July 23, 2006

Nevada's Online State News Journal

 

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Nevada History:

 

Letters From Nevada Indian Agents - 1857

[Compiled by the publisher of The Nevada Observer in 1980-1981 and transcribed from handwritten originals in the collection of Letters Received by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Utah Superintendency, National Archives microfilm; spelling as in original documents.  Funding for the project was provided by Grace Dangberg, of Minden, Nevada.]

 

ENCLOSURE OF GARLAND HURT, UTAH TERRITORIAL INDIAN AGENT, TO J.W. DENVER, COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS

 

Endorsed by: John Hockaday, U.S. Atty., Utah Territory; P.K. Dotson, U.S. Marshal; Joseph P. Waters, Dpty. Marshal

            I estimate the wheat crop at 23 bushes per acre, corn 30, oats 40, Barley 15, Potatoes 250, Buckwheat 20, Turnips 200 and 800 Squashes per acre.  Making in the agregate.

11,155 Bush Wheat (worth) $1.25  per Bush -- $13,943.75

 3,360     "      Corn    1.00                "     "      --    3,360.00

 2,000     "      Oats       "                    "     "      --    2,000.00

    150     "      Barley    "                     "     "      --       150.00

 5,500     "      Potatoes .75                 "     "      --    4,125.00

      40     "      Buckwheat 1.00          "     "      --         40.00

    800     "      Turnips    .50              "     "      --       400.00

12,800    Squashes         .03                    each  --       384.00

                                                  (worth)    350.00

Beets, Melons, Peas, Beans, and other Garden vegetables

                                                             --------------

                                                             $24,752.75

I certify that I am acquainted with the agricultural productions of the

Territory of Utah and believe that the above estimate of the various kinds of grain and vegetables per acre is reasonable, and in good seasons rather below the average yield, and that the prices above quoted for each are below the usual market prices.

                                                            John M. Hockaday

                                    U.S. atty for The Territory of Utah

                                                            P.K. Dotson

                                                            U.S. Marshal

                                                            Joseph P. Waters

                                                            Dpt. Marshal

Note. Straw, Fodder, Chaff and Husks, are omitted in the above estimate.

                                                            G. Hurt

__________

 

LETTER FROM GARLAND HURT, UTAH TERRITORIAL INDIAN AGENT, TO CHARLES E. MIX, ACTING COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS

 

                                                Office Ind. Agent, Utah

                                                            March 27th 1857

Sir,

            Your letter of the 1st Sept. last advising me of the reception and disposition of the articles of convention which were made by me with the Snake Digger Indians on the 7th Augst, 1855 is just received, and as an apology for withholding the original copy I have to say that the duplicate was forwarded to the Superintendent immediately on my return to this place, whose sanction I deemed necessary, and without which I did not suppose any notice would be taken of them at Washington, in which event I preferred the original copy to remain in my own office, and as the tardiness of official correspondence (as the date of the receipt of the copy at your office will show) has rendered it impossible to comply with these articles, in anticipation of which I arranged my visit among these Indian last summer so as to obviate any disappointment on their part, I deem it unnecessary to insist on a further investigation of them.

                                                            very respectfully,

                                                Your obedient Servant

                                                            Garland Hurt

__________

LETTER FROM GARLAND HURT, UTAH TERRITORIAL INDIAN AGENT, TO GEORGE W. MANYPENNY, COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS

 

                                                Great Salt Lake City

                                                            March 30th 1857

(Private)

