Report of the Secretary of the Interior/1875
THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR.
Department of the Interior,
October 31, 1875,
Sir I have the honor to submit, for your consideration, the annual report of this Department, accompanied by the reports of the several Bureaus and institutions which, by law, are placed under its supervision.
During the year ending June 30, 1875, public lands were disposed of as follows:
|Approved to States as swamp||47,721.25|
|Certified to railroads||3,107,613.14|
|Certified for agricultural colleges||22,321.24|
|Certified for common schools||142,388.11|
|Certified for universities||16,454. 04|
|Approved to States for internal.iinprovements||8,614.25|
|Sioux half-breed-scrip locations||1,526.45|
|Chippewa half-breed-scrip locations||11,181.64|
A quantity less by 2,459,001.03 acres than that disposed of the preceding year.
The cash receipts were $1,779,616.27; a sum less by $690,322.23 than that received the previous year.
During the year 20,077,531.80 acres were surveyed, making, with the quantity previously surveyed, 680,253,094.21 acres, leaving yet to be surveyed 1,154,471,62.79 acres.
The quantity of land disposed of under the homestead and timber-culture laws was less by about a million and a half acres than that so disposed of the year immediately preceding. This result is attributed, and no doubt correctly, by the Commissioner of the General Land-Office, to the grasshopper plague, the drought, and the consequent diminutionof emigration to the land States and Territories. Aside from these considerations, however, which are temporary in their character, he expresses the opinion that a steady diminution of such entries may hereafter be expected, growing out of the fact that the best lands subject to such entries have, in great measure, been already disposed of.
The report of the Commissioner is replete with valuable informationand timely suggestions as to the expediency of changes in some of the laws relating to public lands. I would especially commend to the favorable consideration of Congress his remarks as to the necessity of a change in the Manual of Surveying Instructions, which has the sanction of law, as to the rates allowed by law for surveying mountainous districts; the disposal of timber and grazing lands; the consolidation of the pre-emption and homestead laws; the repeal of the law requiring public lands in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Florida to be disposed of under the homestead acts only; the errors in the Revised Statutes, which are now th law of the land, and the re-organization of the clerical force of his Office.
SAN JUAN AND OTHER ISLANDS.
The commissioner appointed by you, under the act of 20th June, 1874, to make and report to this Department a list of all British subjects who, on the 15th of June, 1846, were in the occupation of land, lawfully acquired, within the limits of the award of His Majesty the Emperor of Germany, together with a description of the land actually occupied by each person at said date, satisfactorily performed his duties. He reported that, after due notice given by publication for a period of more than thirty days, in a newspaper having extensive circulation on the islands in question, and by posting conspicuously the notice in all the post-offices in the archipelago, he proceeded in person to Victoria, British Columbia, where he was informed by the chief factor of the Hudson Bay Company that said company would present no claim under said act. He then proceeded to San Juan and Lopez, but no British subject, presented any claim under the act. You accordingly, on the 3d of August last, issued a proclamation terminating the withdrawal made by your previous proclamation of 4th February, 1873, which was issued in order to protect the rights of British subjects under the treaty of 15th June, 1846. Said termination took effect on the 30th ultimo, and the launs are now open to disposal as other public lands, except such as have been reserved by your orders for military and light-house purposes.
During the year ending the 30th ultimo, 21,489 applications for patents were filed, and 14,230 patents, including re-issues and designs, issued; 42 applications for extensions were made, and 81 patents extended; 3,052 caveats were filed; 2,495 patents were granted, but not issued by reason of non-payment of the fiual fees; 951 applications for the registration of trade-marks were received, and 993 trade-marks were registered. The number of patents issued during said year exceeded those of the preceding year by 685. The total amount received during the year from fees, &c., was $732,285.87, and the total expenditures were $708,874.35, leaving an unexpended balance of $23,411.52.
The report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs presents the details of the transactions of the Indian Bureau for the past year, and furnishes interesting information in regard to the present condition of the various Indian tribes. The Commissioner makes several important and valuable recommendations in regard to the future management of the Indians, to which your attention is respectfully invited.
The general situation of the Indian service may be regarded as encouraging, and progress has been made during the year in perfecting and extending the Indian policy. Wherever all the elements of success have been available, the result has clearly vindicated the propriety and efficiency of that policy in the increased interest taken by both agents and Indians in the acquisition of industrial pursuits, and in the increase of peaceful disposition toward the whites. Schools arc increasing in number and interest; farming, wherever the soil is suitable, is being-prosecuted more vigorously and intelligently, and the desire of the Indians to prepare for themselves more comfortable and fixed abodes is becoming more general. At the important agencies of Red Cloud and Spotted Tail, in the Dakota, or Sioux Nation, however, one of the principal elements of success—a productive soil—is wanting, and no progress has been made, and none can be expected, while the present conditions by which they are surrounded shall remain. The problem of how to deal with these Indians seems as far from solution as ever, and, in fact, it has been still further complicated the present year by the discovery of gold in the Black Hills and the emigration of large numbers of miners thither. The suggestions of the Commissioner in regard to this numerous people are practical, and worthy of consideration.
