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Title: A Century of Dishonor - A Sketch of the United States Government's Dealings with - some of the Indian Tribes
Author: Jackson, Helen Hunt
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Century of Dishonor - A Sketch of the United States Government's Dealings with - some of the Indian Tribes" ***

                         A CENTURY OF DISHONOR

                                A SKETCH


                     WITH SOME OF THE INDIAN TRIBES

                       BY HELEN JACKSON (H. H.),

                       H. H.'S CAT STORIES, ETC.

     "_Every human being born upon our continent, or who comes here
   from any quarter of the world, whether savage or civilized, can go
   to our courts for protection—except those who belong to the tribes
   who once owned this country. The cannibal from the islands of the
 Pacific, the worst criminals from Europe, Asia, or Africa, can appeal
   to the law and courts for their rights of person and property—all,
   save our native Indians, who, above all, should be protected from
                     wrong._" GOV. HORATIO SEYMOUR



                            ROBERTS BROTHERS


                           _Copyright, 1885_,
                          BY ROBERTS BROTHERS.

                           University Press:
                    JOHN WILSON AND SON, CAMBRIDGE.



        PREFACE, BY BISHOP WHIPPLE                             v

        SEELYE                                                 1

        CHAPTER I.

        INTRODUCTORY                                           9

        CHAPTER II.

        THE DELAWARES                                         32

        CHAPTER III.

        THE CHEYENNES                                         66

        CHAPTER IV.

        THE NEZ PERCÉS                                       103

        CHAPTER V.

        THE SIOUX                                            136

                              CHAPTER VI.

        THE PONCAS                                           186

        CHAPTER VII.

        THE WINNEBAGOES                                      218


        THE CHEROKEES                                        257

        CHAPTER IX.

        MASSACRES OF INDIANS BY WHITES                       298

        I. The Conestoga Massacre                            298

        II. The Gnadenhütten Massacre                        317

        III. Massacres of Apaches                            324

        CHAPTER X.

        CONCLUSION                                           336


         I. THE SAND CREEK MASSACRE                              343

        II. THE PONCA CASE                                       359

       III. TESTIMONIES TO INDIAN CHARACTER                      374


            CHIEF SITTING BULL, IN CANADA                        386

            THE SIOUX                                            389

            EDUCATED PAH-UTE WOMAN                               395


            CHEROKEE ALPHABET                                    404

         X. PRICES PAID BY WHITE MEN FOR SCALPS                  405

            1865                                                 406

       XII. WOOD-CUTTING BY INDIANS IN DAKOTA                    407

      XIII. SEQUEL TO THE WALLA WALLA MASSACRE                   407

            WITHIN THE UNITED STATES                             411

            MISSION INDIANS OF CALIFORNIA                        458


I have been requested to write a preface to this sad story of "A Century
of Dishonor." I cannot refuse the request of one whose woman's heart has
pleaded so eloquently for the poor Red men. The materials for her book
have been taken from official documents. The sad revelation of broken
faith, of violated treaties, and of inhuman deeds of violence will bring
a flush of shame to the cheeks of those who love their country. They
will wonder how our rulers have dared to so trifle with justice, and
provoke the anger of God. Many of the stories will be new to the reader.
The Indian owns no telegraph, employs no press reporter, and his side of
the story is unknown to the people.

Nations, like individuals, reap exactly what they sow; they who sow
robbery reap robbery. The seed-sowing of iniquity replies in a harvest
of blood. The American people have accepted as truth the teaching that
the Indians were a degraded, brutal race of savages, whom it was the
will of God should perish at the approach of civilization. If they do
not say with our Puritan fathers that these are the Hittites who are to
be driven out before the saints of the Lord, they do accept the teaching
that manifest destiny will drive the Indians from the earth. The
inexorable has no tears or pity at the cries of anguish of the doomed
race. Ahab never speaks kindly of Naboth, whom he has robbed of his
vineyard. It soothes conscience to cast mud on the character of the one
whom we have wronged.

The people have laid the causes of Indian wars at the door of the Indian
trader, the people on the border, the Indian agents, the army, and the
Department of the Interior. None of these are responsible for the Indian
wars, which have cost the United States five hundred millions of dollars
and tens of thousands of valuable lives. In the olden time the Indian
trader was the Indian's friend. The relation was one of mutual
dependence. If the trader oppressed the Indian he was in danger of
losing his debt; if the Indian refused to pay his debts, the trader must
leave the country. The factors and agents of the old fur companies tell
us that their goods were as safe in the unguarded trading-post as in the
civilized village. The pioneer settlers have had too much at stake to
excite an Indian massacre, which would overwhelm their loved ones in
ruin. The army are not responsible for Indian wars; they are "men under
authority," who go where they are sent. The men who represent the honor
of the nation have a tradition that lying is a disgrace, and that theft
forfeits character. General Crook expressed the feeling of the army when
he replied to a friend who said, "It is hard to go on such a campaign."
"Yes, it is hard; but, sir, the hardest thing is to go and fight those
whom you know are in the right." The Indian Bureau is often unable to
fulfil the treaties, because Congress has failed to make the
appropriations. If its agents are not men of the highest character, it
is largely due to the fact that we send a man to execute this difficult
trust at a remote agency, and expect him to support himself and family
on $1500 a year. The Indian Bureau represents a system which is a
blunder and a crime.

The Indian is the only human being within our territory who has no
individual right in the soil. He is not amenable to or protected by law.
The executive, the legislative, and judicial departments of the
Government recognize that he has a possessory right in the soil; but his
title is merged in the tribe—the man has no standing before the law. A
Chinese or a Hottentot would have, but the native American is left
pitiably helpless. This system grew out of our relations at the first
settlement of the country. The isolated settlements along the Atlantic
coast could not ask the Indians, who outnumbered them ten to one, to
accept the position of wards. No wise policy was adopted, with altered
circumstances, to train the Indians for citizenship. Treaties were made
of the same binding force of the constitution; but these treaties were
unfilled. It may be doubted whether one single treaty has ever been
fulfilled as it would have been if it had been made with a foreign
power. The treaty has been made as between two independent sovereigns.
Sometimes each party has been ignorant of the wishes of the other; for
the heads of both parties to the treaty have been on the interpreter's
shoulders, and he was the owned creature of corrupt men, who desired to
use the Indians as a key to unlock the nation's treasury. Pledges,
solemnly made, have been shamelessly violated. The Indian has had no
redress but war. In these wars ten white men were killed to one Indian,
and the Indians who were killed have cost the Government a hundred
thousand dollars each. Then came a new treaty, more violated faith,
another war, until we have not a hundred miles between the Atlantic and
Pacific which has not been the scene of an Indian massacre.

All this while Canada has had no Indian wars. Our Government has
expended for the Indians a hundred dollars to their one. They recognize,
as we do, that the Indian has a possessory right to the soil. They
purchase this right, as we do, by treaty; but their treaties are made
with _the Indian subjects_ of Her Majesty. They set apart a _permanent_
reservation for them; they seldom remove Indians; they select agents of
high character, who receive their appointments for life; they make fewer
promises, but they fulfil them; they give the Indians Christian
missions, which have the hearty support of Christian people, and all
their efforts are toward self-help and civilization. An incident will
illustrate the two systems. The officer of the United States Army who
was sent to receive Alaska from the Russian Government stopped in
British Columbia. Governor Douglas had heard that an Indian had been
murdered by another Indian. He visited the Indian tribe; he explained to
them that the murdered man was a subject of Her Majesty; he demanded the
culprit. The murderer was surrendered, was tried, was found guilty, and
was hanged. On reaching Alaska the officer happened to enter the Greek
church, and saw on the altar a beautiful copy of the Gospels in a costly
binding studded with jewels. He called upon the Greek bishop, and said,
"Your Grace, I called to say you had better remove that copy of the
Gospels from the church, for it may be stolen." The bishop replied, "Why
should I remove it? It was the gift of the mother of the emperor, and
has lain on the altar seventy years." The officer blushed, and said,
"There is no law in the Indian country, and I was afraid it might be
stolen." The bishop said, "The book is in God's house, and it is His
book, and I shall not take it away." The book remained. The country
became ours, and the next day the Gospel was stolen.

Our Indian wars are needless and wicked. The North American Indian is
the noblest type of a heathen man on the earth. He recognizes a Great
Spirit; he believes in immortality; he has a quick intellect; he is a
clear thinker; he is brave and fearless, and, until betrayed, he is true
to his plighted faith; he has a passionate love for his children, and
counts it joy to die for his people. Our most terrible wars have been
with the noblest types of the Indians, and with men who had been the
white man's friend. Nicolet said the Sioux were the finest type of wild
men he had ever seen. Old traders say that it used to be the boast of
the Sioux that they had never taken the life of a white man. Lewis and
Clarke, Governor Stevens, and Colonel Steptoe bore testimony to the
devoted friendship of the Nez Percés for the white man. Colonel Boone,
Colonel Bent, General Harney, and others speak in the highest praise of
the Cheyennes. The Navahoes were a semi-civilized people.

Our best friends have suffered more deeply from our neglect and violated
faith than our most bitter foes. Peaceable Indians often say, "You leave
us to suffer; if we killed your people, then you would take care of us."

Our Indian wars have not come wholly from violated faith. In time of
peace it has been our policy to establish "almshouses" to train and
educate savage paupers. We have purchased paint, beads, scalping-knives,
to deck warriors, and have fed them in idleness at the agency. Around
this agency and along the border were gathered influences to degrade the
savage, and sink him to a depth his fathers had never known. It has only
needed a real or a fancied wrong to have this pauperized savagery break
out in deeds of blood. Under President Grant a new departure was taken.
The peace policy was little more than a name. No change was made in the
Indian system; no rights of property were given; no laws were passed to
protect the Indians. The President did take the nomination of Indian
agents from politicians, who had made the office a reward for political
service. He gave the nomination of Indian agents to the executive
committees of the missionary societies of the different churches. Where
these Christian bodies established schools and missions, and the
Government cast its influence on the side of labor, it was a success.
More has been done to civilize the Indians in the past twelve years than
in any period of our history. The Indian Ring has fought the new policy
at every step; and yet, notwithstanding our Indian wars, our violated
treaties, and our wretched system, thousands of Indians, who were poor,
degraded savages, are now living as Christian, civilized men. There was
a time when it seemed impossible to secure the attention of the
Government to any wrongs done to the Indians: it is not so to-day. The
Government does listen to the friends of the Indians, and many of the
grosser forms of robbery are stopped. No permanent reform can be secured
until the heart of the people is touched. In 1862 I visited Washington,
to lay before the Administration the causes which had desolated our fair
State with the blood of those slain by Indian massacre. After pleading
in vain, and finding no redress, Secretary Stanton said to a friend,
"What does the Bishop want? If he came here to tell us that our Indian
system is a sink of iniquity, tell him we all know it. Tell him the
United States never cures a wrong until the people demand it; and when
the hearts of the people are reached the Indian will be saved." In this
book the reader will find the sad story of a century—no, not the whole
story, but the fragmentary story of isolated tribes. The author will
have her reward if it shall aid in securing justice to a noble and a
wronged race. Even with the sad experiences of the past we have not
learned justice. The Cherokees and other tribes received the Indian
Territory as a compensation and atonement for one of the darkest crimes
ever committed by a Christian nation. That territory was conveyed to
them by legislation as strong as the wit of statesmen could devise. The
fathers who conveyed this territory to the Cherokees are dead. Greedy
eyes covet the land. The plans are laid to wrest it from its rightful
owners. If this great iniquity is consummated, these Indians declare
that all hope in our justice will die out of their hearts, and that they
will defend their country with their lives.

The work of reform is a difficult one; it will cost us time, effort, and
money; it will demand the best thoughts of the best men in the country.
We shall have to regain the confidence of our Indian wards by honest
dealing and the fulfilment of our promises. Now the name of a white man
is to the Indians a synonyme for "liar." Red Cloud recently paid a visit
to the Black Hills, and was hospitably entertained by his white friends.
In bidding them good-bye he expressed the hope that, if they did not
meet again on earth, they might meet beyond the grave "in a land where
white men ceased to be liars."

Dark as the history is, there is a brighter side. No missions to the
heathen have been more blessed than those among the Indians. Thousands,
who were once wild, painted savages, finding their greatest joy in deeds
of war, are now the disciples of the Prince of Peace. There are Indian
churches with Indian congregations, in which Indian clergy are telling
the story of God's love in Jesus Christ our Saviour. Where once was only
heard the medicine-drum and the song of the scalp-dance, there is now
the bell calling Christians to prayer, and songs of praise and words of
prayer go up to heaven. The Christian home, though only a log-cabin, has
taken the place of the wigwam; and the poor, degraded Indian woman has
been changed to the Christian wife and mother. With justice, personal
rights, and the protection of law, the Gospel will do for our Red
brothers what it has done for other races—give to them homes, manhood
and freedom.

                                   H. B. WHIPPLE, _Bishop of Minnesota_.

NEW YORK, _November 11th, 1880_.


The present number of Indians in the United States does not exceed three
hundred thousand, but is possibly as large now as when the Europeans
began the settlement of the North American continent. Different tribes
then existing have dwindled, and some have become extinct; but there is
reason to believe that the vast territory now occupied by the United
States, if not then a howling wilderness, was largely an unpeopled
solitude. The roaming wild men who met the new discoverers were,
however, numerous enough to make the Indian problem at the outset a
serious one, while neither its gravity nor its difficulty yet shows
signs of diminution.

The difficulty is not because the Indians are wild and savage men, for
such men have in the past history of the human race been subdued and
civilized in unnumbered instances, while the changes which in our time
have been wrought among the cannibals of the South Sea and the
barbarians of South Africa, and among the wildest and most savage of the
North American Indians themselves, show abundantly that the agencies of
civilization, ready to our hand are neither wanting nor weak.

The great difficulty with the Indian problem is not with the Indian, but
with the Government and people of the United States. Instead of a
liberal and far-sighted policy looking to the education and civilization
and possible citizenship of the Indian tribes, we have suffered these
people to remain as savages, for whose future we have had no adequate
care, and to the consideration of whose present state the Government has
only been moved when pressed by some present danger. We have encroached
upon their means of subsistence without furnishing them any proper
return; we have shut them up on reservations often notoriously unfit for
them, or, if fit, we have not hesitated to drive them off for our
profit, without regard to theirs; we have treated them sometimes as
foreign nations, with whom we have had treaties; sometimes as wards, who
are entitled to no voice in the management of their affairs; and
sometimes as subjects, from whom we have required obedience, but to whom
we have recognized no obligations. That the Government of the United
States, which has often plighted its faith to the Indian, and has broken
it as often, and, while punishing him for his crimes, has given him no
status in the courts except as a criminal, has been sadly derelict in
its duty toward him, and has reaped the whirlwind only because it has
sown the wind, is set forth in no exaggerated terms in the following
pages, and ought to be acknowledged with shame by every American

It will be admitted now on every hand that the only solution of the
Indian problem involves the entire change of these people from a savage
to a civilized life. They are not likely to be exterminated. Unless we
ourselves withdraw from all contact with them, and leave them to roam
untrammeled over their wilds, or until the power of a Christian
civilization shall make them consciously one with us, they will not
cease to vex us.

But how shall they become civilized? Civilization is in a most important
sense a gift rather than an acquisition. Men do not gain it for
themselves, except as stimulated thereto by some incitement from above
themselves. The savage does not labor for the gratifications of
civilized life, since he does not desire these. His labors and his
desires are both dependent upon some spiritual gift, which, having
kindled him, quickens his desires and calls forth his toil. Unless he
has some help from without, some light and life from above to illumine
and inspire him, the savage remains a savage, and without this all the
blandishments of the civilization with which he might be brought into
contact could no more win him into a better state than could all the
light and warmth of the sun woo a desert into a fruitful field. When
English missionaries went to the Indians in Canada, they took with them
skilled laborers who should teach the Indians how to labor, and who, by
providing them at first with comfortable houses, and clothing, and food,
should awaken their desires and evoke their efforts to perpetuate and
increase these comforts. But the Indian would not work, and preferred
his wigwam, and skins, and raw flesh, and filth to the cleanliness and
conveniences of a civilized home; and it was only as Christian
influences taught him his inner need, and how this could be supplied,
that he was led to wish and work for the improvement of his outer
condition and habits of life. The same is true everywhere. Civilization
does not reproduce itself. It must first be kindled, and can then only
be kept alive by a power genuinely Christian.

But it is idle to attempt to carry Christian influences to any one
unless we are Christian. The first step, therefore, toward the desired
transformation of the Indian is a transformed treatment of him by
ourselves. In sober earnest, our Government needs, first of all, to be
Christian, and to treat the Indian question as Christian principles
require. This means at the outset that we should be honest, and not talk
about maintaining our rights until we are willing to fulfil our
obligations. It means that we should be kind, and quite as eager to give
the Indian what is ours as to get what is his. It means that we should
be wise, and patient, and persevering, abandoning all makeshifts and
temporary expedients, and setting it before us as our fixed aim to act
toward him as a brother, until he shall act as a brother toward us.
There is no use to attempt to teach Christian duty to him in words till
he has first seen it exemplified in our own deeds.

The true Christian principle of self-forgetful honesty and kindness,
clearly and continuously exhibited, is the first requisite of true
statesmanship in the treatment of the Indian question. This would not
require, however, the immediate entrance of the Indian upon all the
privileges of citizenship and self-direction. Christianized though he
might be, he would need for a longer or shorter time guardianship like a
child. A wise care for his own interests could not be expected of him at
the outset, and the Government should care for him with wise
forethought. Obedience to the law should be required of him, and the
protection of the law afforded him. The jurisdiction of the courts and
the presence of the Government should be felt in the Indian Territory
and upon every Indian reservation as powerfully as in the most
enlightened portions of the land. The court should go as early as the
school, if not before, and is itself an educational agency of
incalculable importance.

When the Indian, through wise and Christian treatment, becomes invested
with all the rights and duties of citizenship, his special tribal
relations will become extinct. This will not be easily nor rapidly done;
but all our policy should be shaped toward the gradual loosening of the
tribal bond, and the gradual absorption of the Indian families among the
masses of our people. This would involve the bringing to an end of the
whole system of Indian reservations, and would forbid the continued
isolation of the Indian Territory. It is not wise statesmanship to
create impassable barriers between any parts of our country or any
portions of our people.

Very difficult questions demanding very careful treatment arise in
reference to just this point. Certain Indian tribes now own certain
Indian reservations and the Indian Territory, and this right of property
ought to be most sacredly guarded. But it does not, therefore, follow
that these Indians, in their present state, ought to control the present
use of this property. They may need a long training before they are wise
enough to manage rightfully what is nevertheless rightfully their own.
This training, to which their property might fairly contribute means,
should assiduously be given in established schools with required

If the results thus indicated shall gradually come to pass, the property
now owned by the tribes should be ultimately divided and held in
severalty by the individual members of the tribes. Such a division
should not be immediately made, and, when made, it should be with great
care and faithfulness; but the Indian himself should, as soon as may be,
feel both the incentives and the restraints which an individual
ownership of property is fitted to excite, and the Government, which is
his guardian, having educated him for this ownership, should endow him
with it. But until the Indian becomes as able as is the average white
man to manage his property for himself, the Government should manage it
for him, no matter whether he be willing or unwilling to have this done.

A difficulty arises in the cases—of which there are many—where treaties
have been made by the Government of the United States with different
Indian tribes, wherein the two parties have agreed to certain definitely
named stipulations. Such treaties have proceeded upon the false
view—false in principle, and equally false in fact—that an Indian tribe,
roaming in the wilderness and living by hunting and plunder, is a
nation. In order to be a nation, there must be a people with a code of
laws which they practise, and a government which they maintain. No vague
sense of some unwritten law, to which human nature, in its lowest
stages, doubtless feels some obligation, and no regulations
instinctively adopted for common defence, which the rudest people herded
together will always follow, are enough to constitute a nation. These
Indian tribes are not a nation, and nothing either in their history or
their condition could properly invest them with a treaty-making power.

