« PrejšnjaNaprej »
ment, and were forced in self-defense to take the matter in their own hands.
“The Pimas and Maricopas are a confederated tribe, living on the Gila River, one hundred and eighty miles from its confluence with the Colorado. They are an agricultural people, living entirely by the cultivation of the soil, and number some seven thousand five hundred souls. They have always been friendly to the Americans, and boast that up to this day they do not know the color of the white man's blood. They hold one of the strongest positions on the continent, accessible only after crossing deserts in every direction, and have here defended their homes and fields against barbarous Apaches from time immemorial. The early Spanish explorers found them here in 1540, and ruined houses of grand proportions attest their occupation for thousands of years before the Spaniards
To the north for several hundred miles ruined cities, fortifications, and the remains of irrigating canals, indicate the places formerly occupied by a race now passed away without having left any history. The researches of the antiquarian are in vain, and the degenerate Indian of the present day answers all questions about past grandeur with the mystic name of Montezuma. The Pimas know no more of their origin than if they had come out of the ground, as their tradition intimates. They have no religion, and worship no deity, unless a habit of hailing the rising sun with an oration may be the remains of some sun-worshipping tribe. They are exceedingly jealous of their females; and their chastity, as far as outside barbarians are concerned, remains, with a few exceptions, unimpeachable. They have a very good tract of land, set apart by metes and bounds plainly marked, have their irrigating canals in good condition, and present every evidence of a thrifty population, producing more than they consume. They number some seven thousand five hundred. They deserve the highest consideration of this Congress. It would have been impossible for the government troops in that Territory to have subsisted there but for the supplies furnished by these Indians. They are, in fact, the laboring population of that Territory. They produce supplies both for the Army and for the miners. They were colonized by the Spanish Jesuits a hundred and fifty years ago, and they are monuments of the civilization and prosperity of that country at that time. They have cultivated the land there from time immemorial. When the Spaniards entered that country three hundred and forty years ago, they found these Indians in a high state of civilization. It is a good country for agricultural purposes, and during my administration of Indian affairs in that Territory the last year, I had the pleasure of contributing something to the improvement of those Indians, by giving them cotton seed, hoes, spades, shovels, &c.
“The Papagoes are a branch of the great Pima tribe, speaking the same language and having the same manners and customs, modified by civilization; the only difference is, that upon being baptized, they were originally called Vapconia, in their language Christians, which has been corrupted into Papagoes; they also cut their hair short and wear a hat, and such clothing as they can get. The Papagoes all live south of the Gila River, in that arid triangle known as the western part of the Gadsden Purchase. Their lot is cast in an ungrateful soil; but the softness of the climate reconciles them to their location, and contentment is their happiness. The fruit of the Cereus Giganteus furnishes them with bread and molasses; they plant in the rainy season, raise cattle, hunt, and labor in the harvest fields. Their principal settlement is around the old mission church of San Xavier del Bac, nine miles south of Tucson. The mission was founded by the Jesuits in 1670, and is the grandest architectural monument in northern Mexico. Upon the expulsion of the Jesuits from Mexico they gave the Indians a solemn injunction to preserve the church, promising to return at a future day. It was a strange coincidence that two Jesuit fathers from the Santa Clara College, in California, accompanied us to their long-neglected neophytes. They were received by the Indians with great démonstrations of joy; and, amid the ringing of bells and explosion of fireworks, entered into possession
of the long-neglected mission of San Xavier. These pious fathers immediately commenced laboring with the zeal and fidelity of their order, and in a few days had the mass regularly chanted by the Papago maidens, with the peculiar softness of their language. Every facility was rendered the holy fathers in holding intercourse with the Indians, and a great improvement was soon perceptible in their deportment and habits. They seemed entering upon a new era of moral and material prosperity refreshing to witness. The captain, Jose Victoriana Solorse, is a highly intelligent Indian, and is
exercising a beneficent influence on the tribe. The family relations of the Papagoes are conducted with morality, and their women are examples of chastity and industry. These deserving people should have additional aid to enable them to colonize the straggling members of the tribe; their principal wants are agricultural implements, carts, wheelbarrows, axes and hoes. With the necessary aids in agricultural implements they can soon produce a surplus to exchange for clothing and the comforts of life, so that they will be an advantage to the community instead of a tax upon the government. They number about five thousand souls living within our boundaries.
“Now I come to the Indians of (the) Colorado. They never reaped the benefit of the Spanish colonization, because the Spaniards never extended their conquests north of the Gila. They are of the same family, and are affiliated with the Pimas, and desire to live in the same manner. But they have no means of exercising their industry. As far as that portion of our Indian country is concerned, they never have had an officer of the government among them until the
As Superintendent of Indian Affairs, I called the confederated tribes of the Colorado in council together. The council was attended by the principal chiefs and head men of the Yumas, Mohaves, Yavapais, Hualapais, and Chemihuevis. These tribes have an aggregate of ten thousand souls living near the banks of the Colorado, from Fort Yuma to Fort Mohave. They cultivate the bottom lands of the Colorado River, where an overflow affords sufficient moisture; the failure of an overflow, which sometimes
happens, is considered a great calamity, and breeds a famine. Their resources from game, fish, and wild fruits have been very much curtailed by the influx of Americans, and it would be dangerous for them to visit their former hunting-grounds. The fruit of the mesquite tree, an acacia flourishing in this latitude, has been the staff of life to the Indians of the Colorado. A prolific mesquite will yield ten bushels of beans in the hull; the beans are pounded in a mortar and made into cakes of bread for the winter season, and a kind of whisky is also made of the bean before it becomes dry and hard. This resource for the Indians has been very much reduced since the irruption of the Americans and Mexicans, as the mesquite bean is more nutritious and less dangerous for animals in that climate than corn. The beans command, at the different towns and stands where they are sold, from five to ten cents per pound as they fall from the tree. The improvidence of the Indians leads them to sell all the beans in the autumn, saving none for the winter consumption. During the past winter they were in such a famished condition that they killed a great many horses and cattle on the river, mostly belonging to American settlers, for which claims are now made.
“But as the representative of the government of the United States at that time, I did not undertake to make a written treaty with these Indians, because I considered that the government was able and willing to treat them fairly and honestly without entering into the form of a written treaty, which has been heretofore so severely criticised in both Houses of Congress, and vith some reason. These Indians there assem