There can be no doubt whatever that so long as the great bulk of the Sioux are encouraged to occupy their present locations near the Red Cloud and Whetstone, or Spotted Tail, agencies, and to roam at will over their vast reservation and west and northwest to the Big Horn Mountains and to Powder River and the Yellowstone, they can make no progress whatever, and must be fed year after year by the Government. The recommendation by the Commissioner that the two agencies above mentioned be removed to the Missouri River meets with my unqualified approval. The soil over which they now roam is totally unfit for cultivation, the location of those agencies is so remote from the railroad and river that the cost of supplying them is greatly enhanced, and their isolated position gives them almost entire immunity from Government 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, while doing so, protects them from Indians. The miners return as soon as the military surveillance is withdrawn, and the same steps are taken again and again. Some of the miners have brought suits against the military officers for false imprisonment, and much embarrassment to both the Army and the Interior Department is the result.
The preliminary report of Professor Jenney, which accompanies the report of the Indian Commissioner, in regard to the geological arid agricultural wealth of the Black Hills, indicates clearly the great temptation held out to emigrants and miners to occupy that country, and will greatly enhance the difficulties which have already surrounded the question of protecting the Sioux in their treaty-rights to that territory. The opening of the next summer season will undoubtedly witness a great increase of emigration thither, and the question urges itself upon the attention of the Department and of Congress for early solution.
It is true that the Indians occupy that reservation under the provisons of a treaty with the United States. It is also true, as a general proposition, that treaties should be maintained inviolate, and the Indians protected in their rights thereunder. But for two years the Government has been appropriating about one and one-quarter millions of dollars for the subsistence of the Sioux of various tribes, which amount is a gratuity that the Government is under no legal obligation to give them, and for which it receives no compensating advantage. The amount thus appropriated is 5 per cent. per annum of $25,000,000, which the Government is giving without an equivalent. This amount must be annually given them for some years to come, or they will starve. It is submitted, therefore, under these circumstances, for the consideration of Congress, whether it would not be justifiable and proper to make future appropriations for supplies to this people contingent on their relinquishment of the gold-fields in the Black Hills, and the right of way thereto.
The suggestions of the Commissioner in regard to Indian civilization, the modification of the homestead laws for the benefit of the Indians, and turning over the Indians in the States of New York, Michigan, Wisconsin, and a portion of those in Minnesota to the control of the States in which they live, are deserving of the careful attention of Congress, as being steps in advance upon the question of Iudian management. His remarks upon the necessity of law for the punishment and protection of the Indians are also of importance, as tending in the same direction.
The condition of the Indian Territory south of Kansas has not changed during the year, and will not materially change for the better until some steps are taken to give its inhabitants a more efficient government. The necessity for the establishment of courts of justice therein for the trial of all offenses against persons or property becomes more pressing year by year, and the whole question of legislating for that territory is respectfully but urgently pressed upon the attention of Congress. I have taken the necessary steps to procure a full and unbiased report of the condition of things in that territory, and will ask the privilege of submitting to you a special report on the subject at an early day after the meeting of Congress, at which time some further recommendation in that behalf may be found to be necessary and proper.
The peculiar condition in which the so-called Mission Indians of Southern California are situated is clearly stated in the Commissioner's report, and he makes suggestions in regard to their treatment. The unsettled condition of this people is a source of embarrassment to the white settlements in that portion of California, and will continue to be an element of irritation and danger until some measures are adopted for their relief.
It would be beneficial to the Indian service, in my opinion, and would tend to promote its efficiency, if the laws preventing the detail of Army officers for civil service were so far modified as to allow their employment in the Indian service at the discretion of the President, in case of emergency. Such a change would place at the disposition of the Executive a corps of disciplined, intelligent officers, whose familiarity with the entire Indian country and the needs of the service would render them invaluable in an emergency such as has arisen during the present year, and such as is liable to arise at any time in the treatment of large bodies of wild Indians.
The Secretary of the Interior now holds in his possession, in trust for various Indian tribes, bonds of the United States and of several of the States, the par value of which is about $5,000,000. Authority has been conferred upon the Secretary of the Interior, from time to time, by Indian treaties and acts of Congress, to invest the proceeds of the sales of lands ceded to the United States by Indian tribes. The authority so given to invest, as trustee, seems to have been construed as implying also the authority to hold such securities in possession by the Secretary of the Interior in trust, and he now holds such stocks and bonds to the amount of $5,107,516. Whether the right to hold those securities is conferred by the laws and treaties referred to or not, I recommend that the necessary legislation be made authorizing their transfer to the Treasurer of the United States, by whom the interest thereon, as it accrues, shall be placed to the-cretlit of the proper tribe, to be drawn on requisition of the Secretary of the Interior, as in the case of appropriations. Such a disposition of these securities will relieve the Secretary of the Interior of a disagreeable responsibility and duty not in any way homogeneous to the general duties of the office, and place the bonds where all such valuables should be kept.
The co-operation of the religious bodies having in charge the duty of nominating Indian agents has been harmonious and satisfactory, and they have evidently been careful in their selection of proper men for those positions.
The Board of Indian Commissioners has been efficient in the performance of its duties, and has rendered valuable assistance to the Department in the supervision of the purchase and inspection of annuities and supplies, in the examination of contracts, and the auditing of vouchers. It is to be regretted that their annual report is not made in time for me to profit by their suggestions and observations in making this report; and it is hoped that hereafter it will be completed on or before the 1st of November in each year.
