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in California. We are experiencing a severe drought in southern California; crops are almost a failure; natural feed is scarce; hay is high. This will cause much hardship and suffering for the Indians and their stock and will tax their ingenuity to the utmost to obtain subsistence until the rains come again.
5. I am not aware of any leases having been made by individuals.
6. In my opinion there are some benefits from the allotment policy, provided, however, that the Government has undoubted title to the lands allotted. The land difficulties at this agency are numerous, covering, as it does, so much territory and embracing so many reservations, and there is such a stubborn resistance on the part of many white people to the Indians occupying tho lands set apart for them that the friction between Indian and white neighbors is constant.
I would suggest that a better system of surveys should be made, giving good conspicuous stakes or monuments, thus plainly defining the lines of the reservations. Indians seem ignorant of the lines of their reservations and often come to my office for information. Being poorly equipped with good and accurate maps and good descriptions of the reservation lines, I am frequently unable to give the Indians the information they desire.
In conclusion I trust I have been sufficiently explicit in complying with your request. I assure you that the Indians will work. They are becoming better farmers, more self-reliant and self-supporting, year by year. Their landed interests give them the greatest concern, and to the end that their lands and homes may be secured to them and be made permanent I will gladly give any information and assistance in my power. Respectfully,
L. A. WRIGHT, United States Indian Agent.
CHEYENNE AND ARAPAHOE INDIAN AGENCY,
Darlington, Okla., May 18, 1898. Hon. E. WHITTLESEY,
Secretary Board Indian Commissioners, Washington, D. C:
1. Three thousand three hundred and twenty-eight.
5. Twenty per cent of their lands are leased, with fair results. Owing to the fact that some Indians have more land than they can cultivate, and others being incapacitated by reason of age, etc., the leasiag of land is thought to be the means of improving their allotments, affords them a revenue, and in such instances is encouraged.
6. The benefits derived from the allotment policy are indeed many; the evils few. Allotment of land in severalty serves to break down the nomadic habits of the Indian. It gives him land which he can call his owọ and in which he acquires a personal pride. He is encouraged to make for himself a permanent home with pleasant surroundings, and while living side by side with his white neighbors he has the benefit of practical object lessons in his efforts to adopt civilized habits. While objects aimed at may not in all instances be acquired in the present generation, the civilizing wedge will be driven, and those following will take up the work of their fathers and push it with vigor, for we must remember that where once stood the log cabin of the hardy pioneer is to-day covered by structures towering to the sky as silent witnesses of the onward march of civilization, which were little thought of during the early days. So let us trust that the same lot and portion awaits the Indian.
I wish to say that your letter was received while I was at Washington on a visit, was filed away in the office here until now, and hence the delay in giving you thé desired data. Respectfully, yours,
A. E. WOODSON, Major, C. S. A., Acting Indian Agent.
QUAPAW AGENCY, IND. T., June 3, 1898. BOARD OF INDIAN COMMISSIONERS,
Washington, D. C. SIRS: In reply to your communication of April 5, 1898, asking for certain information in regard to allotments, etc., to Indians of this agency, I have the honor to submit the following:
1, 2. All of the Indians of the reservations of this agency have received allotments, except those born since the allotments were made, and patents have been issued to such allottees. (See Report of Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1897, pp. 432, 433.)
3. About seven-eighths of the allottees live on their allotments and cultivate portions of the same.
4, 5. About three-fourths of the allottees lease the greater portion of their lands and live on and cultivate the balance themselves. The other fourth cultivate all of their allotment, with good results. The leasing of their lands is a benefit to the allottees, as it brings them good neighbors, and lands which in most cases would lie idle are greatly improved by the lessee. Very few of the lessees are a detriment to the Indians.
6. Where the Indians are prepared to receive allotments, as is the case at this agency, the allotment policy is a benefit to them. When allottees have progressed sufficiently in the ways of civilization, they should be permitted to alienate portions of their lands, not to exceed one-half, with the understanding, however, that the proceeds of such alienation shall be devoted to the improvement of their remaining lands.
In my opinion the education of Indian youth in reservation schools is the solution of the Indian question. Very respectfully,
United States Indian Agent.