And yet when exigencies have seemed to require, we have treated them as
nations, and have pledged our own national faith in solemn covenant with
them. It were the baldest truism to say that this faith and covenant
should be fulfilled. Of course it should be fulfilled. It is to our own
unspeakable disgrace that we have so often failed therein. But it
becomes us wisely and honestly to inquire whether the spirit of these
agreements might not be falsified by their letter, and whether, in order
to give the Indian his real rights, it may not be necessary to set aside
prerogatives to which he might technically and formally lay claim. If
the Indian Territory and the Indian reservations have been given to
certain tribes as their possession forever, the sacredness of this
guarantee should not shut our eyes to the sacredness also of the real
interests of the people in whose behalf the guarantee was given. We
ought not to lose the substance in our efforts to retain the shadow; we
ought not to insist upon the _summum jus_, when this would become the
_summa injuria_.

Of course the utmost caution is needed in the application of such a
principle. To admit that a treaty with the Indians may be set aside
without the consent of the Indians themselves, is to open the door again
to the same frauds and falsehoods which have so darkly branded a
"Century of Dishonor." But our great trouble has been that we have
sought to exact justice from the Indian while exhibiting no justice to
him; and when we shall manifest that all our procedure toward him is in
truth and uprightness, we need have no fear but that both his conscience
and his judgment will in the end approve.

                                                       JULIUS H. SEELYE.

AMHERST COLLEGE, _December 10, 1880_.

                             AUTHOR'S NOTE.

All the quotations in this book, where the name of the authority is not
cited, are from Official Reports of the War Department or the Department
of the Interior.

The book gives, as its title indicates, only a sketch, and not a

To write in full the history of any one of these Indian communities, of
its forced migrations, wars, and miseries, would fill a volume by

The history of the missionary labors of the different churches among the
Indians would make another volume. It is the one bright spot on the dark

All this I have been forced to leave untouched, in strict adherence to
my object, which has been simply to show our causes for national shame
in the matter of our treatment of the Indians. It is a shame which the
American nation ought not to lie under, for the American people, as a
people, are not at heart unjust.

If there be one thing which they believe in more than any other, and
mean that every man on this continent shall have, it is "fair play." And
as soon as they fairly understand how cruelly it has been denied to the
Indian, they will rise up and demand it for him.

                                                                   H. H.

                         A CENTURY OF DISHONOR.

                               CHAPTER I.


The question of the honorableness of the United States' dealings with
the Indians turns largely on a much disputed and little understood
point. What was the nature of the Indians' right to the country in which
they were living when the continent of North America was discovered?
Between the theory of some sentimentalists that the Indians were the
real owners of the soil, and the theory of some politicians that they
had no right of ownership whatever in it, there are innumerable grades
and confusions of opinion. The only authority on the point must be the
view and usage as accepted by the great discovering Powers at the time
of discovery, and afterward in their disposition of the lands

Fortunately, an honest examination of these points leaves no doubt on
the matter.

England, France, Spain, little Portugal—all quarrelling fiercely, and
fighting with each other for the biggest share in the new continent—each
claiming "sovereignty of the soil" by right of priority of discovery—all
recognized the Indians' "right of occupancy" as a right; a right
alienable in but two ways, either by purchase or by conquest.

All their discussions as to boundaries, from 1603 down to 1776,
recognized this right and this principle. They reiterated, firstly, that
discoverers had the right of sovereignty—a right in so far absolute that
the discoverer was empowered by it not only to take possession of, but
to grant, sell, and convey lands still occupied by Indians—and that for
any nation to attempt to take possession of, grant, sell, or convey any
such Indian-occupied lands while said lands were claimed by other
nations under the right of discovery, was an infringement of rights, and
just occasion of war; secondly, that all this granting, selling,
conveying was to be understood to be "subject to the Indians' right of
occupancy," which remained to be extinguished either through further
purchase or through conquest by the grantee or purchaser.

Peters, in his preface to the seventh volume of the "United States
Statutes at Large," says, "The history of America, from its discovery to
the present day, proves the universal recognition of these principles."

Each discovering Power might regulate the relations between herself and
the Indians; but as to the existence of the Indians' "right of
occupancy," there was absolute unanimity among them. That there should
have been unanimity regarding any one thing between them, is remarkable.
It is impossible for us to realize what a sudden invitation to greed and
discord lay in this fair, beautiful, unclaimed continent—eight millions
of square miles of land—more than twice the size of all Europe itself.
What a lure to-day would such another new continent prove! The fighting
over it would be as fierce now as the fighting was then, and the "right
of occupancy" of the natives would stand small chance of such unanimous
recognition as the four Great Powers then justly gave it.

Of the fairness of holding that ultimate sovereignty belonged to the
civilized discoverer, as against the savage barbarian, there is no
manner nor ground of doubt. To question this is feeble sentimentalism.
But to affirm and uphold this is not in any wise to overlook the lesser
right which remained; as good, of its kind, and to its extent, as was
the greater right to which, in the just nature of things, it was bound
to give way.

It being clear, then, that the Indians' "right of occupancy" was a right
recognized by all the great discovering Powers, acted upon by them in
all their dispositions of lands here discovered, it remains next to
inquire whether the United States Government, on taking its place among
the nations, also recognized or accepted this Indian "right of
occupancy" as an actual right. Upon this point, also, there is no doubt.

"By the treaty which concluded the War of our Revolution, Great Britain
relinquished all claims not only to the government, but to the
proprietary and territorial rights of the United States whose boundaries
were fixed in the second Article. By this treaty the powers of the
government and the right to soil which had previously been in Great
Britain passed definitely to these States. We had before taken
possession of them by declaring independence, but neither the
declaration of independence nor the treaty confirming it could give us
more than that which we before possessed, or to which Great Britain was
before entitled. It has never been doubted that either the United States
or the several States had a clear title to all the lands within the
boundary-lines described in the treaty, subject only to the Indian right
of occupancy, and that the exclusive right to extinguish that right was
vested in that government which might constitutionally exercise it."[1]

Footnote 1:

  Peters, United States Statutes at Large, vol. vii.

"Subject to the Indian right of occupancy." It is noticeable how
perpetually this phrase reappears. In their desire to define, assert,
and enforce the greater right, the "right of sovereignty," the makers,
interpreters, and recorders of law did not realize, probably, how
clearly and equally they were defining, asserting, and enforcing the
lesser right, the "right of occupancy."

Probably they did not so much as dream that a time would come when even
this lesser right—this least of all rights, it would seem, which could
be claimed by, or conceded to, an aboriginal inhabitant of a country,
however savage—would be practically denied to our Indians. But if they
had foreseen such a time, they could hardly have left more explicit
testimony to meet the exigency.

"The United States have unequivocally acceded to that great and broad
rule by which its civilized inhabitants now hold this country. They hold
and assert in themselves the title by which it was acquired. They
maintain, as all others have maintained, that discovery gave an
exclusive right to extinguish the Indian title of occupancy, either by
purchase or conquest, and gave also a right to such a degree of
sovereignty as the circumstances of the people would allow them to

"The power now possessed by the United States to grant lands resided,
while we were colonies, in the Crown or its grantees. The validity of
the titles given by either has never been questioned in our courts. It
has been exercised uniformly over territories in possession of the
Indians. The existence of this power must negative the existence of any
right which may conflict with and control it. An absolute title to lands
cannot exist at the same time in different persons or in different
governments. An absolute must be an exclusive title, or at least a title
which excludes all others not compatible with it. All our institutions
recognize the absolute title of the Crown, subject only to the Indian
right of occupancy, and recognize the absolute title of the Crown to
extinguish the right. This is incompatible with an absolute and complete
title in the Indians."[2]

Footnote 2:


Certainly. But it is also "incompatible with an absolute and perfect
title" in the white man! Here again, in their desire to define and
enforce the greater right, by making it so clear that it included the
lesser one, they equally define and enforce the lesser right as a thing
to be included. The word "subject" is a strong participle when it is
used legally. Provisions are made in wills, "subject to" a widow's right
of dower, for instance, and the provisions cannot be carried out without
the consent of the person to whom they are thus declared to be
"subject." A title which is pronounced to be "subject to" anything or
anybody cannot be said to be absolute till that subjection is removed.

There have been some definitions and limitations by high legal authority
of the methods in which this Indian "right of occupancy" might be
extinguished even by conquest.

"The title by conquest is acquired and maintained by force. The
conqueror prescribes its limits. Humanity, however, acting on public
opinion, has established as a general rule that the conquered shall not
be wantonly oppressed, and that their condition shall remain as eligible
as is compatible with the objects of the conquest. Usually they are
incorporated with the victorious nation, and become subjects or citizens
of the government with which they are connected. *** When this
incorporation is practicable, humanity demands, and a wise policy
requires, that the rights of the conquered to property should remain
unimpaired; that the new subjects should be governed as equitably as the
old. *** When the conquest is complete, and the conquered inhabitants
can be blended with the conquerors, or safely governed as a distinct
people, public opinion, which not even the conqueror can disregard,
imposes these restraints upon him, and he cannot neglect them without
injury to his fame, and hazard to his power."[3]

Footnote 3:

  Peters, United States Statutes at Large, vol. vii.

In the sadly famous case of the removal of the Cherokee tribe from
Georgia, it is recorded as the opinion of our Supreme Court that "the
Indians are acknowledged to have an unquestionable, and heretofore
unquestioned, right to the lands they occupy until that right shall be
extinguished by a voluntary cession to the Government." *** "The Indian
nations have always been considered as distinct independent political
communities, retaining their original natural rights as the undisputed
possessors of the soil, from time immemorial, with the single exception
of that imposed by irresistible power, which excluded them from
intercourse with any other European potentate than the first discoverer
of the coast of the particular region claimed; and this was a
restriction which those European potentates imposed on themselves as
well as on the Indians. The very term 'nation,' so generally applied to
them, means 'a people distinct from others.' The Constitution, by
declaring treaties already made, as well as those to be made, to be the
supreme law of the land, has adopted and sanctioned the previous
treaties with the Indian nations, and consequently admits their rank
among those powers who are capable of making treaties. The words
'treaty' and 'nation' are words of our own language, selected in our
diplomatic and legislative proceedings by ourselves, having each a
definite and well understood meaning. We have applied them to Indians as
we have applied them to other nations of the earth. They are applied to
all in the same sense."[4]

Footnote 4:

  Worcester _vs._ State of Georgia, 6 Peters, 515.

In another decision of the Supreme Court we find still greater emphasis
put upon the Indian right of occupancy, by stating it as a right, the
observance of which was stipulated for in treaties between the United
States and other nations.

"When the United States acquired and took possession of the Floridas,
the treaties which had been made with the Indian tribes before the
acquisition of the territory by Spain and Great Britain remained in
force over all the ceded territory, as the law which regulated the
relations with all the Indians who were parties to them, and were
binding on the United States by the obligation they had assumed by the
Louisiana treaty as a supreme law of the land.

"The treaties with Spain and England before the acquisition of Florida
by the United States, which guaranteed to the Seminole Indians their
lands, according to the right of property with which they possessed
them, were adopted by the United States, who thus became the protectors
of all the rights they (the Indians) had previously enjoyed, or could of
right enjoy, under Great Britain or Spain, as individuals or nations, by
any treaty to which the United States thus became parties in 1803. ***

"The Indian right to the lands as property was not merely of possession;
that of alienation was concomitant; both were equally secured,
protected, and guaranteed by Great Britain and Spain, subject only to
ratification and confirmation by the license, charter, or deed from the
government representing the king." ***

The laws made it necessary, when the Indians sold their lands, to have
the deeds presented to the governor for confirmation. The sales by the
Indians transferred the kind of right which they possessed; the
ratification of the sale by the governor must be regarded as a
relinquishment of the title of the Crown to the purchaser, and no
instance is known of refusal of permission to sell, or of the rejection
of an Indian sale.[5]

Footnote 5:

  United States _vs._ Clark, 9 Peters, 168.

"The colonial charters, a great portion of the individual grants by the
proprietary and royal governments, and a still greater portion by the
States of the Union after the Revolution, were made for lands within the
Indian hunting-grounds. North Carolina and Virginia, to a great extent,
paid their officers and soldiers of the Revolutionary War by such
grants, and extinguished the arrears due the army by similar means. It
was one of the great resources which sustained the war, not only by
those States but by other States. The ultimate fee, encumbered with the
right of occupancy, was in the Crown previous to the Revolution, and in
the States afterward, and subject to grant. This right of occupancy was
protected by the political power, and respected by the courts until
extinguished." *** "So the Supreme Court and the State courts have
uniformly held."[6]

Footnote 6:

  Clark _vs._ Smith, 13 Peters.

President Adams, in his Message of 1828, thus describes the policy of
the United States toward the Indians at that time:

"At the establishment of the Federal Government the principle was
adopted of considering them as foreign and independent powers, and also
as proprietors of lands. As independent powers, we negotiated with them
by treaties; as proprietors, we purchased of them all the land which we
could prevail on them to sell; as brethren of the human race, rude and
ignorant, we endeavored to bring them to the knowledge of religion and

Kent says: "The European nations which, respectively, established
colonies in America, assumed the ultimate dominion to be in themselves,
and claimed the exclusive right to grant a title to the soil, subject
only to the Indian right of occupancy. The natives were admitted to be
the rightful occupants of the soil, with a _legal_ as well as just claim
to retain possession of it, and to use it according to their own
discretion, though not to dispose of the soil at their own will, except
to the government claiming the right of pre-emption." *** "The United
States adopted the same principle; and their exclusive right to
extinguish the Indian title by purchase or conquest, and to grant the
soil and exercise such a degree of sovereignty as circumstances
required, has never been judicially questioned."

Kent also says, after giving the Supreme Court decision in the case of
Johnson _vs._ M'Intosh: "The same court has since been repeatedly called
upon to discuss and decide great questions concerning Indian rights and
title, and the subject has of late become exceedingly grave and
momentous, affecting the faith and the character, if not the
tranquillity and safety, of the Government of the United States."

In Gardner's "Institutes of International Law" the respective rights to
land of the Indians and the whites are thus summed up: "In our Union the
aborigines had only a possessory title, and in the original thirteen
States each owned in fee, _subject to the Indian right_, all ungranted
lands within their respective limits; and beyond the States the residue
of the ungranted lands were vested in fee in the United States, _subject
to the Indian possessory_ right, to the extent of the national limits."

Dr. Walker, in his "American Law," makes a still briefer summary: "The
American doctrine on the subject of Indian title is briefly this: The
Indians have no fee in the lands they occupy. The fee is in the
Government. They cannot, of course, aliene them either to nations or
individuals, the exclusive right of pre-emption being in the Government.
Yet they have a qualified right of occupancy which can only be
_extinguished by treaty, and upon fair compensation_; until which they
are entitled to be protected in their possession."

"Abbott's Digest," one of the very latest authorities, reiterates the
same principle: "The right of occupancy has been recognized in countless
ways, among others by many decisions of courts and opinions of

It being thus established that the Indian's "right of occupancy" in his
lands was a right recognized by all the Great Powers discovering this
continent, and accepted by them as a right necessary to be extinguished
either by purchase or conquest, and that the United States, as a nation,
has also from the beginning recognized, accepted, and acted upon this
theory, it is next in order to inquire whether the United States has
dealt honorably or dishonorably by the Indians in this matter of their
recognized "right of occupancy."

In regard to the actions of individuals there is rarely much room for
discussion whether they be honorable or dishonorable, the standard of
honor in men's conduct being, among the civilized, uniform, well
understood, and undisputed. Stealing, for instance, is everywhere held
to be dishonorable, as well as impolitic; lying, also, in all its forms;
breaking of promises and betrayals of trust are scorned even among the
most ignorant people. But when it comes to the discussion of the acts of
nations, there seems to be less clearness of conception, less uniformity
of standard of right and wrong, honor and dishonor. It is necessary,
therefore, in charging a government or nation with dishonorable conduct,
to show that its moral standard ought in nowise to differ from the moral
standard of an individual; that what is cowardly, cruel, base in a man,
is cowardly, cruel, base in a government or nation. To do this, it is
only needful to look into the history of the accepted "Law of Nations,"
from the days of the Emperor Justinian until now.

The Roman jurisconsults employed as synonymous, says Wheaton, "the two
expressions, 'jus gentium,' that law which is found among all the known
nations of the earth, and 'jus naturale,' founded on the general nature
of mankind; nevertheless, of these two forms of the same idea, the first
ought to be considered as predominant, since it as well as the 'jus
civile' was a positive law, the origin and development of which must be
sought for in history."

Nations being simply, as Vattel defines them, "societies of men united
together," it is plain that, if there be such a thing as the "law of
nature," which men as individuals are bound to obey, that law is also
obligatory on the "societies" made up of men thus "united."

Hobbes divides the law of nature into that of man and that of States,
saying, "The maxims of each of these laws are precisely the same; but as
States, once established, assume personal properties, that which is
termed the natural law when we speak of the duties of individuals is
called the law of nations when applied to whole nations or States." The
Emperor Justinian said, "The law of nations is common to the whole human

Grotius draws the distinction between the law of nature and the law of
nations thus: "When several persons at different times and in various
places maintain the same thing as certain, such coincidence of sentiment
must be attributed to some general cause. Now, in the questions before
us, that cause must necessarily be one or the other of these two—either
a just consequence drawn from natural principles, or a universal
consent; the former discovers to us the law of nature, and the latter
the law of nations."

Vattel defines the "necessary law of nations" to be the "application of
the law of nature to nations." He says: "It is 'necessary,' because
nations are absolutely bound to observe it. This law contains the
precepts prescribed by the law of nature to States, on whom that law is
not less obligatory than on individuals; since States are composed of
men, their resolutions are taken by men, and the law of nations is
binding on all men, under whatever relation they act. This is the law
which Grotius, and those who follow him, call the Internal Law of
Nations, on account of its being obligatory on nations in the point of

Vattel says again: "Nations being composed of men naturally free and
independent, and who before the establishment of civil societies lived
together in the state of nature, nations or sovereign States are to be
considered as so many free persons living together in the state of

And again: "Since men are naturally equal, and a perfect equality
prevails in their right and obligations as equally proceeding from
nature, nations composed of men, and considered as so many free persons
living together in the state of nature, are naturally equal, and inherit
from nature the same obligations and rights. Power or weakness does not
in this respect produce any difference. A dwarf is as much a man as a
giant; a small republic no less a sovereign State than the most powerful

In these two last sentences is touched the key-note of the true law of
nations, as well as of the true law for individuals—justice. There is
among some of the later writers on jurisprudence a certain fashion of
condescending speech in their quotations from Vattel. As years have gone
on, and States have grown more powerful, and their relations more
complicated by reason of selfishness and riches, less and less has been
said about the law of nature as a component and unalterable part of the
law of nations. Fine subtleties of definition, of limitation have been
attempted. Hundreds of pages are full of apparently learned
discriminations between the parts of that law which are based on the law
of nature and the parts which are based on the consent and usage of
nations. But the two cannot be separated. No amount of legality of
phrase can do away with the inalienable truth underlying it. Wheaton and
President Woolsey to-day say, in effect, the same thing which Grotius
said in 1615, and Vattel in 1758.

Says Wheaton: "International law, as understood among civilized nations,
may be defined as consisting of those rules of conduct which reason
deduces as consonant to justice from the nature of the society existing
among independent nations."

President Woolsey says: "International law, in a wide and abstract
sense, would embrace those rules of intercourse between nations which
are deduced from their rights and moral claims; or, in other words, it
is the expression of the jural and moral relations of States to one

"If international law were not made up of rules for which reasons could
be given satisfactory to man's intellectual and moral nature, if it were
not built on principles of right, it would be even less of a science
than is the code which governs the actions of polite society."

It is evident, therefore, that the one fundamental right, of which the
"law of nations" is at once the expression and the guardian, is the
right of every nation to just treatment from other nations, the right of
even the smallest republic equally with "the most powerful kingdom."
Just as the one fundamental right, of which civil law is the expression
and guardian, is the right of each individual to just treatment from
every other individual: a right indefeasible, inalienable, in nowise
lessened by weakness or strengthened by power—as majestic in the person
of "the dwarf" as in that of "the giant."