The Commissioner alludes to the fact that, with the exception of the hostilities with the Cheyennes and Comanches, which were pending when the reports for the last year were closed, and which ceased soon afterward, there have been no serious collisions between the Indians and the whites in our entire domain. This fact is one of great encouragement, showing, conclusively, that the Indians are anxious to maintain peaceful relations; and that even under great provocations, which they have had in several instances during the year, they have come to recognize so thoroughly the power of the whites and the good faith of the Government toward them, as to trust to that Government and not to their own strength to redress their wrongs.
There are still some roving bands of hostile Sioux in the Big Horn and Powder River country of Dakota and Montana which should be subjugated and compelled to cease their raids and depredations upon other tribes and upon the whites. When this is done there will be but little trouble, with a fair degree of tact, intelligence, and force, to control our entire Indian population.
On the whole, I cannot but regard the work of the year in the Indian service as showing decided progress in the direction of establishing peaceful relations, encouraging to habits of industry, leading toward civilization and education, and generally tending toward the accomplishment of what you sought by your policy to secure, namely, the protection, support, and improvement of the aborigines of the country, without impeding the westward progress of white settlements. The experiences of the year have developed necessities for still further legislation, which are mentioned in the Commissioner's report, and to which careful attention is invited.
The thanks of this Department are, due to the War Department and the officers of the Army for the prompt and efficient aid they have rendered during the year in the management of Indian affairs throughout the country, and for their hearty co-operation and advice whenever called upon to render assistance in carrying out the details of the Indian policy.
The commission which was appointed during the year to investigate the management of affairs at the Red Cloud and Spotted Tail agencies made some valuable suggestions in their report, in which I cannot refrain from concurring. In regard to the necessity of laws for the protection and punishment of Indians, they say:
The criminal-laws of the United States should be extended over the reservations, and when an Indian outside of a reservation shall commit an offense he should be made subject to the police and criminal laws of the State in which such offense is committed. Some form of territorial policy should be established for their government when the number and compactness of their population would render such an organization proper. The individuality of the Indian as a member of the community should be recognized, and the absurd fiction of tribal sovereignty in which that individuality is now merged, should be abolished. Courts should be organized for the administration of justice over such territory. The individual ownership of property should be encouraged under temporary restrictions on alienation, and the privileges of citizenship made accessible upon such terms as good policy may prescribe. The evils that result from the absence of provisions like this are apparent. Community of property is fatal to industry, enterprise, and civilization, and exemption from legal responsibility for crime has stimulated depredations, robbery, murders, and assassination.
In regard to the inspection and delivery of supplies, they remark:
We have already recommended that officers be detailed for the inspection of beef and beef-cattle at the Indian agencies; and, for reasons similar to those already mentioned in that connection, we recommend that all inspections of Indian goods (except annuity-goods, the inspection of which is provided for by treaty) and supplies at the points of purchase and shipment, at terminal points of railroad transportation, and at the agencies, before the articles pass into the possession of the agents, be under the exclusive charge of the Commissary-General of the Army. We believe that such a system would not merely serve as a salutary check on contractors, freighters, and agents, but would be of great use in satisfying the public mind that the service was fully and faithfully performed. It would seem desirable that.a copy of the reports of all such inspections should be transmitted, through the proper channels, to the Indian Office.
They also recommend—
That in accordance with the provisions of the treaty of 1808, Army officers be detailed to inspect all issues of annuity goods, and that all inspections of Indian supplies and beef be made under the direction of the Commissary-General of the Army.
That a carefully-devised system of accounts, uniform for all agencies, be established, with the mode of issuing and accounting for all articles definitely prescribed.
That the agencies, differing greatly as they do in the amount of intelligence and capacity required to conduct them, be so graded as to establish for the most important ones salaries sufficient to secure the services of thoroughly-trained and competent men.
That all future legislation for the Indians, and all dealings with them, be based upon the policy of bringing them as rapidly as possible under the same law which governs all other inhabitants of the United States.
The minor recommendations of the commission, such as require no legislation, and need only departmental action, will be carried into execution as rapidly as possible, so far as they meet my approval.
The annual report of the Commissioner of Pensions shows that the number of pensioners on the roll continues to decrease, as was anticipated in the last annual report of this Department. The greatest number was reached during the year ending June 30,1873, since which time the roll has undergone a steady decrease. There has not, however, been a corresponding reduction in the annual "charge to the Government on this account, for, while the roll has decreased 1,420 in number during the last fiscal year, the total annual rate is $44,733.13 in excess of that of the preceding year. This result is owing, principally, to the steady growth of the roll of invalid pensioners and the increase in the average annual rate of such pensions, which has advanced, under the operation of the more recent liberal enactments of Congress, from $90.20 in 1872 to $103.91 in 1875, to each pensioner.
On the 30th of June, 187 4, the names of 236,241 pensioners were borne on the rolls, at an annual aggregate rate of $26,244,786.46. During the year next ensuing, 11,557 names were added to the roll, and 12,977 dropped therefrom for various causes, leaving the names of 234,821 persons on the roll June 30,1875, whoso pensions annually aggregate the sum of $26,289,519.59. Of the latter number, 210,363 were Army pensioners, 105,478 of whom were invalids and 104,885 widows and dependent relatives; 3,420 were Navy pensioners, of whom 1,636 were invalids, and 1,784 widows, &c.; and 21,038 were pensioners of the war of 1812, 15,875 of whom were survivors, and 5,163 widows; a total of 234,821 pensioners.