COVELO, CAL., June 16, 1898. BOARD OF INDIAN COMMISSIONERS,
Washington, D. C. SIRS: In answer to your questions of the 1st of April, 1898, I have the honor to submit the following:
Six hundred and twenty-two allotments have been made. Six hundred and four patents have been issued. About 75 per cent of the Indians are living on their allotments. - About 50 per cent of their lands are being cultivated.
Their lands are not leased, owing to the small allotments and the requirements of cash rent for the consideration of the conditions necessary to lease. The community is so remote from a market and the roads thereto are so steep and difficult of travel and the expense of transportation so great that it is impossible to transport farm products to market, the cost of transportation being from $20 to $40 per ton, according to the season. Therefore farm products, as a rule, are fed to stock and the stock drived, to Ukiah, the nearest market, a distance of 75 'miles. If I were allowed to lease the allotnients for grain rent, or lease others for a term of years to have them cleared, fenced, ditched, and small houses built, I am of the opinion great good could be accomplished for the allotees.
I could with little difficulty lease a number of allotments on the latter conditions, and in a few years the whole reservation (the valley portion) would be under cultivation and yielding a sustenance for the Indians, where, as is now, I am convinced that these allotments spoken of will long remain in their native brush and be of little benefit to their owners. Another evil which, in my opinion, should be remedied is: When the news of the contemplated issue of lands, etc., was spread abroad a number of very undesirable half-breeds and squaw inen flocked to the reservation and procured lands. A great many left immediately and have not since done labor or other improvement. Some of these allotments are situated on the margin of the fenced portion of the reservation, and the fence which was on it at the time of the issue, which was placed there by the Government, has decayed, and the aforesaid parties will not improve the fence, and as a result stock break into the fields and destroy the crops of the Indians. This is a nuisance which should be abated by the cancellation of their allotments and the issue to others who have no homes and who would improve them.
In my opinion the allotting policy should be amended to overcome these evils, and the improvement of the Indians would be more rapid. Very respectfully,
Geo. W. PATRICK, Superintendent.
PIMA INDIAN AGENCY,
Sacaton, Ariz., June 7, 1898. Mr. E. WHITTLESEY,
Secretary Board of Indian Commissioners, Washington, D. C. SIR: Under date of April 5, 1898, you addressed a communication to the agent of Pima Agency, who was then Mr. H. J. Cleveland, who died May 17. I find your letter on the files of this office unanswered. Although a little late with reply, I, as special agent in temporary charge, will endeavor now to give you the information
asked for. This agency has in its charge the Pima, Papago, and Maricopa Indians. The only allotted lands so far are to the Papagoes, at San Xavier and Gila Bend reservations.
At San Xavier, 291 allotments, 291 patents issued; 40 living on their allotments. At Gila Bend, 679 allotments; no patents yet; but few if any living on allotments, by reason of no water for irrigation.
In further answers to queries 4, 5, and 6, I respectfully refer you to report of Mr. J. M. Berger, farmer, in charge of the Papagoes at San Xavier, under date of April 21, which gives all the information on the subject this agency can at present supply.
Could the Government or some private corporation see its way clear to mako an investment of a couple of million dollars in what is known as the Butler Reservoir, a permanent and abundant water supply could be obtained that would make serviceable, and with astonishing results, many thousands of acres of these Indian lands now practically worthless? Perhaps the day may soon come. There would then be a great incentive to taking allotments and making improvements. With water, this great valley would be rich; without it, but little better than a desert. Respectfully,
S. L. TAGGART, United States Special Indian Agent, in charge.
PIMA AGENCY, ARIZ.,
San Xavier Reservation, April 21, 1898. Hon. H. J. CLEVELAND,
United States Indian Agent, Sacaton. Sir: In compliance with your request, I have the honor to give you below the information asked for in “Circular letter” of the honorable board of supervisors in regard to allotting land in severalty to Indians at the San Xavier Reservation under my charge.
1. In 1890 291 allotments were made, each head of family receiving 20 acres of farming land, and 140 acres of timber and so-called mesa land.
