Today in History:

900 Series I Volume XLI-II Serial 84 - Price's Missouri Expedition Part II


at Bosque Redondo are principally the poor, who have willingly given themselves up under promises that they should be fed. The rich and powerful portion of them are still in their own country, as I am informed by authority that cannot be doubted. A delegation of Moqui Indians direct from their villages is now at the superintendency, who report that the wealth and power of the Navajoes has scarcely been touched. I would also, in this connection, refer you to the opinion of Agent Mansanarez, whose letter upon the subject will be found inclosed. It may be urged that it would be an unnecessary expense to send back 4,500 paupers, now at Fort Sumner, to their own country; but, sir, if it does cost a few thousand dollars, it will cost ten times the amount to catch and remove the wealthy portion of the tribe to the Bosque, and years will elapse before it is accomplished, and if it is, parties will escape stealthily from the reservation (as they are now doing) and return to their old haunts, and on their way back will seldom return empty. Six complaints of stock having been stolen by Navajoes have been reported during the last two weeks, some of which are official, as will be seen by Agent Mansanarez's letter, in one case within eighteen miles of Santa Fe. Yet it is claimed that the tribe is subdued.

I have for many years advocated the policy of establishing reservations for all the nomadic tribes of this Territory, and hope one will be established for the Navajoes, but when it is, the interest of the General Government and the people of the Territory should be considered. If removed to the Bosque Redondo, which has already been set apart for the Apaches, difficulties and complications will constantly arise between these tribes, and also between them and the people of the Territory, whose best grazing country is in that portion of the Territory. I hope, therefore, the plan of appointing commissioners to select a reservation will be adhered to. The people of New Mexico are almost universally opposed to the location of this tribe at Fort Sumner, or even in New Mexico, as they belong properly to the Territory of Arizona. I shall anxiously await your instructions, as it is impossible at this time for the Interior Department to take charge of them. Removed from their own country, and consequently from every resource of their own, they must be fed, and the feeding alone of these now held as prisoners will (and does at this time) involve an expenditure of at least $50,000 monthly. This is a heavy expenditure, and if the whole tribe is removed it will be much more than doubled. Another and important consideration is, that the supplies cannot be furnished in this Territory. Beef since the feeding of the Indians has commenced has advanced more than 100 per ent. and sheep from $2.50 to $4 per head, and the poor people of the Territory are now suffering severely on account of the high price of provisions. A gloomy picture, yet true.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Superintendent Indian Affairs, New Mexico.


ABIQUIN AGENCY, May 19, 1864.


Superintendent Indian Affairs:

SIR: I was very glad to hear of your safe arrival at Santa Fe, and to learn that you were in good health. In regard to the Capote, Utahs, and Winoches within this agency everything is quiet on this frontier. During sometime last week the Navajo Indians ran off ten animals,