There were examined and allowed, during the last fiscal year, 26,018 Army-pension claims, of which 5,876 were for invalid pension, 13,483 for increased pension to invalids, 4,732 for pension to widows, dependent relatives, &c., and 1,927 for increased pension to widows, &c.; 443 Navy-pension claims, of which 170 were for invalid pension, 127 for increased pension to invalids, 122 for pension to widows, dependent relatives, &c., and 24 for increased pension to widows, &c.; and 657 claims for pension of survivors and widows of soldiers in the war of 1812, of which 241 were for pension to survivors, and 416 to widows; making a total of 27,118 claims adjudicated during said year, at an aggregate annual rate of $2,119,169.07.
During said year the payments from the appropriations for pensions were as follows: To Army invalids, $11,748,433.79; to Army widows and dependent relatives, $15,525,734.30; to Navy invalids, $185,675.82; to "Navy widows, &c., $334,672.65; to survivors of the war of 1812, $1,355,599.86, and to widows of soldiers in that war, $533,000.21; in all, $29,683,116.63, which amount includes the expenses of disbursement.
It thus appears that, notwithstanding the total amount due on the pension-roll has been increased during the year by $44,733.13, the total disbursements were $910,632.93 less than during the preceding year; but this apparent decrease in the annual expenditure results from the reduction in the amount of arrearages due on pensions allowed during the year, and on pensions, previously granted, the average rate of which has been increased by recent legislation.
On the30th of June last there were on file 66,107 unadjudicated pension-claims, of which 32,228 were for invalid pensions, 33,138 those of widows, dependent relatives, &c., and 741 of survivors and widows of soldiers of the war of 1812; and 7,778 pending claims for increased pension, 6,772 of which were those of invalids, and 1,006 of widows and dependent relatives; in all, 73.885 claims undisposed of at that date.
There were borne on the rolls, at the close of the year, the names of 379 widows of soldiers in the revolutionary war, and of 1,009 widows and children of soldiers who served in wars subsequent to the Revolution, excepting that of 1812, and prior to the late rebellion.
During said year 675 applications for bounty-land were filed, and 407 warrants issued for 63,560 acres of laud, being 27,920 in excess of the number of acres issued for the preceding year. I respectfully renew the recommendation contained in the last annual report of this Department, in regard to the propriety of suitable legislation by Congress for limiting the period during which the several laws relating to bounty-land shall remain in force. Attention is invited to the recommendation of the Commissioner for the repeal of section 2444 of the Revised Statutes. Under that section bounty-land warrants are made personal chattels, and assignable by legal representatives. Before the enactment of that provision of law, it was the custom of the Department, in accordance with the opinion of several Attorneys-General of the United States, to treat such warrants as realty, because they were inchoate title to real estate. The change thus wrought in their status has opened up a wide field for fraud, and improperly-appointed administrators have sold and assigned such warrants, without the knowledge or consent of the heirs, and without the latter knowing even of the issue of the warrants by the Pension-Office. In this manner frauds have been committed and widows deprived of their property, under cover of the section referred to. Its repeal will render such transactions impossible in the future. Section 2445 of said statutes should also be repealed, because administrators, as such, should have no control over real property; the widows and heirs of deceased claimants being, through their attorneys, fully competent to prosecute their claims, and to protect their own interests before the Pension-Office.
The Commissioner estimates that by the 4th of December next 12,500 applications for increased pension, based upon the biennial examinations made on the 4th of September last, will have been filed. A total estimated cost of $25,000 for re-examinations by surgeons is involved in the adjudication of these claims, as, under existing laws, an increase of pension must, unless the disability be permanent and specific, commence from the date of the examining-surgeon's certificate made under the pending claim. The Commissioner is of opinion that re-examinations in these claims are unnecessary, for the reason that they could be properly adjudicated upon the reports of the recent biennial examinations, and that the sum of $25,000 could be thus saved to the Government. I therefore recommend such an amendment to the law as will authorize the acceptance of such reports within six months after their date, in the adjudication of claims for increased pension, so that the increase, if allowed, will commence from the date of the biennial examination in each case.
The Commissioner also suggests the propriety of further legislation to more fully define what shall be accepted as evidence of the remarriage of pensioned widows, mothers, and sisters. Special investigation by agents of the Office discloses the fact that many pensioners of this class are living in a state of cohabitation with men to whom, no doubt, they would be legally married were it not that by so doing they would forfeit, under existing laws, their right to pension. Under a liberal interpretation of the pension-laws, proof of such cohabitation, or of general recognition of the parties as husband and wife, is accepted, in the adjudication of claims of this description, as sufficient evidence of marriage, where no better can be furnished, and it seems only proper that such proof should be accepted as sufficient to establish the same relation in the case of a pensioner. A due regard for the interests of the Government and for the conservation of public morals appears to require such a modification of the law as will authorize a forfeiture of the pension of a widow, dependent mother, or sister, upon the discovery of proof of such cohabitation, and I therefore recommend suitable legislation to that end.
