Copybook of James McLaughlin, U.S.Indian Agent, Devils Lake Agency, Fort Totten, N.D, (Section Two of Eight Sections) December 2, 1876 to January 31,1877, Original Material, First Time Published

This is Section Two of Eight Sections…The Second Batch (47 Letters)  of 493 Devils Lake Copybook Letters. 

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 This copybook encompasses all the official letters written by Indian Agent, James McLaughlin, during this time frame.  It is the closest one can come to a diary of daily life at Devils Lake 1876-1878 (albeit from a white man’s perspective)

 

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Originals of this Material were Donated to National Archives November 2005, as requested, since it was stated that these letters had been written “on government time,”  hence they did not belong in private hands.

As copies of the letters are posted the index item will be highlighted.  Subject Matter of Letters deemed important will also be highlighted.  All letters in this copybook are included (no matter how routine sounding).

 

 December 1876

Letter No. 79, Dec. 2, Settling deficiency of former Agent Forbes.

Letter No. 80, Dec. 2, Ordering sausage, cheese, oysters, etc., but not acting as Indian Agent.

Letter No. 81, Dec. 2, Sending check to cover former Agent’s deficiency.

Letter No. 82, Dec. 2, I will loan you a Sioux Interpreter (my Head Farmer) to help you gain better relations with your Standing Rock Indians.

Letter No. 83, Nov. 30, Routine Check

Letter No. 84, Dec. 1, Short on medicines ordered July last…outbreak of Venereal Disease/Syphlitic infestions brought in from Standing Rock.

Letter No. 85, Dec. 2, Estimate for Stamps.

Letter No. 86, Dec. 9, Pork furnished is very inferior.  Do not pay provider.

Letter No. 87, Dec. 9, You shorted us on blankets.  Indians destitute and could even move towards the British Line.

Letter No. 88-91, Dec. 11-23, Four routine letters.

Letter No. 92, Dec. 23, Don’t sell your vouchers.  They are good.

Letter No. 93, Dec. 23, Thanking General Sibley for his support of the Indians, the Reverend Sisters and myself.

Letters No. 94-95, Dec. 23, Two routine letters.

Letter No. 96, Dec. 25, Out of Funds.  Can pay you in vouchers.  51 meals for $17.00.

Letter No. 97, Dec. 26, Settling up for 32 sacks of kerosene-soaked flour.

January 1877

Letter No. 98, Jan. 1, Everything looks better.  1,070 Indians on the Reservation.  I have abolished the Medicine Dance!

Letter No. 99, Jan. 1, Too many white girls employed at the Sister’s School.  Eating up Indian’s rations.

Letter No. 100, Jan. 1, Paperwork.

Letter No. 101, Jan. 1, Miss Dubic was treated in an insulting manner at your hotel in Brainerd.

Letter No. 102, Dec. 31, Transmittal of Reports

Letter No. 103, Dec. 26, Transmittal

Letter No. 104, Jan. 1, Transmittal

Letter No. 105, Jan. 1, Draft for ‘Zero’

Letter No. 106, Jan. 6, Change in issuing supplies…by-passing the Chiefs

Letter No. 107,  Jan. 8, Flour sample discussed with Hon. Com.

Letter No. 108,  Jan. 6, Deposit Checks

Letter No. 109, Jan. 10, Quarterly Accounts

Letter No. 110, Jan. 4, Quarterly Transmittal

Letter No. 111, Jan. 13, Resending Lost Mail

Letter No. 112, Jan. 15, Indians excited about Spring planting plans.

Letter No. 113, Jan. 13, Bad barrels of pork.

Letter No. 114, Jan. 17, Need two new wells. Cannot afford to pay back the oats and corn borrowed from Fort Totten.

Letter No. 115, Jan. 29, No invoice for 84 bbls pork and beans.

Letter No. 116, Jan. 23, Routine handling of bills of lading.

Letter No. 117, Jan. 23, In defense of school books ordered in English-Dakotah tongues.

Letter No. 118, Jan. 24, Re bad barrels of pork.

Letter No. 119, Jan. 27, Apologize for not paying bills.  Blames delay in passing of appropriations bills last August.

Letter No. 120, Jan. 27, Personal purchases?

Letter No. 121, Jan. 27, Personal purchases?  It apparently takes forever to pay bills thru Indian Office in Washington.

Letter No. 122, Jan. 27, Intermarriage and a strange Indian.

Letter No. 123, Jan. 27, I have broken up the “Medicine Dance.”  The Indians are like spoiled children and require a firm hand to guide them.

Letter No. 124, Jan. 31, In defense of the Catholic Indian School and an in-depth description of Reservation Life in 1877.

Letter No. 125, Feb. 3, Routine paperwork.

Letter No. 126, Jan. 31, How about letting the Indians cut wood for the Military Post of Fort Totten.  They can beat the last outside contract value.

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 December 1876

Letter No. 79, Dec. 2, Settling deficiency of former Agent Forbes.

Hon. E.B.Finch, Second Auditor U.S.Treasury, Washington, D.C.   December 2nd 1876

Sir.  In reply to communication from your office under date of June 17th 1876 to the Administration of the estate of Wm. H.Forbes Deceased.  I have the honor to herewith enclose copies of letters, affidavits, and explanations to the deficiency statement found in the settlement of the cash account of Wm. H. Forbes U.S.Indian Agent from Feb. 22nd 1871 to June 30th 1875.

I have sent a check to H.P.Nepham Esq Cashier of First National Bank of St Paul Minn for ($10.43) the balance found due with instructions to Deposit to the cr of the U.S. and notify your office of the same.  I being cognizant of all the business matters of the Agency during the official term of Agent Forbes and at the request of Mrs. W. H.Forbes.  I have examined all the retained papers carefully and trust that they will be found satisfactory.

I would respectfully ask to be informed after examining the enclosed papers

James McLaughlin, Ex Overseer and Engineer of Agency

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 Letter No. 80, Dec. 2, Ordering sausage, cheese, oysters, etc., but not acting as Indian Agent.

Fort Totten Dakota

Msrs Castner & Penner, St Paul Minn,         December 2nd 1876

Please send me by first train 300 lbs string sausage, 160 lbs Head Cheese, one case No., 1 Oysters, 1 case No. 2 Oysters, 1/2 bbl Pigs feet pickled.  Ship as freight.  Please see that they come through at once.  Send bill and I will remit by return mail

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Letter No. 81, Dec. 2, Sending check to cover former Agent’s deficiency.

H.P.Upham, Esq, Cashier First Nat. Bank,, Saint Paul, Minn.   December 2nd 1876

Sir,

Please find enclosed check for $10.43 which you will please deposit in the U.S. Treasury to the cr of Wm. H. Forbes U.S.Ind.Agent for deficiencies found in the settlement of his cash accounts in the Second Auditors Office of the U.S.Treasury.  Please send original certificate of deposit to that office notifying Hon. E.B. French, Second Auditor.