Sir,

            Your letter of the 24th Sept. advising me of the payment of my drafts of the 16th & 17th May last was received on the 24th of this instant, as also a copy of regulation requiring an estimate at the end of each quarter of the amount necessary to meet the demands of the service in the ensuing quarter with which I shall cheerfully endeavor to comply, but would respectfully suggest some doubt as to its facilitating the dispatch of business, owing to the great irregularity of the mails.  For instance, had I sent in my estimates on the 30th Sept. last for the quarter ending Dec. 31st it is quite certain, that I would not as yet have been in receipt of the funds.  And this fact is the only apology I have to offer for neglecting the instructions of Aprl. 1855.  But with most unfained deference I would say, that I did forward (through His Excellency) on or about the 31st Dec. 1855 an estimate of the amount necessary to meet my expenditures in attempting to introduce a system of agriculture among certain bands of the Utahs, and asked for an appropriation for that purpose.  And when I learned that the appropriation for incidental expenses had been increased by the amount of $25000 I reasonably supposed that this amount would be applied to that purpose; but much to my regret I have learned recently, (though not officially) that His Excellency Brigham Young, through Agent Armstrong and himself is arranging to take up the larger portion of the appropriation for the present year.  And I have reasons to believe that this move is being made with the view of forestalling me, and throwing the expenditures of making these settlements upon my own shoulders without the means of liquidating them.  I am informed that His Excellency, is now arranging an outfit of goods to be expended by him on an exploring expedition through the Territories of Oregon, Washington, and perhaps British America.  Now I have all along been impressed with the idea, that I was under the immediate control of the Superintendent of the Territory and have always been implicit in obeying his instructions in my official conduct, and even in the policy of introducing farming among the Indians, I have letters from him expressing his decided approbation, and in which he states that he has no doubt that expenditures made for that purpose would be approved and promptly paid by the general government, and goes on to suggest suitable localities for making that settlements which are the same that were adopted.

            Since my arrival in the Territory, my life has been one of arduous devotion to the Service under the supervision of that officer, and though it has been but little more than twoyears since I entered upon the discharge of these duties, there is  not a  tribe between the Wasatch and Sierra Nevada ranges that I have not visited, and some of them more than once.

            I would further say, that I expected (as I had right to) that this officer would have districted the Superintendency, between Agent Armstrong and myself, (as I suggested to him in the summer of 1855.) and thereby given some data upon which to make an estimate of the amount necessary to meet the demands of the service of each.  And I would further say, that under the present aspect of governmental affairs in Utah, and the point to which everything is rapidly tending under recent developments, it is utterly impossible that any concert of action between His Excellency and myself can be had, and though it would be inconsistent with justice to myself as well as the great mass of the people, as also of the Indians, to relinquish these improvements without some assurance that the expenses would be endorsed, yet, if some change more compatible with the dignity and credit of the government cannot be made in the public functionaries of the Territory, I have to say, that it will be perfectly compatible with my feelings and desire, that my successor be named immediately, for I cannot consent any longer to take upon myself the burden of the service, under the supervision of the one who would decoy me into ruin, and who has so much disgraced the [dig]nity of his position, and the name of an American citizen.

                                                            Very respectfully

                                                Your obedient servant

                                                            Garland Hurt

                                                            Ind. Agt. Utah,

Hon. Geo. W. Manypenny

            Coms. Ind. Affrs.

            Washington D.C.

__________

LETTER FROM GARLAND HURT, UTAH TERRITORIAL INDIAN AGENT, TO J.W. DENVER, COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS

 

                                    Gr Salt Lake City

                                                            June 30th 1857

Sir,

            I have the satifaction of reporting in behalf of the Utahs, and other adjacent tribes of Indians in the Territory of Utah that no disturbances of any kind have occurred during the quarter ending at this date.  This uninterrupted harmony which has now prevailed among these tribes for more than twelve months, is justly attributable to the efforts which have been made to establish them upon suitable reservations and to introduce among them a system of agriculture, and though these reservations have been visited during the season by large bands of the wild tribes who live east of the Wasatch mountains, the influences which these farms exerted upon them through the home tribes, has enabled us to conduct our intercourse with them in a very tranquil manner.  We have in cultivation this season at these settlements about 700 acres as follows (viz)  At the Spanish fork farm 220 acres Wheat, 40 Oats, 10 Barley, 50 Corn, 8 Potatoes, 2 buckwheat, 4 Turnips, and 2 acres garden.  At the Sanpete farm 153 acres Wheat, 10 Oats, 16 Corn, 8 Potatoes, 8 Squashes, and 8 acres Beets, Mellons and garden.  At Alred farm 25 acres Wheat, Corn and Squashes.  At the Corn Creek farm 95 acres Wheat, 50 acres Corn, Potatoes, and Squashes.  The crops look promising, and give every assurance of plentiful harvest.  My disbursements being larger that I anticipated at the close of the previous quarter, I would state by way of explanation, that it is mostly in consequence of the great influx of Indians form the eastern side of the mountains, who were in a famishing condition, and came in search of something to eat. 