In the adjudication of claims of widows of colored soldiers, the provisions of section 4705 of the Revised Statutes are found to discriminate unjustly between white and colored claimants who resided at the time of their alleged marriage in those States wherein, prior to the late rebellion, marriages of colored people were recognized by law. The requirements of the general pension-law, in regard to evidence of marriage of white claimants of this class, are much more rigid than those of the section referred to, and, believing that white and colored claimants residing in the States referred to should be placed upon the same footing before the law, with regard to proof of marriage, the Commissioner recommends such an amendment to said section as will confine its provisions to those widows of colored soldiers who, at the time of their alleged marriage, resided in the late slave States.
The efforts of the medical division to secure just and equitable rates of pension have been unrelaxed. With each succeeding year it becomes more and more apparent that the amount of annual expenditures for pensions depends materially upon correct ratings of the disabilities of invalid pensioners. In the adjudication of claims for invalid pension, and for increase of the same, the medical questions involved are of the first importance, and, as their determination depends materially upon the reports of examining-surgeons, as revised by the medical division, it is obvious that men of the highest professional standing and of undoubted integrity should always be selected to fill such positions. Numerous changes have been made during the year in the roster of examining-surgeons,numbering 1,491 on the 30th of June last; but the Commissioner states that, notwithstanding his efforts to secure the best medical talent, it is impossible, under the present system, to secure such medical examinations and reports as are necessary to an intelligent adjudication of claims of invalids or those for increased pension. The following facts, hereinbefore referred to, have an important bearing in this connection. During the last fiscal year the invalid-pension roll was augmented by 3,106 names, whereas all the other classes of pensions were reduced -1,526 in number. Notwithstanding the fact that the losses to the entire roll during said year exceeded the additions thereto by 1,420 names, the annual expenditure, as before stated, was increased by the sum of $44,733.15, which is mainly due to the appreciation in the average annual amount paid to each invalid pensioner. The increase in such average staring the three years immediately preceding June 30, 1875, amounted to $13.65 per annum to each invalid pensioner, involving an accretion, during those three years, of nearly one and a half million dollars to the total annual rate of the roll, independently of any additions to its number. It is apparent, therefore, that if the roll of invalid pensioners continues to increase in equal proportion to the number added thereto during the last fiscal year, with a proportional advance in the average yearly pension, there will be no immediate reduction in the annual expenditure for pensions, for, as I have before stated, the gain to said roll during the last fiscal year exceeded the losses to the other rolls. I regard a partial departure from the existing system of making medical examinations of pensioners, or claimants for pension, as fully warranted by the facts and considerations herein presented, and as necessary to the interests of the public service. I therefore recommend such new legislation as will authorize the employment of a number of surgeons, not exceeding sixty, at a liberal annual salary, who shall be selected from the most eminent medical men in the United States, and assigned to certain defined districts, into which the country shall be divided, subject to such changes as the interests of the service may demand. In making such recommendation, it is not proposed that the present system of appointment and payment of examining-surgeons should be entirely superseded by the appointment of district-surgeons, but that, so far as possible, all examinations should be made by the latter. The number of examining-surgeons could thus be largely reduced, their services being only required in those cases where, for want of time, the district-surgeons may be unable to make examinations without subjecting claimants for pension to long delay.
During the last fiscal year 1,530 cases were investigated by special agents of the Office. Of these 309, all of which were admitted claims, were found to be fraudulent, and 243 pending claims were recommended for rejection. It is estimated that the sum of $144,552.84 was saved to the Government during the year by the exertions of the special-service division. These investigations were made by clerks of the Office, detailed for the purpose under existing laws; but, the entire clerical force of the Pension Office being inadequate to a prompt disposition of its current business, it is obvious that no considerable detail the refrom can be made for special service. The number of claims requiring such investigation is accordingly greater than the limited force of the division can dispose of, and thus action in many cases is suspended for months, involving much complaint, more or less just, on the part of claimants. The Commissioner, therefore, recommends the entire reorganization of the division, upon a basis similar to the special-service of the Post-Office and Treasury Departments, and that authority be given by law for the appointment of a regular corps of special agents, at least 30 in number, who shall receive a fixed annual salary, and, when traveling on such duty, shall be entitled to per-diem allowance for subsistence and their actual traveling-expenses.
Almost the entire clerical force of the Pension Office is employed in the Seaton House building, and all the records and files relating to claims for pension .and bounty-land are stored therein. The unsuitableness of this building for the purpose, and its insecurity as a place of deposit for valuable records and files, have been commented upon at length in the annual reports of my immediate predecessor. The building was rented four years ago for the use of the Pension Office, under a lease which expired on the 10th of August last, and its occupation is continued under a condition of the lease which allows the Government to occupy it from year to year, as may be required, at the same rent, viz, $10,000 per annum. Unavailing efforts were made to find a more suitable building before the expiration of said lease, and it has been found necessary to rent two additional buildings adjoining the Seaton House at an annual cost of $3,500. The whole amount, therefore, which is now paid for rent of buildings used by the Office is $13,500.
The Commissioner invites attention to the necessity for an addition to the present force of his Office, and to the propriety of a reorganization of such force, whereby higher rates than are now paid would be provided for those clerks who are employed in the more responsible positions therein. At the close of the last fiscal year, the number of original pension-claims on file, unadjudicated, was 66,107; an increase of 4,447 pending claims during the year. The whole number of original claims filed during said year was 18,704, and of claims for increased pension 18,563, a total of 37,267 claims; while during that period 27,118 claims of all classes were allowed, and 0,078 rejected; making a total number of 36,196 claims disposed of, or 1,071 less than the whole number received during the year.