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Letter No. 82, Dec. 2, I will loan you a Sioux Interpreter (my Head Farmer) to help you gain better relations with your Standing Rock Indians.

Maj. W.T.Hughes, U.S.Ind.Agent, Standing Rock, Dak.     December 2nd 1876

Sir, I am in receipt of a letter from Rev. Father Genin, Catholic Missionary, stating that he had met you and that you were desirous of securing the assistance of an honest Interpreter who would convey to the Indians the exact meaning of what you wanted.  My Dear Sir, feeling a keen interest in that mission, and your Agency, and for your success, and knowing that many obstacles will be thrown in your way, both by the Military and diseffected whites, I take pleasure in saying that if I can render you any assistance in my humble capacity, I will do so cheerfully.  We Indian Agents should work together, and assist each other, as we can do by exchange of thought and after trying different ways of managing Indians, I have had nearly six years experience among the Sioux and can say that there are many good traits in their nature, and that much can be done to elevate them if properly managed.  And of all the employees around an Agency an Interpreter is the one most off all required to be trustworthy and reliable.  And as such I will gladly send Mr. G.H.Fairbault, My Head Farmer, who is a quarter blood Sioux, he is 50 years of age, a man of strict integrity, perfectly honorable and reliable, and speaks English, French, and Sioux, all fluently without any foreign accent.  He is probably the best Sioux Interpreter anywhere to be found.  If you had him for a month or two, so as to get things working well, and give the Indians to understand that you are their friend, it would be a great help to you.  He has much experience with Indians, knows their character thoroughly, and can explain anything generally to their satisfaction.

I could not spare him for more than two or three months, but after everything was well established his Father or Brother could be had to fill the place.

My Wife also speaks the Sioux well, she is my interpreter.  Mr. Faribault is my Head Farmer.  I can get a man to fill his place during his absence.  I know that you will have many difficulties to contend with, and I consider it my duty to do everything that I can to assist you in starting.  If you need Mr. Faribault write at once and he will start without delay.  Wishing you every success in your arduous duty and the difficult post that you are assigned to.

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Letter No. 83, Nov. 30, Routine Check

Maj. W.T.Hughes, U.S.Ind.Agent, Standing Rock, Dak.     December 2nd 1876

Sir, I am in receipt of a letter from Rev. Father Genin, Catholic Missionary, stating that he had met you and that you were desirous of securing the assistance of an honest Interpreter who would convey to the Indians the exact meaning of what you wanted.  My Dear Sir, feeling a keen interest in that mission, and your Agency, and for your success, and knowing that many obstacles will be thrown in your way, both by the Military and diseffected whites, I take pleasure in saying that if I can render you any assistance in my humble capacity, I will do so cheerfully.  We Indian Agents should work together, and assist each other, as we can do by exchange of thought and after trying different ways of managing Indians, I have had nearly six years experience among the Sioux and can say that there are many good traits in their nature, and that much can be done to elevate them if properly managed.  And of all the employees around an Agency an Interpreter is the one most off all required to be trustworthy and reliable.  And as such I will gladly send Mr. G.H.Fairbault, My Head Farmer, who is a quarter blood Sioux, he is 50 years of age, a man of strict integrity, perfectly honorable and reliable, and speaks English, French, and Sioux, all fluently without any foreign accent.  He is probably the best Sioux Interpreter anywhere to be found.  If you had him for a month or two, so as to get things working well, and give the Indians to understand that you are their friend, it would be a great help to you.  He has much experience with Indians, knows their character thoroughly, and can explain anything generally to their satisfaction.

I could not spare him for more than two or three months, but after everything was well established his Father or Brother could be had to fill the place.

My Wife also speaks the Sioux well, she is my interpreter.  Mr. Faribault is my Head Farmer.  I can get a man to fill his place during his absence.  I know that you will have many difficulties to contend with, and I consider it my duty to do everything that I can to assist you in starting.  If you need Mr. Faribault write at once and he will start without delay.  Wishing you every success in your arduous duty and the difficult post that you are assigned to.

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Letter No. 84, Dec. 1, Short on medicines ordered July last…outbreak of Venereal Disease/Syphlitic infestions brought in from Standing Rock.

Maj. W.T.Hughes, U.S.Ind.Agent, Standing Rock, Dak.     December 2nd 1876

Sir, I am in receipt of a letter from Rev. Father Genin, Catholic Missionary, stating that he had met you and that you were desirous of securing the assistance of an honest Interpreter who would convey to the Indians the exact meaning of what you wanted.  My Dear Sir, feeling a keen interest in that mission, and your Agency, and for your success, and knowing that many obstacles will be thrown in your way, both by the Military and diseffected whites, I take pleasure in saying that if I can render you any assistance in my humble capacity, I will do so cheerfully.  We Indian Agents should work together, and assist each other, as we can do by exchange of thought and after trying different ways of managing Indians, I have had nearly six years experience among the Sioux and can say that there are many good traits in their nature, and that much can be done to elevate them if properly managed.  And of all the employees around an Agency an Interpreter is the one most off all required to be trustworthy and reliable.  And as such I will gladly send Mr. G.H.Fairbault, My Head Farmer, who is a quarter blood Sioux, he is 50 years of age, a man of strict integrity, perfectly honorable and reliable, and speaks English, French, and Sioux, all fluently without any foreign accent.  He is probably the best Sioux Interpreter anywhere to be found.  If you had him for a month or two, so as to get things working well, and give the Indians to understand that you are their friend, it would be a great help to you.  He has much experience with Indians, knows their character thoroughly, and can explain anything generally to their satisfaction.

I could not spare him for more than two or three months, but after everything was well established his Father or Brother could be had to fill the place.

My Wife also speaks the Sioux well, she is my interpreter.  Mr. Faribault is my Head Farmer.  I can get a man to fill his place during his absence.  I know that you will have many difficulties to contend with, and I consider it my duty to do everything that I can to assist you in starting.  If you need Mr. Faribault write at once and he will start without delay.  Wishing you every success in your arduous duty and the difficult post that you are assigned to.

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 Letter No. 85, Dec. 2, Estimate for Stamps.

Hon. J.G. Smith, Com. Indian Affairs, Washington, D.C.         December 2nd 1876

I have the honor to estimate for the following office stamps, Viz

100 3 ct.

75 6 ct.

20 12 ct.

20 30 ct.

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Letter No. 86, Dec. 9, Pork furnished is very inferior.  Do not pay provider.

Hon.J.G.Smith, Com.Indian Affairs, Washington, D.C.        December 9th 1876

Sir,  I have the honor to state that I find the Pork furnished this Agency to be a very inferior quality.  I have received (84) bbls of it, and out of (20) bbls that I have opened, I find (5) unfit for use.  The Indians have returned considerable that they could not or would not use.  The smell of it when being boiled or fried is very unpleasant and although looking to be a nice article, it is impossible to swallow a mouthful of it.  In the damaged barrels there seems to be but a very little salt, some of the barrels contain a very good article.  But if all the Pork should on an average turn out as those that I have tried to have done there will be a heavy loss.  I thought best to report the matter at once as to prevent the contractor being paid for such an article.

