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THE BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS
When the War Department was created by Congress under the act of August 7, 1789, the duties assigned to it included those "relative to Indian affairs."
A Bureau of Indian Affairs was organized in the War Department on March 11, 1824, with Thomas L. McKenney as its chief, and among the duties to which he was assigned were: The administration of the fund for the civilization of the Indians, under regulations established by the department, the examination of the claims arising out of the laws regulating the intercourse with Indian tribes, and the ordinary correspondence with superintendents, agents, and subagents. He was succeeded September 30, 1830, by Samuel S. Hamilton, whose successor about one year later was Elbert Herring.
By the act of July 9, 1832, there was created in the War Department the office of Commissioner of Indian Affairs, who, subject to the Secretary of War and the President, should have “the direction and management of all Indian affairs and all matters arising out of Indian relations."
On June 30, 1834, an act was passed "to provide for the organization of the Department of Indian Affairs.' Under this enactment certain agencies were established and others abolished, and provision was made for subagents, interpreters, and other employees, the payment of annuities, the purchase and distribution of supplies, etc. This may be regarded as the organic law of the Indian Department.
When the Department of the Interior was created by act of March 3, 1849, the Bureau of Indian Affairs was transferred thereto, and hence passed from military to civil control.
Section 441 of the Revised Statutes provides that “the Secretary of the Interior is charged with the supervision of public business relating to
the Indians.” Section 463 of the Revised Statutes reads: “The Commissioner of Indian Affairs shall, under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior and agreeable to such regulations as the President may prescribe, have the management of all Indian affairs, and of all matters arising out of Indian relations."
Commissioners of Indian Affairs
July 10, 1832 Cass.1 Harris, Carey A.
July 4, 1836 Cass and Poinsett.1 Crawford, T. Hartley.
Oct. 22, 1838 Poinsett 1 to Marcy." Medill, William.
Oct. 28, 1845 Marcy 1 and Ewing.' Brown, Orlando..
May 31, 1849 Ewing. Lea, Luke....
July 1, 1850 Ewing to Stuart. Manypenny, George W. Ohio.
Mar. 24, 1853 McClelland and Thompson. Denver, James W.
Apr. 17, 1857 Thompson.
Nov. 8, 1858
Do. Greenwood, Alfred B.
May 4, 1859
Do. 1 Secretaries of War. ? Ewing and all following Secretaries of the Interior.
Correlation between the Washington office and the Field Service.-----
Indian population of the United States, 1929_
9 10 10 10 10 11 11 11 12 12 14 18 19 20 21 21 21 22
23 28 33
REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
OFFICE OF INDIAN AFFAIRS,
Washington, D. C., August 15, 1929. The honorable the SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR.
MY DEAR MR. SECRETARY: I have the honor to submit herewith the report of the Bureau of Indian Affairs for the fiscal year 1929, covering the activities of the service prior to my entrance on duty July 1, 1929.
Since taking office the new commissioner and his associate have been actively occupied in familiarizing themselves with the problems involved. We are impressed with the variety and complexity of administrative details which often prevent a clear view of the real objective of the Indian Service. We are determined to keep the goal before our personnel and the public to the end that the increased funds and trained personnel absolutely needed may be secured.
The cost of Indian education and care of health obviously must exceed that of similar services amongst the white population, yet heretofore the appropriations, particularly for food, clothing, and vocational training, have never been adjusted to postwar costs. Prior administrations have reported this situation, but the data now in hand convince us that as a mere economic problem it will save the taxpayers money to grant at once larger appropriations to the Indian Service and to continue this policy for several years, to the end that the Indian may soon be able to contribute his share to the life of the Nation.
CORRELATION BETWEEN THE WASHINGTON OFFICE AND THE
In the report of the commissioner for the fiscal year 1928 mention was made of the conditions existing in the Washington office and its relations with the field. So far as the present clerical force is inadequate to perform the work incumbent upon it and retardation or inefficiency occurs, conditions remain as before. For the best interests of the Indian Service, and especially that the assistance to or direction of the field units may be prompt, remedial, and conclusive, better provision for the accomplishing of the work continues to demand consideration.
Advice was issued to the field directing curtailment of correspondence, and this to some extent has been effected. Consistent with application of the policies of the service and with its prior plans for the future improvement of its field work and its schools, superintendents of units should administer their institutions and attend to the details thereof and assume responsibility therefor. Should they not measure up to this responsibility, so far as financing permits, a definite field reorganization would appear essential. There should be available