OFFICE UNITED STATES INDIAN AGENT FOR THE PUYALLUP, NISQUALLY, AND OTHER
INDIAN TRIBES, Olympia Wash., August 20, 1878.
Sir: In accordance with the requirements for the Indian Bureau, I have the honor to submit the following as my third annual report, being for the year 1878, ass the United Stated Indian agent for the 1,731 Indians belonging to this agency.
AS TO NUMBER OF INDIANS BELONGING TO AGENCY.
The Indians of this agency belong to five reservations and eight scattered bands not belonging to reservations. In obedience to your Circular No. 6, of January 23, 1878, as explained by you letter of March 14, 1878, I forwarded to you, under date of 7 of June last, a carefully ascertained census of the Indians belonging to said five reservations and to seven of said bands. The census of 1 of said 8 bands, viz, the Lewis River band, was not ascertained for reasons stated; nor have I yet been able to ascertain with the desired certainty the names of each head of family and
numbers in all families, as this band is widely scattered upon the different fork and confluence of Lewis River. But, as near as I can ascertain, this band numbers 104. This will make the whole number belonging to said 8 bands
598. The whole number belonging to said 5 reservations is 1,133, bringing the whole number belonging to this agency up to 1,731.
REPORTS OF AGENTS IN WASHINGTON TERRITORY.
CONDITION OF INDIANS.
By direction of you circular of instructions of July 10, 1877 (which is the same this year), my annual report for last year contained “such general information as in itself afforded to any on who inquired for the first time respecting my Indians a fair and truthful picture of their condition.” that condition has been so little changed during the year that has passed that any person desirous of knowing the present condition of the Indians belonging to this agency is, for all practical purposes, referred to my annual report for 1877, which I thing it unnecessary to repeat.
PEACEABLE DISPOSITION FO INDIANS TOWARD WHITES.
The Indians belonging to this agency are very peaceable and well disposed towards the whites. Notwithstanding some of them are badly treated at time by evil-disposed white men, they never undertake to redress such wrongs, but either tamely submit or complain to me. I invariably examine and redress their wrongs and see that justice is done them as far as possible.
INDIAN LABOR FOR WHITES.
Since the termination of annuities in this agency in 1875, the greater part of the Indians belonging to it depend almost wholly upon obtaining means for the purchase of their clothing, bedding, mechanical and farming implements, and most of their subsistence, by labor for the whites in
slashing and clearing up land (at least two-thirds of the timber lands west of the Cascades that have been cleared have been cleared by Indian labor), harvesting, hop-picking, logging, working at saw-mills, gathering oysters,
fish, & c. Very few of them depend wholly upon the product of their farms for procuring all the necessaries of life; but this few is gradually increasing on the Puyallup Reservation.
STATISTICS, PROGRESS, RETROGRESSION.
The statistics herewith enclosed are of the Puyallup Indians and reservation only, as I had no blank for the other four reservations. But the Puyallup statistics are the only ones worth forwarding, as they alone show encouraging progress and improvement over last year. The Nisqually and
Shoalwater Bay Indians are just about where they were last year as to progress. There has been decided retrogression with Chehalis and Squaxin
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HOW DESTRUCTIVE VICES MAY BE ARRESTED AND EXTINCTION STAYED.
The habits, barbaric ideas, and vices of the adult savage are to a great extent fixed and unchangeable, and, like the gnarls, crooks, and imperfections in a grown-up tree, cannot be much changed by culture. But as the fruitage of a grown-up tree may be greatly increased and improved by
pruning, fertilizing, & c., so the adult savage may, by the all transforming power of Christianity, be made a new creature by its benign influence, and be thereby purified and shielded from the deadly vices of the white man and
the superstitions of his own race, his conscience awakened, and his perceptions opened to his responsibilities to God and his fellow-beings.
FRUITS OF CHRISTIANITY AMONG THE PUYALLUP INDIANS.