            They report that many of their children and the weaker members of their families, as also many of their horses, and much of the game had perished in consequene of the severity of the winter, and as Gov. Brigham Young and Agent Armstrong were both absent the entire burden of the service rested upon myself.

            It also became necessary to place a substantial fence around these farm, which has incurred considerable expenditures for labor; and I would say further, that so long as the field of labor for the various officers of the Indian service in the Territory, remains in common, for any and all of them to act when and where they please, it is impossible for me to estimate the amount I may have to expend in any ensuing quarter.

            As I have learned that the office of Superintendent of Indian Affairs has been separated from that of the Governor in this Territory, and as the Superintendent has not yet reached the field of his labors, I take the liberty to address this communication directly to the Commissioner of In. Affairs, and remain                                                                                   respectfully

                                                Your Obedient Servant

                                                            Garland Hurt

                                                            Ind. Agt. Utah

Hon. J.W. Denver

            Commissioner

                        Washington

                             D.C.

__________

LETTER FROM GARLAND HURT, UTAH TERRITORIAL INDIAN AGENT, TO J.W. DENVER, COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS

 

                                                            Gt. Salt Lake City,

                                                            July 2nd 1857

Sir

            Your letter of the 22 May advising me of the nonacceptance of my Drafts No. 28, 29, 30, and 27 was recd par June mail.  And as the nonacceptance of these drafts with others drawn by me on the 6th Janr last, has so embarrassed my official transactions as to render it impossible for me to proceed further without a more correct understanding of my position.  You will pardon me for adverting briefly to the history and condition of the Indian Service in this Territory.  Having become early convinced of the unsoundness of the policy which had formerly been adopted among these tribes, and believing it to be injurious, both to the Indians and the interests of the Country, I resolved to remedy the evil if possible, and plant our relations with them upon a basis more consistent with sound principles, and the object for which government has established her authority over them, and appropriates money for their benefit.

            I could see no way by which to accomplish this object, and at the same time do justice to these poor, starving creatures but to settle them in permanent abodes, on tracts of land adapted for cultivation, and in doing this I must say in justice to myself, and with deferance to the feelings and interests of others, that I have incurred the greater portion of the necessary expenses of the Indian Service in this Territory.  I allude to this because I have been charged with drawing an undue proportion of the appropriation for this Territory, which I contend is unjust, if the value of my services are to be at all considered.  These Indian settlements now engross the greater portion of the service in this  Territory, which has been endorses by me alone.  While at the same time, I have been required to perform in my judgement the greater portion of the service outside of these settlements, which may be seen from my official correspondence if they have ever reached your office. 

            It was to be expected that His Excellency would have districted the Territory between his subordinates, and have alloted to each of them a due proportion of the service, which he has neglected to do, leaving us without any data upon which to form an estimate of the amount of service which we might be called upon to perform.  These things being considered, may I enquire if these Indian settlements can be sustained and regarded as a part of the portion of the Indian Service in this Territory?  I have struggled for the last two years to preserve, out of the abundance of land, which they once called their own, the comforts of a house and a fireside for these poor destitute creatures, and I would ask the country to sustain me in an application of the funds alloted for their benefit, in that way and manner which will redown [sic] to their greatest advantage both present and future.

                                                            I remain

                                                            Very respectfully

                                                Your obedient servant

                                                            Garland Hurt

                                                            Ind. Agt. Utah

Hon. J.W. Denver.

            Coms. Ind. Affrs

            Washington

                  D.C.

