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timber, and less grass. No settlements and no cultivation after passing east from Laguna six miles, on the road to Albuquerque.
About ten miles northwest of Laguna, there is a small Spanish village, called
At one of these points, I venture to say, our government should establish a military post; and I understand Governor Washington will station, at an early day, two companies in that neighborhood. The Navajoes and Apaches are exceedingly troublesome in that neighborhood. At or near Sundia, an Indian pueblo, some fifteen miles on the road from Albuquerque to Santa Fe, five Mexicans were killed by a straggling band of Navajoes, and some property taken off, on the 24th of the preceding month, the second day after we passed, on our return to Santa Fe. Numerous bands of thieving Indians, principally Navajoes, A paches, and Comanches, are straggling in every direction, busily employed in gathering their winter supplies where they have not sown. Not a day passes without hearing of some fresh outrage, and the utmost vigilance of the military force in this country is not sufficient to prevent murders and depredations; and there are but few so bold as to travel alone ten miles from Santa Fe. How are these wrongs to be remedied? I answer, by a compulsory enlightenment, and the imposition of just restraints, both to be enforced at the point of the bayonet. You are already advised, if not before, by my letter of the 29th of July last, that there were wandering bands of Indians who did not cultivate the soil, and lived alone by depredations. The language I used on the occasion alluded to should have been so modified as to have excepted the suistenance which they derive from their sometimes successful bunting of buffaloes, the bear, deer, and other game. It is now stated, upon a more intimate knowledge of the various tribes of Indians in this region, that a vast majority of the Apaches and Comanches live chiefly by depredations; that they look upon the cultivators of the soil with contempt, as inferior beings, the products of whose labor legitimately belong to power—the strongest arm; and that labor, except in war, and in love, and in the chase, is degradation; and the man who has not stolen a horse or scalped an enemy is not worthy of association with these lords of the woods.
The wild Indians of this country have been so much more successful in their robberies since General Kearny took possession of the country, that they do not believe we have the power to chastise them. Is it not time to enlighten them upon this subject, and to put an end to their ceaseless depredations? At this moment, above our established Indian country on the Arkansas, these people are committing every depredation within their power, as far up as Bent's Fort. These, with the Navajoes and Kioways, are known to be in every section of the Territory. Indeed, we are in a state of war; and their disappointment in Mr. Fitzpatrick's promises is their excuse for their conduct. Concerning Mr. F.'s actings and doings, and his promises and authority to act, I am, as yet, wholly ignorant.
The Navajoes commit their wrongs from a pure love of rapine and plunder. They have extensive fields of corn and wheat, fine peach orchards, and grow quantities of melons, squashes, beans, and peas, and have immense flocks of sheep, and a great number of mules and horses of a superior breed. They have nothing of the cow kind. This statement, I know, is antagonistical to official reports made by others; but I report to you from personal knowledge, obtained during Governor Washington's expedition against the Navajoes.
Distance and numbers, by red men, are matters of fact not to be comprehended and understood by Indians of this country as they are else. where. Distance is measured by time, at their pace, which is never slow; and as far as their population is concerned, the governor of the smallest pueblo cannot accurately, rarely approximately, give you the number of its inhabitants.
It is a still much more impracticable matter to ascertain the extent of the population of such a tribe as the Navajoes, the whereabouts of their local habitations depending solely upon the seasons of the year and their apprehensions of danger, not one of them having a permanent abiding place. Their only houses are mere lodges, square or circular, brought to a point about fifteen feet from the ground, and sometimes the outer covering is mud-one room only.
The stone walls which are built and inhabited by them are in the shape, or nearly so, of a square, and sometimes have more than one room from eight to twelve feet in height, and not one that I saw was covered in any way.
The number of Indians of this tribe I do not think can exceed five thousand, and they claim from about 350 to 38° north latitude, and 29° to 33° longitude west from Washington. The conflicting claims of the Utahs east and north, to some extent, must indent their supposed borders; and they are barred on the southeast, south, and west, by special Spanish and Mexican grants to their then Christian Indian allies, all of whom live in pueblos, holding lands in common, the boundaries of which, they say, are distinctly defined by original grants now in existence. They complain of many encroachments upon their boundaries, and hope the United States government will restore them their anciezt rights. Wicked men—some Americans, but chiefly Mexicans--for their own mischievous purposes, have awakened the apprehensions of the Pueblos by declaring the Americans would take from them their lands, and remove them to an unknown region. The fears of many on this point I think I have quieted by the assurance that the President had no designs of that character; instead of which, if their population required it, he would add to their grants rather than narrow their limits.