2. In 1891 patents (291) therefor were issued. 3. About forty families are living on their farming land. In view of the fact that about one-half of the cultivated land is overflowed every year in the rainy season, it would be dangerous to live permanently on land so exposed, and therefore, many of the allottees reside there only temporarily.
4. About three-fourths of the allotted farming land is under cultivation. 5. As yet no land has been leased. 6. In my opinion no steps could have been taken which would benefit more these Indians than allotting land in severalty to them. With the exception of a very few malcontents, found everywhere, each allottee appreciates now fully the privilege of being the exclusive owner of a piece of land which he positively knows belongs to him and his family. It gives them a greater inclination toward farming, and especially toward a more careful clearing and cultivating of their land, than they ever had before.
I am very often called upon to settle questions in regard to boundary lines of individual parcels of land, which goes to show that they begin to appreciate the value of every foot of land allotted to them.
Notwithstanding the fact that the clearing of land here is a very laborious task, on account of the frequent occurrence of mosquite trees and stumps and the exceedingly pertinacious sacaton or bunch grass, there is continuously more allotted land cleared and cultivated, and that too, by Indians who in 1890, when the allotment was made, thought, and in my presence said, that the land allotted to them was not worth fencing and clearing.
I have known personally these allottees and their situation since 1893. In 1890, when the allotment was made, I acted as official interpreter, and since then, for eight years, I have been the farmer in charge of this reservation, and I am, therefore, certainly in a position to know the condition of these allottees. Very respectfully,
J. M. BERGER, Farmer in charge.
GRANDE RONDE SCHOOL, OREG., May 1, 1898. E. WHITTLESEY,
Secretary Board of Indian Commissioners, Washington, D. C. Sir: Yours of the 5th of April relative to the results of the policy of allotting lands in severalty to Indians to hand. In reply:
1. Two hundred and sixty-nine allotments have been made to Indians of this agency. 2. Two hundred and sixty-nine patents have been issued. 3. Ninety-seven. 4. Nearly all tillable land is being cultivated this year.
5. Only three leases executed, results good.
6. In my opinion the benefits of the allotment policy, so far as the Grande Ronde Indians are concerned, bas been very great. Each Indian knows just what he owns; he also knows that it is his for all time and that no one can take it from him. Ali are satisfied, with the exception of some of the younger Indians, who would like to have more tillable land. Very respectfully,
ANDREW KERSHAW, Superintendent.
PONCA, ETC., AGENCY,
Whiteagle, Okla., April 27, 1898. E. WHITTLESEY,
Secretary Board of Indian Commissioners, Washington, D. C. SIR: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your circular letter, dated April 5, 1898, asking for certain information from me regarding the Indians of this agency.
In reply to question No. 1, as to how many allotments have been made to the Indians of this agency, I have to say that to the Poncas, 628; Pawnees, 823; Otoes, 190, and Tonkawas, 73.
In answer to question No. 2, as to how many patents have been issued, I have to say that to the Poncas, 627; to the Pawnees, 823, and Tonkawas, 73. In this connection I will state that one allotment made on the Ponca Reservation was not approved by the Secretary of the Interior; hence a patent was not issued for same. While the foregoing patents have been issued by the Department, only about half of those issued to the Ponca Indians have been delivered, as about one-half of this tribe were assigned allotments, and have not acknowledged same to this date; consequently they are in the agency office awaiting a time when the Indians will become pacified to the situation and accept same. The Otoes were allotted in 1893 and the schedule submitted for approval, but for some reasons never received the same. Helen P. Clarke, special allotting agent, is now at work among these Indians readjusting the allotments, and informs me that up to the present date 190 members of the tribe have accepted lands in severalty, which I am glad to say far exceeds the number who accepted their allotments as scheduled in 1893.
3. There are 98 Indians or heads of families living upon their allotted lands on the Pawnee Reservation and about 90 on the Ponca, which is nearly an entire tribe; and 8 or 10 on tho Tonkawa, the balance of the tribe living in houses built near the agency reservation.
4. The Indians on the Ponca Reservation are cultivating about 1.500 acres themselves; on the Pawnee Reservation 1,443 acres; Tonkawa about 75 acres; on the Otoe about 2,171, the majority of this being done by contract labor, white farmers being employed.
