Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Puncahs, Iowas, Winnebagoes and “Half-breeds,”. 1,000 Other EMIGRANT TRIBES, namely, Sacs and Foxes of the Missouri (200); Kickapoos, Delawares, Wyandots (558); Shawnees, Pottawatomies, Sacs and Foxes of the Mississippi (2,173); Chippewas of Swan Creek (30); Ottowas (247); Peorias, Kaskaskias, Weas and Piankeshaws, with Omahas, and Ottoes, and Missourias, who are not Emigrants, 14,384% Pawnees, Kanzas, Osages, . . . . . . . 11,000 t There are also fragments of Munsees and Stockbridges, . . . . . . . . . . . 150

Total, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65,374

who are scattered over a territory embracing about five hundred thousand square miles. o The Camanches, Kiaways, Apaches, Arapahoes and Cheyennes are roving tribes, of whom no estimate is made. The Camanches seldom come so far north as Kanzas in large numbers. The tribes here described as Emigrant tribes held the finest portions of Nebraska and Kanzas, under the treaties with government, by which they were removed from their

* With these Indians, councils were held last year. At that time they held thirteen million two hundred and twenty thousand four hundred and eighty acres of land ; an average of nine hundred and twenty acres each.

f Who held, before the recent treaties, about eighteen million acres of land.

INDIAN TITLE CANCELLED, 59

old homes. Their number, however, had been diminishing so rapidly, that even had they ever needed all this land, they could not now occupy it, while the beauty and fertility of the land attracted the eager attention of settlers. The obligations of the government, however, have been loyally maintained. No “squatting” has been permitted on these regions, and, although the Indians have suffered from the passage of emigrant parties through their reservations, that right was left to the whites by the treaties by which the reservations were made. As early as 1848 the Indian department suggested some measures for obtaining possession for the government of a part of these lands, that they might be thrown open to settlement. No authority was granted for treaties, however, till 1853, when Mr. Manypenny, the Indian commissioner, went into the territories to attempt some arrangement with the tribes. He was not very successful, however, and the matter was deferred till the last spring. This year treaties have been negotiated with almost all of these tribes. These sheets are put to press before those treaties have been printed. But it appears from a letter of Mr. Manypenny that the Omahas, Ottoes and Missourias, Sacs and Foxes of the Missouri, and Kickapoos, have sold all their land to the government, with the reservation of their own homesteads only. The Iowas have sold all theirs but ninety-six thousand acres; and the Delawares, all but five hundred and thirty-eight thousand five hundred acres. These two reservations, amounting to six hundred and thirty-four thousand five hundred acres, are, however, to be surveyed and put into the market with the rest, by the United States officers; but there will be no preemption rights upon these, and the money paid by purchasers will be paid to the Indians themselves. These treaties have been ratified by the Senate. Similar treaties with the tribes south of the Kanzas throw open to settlers two million twenty-six thousand acres of their land; all, indeed, owned by these tribes, except two hundred and eight thousand one hundred and sixty acres, belonging to the Weas and Piankeshaws, which is to be sold for their benefit, like the Delaware and Iowa reservations spoken of above. It is understood that these treaties were ratified by the Senate at the close of the session just finished, although the official promulgation had not been made when this sheet was prepared for publication. There are, therefore, no material obstructions to settlement arising from the Indian titles, though it may be necessary, for a few months, for settlers to abstain from locating on the three . small reservations spoken of Nearly fourteen million acres are open, however, for their selection.

C H A P T E R III.

NEBRASKA.

Rivers — Walleys — Soil and face of the country.

THE opportunities offered in the new territories for the arts of civilized life, open the questions most interesting at the present time.

They are watered by streams, which form together the most remarkable system of rivers in the world. From the head waters of the Missouri, to the sea, is a longer channel than that of any other river. This majestic stream has no break to navigation, from the Great Falls to the ocean, a distance of more than four thousand miles. Steamboats of fifteen inches draft can ascend to the falls, at any season of the year, excepting when the river is frozen; and much larger vessels, for a considerable part of the spring and Summer.

The current of the Missouri is rapid, its shores generally bold. Its water is deeply tinged with the earth it bears along. In time of freshet, a piece of shell or of silver can

not be seen when more than a quarter of an inch from the surface. This peculiarity gave it the name of the Muddy river, that being the meaning of the two names Pekitanoui and Missouri, which, in different languages of the Indians, it has borne.

Where the Kanzas river enters it, at the western boundary of the State of Missouri, this magnificent stream is, according to the measurement of Lewis and Clarke, five hundred yards wide. At the Great Falls they found it, in different places, three hundred and four hundred yards wide, and occasionally expanding to a much greater breadth. Two or three hundred miles above the falls, by the river, its width varies from one hundred and fifty to two hundred and fifty yards. At that point, Jefferson, Madison and Gallatin rivers unite to form it, and the name Missouri there begins. These streams are of nearly the same width, about seventy yards wide each. Gov. Stevens, in his late report, expresses the opinion that a small steamboat, built above the falls, could perform most of the distance to this point without interruption.

The measurements here given are to be regarded only as approximations even to an average estimate of the width of the river in various parts. In spring, the volume of its waters is materially increased, and they overflow the bottom lands upon its shores.

The country from the falls down to the river, a distance of two thousand six hundred miles, may be in general char

acterized as prairie. Its general level is high above the

« ZurückWeiter »