1889 - Minnesota Chippewa Commission
Chippewa Indians in Minnesota - 1890 - 51st Congress, 1st Session - House of Representatives - Ex. Doc. No. 247
 
  
Report of the Minnesota Chippewa Commission, page 19




sums hereby and heretofore (act 1880, $75,000) appropriated for the construction of said reservoirs.
            Under these provisions of law Messrs. A. Barnard, of Minneapolis, Thomas Simpson, of Winona, Minn., and Louis Morel, of this office, were designated by the Department, on the 11th of August, 1881, as special agents to ascertain the injury occasioned to friendly Indians by the construction of the reservoirs at Lake Winnebagoshish and Leech Lake, and to determine the amount of damages payable to such friendly Indians as might suffer on account of the construction of said reservoirs; and on the 20th of August the necessary instructions were issued to said agents, defining their duties, and the manner of proceeding to ascertain and determine the damages resulting to friendly Indians.
            On the 6th of October 1881, these agents submitted their findings and award, which was submitted to the Department on October 18, following, for consideration, and if approved, to be forwarded to the Secretary of War for settlement under the act of 1881.
            The injuries arising from the construction of these reservoirs and the assessments of damages to friendly Indians were considered by these agents and reported I separate schedules, one for Lake Winnebagoshish and the other for Leech Lake, being classified as (1) injuries to individual property, and (2) injuries to tribal property.
            The damages were, in the aggregate, at Lake Winnebagoshish, assessed at $8,393.30, and those at Leech Lake, $7,073.60.
            These valuations, amounting jointly to $15,466.90, were approved by the Department and forwarded to the War Department, and the money was placed to the credit of the Interior Department for distribution under the award.
            The Indians protested against this assessment as being entirely too small, and at one time there was a danger of serious outbreak, but the violence was prevented by the friends of the Indians, with the hope that the question of damages would be reconsidered.
            These facts having come to the knowledge of the Department, it was determined to appoint a new commission to assess the damages, and on December 23, 1882, you appointed and commissioned for that purpose General H.H. Sibley and William R. Marshall and Rev. J.A. Gilfillan, who were to serve without compensation other than their necessary expenses.  Subsequently General Sibley, on account of ill health, resigned and R. Blakeley, esq., was appointed to fill his place.
            I am now in receipt, by Department reference, of the report of these gentlemen, dated the 4th instant, submitting in detail the result of their findings.  They state that it was entirely out of the question for the commission to arrive at a reasonable agreement with the Indians as to the amount of damages by the reason of the construction of the dams; and that the amount of land overflowed has been materially reduced, as indicated in letter of Major Allen, of October 24, 1883, the amount being only 46,920 acres, instead of 101,940 acres, as heretofore reported, and in the aggregate is divided as follows, viz:
            Winnebagoshish reservoirs, 23,240 acres; Leech Lake reservoirs, 28,680 acres.
            The commission make awards for timber cut, rock taken, and damages to industries, but none for land taken:
            Their award is follows, viz:
Lake Winnebagoshish and Cass Lake:
            Personal property ….. $1,936.50
            Tribal property …   …$3,649.58
                                             __________
                                                $5,586.58
Leech Lake:
            Personal property   ……..105.00
            Tribal property  …….   1,075.00
                                            __________
                                                $1,180.00
White Earth and Mississippi bands, pine cut, $3,272.10
            The Commission estimate for these latter bands an annual damage for rice, at 10 cents per pound, $8,610, and for hay, at $28 per ton, $9,800; total $18,410.
            For the Indians at Lake Winnebagoshish and Cass Lake they estimate the annual damage as follows, viz:
Hay……………………………$3,640.00
Loss of fish……………………..4,350.00
Loss of cranberries………………. 300.00
Loss of sugar…………………….. 100.00
                                                __________
            Total……………………  8,390.00

           








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