Collection: Indians in the 1890 Census

San Juan Pueblo

San Juan lies upon the sand dunes, 20 feet above the left bank of the Rio Granule. From this slight elevation the fields stretching to the north, west, and south show by their different colors that a variety of crops is produced. Compared to Taos, the character of San. Juan is more that of it great garden. Crossing the broad acequia, one leaves the arid sands to enter milk verdure. Trim fences of cedar limbs driven into time ground in close line or-dry brush Fastened upon posts with thongs of leather inclose little holdings of half tin acre or more, growing cabbages, melons, beans, squashes, oats peppers and corn. Dense and diminutive orchards of apple and plum trees alternate with these garden plots. Branches overhang and trail upon the hard clay floors beneath. Children play here, and old people on couches enjoy the coolness of the shade. The acequia close at hand spreads its waters by a labyrinth of sub-channels and lesser courses through the verdure, losing itself among tall grasses and reappearing to inclose in its sinuous lines hillocks of pease and beans. Little houses of adobe or of wicker, often adorned by a booth of boughs on top, where the family partakes of its meals, surprise one at almost every exit from the dense shrubbery. At San Juan, out of a population of 406, there are 80...

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Taos Pueblo

Taos, the most northern of the New Mexican pueblos, lies between the Rio Lucero and Rio Taos. Both streams furnish never failing supplies of water, As a consequence, the crops raised by the Indians are remarkably fine. Corn and wheat are produced in about equal quantities. Fruit and vegetables are rarely seen. The farms range in extent from 9 to 13 acres, though’ some members of the community having large families manage as many as 35 acres, and others variously 30, 24, 18, 16, 10, 8, 6, and 3. These farms yield, when well managed, 30 bushels to the...

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Condition of 16 New Mexico Indian Pueblos in 1890

The accompanying report covers 15 pueblos of New Mexico, visited in July, August, and September 1890, namely, Taos, San Juan, Santa Clara, San Ildefonso, Pojoaque, Tesuque, Nambe, San Domingo, Cochiti, Jemez, Zia, Sandia, Santa Ana, San Felipe, and Isleta, with a report on the pueblo of Picuris. by Mr. Frederick P. Muller, February 26, 1891. A comparison of the population of the Pueblo villages of New Mexico, with the extent of their land tenure, leads naturally to the conclusion that they have an abundant opportunity for subsistence from the ground. With but two or three exceptions, grants of at...

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An Odd People at Home

By Charles P. Lummis “In this view of the ‘Strange Corners’ we ought certainly to include a glimpse at the home life of the Pueblos. A social organization which looks upon children as belonging to the mother and not to the father, which makes it absolutely imperative that husband and wife shall be of different divisions of society, which makes it impossible for a man to own a house, and gives every woman entire control of her home, with many other equally remarkable points of etiquette, is surely different from what most of us are used to; but lathe neglected corners of our own country there are 10,000 citizens of the United States to whom these curious arrangements are endeared by the customs of immemorial centuries. “The basis of society in the 26 quaint town republics of the Pueblos [Mr. Lummis includes the 7 Mogul pueblos of Arizona and the 10 pueblos of New Mexico in the 26 pueblos], communities which are by far the most peaceful and the most governed in North America, is not the family, as with us, but the clan. These clans are clusters of families, arbitrary social divisions, of which there are from 6 to 16 in each Pueblo town. In Isleta there are 16 clans: the sun people, the earth people, the water pebble people, the eagle people, the mole people, the antelope...

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Pueblo Indians of New Mexico and their Customs

Whatever changes have been made in the daily life, manners, and customs of the Pueblos are shown in the reports of the special agents, but change is the exception with these people. Comparing present conditions with the descriptions for 30, 50, or 300 years ago, one finds the Pueblos in many details now about as then. Marriages are performed in some of the pueblos after courtship and are celebrated by a priest when there is one at hand, but the old ceremonies of the Pueblo faith are also performed, either before or after the marriage, by the priest. H. H. Bancroft, in his works (volume I, pages 548, 540, 1880), writes of marriage and other customs among the Pueblos as follows: Among the Pueblos the usual order of courtship is reversed. When a girl is disposed to marry she does not wait for a young man to propose to her, but selects one, to her own liking and consults her father, who visits the parents of the youth and acquaints them with his daughter’s wishes. It seldom happens that any objections to the match are made, but it is imperative on the father of the bridegroom to reimburse the parents of the maiden for the loss of their daughter. This is done by an offer of presents in accordance with his rank and wealth. The inhabitants of one village...

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Jicarilla Apache Reservation

Report of Special Agent George B. Meston on the Indians of the Jicarilla Apache reservation, Southern Ute agency, San Juan County, New Mexico, September 1890. Name of Indian tribe occupying said reservation: 1The statements giving tribes, areas, and laws for agencies are from the Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1890, pages 434-445. The population is the result of the census. Jicarilla Apache. The unallotted area of this reservation is 416,000 acres, or 650 square, miles. Partly surveyed. It was established, altered, or changed by executive order of February 11, 1887. Indian population, 1890: 808. Jicarilla Apache Reservation...