__________

LETTER FROM BRIGHAM YOUNG, UTAH TERRITORIAL GOVERNOR AND SUPERINTENDENT OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, TO GARLAND HURT, UTAH TERRITORIAL INDIAN AGENT

 

Copy

                                    Office Superintendent of Indian Affairs

                                                Great Salt Lake City,

                                                            Territory of Utah,

                                                            Sept 26th. 1857.

Dr Garland Hurt,

U.S. Indian Agent for the Territory of Utah: --

            Sir: --

                        I am informed that you purpose going to the States by some unfrequented route, and in company with certain Indians as pilots and traveling companions.  Such a course is very unsafe and highly improper in an officer of our Government.  I  therefore respectfully advise you, when you are ready to start upon your journey to the east, to call upon me at my office in Great Salt Lake City, and I hereby pledge you sufficient escort and a comfortable carriage for your speedy and safe transportation to the protection of the United States troops enroute for this Territory.

            Trusting that this advise will meet with cheerful compliance on your part.

                                                                        I am

                                                (signed) Brigham Young

                                    Governor and Ex Officio Supt.

                                                            Of Indian Affairs.

__________

LETTER FROM BRIGHAM YOUNG, UTAH TERRITORIAL GOVERNOR AND SUPERINTENDENT OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, TO GEORGE W. ARMSTRONG, UTAH TERRITORIAL INDIAN AGENT

 

                        Office of Superintendent of Indian Affairs

                                    Great Salt Lake City Utah Territory

                                                            Oct 16th 1857

George W. Armstrong

U.S. Indian Agent

            Sir

                        Since Dr Garland Hurt, late U.S. Indian Agent, has seen proper to abandon his Agency in this Territory you are hereby instructed to operate in the affairs of his late agency to carry on or wind up the affairs thereof to the best interests of the Indians, the Government and all parties concerned.

            I would recommend that Bishop John L. Butler at Spanish Fork,  Bishop Warren S. Snow at Manti, Bishop Lewis Brunson at Fillmore, and Bishop Farnsworth at Beaver be requested by you to aid you in carrying out this instruction in their several localities.

            All is peace and good news from the East,

                                                (signed) Brigham Young

                                    Governor and Superintendent

                                                of Indian Affairs

                                                P.S. By reference

__________

LETTER FROM GARLAND HURT, UTAH TERRITORIAL INDIAN AGENT, TO COL. A.S. JOHNSTON, U.S. ARMY

 

                                                Camp on Sweet Water

                                                            Oct. 24th 1857

Sir,

            Having recently fled from the Indian Settlement on Spanish Fork in the Territory of Utah somewhat precipitately and reached this place on yesterday after wandering for 27 days through mountains and deserts in company with the Utah Indians, I venture to trouble you with a brief statement of the circumstances which induced me to abandon the Agency and entrust my life to the care and protection of the savages.

            For sometime previous to my departure, it had been the settled opinion of the people of Utah that the troops could not get farther than Green Rive this season; consequently I reasonably concluded that the Territorial officers would no venture to cross the mountains before Spring, and under the embarrased condition in which the retention of the mails, and the very unsettled state of governmental relations with Utah had placed me, I deemed it important to seek and interview with them before winter set in.  And as I had been previously advised that no person would be allowed to leave the Territory or cross the mountains without the humiliating ceremony of applying to Brigham Young for a passport, the alternative of organizing an Indian escort suggested itself to my mind:  The first conception of which grew out of the deep concern these untutored creatures had, for sometime manifested for my safety.  And I was the more inclined to avail myself of this suggestion from the fact that several of the chiefs of the Uinta Country were then on a visit at the farm soliciting me to accompany them to that valley for the purpose of inspecting the adaptation of its climate and soil for the cultivation of grain, as they had become much pleased with the course of policy we were pursuing with the Indians in Utah County.