Of justice, Vattel says: "Justice is the basis of all society, the sure
bond of all commerce. ***

"All nations are under a strict obligation to cultivate justice toward
each other, to observe it scrupulously and carefully, to abstain from
anything that may violate it. ***

"The right of refusing to submit to injustice, of resisting injustice by
force if necessary, is part of the law of nature, and as such recognized
by the law of nations.

"In vain would Nature give us a right to refuse submitting to injustice,
in vain would she oblige others to be just in their dealings with us, if
we could not lawfully make use of force when they refused to discharge
this duty. The just would lie at the mercy of avarice and injustice, and
all their rights would soon become useless. From the foregoing right
arise, as two distinct branches, first, the right of a just defence,
which belongs to every nation, or the right of making war against
whoever attacks her and her rights; and this is the foundation of
defensive war. Secondly, the right to obtain justice by force, if we
cannot obtain it otherwise, or to pursue our right by force of arms.
This is the foundation of offensive war."

Justice is pledged by men to each other by means of promises or
contracts; what promises and contracts are between men, treaties are
between nations.

President Woolsey says: "A contract is one of the highest acts of human
free-will: it is the will binding itself in regard to the future, and
surrendering its right to change a certain expressed intention, so that
it becomes, morally and jurally, a wrong to act otherwise.

"National contracts are even more solemn and sacred than private ones,
on account of the great interests involved; of the deliberateness with
which the obligations are assumed; of the permanence and generality of
the obligations, measured by the national life, and including thousands
of particular cases; and of each nation's calling, under God, to be a
teacher of right to all, within and without its borders."

Vattel says: "It is a settled point in natural law that he who has made
a promise to any one has conferred upon him a real right to require the
thing promised; and, consequently, that the breach of a perfect promise
is a violation of another person's right, and as evidently an act of
injustice as it would be to rob a man of his property. ***

"There would no longer be any security, no longer any commerce between
mankind, if they did not think themselves obliged to keep faith with
each other, and to perform their promises."

It is evident that the whole weight of the recognized and accepted law
of nations is thrown on the side of justice between nation and nation,
and is the recognized and accepted standard of the obligation involved
in compacts between nation and nation.

We must look, then, among the accepted declarations of the law of
nations for the just and incontrovertible measure of the shame of
breaking national compacts, and of the wickedness of the nations that
dare to do it.

We shall go back to the earliest days of the world, and find no dissent
from, no qualification of the verdict of the infamy of such acts. Livy
says of leagues: "Leagues are such agreements as are made by the command
of the supreme power, and whereby the whole nation is made liable to the
wrath of God if they infringe it."

Grotius opens his "Admonition," in conclusion of the third book of his
famous "Rights of War and Peace," as follows: "'For it is by faith,'
saith Cicero, 'that not commonwealths only, but that grand society of
nations is maintained.' 'Take away this,' saith Aristotle, 'and all
human commerce fails.' It is, therefore, an execrable thing to break
faith on which so many lives depend. 'It is,' saith Seneca, 'the best
ornament wherewith God hath beautified the rational soul; the strongest
support of human society, which ought so much the more inviolably to be
kept by sovereign princes by how much they may sin with greater license
and impunity than other men. Wherefore take away faith, and men are more
fierce and cruel than savage beasts, whose rage all men do horribly
dread. Justice, indeed, in all other of her parts hath something that is
obscure; but that whereunto we engage our faith is of itself clear and
evident; yea, and to this very end do men pawn their faith, that in
their negotiations one with another all doubts may be taken away, and
every scruple removed. How much more, then, doth it concern kings to
keep their faith inviolate, as well for conscience' sake as in regard to
their honor and reputation, wherein consists the authority of a

Vattel says: "Treaties are no better than empty words, if nations do not
consider them as respectable engagements, as rules which are to be
inviolably observed by sovereigns, and held sacred throughout the whole

"The faith of treaties—that firm and sincere resolution, that invariable
constancy in fulfilling our engagements, of which we make profession in
a treaty—is therefore to be held sacred and inviolable between the
nations of the earth, whose safety and repose it secures; and if mankind
be not wilfully deficient in their duty to themselves, infamy must ever
be the portion of him who violates his faith. ***

"He who violates his treaties, violates at the same time the law of
nations, for he disregards the faith of treaties, that faith which the
law of nations declares sacred; and, so far as dependent on him, he
renders it vain and ineffectual. Doubly guilty, he does an injury to his
ally, and he does an injury to all nations, and inflicts a wound on the
great society of mankind. ***

"On the observance and execution of treaties," said a respectable
sovereign, "depends all the security which princes and States have with
respect to each other, and no dependence could henceforward be placed in
future conventions if the existing ones were not to be observed."

It is sometimes said, by those seeking to defend, or at least palliate,
the United States Government's repeated disregard of its treaties with
the Indians, that no Congress can be held responsible for the acts of
the Congress preceding it, or can bind the Congress following it; or, in
other words, that each Congress may, if it chooses, undo all that has
been done by previous Congresses. However true this may be of some
legislative acts, it is clearly not true, according to the principles of
international law, of treaties.

On this point Vattel says: "Since public treaties, even those of a
personal nature, concluded by a king, or by another sovereign who is
invested with sufficient power, are treaties of State, and obligatory on
the whole nation, real treaties, which were intended to subsist
independently of the person who has concluded them, are undoubtedly
binding on his successors; and the obligation which such treaties impose
on the State passes successively to all her rulers as soon as they
assume the public authority. The case is the same with respect to the
rights acquired by those treaties. They are acquired for the State, and
successively pass to her conductors."

Von Martens says: "Treaties, properly so called, are either personal or
real. They are personal when their continuation in force depends on the
person of the sovereign or his family, with whom they have been
contracted. They are real when their duration depends on the State,
independently of the person who contracts. Consequently, all treaties
between republics must be real. All treaties made for a time specified
or forever are real. ***

"This division is of the greatest importance, because real treaties
never cease to be obligatory, except in cases where all treaties become
invalid. Every successor to the sovereignty, in virtue of whatever title
he may succeed, is obliged to observe them without their being renewed
at his accession."

Wheaton says: "They (treaties) continue to bind the State, whatever
intervening changes may take place in its internal constitution or in
the persons of its rulers. The State continues the same, notwithstanding
such change, and consequently the treaty relating to national objects
remains in force so long as the nation exists as an independent State."

There is no disagreement among authorities on this point. It is also
said by some, seeking to defend or palliate the United States
Government's continuous violations of its treaties with the Indians,
that the practice of all nations has been and is to abrogate a treaty
whenever it saw good reason for doing so. This is true; but the treaties
have been done away with in one of two ways, either by a mutual and
peaceful agreement to that effect between the parties who had made
it—the treaty being considered in force until the consent of both
parties to its abrogation had been given—or by a distinct avowal on the
part of one nation of its intention no longer to abide by it, and to
take, therefore, its chances of being made war upon in consequence.
Neither of these courses has been pursued by the United States
Government in its treaty-breaking with the Indians.

Vattel says, on the dissolution of treaties: "Treaties may be dissolved
by mutual consent at the free-will of the contracting powers."

Grotius says: "If either party violate the League, the other party is
freed; because each Article of the League hath the form and virtue of a

Kent says: "The violation of any one article of a treaty is a violation
of the whole treaty. ***

"It is a principle of universal jurisprudence that a compact cannot be
rescinded by one party only, if the other party does not consent to
rescind it, and does no act to destroy it. ***

"To recommence a war by breach of the articles of peace, is deemed much
more odious than to provoke a war by some new demand or aggression; for
the latter is simply injustice, but in the former case the party is
guilty both of perfidy and injustice."

It is also said, with unanswerable irrelevancy, by some who seek to
defend or palliate the United States Government's continuous violation
of its treaties with the Indians, that it was, in the first place,
absurd to make treaties with them at all, to consider them in any sense
as treaty-making powers or nations. The logic of this assertion, made as
a justification for the breaking of several hundred treaties, concluded
at different times during the last hundred years, and broken as fast as
concluded, seems almost equal to that of the celebrated defence in the
case of the kettle, which was cracked when it was lent, whole when
returned, and, in fact, was never borrowed at all. It would be a waste
of words to reason with minds that can see in this position any shelter
for the United States Government against the accusation of perfidy in
its treaty relations with the Indians.

The statement is undoubtedly a true one, that the Indians, having been
placed in the anomalous position as tribes, of "domestic dependent
nations," and as individuals, in the still more anomalous position of
adult "wards," have not legally possessed the treaty-making power. Our
right to put them, or to consider them to be in those anomalous
positions, might be successfully disputed; but they, helpless, having
accepted such positions, did, no doubt, thereby lose their right to be
treated with as nations. Nevertheless, that is neither here nor there
now: as soon as our Government was established, it proceeded to treat
with them as nations by name and designation, and with precisely the
same forms and ratifications that it used in treating with other
nations; and it continued to treat with them as nations by name and
designation, and with continually increasing solemnity of asseveration
of good intent and good faith, for nearly a century. The robbery, the
cruelty which were done under the cloak of this hundred years of
treaty-making and treaty-breaking, are greater than can be told. Neither
mountains nor deserts stayed them; it took two seas to set their bounds.

In 1871, Congress, either ashamed of making treaties only to break them,
or grudging the time, money, and paper it wasted, passed an act to the
effect that no Indian tribe should hereafter be considered as a foreign
nation with whom the United States might contract by treaty. There seems
to have been at the time, in the minds of the men who passed this act, a
certain shadowy sense of some obligation being involved in treaties; for
they added to the act a proviso that it should not be construed as
invalidating any treaties already made. But this sense of obligation
must have been as short-lived as shadowy, and could have had no element
of shame in it, since they forthwith proceeded, unabashed, to negotiate
still more treaties with Indians, and break them; for instance, the
so-called "Brunot Treaty" with the Ute Indians in Colorado, and one with
the Crow Indians in Montana—both made in the summer of 1873. They were
called at the time "conventions" or "agreements," and not "treaties;"
but the difference is only in name.

They stated, in a succession of numbered articles, promises of payment
of moneys, and surrenders and cessions of land, by both parties; were to
be ratified by Congress before taking effect; and were understood by the
Indians agreeing to them to be as binding as if they had been called
treaties. The fact that no man's sense of justice openly revolted
against such subterfuges, under the name of agreements, is only to be
explained by the deterioration of the sense of honor in the nation. In
the days of Grotius there were men who failed to see dishonor in a trick
if profit came of it, and of such he wrote in words whose truth might
sting to-day as, no doubt, it stung then:

"Whereas there are many that think it superfluous to require that
justice from a free people or their governors which they exact daily
from private men, the ground of this error is this: because these men
respect nothing in the law but the profit that ariseth from it, which in
private persons, being single and unable to defend themselves, is plain
and evident; but for great cities, that seem to have within themselves
all things necessary for their own well-being, it doth not so plainly
appear that they have any need of that virtue called justice which
respects strangers."

These extracts from unquestioned authorities on international law prove
that we may hold nations to standards of justice and good faith as we
hold men; that the standards are the same in each case; and that a
nation that steals and lies and breaks promises, will no more be
respected or unpunished than a man who steals and lies and breaks
promises. It is possible to go still farther than this, and to show that
a nation habitually guilty of such conduct might properly be dealt with
therefore by other nations, by nations in no wise suffering on account
of her bad faith, except as all nations suffer when the interests of
human society are injured.

"The interest of human society," says Vattel, "would authorize all the
other nations to form a confederacy, in order to humble and chastise the
delinquent." *** When a nation "regards no right as sacred, the safety
of the human race requires that she should be repressed. To form and
support an unjust pretension is not only doing an injury to the party
whose interests are affected by that pretension; but to despise justice
in general is doing an injury to all nations."

The history of the United States Government's repeated violations of
faith with the Indians thus convicts us, as a nation, not only of having
outraged the principles of justice, which are the basis of international
law; and of having laid ourselves open to the accusation of both cruelty
and perfidy; but of having made ourselves liable to all punishments
which follow upon such sins—to arbitrary punishment at the hands of any
civilized nation who might see fit to call us to account, and to that
more certain natural punishment which, sooner or later, as surely comes
from evil-doing as harvests come from sown seed.

To prove all this it is only necessary to study the history of any one
of the Indian tribes. I propose to give in the following chapters merely
outline sketches of the history of a few of them, not entering more into
details than is necessary to show the repeated broken faith of the
United States Government toward them. A full history of the wrongs they
have suffered at the hands of the authorities, military and civil, and
also of the citizens of this country, it would take years to write and
volumes to hold.

There is but one hope of righting this wrong. It lies in appeal to the
heart and the conscience of the American people. What the people demand,
Congress will do. It has been—to our shame be it spoken—at the demand of
part of the people that all these wrongs have been committed, these
treaties broken, these robberies done, by the Government.

So long as there remains on our frontier one square mile of land
occupied by a weak and helpless owner, there will be a strong and
unscrupulous frontiersman ready to seize it, and a weak and unscrupulous
politician, who can be hired for a vote or for money, to back him.

The only thing that can stay this is a mighty outspoken sentiment and
purpose of the great body of the people. Right sentiment and right
purpose in a Senator here and there, and a Representative here and
there, are little more than straws which make momentary eddies, but do
not obstruct the tide. The precedents of a century's unhindered and
profitable robbery have mounted up into a very Gibraltar of defence and
shelter to those who care for nothing but safety and gain. That such
precedents should be held, and openly avowed as standards, is only one
more infamy added to the list. Were such logic employed in the case of
an individual man, how quick would all men see its enormity. Suppose
that a man had had the misfortune to be born into a family whose name
had been blackened by generations of criminals; that his father, his
grandfather, and his great-grandfather before them had lived in prisons,
and died on scaffolds, should that man say in his soul, "Go to! What is
the use? I also will commit robbery and murder, and get the same gain by
it which my family must have done?" Or shall he say in his soul, "God
help me! I will do what may be within the power of one man, and the
compass of one generation, to atone for the wickedness, and to make
clean the name of my dishonored house!"

What an opportunity for the Congress of 1880 to cover itself with a
lustre of glory, as the first to cut short our nation's record of
cruelties and perjuries! the first to attempt to redeem the name of the
United States from the stain of a century of dishonor!

                              CHAPTER II.

                             THE DELAWARES.

When Hendrik Hudson anchored his ship, the _Half Moon_, off New York
Island in 1609, the Delawares stood in great numbers on the shore to
receive him, exclaiming, in their innocence, "Behold! the gods have come
to visit us!"

More than a hundred years later, the traditions of this event were still
current in the tribe. The aged Moravian missionary, Heckewelder, writing
in 1818, says:

"I at one time, in April, 1787, was astonished when I heard one of their
orators, a great chief of the Delawares, Pachgants-chilias by name, go
over this ground, recapitulating the most extraordinary events which had
before happened, and concluding in these words: 'I admit that there are
good white men, but they bear no proportion to the bad; the bad must be
the strongest, for they rule. They do what they please. They enslave
those who are not of their color, although created by the same Great
Spirit who created them. They would make slaves of us if they could; but
as they cannot do it, they kill us. There is no faith to be placed in
their words. They are not like the Indians, who are only enemies while
at war, and are friends in peace. They will say to an Indian, "My
friend; my brother!" They will take him by the hand, and, at the same
moment, destroy him. And so you' (he was addressing himself to the
Christian Indians at Gnadenhütten, Pennsylvania) 'will also be treated
by them before long. Remember that this day I have warned you to beware
of such friends as these. I know the Long-knives. They are not to be

The original name of the Delawares was Lenni Lenape, or "original
people." They were also called by the Western tribes Wapenachki, "people
at the rising of the sun." When the name "Delawares" was given to them
by the whites, they at first resented it; but being told that they, and
also one of their rivers, were thus named after a great English
brave—Lord De la Warre—they were much pleased, and willingly took the
name. Their lands stretched from the Hudson River to the Potomac. They
were a noble-spirited but gentle people; much under the control of the
arrogant and all-powerful Iroquois, who had put upon them the
degradation of being called "women," and being forced to make war or
give up land at the pleasure of their masters.

During William Penn's humane administration of the affairs of
Pennsylvania, the Delawares were his most devoted friends. They called
him Mignon, or Elder Brother.

"From his first arrival in their country," says Heckewelder, "a
friendship was formed between them, which was to last as long as the sun
should shine, and the rivers flow with water. That friendship would
undoubtedly have continued to the end of time, had their good brother
always remained among them."

In the French and Indian war of 1755 many of them fought on the side of
the French against the English; and in the beginning of our
Revolutionary war the majority of them sided with the English against

Most of the memorable Indian massacres which happened during this period
were the result of either French or English influence. Neither nation
was high-minded enough to scorn availing herself of savage allies to do
bloody work which she would not have dared to risk national reputation
by doing herself. This fact is too much overlooked in the habitual
estimates of the barbarous ferocity of the Indian character as shown by
those early massacres.[7]

Footnote 7:

  See Appendix, Art. X.

The United States' first treaty with the Delawares was made in 1778, at
Fort Pitt. The parties to it were said to be "the United States and the
Delaware Nation." It stipulates that there shall be peace, and that the
troops of the United States may pass "through the country of the
Delaware Nation," upon paying the full value of any supplies they may
use. It further says that, "Whereas the enemies of the United States
have endeavored by every artifice to possess the Indians with an opinion
that it is our design to extirpate them, and take possession of their
country; to obviate such false suggestions, the United States guarantee
to said nation of Delawares, and their heirs, all their territorial
rights in the fullest and most ample manner as bounded by former

The treaty also provides that, "should it for the future be found
conducive for the mutual interest of both parties to invite any other
tribes who have been friends to the interests of the United States to
join the present confederation and form a State, whereof the Delaware
Nation shall be the head," it shall be done; and the Delawares shall be
entitled to send a representative to Congress.[8]

Footnote 8:

  It is superfluous to say that these provisions were never carried out.

The Delawares agreed to send all the warriors they could spare to fight
for us, and that there should be peace and perpetual friendship.

At this time the rest of the Ohio tribes, most of the New York tribes,
and a large part of the Delawares were in arms on the British side. When
the war of the Revolution was concluded, they were all forced to make
peace as best they could with us; and in our first treaty we provided
for the reinstating in the Delaware Nation of the chiefs and headmen who
had made that old alliance with us; they having lost caste in their
tribe for having fought on our side.

"It is agreed," says the final Article of the treaty, "that the Delaware
chiefs, Kelelamand, or Lieut.-colonel Henry, Henque Pushees, or the Big
Cat, and Wicocalind, or Captain White Eyes, who took up the hatchet for
the United States, and their families, shall be received into the
Delaware Nation in the same situation and rank as before the war, and
enjoy their due portions of the lands given to the Wyandotte and
Delaware nations in this treaty, as fully as if they had not taken part
with America, or as any other person or persons in the said nations."

This Captain White Eyes had adhered to our cause in spite of great
opposition from the hostile part of the tribe. At one time he was
threatened with a violent death if he should dare to say one word for
the American cause; but by spirited harangues he succeeded in keeping
the enthusiasm of his own party centred around himself, and finally
carrying them over to the side of the United States. Some of his
speeches are on record, and are worthy to be remembered:

"If you will go out in this war," he said to them at one time, when the
band were inclined to join the British, "you shall not go without me. I
have taken peace measures, it is true, with the view of saving my tribe
from destruction; but if you think me in the wrong, if you give more
credit to runaway vagabonds than to your own friends—to a man, to a
warrior, to a Delaware—if you insist on fighting the Americans—go! and I
will go with you. And I will not go like the bear-hunter, who sets his
dogs on the animal to be beaten about with his paws, while he keeps
himself at a safe distance. No; I will lead you on; I will place myself
in the front; I will fall with the first of you! You can do as you
choose; but as for me, I will not survive my nation. I will not live to
bewail the miserable destruction of a brave people, who deserved, as you
do, a better fate."

Were there many speeches made by commanders to their troops in those
revolutionary days with which these words do not compare favorably?

