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• (No. 8.)
Santa Fe, New Mexico, Octuber 13, 1849. Sir: My intention to visit Jemez was announced to you in my letter of the 5th instant, which should have been numbered 6.' I reached Jemez on the afternoon of the 7th instant, and departed therefrom on the morning of the 10th.
In the first place, it is proper to state, during my stay at Jemez not one word of reliable information was received from the Navajo tribe of Indians, who, through their first and second chiefs, had bound themselves, by the fifth article of a treaty, a copy of which was forwarded to you on the 25th of last month, (No. 3,) to be there in such a way as to comply with certain stipulations contained in said treaty. Whether they failed to be there by design, or were operated upon and kept away by the artful misrepresentations of thieves and robbers, and their associates, is not yet revealed. It is a matter of no little import, in my opinion, to ascertain the cause of their absence, and I have put in requisition everything at my command for the purpose of ascertaining the facts in the case. In a very few days, I trust, I shall be able to afford you some light upon this subject.
While at Jemez, I met with the governors, war captains, alcaldes, and other controlling individuals, from twelve pueblos, viz: Jeroez, Laguna, Acoma, Santa Domingo, San Juan, Santa Clara, San Ildefonso, Namba, Pojoaque, Zia, Santa Ana, Sundia. No information, of a perfectly satis. factory character, can be obtained as to the number of pueblos, the number of inhabitants in each, and their respective languages. . If, as far as it goes, the information in these particulars transmitted to you in my letter of the 4th instant, (No. 5,) and the statements made to me at Jemez by the most intelligent Indians, be correct, there are twenty-three pueblos east of Zunia; inclusive of these, I am informed by intelligent Indians, five use a language in common, without having sprung from a common tribe. Two of these are near Taos, two near Albuquerque, and one below El Paso. There are six who have a common language, peculiar to them. selves, and altogether unknown to others. To seven others the same re. marks are applicable, as their language differs from all others. Jemez has its owu peculiar language, and so has Zunia. In relation to the languages of the pueblos of Gleta, Socorro, and Seneca, I have found no one who could give me information upon the subject.
It must be remembered, the Indians using the same language are not confined to the same section of country. For instance, of the five pueblos first spoken of, Taos and Picoris are near Taos, seventy-five miles north of Santa Fe; Sundia and Isletta are from sixty to eighty miles south of. Santa Fe; and another Isletta, near El Paso, more than four hundred miles from the two first named. All the others lie between the extremes men: tioned, ruuning west about two hundred miles.
The Indians informed me at Jemez there were seven pueblos of Moques, six having a language of their own, and differing from all others, and one the language of the six first before mentioned.
The best intormation I could obtain in relation to these people induces me to locate them about one hundred miles west of Zunia, in an excellent country, through which a road must run to the Pacific. Indeed, it is
said a large number of emigrants selected that route this season. They are supposed to be decidedly pacific in their character, opposed to all wars, quite honest, and very industrious. It is said, in years gone by, these Indians abandoned a village because its soil had been stained with the blood of a human being. I deeply regret that I have not been able to visit these and all other pueblos in this country, that I might be able to Jay before you information of a character more precise and accurate.
The Indians at Jemez, with one voice, renewed their complaints of gross wrongs to which they have been compelled to submit; and they are such, too, as require immediate remedial measures. The lawlessness, the outrages of roving associnions, comprising all colors and dialecis, cannot be seen, and felt, and appreciated in Washington as the truth would sanction. And even here, so much of it comes to our knowledge, we become more indifferent to our own possible fate every day.
But a short time since, a band said to be commanded by an Englishman, well known in Santa Fe, ordered, in the name of the United States, he pueblo of Laguna to furnish them with twenty-five horses, and to call upon the quartermaster in Santa Fe for payment. The order was promptly obeyed, and the Indians do not yet understand the contrivance by which they lost their horses.
The frauds and impositions of certain alcaldes, unknown to their laws, ought not to be endured, if their various statements are correct; and these Indians have not given me one reason to question their veracity.
It is a matter of no moment whether an Indian is in debt or not; a judg. ment can be obtained against him, which must be paid in cash, or the spirit of the 6th article of the ordinance of 1787 is immediately violated.