The foregoing figures show the necessity for additional clerical force in the Office, if it is desired bf Congress that said force should be sufficient to not only dispose of the current business of the Office, but also the accumulations of past years, represented by the 66,107 pending claims above referred to, in addition to which there were 7,778 pending claims for increased pension. Many of these claims are doubtless meritorious, and it is only just to those who were disabled in the cause of our country during the late rebellion, and to their widows and dependent relatives, that such provision should be made as will insure prompt action on their claims upon the bounty of the Government. It is estimated that the sum of $29,535,000 will be required for the pension-service during the next fiscal year; which amount is less by $965,000 than the estimate submitted for the current fiscal year.
The report of the Commissioner of Education for the last fiscal year contains the usual abstracts of reports of State and city superintendents, and of other official publications relating to educational matters, together with increased tables of statistics compiled from replies to inquiries, made by the Commissioner, of the various State and city educational officers, and of institutions devoted to the interests of public instruction.
The benefits of a common nomenclature adopted in reporting statistics relating to education are becoming apparent. The information now given to the public by means of the official publications of State and local school-systems and of educational institutions is thus more easily generalized and better understood. Valuable lessons are derived, in the opinion of the Commissioner, from the generalization of such a multitude of facts obtained from so large a number of State, territorial, and City systems and from so many institutions, and he regards the enunciation of such lessons as of more general importance than the exercise of any control in> educational matters; for in this way existing excellencies are shown and emulation excited, while past errors are noted and methods of improvement suggested.
The demand upon the Office for information upon special topics has been met, in part, by the publication of eight pamphlets, containing, in all, 704 octavo pages. During the year more attention has been given to the introduction of drawing in public schools than formerly, and there has been a marked tendency to abandon faulty and obsolete methods of instruction, adopting those more in harmony with natural development, and better adapted to fit pupils for the more practical duties of life. A special report on drawing, as taught in these schools, and on art-education in the United States, is in preparation and nearly ready for publication.
The statistical work of the Office has largely increased during the year. In addition to general inquiries with reference to State and territorial school-systems, requests have been made for special information of the various universities, colleges, schools of science, theology, law and medicine, schools for the higher instruction of women, college preparatory schools, academies, musenms of art and natural history, schools for the deaf, dumb, and blind; reformatories, and asylums in the country. A special report is now in course of preparation in regard to public libraries in the United States, including those of schools, colleges, societies, &c., which will furnish interesting statistics, mid show their historical development, classification, management, and circulation.
The Commissioner alludes to the embarrassment encountered by the promoters of education in those States wherein slavery has been more recently abolished, and recommends the adoption of appropriate relief measures by the General Government. In view of the rapidly increasing work of the Office, and of the general importance of such work, the Commissioner asks that such an increase to the clerical force of his Bureau be made as will enable it to accomplish more satisfactorily the purposes for which it was established and is conducted. Its labors have also been materially increased by its connection with the approaching Centennial Exhibition, involving the necessary correspondence with educators for the purpose of harmonizing all diverse projects and plans for a proper showing of educational methods, appliances, and results, and the preparation of such limited, but correct and authoritative, reports on the various school systems, classes of institutions, and phases of education, as will be of permanent value.
The work of the Census Office during the past fiscal year has consisted principally of correspondence relating to the publication of the census of 1870, the projected State censuses of 1875, the International Statistical Congress to be held in Hungary in 1876, conducted by the Superintendent at his home; and the labor attending the verification of statistical statements by means of the census-rolls, the consultation of manuscript returns for specific or technical information not embodied in the quarto volumes, and the adjustment of unpaid accounts of marshals and assistant marshals at the census of 1860, performed by the custodian of the census-records of this Department.
During the year the statistical atlas of the United States, compiled under the act of March 3,1873, has been completed and issued from the press, and all accounts relating thereto have been closed. The appropriation for the purpose was found sufficient to finish the work without any deficiency, notwithstanding that the plan of publication was greatly enlarged after the estimates of expenditure were framed. The Superintendent states that the atlas has received unexpected favor at home and abroad, and that at the International Geographical Congress held in Paris during the past summer a gold medal of tho first class was awarded to it.
The Superintendent is of opinion that some disappointment will be felt by those interested in tho progress of statistics in the United States at the comparatively small results to be derived from the anticipated State censuses of 1875. He reports that censuses, more or less complete and formal, have been taken during the present year under State laws and by State agencies only in the following-named States: Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin, and that a census of the population of Michigan was taken in 1874, full results of which have been published. The Superintendent states that enough is already known of the results of the censuses of 1875 to indicate, quite clearly, that the progress of our population has received a temporary check.
The facts and figures herein sot forth are compiled from the annual reports of the companies.
Stock of the Union Pacific Railroad Company to the amount of $36,783,000 has been subscribed, of which $36,762,300 has been paid. The receipts for the year ending 30th June, 1875, from the transportation of passengers, were $4,408,966.15; of freight, $6,004,637.59; and from miscellaneous sources, $1,048,417.80; total, $11,522,021.51. These figures include the amounts earned from, but withheld by, the United States for transportation of its passengers, freight, and mails. The expense of operating the road for the year was $5,373,655.87, leaving net earnings $6,148,365.67. The entire cost of the road and fixtures to 30th June, 1875, was $112,596,252. The construction account of tho Omaha bridge shows its cost to have been $2,866,463.72. The total bonded indebtedness of the company is shown to be $79,457,912, of which $27,236,512 is due to the United States.