But to return to the Navajoes. They derive their title to the country over which they roam from mere possession, not knowing from whence they came or how they were planted upon its soil; and its soil is easy of cultivation, and capable of sustaining nearly as many millions of inhabitants as they have thousands. I respectfully suggest, these people should have their limits circumscribed and distinctly marked out, and their departure from said limits should be under certain prescribed rules, at least for some time to come. Even this arrangement would be utterly ineffective unless enforced by the military arm of the country.
These Indians are hardy and intelligent; and it is as natural for them to war against all men, and to take the property of others, as it is for the sun to give light by day.
In reference to a majority of the Apaches and Comanches, they should be learned and made to cultivate the soil, and should have prescribed limits, under the rules and regulations, and to be enforced as suggested above.
The Pueblos, by many, are regarded as a tribe. A more decided error in reference to these Indians could not be suggested. The number of pueblos, each containing inhabitants from 300 to 600, is about twenty,
not including the Indians west or south of the Moques. Of these twenty pueblos, the languages of at least ten of them are altogether different; and it is said by sonie who claim to be judges, there is not the slightest analogy in language existing between any two of them, and they communi. cate with each other through the instrumentality of Mexican interpreters, or pantomimic action. The same may be said of the Apaches and Comanches, with the qualification which follows. I have seen but a few of either of these last-named tribes, and I cannot say there is as much dissimilarity in their languages as exists with the various Pueblos. As to the number of either of these tribes, I cannot even venture a guess; and in reference to the extent of territory claimed by them, no satisfactory information has yet been acquired, nor can it be until a sufficient number of troops are sent here to afford escorts to those who may be charged with such investigations. It may be remarked, however, that the Comanches range principally between 32° and 36° N. latitude, and longitude west from Washington 22o and 27°. From thence west, two or three hundred miles across the Rio Grande, the Apaches are found on both sides of the dividing line between the United States and the United Mexican States; and this circumstance will be fruitful of some trouble, because those on either side of the line will charge upon the others the wrongs they them. selves commit. I am not prepared to say the evils alluded to would have no existence if the article 11th of the late treaty were reciprocal.
The terms by which they hold the country over which they roam is a mere possessory title, which the God of nature has permitted to them; and one tenth of the country would be more than sufficient to satisfy all the wants of a much more consuming people. The disposition of the Utahs is rather equivocal. They have committed no wrongs recently against Americans proper. These Indians met Colonel Beall, who had charge of the expedition ordered against them at the same time Governor Wash. ington marched upon the Navajoes, and agreed to all his demands—an impossibility among them, as I have reason to believe-to wit: the restoration of all the Frémont property lost during the past winter. That was out of the question, as a portion of it, as I am in forned, has long since been consumed. This fact was seized upon by worthless Mexicans to frighten the Indians off; for they made the Indians believe, if every article was not restored, Colonel Beall would cause every one within his reach to be put to death; therefore it was, as I am informed by Colonel Beall, the Utahs did not come up at the appointed time to consummate the treaty agreed upon.
From the facts herein stated, it must be evident to reflecting minds
Ist. That an additional mounted regiment, full and complete, should be in service in New Mexico. I repeat what I have said in a former communication, infantry are useful only in taking care of public stores and isolated places.
2d. Without an additional force, not a single interest of the country can be fully protected.
3d. Military stations ought to be established at Tunicha, and the cañon of Cheille, in the Navajo county; at or near Jemez, Zunia, and Laguna; and perhaps in other places in the direction of El Paso, and within the Pueblo region.
4th. To every pueblo there ought to be sent at once an Indian agent, to. protect the Indians, and to preserve the character of the United States.
Such agents should be continued at each pueblo for the next year or two.
5th. Unless this be done, emigrants and others claiming to be officers of the United States will disaffect these people by their lawless conduct.
6th. It is but fair to presume that in a year or two such improvements in public morals will take place as to justify the discontinuance of most of the agencies that ought now to be in existence in each pueblo. Just at this moment the Pueblo Indians (in number 54) who accompanied Governor Washington in his expedition against the Navajoes are complaining that they are not paid for their services. In New Mexico a better population than these Pueblo Indians cannot be found, and they must be treated with great delicacy. The slightest disappointment in their expectations, no matter how created, they regard as a deliberate deceit practised upon them. If properly cared for and instructed, in all Indian wars these Pueblos would be very important auxiliaries. Even now, notwithstanding the discontent mentioned above, at least two hundred of them could be readily raised for mounted service; and, if I had the military command of this Territory, I should regard them as necessary adjuncts.