            On the morning of the 27th ult, while I was yet discussing the propriety of  this resolution in my mind, some half dozen of the natives rushed into my office room exclaiming, friend! friend! the mormons will kill you, and pointed to the window on the eastern side of the house.  On looking out, to my surprise I saw some 75 or 100 armed dragoons stationed in the road about a mile from the house, and as I did not manifest quite as much concern as the Indians thought the occasion justified they gathered hold of me and gave me to understand that they would not let me stay any longer.  I commenced arranging my official papers so as to be able to remove them instantly if necessary, for I did not understand what it all meant.  In a few seconds another Indian came in to inform me that the Spanish Fork canyon was full of Mormons armed with guns and pistols, and said they were going to kill me, and he had scarely time to tell his story when another came in great haste and said that a Mormon Squaw at Springville had told him to run and tell me that the Mormons were going to kill me.  He also reported a large body of armed men on the road between Springville and the Indian farm.  It was also reported by another Indian that the Mormons at Payson (the town on the South) were all in arms (although it was Sabbath).

            The Indians would not quit my room, but began to gather up my bedding and wearing apparel when my Interpreter came into the room in an apparent state of excitement and exclaimed, "Doctor your gone in!"

            I asked what it all meant?  He said it was understood all over the country that I was about leaving with the Indians, and handed me a not from Mr. Butler, Bishop of the Spanish Fork settlement, stating that he had learned from various sources that I intended going out with the Indians in violation of the Marshal law now in force.  He felt it his duty to inform me that I could not leave, That they were resolved to enforce the law at all hazards.

            I regret having mislaid this letter, but the above is its purport, which revealed to me the meaning of so much military array.

            To think that an officer of the government should be thus menaced while in the peaceful discharge of his official duties, could not fail to excite in the bosom of any one possessed of a spark of patriotism, feelings of the most indignant scorn.  To be detained by force and used as a tool in a most treasonable opposition to the laws of the country, as occasion might require, or to fall a victim to that brutal revenge which seeks gratification only in the sacrifice of life, was too humiliating to contemplate for a moment.  I determined to extricate myself from the dilemma or die in the attempt, and turned to ask some one to bring my horse, but when I reached the door I found that the Chiefs son (a sprightly boy) had already performed that service, and while he was saddling him I gathered my papers and remaining clothes, threw them into some meal sacks and pitched them out of doors to the Indians, who all appeared eager to assist me in my escape.

            In the presence of an armed populace I set out in company with three Indian youths whose names are Pete, Sam, and Showereshockets.  Mr. Joseph P. Watters [sic] of Salt Lake City also accompanied me.

            Instead of going east as our enemies expected, we took a western course, but when it was discovered that we intended reaching the mountains by a circuitous route, some half dozen persons on horse-back came out from the town of Payson to top our course just ahead of us.  We wheeled short to the right, but just in our front lay a small stream so deep and miry that stock were not in the habit of crossing it.  I urged my horse and he attempted to clear it at a single bound, but failing to reach the opposite bank with his hind feet, fell back into water and mud over the top of his hips.  I lit upon the bank over his head and by pulling at the reins assisted him extricating himself which he did after several desperate struggles.  My comrades sallied down stream a little and had better success.  Our pursuers were by this time within three or four hundred yards of us.  I remounted in haste and soon found to my great satisfaction that the stamina of the noble animal had not been much exhausted, and though I lost my spurr in the struggle, that I could easily dispense with its service.  At the distance of about two milles we reached the base of a low mountain ranging north and south, but were doubting the propriety of pursuing a western course as our friend behind were not aware of this change of the programme but just at this time a dispatch was brought us by two boys from the old chief telling us to be sure and return to the farm that night.  We reached the summit as the sun was about setting and made a feint.  Instead of continuing west, we only descended far enough below the summit to hide ourselves and turned north, and continuing that course for two or three miles when we thought our pursuers were about gaining the summit we turned again upon the eastern side of slope, and dropped into a little hollow where we waited for daylight to disappear.