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 Letter No. 87, Dec. 9, You shorted us on blankets.  Indians destitute and could even move towards the British Line.

Hon.J.G.Smith, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Washington, D.C.     December 9th 1876

Sir, I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of 125 pairs of 3 point Indigo Blue Blankets, all of which I have issued to the Male Indians, leaving none for the Indian women.  I had the honor to estimate for 325 pairs in all, which I really needed, out with 125 pairs now of 2½ point Blankets I could get along very well, but without which it will be hard to satisfy the Indians.  I have received no Gloves or Mits which are also much needed.

There are over 200 more Indians here this winter than ever wintered here since this Agency was established, and it will take judicious management to carry them through with the supplies of this Agency, as the past season’s crop was but small.  the Cut Head Yanctonais who came here are taking hold of work.  They have constructed 7 log houses and are now cutting wood for the Agency and intend to cut rails so as to prepare fields for themselves to plant here in the  spring.  They are well behaved and are determined upon making this their future home.  They are in a very destitute condition for want of clothing and I would respectfully ask that something be done for them to protect them from the cold by providing them with some Blankets, Balmorals, Calico &c.  They will not return to Standing Rock Agcy and sooner than do so they will go north towards the British line or Fort Peck, which I fear some of them will do in the spring if not encouraged or prevented.  The Indians of this Agency are willing that they (the Cut Heads) be subsisted upon their supplies at this Agency this winter, but with the amount of Clothing that I have received I cannot do more than provide for those of the Agency who are the best entitled to it from their long patience and being so much in need of clothing.

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Letter No. 88, Dec. 11, Paperwork Snafu

Hon.J.G.Smith, Commissioner of Indian Affairs                                        December 11th 1876

Sir, I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of office letter marked “F” under date of 23rd ultimo, enclosing contracts made by me with Msrs. Strong, Hackett and Chapin, Norman B. Harwood, Nathaniel G. Garcelon, and P.H.Kelly and Co. dated October 14th 1876, instructing me to insert place of delivery of the goods &c contracted for, which I have done and enclose herewith, and in reply I would respectfully state that as I attached a copy of the advertisement for proposals to each contract, making it a part of the contract, I thought it sufficient.  The contract with N.G.Garcelon for beef cattle, specified that the cattle be delivered at Devils Lake Agency.  I have therefore made no change in it.

I am Sorry for the mistake made but I was very anxious to get my contracts forwarded for approval without delay, so as to enable me to get my supplies shipped before the deep snows would make freighting difficult, and they being the first contracts made by me, will I trust be accepted as sufficient for the mission.

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Letter No. 89, Dec. 16, Routine Paperwork

Hon.J.G.Smith, Com. Indian Affairs, Washington, D.C.       December 16, 1876

Sir, I have the honor to Transmit herewith Duplicate Bills of Lading No. 9, 10, 11, 12 &13 in favor of N.P.R.R.Co. for transportation of supplies the original copies I have mailed to the N.P.R.R.Co. Agent

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Letter No. 90, Dec. 17, Paperwork Problems

Friend Harris,  December 17, 1876

Please find enclosed Original copies of b/l No 9, 10, 11, 12 & 13 the Duplicates I have sent to the Indian Office by this same mail.  I am right in regard to my forwarding one of the copies, my instructions are explicit on that point, the only thin that may delay the settlement is the blank not being filled in bofore I sign them, it is near the heading where it reads and to the order of ________ &c.     That should be filled in before sending to me.  It would doubtless facilitate the payment.  Everything else is O.K.  There are some other expense bills back yet – the Blankets & 1 box of Shoes are not included in any of the bills of Lading signed, please attend to at once that I can get all settled up in this quarter.

Your own bills are all right, and I will get them out by next mail, impossible to do so by this.  They will not need to be sworn to.

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Letter No. 91, Routine Paperwork

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Letter No. 92, Dec. 23, Don’t sell your vouchers.  They are good.

Friend Harris, December 23, 1876

Please find enclosed one copy certified Vouchers for your bill.  I have forwarded the other copy to the Indian Office.  You will forward yours at once to the Hon. J.G.Smith, Com.Ind.Affairs, Washington D.C. for payment.  I do not think you will have to wait long for your money.  Do not sell your Voucher at a discount as it is good for the face.

Please send me by Lohness, without fail, copy of Telegrams, one to G.H.Fairbault of Oct 12th 1876 and one to Reedy Oct 17th and 2 or 3 to yourself during my last trip to St. Paul and oblige me.

Accept thanks for the prompt manner that you attended to my freight the past season, and wishing you the compliments of the season.

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Letter No. 93, Dec. 23, Thanking General Sibley for his support of the Indians, the Reverend Sisters and myself.

Genrl. H.H.Sibley, Saint Paul Minn.,    December 23, 1876

Dear General,

Enclosed please find a pair of wristlets made for you by one of the Indian girls attending the School.  I also send a pair to Mr. Kittson made by the same person.  Please accept this as a small Christmas gift with the most sincere thanks for your kindness to myself and this Agency and your indefatigueable exertions in my behalf.  Myself, the Rev, Sisters, and the Indians, owe you a debt of gratitude that I can never repay in kind,  but I shall always endeavor to prove myself worthy of the confidence reposed in me by my friends, and I trust that I will succeed in elevating the Indians under my charge above their present state.  I shall at least endeavor to promote their welfare by instructing them in the ways that they must follow to attain that state of civilization which their friends so much hope for.  Through our mutual friend Mr. Blum I have been regularly informed of the State of your health, and I am happy to hear of your entire recovery.  I would have written before this but on account of your illness and your own press of business, I did not want to trouble you with my long letters.  All friends here join with me and my family in sending yourself & family the compliments of the Season, wishing you a Merry Christmas and  happy New Year, with many returns of the same.

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Letter No. 94, Dec. 23, Paperwork

Hon. E.B.French, 2nd Auditor U.S.Treasury, Washington, D.C.    December 23rd 1876

Sir.  I have the honor to herewith enclose Original receipt of Deposit for ($10.43) for deficiency found in the Cash account of Wn. H.Forbes deceased late U.S.Ind.Agent.  The Duplicate I have sent to the Hon.Com.Ind.Affairs.  (Letter No. 95  – Paperwork)

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Letter No. 95, Routine

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Letter No. 96, Dec. 25, Out of Funds.  Can pay you in vouchers.  51 meals for $17.00.

Friend Kelleher.           December 25th 1876

Please find enclosed $39.00 in part payment of your acct.  Please sign enclosed two sets of vouchers so as to cover bills of the different dates.  Also the receipt for ($10.50) for private part of the account.  The 11 meals for Cavenaugh in Sept, 12 meals for same in October and 28 meals for Reedy and Cavanaugh in Nov. amounting to $17.00.  I cannot pay you until next quarter as I am out of funds but I can issue you Certified Vouchers at once if you would prefer it.  That portion is Agency account.

