Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/9

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659
REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR.

control whenever they are disposed to commit any outrages upon the person or property of neighboring settlers or more friendly tribes.

The removal of these agencies to theis Msouri River, at some point or points between the mouth of the Cheyenne River, and Fort Randall, to be hereafter determined upon, will result in greater economy and convenience of supply, and greater facility to restrain and coerce refractory Indians whenever the necessity arises. It will also locate them where there are arable lands, good water, and abundance of timber and grass. I therefore suggest that the appropriations in future shall be made conditional upon this removal, and that none of the supplies or annuities hereafter granted by Congress shall be issued to these Indians, excepting at some point or points on the Missouri River, where those agencies shall be permanently located. If this suggestion shall receive the favorable action of Congress, a proper location will be selected, and those agencies removed prior to the beginning of the next fiscal year.

The relative location of the Indians now supplied at Fort Belknap, Montana, to the Missouri River, is so nearly analogous to the location of the Sioux, above referred to, that I have already ordered their removal to the river, and the abandonment of the present agency at Fort Belknap, for the reasons given above in regard to the removal of the Sioux at Red Cloud aud Spotted Tail agencies.

Attention is invited to the condition upon which the Sioux relinquished their right to hunt in Nebraska, namely, that in addition to the $25,000 heretofore appropriated for that purpose, the Department agreed to recommend the further appropriation of a like amount. While presenting this recommendation, however, I deem it my duty to state that under the terms of the treaty of 1868 that right probably no longer existed at the time said promise was made, it having expired by the terms of the treaty itself. That treaty reserved to the Sioux "the right to hunt on any lands north of the North Platte, and on the Republican Fork of the Smoky Hill River, so long as the buffalo may range thereon in such numbers as to justify the chase." It is the concurrent testimony of Army officers and white settlers familiar with the section of country referred to as a hunting-ground, that the buffalo no longer range thereon "in such numbers as to justify the chase."

The failure of the negotiations for the relinquishment of the Black Hills necessitates the adoption of some measures to relieve the Department of the great embarrassment resulting from the evident determination of a large number of citizens to enter upon that portion of the Sioux reservation to obtain the precious metals which the official report of the geologist sent out by the Department shows to exist therein. The very measures now taken by the Government to prevent the influx of miners into the Black Hills, by means of the display of military force in that neighborhood, operate as the surest safeguard of the miners against the attacks of Indians. The Army expels the miners, and,