The amount of stock of the Central Pacific Railroad Company subscribed is $62,608,800, of which $54,275,500 has been paid. The receipts for the year ending 30th June, 1875, from transportation of passengers, were $5,330,326.18; and of freight, $8,602,534.96; total, $13,932,861.14. The operating expenses of the road for the year wore $5,901,363.01, leaving net earnings to the amount of $8,031,498.13. At tho close of said year, the indebtedness of the company amounted to $86,168,688.11, of which $27,855,680 is due to the United States. This company embraces, by consolidation, (besides the original Central Pacific Company,) the Western Pacific, the California aud Oregon, the San Francisco, Oakland and Alameda, and the San Joaquin Valley Companies.
Stock of the Central Branch Union Pacific Railroad Company to the amount of $1,000,000 was subscribed, of which $980,600 has been paid. The receipts for transportation of passengers for the year ending the 30th of June, 1875, were $36,495.80; and for freight, $77,024.08; total, $113,519.88. The actual amount expended for said year—"running expenses and repairs"—was $123,188.43. The cost of the road and fixtures has been $3,763,700. The total amount of the indebtedness, in addition to tho Government loans and first mortgage of $1,600,000 and interest unpaid, is $303,902.63, which indebtedness is made up of the following kinds: money borrowed to take up coupons and pay internal-revenue claims and debts and liabilities of the company.
The amount of stock of the Kansas Pacific Railway Company and scrip issued for interest, $753,000.96; floating debt, mainly notes of the company, $683,000; total, $31,643,500.96.
No report of the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad Company has been received.
On the 22d January last a section of 18.84 miles of the Cairo and Fulton Railroad, extending from Fulton to Texarkana, in Arkansas, was accepted, as well as S9.75 miles, extending from a point on the Mississippi River, opposite the mouth of the Ohio River, to the boundary-line between Missouri and Arkansas. This road is now completed.
On the 16th June last another section (twenty miles) of the Little Rock and Fort Smith Railroad was accepted, making oue hundred and twenty miles completed and accepted.
Texas and Pacific Railway stock to the amount of $50,000,000 is authorized by law, of which $1,600,000 has been issued. Its indebtedness is as follows: Capital stock issued, $1,600,000; 6 per cent. gold construction-bonds issued, $10,093,000; 7 per cent. currency land-grant bonds issued, $9,252,000. Debt of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company to the State of Texas, assumed by the Texas and Pacific Railway Company, $200,885.90; floating debt, $333,200.36; entire indebtedness, $21,479,086.26. The receipts of the company for the year ending 30th June, 1875, were from passengers, $323,681.51; freight, $741,791.87; express service, $11,407.92; mail, $29,749.23; telegraph, $7,073.70; rentals, $71,134.04; miscellaneous, $2,243.10; total, $1,360,962.71. The expenses for the same period were, for conducting transportation, $239,719.96; motive-power, $204,975.23; maintenance of way, $224,571.53; maintenance of cars, $79,253.04; general expense, $44,369.61; total, $792,889.37; leaving net earnings, $568,073.34. There are three hundred and twenty-six miles of this road in operation, six miles thereof having been completed since last report; one hundred miles are graded, bridged and tied, ready for the iron. On the 9th August last, you accepted those portions of this road extending from Marshall to the boundary line dividing Texas and Louisiana, from Marshall to Texarkana, Ark., and from Sherman to Brookston, Tex.; the act of 22d June, 1874, (18 Stat., 197,) having declared said portions to "be deemed and taken to be a part of the said Texas and Pacific Railway, and shall hereafter be subject to all the provisious and limitations of the act of Congress incorporating said company, and of the supplements thereto." The company's assets are as follows: Three hundred and twenty-six miles of constructed and equipped road; one hundred miles of partly constructed and equipped road; three hundred and fifty miles of telegraph line, $21,319,228.24: bills and accounts receivable, $64,284.72; cash on hand, $12,411.66; material on hand, $83,161.64; total, $21,479,086.26. Denver Pacific Railroad stock to the amount of $4,000,000 has been authorized bylaw, subscribed and paid in. Moneys received for transportation of passengers for the year ending 30th June, 1875, $193,481.26; for freight, $134,329.90; miscellaneous earnings, $5,084.50; total, Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/24 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/25 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/26 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/27 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/28 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/29 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/30 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/31 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/32 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/33 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/34 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/35 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/36 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/37 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/38 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/39 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/40 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/41 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/42 faithful execution of such work. In no country is this more true than in our own. Congress, recognizing this fact, has, for some years past, made liberal provision for geological and geographical surveys west of the Mississippi. The surveys of this class now progressing under the direction of the Interior and War Departments, are, and for the future presumably will be, carried on in the same general region where the public land surveys are being made; one ought to supplement the other, and can be made to do so, to the ultimate saving of expenditure, to the prevention of frauds upon the Treasury through the acquisition of title to mineral lands under agricultural proofs, and to the better assurance of all the desirable results which ought to be insisted upon in a project involving so much expense. I do not mean to be understood as advising that any of the salient features peculiar to geological and topographical surveying proper be added to the land survey system. But, in grouping the results sought to be obtained by the comprehensive purposes of nearly all the civilized nations now engaged in that work within their own territories, it is seen that to general geographical, geological, and topographical features, is added the special feature of marking on the ground and delineating upon the completed maps the boundaries of individual and public possessions, and it is this most useful feature which it is insisted might and would be furnished ready to the hand of the explorer, were the land surveys executed with scientific accuracy, and their leading monuments properly and securely placed. The astronomical positions could then be determined by means of connections made with the triangulations of the coast and geographical surveys, thus compensating for the cost by avoiding, as to all future work, the necessity of a resurvey, either by State or national authority, which will some time surely arise as to much of the work done in the past. The further advantage will also be assured through such a connection of the systems that a principal monument of the public surveys, destroyed from any cause, can be re-established with absolute accuracy of position by reference to the connection-lines of triangulation.
