so as they designate. These annoyances have been encouraged and tolerated to such an extent that the Indians become discouraged and think their labor will all be lost, their improvements and land taken from them, as they have been in numerous cases. They do not work with that energy they otherwise would. I have by this explanation endeavored to show wherein I regarded the congressional enactment as of a character detrimental to the best interests of the Indians, and a serious obstacle to their becoming agriculturists or self-supporting by this means. They are a race entirely dissimilar
to our own, and must be treated with reference to an improved condition of their race rather than by absorption in the general body-politic, which is but another name for annihilation.
The Ottawa and Chippewa Indians are naturally honest, and scrupulously conscientious in keeping their word, and expect the same scrupulous exactness in the fulfillment of all engagements made to them, especially by the Government. The cause of education among these tribes has since the discontinuance of the schools very much declined, and very few of the children are receiving any instruction; and, as a consequence, are growing up in ignorance, and consequently in vice. A majority of the parents never having known the advan. tages of an education themselves, do not feel the importance of an education for their children, and could not, if they would, confer this blessing upon them, for the reason that they have not the means. If the money appropriated for this object by the last treaty had been invested properly, and the interest used as a permanent annuity for the support of schools for them, an inestimable boon might have thereby been conferred upon them.
The Chippewas of Lake Superior are about 1,200 in number; perhaps, in all, may reach 1,500, mostly living on either side of Keweenaw Bay, and known as the L'Anse and Vieux de Sert bands. A portion live in the vicinity of Ontonagon, others on the Menomonee River and other points in what is known as the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Like the other tribes before named, these have fully adopted the dress and mode of living of the white population, most of them having comfortable log or block houses. Yet they live mostly by fishing, hunting, and trapping, from which they realize the principal support for themselves and families. With the exception of the gardens around their houses, they have not generally made much improvement upon their farms. The land in this vicinity is not well adapted to the growth of cereals, although potatoes of excellent quality are grown, as are also, grass, pease, and oats.
The educational interests of these people are in as good condition as any other portion of the agency, perhaps better. The people are nearly equally divided between the Roman Catholic and Metliodist Churches, known respectively as the Baraga (Catholic) and L'Anse (Methodist Episcopal) Missions; the latter under charge, without pay, of Peter Marksman, an educated Indian ; the former under charge of a Belgian Catholic priest, who has been here many years, and I think, from what opportunities I have had for observation, the Indians are better for his labors. But I cannot forbear remarking the contrast between the two communities of the same tribe, separated only by the bay three or four miles wide. The latter are generally seen idling about much of the time, often drunk when they can get whisky, and generally slovenly in their dress and appearance; on the other hand, those under the teaching of Mr. Marksman appear tidily dressed ; rarely one of them indulges in intoxicating drinks; most of them are industrious, and in their houses are many articles of comfort, such as cooking-stoves, chairs, and bedsteads; some of them parlor-organs, and sewing machines, pictures, and other evidences of taste and refinement. Their productions consist mostly in the following articles-this, of course, besides the amount consumed-as I obtained from the most authentic sources :
Estimated value. Quantity. Maple sugar.,
8 cents. 10,000 pounds. Wood cut and sold
2,500 cords. Berries sold...
500 bushels. White fish and trout
1,500 balf-barrels. Value of furs sold
2,500 dollars. Potatoes..
2,500 bushels. Also a variety of other vegetables and many tons of hay.
The Pottawatomics of Huron are the remnant of the once great and powerful tribe who wielded a century ago no mean influence in the councils of the natious who then held sway in the Northwest. They are the possessors of 120 acres of perhaps the least valuable land to be found in Calhoun County, consisting of marshes and sand-knolls, through which the Nottawasipe River wends its way. Upon this are living this little band, consisting at last pay-day of fifty-four persons, old and young, who eke out an existence by fishing and trapping along the river and its marshy banks, making baskets, and an occasional da y's labor for the farmers in the neighborhood. They are wretchedly poor. The annuity of $100 from the Government which they receive helps to bridge over the chasm between the seasons, as it is usually paid about the time that winter reminds them most keenly of their needy condition, when it is most likely to afford them the greatest benefit. They have neither school nor church; their school-house was burned some years since, and they are too poor to build another. They wish me to present their case to the Great Father at Washington, hoping that they may receive from his munificent hand some help, as they insist the Government still owes them a large amount on account of lands purchased by what they call Governor Porter's treaty. They seem to be fast dwindling away ; a few years, at the farthest, and history alone will tell of their part in the councils and wars of the Indians of Michigan.
In conclusion, I would say the Indians of this agency are in as prosperous a condition as the circumstances surrounding their seyeral situations will admit of. The rules of the landoffices in their case need revision; great leniency should be shown them, and no inducement be held out by any recognized claim to be established by any complainant as to their non