This treaty, by which our faithful ally, Wicocalind, was reinstated in
his tribal rank, was made at Fort M'Intosh in 1785. The Wyandottes,
Chippewas, and Ottawas, as well as the Delawares, joined in it. They
acknowledged themselves and all their tribes to be "under the protection
of the United States, and of no other sovereign whatsoever." The United
States Government reserved "the post of Detroit" and an outlying
district around it; also, the post at Michilimackinac, with a
surrounding district of twelve miles square, and some other reserves for

The Indians' lands were comprised within lines partly indicated by the
Cuyahoga, Big Miami, and Ohio rivers and their branches; it fronted on
Lake Erie; and if "any citizen of the United States," or "any other
person not an Indian," attempted "to settle on any of the lands allotted
to the Delaware and Wyandotte nations in this treaty"—the fifth Article
of the treaty said—"the Indians may punish him as they please."

Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, all are largely made up of the
lands which were by this first treaty given to the Indians.

Five years later, by another treaty at Fort Harmar, the provisions of
this treaty were reiterated, the boundaries somewhat changed and more
accurately defined. The privilege of hunting on all the lands reserved
to the United States was promised to the Indians "without hinderance or
molestation, so long as they behaved themselves peaceably;" and "that
nothing may interrupt the peace and harmony now established between the
United States and the aforesaid nations," it was promised in one of the
articles that white men committing offences or murders on Indians should
be punished in the same way as Indians committing such offences.

The year before this treaty Congress had resolved that "the sum of
$20,000, in addition to the $14,000 already appropriated, be
appropriated for defraying the expenses of the treaties which have been
ordered, or which may be ordered to be held, in the present year, with
the several Indian tribes in the Northern Department; and for
extinguishing the Indian claims, the whole of the said $20,000, together
with $6,000 of the said $14,000, to be applied solely to the purpose of
extinguishing Indian claims to the lands they have already ceded to the
United States by obtaining regular conveyances for the same, and for
extending a purchase beyond the limits hitherto fixed by treaty."

Here is one of the earliest records of the principle and method on which
the United States Government first began its dealings with Indians.
"Regular conveyances," "extinguishing claims" by "extending purchase."
These are all the strictest of legal terms, and admit of no double

The Indians had been much dissatisfied ever since the first treaties
were made. They claimed that they had been made by a few only,
representing a part of the tribe; and, in 1786, they had held a great
council on the banks of the Detroit River, and sent a message to
Congress, of which the following extracts will show the spirit.

They said: "It is now more than three years since peace was made between
the King of Great Britain and you; but we, the Indians, were
disappointed, finding ourselves not included in that peace according to
our expectations, for we thought that its conclusion would have promoted
a friendship between the United States and the Indians, and that we
might enjoy that happiness that formerly subsisted between us and our
Elder Brethren. We have received two very agreeable messages from the
Thirteen United States. We also received a message from the king, whose
war we were engaged in, desiring us to remain quiet, which we
accordingly complied with. During this time of tranquillity we were
deliberating the best method we could to form a lasting reconciliation
with the Thirteen United States. *** We are still of the same opinion as
to the means which may tend to reconcile us to each other; and we are
sorry to find, although we had the best thoughts in our minds during the
before-mentioned period, mischief has nevertheless happened between you
and us. We are still anxious of putting our plan of accommodation into
execution, and we shall briefly inform you of the means that seem most
probable to us of effecting a firm and lasting peace and reconciliation,
the first step toward which should, in our opinion, be that all treaties
carried on with the United States on our parts should be with the
general will of the whole confederacy, and carried on in the most open
manner, without any restraint on either side; and especially as landed
matters are often the subject of our councils with you—a matter of the
greatest importance and of general concern to us—in this case we hold it
indisputably necessary that any cession of our lands should be made in
the most public manner, and by the united voice of the confederacy,
holding all partial treaties as void and of no effect. *** We say, let
us meet half-way, and let us pursue such steps as become upright and
honest men. We beg that you will prevent your surveyors and other people
from coming upon our side of the Ohio River."

These are touching words, when we remember that only the year before the
United States had expressly told these Indians that if any white
citizens attempted to settle on their lands they might "punish them as
they pleased."

"We have told you before we wished to pursue just steps, and we are
determined they shall appear just and reasonable in the eyes of the
world. This is the determination of all the chiefs of our confederacy
now assembled here, notwithstanding the accidents that have happened in
our villages, even when in council, where several innocent chiefs were
killed when absolutely engaged in promoting a peace with you, the
Thirteen United States."

The next year the President instructed the governor of the territory
northwest of the Ohio to "examine carefully into the real temper of the
Indian tribes" in his department, and says: "The treaties which have
been made may be examined, but must not be departed from, unless a
change of boundary beneficial to the United States can be obtained." He
says also: "You will not neglect any opportunity that may offer of
extinguishing the Indian rights to the westward, _as far as the

Beyond that river even the wildest dream of greed did not at that time

The President adds, moreover: "You may stipulate that any white persons
going over the said boundaries without a license from the proper
officers of the United States may be treated in such manner as the
Indians may see fit."

I have not yet seen, in any accounts of the Indian hostilities on the
North-western frontier during this period, any reference to those
repeated permissions given by the United States to the Indians, to
defend their lands as they saw fit. Probably the greater number of the
pioneer settlers were as ignorant of these provisions in Indian treaties
as are the greater number of American citizens to-day, who are honestly
unaware—and being unaware, are therefore incredulous—that the Indians
had either provocation or right to kill intruders on their lands.

At this time separate treaties were made with the Six Nations, and the
governor says that these treaties were made separately because of the
jealousy and hostility existing between them and the Delawares,
Wyandottes, etc., which he is "not willing to lessen," because it
weakens their power. "Indeed," he frankly adds, "it would not be very
difficult, if circumstances required it, to set them at deadly

Thus early in our history was the ingenious plan evolved of first
maddening the Indians into war, and then falling upon them with
exterminating punishment. The gentleman who has left on the official
records of his country his claim to the first suggestion and
recommendation of this method is "Arthur St. Clair, governor of the
territory of the United States northwest of the Ohio River, and
commissioner plenipotentiary of the United States of America for
removing all causes of controversy, regulating trade, and settling
boundaries with the Indian nations in the Northern Department."

Under all these conditions, it is not a matter of wonder that the
frontier was a scene of perpetual devastation and bloodshed; and that,
year by year, there grew stronger in the minds of the whites a terror
and hatred of Indians; and in the minds of the Indians a stronger and
stronger distrust and hatred of the whites.

The Delawares were, through the earlier part of these troubled times,
friendly. In 1791 we find the Secretary of War recommending the
commissioners sent to treat with the hostile Miamis and Wabash Indians
to stop by the way with the friendly Delawares, and take some of their
leading chiefs with them as allies. He says, "these tribes are our
friends," and, as far as is known, "the treaties have been well observed
by them."

But in 1792 we find them mentioned among the hostile tribes to whom was
sent a message from the United States Government, containing the
following extraordinary paragraphs:

"Brethren: The President of the United States entertains the opinion
that the war which exists is an error and mistake on your parts. That
you believe the United States want to deprive you of your lands, and
drive you out of the country. _Be assured that this is not so_; on the
contrary, that we should be greatly gratified with the opportunity of
imparting to you all the blessings of civilized life; of teaching you to
cultivate the earth, and raise corn; to raise oxen, sheep, and other
domestic animals; to build comfortable houses; and to educate your
children so as ever to dwell upon the land.

"Consult, therefore, upon the great object of peace; call in your
parties, and enjoin a cessation of all further depredations; and as many
of the principal chiefs as shall choose repair to Philadelphia, the seat
of the Great Government, and there make a peace founded on the
principles of justice and humanity. _Remember that no additional lands
will be required of you, or any other tribe, to those that have been
ceded by former treaties._"

It was in this same year, also, that General Putnam said to them, in a
speech at Post Vincennes: "The United States don't mean to wrong you out
of your lands. They don't want to take away your lands by force. They
want to do you justice." And the venerable missionary, Heckewelder, who
had journeyed all the way from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, to try to help
bring about peace, said to them, "The great chief who has spoken to you
is a good man. He loves you, and will always speak the truth to you. I
wish you to listen to his words, and do as he desires you."

In 1793 a great council was held, to which came the chiefs and headmen
of the Delawares, and of twelve other tribes, to meet commissioners of
the United States, for one last effort to settle the vexed boundary
question. The records of this council are profoundly touching. The
Indians reiterated over and over the provisions of the old treaties
which had established the Ohio River as one of their boundaries. Their
words were not the words of ignorant barbarians, clumsily and doggedly
holding to a point; they were the words of clear-headed, statesman-like
rulers, insisting on the rights of their nations. As the days went on,
and it became more and more clear that the United States commissioners
would not agree to the establishment of the boundary for which the
Indians contended, the speeches of the chiefs grow sadder and sadder.
Finally, in desperation, as a last hope, they propose to the
commissioners that all the money which the United States offers to pay
to them for their lands shall be given to the white settlers to induce
them to move away. They say:

"Money to us is of no value, and to most of us unknown; and as no
consideration whatever can induce us to sell the lands on which we get
sustenance for our women and children, we hope we may be allowed to
point out a mode by which your settlers may be easily removed, and peace
thereby obtained.

"We know that these settlers are poor, or they would never have ventured
to live in a country which has been in continual trouble ever since they
crossed the Ohio. Divide, therefore, this large sum of money which you
have offered us among these people; give to each, also, a proportion of
what you say you would give to us annually, over and above this very
large sum of money, and we are persuaded they would most readily accept
of it in lieu of the lands you sold them. If you add, also, the great
sums you must expend in raising and paying armies with a view to force
us to yield you our country, you will certainly have more than
sufficient for the purpose of repaying these settlers for all their
labor and their improvements.

"You have talked to us about concessions. It appears strange that you
should expect any from us, who have only been defending our just rights
against your invasions. We want peace. Restore to us our country, and we
shall be enemies no longer.

"*** We desire you to consider, brothers, that our only demand is the
peaceable possession of a small part of our once great country. Look
back and review the lands from whence we have been driven to this spot.
We can retreat no farther, because the country behind hardly affords
food for its present inhabitants, and we have therefore resolved to
leave our bones in this small space to which we are now confined."

The commissioners replied that to make the Ohio River the boundary was
now impossible; that they sincerely regretted that peace could not be
made; but, "knowing the upright and liberal views of the United States,"
they trust that "impartial judges will not attribute the continuance of
the war to them."

Notice was sent to the governor that the Indians "refused to make
peace;" and General Anthony Wayne, a few weeks later, wrote to the
Secretary of War, "The safety of the Western frontiers, the reputation
of the legion, the dignity and interest of the nation—all forbid a
retrograde manœuvre, or giving up one inch of ground we now possess,
till the enemy are compelled to sue for peace."

The history of the campaigns that followed is to be found in many
volumes treating of the pioneer life of Ohio and other North-western
States. One letter of General Wayne's to the Secretary of War, in
August, 1794, contains a paragraph which is interesting, as showing the
habits and method of life of the people whom we at this time, by force
of arms, drove out from their homes—homes which we had only a few years
before solemnly guaranteed to them, even giving them permission to
punish any white intruders there as they saw fit. By a feint of
approaching Grand Glaize through the Miami villages, General Wayne
surprised the settlement, and the Indians, being warned by a deserter,
had barely time to flee for their lives. What General Wayne had intended
to do may be inferred from this sentence in his letter: "I have good
grounds to conclude that the defection of this villain prevented the
enemy from receiving a fatal blow at this place when least expected."

However, he consoles himself by the fact that he has "gained possession
of the grand emporium of the hostile Indians of the West without loss of
blood. The very extensive and highly cultivated fields and gardens show
the work of many hands. The margins of those beautiful rivers—the
Miamis, of the Lake, and Au Glaize—appear like one continued village for
a number of miles, both above and below this place; nor have I ever
before beheld such immense fields of corn in any part of America, from
Canada to Florida."

All these villages were burnt, and all these cornfields destroyed; the
Indians were followed up and defeated in a sharp fight. The British
agents did their best to keep them hostile, and no inconsiderable aid
was furnished to them from Canada. But after a winter of suffering and
hunger, and great vacillations of purpose, they finally decided to yield
to the inevitable, and in the summer of 1795 they are to be found once
more assembled in council, for the purpose of making a treaty; once more
to be told by the representatives of the United States Government that
"the heart of General Washington, the Great Chief of America, wishes for
nothing so much as peace and brotherly love;" that "such is the justice
and liberality of the United States," that they will now a third time
pay for lands; and that they are "acting the part of a tender father to
them and their children in thus providing for them not only at present,
but forever."

Eleven hundred and thirty Indians (eleven tribes, besides the Delawares,
being represented) were parties to this treaty. By this treaty nearly
two-thirds of the present State of Ohio were ceded to the United States;
and, in consideration of these "cessions and relinquishments, and to
manifest the liberality of the United States as the great means of
rendering this peace strong and perpetual," the United States
relinquished all claims "to all other Indian lands northward of the
River Ohio, eastward of the Mississippi, and westward and southward of
the Great Lakes and the waters uniting them, according to the boundary
line agreed upon by the United States and the King of Great Britain, in
the treaty of peace made between them in the year 1783," with the
exception of four tracts of land. But it was stated to the Indians that
these reservations were not made "to annoy or impose the smallest degree
of restraint on them in the quiet enjoyment and full possession of their
lands," but simply to "connect the settlements of the people of the
United States," and "to prove convenient and advantageous to the
different tribes of Indians residing and hunting in their vicinity."

The fifth Article of the treaty is: "To prevent any misunderstanding
about the Indian lands now relinquished by the United States, it is
explicitly declared that the meaning of that relinquishment is this:
that the Indian tribes who have a right to those lands are quietly to
enjoy them—hunting, planting, and dwelling thereon _so long as they
please_ without any molestation from the United States; but when those
tribes, or any of them, shall be disposed to sell their lands, or any
part of them, they are to be sold only to the United States; and until
such sale the United States will protect all the said Indian tribes in
the quiet enjoyment of their lands against all citizens of the United
States, and against all other white persons who intrude on the same."

The sixth Article reiterates the old pledge, proved by the last three
years to be so worthless—that, "If any citizen of the United States, or
any other white person or persons, shall presume to settle upon the
lands now relinquished by the United States, such citizen or other
person shall be out of the protection of the United States; and the
Indian tribe on whose land the settlement may be made may drive off the
settler, or punish him in such manner as they shall think fit."

The seventh Article gives the Indians the liberty "to hunt within the
territory and lands which they have now ceded to the United States,
without hinderance or molestation, so long as they demean themselves

The United States agreed to pay to the Indians twenty thousand dollars'
worth of goods at once; and "henceforward, every year, forever, useful
goods to the value of nine thousand five hundred dollars." Peace was
declared to be "established" and "perpetual."

General Wayne told the Indians that they might believe him, for he had
never, "in a public capacity, told a lie;" and one of the Indians said,
with much more dignity, "The Great Spirit above hears us, and I trust we
shall not endeavor to deceive each other."

In 1813, by a treaty at Vincennes, the bounds of the reservation of the
Post of St. Vincennes were defined, and the Indians, "as a mark of their
regard and attachment to the United States, relinquished to the United
States the great salt spring on the Saline Creek."

In less than a year we made still another treaty with them for the
extinguishment of their title to a tract of land between the Ohio and
the Wabash rivers (which they sold to us for a ten years' annuity of
three hundred dollars, which was to be "exclusively appropriated to
ameliorating their condition and promoting their civilization"); and in
one year more still another treaty, in which a still further cession of
land was made for a permanent annuity of one thousand dollars.

In August of this year General Harrison writes to the Secretary of War
that there are great dissensions between the Delawares and Miamis in
regard to some of the ceded lands, the Miamis claiming that they had
never consented to give them up. General Harrison observes the most
exact neutrality in this matter, but says, "A knowledge of the value of
land is fast gaining ground among the Indians," and negotiations are
becoming in consequence much more difficult. In the course of this
controversy, "one of the chiefs has said that he knew a great part of
the land was worth six dollars an acre."

It is only ten years since one of the chiefs of these same tribes had
said, "Money is to us of no value." However, they must be yet very far
from having reached any true estimate of real values, as General
Harrison adds: "From the best calculation I have been able to make, the
tract now ceded contains at least two millions of acres, and embraces
some of the finest lands in the Western country."

Cheap at one thousand dollars a year!—even with the negro man thrown in,
which General Harrison tells the Secretary he has ordered Captain Wells
to purchase, and present to the chief, The Turtle, and to draw on the
United States Treasury for the amount paid for him.

Four years later (1809) General Harrison is instructed by the President
"to take advantage of the most favorable moment for extinguishing the
Indian title to the lands lying east of the Wabash, and adjoining
south;" and the title was extinguished by the treaty of Fort Wayne—a
little more money paid, and a great deal of land given up.

In 1814 we made a treaty, simply of peace and friendship, with the
Delawares and several other tribes: they agreeing to fight faithfully on
our side against the English, and we agreeing to "confirm and establish
all the boundaries" as they had existed before the war.

In 1817 it was deemed advisable to make an effort to "extinguish the
Indian title to all the lands claimed by them within the limits of the
State of Ohio". Two commissioners were appointed, with great
discretionary powers; and a treaty was concluded early in the autumn, by
which there was ceded to the United States nearly all the land to which
the Indians had claim in Ohio, a part of Indiana, and a part of
Michigan. This treaty was said by the Secretary of War to be "the most
important of any hitherto made with the Indians." "The extent of the
cession far exceeded" his most sanguine expectations, and he had the
honesty to admit that "there can be no real or well-founded objection to
the amount of the compensation given for it, except that it is not an
adequate one."

The commissioners who negotiated the treaty were apprehensive that they
would be accused of having made too liberal terms with the Indians, and
in their report to the department they enumerate apologetically the
reasons which made it impossible for them to get the land cheaper. Mr.
Cass says of the terms: "Under any circumstances, they will fall
infinitely short of the pecuniary and political value of the country

The Indians, parties to this treaty, surrendered by it almost the last
of their hunting-grounds, and would soon be driven to depending wholly
upon the cultivation of the soil.

In 1818 the Delawares again ceded land to the United States—ceded all to
which they laid claim in the State of Indiana—and the United States
promised to provide for them "a country to reside in on the west side of
the Mississippi," and "to guarantee to them the peaceable possession" of
the same. They were to have four thousand dollars a year in addition to
all the sums promised by previous treaties, and they were to be allowed
to remain three years longer by sufferance in their present homes. The
Government also agreed to pay them for their improvements on their
lands, to give them a hundred and twenty horses, and a "sufficient
number of pirogues to aid in transporting them to the west side of the
Mississippi;" also provisions for the journey.

In 1829 a supplementary Article was added to this treaty. The United
States Government began to show traces of compunction and pity. The
Article says, "Whereas the Delaware Nation are now willing to remove,"
it is agreed upon that the country in the fork of the Kansas and
Missouri rivers, selected for their home, "shall be conveyed and forever
secured by the United States to the said Delaware Nation, as their
permanent residence; and the United States hereby pledges the faith of
the Government to guarantee to the said Delaware Nation, forever, the
quiet and peaceable and undisturbed enjoyment of the same against the
claims and assaults of all and every other people whatever."

An additional permanent annuity of one thousand dollars is promised;
forty horses, "and the use of six wagons and ox-teams to assist in
removing heavy articles," provisions for the journey, and one year's
subsistence after they reach their new home; also the erection of a
grist and saw mill within two years.

In 1833 the Secretary of War congratulated the country on the fact that
"the country north of the Ohio, east of the Mississippi, including the
States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and the Territory of Michigan as far
as the Fox and Wisconsin rivers," has been practically "cleared of the
embarrassments of Indian relations," as there are not more than five
thousand Indians, all told, left in this whole region.

The Commissioner of Indian Affairs in the same year says that it is
"grateful to notice" how much the Indians' condition is "ameliorated
under the policy of removal." He says that they, "protected by the
strong arm of the Government, and dwelling on lands _distinctly_ and
permanently established as their own, enjoying a delightful climate and
a fertile soil, turn their attention to the cultivation of the earth,
and abandon the chase for the surer supply of domestic animals."