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Mescalero Apache Reservation

The area of New Mexico was acquired by the United States by capture and the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo of February 2, 1818, and the Gadsden purchase of December 30, 1853. The Indians discovered therein by the Spaniards in 1539 were the Pueblos, or Towndwellers, along the Rio Grande or on streams tributary to it, the Apaches, in the south and west, some Utes in the north, with occasional foraging parties of Comanches, Pawnees, Sioux, and others. The Texan Indians, including the Lipans (Apaches), frequently roamed the southeastern portion and down into Mexico. The Navajos (Apaches) were the fierce...

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Report on the 19 Pueblos of New Mexico

The report on the 19 pueblos of New Mexico to the Superintendent of Indian Affairs, June 30, 1864, by United States Indian Agent John Ward, after taking the census, is as follows: Much has been written and a great deal more said about the Pueblo Indians, their origin, enigmas, religion, eta., a great portion of which is mere speculation. The Indians have few memorials, if any, to which they can refer for information, while their traditions, from all that can be learned, are rather limited; besides, they have a very imperfect, knowledge of time, distance, or numbers, which readers them incapable of giving correct information in regard to important particulars relative to their history. Notwithstanding all this, however, the Pueblos (or village Indians) are certainly an interesting people. The different dialects spoken by them and the many ruins of ancient pueblos found scattered through the various parts of the country are evidences that the present race is the fragment of once numerous and powerful tribes and confederations. Another interesting fact is, that although speaking different dialects and often located many miles from each other, their habits and customs are so similar as to be hardly distinguishable. Even their governments and mode of conducting local affairs are nearly the same throughout. These and many other peculiarities offer all ample field for research, but as I consider a task of this...

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Condition of the Nevada Indians in 1890

The Moapa River reservation has no subagent. It is a small reservation, 1,000 acres, in southeastern Nevada, and is a mere rallying point for wandering Shoshone Indians. It is nominally attached to the Nevada agency. The civilized (self-supporting) Indians of Nevada, counted in the general census, number 3,599 (1,913 males and 1,686 females), and are distributed as follows: Churchill County, 230; Douglas County, 117; Elko County, 301; Esmeralda, County, 406; Eureka County, 194; Humboldt County, 425; Lander County, 382; Lincoln County, 355; Nye County, 414; Ormsby County, 134; Storey County, 100; Washoe County, 303; White Pine County, 238. These Indians have no peculiarities not indicated in the general descriptions following: Agencies and Reservations Tribe Total Males Females Ration Indians Total 1,552 701 758 494    Nevada agency 966 484 482 110    Western Shoshone agency 586 310 276 294 Nevada agency 966 484 482 110    Pyramid Lake reservation Piute (Pah Ute) 485 250 235 75    Walker River reservation Piute (Pah Ute) 181 234 247 35 Western Shoshone agency 586 810 270 294    Duck Valley reservation (a) Piute (Pah Ute) 203 104 99 102 Western Shoshone 383 206 177 192 Tribe, Stock and Location of the Indians in Nevada Tribes Stock Reservation Agency Gosh Ute Shoshonean Duck Valley Western Shoshone Kaibabit Shoshonean Moapa River Komahwivi (Tantawait, Chimehneva) Shoshonean Moapa River Malheur Shoshonean Duck Valley Western Shoshone Pah...

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Condition of the Nebraska Indians in 1890

The Flandreau Sioux (Santee), who are Indians taxed, are not on a reservation, but are attached to the Santee agency for the purpose of government aid only. They own their lands and are citizens, voting in South Dakota. During 1889 rations were issued to them for 6 months because of failure of crops. The civilized (self-supporting) Indians of Nebraska, counted in the general census, number 2,893 (1,480 males and 1,413 females), and are distributed as follows: Boyd County, 107; Cuming County, 39; Knox County, 625; Nance County, 201; Thurston, County, 1,898; other Counties (5 or less in each), 23. Agencies and Reservations, Tribe, Total, Males, Females, Ration Indians Total, 3,536, 1,707,1,760, 95 Omaha and Winnebago agency, 2,373, 1,184, 1,189, 61 Santee agency, 1,086, 541, 545, 34 Pottawatomie and Great Nemaha agency, Kansas 77, 42, 00 Omaha and Winnebago agency 2, 373, 1,184, 1,189 Omaha reservation, Omaha Tribe, 1,158, 567, 591, 00 Winnebago reservation, Winnebago Tribe, 1,215, 617, 598, 61 Santee and Flandreau agency, _______ Tribe, 1,086, 541, 545, 34 Niobrara reservation, Santee Sioux, 869, 426, 433, 34 Ponca reservation, Ponca of Dakota, 217, 105, 112, 00 Pottawatomie and Great Nemaha agency, Kansas, Sac and Fox reservation, Sac and Fox of Missouri, 77, 42, 35, 00 Omaha and Winnebago Agency The Omahas have been here from the earliest history of the country. They settled on the Omaha reservation in 1854-1855....

