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United States, and another to the House of Representatives, to be laid be. fore Congress.
INSTRUCTIONS AS ADOPTED BY THE CONVENTION.
We, the people of New Mexico, in convention assembled, having elected a delegate to represent this territory in the Congress of the United States, and to urge upon the supreme government a redress of our grievances, and the protection due to us as citizens of our common country, under the constitution, instruct him as follows: That whereas, for the last three years, we have suffered under the paralyzing effects of a government undefined and doubtful in its character, inefficient to protect the rights of the people, or to discharge the high and absolute duty of every government, the enforcement and regular administration of its own laws, in consequence of which, industry and enterprise are paralyzed, and discontent and confusion prevail throughout the land; the want of proper protection against the various barbarous tribes of Indians that surround us on every side, has prevented the extension of settlements upon our valuable public domain, and rendered utterly futile every attempt to explore or develop the great resources of the territory; surrounded by the Eutaws, Comanches, and Apaches, on the north, east, and south, by the Navijos on the west, with Jicarillas within our limits, and without any adequate protection against their hostile inroads; our flocks and herds are driven off by thousands; our fellow citizens, men, women and children, are murdered or carried into captivity; many of our citizens of all ages and sexes are at this moment suffering all the horrors of barbarian bondage, and it is utterly out of our power to obtain their release from a condition to which death would be preferable; the wealth of our territory is being diminished; we have neither the means nor any adopted plan by government for the education of the rising generation; in fine, with a government temporary, doubtful, uncertain, and inefficient in character and in operation, surrounded and despoiled by barbarous foes, ruin appears inevitably before us, unless speedy and effectual protection be extended to us by the Congress of the United States: Therefore it is
Resolved, That our delegate to Congress is hereby instructed to urge impressively upon the government the necessity of a properly organized and efficient military force, competent in numbers to the entire subjection of our Indian enemies; that a part of said force should consist of a regiment of mounted rangers, levied from this territory.
Resolved, That he urge upon Congress the imperative necessity for the establishment of a sufficient fund or resource for the education of the people; that all salines or salt lakes be placed in possession of the territorial government for the free use and benefit of the people.
Resolved, That he ask the necessary appropriations from Congress for the erection of territorial and county buildings; for a library at the capital for the use of the government; for the erection of public highways; and the extension of post roads throughout the territory.
Resolved, That he ask of Congress the appointment of suitable persons of capacity and practical knowledge, with necessary appropriations, to effect à careful geological survey of the territory.
Resolved, That he ask the insertion of a clause in the constitution of **the territory protecting the people in their religious rights as Catholics, and prohibiting all possibility of the interference of either military or civil tribunals with the rights and privileges of the Catholic church;
That he shall define the boundaries of New Mexico as follows: Bounded north by the Indian territory, west by California, south by the boundary Jine between Mexico and the United States, and east by the State of Texas; :
That he shall insist upon the permanent establishment of two regiments of troops within the territory;
That one of said regiments shall be raised, organized, and officered within this territory, and constituted of the hardy mountaineers and native citizens;
That he shall have inserted in said constitution a provision which shall secure the compliance with contracts between master and servant, according to the intent of the parties;
That he shall urge the establishment of a fort in the heart of the Navijo country, to protect the people against the incursions and robberies of this formidable and marauding Indian tribe;
That he shall have inserted in said constitution a provision to protect the people against unjust or malevolent litigation, and securing to all per-sons who have a possession of land or real estate, for twenty years without interruption, a full and indefeasible title;
That the laws of Mexico, heretofore in force, regarding the mineral lands and the working of mines, be continued in force, by making a constitutional provision to that effect.
ANTONIO JOSE MARTINEZ, President. JAMES H. QUINN, Secretary.
Report of John Wilson, Indian agent at the Great Salt Lake.
GREAT SALT LAKE VALLEY,
Salt Lake Indian Agency, September 4, 1849. Sir: Referring you to my letter dated at Fort Bridger, for what I said in relation to the Indians east of the Sierra Nevada, as to nations, bands, numbers, claimed boundaries, as well as some few items as to their manners and customs, my opportunities since have been such as not to add much to the information I then had the honor to communicate. All subsequent information received strongly confirms my then impressions, that the Sho-sho-nies, as a nation, must soon perish for want of food, unless the philanthropy of individuals, or the wisdom and energy of the government, shall devise some method of staying the march of causes which inevitably must produce such a distressing result. You will observe that their claim of boundaries gives them a vast territory, not far from being square; perhaps, however, a little the longest east and west. Our route has, thus far, led us transversely across their territory from the Red Buttes their southeast corner,) in a pretty direct line towards the southwest corner, (somewhere west of the Salt lake.) Hereafter we shall turn more north till we strike the road which leads from Fort Hall to San Francisco, .