Again: the prefects, who, to some extent, govern each a district, the alcaldes being subordinate, and their jurisdictions, so far as the Indians are concerned, confined to the puebloś to which they are appointed, do not, in my opinion, use their authority, whatever it may be, without abusing it. Contributions upon their labor and property are frequently made by the law, or laws, which alcaldes and prefects manufacture to suit the occasion. Many facts of this character were mentioned to me, that it is useless to record for your reading.
There are clever alcaldes and prefects in this Territory, who are not to be subjected to the above condemnatory suggestions.
To understand the condition of these people, it must not be forgotten they hold possession of the lands which they occupy and till by special grants from the government of Spain or Mexico.
The extent of these grants is not well understood here.
Checkered throughout the whole country of which I have any knowledge, old Spanish villages are yet to be found, inhabited by a prying people almost in utter seclusion. The extent of the grants and privileges to the proprietors of these villages is not yet known; and the spurious claims will be in proper form in time to meet the legislation of the Congress of the United States.
Let me add, these Pueblo Indians pride themselves upon their Catholicism, without having abandoned the queer ceremonials of a very remote and superstitious parentage, and they make no prisoners in war.
To the Indians of Jemez I explained the relation in which they stood to the United States, and to the powers controlling in New Mexico. They were made to comprehend the laws enacted by Congress for the government of our Indian relations; and, as they understood the design and effect of said laws, they foreshadowed a better state of things; and they urged, with much emphasis, the application of these remedial measures to their present wants and necessities. To this end four of the pueblos have signified their wish to make a treaty. What ought to be done?
In a day or two I may again have occasion to renew this subject, and will, if possible, condense and present in one view all the suggestions I have heretofore made, in compliance with your instructions to me. I am, with very great respect, your obedient servant,
J. S. CALHOUN,
Indian Agent, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Colonel W. MEDILL,
Commissioner Indian Afuirs, Washington city, D. C.
SANTA Fe, New MEXICO,
October 14, 1849. Sir: It may not be amiss to advise you that your letter of instruction, with accompanying papers, of May the 14th, 1849, is the last and only communication I have received from the department since my departure from St. Louis to this place. This information may be important to the department, inasmuch as I am aware it was intended to give me special instructions in relation to Mexican captives, so soon as the Mexican minister should be more precise in compliance with the terms of the treaty between the respective governments.
Some time during the latter part of August, while we were out on the Navajo expedition, a mail was received here, and despatched for Governor Washington's headquarters. The carrier and his guide were intereepted, killed, and the mail distributed to suit the fancy of the Indians then present; and it is said they lost eight men before they succeeded in overpower. ing Mr. Charles Malone, the carrier, and his Mexican guide.
These murders were conmitted about the 5th of September last, near forty miles east of Tunicha, and one hundred and fifty west of Santa Fe, by Navajo Indians. These facts have been elicited by inquiries instituted by Governor Washington, whose agent returned some eight or ten days since, and encourages the hope that a large portion of the mail may yet be recovered. Let me add, however, by the last mail none came to this place to my address; a large package of newspapers was received, and despatched as before said.
During my absence at Jemez a mail was received here, and by it I received nought but a solitary letter from the States. Colonel Monroe is expected in six or eight days, when it is hoped we may have some intelligence from home. With great respect, I am your obedient servant,
J. S. CALHOUN,
Indian Agent, Sunta Fe, New Mexico. Colonel W. MEDILL,
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Washington city, D. C.
Santu Fe, New Mexico, Oc'ober 15, 1849. Sir: Before I proceed to the consideration of the primary objects of this communication, let me first premise Governor Washington has afforded me every possible facility in the execution of your instructions of the 7th of April last.
Where I have in my former letters (or may in this) referred to ascer tained distances, I am indebted to Brevet Major Kendrick, of the artillery a gentleman of distinguished merit.
General Cyrus Choice, William E. Love, and John G. Jones, have ac. companied me in all my trips to the Indian country, and were especially useful in the Navajo expedition.
During my absence, Mr. John H. Davis had charge of my office and its affairs, and conducted matters to my entire satisfaction.
Andrew Lee and Benjamin F. Lee, both from South Carolina, have rendered me very efficient aid in various ways in the discharge of my duties. I may make the same remark of William H. Mitchell, whose general health has somewhat interfered with his efficiency.