The salutary influence of Christianity and constant presence of efficient Christian teachers is signally illustrated at the Puyallup Reservation of this agency. At the beginning of 1876, the Rev. M.G. Mann came to the Puyallup Reservation as a missionary from the Presbyterian Board of Domestic missions, and has been constantly there, either in that capacity or as teacher of the industrial boarding-school, up to the present time, and has preached to the Indians and had a Sunday school regularly every Sunday, visited their sick, and buried their dead with Christian funeral service.
He has been efficiently assisted in his Christian labors among these Indians by Mr. John Fleet, a consistent Christian, who has been a government employee on that reservation and resided there with his estimable wife and
family over ten years. The result of these labors has been the establishment of an Indian church of over one hundred and sixty consistent members, a full Sabbath-school, Christian marriage of nearly all adults, and the strict observance of the marital ties; discontinuance of gambling,
drunkenness, buying and selling women for wives, incontinence, superstitious rites and incantations, called temanamus, over the sick; settlement of personal disputes and difficulties among themselves by arbitration or by the
counsel, & c.; decrease of Idleness, increase of industry; more at home, less gadding about, & c.. Please see annual report of teacher, herewith enclosed.
NO CHRISTIAN TEACHERS INSURES INERTIA AND DECADENCE.
Children can only be improved in correct knowledge and habits by the constant presence, instructions, and example of good parents or teachers, and when deprived of such parents and teachers, progress in everything good
ceases, and the good they may have learned is soon forgotten and supplanted by evil. Uncivilized Indians are eminently children, and after civilization and Christianity have been made to take root among them, these highest virtues can only be kept alive and in vigorous growth by the constant presence and culture of active, zealous, Christian teachers. This truth is strikingly illustrated by the
past and present status of the Indians of the different reservations belonging to this agency. As has been shown, upon the Puyallup Reservation, where the Indians have for years had the constant presence and active efforts of zealous, Christian teachers, civilization and Christianity have taken root and have vigorous life and growth.
Upon the Chehalis Reservation, in 1872, after I took charge of the superintendence of Indian affairs of this Territory, I had good boarding-school buildings constructed and a good school under efficient teachers started, which with other employees was kept in operation there till June, 1875, when for want of funds the school and all employees there were discontinued. During that time, civilization and Christianity commenced taking root among the Indians of that reservation. They commenced cultivating larger patches of ground and to discard their vices and heathenish rites. A Methodist church of over 40 Indian members was organized, and a Sunday-school, and for a time there was considerable
manifestation of Christian life and zeal among them. But active decadence in civilization and Christianity commenced with the discontinuance of the school and employees. Agricultural products of the reservation rapidly diminished, gambling, superstitions, and other vices revived; the Christian seed sown proved to have fallen by the wayside and on stony ground, and all traces of the church organization soon disappeared, “and their last state is
worse that the first.”
As there never have been any employees on either the Nisqually, Squaxin, or Shoalwater Bay Reservations since I took charge, there has been no change among the Indians belonging to these reservations from their native barbarism, except that they all wear clothing like the whites; some
of them cultivate patches of land and have a few cattle, and many indulge in the white man’s vice of gambling, drinking, use of tobacco, and incontinence in other matters. Either inertia or decay in morals and numbers is with the Indians belonging to all of said four reservations; and such is the case with the Indians of every reservation on this coast where there are no missionaries or government employees. All experience demonstrates the fact that it is just as impossible for Indians to civilize themselves without
teachers as it is for white children to culture themselves in Christianity and knowledge without parents or teachers.
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EDUCATION– THE LACK, ETC..
The only Indian school within the limits of this agency is the
industrial boarding-school at the Puyallup Reservation. By the direction of the department last year this school was limited to 25 boarding pupils. This was unfortunate, as 50 boarding pupils could be accommodated in the school buildings there. This last-mentioned number is only about half the Indian children of school age belonging to the Puyallup Reservation, all of whom ought to be passing through the civilizing mill, the industrial boarding-school. Within the limits of this agency there are fully 200
Indian children of school age, seven-eighths of whom are growing up in the ignorance and barbarism of their parents.Who is responsible for this? Surely not these children, or their poor, ignorant parents.