and this will thus cause us to pass through the entire length and almost centre of their country. This valley, a very small portion of the country about Fort Hall, probably a part of Cache valley, and it may be New Park, (which latter, you will observe, is the valley of the head of the North fork of the Platte) are the only.portions of all their claim which can ever be applied to the purposes of agriculture, on account of the high altitude of its position; their whole country is essentially a fine grazing conntry during the summer and fall, and many places in the valleys, stock (I mean cattle, horses, mules, &c.) sustain themselves all the year round, and this I am informed they can always do except when the snows are too deep; indeed, with the exception of this valley, the snows always fall too deep; but the face of the country is so covered with high mountains and deep valleys, which produce so many currents of the winds as to almost insure that much of the land is left bare by the drifting, in the deepest snows, so that the cattle, &c., can still get access to the grass which remains upon the land all winter; and although dry, it is good hay, because it is cured without much if any rain; so little of it falls in this country, as to leave the grass cured for hay. This valley has been already taken up by the Latter-Day Saints, who will soon spread to Cache and Bear river valleys if they shall be found to produce grain and vegetables, which is exceedingly doubtful; and the government have already occupied the most favored portion about Fort Hall; and then the Indians will have only the New Park, (if indeed it will answer for agricultural pursuits,) and this is a very small piece of country for so many people to attempt the cultivation of the soil, if it should be the policy of the government to attempt to draw the attention of the Indians to that pursuit to enable them to sustain the simplest but imperative calls of nature. The valley along Black's fork and Harn's fork of Green river and their tribiltaries (in which is Fort Bridger,) is, perhaps, next to this valley, (and you will see the Sho-sho-nies do not claim all this, the most extensive: and most beautiful, and as to pasturage, is perhaps little behind this, but yet it is conceived to be entirely beyond the power of the most approved cultivation to raise either grain or vegetables, so as to pay for the labor of the husbandman, for there is frost nearly every night in the year, as it is reported by those who have long resided therein. The elevation of Fort Bridger is 6,665 feet above the level of the sea; that of the South Pass, 7,085 feet; that of Bear river, (where we crossed it,) 6,836 feet; while the elevation of this valley is only 4,300 feet, and is enclosed in, entirely surrounded by mountains about one and a half mile high. Even in this valley there are light frosts many nights during all the summer months, as I am informed; and indeed, in last month several have fallen while we have been here. There only remain, then, to be mentioned, New Park and Broron's Hole, (see Fremont's map, by Colonel J. J. Abert, if, indeed, that belongs to the Sho-sho-nies (or Snakes,) in which we can expect to find land within their reach and claim fit for cultivation, and it is very questionable whether “the play would be worth the candle" in either.
Under the present statute policy of the government, it will unquestionably become its duty, at as early a day as possible, to extinguish by. treaty their title to this and the Cache valleys and the adjacent country, and a portion near Fort Hall, and at least negotiate for a highway through their country to this valley and Fort Hall, and, I think, to the country about Fort Bridger, where, in my opinion, without delay, there ought to
be established a military post. In a very short time (next year) all the emigration to the Oregon, California, as all to this valley does now, will pass that plase, and from thence diverge into separate roads, which will lead to their respective destinations. There is a road, already opened by partial travel, almost in a direct line from Fort Bridger to Fort Laramie, (see the map before quoted,) which crosses Green river below the mouth of Harn's fork, and, perhaps, above the mouth of Mary's river, and thence pretty directly across to one of the forks of Laramie river, (perhaps the right hand one,) and thence down to Fort Laramie, which will cut off more than 160 miles in the distance; and Mr. Vasques, one of the firm of Bridger & Vasques, who reside at and own Fort Bridger, and who have both resided in this country about 28 years, says it is a much better road, and passes the Rocky mountains by a pass considerably lower than the South Pass, and affords a far better supply of both water and grass the whole road; and as proof that his statement is made upon a complete knowledge of the country, he (Mr. Vasques) is now upon his journey on that road with 7 or 8 ox teams to Fort Laramie for their fall supply of goods, which are already at Fort Laramie; and he intends returning that way with his loaded wagons, thus avoiding a most barren, and, indeed, to cattle, mules, &c., a disastrous road, now travelled from Fort Laramie to the South Pass, called (and properly) the road through the black hills, which we found for many long distances without both water and grass. The country in general, through which the present travel goes, between Fort Laramie and the South Pass, is a desert in every sense of the term. Captain Stansbury, under the guidance of Mr. Bridger, has already traced out and reviewed a road direct from Fort Bridger, so