I may here state I am under increased obligations to Judge Joab Houghton for valuable information, and for pointing out to me avenues through which I might glean more. I may be pardoned, I trust, for saying my efforts have been unceasing, and that I have avoided no exposure, either by night or day, in order to comply with your instructions; and although the compliance is not precise and accurate in every particular, yet I am emboldened to say, with such aids and such assistance as I have named above, there must be a near approximation 10 a compliance, where a compliance has been possible; and that it is sufficiently so, or will be when this paper is completed, to enable the government at Washington to legislate and order wisely in the premises.
Recent information has confirmed me in opinions heretofore gravely im. pressed upon my mind; and I now the more readily proceed to lay before you a summary, or rather a condensation of the suggestions contained in my previous letters, and such other suggestions and facts as may possibly serve to some extent to guide you in the management of our Indian affairs in this country, under such laws as 'the Congress of the United States may be pleased to enact in relation thereto.
On yesterday or the preceding afternoon, as I am informed, a part of the lost mail, concerning which I wrote you on yesterday, (No. 9) was received by Governor Washington.
It appears that Chapitone, the second in rank among the Navajoes, was found by the governor, and others of Zunia, at Pagnati, a small pueblo be. longing to and about two leagues from Laguna. This occurred about the Sth of the present month. Chapitone stated that he and his people had gath. ered all the stolen property, collected together the captives, and had prepared themselves in every way to comply with the terms of the late treaty, and would have done so but for the statements of Mexican traders, represent. ing that all the Pueblo Indians, the Spaniards from the villages near the Pueblos, and American troops, were marching to their country for the purpose of exterminating them, and taking possession of all that belonged to them. Under the impressions made by the statements of these traders,
they were frightened from their purpose of being at Jemez on the day appointed. It was then he resolved to ascertain from actual observation whether the reports of the traders were true or false, and therefore it was he was at Pagnati. He accompanied the Zunias to Jemez, sent out a messenger, who brought in the recovered portion of the lost mail, and sent word to Governor Washington and myself that he and others would be at San Isidora on the 28th or 29th of this month, prepared to comply with the terms of the treaty. These are the facts as gathered by my agents, who were charged to go and inquire into this matter.
Some time about the 5th of this month, at and near the Spanish village Le Bugarito, not more than fifteen miles north west of Laguna, Navajoes and others unknown. attacked the people of said village in the day time, killed two Spaniards and wounded one, and succeeded in carrying off as a captive a woman.
This morning an Indian came in from Cochiti, a pueblo on the west side of the Rio Grande, a few miles north of Santa Domingo, and informed Governor Washington in my presence that he and his friends had killed three Apaches the preceding day, overtaken in the manner” of driving off sheep belonging to their village. He further said there were a number of Apaches in the mountains beyond Cochiti, who gave them much trouble by driving off their stock, killing their men, and making captives of their women and children.
This Indian, in behalf of the people of Cochiti, asked for munitions of war.
The governor, the grand captain, and the captain of war, from Zunia, an Indian pueblo, which you will remember is 201.07 miles west of Santa Fe, have been with me to-day. These are intelligent, active, and athletic Indians, and stated their grievances with great energy, and were especially vehement and vindictive in their denunciations of the faithlessness of all Navajoes. They represented they had been greatly harassed since we left their village on the 16th of September last; that wheresoever they went, they were under the necessity of going guarded and armed, and that they had to watch their horses, mules, and sheep during every hour of the twenty-four.
These people asked for arms and ammunition, and permission to make a war of ertirminntion against the Navajoes.
The deputation from Zunia also stated there were five hundred and fifty-five able-bodied men in their village, and only thirty-two firearms, and less than twenty rounds each for said arms. They spoke confidently of their ability to protect and defend themselves against the ag. gressions of the Navajoes and Apaches; and if permitted to form a combi. nation of Pueblos, they could and would exterminate these tribes, es. pecially every Navajo who should be so unfortunate as to be caught south of the high mountains north of the San Juan, a supposed tributary to the western Colorado, provided the government of the United States would furnish the necessary fire-arms, ammunition, and subsistence. That a combination as suggested above could accomplish the end so desired by them, admits not of the slightest doubt, notwithstanding the ties existing between the Navajoes, Utihs, and Apaches, backed as they might be by
* Mr. F. Brown, an American, assisted in taking this census, and says there are 597 men, and 42 muskels and rifles, and 555 men without fire-arms.