This commissioner apparently does not remember, perhaps never read, the
records of the great fields of corn which the Delawares had on the Miami
River in 1795, and how they returned twice that summer and replanted
them, after General Wayne had cut down and burnt the young crops. They
had "turned their attention to the cultivation of the soil" forty years
ago, and that was what came of it. We shall see how much better worth
while it may be for them to plant corn in their new "permanent home,"
than it was in their last one.

The printed records of Indian Affairs for the first forty years of this
century are meagre and unsatisfactory. Had the practice prevailed then,
as at the present time, of printing full annual reports for the
different tribes, it would be possible to know much which is now forever
locked up in the traditions and the memories of the Indians themselves.
For ten years after the making of this last quoted treaty, there is
little official mention of the Delawares by name, beyond the mention in
the fiscal reports of the sums paid to them as annuities and for
education. In 1833 the commissioner says, "The agent for the Delawares
and Shawnees states that he was shown cloth that was spun and wove, and
shirts and other clothing made by the Indian girls."

In 1838 the Delawares are reported as cultivating one thousand five
hundred acres of land in grain and vegetables, and raising a great many
hogs, cattle, and horses. "They are a brave, enterprising people," and
"at peace with all neighboring Indians."

Parties of them frequently make excursions into the Rocky Mountains
after beaver, and return with a rich reward, sometimes as much as one
thousand dollars to an individual; but their money is soon spent,
chiefly for ardent spirits. The agent says: "The only hinderance now in
the way of the Delawares, Shawnees, and Kickapoos is ardent spirits. ***
These whiskey traffickers, who seem void of all conscience, rob and
murder many of these Indians; I say rob—they will get them drunk, and
then take their horses, guns, or blankets off their backs, regardless of
how quick they may freeze to death; I say they murder—if not directly,
indirectly, they furnish the weapon—they make them drunk, and, when
drunk, they kill their fellow-beings. Some freeze to death when drunk;
several drunken Indians have been drowned in the Missouri River this
season, aiming to cross when drunk."

In 1844 the chiefs of the Delawares met together, and prepared a
remarkable document, which was forwarded to the Secretary of War. In
this paper they requested that all the school funds to which they were
entitled by treaty provisions might be paid to the Indian Manual Labor
School near the Fort Leavenworth Agency; might be pledged to that school
for ten years to come, and that they might therefor be guaranteed the
education and subsistence of Delaware children, not exceeding fifty at
any one time. It came out, in course of this negotiation, that two
thousand dollars were due them on arrearages of their school fund.

The Secretary acceded to this request, but imposed five conditions upon
it, of which the fourth seems worth chronicling, as an indication of the
helplessness of the Delawares in the matter of the disposition of their
own money: "The interest to be paid annually when it may suit the
Treasury; and this ratification to be subject to withdrawal, and the
agreement itself to rescission, and to be annulled at the pleasure of
the Department."

In 1845 the Delawares "raise a sufficiency to subsist on. The women do a
large portion of the work on the farms. In many families, however, the
women do not work on the farm. They raise corn, pumpkins, beans, pease,
cabbages, potatoes, and many kinds of garden vegetables. Some few raise
wheat and oats. They have lately had built, out of their own means, a
good saw and grist mill, with two run of stones, one for corn and the
other for wheat. There is a constant stream, called the Stranger, in
their country that affords excellent water privileges. On this stream
their mills are built."

At this time they are waiting with much anxiety to see if their "Great
Father" will punish the Sioux, who have at two different times attacked
them, and murdered in all some thirty men. "They say they do not wish to
offend and disobey their Great Father, and before they attempt to
revenge themselves they will wait and see if their Great Father will
compel the Sioux to make reparation."

In 1848 "almost every family is well supplied with farming-stock; and
they have raised abundance of corn, some wheat, potatoes, oats, and
garden vegetables; have made butter and cheese; and raised fruit, etc.,
etc. They dwell in good log-cabins, and some have extremely neat houses,
well furnished. They have their outhouses, stables, well-fenced lots,
and some have good barns." There are seventy scholars in one school
alone that are taught by the Friends; and the teacher reports: "It is
truly astonishing to see the rapidity with which they acquire knowledge.
The boys work on the farm part of the time, and soon learn how to do
what they are set at. The girls spend a part of their time in doing
housework, sewing, etc. Many of them do the sewing of their own, and
some of the clothes of the other children."

In 1853 the Delawares are recorded as being "among the most remarkable
of our colonized tribes. By their intrepidity and varied enterprise they
are distinguished in a high degree. Besides being industrious farmers
and herdsmen, they hunt and trade all over the interior of the
continent, carrying their traffic beyond the Great Salt Lake, and
exposing themselves to a thousand perils."

Their agent gives, in his report for this year, a graphic account of an
incident such as has only too often occurred on our frontier. "A small
party of Delawares, consisting of a man, his squaw, and a lad about
eighteen years of age, recently returning from the mountains, with the
avails and profits of a successful hunt and traffic, after they had
commenced their journey homeward the second day the man sickened and
died. Before he died he directed his squaw and the young man to hasten
home with their horses and mules—thirteen in number—their money (four
hundred and forty-five dollars), besides many other articles of value.
After a few days' travel, near some of the forts on the Arkansas, they
were overtaken by four white men, deserters from the United States
Army—three on foot, and one riding a mule. The squaw and young man
loaned each of the men on foot a horse or mule to ride, and furnished
them with provisions. They all travelled on friendly together for some
six or seven days, till they arrived at Cottonwood Creek, thirty-five or
forty miles west of Council Grove. One evening, while resting, the young
man was killed by these men; and the squaw was also supposed by these
wretches to be dead, having had her throat cut badly and her head
fractured. The two were then dragged off in the grass, supposed to be
dead. The men gathered the mules, horses, money, guns, blankets—all that
they supposed of value—and made for Jackson County, Missouri, where they
disposed of the stock as best they could, and three of them took steamer
for St. Louis. The squaw, on the day after, resuscitated; and soon
discovering that her companion had been killed, and everything they
possessed had disappeared, she, in her feeble and dangerous condition,
took the road to Council Grove. The fifth day, she says, she was
overtaken by a Kaw Indian, and brought into Council Grove, where the
traders had every attention paid her, and sent a runner to the Delaware
traders and myself, and we soon succeeded in capturing one of the men in
Liberty, Clay County, Missouri, where he confessed the whole tragedy—the
murder, robbing, etc. The three others had left for St. Louis. A
telegraphic despatch to St. Louis, however, had the desired effect, and
the three men were taken and brought back to Liberty, where, on trial
before two justices of the peace, they were committed for trial in the
District Court of the United States for the State of Missouri. As feeble
as the squaw was, I was under the necessity of having her taken to
Liberty as a witness. She readily recognized and pointed out in a large
crowd of persons three of the prisoners. I have caused four of the
recovered mules and horses to be turned over to the unfortunate squaw. I
expect to recover two or three more; the balance, I am of opinion, will
never be obtained."

In the report of the Indian Commissioner for this year there is also a
paragraph which should not be omitted from this sketch: "The present
seems to be an appropriate occasion for calling the attention of
Congress to certain treaty stipulations with various Indian tribes which
the Government, for a number of years, has failed to execute. In
consideration of the cession of their lands to the United States"—by
some nine tribes of the Mississippi and Missouri regions, among whom
were the Delawares—"it was stipulated on the part of the Government that
certain sums should be paid to said tribes, amounting in the aggregate
to $2,396,600, and that the same should be invested in safe and
profitable stocks, yielding an interest of not less than five per cent.
per annum.

"Owing, however, to the embarrassed condition of the Treasury, it was
deemed advisable by Congress, in lieu of making the investments, to
appropriate from year to year a sum equal to the annual interest at five
per cent. on the several amounts required to be invested. On this amount
the Government has already paid from its treasury $1,742,240—a sum which
is now equal to two-thirds of the principal, and will in a few years be
equal to the whole, if the practice of appropriating the interest be
continued. As there is no limitation to the period of these payments,
such a policy indefinitely continued would prove a most costly one to
the Government. At the end of every twenty years it will have paid from
the public treasury by way of interest the full amount of the stipulated
investments. *** The public finances are in a prosperous condition.
Instead of fiscal embarrassment, there is now a redundancy of money, and
one of the vexed questions of the day is, What shall be done with the
surplus in the Treasury? Considering the premises, it seems to be quite
clear that so much thereof as may be necessary for the purpose should be
promptly applied to the fulfilment of our treaty obligations."

In 1854 the influx of white settlers into Kansas was so great, it became
evident that the Indian reservations there could not be kept intact; and
the Delawares made a large cession of their lands back to the United
States, to be restored to the public domain. For this they were to
receive ten thousand dollars. The sixth Article of this treaty provided
for the giving of annuities to their chiefs. "The Delawares feel now, as
heretofore, grateful to their old chiefs for their long and faithful
services. In former treaties, when their means were scanty, they
provided by small life annuities for the wants of the chiefs, some of
whom are now receiving them. These chiefs are poor, and the Delawares
believe it their duty to keep them from want in their old age." The sum
of ten thousand dollars, therefore, was to be paid to their five
chiefs—two hundred and fifty dollars a year each.

Article second provided that the President should cause the land now
reserved for their permanent home to be surveyed at any time when they
desired it, in the same manner as the ceded country was being surveyed
for the white settlers.

In the following year their agent writes thus of the results which have
followed the opening of this large tract to white settlers: "The Indians
have experienced enough to shake their confidence in the laws which
govern the white race. The irruptions of intruders on their trust lands,
their bloody dissensions among themselves, outbreaks of party, etc.,
must necessarily, to these unsophisticated people, have presented our
system of government in an unfavorable light.

"Numerous wrongs have been perpetrated on many parts of the reserve; the
white men have wasted their most valuable timber with an unsparing hand;
the trust lands have been greatly injured in consequence of the
settlements made thereon. The Indians have complained, but to no
purpose. I have found it useless to threaten legal proceedings. *** The
Government is bound in good faith to protect this people. *** The
agricultural portion of this tribe have done well this season; abundant
crops of corn promise them a supply of food for the ensuing year."

The simple-minded trustingness of these people is astonishing. Even now
they assent to an Article in this treaty which says that, as the means
arising from the sale of all this land they had given up would be more
than they could use, the remainder should be "from time to time invested
by the President of the United States in safe and profitable stocks; the
principal to remain unimpaired, and the interest to be applied annually
for the civilization, education, and religious culture of the Delaware
people, and such other objects of a beneficial character as in his
judgment are proper and necessary." Another Article stipulates that, if
any of the Delawares are worthless or idle, the President can withhold
their share of the moneys.

Article fifteenth says, gravely, "The primary object of this instrument
being to advance the interests and welfare of the Delaware people, it is
agreed that, if it prove insufficient to effect these ends from causes
which cannot now be foreseen, Congress may hereafter make such farther
provision, by law not inconsistent herewith, as experience may prove to
be necessary to promote the interests, peace, and happiness of the
Delaware people."

In 1860 the United States made its next treaty with the Delawares, in
which they consented to give the Leavenworth, Pawnee, and Western
Railroad Company right of way and certain lands in their reserve. In
1861 another treaty, in which, as the railway company had not paid, and
was not able to pay, the $286,742 which it had promised to pay the
Delawares, the President authorized the Commissioners of Indian Affairs
to take the bonds of said railroad for that amount, and a mortgage on
one hundred thousand acres of the land which the Indians had sold to the
railway company.

There was another very curious bit of legislation in regard to the
Delawares this year, viz., an Act of Congress authorizing the Secretary
of the Treasury to enter on his books $423,990.26 to the credit of the
Delawares; being the amount of bonds which the United States had
invested for the Delawares in State bonds of Missouri, Tennessee, and
North Carolina, and which had been stolen while in the custody of Jacob
Thompson, late Secretary of the Interior, in whose department they had
been deposited for safe-keeping. (At the same time there were stolen
$66,735 belonging to the Iowas, and $169,686.75 belonging to the
confederated bands of Kaskaskias, Peorias, Piankeshaws, and Keas.)

In this year the Commissioner of Indian Affairs visited the Delawares,
and reported them well advanced in civilization, in possession of
comfortable dwellings and farms, with personal property averaging one
thousand dollars to an individual. Many of them were traders, and
travelled even to the boundaries of California.

In 1862 two regiments of Delawares and Osages enlisted as soldiers in an
expedition to the Indian Territory, under Colonel Weer, who says of
them: "The Indian soldiers have far exceeded the most sanguine
expectations. They bore the brunt of the fighting done by the
expedition, and, had they been properly sustained, would have
effectually ended the sway of the rebels in the Indian Territory."

There was during this year a terrible condition of affairs in Kansas and
the Indian Territory. The Indians were largely on the side of the
rebels; yet, as the Indian Commissioner said in his report for this
year—a paragraph which is certainly a species of Irish bull—"While the
rebelling of a large portion of most of the tribes abrogates treaty
obligations, and places them at our mercy, the very important fact
should not be forgotten that the Government first wholly failed to keep
its treaty stipulations with them in protecting them." "By withdrawing
all the troops from the forts in the Indian Territory," it left them "at
the mercy of the rebels." That is, we first broke the treaty; and then
their subsequent failure to observe it "placed them at our mercy!"

"It is," he says, "a well-known fact that in many instances
self-preservation compelled them to make the best terms they could with
the rebels; and that this is the case has been proved by a large number
of them joining our army as soon as a sufficient force had penetrated
their country to make it safe for them to do so."

The Delawares enlisted, in 1862, one hundred and seventy men in the
Union army, and this out of a population of only two hundred males
between the ages of eighteen and forty-five. There was probably no
instance in the whole country of such a ratio of volunteers as this.
They were reported as being in the army "tractable, sober, watchful, and
obedient to the commands of their superiors." They officered their own
companies, and the use of spirituous liquors was strictly prohibited
among them—a fact the more remarkable, as drunkenness was one of their
chief vices at home.

Already, however, the "interests" of the white settlers in Kansas were
beginning to be clearly in opposition to the interests of the Indians.
"Circumscribed as they are, and closely surrounded by white settlements,
I can see nothing in the future for them but destruction," says the
commissioner. "I think it is for the interest of the Indians that they
be removed to some other locality as soon as possible."

"Several of them have from fifty to one hundred acres of land in
cultivation, with comfortable dwellings, barns, and out-houses. *** All
the families are domiciled in houses. *** Their crops of corn will yield
largely. Nearly every family will have a sufficiency for their own
consumption, and many of the larger farmers a surplus. *** There are but
few Delaware children of the age of twelve or fourteen that cannot

Here is a community of a thousand people, larger than many of the
farming villages in New England, for instance, "the average of personal
property amounting to one thousand dollars;" all living in their own
houses, cultivating from fifty to one hundred acres of land, nearly all
the children in schools, and yet it is for their "interest to be moved!"
The last sentence of the following paragraph tells the story:

"When peace is restored to our country, a removal of all the Indians in
Kansas will certainly be advantageous to them as well as to the State."

In 1863 their agent writes: "Since the question of the removal of the
Indians from Kansas has been agitated, improvements have been much
retarded among the Delawares and other Indians in Kansas.

"I think they are sufficiently prepared to make new treaties with the
Government, *** having in view settlement in the Southern country of
those who elect to emigrate, compensation for the homes they relinquish,
and a permission to remain in their present homes for all who are
opposed to leaving Kansas."

At this time, "one-half the adult population are in the volunteer
service of the United States. They make the best of soldiers, and are
highly valued by their officers. *** No State in the Union has furnished
so many men for our armies, from the same ratio of population, as has
the Delaware tribe. *** The tribe has 3900 acres of land under
cultivation, in corn, wheat, oats, and potatoes." (And yet one-half the
adult men are away!)

In this year the Delawares, being "sufficiently prepared" to make new
treaties looking to their removal out of the way of the white settlers
in Kansas, petitioned the United States Government to permit them to
take eight hundred dollars of their annuity funds to pay the expense of
sending a delegation of their chiefs to the Rocky Mountains, to see if
they could find there a country which would answer for their new home.
The commissioner advises that they should not be allowed to go there,
but to the Indian Territory, of which he says, "The geographical
situation is such that its occupation by lawless whites can be more
easily prevented than any other portion of the country." "By common
consent, this appears to be recognized as the Indian country, and I have
strong hopes that it will eventually prove for them a prosperous and
happy home."

In 1864 their agent writes that the greater part of the personal
property owned by the Delawares is in stock, "which is constantly being
preyed upon by the whites, until it has become so reduced that it is
difficult to obtain a good animal in the nation." He says he is unable,
for the want of proper information, to determine what amount they had at
the beginning of the year, but believes, from observation, "that it has
undergone a depletion to the extent of twenty thousand dollars in the
past year."

What a picture of a distressed community! The men away at war, old men,
women, and children working the farms, and twenty thousand dollars of
stock stolen from them in one year!

In 1865 a large proportion of those who had enlisted in the United
States Army were mustered out, and returned home. The agent says: "It
affords me great pleasure to chronicle the continued loyalty of this
tribe during the past four years; and, as events tend westward, they
evince every disposition to aid the Government by contributing their
knowledge of the country to the officers of the army, and rendering such
services thereto as they are qualified to perform."

They "have distinguished themselves in many instances in the conflicts
on the borders;" nevertheless, in this same year, these discharged
soldiers were prohibited by the Government from carrying revolvers. When
the commissioner instructed the agent to disarm them, the agent very
properly replied, stating the difficulties in the case: "Firstly, what
disposition is to be made of weapons taken forcibly from these Indians?
Secondly, many of these Indians are intelligent, only using weapons when
any well-disposed white person would have done so; and if one class is
disarmed, all must be;" on which the commissioner so modified his order
as to say that "peaceably disposed Indians" might keep the usual weapons
used by them in hunting; but whenever they visited agencies or towns
they must deliver up all weapons to the agent, who would receipt for
them, and return them "at proper times." This order is to be enforced,
if possible, by an "appeal to their better judgment."

There are no records of the practical working of this order. Very
possibly it fell at once, by its own weight, into the already large
category of dead-letter laws in regard to Indians. It is impossible to
imagine an Indian who had served four years as an officer in the army
(for the Delawares officered their own companies) submitting to be
disarmed by an agent on any day when he might need to go to Atchison on
business. Probably even that "appeal to his better judgment" which the
commissioner recommends, would only draw from him a very forcible
statement to the effect that any man who went about in Kansas at that
time unarmed was a fool.

In 1866 the Indian Commissioner reports that "the State of Kansas is
fast being filled by an energetic population who appreciate good land;
and as the Indian reservations were selected as being the best in the
State, but _one result can be expected to follow_.

"Most of the Indians are anxious to move to the Indian country south of
Kansas, where white settlers cannot interfere with them.

"Intermingled as the Kansas reservations are with the public lands, and
surrounded in most cases by white settlers who too often act on the
principle that an Indian has no rights that a white man is bound to
respect, they are injured and annoyed in many ways. Their stock are
stolen, their fences broken down, their timber destroyed, their young
men plied with whiskey, their women debauched; so that, while the
uncivilized are kept in a worse than savage state, having the crimes of
civilization forced upon them, those farther advanced, and disposed to
honest industry, are discouraged beyond endurance."

In spite of all this the Delawares raised, in 1866, 72,000 bushels of
grain, 13,000 bushels of potatoes, and owned 5000 head of cattle.

In July of this year a treaty was made with them, providing for the
removal to the Indian Territory of all who should not decide to become
citizens of Kansas, and the sale of their lands. The superintendent of
the Fort Leavenworth Agency writes at this time: "The running of the
Union Pacific Railroad through the Delawares' diminished reserve has
been a source of grievous annoyance and damage to the Delawares, as has
also an organization styled the Delaware Lumber Company. Out of these
two companies grew much complaint and investigation, resulting in the
appointment of a special agent to sell to the railroad the timber
required for the construction of the road, and no more. The Delaware
Lumber Company being thus restricted" (_i.e._, being prevented from
helping themselves to the Indians' timber), immediately "gave up their
business, and stopped their mills," but not before they had damaged the
Indians' property to the amount of twenty-eight thousand dollars.