Wishing you the Compliments of the season I remain

Yours very respectfully

James McLaughlin U.S.Ind.Agt.

Statement

One Voucher           $8.00

One     do                  18.50

Receipt                       10.50

$37.00

Bal Due                         17.00

Whole Bill                   54.00

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Letter No. 97, Dec. 26, Settling up for 32 sacks of kerosene-soaked flour.

Messrs Castner and Penner, St. Paul, Minn                December 26th 1876

Gents.  After issuing all of the first car load of your contract flour bill dated Sep 18th, shipped from Minneapolis Sep 19th in a car that had previously contained Kerosine Oil.  I have found (32) sacks unfit for use, being completely saturated with the Kerosene, from having lain on the floor of the car.  You requested me to ascertain the exact damage and you would make good the amount.  I will expect you to ship me (32) sks of flour to Jamestown early in the Spring as I will require full amount to carry me to the end of the fiscal year.  I hold these (32) damaged sks subject to your order.

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January 1877

Letter No. 98, Jan. 1, Everything looks better.  1,070 Indians on the Reservation.  I have abolished the Medicine Dance!

Rt.Rev.Bishop Seidenbush, St. Cloud, Minn       January 1 1877

My Lord.

I have the honor to address you this communication tending your Lordship my most sincere regards together with the compliments of the season.  My Lord everything connected with the Agency is now progressing satisfactorily.  The Sisters have a good Interpretress this winter make a valuable excession to the school, which is filled with children and promises well for the future of the Mission.  The good Sisters labor dilligently with those children and a marked improvement is seen among the little ones.  I have abolished the Medicine Dance, at least, I have forbidden it upon the Reservation, and noen has taken place since.  It caused considerable feeling among the Medicine Men, and I met with a good deal of oppositon from that source, but they will soon learn the benefit to be derived from their abandoning those Pagan practices, and superstitions, while they feast themselves to excess, overloading their Stomachs, producing Dyspepsia, and other diseases, and leave themselves destitute of both food and clothing at times.  I trush that a brighter future is near for those poor benighted beings, they are like children, and it requires patience and firmness to manage them properly.  I have 1070 Indians on the reservation this winter which is a large number for to be subsisted upon the limited supplies of this Agency.  These Indians are working as they have never done before.  All have taken hold to do something and I hope to be able to build an addition to the school next summer with Indian help.

Mrs. McLaughlin, the Rev Sisters, Rev Father Bonin, and Employees join with me in our best respects, and beseeching your Lordship’s blessing upon the beginning of another year.

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Letter No. 99, Jan. 1, Too many white girls employed at the Sister’s School.  Eating up Indian’s rations.

Rev. Sister E. Dupuis, Supris Genl Grey Nunnery, Montreal Canada,   January 1 1877

Reverend Mother

I have the honor to tender you at this auspicious season my congratulations upon your safe arrival home some months ago.  And at the same time ask your pardon for the seeming neglect on my part in not replying to your two kind communications to me, one of which accompanied the hunting slippers, which I highly prize and for which please accept my most sincere thanks.  Rev. Mother I would have written much sooner but on account of the unsettled state of our business with the Indian Office, and my awaiting every mail for something positive in regard to the school.

From a letter that I received about the first of September everything looked bad for this Agency receiving any salary for Teachers &c.  I had asked for $1620.00 per year for the Sisters, Girls, Interpreter and Chaplain, but after extra exertions of myself and friends who assisted me only $840.00 was granted for pay of teachers for the fiscal year ending June 30th 1877.

Since then Father Bonnin received a letter from Rev. Father Broillet of Washington, stating that the Indian Office had agreed to give $1250.00 per year for the support of the school, which would include the care of sick of the reservation as before.  I have been expecting Official notification of the same so that I would be enabled to give you the particulars in my New Years letter, but I think this amount if it has been allowed is probably intended to commence with this new year.

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Letter No. 100, Jan. 1, Paperwork.

Mess. C Gotzian & Co, St. Paul, Minn.        January 1st 1877

Gents.  Please send me by Express to Jamestown, D.T. Five prs of Womens soft leather shoes, as follows.

One for each of No3,-5,-& 6. -2 prs No 4.-and I pr of ladies Artics No 4½, and one for No 7 mens calf boots.

Send bill and I will remit by return mail,

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Letter No. 101, Jan. 1, Miss Dubic was treated in an insulting manner at your hotel in Brainerd.

Mr. Weed, Landlord of Headquarters Hotel, Brainerd, Minn.        January 1st 1877

Sir.  On or about Friday Nov 24th 1876 a young lady by the name of Miss Dubic belonging to the Sisters School of this Agency who was enroute for St. Paul, stopped over night at your house.  She has written back that the young man who showed her to her room entered the room the light – and whilst there insulted her.  He took hold of her hand and put his arm around her neck and tried to Kiss her.  She forced him out of her room and locked the door.  And again during the night some person rapped at her door and tried to gain admittance but did not succeed.  And what makes this matter more odious is that this young lady cannot speak any English.  She is Canadian French and of a respectable Family.  She has a brother who is a lawyer in Winnipeg Manitoba and she herself is about entering the “Noviciate as a Sister of Charity.”  This was a grave insult to the young lady.

You are known to keep a good respectable Hotel and an unprotected lady travelling alone to be insulted by one of your servants, if known to you, would undoubtedly lead to his dismissal.  I have take the liberty to inform you of this matter that you may guard against the occurrence of the like in the future.

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Letter No. 102, Dec. 31, Transmittal of Reports

Hon.J.G.Smith    December 31st 1876

I have the honor to herewith transmit the monthly reports of Farmer, Blacksmith, Carpenter, Storekeeper and Clerk, School and Sanitary for the month ending Dec 31st 1876

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Letter No. 103, Dec. 26, Transmittal

Hon.J.G.Smith, Com.Ind.Affairs, Washington, D.C.                    December 26th 1876

Sir,

I have the honor to herewith transmit one copy of certified voucher in favor of Brenner and Terry, “Military Post Traders at Fort Totten,” for goods purchased during the summer.  This voucher closes the last of the indebtedness of this Agency, incurred by me, except about Twenty ($20.00) Dollars for hay and board bill of teamsters freighting Agency supplies from Jamestown, and for the printing bill (not received) for the publishing of proposals for Agency supplies in October last.

Respectfully asking the settlement of these vouchers as soon as practicable.

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Letter No. 104, Jan. 1, Transmittal

Hon.J.G.Smith, Com.Ind.Affairs, Washington, D.C.          Jan 1st 1877

Sir – I have the honor to herewith transmit statement of receipts and disbursements at this Agency during the 4th Qr. of 1876, hoping that the same will be found in accordance with the requirements of your office.