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Condition of the Mississippi Indians in 1890

The civilized (self-supporting) Indians of Mississippi, counted in the general census, number 2,030 (1,044 males and 992 females), and are distributed as follows: Attala County, 24; Greene County, 37; Hancock County, 39; Hinds County, 14; Jasper County, 179; Kemper County, 34; Lauderdale County, 14; Leake County, 435; Neshoba, County, 623; Newton County, 349; Perry County, 38; Scott County, 123; Sharkey County 12; Winston County, 41; other counties (9 or less in each), 74. To the east of the gate capital in Mississippi in the uplands are a number of counties not traversed by any railroad, and therefore locally known as cow counties from their dependence for communication on roads and trails, suggestive of cow paths. The greater part of the Indians of the state are out in contiguous cow counties. They are remnants of The Five Civilized Tribes, mainly Choctaws, descendants in part of those who originally were found in this region and did not go west of the Mississippi river, and partly representing those who from time to, time have returned from the west. These people generally own little patches of a few acres, which they cultivate and add to their means of living by working for others, hunting, and some simple handicraft. In the spring they go into the larger towns to dispose of such pelts as they may have collected and sell baskets made in considerable...

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Condition of the Maine Indians in 1890

The civilized (self-supporting) Indians of Maine, counted in the general census, number 559 (299 males and 260 females), and are distributed as follows: Aroostook County, 24; Penobscot County, 387; Piscataquis County, 37; Washington County, 89; other counties (9 or less in each), 22. The United States has no dealings with the Indians of Maine as tribes. The Penobscot Indians have their headquarters at Old Town and dwell chiefly along the Penobscot river in the county of the same name. The state of Maine has an agent for them, and the state treasurer reports $11,026.70 paid out on their account in 1890, of which 82,982 was for shore rents. They are generally of the Roman Catholic faith. Their children attend schools under the town authorities and there is one school under the Sisters of Charity. They carry on a limited agriculture, receiving a bounty from the state for produce. The Penobscot Indians received in the aggregate in 1890 bounties of $200 for the following numbers of bushels of articles named: potatoes, 2,244; beans, 154; pease, 28; oats, 510; barley, 45; buckwheat, 35; root crops, 212. A large part of the tribe goes to summer resorts to sell baskets and other articles of their manufacture. The young men find profitable employment in lumbering, and are esteemed as excellent river drivers. The state agent notes ninny signs of improvement among them. He...

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Montana Indian Agencies

Blackfeet Agency There are but 3 or 4 Blackfeet or Bloods at the Blackfeet reservation. The main body of them is now located in northwest Canada upon reservations and under Canadian agents. The Piegans, with the exception noted, are the only Indians upon this reservation. There are some half-breeds here. From the day of the first knowledge of these people they have roamed from the Missouri river to the Saskatchewan of the north, and from the western line of North Dakota to the Rocky Mountains. The Piegan are the American portion of the Blackfeet Nation. This is the only agency these Indians have had. It was established in: 1855, and the United States Indian agent assumed charge of them then. They are all ration Indians. George Steel, United States Indian agent. Crow Agency The crow Indians were composed of 2 bands, the Mountain and the River Crows, so called from their locations. The latter occupied the country along the Missouri river or British line; the former were located about 250 miles south of that point in the mountains. The Crow Indians signed their first treaty in 1826. They were then probably south of the Kansas and Nebraska line, although there is now no positive evidence thereon. The next heard of this tribe of Indians was in 1868, when they made a treaty at Fort Laramie; since then they have...

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Fort Peck Reservation

Fort Peck Agency Report of Special Agent Jere E. Stevens on the Indians of Port Peck reservation, Port Peck agency, Montana, December 1890, and January 1891. Names of Indian tribes or parts of tribes occupying said reservations: Assinaboine, Brule, Santee, Teton, Unkpapa, and Yanktonai Sioux. The unallotted area of this reservation is 1,776,000 acres, or 2,775 square miles. The reservation has not been surveyed, it was established, altered, or changed by treaty of October 17, 1855 (11 U. S. Stats., p. 657); unratified treaties of’ July 18, 1866, and of July 13 and 15 and September 1, 1868; executive orders, July 5, 1873, and August 19, 1874; act of Congress approved. April 15, 1874 (18 U. S. Stats., p. 28); executive orders, April 13, 1875, and July 13, 1880, and agreement made December 28, 1886, approved by Congress May 1, 1888 (25 U. S. Stats.,p. 113). Indian population 1890: Assinaboine Sioux, 719; Yankton or Dakota Sioux (including 110 Gros Ventres), 1,121; total, 1,840. Fort Peck Reservation Port Peck reservation is located in northeastern Montana, on the north bank of the Missouri River, and is crossed by the Great Northern Railroad. The agency is on the reservation. The name of the railroad station is Poplar, and the name of the post office is Poplar Creek Agency, making it somewhat difficult to determine just where to locate it. The Indians at...

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