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dians for which the government intends to make provision.

" 'But, not taking into consideration that many Indians do not relish mesquite beans, the mesquite trees do not bear every year, and agriculture depends entirely on the casual overflows of the river. Last year the crops of the Indians amounted to very little, and if the river does not soon rise it will be the same this year.

The most humane and cheapest way to provide permanently for the Indians, and educate at least their rising generation to useful labors, would be, in my humble opinion, that the government not only give them the land between Halfway Bend and Corner Rock, but also assist them in digging an irrigation canal from the Mesa toward Halfway Bend. They would then become independent of the uncertain rise and fall of the river, could raise regular crops, and would soon be able to sell a large surplus.

" 'From Halfway Bend to the Mesa I noticed at various points that the ground slopes gently back from the bank of the river toward the valley. The best proofs of this are the numerous sloughs. Ascending finally the Mesa and looking down the valley, I was struck with the evident facility with which a canal could be dug to irrigate many thousand acres of the richest soil, barren only for want of moisture.

According to Lieutenant Ives' report the fall from the foot of the Mesa to Halfway Bend is fifty-five feet, the distance by land twentyseven miles. The foot of the Mesa seems to have been destined by nature for the head of a canal. The river flows to this point between

. hills of conglomerate, upon which freshets can make but little impression. A few piles would make an efficient wing dam. A belt of willows and ash trees should protect the lower embankment for the first few miles.

'At the foot of the Mesa I estimated the difference of level between the bottom of the river and the top of its upper bank fourteen feet.

“ 'Following the natural level of the country, and giving one foot fall to the mile, which is much for a large body of water, then, after fourteen miles of canal, all the land between the canal and the river for the remaining thirteen miles could be irrigated. If the canal were at this point only two miles distant from the river, deducting one-fifth for sand land, 20 square miles,

, or 12,800 acres, up to Halfway Bend, could be irrigated. But long before the canal has reached the first-mentioned point, sloughs could be filled, depressed flats overflowed by branch ditches, and many Indians could plant little patches along the embankments of the canal while it is in progress of construction.

“Taking, now, twenty square miles as a minimum of irrigable land, at thirty bushels of Indian corn per acre, they could produce 384,000 bushels; and at twenty bushels of wheat per acre, 256,000 bushels; one-third of which, even with the propensity of the Indians to waste, would be more than sufficient for home consumption of ten thousand souls, allowing to each of them, women, children and babies included, five hundred pounds of corn or grain.

“'How the canal should actually be laid out, how branch ditches and flood-gates have to be constructed and distributed, what amount of earth the Indians have to remove, what dimen


sions it should have—what, finally, the cost of this canal would be, (probably less than one hundred thousand dollars), all this can only be ascertained by a systematic survey of the valley for that special purpose.

'Since for years accustomed in my profession to ascertain scientifically if the plans conceived by practical men can be executed, I feel some reluctance in making estimates before I have reduced them to a thorough scientific basis. The estimates of the amount of land to be reclaimed from a desert, and its productiveness, are, therefore, rather underrated.

"The foregoing considerations have convinced me that the lands between Halfway Bend and Corner Rock are not only suitable for a reservation, but, in my humble opinion, are in every regard the best that could be selected in this section of Arizona.

"The difference of level between Halfway Bend and La Paz is twenty-eight feet for a distance of nine miles by land, so that the canal could easily be continued from Halfway Bend to the foot of the valley, changing La Paz, from 'the city of the desert,' to the city of a territorial Eden, of laughing gardens and waving grain fields.

“ 'I have the honor to remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


"6"Chief Engineer. "6"Colonel Charles D. Poston,

'Superintendent Indian Affairs,

"La Paz, Arizona Territory.' “Irrigating canals are essential to the prosperity of these Indians. Without water there




can be no production, no life; and all they ask of you is to give them a few agricultural implements to enable them to dig an irrigating canal by which their lands may be watered and their fields irrigated, so that they may enjoy the means of existence. You must provide these Indians with the means of subsistence or they will take by robbery from those who have. During the last year I have seen a number of these Indians starved to death for want of food. They were eating the bark and leaves of trees, and also the lizards, frogs and snakes, so that it was impossible for me to procure any of the great natural curiosities of that country for the Smithsonian Institution.

“It was a matter of profound regret that the natural history of Arizona could not be illustrated in that depository of natural science; but the starving condition of the Indians forced them to consume the wonderful reptile productions of the country, which, had a better fate been reserved for them, would have delighted my friend, Professor Baird and the many visitors at that fountain of science.

“I was especially charged to examine and report upon the customs and habits of the grasshoppers or locusts of the western plains, to determine if they were the locusts of Asia, their mode of procreation, subsequent length of life, and many other interesting details; but alas for the lights of science and opportunity of grasshopper fame! these interesting insects had all disappeared down the widespread gullets of my red children. The Indian policy that I have the honor to present to you is simple and plaineasily understood by the Indians, and not to be

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mistaken by the whites. We must have peace or war with the Indians, and I propose to give them their choice. The Indians that choose to be friendly with the Americans and one another will move westward to the reservation selected for them on the Colorado River and betake themselves to habits of industry and thrift. The Indians that reject the proffered friendship must go eastward and mingle with the barbarous Apaches and share their fate. It will then be easy to draw the distinction between friendly and unfriendly Indians. No American and no friend of civilization will disturb or be allowed to disturb the friendly Indians engaged in the active pursuits of productive industry on the Colorado reservation. Here they will have a resting place and a home on the banks of the river they have bathed in since childhood, and with the generous aid of the great government, whose hapless wards they are, will soon become a self-sustaining people. They will learn the first great lesson that by the sweat of their brows they shall earn their bread, and in due time reap the reward that sweetens toil.

“With an irrigating canal, the soil of the Colorado will become wonderfully productive. In that latitude the sun is over-genial; and the valley, not having an altitude of more than three hundred and fifty feet above the level of the sea, possesses an immunity from snows and frosts, so destructive to crops in more northern latitudes. There is no reason why the valley of the Colorado may not be made as productive as the valley of the Nile. In that temperature it only needs the vivifying influence of water to

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