I will forward my returns for the two last quarters in a few days.

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Letter No. 105, Jan. 1, Draft for ‘Zero’

Dec 31, 1876

1st Nat. Bank,              St. Paul Minn

James McLaughlin

The funds placed to my official credit were exhausted in paying salaries of Employees up to Dec 31st 76 and  traveling                                 expenses incurred during 3rd & 4th qrs

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Letter No. 106, Jan. 6, Change in issuing supplies…by-passing the Chiefs

Hon.J.G.Smith, Com.Ind.Affairs, Washington, D.C.      Jan 6th 1877

Sir – I have the honor to transmit herewith weekly report No. 1.  The inventory taken Dec 30/76 includes 169 sacks of flour that is stored at Jamestown, which I cannot get through before spring opens.  It will not be required for issuing before that time.

I take the liberty to respectfully say that I think this weekly report of supplies will fill a want long needed at Indian Agencies, and be found invaluable to the office.  And the new regulations instructing Agents to issue to the heads of families only will be found one of the most effective means of civilizing the Indians.  It will break up their tribal system in holding everything in common, and supporting the petty chiefs in idleness.  It has always caused much dissatisfaction among the Indians of the Agency, in issuing to individuals and heads of families in payment for labor performed, whilst other Indians have had their rations and clothing turned out in bulk to heads of bands at the Agencies on the Missouri, and as the Indians have been continually coming and going between the different agencies this question has been repeatedly spoken of in Council, that the Missouri Sioux who did not work, received better treatment in the way of large issues of beef &c. than they who did work here.  Issuing to the heads of families meets with the most opposition from the chiefs, who loose their influence so soon as the Indians become enlightened enough to understand that they are better cared for as individuals than in bands.  I ask pardon for this presuming, but my views on this point are so much in unison with this new system, and as I feel interested in everything that will better the condition of the Indian, I look for good results from a uniform system of Government at all Indian Agencies.

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Letter No. 107,  Jan. 8, Flour sample discussed with Hon. Com.

Hon.J.G.Smith, Com.Ind.Affairs Washington, D.C.      Jan 8th 1877

Sir – I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of Office Letter marked “F” under date of Dec. 11th 1876 requesting a sample of each delivery of flour furnished by Messrs Castner & Penner under their contract.  This letter was delayed by having been sent to Sisseton Agency and forwarded to me from that office.  I hasten to reply and would respectfully state that the first two car loads received, “200 sacks each,” Bills dated Sep. 18 & 22,  have been issued to the Indians.  the bills of Oct 14th 601 sacks, 23rd 200 sks, 26th 200, 30th 400 and 31st 200 sks, I forward samples of each by mail this day.  I would also respectfully state that I had no sample of this flour furnished me, but whilst in St Paul, in Oct. last, A.L.Larpenteur Esq. showed me the sample given him to inspect by.  The flour is of a wholesome but very dark.  I think that a better grade of flour and a less quantity (if necessary) in proportion, would be preferable as it would give better satisfaction to the Indians and be more economical.

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Letter No. 108,  Jan. 6, Deposit Checks

Fort Totten Dakota, January 6th 1877

H.P.Upham Esq., St. Paul Minn.

Sir

Please find enclosed three checks for $375.00  $150.00 and $75.00 respectively total $600.  Please deposit to my cr. sending me certificate of deposit for same.  Also send me a blank check book containing 25 checks and oblige.

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Letter No. 109, Jan. 10, Quarterly Accounts

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Letter No. 110, Jan. 4, Quarterly Transmittal

Exact copy of this schedule was sent to the Hon. Com. on the same day

Hon.E.B.French, Second Auditor U.S.Treasury, Washington, D.C.    Jan 4th 1877

Sir, I have the honor to herewith transmit in accordance with the requirements of the Indian Bureau, a schedule of Certified Vouchers, Receipts, and Bills of Lading issued by me during the fourth quarter 1876.

I give the date of the certificate on each voucher, Viz Certified Voucher

No. 1 dated Oct 7th 1876 in favor of P.H.Kelly Co St Paul for                798.31

No. 2 Oct 7th/76 C. Gotzian and Co                                                              70.90

No. 3 Nov 1st/76 Alveren Allen                                                                      103.25

“    4 Oct 31st/76 N.P.R.R.Co.                                                                       195.00

“    5 Nov 6th/76 Alfred L Riggs                                                                     28.20

“    6   “    10th/76 Smith, Cobb & Co.                                                           125.47

“    7  “     11 A B Harwood                                                                                 94.68

“    8  “     11 P H Kelly and Co.                                                                       1111.17

“    9  “     14 Strong Hackett & Chapin                                                        1500.89

“   10 “     17 James Lees                                                                                    250.00

“   11 “     14Auerbach Finch Culbertson & Co                                             1264.48

“   12 “     14 Strong, Hackett & Chapin                                                           189.23

“   13 “     14 P H Kelly and Co                                                                              54.43

“   14 “     17 Castner & Penner                                                                            76.00

“   15 “     17 A W Kelley                                                                                          60.75

“   16 Dec 23 T B Harris                                                                                        175.29

Nov 8 N.G.Garcelon receipts signed for 50190# gross ofBeef Cattle Contract Oct 14th/76             1552.13

Oct 2nd/76 Castner and Penner 20000# Flour                                           566.00

“    6 “ “ “ “                                                                                                               566.00

Nov6 “ “ 60000# “                                                                                               1700.83

“    11 “ “100000# “                                                                                             2830.00

Oct 7  N.P.R.R.Bills of Lading No     1                                                                134.88

Nov 3 2                                                                                                                         7.20

“     3 “ “ 3                                                                                                                193.52

“    17 “ “ 4                                                                                                                    37.44

“    17 “ “ 5                                                                                                                      28.16

“    17 “ “ 6                                                                                                                370.93

“    17 “ “ 7                                                                                                                 108.93

“    17 “ “ 8                                                                                                                      6.32

Dec 16 “ “ 9                                                                                                                  514.82

“    16th “ “ 10                                                                                                               58.22

“    16th “ “                                                      11                                                      139.19

“    16 “ “ “ 12                                                                                                             127.30

“    16 “ “ “ 13                                                                                                               27.86

 

 

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Letter No. 111, Jan. 13, Resending Lost Mail

Hon.J.G.Smith, Com.Ind.Affairs, Washington, D.C.             Jan 13th 1877

Sir. – I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy of return of Medical Supplies for the Quarter ending Sep 30th 1876. as requested in office letter marked “E” of the 21st ultimo.  And I would respectfully state that I had the honor to transmit said return by letter of Oct. 7th/76.  I am sorry for the same not having been received and trust that the enclosed will be found acceptable.

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Letter No. 112, Jan. 15, Indians excited about Spring planting plans.