1ST That ample provision be made for the compulsory education of all Indian children within the limits of this agency, at one or more industrial boarding-schools. This provision might be made at the Puyallup Reservation
by additions to the boarding-school buildings there, so as to accommodate, say, 150 pupils; and by fitting up the boarding-school buildings at the Chehalis Reservation to accommodate 50 pupils. The buildings at the last-named reservation are sufficient in capacity to accommodate 50 pupils if properly fitted up.
2nd If no school is to be allowed at either the Chehalis, Nisqually, Squaxin, or Shoalwater Bay Reservation, I would recommend the discontinuance of said four reservations, after giving titles to all Indians on said reservations for the lands upon which they have made permanent homes and
improvements and substantially complied with the home- stead laws; and that the residue of the lands of said reservation remaining after the granting of said title be appraised at their fair value and sold to the highest bidders, at not less than their appraised value, on ten years credit, one-tenth payable in hand and the balance payable in nine annual payments, with interest at the rate of 8%. On deferred payments. The money thus obtained to constitute a school fund for the support of the one or more industrial boarding-school. All Indians not owning lands on or off the reservations to be moved to some reservation where their children may have the benefit of a school, and adult Indian the benefit of Christian instruction in morals and directions in their industries.
3rd That titles of such a character as may be thought best to be to all Indians who have taken claims on reservations and made permanent homes and improvements thereon. This is a matter I have urged so often in annual and monthly reports, and in letters, and the department must be so well informed as to my views thereon as to render it superfluous to say more on this subject at present. (See Report Commissioner Indian Affairs for 1877, pp. 190, 191, and 193; for 1876, pp. 137, and 138, and for 1872, pp. 329 and 330.)
4th that the criminal laws of this Territory be extended over all reservations and Indians the same as over the whites. Also the civil laws, except as to taxation.
5th I again call attention to “the blunder in the Medicine Creek treaty” mentioned in my two last annual reports, and ask that in some way it be rectified. (See Report Commissioner Indian Affairs for 1877, p. 194, and
for 1876, p.138.)
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, you obedient servant,
United States Indian Agent.
The COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS
REPORT OF M.G. MANN, TEACHER ON PUYALLUP RESERVATION.
PUYALLUP INDIAN RESERVATION, WASH.,
August 10, 1878.
SIR: The industrial boarding-school has been maintained on this reservation since July 1, 1877, at which about 30 scholars were in attendance. It is but justice to them to say that they learn well, and that they have made commendable progress in writing, reading, and arithmetic, and they have demonstrated the fact that Indian children have capacities very little inferior to white children. The great drawback to their more rapid advancement, and indeed, to that of the whole Indian race, is their addictedness to use their native language. The teacher has lately made such rules and inaugurated such measures as will tend to entirely exclude their language in social intercourse. The school and the church have been the centers of civilization, progress, and light, radiating throughout, and extending to the most distant and darkest corners of the reservation.
The Indians have made an advance all along the line this year. They are materially more prosperous than they have ever been before in houses, cattle raised and brought, in lands cleared and cultivated, and their efforts during the past year give proof that they intent to derive their subsistence chiefly from the products of the soil.
Of their own accord they have done away with all manner of gambling, and they have condemned and abolished the practice of making tamanamous or incantations and other heathen rites heretofore used in cases of sickness.
They now entirely depend upon the limited supply of medicines dispensed to them from the dispensary at the school.
At this time while the country is troubled and startled on account of the atrocities committed by hostile Indians east of the Cascade Range of mountains, our Indians are plying their lands and cutting their hay.
The Puyallup tribe decidedly on the increase, due to immigrations from affiliated tribes and to the increased number of births in excess of deaths during the past year. The Indians care very little now for their tribal relation, and are independent of each other, each family living by themselves upon their allotments of 40 acres, which they all cultivate to some extent.
A bona-fide title to their lands cultivated by them as their
homesteads, and they themselves citizenized, would at once transform them from being aliens and from the danger of being enemies into sure friends of our government.
I have the honor to be, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,
General R.H. Milroy,
United States Indian Agent.