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did not want peace, or why persist in going into the cañon? The governor ordered our Indians who were talking to the Navajoes to be silent, and we quietly entered the much-talked-of cañon, 284 miles from Santa Fe-rich in its valleys, rich in its fields of grain, and rich in its vegetables and peach orchards. Water at this season of the year may be had in any desirable quantity by digging a few feet, and wood in abundance-pine, juniper, and cedar-a few miles off. The quantity of water that runs through and under the surface of the cañon is immense; and in many places above Cheille there is a bold and continuous stream of pure water; but as it reaches the debouching point, the earth becomes quite porous, and the water sinks a few feet.
Early on the day after our arrival at Cheille, the head chief of the tribe, having ascertained by what process he could approach the governor, presented himself at headquarters, heard the demands of the governor, and, after a rather long talk, pledged himself to a compliance, and appointed the second day thereafter as the time to consummate the agreement. At the appointed time, the head chief, with the second, appeared, and announced their readiness and their full authority to redeem the pledge of the head chief, at the same time bringing forward 104 sheep, 4 mules and horses, and delivering 4 captives.
Merican captives delivered.-1st. Anto. Josea, about ten years old: taken from Jemez, where his parents now live, by the Navajo who delivered him. A flock of goats and sheep were stolen at the same time. he was well treated.
2. Teodosia Gonzales, twelve years of age: was taken, about six years ago, from a corral near the Rio Grande, where he supposes his parents now live. He was stolen while herding goats, but no effort was made to take the goats. He was well treated.
3d. Marceta, eighteen years of age: was taken from Socorro, and knows nothing of his parents, nor how long he has been a captive. He has evi. dently been a captive many years, as he has entirely forgotten his native tongue. The novelty of a home, as explained to him, seemed to excite nim somewhat.
4th. Josea Ignacio Anañe: became a prisoner seventeen years ago: taken when quite a boy, by a roving band of Navajoes, at Tuckolotoe. His parents then lived at Santa Fe, where he supposes they now reside. He is the fortunate possessor of two wives and three children, living at Mecina Gorda, (Big Oak,) north of Cheille two and a halt days' travel. He was originally sold to an Indian named Waro, to whom he yet belongs. I do not think he is under many restraints, for he prefers most decidedly to remain with the Navajoes, notwithstanding his peonage.
Subsequently, at Žunia, the Navajoes brought to us Manuel Lucina, taken from Del Mansiña, two years since, while herding sheep. The Indians took only such sheep as were needed at the moment. He is about fourteen years of age, and has been sold several times, and badly treated, by flogging, &c. His parents are said to be living near the place where he was stolen from. At the same time, a brother of Manuel's was taken; but he was returned last year.
These captives, except the one so fortunately married, have been placed in the hands of the friends and acquaintances of their parents.
The treaty, a copy of which I have already addressed to you, having been duly executed, on the 10th of September we marched for Zunia, a distance of 106.17 miles, in a southeastern direction, instead of returning by way of the Utah country. Governor Washington, previons to marchi ing from Santa Fe, ordered about three hundred mounted troops into the Utah country, for the purpose of repressing disturbances, checking depredations, and to recover lost and stolen property. Two of the companies were ordered, if practicable, to effect a junction with the troops under the governor's immediate comniand before they reached Cheille. It is matter of regret that this could not be done. The governor, having no reliable information as to what had been done against the Utahs, and hearing (what was believed to be true, and which proved to be false) that the A paches had entered Zunia, killed a number of its inhabitants, and driven off a great many horses, mules, and sheep, changed the route of his return march, as before stated.
The pueblo of Zunia contains, in my opinion, more than five hundred Indians—a hardy, well-fed, and well-clothed race; and, their location being more than two hundred miles from Santa Fe, and one hundred and thirty miles from Albuquerque, on a good road in every respect, now growing into favor as the best route to California, are subjected to serious annoy. ances from Navajoes north and north west, and the Apaches south and southeast. But, what is shockingly discreditable to the American name, emigrants commit the grossest wrongs against these excellent Indians, by taking, in the name of the United States, such horses, mules, and sheep, and grain, as they desire, carefully concealing their true names, but assuning official authority and beariny. A wrong of this kind had been perpetrated a few days previous to our arrival there.
About the same time, the Navajoes descended from the mountains, and made an unsuccessiul attempt to drive off a number of sheep, &c. A baule ensued, and several Navajoes are said to have been wounded, and one, whose undried flesh was food for carrion crows as we passed his remains, was left dead on the field, within half a mile of the village. The inhab. itants of this pueblo gave us a hearty reception, manifesting their gratification in the most uproarious, wild, and indescribable manner, offering to us large quantities of fruit and bread-all of which was becomingly received.
Passing over a distance of 88.30 miles, wild in its mountains and canons, beautiful and rich in its extensive valleys, highlands, and lowlands, affording superior grazing, the purest and most delightful water, excellent pine timber, and a superabundant supply of the finest rock, (limestone,) and plaster of paris, for building purposes, we encamped in the valley of Laguna on the afternoon of the 19th instant, within view of the pueblo of that name, containing some four hundred inhabitants. The outrages committed against these Indians, by emigrants to California and others, are as frequent and as flagrant as those mentioned of Zunia. Indeed, the last outrage was of an infinitely more aggravated character. Near the hour of 12 m., the day not remembered, the valley was entered, and sheep and other things demanded; to which the governor of the village replied, no sheep could be furnished at that hour, as their flocks were regularly, every morning, sent off, that they might graze during the day. The emigrants, if such they were, assuming official importance, in their anger, threatened to lynch the alcalde, tied the governor, and in that condition carried him from his home, Laguna, to Zunia, the next pueblo west.
The distance between Laguna and Albuquerque is 46.84 miles. The road between the two places is good, water scarce and bad, with but little
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.