Hon.J.G.Smith, Com.Ind.Affairs, Washington, D.C.        Jan 15th 1877

Sir – I have the honor to transmit herewith my supply report for week ending Jan 13th 1877, also Estimate for Clothing, as instructed in office letter marked “F” under date of Dec. 22nd 1876.  I would respectfully state that with the supplies asked for, I hope to be able to carry the Indians under my charge through the winter comfortably.

I would be pleased to have more clothing for them, but as the winter will be far advanced before I can receive this, And I thought it best to economize, so as to be able to get a good supply early in the spring that I can hold out as an inducement to the Indians so as to stimulate them to get in a large crop. – I feel confident that they will plant larger fields next season and work more willingly than ever before, at least I feel greatly encouraged at present prospects.

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Letter No. 113, Jan. 13, Bad barrels of pork.

J.E.Booge Esq, Sioux City Iowa                        January 13th 1877

Yours of the 26th Ultimo received, and in reply I would respectfully state that the first car load of Pork consisting of 74 Bls, arrived at Jamestown D.T. on Nov 15th and 10 bbls on the 24th.  In the two first issues after receiving this pork, I opened 20 bbls; and found 5 unfit for use, one bbl is tainted with spirits of Turpentine which makes it unfit for use, the other 4 bbls are yellow and rusty, there seems to be a scarcity of salt in the damaged barrels. – I have opened 13 bbls since making in all 33 opened and have met with none but the 5 bbls first mentioned.  I do not like to open any only as I require it for use.  I called in the Commanding Office and Post Surgeon of the Military Post here to look at it, and they pronounced these condemned barrels a very poor article. “The brand is T.M.Sinclair and Co, Cedar Rapids Iowa.”

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Letter No. 114, Jan. 17, Need two new wells. Cannot afford to pay back the oats and corn borrowed from Fort Totten.

Hon. J.G. Smith, , Commissioner Indian Affairs, Washington D.C.   January 17th 1877

Sir. -I have the honor to herewith submit my Estimate of Funds for 1st Qtr 1877 including in it, bonus for the purchase of Seed, so as to be enabled to get the seed in time for early planting.

The two wells are absolutely necessary as there is one of them needed at the Saw Mill for use of Edging, and the other at the Boarding School, all the water required at this school has to be hauled nearly half a mile, and the school being about 7 miles from the Agency, a man is required there in daily attendance, hauling water and cutting wood.

I am now getting the wood required for summer’s use cut and hauled to the school, and with a well near by to supply the water, the use of a yoke of oxen, and the services of a laboror could be dispensed with there, which otherwise is indispensible, since the 17th of September last,   I have had a man doing this work for his board and clothing, but he will not remain after the end of March, and I have no other employee that I can spare from his other duties to attend to this work, and I would therefore respectfully urge that this be allowed.

The Oats and Corn borrowed from the Q.M.D. at Fort Totten, “as per enclosed statement,” was to have been returned in kind, it is still outstanding, and I would respectfully ask that  if there is any other fund from which this forage can be paid for, so that it will not be charged to “fulfilling treaty fund” for the present fiscal year, that the same be done if practicable, as this forage was borrowed when this Agency was receiving a large share of Proceeds of Sale of Sioux Reservation in Minnesota and when there were but few Indians here compared with their present numbers.

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Letter No. 115, Jan. 29, No invoice for 84 bbls pork and beans.

Hon.J.G.Smith, Commissioner Indian Affairs, Washington D.C.   January 29th 1877

Sir – I have the honor to transmit herewith one copy of duplicate bills of lading Nos 14, 15 & 16 and one certified Voucher in favor of Northern Pacific R.R.Co. for transportation of Freight and Lumber.  This closes the R.R.Transportation bills.  I also enclose weekly report of Supplies for week ending Jan. 20th 1877.

I have not yet received my invoice of Pork, or Beans, although I have received 84 bbls of Port and 13 bbls of Beans, and I am unable to enter them not knowing the cost of same.

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Letter No. 116, Jan. 23, Routine handling of bills of lading.

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Letter No. 117, Jan. 23, In defense of school books ordered in English-Dakotah tongues.

January 23rd 1877

Hon.J.G.Smith, Commission of Indian Affairs, Washington, D.C.     January 23rd 1877

Sir. – I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of office letter marked “JT.B.” under date of Dec. 27th 1876 enclosing copy of letter from the Hon. Board of Indian Commissioners dated Dec. 23rd 1876, relative to the account of Alfred L.Riggs, for School books printed in the Indian tongue.  And in reply I would respectfully state, that I ordered these books with the firm belief that they were allowed, and that there were no objections by the Department to using books printed in the Indian Language. The books that have been used at this school since its first establishment, are printed in the Dakota Language.  They were purchased by my predecessors, and I was not aware of any objections to the accounts being allowed.

The books in question are a new English and Dakota Reader, prepared with much labor, and greatly simplyfies the first English lessons to the Indian pupil. – The sisters in charge of the school requiring (at that time) some books for immediate use, I ordered these English-Dakota Readers, so that it would afford the Indian Children a better opportunity of learning and understanding English, these books being illustrated with each English sentence, translated into Sioux, making it a valuable book for the Indians, and very much facilitates their studies in acquiring a knowledge of the English Language

The Indians also take a keener interest in the school, and the education of their children, when their own language is taught.  They object to the English Language being exclusively taught. (doubtless fearing the alienation of their children from their own superstitious practices, when they become instructed in the manners and customs of the whites), With these English-Dakota’s books they will gradually acquire the English Language without any opposition from the parents.

I have the honor to herewith enclose, one of these books, that you may be better enabled to judge the advantage they afford to both teacher and pupils.  Hoping that they may be allowed to be continued in use at this school, as I am confident that without the Indian Language being taught at least a portion of the time, that the progress of the children would not be so satisfactory, trusting that this explanation will be found acceptable,

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Letter No. 118, Jan. 24, Re bad barrels of pork.

Mess.P.H.Kelly & Co,  Gents              January 24th 1877

Yours of the 4th inst received and in reply I would say that I have written to J.E.Booge Esq of Sioux City  ten days ago in regard to the condition of the pork.  It seems to have been my good fortune to have opened the damaged bbls first.  I found but five bbls unfit for use so far.

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Letter No. 119, Jan. 27, Apologize for not paying bills.  Blames delay in passing of appropriations bills last August.

Msrs. Auerbach, Finch Culbertson & Co, St. Paul, Minn.   January 27th 1877

Gents. Yours of 16th inst received.  I am sorry that you have not yet received payment of your voucher, but as the different offices that these bills have to pass through have been so crowded from the delay in the appropriation bill passing last August, it has caused delay in all accts.  I trust that you will have received your money ere this reaches you, as I have been informed of some bills of the same purchase being settled.

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Letter No. 120, Jan. 27, Personal purchases?

Even Wagners Esq, Jamestown, D.T.          January 27th `1877

Dr Sir, – Enclosed please find order on Mrs Harris for the two sacks of flour ____ you as per letter of Nov 17th 1876.  I also send by Mrs. Johnson $5.00 (Five and 00) of coffee which will pay the indebtedness _______ by borrowing these articles.