as to cross Bear river just above where it flows into the Great Salt lake, thus making the road almost straight from Laramie to the north end of the Salt lake, which is the direct course towards where the road crosses the Sierra Nevada to California-not only bettering the road for water and grass, but shortening it to this valley 150 miles, and to the Sierra Nevada more than 300 miles on the one at present travelled by Fort Hall, leaving the latter place more than 100 miles to the north. If Mr. Vasques is not deceived (and he cannot be; as he has often travelled it) in relation to the improvement this cut-off will make in the road between Forts Bridger and Laramie, all the travel hereafter to Oregon, California, and this valley, which comes up the Platte, will unquestionably pass by Fort Bridger; even this year more than half the California emigrants passed by Bridger, and those who did not are said to have nearly perished for want of water and grass. Thus, if the above information proves to be correct, (and I have taken all the pains in my power to have it so,) you will see at once the great importance of the position of Fort Bridger, and the inevitable propriety of making it the great military post of this country. Aside from its peculiar propriety, when the facility of the department over which you preside, as regards its intercourse with both the Snake and Utah tribes of Indians, is considered, it is unquestionably the most convenient of all others, so far as I am informed, for the centre of your operations with all the Indians in California, east of the Sierra Nevada. To come to this valley, is entirely too much to the west; to stop short of Bridger, would be too far to the east. Were there any direct communication with the Middle or Old Park, (where the Grand river takes its vise,) it might be more central for a communication with both
Snakes and Utahs, and still more central would the South Park be for a direct communication with the Utahs alone. From the best information I can obtain, (and I hope you will appreciate what I say, when I state that my opportunities have been very limited, and yet nearly all the sources of information, except that of personal examination, have been within my reach that the country affords,) to gain anything like a personal knowledge of the actual situation of these tribes, less than five years' travel on pack mules would scarcely justify the attempt to answer the many questions, with any degree of certainty and accuracy, which are propounded to me in the instructions which were furnished me for my official guidance. I think it probably certain that the two nations, not very far back in their history, were one, and that they originally were but a branch of the Comanches. I suppose it is true that the Snake and Utah languages are now somewhat different, although not essentially so, and yet agree more nearly than either does with that of the Comanches, and that probably the Utah language more nearly resembles the original than the Snakes' does; and one evident cause of this is, (if the supposition be true,) they have remained nearer the parent nation than the Snakes. The Green (or Colorado) river, which rises in the Wind River mountains, the sources of which interlock with those of Lewis's fork of the Co. lumbia, northwest of the South Pass, is, where we cross it on the present road from the latter place to Fort Bridger, a fine stream, nearly of the size of the Ohio at Pittsburg at low water; and, as far as we travelled along it, (only 8 or 10 miles,) continued to be so, with a regular but very rapid current. Its valley, however, did not present any signs to encourage the husbandman to make that his home, nor to entice the herdsman to drive his flock there for pasturage, and it is not till we arrive at Brown's Hole, if then, that it becomes very valuable for either. After that, it is said to furnish in its own, as well as the valleys of its tributaries, (as the Yam-pah, the White, and Grand rivers,) fine and extended bottoms, in many places, that will prove fruitful, and will amply reward the labors of both the agriculturist and herdsman. This, including the New, the Middle, and South Parks, (the two latter, and perhaps the first, are fine valleys for cultivation,) would make a large and fertile country amongst and surrounded by mountains, not desirable for settlements for white people, and perhaps better fitted than any other portion of the United States, now to be had, for the settlement and collocation of a large number of the original inhabitants of the wilderness; and, indeed, if my information be correct, it is the only large and proper space of country within the reach of the governmeut, and suitable for such a purpose, beyond and out of the reach of the millions of Anglo-Saxons, who are pressing towards the setting sun with almost race-horse speed, and will soon cover every reasonably inhabitable spot within our very extended national boundaries, especially towards the west and south. The country spoken of, including the valley of the Green, parts of the headwaters of the Platte and the Arkansas rivers, is the only fitting and sufficiently secluded spot that seems to be left in which to attempt to extend that national philanthropy to the Indians of the mountains which has so many years engaged the attention and expended such vast sums of the treasure of the nation, and which has unquestionably fallen far short of the end expected by those who originated and put in motion this system for civilizing the aborigines of the forest, which has been for many years the business of the Indian bureau to