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 24





stipulated, that the Fond du Lac Reservation shall embrace the following boundaries:
            Beginning at an island in the St. Louis River, above Knife Portage, called by the Indians Paw-paw-sco-me-me-tig, running thence west to the boundary line heretofore described, thence north along said boundary line to the mouth of Savannah River, thence down the St. Louis River to the place of the beginning.  And if said tract shall contain less than 100,000 acres, a strip of land shall be added on the south side thereof large enough to equal such deficiency.
            Whoever was sent to make a survey of this reservation followed the last clause of the article, band by his survey limited the area to 92,346 acres, the north end of his survey line on the west not reaching within 12 miles of the mouth of the Savannah River, thus defrauding these Indians of over 100,000 acres, which lands were put into the market and long ago disposed of by the United States, and for over a quarter of a century this injustice has been permitted to exist, a festering and deep-seated cause of complaint against the Government.  The Indians at the time of the making of the treaty had the boundary lines definitely fixed, by natural lines to them unmistakable.  They knew no more about acres than they did of the mariner's compass.
            We had no hesitation in promising that the Government would speedily remedy this grave error.
            As the various bands decided to take their allotments on their respective reservations, and have constructively done so, we told them that $90,000 to be advanced and already appropriated would be paid pro rata, as soon after the approval of these negotiations by the President as should be practicable , but not later than the coming spring. The amount will be so small to be paid to each individual that it is not probable that any will elect to receive anything but money.  As they are in the most destitute condition, and as we gave them to understand that the money would be so paid, we trust neither the Indians nor the Commission will be disappointed in this.
            The clause of the act of January 14, 1889, providing for the payment of the interest that may accrue on the permanent fund, was to us obscure inasmuch as it says "one-half of said interest shall be annually paid in cash in equal shares to the heads of families and guardians of orphan minors for their use, and one-fourth of said interest shall during the same period and with the like exception be annually paid in cash in equal shares per capita to all other classes of said Indians." Etc., and as we could neither explain this to the Indians or comprehend it so as to give it such an interpretation we promised the cash payment should be made per capita in equal shares.
            Wherever we went the Indians expressed a desire that the Government would set aside a sufficient quantity of land upon each reservation for Government buildings, such as may be necessary for physician, blacksmith, farmer, carpenters, and for missionaries, traders, etc.  We hope this will be done, and that order, as to the location and the erection of all such buildings, will be enforced.
            They also requested that upon each reservation a tract of pine land be reserved and held by the General Government, as might be necessary for their common use, and to be so held during the pleasure of the Secretary of the Interior.  We earnestly commend this request.
            They all earnestly pleaded for saw-mills, cattle, agricultural and mechanical implements, which they must have or they can make no substantial progress.  They must be assisted in breaking and fencing land, building houses, and with provisions, until they can sustain themselves.  They are no longer tribal Indians, but citizens at present helpless, and







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