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THE COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS,
THE ANNUAL REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR,
REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR
IN RELATION TO INDIAN AFFAIRS.
Detailed information in regard to the operations of the Indian Office during the past year, and the present condition of the various tribes of Indians within our limits, will be found in the report of the Commissioner, which, with the accompanying documents, is herewith submitted.
In reviewing the results of the policy pursued by the government of the United States towards the Indian tribes within their limits, it should be borne in mind that, while the same general relation exists between the United States and all the tribes, that relation has been modified in respect to many of them by treaty stipulations and acts of Congress, and as these modifications vary in each case, and often in essential particulars, the subject becomes complicated, and the difficulty of subjecting the Indians to a uniform policy greatly increased. With the wild tribes in the heart of the continent, in Arizona, and in California, constituting, possibly, the majority, we have no treaties whatever. With respect to policy, then, it is obvious that the Indians must be divided into two classes—those with whom we have treaties, and those with whom we have not. In the case of the former we are clearly bound to be guided by treaty stipulations; in the case of the latter the government is free to pursue such a policy as circumstances may render expedient, subordinate, of course, to those general principles which have been declared in the statutes and sanctioned by the Supreme Court.
Again, the treaty or annuity Indians may be arranged in two divisions. With one we have treaties of amity, and we pay them annuities, either in money, goods, or provisions, or perhaps all three, for a longer or shorter period, but without recognizing their title to any particular tract of country. We not only pay annuities to the other, but we recognize their title to particular tracts of country, described by metes and bounds, and guaranty them undisturbed possession of the same forever. This latter class, again, must be subdivided into those who hold their lands in common, whether in fee, or by the usual Indian title, and those whose lands are held in severalty by the individual members of the tribe. There is yet a further distinction to be made between those cases where the several reservations are in a compact