Office Supt Indian Affairs San Francisco Cala Dec 18th 1855
Hon G.W. Manypenny Commissioner of Indian Affairs Washington City D.C.
Having just returned from my visit to the Soutern portion of the State. I have the honor to report a brief statement of Affairs in that region. At the time of my arrival at Los Angeles, there were various rumors in circulation, in regard to threatened Indian disturbances in the counties of San Bernardino, and San Diego. The Indians in these two counties number several thousands, and the people there have heretofore suffered severely by their depredations: Any rumor therefore in regard to an outbreak is well cacluated to produce excitement and alaerm. Under these circumstances I deemed it prudent and necessary to send a Special Agent to visit the Indians in the Colorado and in the vicinity of San Gorgona where the most danger was apprehended, to explain them the [instructons?] of the Government and to quiet any hostile feelings that may have been
been produced by the little attention that has been heretofore bestowed upon them. Accordingly Maj W.H. Harvey who has formerly acted as Special Agent at the Colorado, was selected for that duty. His report may be expected in about a month. I have no doubt but that it will give the intelligence that all is quiet in that quarter.
The Indians in and about the City of Los Angeles are in a miserable and degraded condition. They have been long enough in contact with the white race, and especially Mexicans, and [Sonoramians?], who are many of them especially the latter, but very little in advance of the Indians - to have become thoroughly demoralized: They perform some labor, but the proceeds of it are generally expended for liquor, and drunken Indians are frequently to be seen in the streets of that City - If it were practicable or desirable in their demoralized condition to remove them to the Reservation, it could not be accompllished, because it would be opposed by the Citizens, for the reason that in the vineyards, especially during the Grape season, their labor is made useful, and isobtained as a cheap rate.
The only thing therefore, that can be done for these Indians would be by an agreement with the Municipal Authorities to have them removed a short distance from the City and prohibited from returning to it witout permission from
a properly authorized agent, under whose protection they could perform the labor in the vineyards, and be protected in the reception of their pay. This arrangement I have proposed to the people of Los Angeles, and have some hopes of being able to acomplish it in the source of the ensuing year.
At the [Tejon?], I have found the Indians peaceable and contented more so than I have ever found them before. Every thing was in readiness to commence putting in the crop of wheat and barley, as soon as the rains should set in. We are prepared at that place to sow a large crop, should the season be suitable. It is intended to run about eighteen plows during the entire sowing season.
In conformity with my suggestions heretofore, that as the Indians learned to labor, and the improvements upon the reserves were completed, the force of the employees could be gretly reduced I have made a reduction in the number of white person employed t Tejou to nine. Many of the Chiefs and others at this reserve have built and are building Adobe houses for their own use: This gives ample proof that they are contented with the plans of the Government, and are adapting themselves to it.
From the Tejon I took the [rout?] through the Tulane Valley to the Fresno. In this region I found the Indians peaceable, though they had heard of the wars in the North, and the people, had some fear that trouble was to be apprehended. But I have very little fear of such a result. The influence exerted over the portion of the state by the Reserves at Tejon, and Fresno, will be entirely sufficient in my opinion, to the peace of all that region, for it is a well established fact that the influence of the Reservations upon the Indians, residing in their vicinity is equally as salutary in preserving peace as upon those collected upon them.
At the Fresno; the Indains belonging to that place, many of whom had been absent on their usual hunging and fishing excursions, and in collecting seeds and acorns n the surrounding Country - had returned to the farm, at the call of the Sub Agent to make preparations for the ensing crop. They now look upon the farm as their only hope of certan support, and would regard its abandonment with as much regret as would more civilized persons, the loss of a home or an estate. The force to be employed at this place, for the present is not to eceed [exceed] five persons. The land is of a different [discripation] from that at the Tejon, several plows were running at the time.