            This completely foiled our enemies, for the ground was so hard and stony that they could not discover our tracks, and as the half grown moon began to shed his silver rays upon the mountain slope, we remounted and bounded over the prairie towards the point from whence we had set out.  We reached the farm at about 8 P.M. and found about one hundred of our red friends anxiously waiting our return, and who manifested great joy at our arrival.  My first enquiry was where the mormons were?  When twenty voices shouted Catch carry mormon (not here mormon)

            I had left some 45 head of horses and mules and was about inquiring for them when i discovered that they were upon the back of the most of them.  They then related how they had sallied out during the day and driven the enemy out of the canyon with threats of  what course they should pursue in the event that I and my comrades were murdered.  Taking some bread and meat that we found in the cellar we made our escape up the Spanish Fork in the direction of the Uinta country, and before 10 oclock the next day had placed ourselves quite beyond the reach of  our enemies and had passed in  the mean time no less than three hundred Indians, the most of whom had left the farm the day before and were halting on the way to learn more fully the fate of the American as they called me, and before sunset all my papers, clothes &c. were returned to my possession.

            From that time hence I have been entirely dependent upon these poor untutored children of nature for  life and sustenance.  I have shared a liberal portion of their meager hospitalities and crude sympathies in my bereavements, and though they were evidently conscious that they were unable to treat me as I had been accustomed, they have manifested a devotion to my person, and regard for my safely far in advance of  their present knowledge of  christian civilization.

            When we left the Indian Settlement the season was mild and salubrious, but as early as the 9th inst we encountered a severe snow storm, which pelted without mercy the naked skins of  my starving escort.  Also on the 12th and 13th in crossing the Green River mountains, we wandered through snow knee deep, subjecting my party to the utmost degree of privation and suffering, yet throughout their attachment was unremitting, and they would often when around their camp fires assure me that if any attemps were made to take my life, they would die in my defence.  The weather is now becoming intensely cold even as early as the 16th winter had set in with unusual severity, while in the mean time we became short of provisions and were compelled to  submit to  the most extreme suffering from hunger during the last two days of our journey.  Yet through all these privations I had the satisfaction to  be frequently assured that my companions would feel themselves amply rewarded if they could only be the means of restoring me to the bosom of my friends, and relieving me from that danger to which they had so  often warned me that my life was exposed.  I feel it a duty which I owe to the Utahs to make a fair and candid exposition of these facts, for I doubt if ever and agent of the government in the Indian Service witnessed similar attachment for his person or more loyalty to those laws and regulations which have been instituted for their government than has been manifested on this occasion.  The absence of any one in charge of this superintendency I trust will be a sufficient apology for thus obtruding these facts upon your notice.

                                                            very respectfully

                                                Your Obedient Servant

                                                            Garland Hurt

                                                            Ind. Agt.

Col. A.S. Johnston, U.S.A.

__________

LETTER FROM J. FORNEY, UTAH TERRITORIAL SUPERINTENDENT OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, TO GEN. J.W. DENVER, COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS

 

                                                Fort Laramie.  Oct 26. 1857

Genl. J.W. Denver.

            Dear Sir.

                        I arrived here last Friday evening the troops got here Friday morning, I will leave this evening.  Our party will leave to morrow morning.  We met with no hostile Indians, between this & Ft. Kearney.

            I here availed myself, of every opportunity to obtain information of the Indians, & their condition, in Utah.  have obtained some usefull information.  My present intention is to leave the main road, several hundred miles from here, to have an interview with the "Snake Indians."  I have assertained, that I can have an interview with the Utahs.  I am informed that a portion of this Tribe, are Mormons, -- Brigham Young, boasts that he has several Indian tribes in his service, & ready to take up arms against the U. States.  I will know the truth of this report in a few weeks.

            Any thing, I may need for the Indians, can be got at Green River from a Train, belonging to a Merchant in S. L. City.

                                                Truly & Respectfully your Fr

                                                            J. Forney

                                    Superintendent Indian A. Utah

__________

LETTER FROM J. FORNEY, UTAH TERRITORIAL SUPERINTENDENT OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, TO GEN. J.W. DENVER, COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS

 

                        Head-Quarters of Army for Utah.