5. About 30,000 acres are under lease on the Ponca Reservation, at an annual rental of $12,255.59; Pawnee Reservation 36,784 acres, at an annual rental of $13,776.11; Tonkawa 11,200 acres, at an annual rental of about $8,500.
In reply to inquiry No. 6, as to what in my opinion are the benefits or evils of the allotment policy, I have to say that the benefits are numerous and the evils few, providing reservation lines are preserved until the Indians shall become accustomed and are thoroughly ready to be made citizens in every respect of the United States. Ailotting their lands in severalty gives them homes of their own and something to look after individually, while the privilege of leasing same gives them a permanent income and one upon which they can depend for the support of themselves and families. Very respectfully,
ASA C. SHARP, United States Indian Agent.
SISSETON AGENCY, S. DAK., April 25, 1898. E. WHITTLESEY,
Secretary Board of Indian Commissioners, Washington, D. C. SIR: In reply to circular letter of the 5th instant I have the honor to submit the following: 1,971 persons were allotted 160 acres each..
315, 360 9 persons were allotted 40 acres each
360 5 churches received 40 acres each ....
200 1 church received 160 acres.
160 1 church received 17 acres.
1 Government school received 480 acres
480 160 170
601, 873 Grand total...
918, 780 I am informed that about 1,980 patents have been issued. There are about 400 families living on their allotted lands. The Indians are cultivating about 98,000 acres of their lands. The Indians leased not less than 30,000 acres of land, most of which is used for grazing purposes.
In my opinion, the Indians are benefited by the allotment policy. They endeavor to farm and raise stock, and on this reservation they would succeed if they could be furnished with sufficient means to start right; the soil is very rich. I am, sir, very respectfully, yours,
NATHAN P. JOHNSON,
United States Indian Agent.
LOWER BRULE AGENCY, S. DAK., April 23, 1898. E. WHITTLESEY,
Washington, D. C.
1. That I am unable to inform you how many allotments have been made upon this reservation, as there is no schedule of allotments on file in this office. I would refer you to the honorable Commissioner of Indian Affairs for this information.
2. No patents have been issued up to the present time.
6. In my opinion it is a great benefit to the Indians to allot them land in severalty, as it has a tendency to scatter them out from their camps and make them individually responsible for their own property. Very respectfully,
B. C. Ash, United States Indian Agent.
SILETZ INDIAN AGENCY,
Siletz, Oreg., April 22, 1898. Hon. E. W. WHITTLESEY,
Secretary Board of Indian Commissioners, Washington, D. C. Sir: I will now attempt to answer your favor of April 5 to the best of my ability: 1. Five hundred and fifty-one. 2. Five hundred and forty-one. 3. About 100 families.
4. All raise fairly good gardens; most of them raise a little hay, about forty raise oats, and at least thirty have a surplus to sell each year; this year it will reach 10,000 bushels.
5. Only seven of them have leased their lands, and as a rule they get more out of the land than if they worked it themselves, besides the land is kept in better condition, fences in better repair; in fact, the leasing so far has been a benefit to the Indian, for the parties that lease generally have more than one place and would attain little or no benefit if it was not rented.
6. I believe the allotment of sufficient land to each Indian for a home was the proper thing to do and was about the first step in the right direction, yet the classifying of all Indians as Indians, and the withholding of the patent in fee simple from all alike, irrespective of their ability to manage their own affairs, is a serious mistake and a wrong; it leaves no hope or encouragement to those that are progressive and trying to advance; it is not so much the fact that they are not to come into possession of their land as the humiliating knowledge that the Government still holds a string to them. To distrust a child causes it to lose confidence in itself. How much more with these people that know something of the practical side of life. Many of the Indians on this reservation are far advanced in civilization; some indeed are much more capable to manage their own affairs than many of their white neighbors, and yet the raw Polander or Scandinavian is able to say to them, “You are an Indian and the Government won't trust you with your land, and I have only been in the country three years, can't talk English half as well as you do, yet the Government has given me 160 acres of good land.”