1861 Reports of the Commissioner Affairs and Indian Agent Reports
"Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs," pp. 624-831. In U.S. Senate. 37th Congress, 2d Session. Annual Message of the President and Report of the Secretary of the Interior, 1861 (S.Ex.Doc.1, Vol. 1). Washington: Government Printing Office, 1861. (Serial Set 1117).


From: No. 66, Report of W. W. Miller, Late Superintendent, pp.782-787.

. . . Public report will have doubtless informed the department of the discovery of extensive mines of gold in the Nez Percés country. I cannot speak from personal knowledge as to the extent and probable value of these mines, but what is deemed reliable information authorizes me to believe that they are very important, and calculated to open a wide field for industry and enterprise in that section of the country.

From five thousand to seven thousand miners are reported as engaged in work throughout that district, but our recent advices give us no indication of any serious dissatisfaction or difficulty existing between the miners and the Indians; although I think it would be found advisable, in view of the large and increasing numbers of those miners, and the impracticability of making them adhere to our Indian treaty arrangements, to make a further convention without delay with these Nez Percés Indians, by which their present treaty reservations may be so altered as to allow the free ingress and egress of the whites to this entire gold country. . . .

Circular to all Indian agents within the superintendency of Washington Territory.


Olympia, August 30, 1861.

The superintendent of Indian affairs calls the attention of all persons attached to the Indian service to the absolute necessity of cultivating and encouraging correct ideas of morality among all the various tribes of Indians settled throughout Washington Territory.

The practice of open prostitution and concubinage between the whites and Indians, while degrading and demoralizing to both classes, is calculated d[e]story that respect which is due from the Indians to their official protectors, to retard materially the gradual elevation of character among the natives, to diminish sensibly the efficiency of our means of ameliorating the condition of these pupils of our general government, and is so utterly subversive of good order, and opposed to correct principles for their government, that it must at once be abolished wherever it has existence in your agency district, and your active co-operation is required to effect this object. You are therefore directed to read this circular to all the employés attached to your agency, and to take immediate measures for carrying its provisions into effect. Any future infractions of these instructions will be considered as sufficient cause for immediate dismis[s]al, or suspension, as the case may require.

Respectfully; &c., &c.,



Superintendent Indian Affairs, Washington Territory.