                                    "Camp Scott," Nov 30th, 1857.

                                                Green River Co. U.T.

Genl. J.W. Denver.

            Commissioner of Indian

                        Affairs

                        Dear Sir.

                        I arrived here several days ago, with Col Cooks command.  Circumstances compells the Army to remain here untill spring.  All the civil officers for Utah are here & must of course remain under the protection of the Army.  The Govenor will in a few days organize the Territorial Government.

            I expect within two weeks, to have an interview, with the Cheif of the Snake Tribe, which are in winter quarters a short distance from here.  I will also within a few months visit in company with Agent Dr. Hurt, several other Tribes.  Dr Hurt, was driven from his Indian Farm, in "Salt Lake Valley," by the Mormons, & is & will remain in this camp.  The Dr. will report to me as soon as we get fixed.  We are at present all engaged building houses (cabins) & fixing up for the winter.  I am at present writing in my carriage with gloves on my hands.  The thermometer below zero.

                                    Very Respectfully your obt. Servt.

                                                            J. Forney

                        Surperintendent U

__________

LETTER FROM GEORGE W. ARMSTRONG, UTAH TERRITORIAL INDIAN AGENT, TO J.W. DENVER, COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS

 

                        Office of Indian Agency

                                    City of Provo December 1st 1857

Sir

            I received a letter from Governor Brigham Young who still officiates as Superintendent of Indian Affairs (the newly appointed Superintendent not having arrived) dated 16th of October last instructing me to operate in the affairs of Major Garland Hurt who has seen proper for reasons with which I am not acquainted to leave this Territory.  I have complied with the instructions of the Superintendent and on the 17th day of October last entered upon the duties of his Agency in connection with those of my own, and as the affairs of his Agency is in a Somewhat embarrassed condition it will require some time to make out a correct report of the condition of his affairs on the different reservations viz. at Spanish Fork, Corn Creek, and north and south San Pete, but as soon as circumstances will admit, I will forward a report of the condition of the Agency as far as I shall be able to collect them accurately.  I have deemed it prudent to forward a copy of the Superintendents letter for the use of the Department.

                                                I have the honour to be

                                                Most respectfully

                                                Your obedient Servant

                                                Geo. W. Armstrong

                                                Indian Agent

Hon. J.W. Denver

Com. of Indian Affairs

            Washington D.C.

__________

LETTER FROM GEORGE W. ARMSTRONG, UTAH TERRITORIAL INDIAN AGENT, TO JACOB THOMPSON, SECRETARY OF INTERIOR

 

                        Office of Indian Agency

                                    City of Provo December 1st 1857

Sir

            I received a letter from Governor Brigham Young who still officiates as Superintendent of Indian Affairs (the newly appointed Superintendent not having arrived) dated 16th of October last instructing me to operate in the affairs of Major Garland Hurt who has seen proper for reasons with which I am not acquainted to leave this Territory.  I have complied with the instructions of the Superintendent and on the 17th day of October last entered upon the duties of his Agency in connection with those of my own, and as the affairs of his Agency is in a Somewhat embarrassed condition it will require some time to make out a correct report of the condition of his affairs on the different reservations viz. at Spanish Fork, Corn Creek, and north and south San Pete, but as soon as circumstances will admit, I will forward a report of the condition of the Agency as far as I shall be able to collect them accurately.  I have deemed it prudent to forward a copy of the Superintendents letter for the use of the Department.

                                                I have the honour to be

                                                Most respectfully

                                                Your obedient Servant

                                                Geo. W. Armstrong

                                                Indian Agent

Hon. Jacob Thompson

    Secretary Interior

            Washington D.C.

__________

LETTER FROM J. FORNEY, UTAH TERRITORIAL SUPERINTENDENT OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, TO GEN. J.W. DENVER, COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS

 

            Head Quarters of Army for U.T. Camp Scott. Green. R. County

                                                                        Dec 14.

                                                                        1857.

Dear Sir.