M__________ __________ have written me about their bill as soon as you receive the money on your voucher which will be soon, please pay them their $10.60 and notify me of same.  I am much obliged to you for your kindness to us during the past season and I shall not forget you in the future if I need anything in your line.

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Letter No. 121, Jan. 27, Personal purchases?  It apparently takes forever to pay bills thru Indian Office in Washington.

Messrs Mynot & Miller, Jamestown, D.T.     January 27th 1877

Gents – Your postal card of 16th inst received and in reply I will state that on Nov 17th last, I issued a certified voicher in favor of A W Keeley which included your bill for $10.00 as sent me up to August 15th 1876.  I sent voucher to E. Wagners with instructions for him to pay you this amount as soon as he would receive the money from the voucher.  It usually takes from 60 to 90 days for returns and will probably soon be received.

I was not aware of any A/ct with you after the rendering of the bill above mentioned to 15th of August, or I would have included it also to save trouble, please send me bill and I will settle as soon as I can but will not be able to do so before next quarter.

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Letter No. 122, Jan. 27, Intermarriage and a strange Indian.

James J. Talbot Esq, Fort A. Lincoln D.T.     January 27th 1877

Dear Sir.  Yours of 5th inst received, and in reply will state that the Indian mentioned as wearing glasses, (and who speaks very good english) lives here and the white girl & boy (so called) are both with him.  This white girl and boy are the children of his sister who was married Indian Fashion to a white man who was formerly a Hospital Steward at Fort Ridgely Minnesota. – This Indian remembers the man West quite well.  West wanted to buy this girl to live with him as his wife.  He says that he told West many strange stories that contained no truth.  He told him that he had been to Cincinnati, which was not true he never having been east of Minnesota, where he was born, there is nothing to be gotten from this Indian worth relating.

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Letter No. 123, Jan. 27, I have broken up the “Medicine Dance.”  The Indians are like spoiled children and require a firm hand to guide them.

Rev J.P.Williamson, Greenwood, D.T.              January 27th 1877

Dear Sir, – Please find enclosed a letter from the Treasury Dept. addressed to Rev A.L.Riggs, which I trust contains draft for those books purchased by me last July. – I am really sorry to have kept you out of this money so long, but you are well aware of the length of time required to have Certified Vouchers pass through the different offices.

Knowing the interest that you take in the welfare of the Indians, I take the liberty to say that I have broken up the “Medicine Dance” at this Agency, it was very popular and was on the increase, it had gotten to such an extent that everything else was neglected for their feasts and Pagan supersititions.  I tried to reason it out of the leaders, but could not succeed. Early in November I called a general council and publicly forbid a Medicine Dance to be held on this Reservation.  It caused considerable dissatisfaction, but they have not attempted to have a dance since, these Sissetons, Wapetons and CutHead Sioux, are a very improvident people, it takes great patience to manage them.  I have been here upon this reservation for the last six years, and although much progress has been made towards civilization, there still remains much more to be done before they can become self sustaining.  With kindness and firmness much can be done for they are like spoiled children, and require a firm hand to guide them.  I have great hopes in the near future for these people, as I have made several changes in the government of this Agency, which I thing will have a salutary effect upon the Indians, asking your indulgence for this long letter,

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Letter No. 124, Jan. 31, In defense of the Catholic Indian School and an in-depth description of Reservation Life in 1877.

Hon.J.G.Smith, Commissioner Indian Affairs,                Washington, D.C.   January 31st 1877

Sir. – I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of office letter marked “F” under date of the 9th inst. enclosing copy of contract entered into by Rev.J.B.A.Brouilet dated Dec. 5th 1875 for the support and pay of School Teachers, and for the Medical attendance and nursing of the sick of this reservation. – And I take the liberty of respectfully making the following remarks, showing the impractibility of conducting the school upon this reservation at the present time, in accordance with the articles of said agreement. – There seems to have been a wrong impression at the Indian Office in regard to this school, the manner of issuing supplies for use of pupils, and the necessity for the same.  Very Rev. Father Brouilet must have labored under the false impression or else misunderstood the meaning of the contract that he signed, as not intended to interfere in any way with the subsistence of the Sisters, or impairing the chances for the success of the School.

Since the first establishment of this school there has not been any regular system of issuing the supplies for its support.  Provisions, clothing &c have always been issued as required according to the number of children that could be induced to attend, and as it was found necessary to employ every possible means to have the parents consent to have their children attend, it was announced by Agent Forbes, at the opening of the school, that any children attending would be boarded and clothed at the school, and the parents should continue to draw rations for these children as if they were still at home. This induced some to try the school, who after remaining a few weeks learning the benefits of it continued on.  Others were induced to try, “with a selfish motive, the temptation of this extra ration, and other expected favors in view,” parents continued to bring their children and allow them to remain, which enabled the school to become well established, so that the good influences wrought by the Rev. Sisters in charge, are now felt, and very perceptible, even among the most worthless Indians and strongest Medicine Men. – I supposed that the issue of this free ration was with the knowledge and approval of the Department and was well understood by the Indian Office.  And it was not until after I received circular letter marked “A” dated Dec. 14th 1876 did I deem it necessary to make any changes, as I had been following the course pursued by both of my Predicessors, “Agts. Forbes, and Beckwith,” in making this duplicate issue to the parents of the children attending the school.  This I have thought necessary to mention so that my remarks would be better understood.

Whilst this has never been a Manuel Labor School, (so to speak) as the name would imply, but most strictly speaking might be termed an Industrial Boarding School, where the children are boarded, clothed, and instructed in everything that will make them useful and industrious.  Boys up to the ages of twelve years and girls of all ages are admitted.  The Girls start from being taught reading, writing, and the English language, are instructed in cutting and making men, and women’s clothing, cooking, washing, sewing, knitting, and general house work. It is the only successful method of instructing the Indian children with any hopes of making them men and women such as the friends of the Indians so much wish for, and what humanity demands.  I will here mention some of the obstacles that precludes the possibility of establishing a day school at this Agency with any hopes for its success.

1st   The Indians of this reservation do not live in villages, but are settled upon claims varying in distances of from 1/2 of a mile, to 12 miles from the school, and there are very few children of school going ages with a radius of less than 3 miles from the school. 2nd   I am quite positive that should this boarding school be changed to a day school not one child will attend for the season, that as soon as the Indians have to board and clothe their children they will keep them at home, as these Indians are not so far advanced in civilization as to understand the advantages that an education affords.

4th   The irregularity of the Indians in their habits, and manner of living, no regular hour for meals, eating in four days what should last them for seven, then suffering from hunger for some days at a time, making it utterly impossible for a day school to succeed in doing any good among these people for some time to come.

