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white river poems 329
reasons for this. The annuities and supplies furnished these Indians
amount to not over one-half that required for their support. None of
their annuity goods and but part of their supplies have reached this
agency during the year. Goods purchased in August of last year have
been lying in the railroad depot, 175 miles away, since November last,
a period of over nine months. Flour purchased the fi rst of June is still
at Rawlins. No clothing, blankets, tents, implements, or utensils of any
kind have been issued for nearly two years; no fl our, except once fi fteen
pounds to a family, since last May. Now the only way all but a few of
the Indians here know how to provide for themselves is by hunting.
By department regulation the sale of arms and ammunition on the
reservation is prohibited. At the same time the Indians have only to go
off the reservation to obtain all the arms and ammunition they desire, a
number of trading posts being accessible and no white man refusing to
furnish these articles to the Indians; pretty good evidence that the people
do not stand in any great fear of the Indians. Many settlers have made it
their principal business to trade with the Indians this past year, and have
off ered every inducement to them to leave the reservation."
That report reached Washington in early autumn.
The failure to distribute the supplies
continued through the winter and the spring;
the Utes themselves then made the trek to Rawlins,
where the goods were held pending the settlement
of a freight bill dispute. I corresponded
with Mr. Meeker about it in the summer,
on his arrival at White River, and he was
importunate in his pleas that ways be found
to relieve these people. Which at last was done.
-- Q. Do you know what the Ute complaints are now,
and how they justify this outbreak? -- A. Only
as I have been told about them by Ouray.
-- Q. Then we would like to hear Ouray's complaints.
-- A. They start with the treaty of 1868,
which, the Utes soon found, gave up much more
of their land than they had ever meant to cede,