            In compliance with a regulation of your department, making it the duty of Superintendents to report annually, I submit the following report.

            Having been in the Territory of Utah, but a few weeks, I have consequently but little to report.  I arrived at the camp, the latter part of last month, & was informed by Co. Johnston, the commanding officer, that the Army, would go into Winter quarters at this place.  All civil officers are stoping [sic] here, and I am obliged to do the same.  I have been busily engaged erecting a cabin and in some degree suitable for an office and dwelling, will have it finished in a few days.

            "Little Soldier," Cheif of a small Tribe of Sho-sho-ne Indians visited me last Tuesday, and remained in camp two days.  This Cheif had with him several of his men, and also an Indian named Ben Simons, formerly of the Deleware Tribe, but for the last Twenty years a trader among the Indians of this Territory.  Ben, speaks most of the languages of this region, and English sufficiently well to answer for an interpreter.

            Little Soldiers tribe is at present encampted in Weber Valley, on the road leading from this camp to Salt Lake.  Consequently in close proximity to the Mormons, and in a position to render assential service to the Mormons, should they be so disposed.  Little Soldier assured me however, that they have always kept aloof from Mormon delusions and maintained strict integrity towards the U. States and any of her citizens, who have traded through his country.  I have satisfied myself that they have not deceived me.  Inasmuch as this Tribe have not acceeded to the wishes of the Mormons, & as an inducement for a continuence of friendship I have given them some presents for which they were very thankfull and much pleased.

            I herewith transmit to you, the Report of Agent Dr. Hurt.  I have examined the Report carefully and have talked with men, of unquestionable integrity who have seen the Indian Farms, and so far as I have been able to investigate the matter justice compells me to bear favourable testimony to the policy of Dr. Hurt, in introducing agriculture among these Tribes.

            Dr. Hurt has undoubtably given his entire time & energies to improve the condition of the Tribes, in his neighbourhood, & has by his devotion to their interest endeared himself much to them, and also stimulated other Tribes who have come many miles, to visit these farms, and are asking instruction.  Dr. H has accomplished all this without any assistance from those around him, but in many instances had to encounter obsticles thrown in his way.  For the reasons, for which Dr. Hurt abandoned the farms, I refer you to his letter to Col. Johnston.

            Permanently locating the Indian Tribes of this Territory, and the introduction among them, of agricultural and mechanical persuits, shall be may cheif aim.

                                                I remain very Respectfully

                                                            Your ob Servt.

                                                            J. Forney

                                                Supt of Indian Afr. U.T.

Genl. J.W. Denver

Com. of Indian Affairs

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FRAGMENT OF LETTER SIGNED BY GARLAND HURT, UTAH TERRITORIAL INDIAN AGENT, ADDRESSEE UNKNOWN, DATE UNKNOWN [1857?]

As we shall have between five and six hundred acres in cultivation on the three farms which must be irrigated and harvested, and as I shall necessarily have to provide some clothing, provisions and cooking utensils for those who settle the farms, and make suitable presents to those who visit us from a distance, I shall be obliged to expend about five thousand dollars in each of the two ensuing quarters ending Sept. 30th and if the commissioner will remit drafts for that amount he will greatly oblige.

                                                            Very respectfully,

                                                            Garland Hurt

                                                            Ind. Agt. Utah.

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FRAGMENT OF LETTER FROM GEORGE W. ARMSTRONG, UTAH TERRITORIAL INDIAN AGENT, ADDRESSEE UNKNOWN, DATE UNKNOWN [POSSIBLE REPLY TO LETTER DATED OCT. 16TH, 1857]

P.S. By reference to the books of Major Hurt I find that the individuals mentioned in the Superintendents letter are generally those that were in his employ at the time he left the Territory.

                                                            Respectfully

                                                Geo. W. Armstrong

                                                            Indian Agent

Letters from Nevada Indian Agents 1849-1861 (1981): 1849;  1850;  1851;  1852;  1853;  1854;  1855;  1856;  1857;  1858;  1859;  1860;  1861