In compliance with one of the stipulations of the treaty entered into by Governor Washington with the Navajoes, they are to deliver at Jeinez, on the ninth of next inonth, certain captives and stolen property. Although they have delivered to us sheep, horses, mules, and captives, as an earnest of their intentions, we do not feel confident that they will comply with the terms of the treaty. They may not be there at the time. And on the occasion alluded to, the governors, captains, and alcaldes of most of the pueblos east and north of Moques, it is supposed, will be at Jemez. It is my intention to be there too, and, if permitted, what shall then and there occur shall be immediately thereafter reported to you.
The mail leaves to-morrow morning, and I have not been able to-day to complete the labor that belongs to my position, nor have I been able to revise with care what I have caused to be recorded in the foregoing pages.
It is sincerely hoped I may yet, and in due time, cure my omissions of to-day. No opportunity for the transmission of intelligence shall pass me by without my advising you of my actings and doings, and my where. abouts. I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,
JAMES S. CALHOUN,
Indian Agent, Sunta Fe, New Merico. Colonel MediLL,
Commissioner of Indian Affuirs, Washington city, D. C.
Indian AGENCY, SANTA FE, New Mexico,
October 4, 1849. Sir: Without having recovered from the prostration occasioned, as I suppose, by the occupancy of a room more confined than I have been accustomed to of late, I will attempt to-day to cure some of the omissions which you will have noted in my communication of the first of the present month.
It is with pleasure I bring to your notice several Indians from different pueblos, who accompanied Governor Washington in his late expedition
against the Navajoes. They, as a matter of course, know but little if anything about the military discipline of the United States; yet their depostment and bearing were such as to justify high expectalions of their effectiveness in expeditions against their implacable enemies, the wild tribes of New Mexico.
Of the fifty-four Pueblos with us, the following-named Indians were the most prominent and influential:
From Jemez.- Francisco Soste, civil governor and alcalde.
Hosea Beheale, selected captain to command all the Indians engaged in the expedition. This excellent man is without official position in the pueblo to which he beloags, and there are but few who have such a decided influence over these people generally.
Zia.- Francisco, war captain.
These men are all deserving of favorable consideration. When they were about to part with us to return to their homes, occasion was seized to compliment them upon their gallantry and general good conduct, which was received with lively demonstrations of gratification, and an expression of the desire that the President of the United States should be made acquainted with the estimate in which we held them as men and as soldiers.
In this connexion, I may be pardoned, I trust, for commending, in terms of decided praise, Henry Linn Dodge, captain commanding a volunteer company, also with us in the late Navajo expedition. He was at all times efficient and prompt, and commanded the admiration of Governor Washington, as well as others. If I mistake not, Captain Dodge has a father and brother now senators in Congress.
It may be useless to add, the officers and soldiers fully sustained the character of the American army.
Zunia is an isolated Indian pueblo, one hundred and six miles from the cañon of Cheille, (or Chey,) and eighty-eight miles west of Laguna. At Zunia we met with its governor, Pedro Piero; the captain of war, Salvadore; and the alcalde, Mariana Vaca; all intelligent men. Indeed, the citizens of this pueblo, it is believed, are, in every sense of the word, excellent people, and ought to be immediately protected as well against the lawless conduct of emigrants and others, as against the treacherous Navajoes.
At Laguna the men were out gathering pine moss. Martio Conchi, the alcalde, was at home, and did the honors of the pueblo, and manifested every disposition to oblige us. This village, and another some ten or fifteen miles to its south, (Ăcoma,) from their locations, will continue to suffer gross wrongs, until they are protected by the laws of the United States and the presence of an agent.
I have been kindly furnished with the following statement by the Hon. Joab Houghton, one of the supreme judges of this Territory. If the number of Indians in each pueblo was accurately ascertained, I am of the opinion, from actual examinations in the villages I have visited, the aggregate would be more than ten thousand. Be that as it may, it is desirable to know their entire, strength, and this cannot be done until agencies are duly established.
The pueblos or civilized towns of Indians of the Territory of New Mexi. co are the following: