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BOARD OF INDIAN COMMISSIONERS.
WASHINGTON, D, C., January 31, 1887.. SIR: We have the honor to submit the Eighteenth Annual Report of the Board of Indian Commissioners, in pursuance of the act of May 17, 1882.
During the year 1886 three members of the Board have closed their term of service, viz, Hon. John K. Boies, of Michigan; Hon. William T. Jobnson, of Illinois; and Hon. William H. Lyon, of New York. These vacancies have been filled by the appointment of Hon. William H. Waldby, of Michigan, Hon. James Lidgerwood, of New York, and Hon. William D. Walker, of Dakota.
MEETINGS. Only three meetings of the Board have been held during the year' the first in New York, at the time of the annual awarding of contracts for Indian supplies. The competition for these contracts was more active than ever before. The number of bids for provisions, clothing, hardware, household and farming implements, medicines, and transportation of the goods was four hundred and fifty-one, against four hundred and thirty-three in 1885, and three hundred and fifty-two in 1884. These bids were opened and read in the hearing of a large num. ber of contractors, and contracts were awarded after a careful exami. nation of a large number of samples. This work required the presence of the Board, with the honorable Commissioner of Indian Affairs and a corps of expert inspectors, for several weeks. The subsequent recep. tion of the goods, their comparison with the samples upon which the awards were made, and their shipment received the constant attention of the inspectors and such supervision as the members of the Board residing in New York could find time to give. For a more detailed report of these proceedings reference is made to the report of the chairman of the purchasing coinmittee, which will be found in the appendix.
Our second meeting was at Mohonk Lake, the residence of Commissioner Smiley, at whose hospitable invitation about one hundred friends of Indians met with us. These guests represented several missionary societies and many Indian rights associations lately formed in all parts of the country. The conference continued in session three days, hearing reports of progress during the past year, comparing views, and earnestly discussing questions of policy for the future. Among those who took an active part in these discussions was Hon. Erastus Brooks, who, though in great physical suffering, showed no abatement of mental and moral vigor. At the close of a long career of public service his last effort was in behalf of the ignorant and wronged Indian. The results