General legislation respecting the disposal of the public lands has, from an early day, contained clauses of exception reserving mineral-tracts from ordinary sale. The acts approved July 26, 1866, and May 10, 1872, (to develop the mining resources of the United States,) and the act approved March 3, 1873, entitled "An act to provide for the sale of the lands of the United States containing coal," among other things, constitute these lands a distinctive class, subject to conditions of sale, and affixing prices, differing wholly from the requirements, in these respects, as to other lands. For coal lands the price fixed by law is "not less than ten dollars per acre." For mineral lands other than coal the price fixed is $2.50 per acre for placer, and $5 per acre for lode-claims. The responsibility of carrying into effect the discriminations thus created by law, devolves upon this Office. The means of discharging that duty are of the most meagre character. As has already appeared, the Land Office surveys are not in any sense explorations, hence large tracts now known to contain valuable mineral-deposits—notably deposits of coal—have, since the passage of the coal land law, passed to private ownership, under pre-emption proofs, at the price of $1.25 per acre. This state of the law, and the already noted lack of information upon which to proceed for the protection of the Treasury, have not only resulted, and will continue to result, under existing conditions, in a necessarily ineffective administration of the provisions of the several enactments intended to be protective of the Treasury and preventive of undue Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/44 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/45 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/46 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/47 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/48 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/49 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/50 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/51 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/52 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/53 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/54 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/55 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/56 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/57 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/58 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/59 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/60 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/61 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/62 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/63 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/64 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/65 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/66 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/67 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/68 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/69 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/70 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/71 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/72 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/73 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/74 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/75 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/76 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/77 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/78 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/79 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/80 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/81 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/82 Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1875.djvu/83 In 1870, on the representation of the agent, Lieut. A. P. Greene, United States Army, indorsed by the superintendent, B. C. Whiting, six townships were set apart for the permanent homes of these Indians, and the lands, by Executive order, were withdrawn from public sale. At that time a few settlers had made improvements of comparatively small value within these six townships. This tract of country, known as the Pala and San Pasqual reservations, was adapted to the Indians' wants, and contained lands sufficient to furnish homes for all the Indians in California who were liable to be dispossessed of the homes they were occupying. But the setting apart of these reservations received the most strenuous, united, and persistent opposition of the citizens and press of California. The proceeding was represented as an enormous swindle upon the Government and a hardship and outrage upon the Indians, and numerous petitions and remonstrances, signed by leading citizens, were forwarded to the President. And the Indians themselves, for whose benefit alone the reservations had been created, were induced to ask not to be sent thither, but to be "let alone" upon the lands they were then oecupying, and which they were left to believe would remain permanently their homes.
In accordance with this demand of public opinion in California, Commissioner Parker suggested to the Department the propriety of restoring the Pala and San Pasqual reserves to the public domain, which was accordingly done by Executive order of February 17, 1871, and this last opportunity of furnishing these Indians with homes by substituting public lands in California for those in the title to which the Government had failed to protect them was lost. A resistance to the public demand in strict conformity with justice to the Indians would have enabled the Government then at slight cost to have made ample provision for the Mission Indians. Thus matters remained until in 1873 the Department, anticipating for all the Mission Indians what has lately happened to the Temecula band, called the attention of Congress most earnestly to the subject. The necessary appropriation asked for this purpose not being granted, attention was again called during the last session of Congress to the same subject, and an appropriation of $100,000 asked for the Indian service in California, by which great relief would have been brought to these Indians; but that estimate was reduced in the bill to the usual amount granted for the other Indians of that State, leaving but a small amount which could in any case be used for the Mission Indians.
In my judgment, the best method of meeting the necessities of these Indians will be to secure to them by withdrawal from sale all the public lands upon which they are now living. Under directions from the Office, the agent has employed a surveyor to indicate such boundaries as will enable the President to issue an Executive order making the proper withdrawal. This course, however, will provide for but very few of the Indians, from the fact that nearly all of the arable lands in that section of the country have been sought for and are covered by Mexican land-grants or entries in the United States Land-Office. For the remainder, it will be necessary to purchase small tracts of land at different points upon which the Indians may locate permanent homes, and where they will be in the vicinity of the planters and ranch-men, who will give them profitable employment as laborers. For the purchase of these tracts and of the improvements which may be found within other tracts desirable for small reservations, an appropriation of not less than $150,000 will be required, and I respectfully suggest that the attention of Congress be again called to the importance of this subject. 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