5th   The clothing of the children, such as they wear at their homes, is not sufficient to protect them from the cold, and they would be unable to travel to the school (even if they were so inclined) during the cold winters of this latitude, also the habits of cleanliness which they are acquiring at the boarding school are not sufficiently contracted, as to be practiced at their homes, and the filthy condition of their persons, and clothing would not be presentable in a school, and if once chastized could not be prevailed upon to return again.

I have the honor to enclose herewith a statement of the amount of subsistence stores issued to the school since it was first opened, from Oct 1st 1874 to this date “Jan 31st 1877” the approximated cost will not much exceed $3,000, there has been an average attendance of about 30 scholars, with the exception of a few months last summer, when they were obliged to send many children home for want of supplies.  This statement will show that the Rev. Sisters use the strictest economy with the supplies placed in their charge.  The following is the ration that I am issuing to the Indians of this Agency at the present time, “for each 100 rations,” viz. 65 lbs. flour, 8 lbs pork, 15 lbs beef (net), 2 lbs sugar, 2 lbs coffee, 2 bls beans, 1/2 lbs soap, 1 lb candles, 1 lb sa–a—s, 1/2 lb tobacco.  This ration issued to the Indians weekly and to which is added their corn and potatoes enables them to get along at home, Indian fashion.  But the above proportion of a ration issued to the school for the pupils would not more than half subsist them, and although often suffering from hunger at home, if not given all they can eat at the school, if once rumored among the Indians, would cause the children to be taken away at once.

There are four of the Rev. Sisters, one Interpretress, “who assists in instructing same. and teaching,” five lay Sisters, or working girls, and the Chaplain, in all eleven persons, who give their whole time and attention to the school and care of the sick.  They have subsisted upon the Indian supplies heretofore, and as I am instructed in office letter mentioned above of the 9th inst. that the Sisters are not to use any of the supplies for their own benefit, and as the expense of their subsistence would be about $100 per year for each person, the amount allowed in contract “$1,250” would not much more than pay for their subsistence alone.

If a day school was at all practicable they could dispense with their working girls, and thus reduce expenses, but without this help to do the cooking, washing, making the clothing &c. they cannot keep the boarding school, and without a boarding school, I am confident that there cannot be any school carried on that will be of any benefit to the Indians The Sister Superioress in charge, knowing the utter impossibility of having any attendance at a day school, and by having to furnish their own subsistence, and only with the small allowance that the pupils share of the Indians ration consists of, she feels unable to continue the school, and has therefore notified me, that she would discontinue it on Feb. 1st, but I not wishing to have the school fall to the ground have assumed the responsibility of continuing the same without any change in its management until I could lay the matter before the Hon. Com. and receive further instructions in regard to the 6th Article of the Treaty with the Sisseton and Wahpeton Sioux proclaimed May 2nd 1867 and the 2nd article of the Agreement with the same bands, dated Sep. 20th 1872, of which agreement the two first articles are recognized in the Act of Feb 14th 1873, 17 statutes at large page 457,” Specifies that the establishment and support of schools and other beneficial objects as may be deemed most conducive to the Indians in promoting civilization among these bands, is within the discretion of the Honorable Secretary of the Interior, and in accordance with this article I would respectfully recommend “if practicable” that $2,000 of the annual appropriation be set apart exclusively for educational purposes.

I have endeavored to explain the necessity for this boarding school, and show how essential it is for the education of these children, for with the discontinuation of this school, the education of these Indians will fail, and those opposed to education will have gained a victory over civilization (as they will construe it) that will be very detrimental to the future advancement of this people.  And should the school be discontinued, it will be a loss greatly felt by these benighted people, whose children are now slowly but steadily acquiring a knowledge of Christian civilization, and which will mark the progress of the rising generation. Whilst the Sisters are willing to administer to the wants of the Indians and bestow every care possible upon them, still at the same time they do not wish to be bound by contract with the express care of the sick without receiving some compensation for the same.

The Medical attendance of the Indians by the Sisters has never been recognized by them as any part of their official duty, “which has been all voluntary on their part,” as the difference between their last years salary and the amount allowed by this contract is $410 which contract expressly stipulates that the Sisters shall have the care and nursing of the sick of reservation.  I would therefore respectfully recommend as but just and equible “if the same should be practicable” that they receive this $410 in addition to their former salary, and subsistence, since they require $2,100 annually for the salary of a physician.  I would therefore respectfully recommend that this contract be abrogated in whole, or in part, and that some other provision be made by which the boarding school can be supported.

I ask pardon if I have been too urgent in this appeal, but it is only the great anxiety for the success and welfare of the people under my charge that has made me so bold, and which I trust will be considered sufficient excuse for this protracted explanation.  I have the honor to forward “by this mail” one boys, suit, one pair mitts, and one pair of hose, as samples of the work done by the Indian Girls, also a petition of the pupils of the school prepared by themselves in their own language and translated into English by the teacher, all for which is respectfully submitted.  Awaiting further instruction in the matter,

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Letter No. 125, Feb. 3, Routine paperwork.

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Letter No. 126, Jan. 31, How about letting the Indians cut wood for the Military Post of Fort Totten.  They can beat the last outside contract value.

Hon.J.G.Smith, Commissioner Indian Affairs, Washington, D.C.   January 31st 1877

Sir. – I have the honor to herewith transmit monthly reports of Farmer, Clerk, Blacksmith, Carpenter, School, and Sanitary for the Month ending January 31st 1877.  And in connection therewith I would respectfully state that (with the exceptions of some dissatisfactions such as is continually arising among Indian, their petty quarrels and jealousies, some little opposition to what they call the blue ration check issue &c which usually terminates satisfactory to all parties) excepting the above, the disposition of these Indians is very gratifying, as will be seen by the Farmers reports for the last two months.

During the months of Dec. and Jan. just past, the Indians have cut 1152 cords of wood for the Agency and 159 cords for the Military wood contractor here.  Total 1211 cords cut in two months.

I tried this experiment to see whether the Indians could be depended upon for cutting the wood that is required annually for the Military Post of Fort Totten, which amounts to from 1000 to 1800 cords annually.  The Indians are good wood choppers.  The cutting of the quartermasters wood could be easily done the these Indians, as demonstrated.  And as there are 40 yoke of working oxen among the Indians of this reservation, I think that they could haul it without much difficulty during the Autumn and Winter, and thus realize a handsome sum to add to their annual appropriation.  This wood was let last year at $3.85 per cord delivered at the Garrison.  The Indians are very desirous that I should procure the contract for them this year.  It will be let at Department Head quarters in St. Paul Minn, sometime during the month of April next.  I think that the Indians can put this wood in for about $3.50 per cord, that is much less than any person else can do it for, as contractors will have to haul it a distance of 6 and 8 miles whilst the Indians can get it within 5 miles of the Post by cutting it upon their own land, it would require one extra white man to attend to the piling of it.  The rest of the work of having it gotten out could be attended to by the Foreman and other employees of the Agency.  I respectfully ask to be instructed in regard to this matter, whether deemed advisable or not to bid upon this wood when let.

 

 

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