Twenty thousand dollars' worth of stock and twenty-eight thousand
dollars' worth of timber having been stolen in two years from this
little village of farmers, no wonder they are "sufficiently prepared to
move." Other causes have conspired also to render them in haste to be
gone. The perpetual expectation of being obliged to remove had unsettled
the whole community, and made them indifferent to effort and
improvement. The return of their young men from the war had also had a
demoralizing effect. Drunken frays were not uncommon, in which deadly
weapons were used, spite of the Department's regulations for disarming
all Indians.

In July of this year the Delaware chiefs, distressed by this state of
affairs, drew up for their nation a code of laws which compare favorably
with the laws of so-called civilized States.[9]

Footnote 9:

  See Appendix, Art. 8.

In 1867 the Delawares are said to be "very impatient to be gone from
their reserve, in order to build houses this autumn for winter use, and
to be fencing fields for the ensuing year at their new reserve." The
annuities due them in April of this year have not been paid till autumn,
and this has delayed their movements. Many of the young men are still
away, acting as scouts and guides in the army. In the course of this
year and the next the whole tribe moved by detachments to their new
home. "Those who removed during the winter went to work in a laudable
manner, and made their improvements—many building comfortable houses and
raising respectable crops" the first season. They are said to be now in
a fair way to be better off than ever before. They have "given up their
tribal organization and become Cherokee citizens. They report that they
are well pleased with their new homes; and, being separated from the
many temptations by which they were surrounded in their old reservation,
are learning to appreciate the many benefits to be derived from leading
a temperate, industrious, and consequently a prosperous and happy life."

In 1869 it is said that, "as soon as the final arrangement relative to
their funds is perfected, they will lose their nationality and become
identified with the Cherokees."

In 1870 we find nearly all the Delawares in Indian Territory; but it
seems that, owing to a carelessly surveyed boundary, some three hundred
of them had settled down on lands which were outside the Cherokee
Reservation, and had been assigned by the Government to the Osages. This
unfortunate three hundred, therefore, are removed again; this time to
the lands of the Peorias, where they ask permission to establish
themselves. But in the mean time, as they had made previous arrangements
with the Cherokees, and all their funds had been transferred to the
Cherokee Nation, it is thought to be "very unfortunate that they should
be thus obliged to seek a new home;" and it is said to be "quite
desirable that the parties in interest should reconcile their unsettled
affairs to mutual advantage."

We are too much inclined to read these records carelessly, without
trying to picture to ourselves the condition of affairs which they
represent. It has come to be such an accepted thing in the history and
fate of the Indian that he is to be always pushed on, always in advance
of what is called the march of civilization, that to the average mind
statements of these repeated removals come with no startling force, and
suggest no vivid picture of details, only a sort of reassertion of an
abstract general principle. But pausing to consider for a moment what
such statements actually mean and involve; imagining such processes
applied to some particular town or village that we happen to be
intimately acquainted with, we can soon come to a new realization of the
full bearing and import of them; such uprooting, such perplexity, such
loss, such confusion and uncertainty, inflicted once on any community of
white people anywhere in our land, would be considered quite enough to
destroy its energies and blight its prospects for years. It may very
well be questioned whether any of our small communities would have
recovered from such successive shocks, changes, and forced migrations,
as soon and as well as have many of these Indian tribes. It is very
certain that they would not have submitted to them as patiently.

After this we find in the Official Reports no distinctive mention of the
Delawares by name, except of a few who had been for some time living in
the Indian Territory, and were not included in the treaty provisions at
the time of the removal from Kansas. This little handful—eighty-one in
number—is all that now remain to bear the name of that strong and
friendly people to whom, a little more than one hundred years ago, we
promised that they should be our brothers forever, and be entitled to a
representation in our Congress.

This band of Delawares is associated with six other dwindled remnants of
tribes—the Caddoes, Ionies, Wichitas, Towaconies, Wacoes, Keechies, and
Comanches—on the Wichita Agency, in Indian Territory.

They are all reported as being "peaceable, well disposed," and "actively
engaged in agricultural pursuits."

Of the Delawares it is said, in 1878, that they were not able to
cultivate so much land as they had intended to during that year, "on
account of loss of stock by horse-thieves."

Even here, it seems, in that "Indian country south of Kansas, where" (as
they were told) "white settlers could not interfere with them," enemies
lie in wait for them, as of old, to rob and destroy; even here the
Government is, as before, unable to protect them; and in all
probability, the tragedies of 1866 and 1867 will before long be
re-enacted with still sadder results.

                              CHAPTER III.

                             THE CHEYENNES.

Our first treaty with the Cheyennes was made in 1825, at the mouth of
the Teton River. It was merely a treaty of amity and friendship, and
acknowledgment on the part of the Cheyennes of the "supremacy" of the
United States. Two years before this, President Monroe reported the
"Chayenes" to be "a tribe of three thousand two hundred and fifty souls,
dwelling and hunting on a river of the same name, a western tributary of
the Missouri, a little above the Great Bend." Ten years later, Catlin,
the famous painter of Indians, met a "Shienne" chief and squaw among the
Sioux, and painted their portraits. He says, "The Shiennes are a small
tribe of about three thousand in number, living neighbors to the Sioux
on the west of them, between the Black Hills and the Rocky Mountains.
There is no finer race of men than these in North America, and none
superior in stature, except the Osages: scarcely a man in the tribe full
grown who is less than six feet in height." They are "the richest in
horses of any tribe on the continent; living where the greatest herds of
wild horses are grazing on the prairies, which they catch in great
numbers, and sell to the Sioux, Mandans, and other tribes, as well as to
the fur-traders.

"These people are the most desperate set of warriors and horsemen,
having carried on almost unceasing wars with the Pawnees and Blackfeet.
The chief was clothed in a handsome dress of deer-skins, very neatly
garnished with broad bands of porcupine-quill work down the sleeves of
his shirt and leggings. The woman was comely, and beautifully dressed.
Her dress of the mountain-sheepskin tastefully ornamented with quills
and beads, and her hair plaited in large braids that hung down on her

In 1837 the agent for the "Sioux, Cheyennes, and Poncas" reports that
"all these Indians live exclusively by the chase;" and that seems to be
the sum and substance of his information about them. He adds, also, that
these remote wandering tribes have a great fear of the border tribes,
and wish to avoid them. In 1838 the Cheyennes are reported as carrying
on trade at a post on the Arkansas River near the Santa Fe road, but
still depending on the chase.

In 1842 they are spoken of as a "wandering tribe on the Platte;" and in
the same year, Mr. D. D. Mitchell, Supt. of Indian Affairs, with his
head-quarters at St. Louis, writes: "Generations will pass away before
this territory" [the territory in which the wild tribes of the Upper
Mississippi were then wandering] "becomes much more circumscribed; for
if we draw a line running north and south, so as to cross the Missouri
about the mouth of the Vermilion River, we shall designate the limits
beyond which civilized men are never likely to settle. At this point the
Creator seems to have said to the tides of emigration that are annually
rolling toward the West, 'Thus far shalt thou go, and no farther.' At
all events, if they go beyond this, they will never stop on the east
side of the Rocky Mountains. The utter destitution of timber, the
sterility of sandy soil, together with the coldness and dryness of the
climate, furnish obstacles which not even Yankee enterprise is likely to
overcome. A beneficent Creator seems to have intended this dreary region
as an asylum for the Indians, when the force of circumstances shall have
driven them from the last acre of the fertile soil which they once
possessed. Here no inducements are offered to the ever-restless Saxon
breed to erect their huts. *** The time may arrive when the whole of the
Western Indians will be forced to seek a resting-place in this Great
American Desert; and this, in all probability, will form a new era in
the history of this singular and ill-fated race. They will remain a
wandering, half civilized, though happy people. 'Their flocks and herds
will cover a thousand hills,' and will furnish beef and mutton for a
portion of the dense population of whites that will swarm in the more
fertile sections of the great valley of the Mississippi."

This line, recommended by Mr. Mitchell, runs just east of Dakota,
through the extreme eastern portion of Nebraska, a little to the east of
the middle of Kansas, through the middle of Indian Territory and Texas,
to the Gulf of Mexico. Montana, Idaho, Colorado, and New Mexico, all lie
west of it.

The records of the War Department for 1846 contain an interesting
account of a visit made to all the wild tribes of the Upper Missouri
Agency—the Yankton Sioux, the Arrikarees, Mandans, Assinaboines,
Arapahoes, Cheyennes, and others. In reply to the agent's remonstrances
with one of the Sioux chiefs in regard to their perpetual warring with
each other, the chief "was very laconic and decided, remarking 'that if
their great-grandfather desired them to cease to war with their enemies,
why did he not send each of them a petticoat, and make squaws of them at
once?'" This same chief refused to allow the boys of his tribe to go to
the Choctaw schools, saying, "They would return, as the few did who went
to St. Louis, drunkards, or die on the way."

The Cheyennes and other Indians living on the Platte complained bitterly
of the passage of the emigrants through their country. They said they
ought to be compensated for the right of way, and that the emigrants
should be restricted by law and the presence of a military force from
burning the grass, and from unnecessary destruction of game. They were
systematically plundered and demoralized by traders. Whiskey was to be
had without difficulty; sugar and coffee were sold at one dollar a
pound; ten-cent calico at one dollar a yard; corn at seventy-five cents
a gallon, and higher.

In 1847 a law was passed by Congress forbidding the introduction of
whiskey into the Indian country, and even the partial enforcement of
this law had a most happy effect. Foremost among those to acknowledge
the benefits of it were the traders themselves, who said that the
Indians' demand for substantial articles of trade was augmented two
hundred per cent.: "They enjoy much better health, look much better, and
are better people. *** You now rarely ever hear of a murder committed,
whereas when whiskey was plenty in that country murder was a daily
occurrence." These Indians themselves were said to be "opposed to the
introduction of ardent spirits into their country; *** but, like almost
all other Indians, will use it if you give it to them, and when under
its influence are dangerous and troublesome." There were at this time
nearly forty-six thousand of these Upper Missouri Indians. Five bands of
them—"the Sioux, Cheyennes, Gros Ventres, Mandans, and Poncas"—were
"excellent Indians, devotedly attached to the white man," living "in
peace and friendship with our Government," and "entitled to the special
favor and good opinion of the Department for their uniform good conduct
and pacific relations."

In 1848 it was estimated from the returns made by traders that the trade
of this agency amounted to $400,000. Among the items were 25,000 buffalo
tongues. In consequence of this prosperity on the part of the Indians,
there was a partial cessation of hostilities on the whites; but it was
still a perilous journey to cross the plains, and in 1849 the necessity
for making some sort of treaty stipulations with all these wild tribes
begins to be forced emphatically upon the attention of the United States
Government. A safe highway across the continent must be opened. It is a
noticeable thing, however, that, even as late as this in the history of
our diplomatic relations with the Indian, his right to a certain control
as well as occupancy of the soil was instinctively recognized. The
Secretary of the Interior, in his report for 1849, says: "The wild
tribes of Indians who have their hunting-grounds in the great prairie
through which our emigrants to California pass, have, during the year,
been more than usually pacific. They have suffered our people to pass
through their country with little interruption, though they travelled in
great numbers, and consumed on their route much grass and game. For
these the Indians expect compensation, and their claim is just."

The Secretary, therefore, concurs in the recommendation of the
Commissioner of Indian Affairs that treaties be negotiated with these
tribes, stipulating for the right of way through their country, and the
use of grass and game, paying them therefor small annuities in useful
articles of merchandise, and agricultural implements, and instruction.
"The right of way"—"through their country." A great deal is conceded,
covered, and conveyed by such phrases as these. If they mean anything,
they mean all that the Indians ever claimed.

The Indians were supposed to be influenced to this peaceableness and
good-will more by a hope of rewards and gifts than by a wholesome fear
of the power of the Government; and it was proposed to take a delegation
of chiefs to Washington, "in order that they may acquire some knowledge
of our greatness and strength, which will make a salutary impression on
them, and through them on their brethren," and "will tend to influence
them to continue peaceful relations."

It begins to dawn upon the Government's perception that peace is cheaper
as well as kinder than war. "We never can whip them into friendship,"
says one of the superintendents of the Upper Missouri Agency. A treaty
"can do no harm, and the expense would be less than that of a six
months' war. *** Justice as well as policy requires that we should make
some remuneration for the damages these Indians sustain in consequence
of the destruction of their game, timber, etc., by the whites passing
through their country."

"Their game, timber," "their country," again. The perpetual recurrence
of this possessive pronoun, and of such phrases as these in all that the
Government has said about the Indians, and in all that it has said to
them, is very significant.

In 1850 the Indian Commission writes that "it is much to be regretted
that no appropriation was made at the last session of Congress for
negotiating treaties with the wild tribes of the plains. These Indians
have long held undisputed possession of this extensive region; and,
regarding it as their own, they consider themselves entitled to
compensation not only for the right of way through their territory, but
for the great and injurious destruction of game, grass, and timber
committed by our troops and emigrants."

The bill providing for the negotiation of these treaties was passed
unanimously by the Senate, but "the unhappy difficulties existing on the
subject of slavery" delayed it in the House until it was too late to be
carried into effect.

All the tribes had been informed of this pending bill, and were looking
forward to it with great interest and anxiety. In 1849 they had all
expressed themselves as "very anxious to be instructed in agriculture
and the civilized arts." Already the buffalo herds were thinning and
disappearing. From time immemorial the buffalo had furnished them food,
clothing, and shelter; with its disappearance, starvation stared them in
the face, and they knew it. There can be no doubt that at this time all
the wild tribes of the Upper Missouri region—the Sioux, Cheyennes,
Arapahoes—were ready and anxious to establish friendly relations with
the United States Government, and to enter into some arrangement by
which some means of future subsistence, and some certainty of lands
enough to live on, could be secured to them. Meantime they hunted with
greater diligence than ever; and in this one year alone had sold to the
fur-traders within the limits of one agency $330,000 worth of
buffalo-robes, and "furs, peltries, and miscellaneous goods to the
amount of $60,000. What they thus receive for their furs, robes, etc.,
would be ample for their support," says Hatton, "were it not that they
have to give such exorbitant prices for what they purchase from the

In the winter and spring of 1850 all these tribes were visited by an
agent of the Government. He reported them as "friendly disposed," but
very impatient to come to some understanding about the right of way.
"This is what the Indians want, and what they are anxious about; having
been told long since, and so often repeated by travellers passing (who
care little about the consequences of promises so they slip through
safely and unmolested themselves), that their 'Great Father' would soon
reward them liberally for the right of way, the destruction of timber,
game, etc., as well as for any kindness shown Americans passing through
their country."

In the summer of 1851 this much desired treaty was made. Seven of the
prairie and mountain tribes gathered in great force at Fort Laramie. The
report of this council contains some interesting and noticeable points.

"We were eighteen days encamped together, during which time the Indians
conducted themselves in a manner that excited the admiration and
surprise of every one. The different tribes, although hereditary
enemies, interchanged daily visits, both in their individual and
national capacities; smoked and feasted together; exchanged presents;
adopted each other's children, according to their own customs; and did
all that was held sacred or solemn in the eyes of these Indians to prove
the sincerity of their peaceful and friendly intentions, both among
themselves and with the citizens of the United States lawfully residing
among them or passing through the country."

By this treaty the Indians formally conceded to the United States the
right to establish roads, military or otherwise, throughout the Indian
country, "so far as they claim or exercise ownership over it."

They agreed "to maintain peaceful relations among themselves, and to
abstain from all depredations upon whites passing through their country,
and to make restitution for any damages or loss that a white man shall
sustain by the acts of their people."

For all the damages which they had suffered up to that time in
consequence of the passing of the whites through their country, they
accepted the presents then received as payment in full.

An annuity of $50,000 a year for fifty years to come was promised to
them. This was the price of the "right of way."

"Fifty thousand dollars for a limited period of years is a small amount
to be distributed among at least fifty thousand Indians, especially when
we consider that we have taken away, or are rapidly taking away from
them all means of support," says one of the makers of this treaty. There
would probably be no dissent from this opinion. A dollar a year, even
assured to one for fifty years, seems hardly an adequate compensation
for the surrender of all other "means of support."

The report continues: "Viewing the treaty in all its provisions, I am
clearly of opinion that it is the best that could have been made for
both parties. I am, moreover, of the opinion that it will be observed
and carried out in as good faith on the part of the Indians as it will
on the part of the United States and the white people thereof. There was
an earnest solemnity and a deep conviction of the necessity of adopting
some such measures evident in the conduct and manners of the Indians
throughout the whole council. On leaving for their respective homes, and
bidding each other adieu, they gave the strongest possible evidence of
their friendly intentions for the future, and the mutual confidence and
good faith which they had in each other. Invitations were freely given
and as freely accepted by each of the tribes to interchange visits,
talk, and smoke together like brothers, upon ground where they had never
before met except for the purpose of scalping each other. This, to my
mind, was conclusive evidence of the sincerity of the Indians, and
nothing but bad management or some untoward misfortune ever can break

The Secretary of the Interior, in his report for this year, speaks with
satisfaction of the treaties negotiated with Indians during the year,
and says: "It cannot be denied that most of the depredations committed
by the Indians on our frontiers are the offspring of dire necessity. The
advance of our population compels them to relinquish their fertile
lands, and seek refuge in sterile regions which furnish neither corn nor
game: impelled by hunger, they seize the horses, mules, and cattle of
the pioneers, to relieve their wants and satisfy the cravings of nature.
They are immediately pursued, and, when overtaken, severely punished.
This creates a feeling of revenge on their part, which seeks its
gratification in outrages on the persons and property of peaceable
inhabitants. The whole country then becomes excited, and a desolating
war, attended with a vast sacrifice of blood and treasure, ensues. This,
it is believed, is a true history of the origin of most of our Indian

"All history admonishes us of the difficulty of civilizing a wandering
race who live mainly upon game. To tame a savage you must tie him down
to the soil. You must make him understand the value of property, and the
benefits of its separate ownership. You must appeal to those selfish
principles implanted by Divine Providence in the nature of man for the
wisest purposes, and make them minister to civilization and refinement.
You must encourage the appropriation of lands by individuals; attach
them to their homes by the ties of interest; teach them the uses of
agriculture and the arts of peace; *** and they should be taught to look
forward to the day when they may be elevated to the dignity of American

"By means like these we shall soon reap our reward in the suppression of
Indian depredations; in the diminution of the expenses of the Department
of War; in a valuable addition to our productive population; in the
increase of our agriculture and commerce; and in the proud consciousness
that we have removed from our national escutcheon the stain left on it
by our acknowledged injustice to the Indian race."

We find the Cheyennes, therefore, in 1851, pledged to peace and
good-will toward their Indian neighbors, and to the white emigrants
pouring through their country. For this conceded right of way they are
to have a dollar a year apiece, in "goods and animals;" and it is
supposed that they will be able to eke out this support by hunting
buffaloes, which are still not extinct.

In 1852 the Commissioner of Indian Affairs writes: "Notwithstanding the
mountain and prairie Indians continue to suffer from the vast number of
emigrants who pass through their country, destroying their means of
support, and scattering disease and death among them, yet those who were
parties to the treaty concluded at Fort Laramie, in the fall of 1851,
have been true to their obligations, and have remained at peace among
themselves and with the whites."

And the superintendent writes: "Congress made a very liberal
appropriation of $100,000 to make a treaty with the prairie and mountain
tribes. A very satisfactory treaty was made with them last fall at Fort
Laramie, the conditions of which, on their part, have been faithfully
observed—no depredations having been committed during the past season by
any of the tribes parties to the Fort Laramie treaty. The Senate amended
the treaty, substituting _fifteen_ instead of _fifty_ years as the
period for which they were to have received an annual supply of goods,
animals, etc., at the discretion of the President. This modification of
the treaty I think very proper, as the condition of these wandering
hordes will be entirely changed during the next fifteen years. The
treaty, however, should have been sent back to the Indians for the
purpose of obtaining their sanction to the modification, as was done in
the case of the Sioux treaty negotiated by Commissioners Ramsey and Lea.
It is hoped this oversight will be corrected as early as practicable
next spring, otherwise the large amounts already expended will have been
uselessly wasted, and the Indians far more dissatisfied than ever."

To comment on the bad faith of this action on the part of Congress would
be a waste of words; but its impolicy is so glaring that one's
astonishment cannot keep silent—its impolicy and also its incredible
niggardliness. A dollar apiece a year, "in goods, animals," etc., those
Indians had been promised that they should have for fifty years. It must
have been patent to the meanest intellect that this was little to pay
each year to any one man from whom we were taking away, as the
commissioner said, "his means of support." But, unluckily for the
Indians, there were fifty thousand of them. It entered into some thrifty
Congressman's head to multiply fifty by fifty, and the aggregate
terrified everybody. This was much more likely to have been the cause of
the amendment than the cause assigned by the superintendent, viz., the
probable change of localities of all the "wandering hordes" in the next
fifteen years. No doubt it would be troublesome to the last degree to
distribute fifty thousand dollars, "in goods, animals," etc., to fifty
thousand Indians wandering over the entire Upper Missouri region; but no
more troublesome, surely, in the sixteenth year than in the fifteenth.
The sophistry is too transparent; it does not in the least gloss over
the fact that, within the first year after the making of our first
treaty of any moment with these tribes—while they to a man, the whole
fifty thousand of them, kept their faith with us—we broke ours with them
in the meanest of ways—robbing them of more than two-thirds of the money
we had promised to pay.

All the tribes "promptly" assented to this amendment, however; so says
the Annual Report of the Indian Commissioner for 1853; and adds that,
with a single exception, they have maintained friendly relations among
themselves, and "manifested an increasing confidence in and kindness
toward the whites."

Some of them have begun to raise corn, beans, pumpkins, etc., but depend
chiefly on the hunt for their support. But the agent who was sent to
distribute to them their annuities, and to secure their assent to the
amendment to the treaty, reports: "The Cheyennes and the Arapahoes, and
many of the Sioux, are actually in a starving state. They are in abject
want of food half the year, and their reliance for that scanty supply,
in the rapid decrease of the buffalo, is fast disappearing. The travel
upon the roads drives them off, or else confines them to a narrow path
during the period of emigration, and the different tribes are forced to
contend with hostile nations in seeking support for their villages.
Their women are pinched with want, and their children constantly crying
with hunger. Their arms, moreover, are unfitted to the pursuit of
smaller game, and thus the lapse of a few years presents only the
prospect of a gradual famine." And in spite of such suffering, these
Indians commit no depredations, and show increasing confidence in and
kindness toward the whites.

This agent, who has passed many years among the Indians, speaks with
great feeling of the sad prospect staring them in the face. He says:
"But one course remains which promises any permanent relief to them, or
any lasting benefit to the country in which they dwell; that is, simply
to make such modifications in the 'intercourse' laws as will invite the
residence of traders among them, and open the whole Indian Territory for
settlement. Trade is the only civilizer of the Indian. It has been the
precursor of all civilization heretofore, and it will be of all
hereafter. It teaches the Indian the value of other things besides the
spoils of the chase, and offers to him other pursuits and excitements
than those of war. All obstructions to its freedom, therefore, only
operate injuriously. *** The Indians would soon lose their nomadic
character, and forget the relations of tribes. *** And this, while it
would avoid the cruel necessity of our present policy—to wit,
extinction—would make them an element in the population, and sharer in
the prosperity of the country." He says of the "system of removals, and
congregating tribes in small parcels of territory," that it has
"eventuated injuriously on those who have been subjected to it. It is
the legalized murder of a whole nation. It is expensive, vicious, and
inhuman, and producing these consequences, and these alone. The custom,
being judged by its fruits, should not be persisted in."

It is in the face of such statements, such protests as these, that the
United States Government has gone steadily on with its policy, so
called, in regard to the treatment of the Indian.

In 1854 the report from the Upper Missouri region is still of peace and
fidelity on the part of all the Indians who joined in the Fort Laramie
treaty. "Not a single instance of murder, robbery, or other depredation
has been committed by them, either on the neighboring tribes parties to
the treaty or on whites. This is the more remarkable, as before the
treaty they were foremost in the van of thieves and robbers—always at
war, pillaging whoever they met, and annoying their own traders in their
own forts."

In the summer of this year the Cheyennes began to be dissatisfied and
impertinent. At a gathering of the northern band at Fort Laramie, one of
the chiefs demanded that the travel over the Platte road should be
stopped. He also, if the interpreter was to be relied on, said that next
year the Government must send them out one thousand white women for
wives. The Southern Cheyennes had given up to their agent some Mexican
prisoners whom they had taken in the spring, and this act, it was
supposed, had seemed to the northern band a needless interference on the
part of the United States. Moreover, it was a matter constantly open to
the observation of all friendly Indians that the hostiles, who were
continually plundering and attacking emigrant trains, made, on the
whole, more profit out of war than they made out of peace. On the North
Platte road during this year the Pawnees alone had stolen several
thousands of dollars' worth of goods; and, in addition to this, there
was the pressure of public sentiment—a thing which is as powerful among
Indians as among whites. It was popular to be on the war-path: the
whites were invaders; it was brave and creditable to slay them. Taking
all these things into account, it was only to be wondered at that these
Cheyennes, Arapahoes, and Sioux kept to the provisions of their treaty
at all. Nevertheless, the Cheyennes, Arapahoes, and some bands of the
Sioux continued peaceable and friendly; and in 1855 they begged to be
supplied with a farmer to teach them how to farm; also with a
blacksmith. Their agent strongly recommends that this be done, saying
that there is not "in the whole Indian country a more favorable location
for a farm for grazing stock and game than the South Platte. In a very
short period of time the Arapahoes and Cheyennes would become fixed and
settled, and a part of each tribe—the old women and men—would become
agriculturists; rude, it is true, yet sufficiently skilful to raise
corn, potatoes, and beans, and dwell in cabins or fixed habitations."

In the summer of 1856 the Cheyennes were, by a disastrous accident,
forced into the position of hostiles. A small war-band went out to
attack the Pawnees; they were in camp near the North Platte road: as the
mail-wagon was passing, two of the Cheyennes ran toward it to beg
tobacco. The mail-carrier, terrified, fired on them, and the Indians
fired back, wounding him; the chiefs rushed out, stopped the firing,
explained the matter, and then severely flogged the Indians who had
returned the mail-carrier's fire. But the mischief had been done.

The mail-carrier reported his having been fired at by a Cheyenne Indian,
and the next day troops from Fort Kearny attacked the Indians and killed
six of the war-party. The rest refused to fight, and ran away, leaving
their camp and all it contained. The war-party, thoroughly exasperated,
attacked an emigrant train, killed two men and a child, and took one
woman captive. The next day they killed her, because she could not ride
on horseback and keep up with them. Within a short time two more small
war-parties had left the band, attacked trains, and killed two men, two
women, and a child. The chiefs at first could not restrain them, but in
September they sent a delegation to the agency to ask their agent's
assistance and advice. They said that the war-party was now completely
under their control, and they wished to know what they could do. They
implored the Great Father not to be angry with them, "for they could not
control the war-party when they saw their friends killed by soldiers
after they had thrown down their bows and arrows and begged for life."

In October the agent reported that the Cheyennes were "perfectly quiet
and peaceable, and entirely within control, and obedient to authority."
The chiefs had organized a sort of police, whose duty was to kill any
war-parties that might attempt to leave the camp.

Through the winter the Cheyennes remained in the south and south-eastern
parts of the agency, and strictly observed the conditions which their
agent had imposed upon them. In the following August, however, a
military force under General Sumner was sent out "to demand from the
tribe the perpetrators of their late outrages on the whites, and ample
security for their good conduct." The Cheyennes were reported by General
Sumner as showing no disposition to yield to these demands; he therefore
attacked them, burnt their village to the ground, and destroyed their
winter supplies—some fifteen or twenty thousand pounds of buffalo meat.

Of how they lived, and where, during the winter following this fight,
there is little record. In the next year's reports the Cheyennes are
said to be very anxious for a new treaty, which will assign to them a
country in which they can dwell safely. "They said they had learned a
lesson last summer in their fight with General Sumner—that it was
useless to contend with the white man, who would soon with his villages
occupy the whole prairie. They wanted peace; and as the buffalo—their
principal dependence for food and clothing (which even now they were
compelled to seek many miles from home, where their natural enemies, the
Pawnee and Osage, roamed), would soon disappear entirely, they hoped
their Great Father, the white chief at Washington, would listen to them,
and give them a home where they might be provided for and protected
against the encroachments of their white brothers, until at least they
had been taught to cultivate the soil and other arts of civilized life.
They have often desired ploughs and hoes, and to be taught their use."

The next year's records show the Government itself aware that some
measures must be taken to provide for these troublesome wild tribes of
the prairie: almost more perplexing in time of peace than in time of war
is the problem of the disposition to be made of them. Agents and
superintendents alike are pressing on the Government's attention the
facts and the bearing of the rapid settling of the Indian lands by the
whites; the precariousness of peaceful relations; the dangers of Indian
wars. The Indians themselves are deeply anxious and disturbed.

"They have heard that all of the Indian tribes to the eastward of them
have ceded their lands to the United States, except small reservations;
and hence, by an Indian's reasoning, in a few years these tribes will
emigrate farther west, and, as a matter of necessity, occupy the
hunting-grounds of the wild tribes."

When the agent of the Upper Platte Agency tried to reason on this
subject with one of the Sioux chiefs, the chief said: "When I was a
young man, and I am not yet fifty, I travelled with my people through
the country of the Sac and Fox tribe, to the great water Minne Toukah
(Mississippi), where I saw corn growing, but no white people; continuing
eastward, we came to the Rock River valley, and saw the Winnebagoes, but
no white people. We then came to the Fox River valley, and thence to the
Great Lake (Lake Michigan), where we found a few white people in the
Pottawattomie country. Thence we returned to the Sioux country at the
Great Falls of Irara (St. Anthony), and had a feast of green corn with
our relations, who resided there. Afterward we visited the pipe-clay
quarry in the country of the Yankton Sioux, and made a feast to the
'Great Medicine,' and danced the 'sun dance,' and then returned to our
hunting-grounds on the prairie. And now our Father tells us the white
man will never settle on our lands, and kill our game; but see! the
whites cover all of those lands I have just described, and also the
lands of the Poncas, Omahas, and Pawnees. On the South Platte the white
people are finding gold, and the Cheyennes and Arapahoes have no longer
any hunting-grounds. Our country has become very small, and before our
children are grown up we shall have no game."

In the autumn of this year (1859) an agent was sent to hold a council
with the Cheyennes and Arapahoes, and tell them of the wish of the
Government that they should "assume a fixed residence, and occupy
themselves in agriculture. This they at once received with favor, and
declared with great unanimity to be acceptable to them. They expected
and asked that the Department shall supply them with what is necessary
to establish themselves permanently. *** Both these tribes had
scrupulously maintained peaceful relations with the whites, and with
other Indian tribes, notwithstanding the many causes of irritation
growing out of the occupation of the gold region, and the emigration to
it through their hunting-grounds, which are no longer reliable as a
certain source of food to them."

It was estimated that during the summer of 1859 over sixty thousand
emigrants crossed these plains in their central belt. The trains of
vehicles and cattle were frequent and valuable in proportion; and post
lines and private expresses were in constant motion.

In 1860 a commissioner was sent out to hold a council with the Cheyennes
and Arapahoes at Bent's Fort, on the Upper Arkansas, and make a treaty
with them. The Arapahoes were fully represented; but there were present
only two prominent chiefs of the Cheyennes—Black Kettle and White
Antelope. (White Antelope was one of the chiefs brutally murdered five
years later in the Chivington massacre in Colorado.) As it was
impossible for the rest of the Cheyennes to reach the Fort in less than
twenty days, and the commissioner could not wait so long, Black Kettle
and White Antelope wished it to be distinctly understood that they
pledged only themselves and their own bands.

The commissioner says: "I informed them as to the object of my visit,
and gave them to understand that their Great Father had heard with
delight of their peaceful disposition, although they were almost in the
midst of the hostile tribes. They expressed great pleasure on learning
that their Great Father had heard of their good conduct, and requested
me to say, in return, that they intended in every respect to conform to
the wishes of the Government. I then presented to them a diagram of the
country assigned them, by their treaty of 1851, as their
hunting-grounds, which they seemed to understand perfectly, and were
enabled without difficulty to give each initial point. In fact, they
exhibited a degree of intelligence seldom to be found among tribes where
no effort has been made to civilize them. I stated to them that it was
the intention of their Great Father to reduce the area of their present
reservation, and that they should settle down and betake themselves to
agriculture, and eventually abandon the chase as a means of support.
They informed me that such was their wish; and that they had been aware
for some time that they would be compelled to do so: that game was
growing more scarce every year, and that they had also noticed the
approach of whites, and felt that they must soon, in a great measure,
conform to their habits. *** It has not fallen to my lot to visit any
Indians who seem more disposed to yield to the wishes of the Government
than the Cheyennes and Arapahoes. Notwithstanding they are fully aware
of the rich mines discovered in their country, they are disposed to
yield up their claims without any reluctance. They certainly deserve the
fostering hand of the Government, and should be liberally encouraged in
their new sphere of life."

This treaty was concluded in February of the next year, at Fort Wise.
The chiefs of the Cheyennes and Arapahoes there "ceded and relinquished"
all the lands to which they had any claim, "wherever situated," except a
certain tract whose boundaries were defined. The land relinquished
included lands in Kansas and Nebraska, and all of that part of Colorado
which is north of the Arkansas, and east of the Rocky Mountains.

The Cheyennes and Arapahoes, in "consideration of their kind treatment
by the citizens of Denver and the adjoining towns," "respectfully
requested," in the eleventh Article of this treaty, that the United
States would permit the proprietors of these towns to enter their lands
at the minimum price of one dollar and twenty-five cents an acre. This
Article was struck out by the Senate, and the Indians consented to the
amendment; but the proof of their good-will and gratitude remained on
record, nevertheless.

The desire of the Government to make farmers of these Indians was
reiterated in this treaty, and evidenced by pledges of purchase of
stock, agricultural implements, etc.; mills, also, and mechanic shops
they were to have, and an annuity of $30,000 a year for fifteen years.
There was this clause, however, in an article of the treaty, "Their
annuities may, at the discretion of the President of the United States,
be discontinued entirely should said Indians fail to make reasonable and
satisfactory efforts to improve and advance their condition; in which
case such other provision shall be made for them as the President and
Congress may judge to be suitable or proper." Could there be a more
complete signing away than this of all benefits provided for by the

Lands were to be assigned to them "in severalty," and certificates were
to be issued by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, specifying the names
of individuals; and that the "said tracts were set apart for the
exclusive use and benefit of the assignees and their heirs." Each Indian
was to have forty acres of land, "to include in every case, as far as
practicable, a reasonable portion of timber and water."

The tenth Article of the treaty provided that the annuities now paid to
the Arapahoes and Cheyennes should be continued to them until the
stipulations of such treaties or articles of agreement should be
fulfilled; and the seventh Article provided that the President, with the
assent of Congress, should have power to modify or change any "of the
provisions of former treaties" "in such manner and to whatever extent"
he might judge it to be necessary and expedient for their best

Could a community of people be delivered up more completely bound and at
the mercy of a government? Some of the bands of the Cheyennes who were
not represented at this council were much dissatisfied with the treaty,
as evidently they had great reason to be. And as time went on, all the
bands became dissatisfied. Two years later we find that, instead of
their being settled on those farms "in severalty," the survey of their
lands has been just completed, and that "a contract will soon be made
for the construction of a ditch for the purpose of irrigating their
arable land." "It is to be hoped," the Superintendent of the Colorado
Agency writes, that "when suitable preparations for their subsistence by
agriculture and grazing are made, these tribes will gradually cease
their roaming, and become permanently settled." It would seem highly
probable that under those conditions the half-starved creatures would be
only too glad to cease to roam. It is now ten years since they were
reported to be in a condition of miserable starvation every winter,
trying to raise a little corn here and there, and begging to have a
farmer and a blacksmith sent out to them. They are now divided and
subdivided into small bands, hunting the buffalo wherever they can find
him, and going in small parties because there are no longer large herds
of buffaloes to be found anywhere. The Governor of Colorado says, in his
report for 1863, that "these extensive subdivisions of the tribes caused
great difficulty in ascertaining the really guilty parties in the
commission of offences." Depredations and hostilities are being
frequently committed, but it is manifestly unjust to hold the whole
tribe responsible for the acts of a few.

Things grew rapidly worse in Colorado. Those "preparations for their
subsistence by agriculture and grazing"—which it took so much room to
tell in the treaty—not having been made; the farmer, and the blacksmith,
and the grist-mill not having arrived; the contract not having been even
let for the irrigating-ditch, without which no man can raise any crops
in Colorado, not even on arable lands—many of the Cheyennes and
Arapahoes took to a system of pilfering reprisals from emigrant trains,
and in the fights resulting from this effort to steal they committed
many terrible murders. All the tribes on the plains were more or less
engaged in these outrages; and it was evident, before midsummer of 1864,
that the Government must interfere with a strong hand to protect the
emigrants and Western settlers—to protect them from the consequences of
its own bad faith with the Indians. The Governor of Colorado called for
military aid, and for authority to make a campaign against the Indians,
which was given him. But as there was no doubt that many of the Indians
were still peaceable and loyal, and he desired to avoid every
possibility of their sharing in the punishment of the guilty, he issued
a proclamation in June, requesting all who were friendly to come to
places which he designated, where they were to be assured of safety and
protection. This proclamation was sent to all the Indians of the plains.
In consequence of it, several bands of friendly Arapahoes and Cheyennes
came to Fort Lyon, and were there received by the officer in charge,
rationed, and assured of safety. Here there occurred, on the 29th of
November, one of the foulest massacres which the world has seen. This
camp of friendly Indians was surprised at daybreak, and men, women, and
children were butchered in cold blood. Most of those who escaped fled to
the north, and, joining other bands of the tribe, proceeded at once to
take most fearful, and, it must be said, natural revenge. A terrible war
followed. Some of them confederated with the Sioux, and waged relentless
war on all the emigrant routes across the plains. These hostilities were
bitter in proportion to the bitterness of resentment felt by the
refugees from this massacre. "It will be long before faith in the honor
and humanity of the whites can be re-established in the minds of these
barbarians," says an official report, "and the last Indian who escaped
from the brutal scene at Sand Creek will probably have died before its
effects will have disappeared."[10]

Footnote 10:

  See Appendix, Arts. I. and XI.

In October of the next year some of the bands, having first had their
safety assured by an old and tried friend, I. H. Leavenworth, Indian
Agent for the Upper Arkansas, gathered together to hold a council with
United States Commissioners on the Little Arkansas. The commissioners
were empowered by the President to restore to the survivors of the Sand
Creek massacre full value for all the property then destroyed; "to make
reparation," so far as possible. To each woman who had lost a husband
there they gave one hundred and sixty acres of land; to each child who
had lost a parent, the same. Probably even an Indian woman would
consider one hundred and sixty acres of land a poor equivalent for a
murdered husband; but the offers were accepted in good part by the
tribe, and there is nothing in all the history of this patient race more
pathetic than the calm and reasonable language employed by some of these
Cheyenne and Arapahoe chiefs at this council. Said Black Kettle, the
chief over whose lodge the American flag, with a white flag tied below,
was floating at the time of the massacre, "I once thought that I was the
only man that persevered to be the friend of the white man; but since
they have come and cleaned out our lodges, horses, and everything else,
it is hard for me to believe white men any more. *** All my friends, the
Indians that are holding back, they are afraid to come in; are afraid
that they will be betrayed as I have been. I am not afraid of white men,
but come and take you by the hand." Elsewhere, Black Kettle spoke of
Colonel Chivington's troops as "that fool-band of soldiers that cleared
out our lodges, and killed our women and children. This is hard on us."
With a magnanimity and common-sense which white men would have done well
to imitate in their judgments of the Indians, he recognized that it
would be absurd, as well as unjust, to hold all white men in distrust on
account of the acts of that "fool-band of soldiers."[11]

Footnote 11:

  Gen. Harney, on being asked by Bishop Whipple if Black Kettle were a
  hostile Indian, replied, laying his hand on his heart, "I have worn
  this uniform fifty-five years. He was as true a friend of the white
  man as I am."

By the terms of this treaty, a new reservation was to be set apart for
the Cheyennes and Arapahoes; hostile acts on either side were to be
settled by arbitration; no whites were to be allowed on the reservation;
a large tract of country was to be "relinquished" by the Indians, but
they were "expressly permitted to reside upon and range at pleasure
throughout the unsettled portions of that part of the country they claim
as originally theirs." The United States reserved the right to build
roads and establish forts in the reservation, and pledged itself to pay
"annually, for the period of forty years," certain sums of money to each
person in the tribe: twenty dollars a head till they were settled on
their reservation; after that, forty dollars a head. To this end an
accurate annual census of the Indians was promised at the time of the
annuity payment in the spring.

The Indians went away from this council full of hope and satisfaction.
Their oldest friends, Colonel Bent and Kit Carson, were among the
commissioners, and they felt that at last they had a treaty they could
trust. Their old reservation in Colorado (to which they probably could
never have been induced to return) was restored to the public domain of
that territory, and they hoped in their new home for greater safety and
peace. The Apaches, who had heretofore been allied with the Kiowas and
Comanches, were now allied with them, and to have the benefits of the
new treaty. A small portion of the tribe—chiefly young men of a
turbulent nature—still held aloof, and refused to come under the treaty
provisions. One riotous band, called the Dog Soldiers, were especially
refractory; but, before the end of the next year, they also decided to
go southward and join the rest of the tribe on the new reservation.
Occasional hostilities took place in the course of the winter, one of
which it is worth while to relate, the incident is so typical a one.

On the 21st of February a son of one Mr. Boggs was killed and scalped by
a party of four Cheyenne Indians about six miles east of Fort Dodge, on
the Arkansas River. On investigation, it appeared that Mr. Boggs had
gone to the Indian camp without any authority, and had there traded off
eleven one-dollar bills for ten-dollar bills. The Indian on whom this
trick had been played found Mr. Boggs out, went to him, and demanded
reparation; and, in the altercation and fight which ensued, Mr. Boggs's
son was killed. This story is given in the official report of
Lieutenant-colonel Gordon, U.S.A., and Colonel Gordon adds, "I think
this case needs no further comment."

The Cheyennes did not long remain at peace; in the summer the Senate had
added to this last treaty an amendment requiring their new reservation
to be entirely "outside the State of Kansas, and not within any Indian
territory, except on consent of the tribes interested." As the
reservation had been partly in Kansas, and partly on the lands of the
Cherokees, this amendment left them literally without any home whatever.
Under these circumstances, the young men of the tribe soon began to join
again with other hostile Indians in committing depredations and
hostilities along the great mail-routes on the plains. Again they were
visited with summary and apparently deserved vengeance by the United
States troops, and in the summer of 1867 a Cheyenne village numbering
three hundred lodges was burnt by United States soldiers under General
Hancock. Fortunately the women and children had all fled on the first
news of the approach of the army. Soon after this another council was
held with them, and once more the precarious peace was confirmed by
treaty; but was almost immediately broken again in consequence of the
failure of the Government to comply with the treaty provisions. That
some members of these tribes had also failed to keep to the treaty
provisions is undoubtedly true, but by far the greater part of them were
loyal and peaceable. "The substantial cause of this war," however, was
acknowledged by the Indian Bureau itself to be "the fact that the
Department, for want of appropriations, was compelled to stop their
supplies, and to permit them to recur to the chase for subsistence."

In 1868 "the country bounded east by the State of Arkansas, south by
Texas, north by Kansas, and west by the hundredth meridian of longitude,
was set apart for the exclusive use of the Cheyennes, Arapahoes, Kiowas,
and Comanches, and such other bands as might be located there by proper
authority;" and the whole was declared to constitute "a military
district," under command of Major-general Hazen, U.S.A. In October of
the same year Major Wynkoop, who had been the faithful friend of the
Cheyennes and Arapahoes ever since the days of Sand Creek, published his
last protest in their behalf, in a letter to the Commissioner of Indian
Affairs. He says that the failure of the Government to fulfil treaty
provisions in the matter of supplies forced them to resort to hunting
again; and then the refusal of the Government to give them the arms and
ammunition promised in the treaty, left them without any means of
securing the game; hence the depredations. The chiefs had promised to
deliver up the guilty ones to Major Wynkoop, "but before sufficient time
had elapsed for them to fulfil their promises the troops were in the
field, and the Indians in flight. *** Even after the majority of the
Cheyennes had been forced to take the war-path, in consequence of the
bad acts of some of their nation, several bands of the Cheyennes, and
the whole Arapahoe tribe, could have been kept at peace had proper
action been taken at the time; but now all the Indians of the Upper
Arkansas are engaged in the struggle."[12]

Footnote 12:

  On October 27th of this year Black Kettle and his entire band were
  killed by Gen. Custer's command at Antelope Hills, on the Wichita

In 1869 many Arapahoes and Cheyennes had made their way to Montana, and
were living with the Gros Ventres; most of those who remained at the
south were quiet, and seemed to be disposed to observe the provisions of
the treaty, but were earnestly imploring to be moved farther to the
north, where they might hunt buffalo.

In 1870, under the care of an agent of the Society of Friends, the
improvement of the Southern Cheyennes was remarkable. Buildings were put
up, land was broken and planted, and the agent reports that, "with
proper care on the part of the Government," there will not be any
"serious trouble" with the tribe, although there are still some
"restless spirits" among them.

In 1872 the Cheyennes and Arapahoes are reported as "allied to the
Government in the maintenance of peace on the border. Very strong
inducements have been made by the raiding bands of Kiowas, at critical
times in the past two years, to join them in hostile alliance in raids
against the whites; but all such appeals have been rejected, and, as a
tribe, they have remained loyal and peaceful."

Thirty lodges of the Northern Cheyennes returned this year and joined
their tribe, but many of them were still roaming among the Northern
Sioux. In 1874 there were said to be over three thousand of these
Northern Cheyennes and Arapahoes at the Red Cloud Agency. The Government
refused any longer to permit them to stay there; and, after repeated
protests, and expressions of unwillingness to move, they at last
consented to go to the Indian Territory. But their removal was deferred,
on account of the unsettled state of the Southern Cheyennes. Early in
the spring troubles had broken out among them, in consequence of a raid
of horse-thieves on their reservation. The chief, Little Robe, lost
forty-three head of valuable ponies. These ponies were offered for sale
in Dodge City, Kansas, where Little Robe's son, with a small band of
young men, made an unsuccessful effort to reclaim them. Failing in this,
the band, on their way back, stole the first stock they came to; were
pursued by the Kansas farmers, the stock recaptured, and Little Robe's
son badly wounded. This was sufficient to bring on a general war against
white men in the whole region; and the history of the next few months
was a history of murders and outrages by Cheyennes, Kiowas, Osages, and
Comanches. Sixty lodges of the Cheyennes took refuge under the
protection of the United States troops at the agency, and the old
problem returned again, how to punish the guilty without harming the
innocent. A vigorous military campaign was carried on under General
Miles against the hostiles until, in the spring of 1875, the main body
surrendered. Wretched, half starved, more than half naked, without
lodges, ponies—a more pitiable sight was never seen than this band of
Indians. It was inconceivable how they had so long held out; nothing but
a well-nigh indomitable pride and inextinguishable hatred of the whites
and sense of wrongs could have supported them. It was decided that
thirty-three of the most desperate ones should be sent as prisoners to
St. Augustine, Florida; but before the selection was completed a general
stampede among the surrendered braves took place, resulting in the final
escape of some four hundred. They held their ground from two P.M. until
dark against three companies of cavalry and two Gatling guns, and,
"under cover of an extremely dark and stormy night, escaped, leaving
only three dead on the field." It is impossible not to admire such
bravery as this. The Report of the Indian Bureau for 1875 says of the
condition of affairs at this agency at this time: "The friendly
Cheyennes have had their loyalty put to the severest test by comparing
their own condition with that of the full-fed and warmly-housed captives
of the War Department. Notwithstanding all privations, they have been
unswerving in their friendship, and ever ready to assist the agent in
maintaining order, and compelling the Northern Cheyennes who have
visited the agency to submit to a count." In consequence of the
hostilities, they were obliged to remain close to the agency in camp—a
hardship that could hardly be endured, and resulted in serious
suffering. Their rations were not enough to subsist them, and yet, being
cut off from hunting, they were entirely dependent on them. And even
these inadequate rations did not arrive when they were due. Their agent
writes, in 1875: "On last year's flour contract not a single pound was
received until the fourteenth day of First Month, 1875, when six months
of cold weather and many privations had passed, notwithstanding the many
protestations and urgent appeals from the agent."

The now thoroughly subjugated Cheyennes went to work with a will. In one
short year they are reported as so anxious to cultivate the ground that,
when they could not secure the use of a plough or hoe, they used "axes,
sticks of wood, and their hands, in preparing the ground, planting and
cultivating their garden spots."

The Northern Cheyennes are still on the Red Cloud Agency, and are
reported as restless and troublesome.

In 1877 they were all removed to the Cheyenne and Arapahoe Agency, in
Indian Territory. The Reports of the Department say that they asked to
be taken there. The winter of 1866 and the summer of 1867 were seasons
of great activity and interest at this agency. In the autumn they went
off on a grand buffalo hunt, accompanied by a small detail of troops
from Fort Reno. Early in the winter white horse-thieves began to make
raids on their ponies, and stole so many that many of the Indians were
obliged to depend on their friends' ponies to help them return home. Two
hundred and sixty in all were stolen—carried, as usual, to Dodge City
and sold. A few were recovered; but the loss to the Indians was
estimated at two thousand nine hundred dollars. "Such losses are very
discouraging to the Indians," writes their agent, and are "but a
repetition of the old story that brought on the war of 1874."

In midsummer of this year the "Cheyenne and Arapahoe Transportation
Company" was formed: forty wagons were sent out, with harness, by the
Government; the Indians furnished the horses; and on the 19th of July
the Indians set out in their new _rôle_ of "freighters" of their own
supplies. They went to Wichita, Kansas—one hundred and sixty-five
miles—in six days, with their ponies; loaded sixty-five thousand pounds
of supplies into the wagons, and made the return trip in two weeks, all
things being delivered in good condition.

This experiment was thoroughly tested; and its results are notable among
the many unheeded refutations of the constantly repeated assertion that
Indians will not work. The agent of the Cheyennes and the Arapahoes,
testifying before a Senate Committee in 1879, says: "We have run a wagon
train, driven by Indians, to Wichita, for three years and over, and have
never had a drunken Indian yet."

"Do they waste their money, or bring it home?"

"They almost invariably spend it for saddles or clothing, or something
of use to them that is not furnished by the Government. *** They have
never stolen an ounce of sugar, coffee, or anything else: they have been
careful not to injure or waste anything, and have delivered everything
in good faith."

The agent reports not a single case of drunkenness during the year. The
manual labor and boarding-school has one hundred and thirteen scholars
in it, "all it can accommodate." The children earned four hundred
dollars in the year by work of one sort and another, and have "expended
the money as judiciously as would white children of their ages." They
bought calico, cotton cloth, shoes, hats, several head of cattle, and
one horse. They also "bought many delicacies for their friends in camp
who were sick and in need."

"One Cheyenne woman tanned robes, traded them for twenty-five
two-year-old heifers, and gave them to her daughter in the school. ***
The boys have one hundred and twenty acres of corn under cultivation,
ten acres of potatoes, broom-corn, sugar-cane, peanuts, melons, and a
good variety of vegetables. They are entitled to one-half the crop for
cultivating it."

This is a marvellous report of the change wrought in a people in only
two years' time. It proves that the misdemeanors, the hostilities of
1874 and 1875, had been largely forced on them by circumstances.

The winter of 1877 and summer of 1878 were terrible seasons for the
Cheyennes. Their fall hunt had proved unsuccessful. Indians from other
reservations had hunted the ground over before them, and driven the
buffalo off; and the Cheyennes made their way home again in straggling
parties, destitute and hungry. Their agent reports that the result of
this hunt has clearly proved that "in the future the Indian must rely on
tilling the ground as the principal means of support; and if this
conviction can be firmly established, the greatest obstacle to
advancement in agriculture will be overcome. With the buffalo gone, and
their pony herds being constantly decimated by the inroads of
horse-thieves, they must soon adopt, in all its varieties, the way of
the white man. *** The usual amount of horse-stealing has prevailed, and
the few cases of successful pursuit have only increased the boldness of
the thieves and the number of the thefts. Until some other system of law
is introduced we cannot hope for a cessation of this grievance."

The ration allowed to these Indians is reported as being "reduced and
insufficient," and the small sums they have been able to earn by selling
buffalo-hides are said to have been "of material assistance" to them in
"supplementing" this ration. But in this year there have been sold only
$657 worth of skins by the Cheyennes and Arapahoes together. In 1876
they sold $17,600 worth. Here is a falling off enough to cause very
great suffering in a little community of five thousand people. But this
was only the beginning of their troubles. The summer proved one of
unusual heat. Extreme heat, chills and fever, and "a reduced and
insufficient ration," all combined, resulted in an amount of sickness
heart-rending to read of. "It is no exaggerated estimate," says the
agent, "to place the number of sick people on the reservation at two
thousand. Many deaths occurred which might have been obviated had there
been a proper supply of anti-malarial remedies at hand. *** Hundreds
applying for treatment have been refused medicine."

The Northern Cheyennes grew more and more restless and unhappy. "In
council and elsewhere they profess an intense desire to be sent North,
where they say they will settle down as the others have done," says the
report; adding, with an obtuseness which is inexplicable, that "no
difference has been made in the treatment of the Indians," but that the
"compliance" of these Northern Cheyennes has been "of an entirely
different nature from that of the other Indians," and that it may be
"necessary in the future to compel what so far we have been unable to
effect by kindness and appeal to their better natures."

If it is "an appeal to men's better natures" to remove them by force
from a healthful Northern climate, which they love and thrive in, to a
malarial Southern one, where they are struck down by chills and
fever—refuse them medicine which can combat chills and fever, and
finally starve them—then, indeed, might be said to have been most
forcible appeals made to the "better natures" of these Northern
Cheyennes. What might have been predicted followed.

Early in the autumn, after this terrible summer, a band of some three
hundred of these Northern Cheyennes took the desperate step of running
off and attempting to make their way back to Dakota. They were pursued,
fought desperately, but were finally overpowered, and surrendered. They
surrendered, however, only on the condition that they should be taken to
Dakota. They were unanimous in declaring that they would rather die than
go back to the Indian Territory. This was nothing more, in fact, than
saying that they would rather die by bullets than of chills and fever
and starvation.

These Indians were taken to Fort Robinson, Nebraska. Here they were
confined as prisoners of war, and held subject to the orders of the
Department of the Interior. The department was informed of the Indians'
determination never to be taken back alive to Indian Territory. The army
officers in charge reiterated these statements, and implored the
department to permit them to remain at the North; but it was of no
avail. Orders came—explicit, repeated, finally stern—insisting on the
return of these Indians to their agency. The commanding officer at Fort
Robinson has been censured severely for the course he pursued in his
effort to carry out those orders. It is difficult to see what else he
could have done, except to have resigned his post. He could not take
three hundred Indians by sheer brute force and carry them hundreds of
miles, especially when they were so desperate that they had broken up
the iron stoves in their quarters, and wrought and twisted them into
weapons with which to resist. He thought perhaps he could starve them
into submission. He stopped the issue of food; he also stopped the issue
of fuel to them. It was midwinter; the mercury froze in that month at
Fort Robinson. At the end of two days he asked the Indians to let their
women and children come out that he might feed them. Not a woman would
come out. On the night of the fourth day—or, according to some accounts,
the sixth—these starving, freezing Indians broke prison, overpowered the
guards, and fled, carrying their women and children with them. They held
the pursuing troops at bay for several days; finally made a last stand
in a deep ravine, and were shot down—men, women, and children together.
Out of the whole band there were left alive some fifty women and
children and seven men, who, having been confined in another part of the
fort, had not had the good fortune to share in this outbreak and meet
their death in the ravine. These, with their wives and children, were
sent to Fort Leavenworth, to be put in prison; the men to be tried for
murders committed in their skirmishes in Kansas on their way to the
north. Red Cloud, a Sioux chief, came to Fort Robinson immediately after
this massacre, and entreated to be allowed to take the Cheyenne widows
and orphans into his tribe to be cared for. The Government, therefore,
kindly permitted twenty-two Cheyenne widows and thirty-two Cheyenne
children—many of them orphans—to be received into the band of the
Ogallalla Sioux.

An attempt was made by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, in his Report
for 1879, to show by tables and figures that these Indians were not
starving at the time of their flight from Indian Territory. The attempt
only redounded to his own disgrace; it being proved, by the testimony
given by a former clerk of the Indian Bureau before the Senate committee
appointed to investigate the case of the Northern Cheyennes, that the
commissioner had been guilty of absolute dishonesty in his estimates,
and that the quantity of beef actually issued to the Cheyenne Agency was
hundreds of pounds less than he had reported it, and that the Indians
were actually, as they had claimed, "starving."

The testimony given before this committee by some of the Cheyenne
prisoners themselves is heart-rending. One must have a callous heart who
can read it unmoved.

When asked by Senator Morgan, "Did you ever really suffer from hunger?"
one of the chiefs replied, "We were _always_ hungry; we _never_ had
enough. When they that were sick once in awhile felt as though they
could eat something, we had nothing to give them."

"Did you not go out on the plains sometimes and hunt buffalo, with the
consent of the agent?"

"We went out on a buffalo-hunt, and nearly starved while out; we could
not find any buffalo hardly; we could hardly get back with our ponies;
we had to kill a good many of our ponies to eat, to save ourselves from

"How many children got sick and died?"

"Between the fall of 1877 and 1878 we lost fifty children. A great many
of our finest young men died, as well as many women."

"Old Crow," a chief who served faithfully as Indian scout and ally under
General Crook for years, said: "I did not feel like doing anything for
awhile, because I had no heart. I did not want to be in this country. I
was all the time wanting to get back to the better country where I was
born, and where my children are buried, and where my mother and sister
yet live. So I have laid in my lodge most of the time with nothing to
think about but that, and the affair up north at Fort Robinson, and my
relatives and friends who were killed there. But now I feel as though,
if I had a wagon and a horse or two, and some land, I would try to work.
If I had something, so that I could do something, I might not think so
much about these other things. As it is now, I feel as though I would
just as soon be asleep with the rest."

The wife of one of the chiefs confined at Fort Leavenworth testified
before the committee as follows: "The main thing I complained of was
that we didn't get enough to eat; my children nearly starved to death;
then sickness came, and there was nothing good for them to eat; for a
long time the most they had to eat was corn-meal and salt. Three or four
children died every day for awhile, and that frightened us."

(This testimony was taken at Fort Reno, in Indian Territory.)

When asked if there were anything she would like to say to the
committee, the poor woman replied: "I wish you would do what you can to
get my husband released. I am very poor here, and do not know what is to
become of me. If he were released he would come down here, and we would
live together quietly, and do no harm to anybody, and make no trouble.
But I should never get over my desire to get back north; I should always
want to get back where my children were born, and died, and were buried.
That country is better than this in every respect. *** There is plenty
of good, cool water there—pure water—while here the water is not good.
It is not hot there, nor so sickly. Are you going where my husband is?
Can you tell when he is likely to be released?"

The Senators were obliged to reply to her that they were not going where
her husband was, and they could not tell when he would be released.

In view of the accounts of the sickness and suffering of these Indians
in 1877 and 1878, the reports made in 1879 of the industry and progress
at the Cheyenne and Arapahoe Agency are almost incredible. The school
children have, by their earnings, bought one hundred head of cattle;
451,000 pounds of freight have been transported by the Indians during
the year; they have also worked at making brick, chopping wood, making
hay, hauling wood, and splitting and hauling rails; and have earned
thereby $7,121.25. Two of the girls of the school have been promoted to
the position of assistant teachers; and the United States mail
contractor between this agency and Fort Elliott, in Texas—a distance of
one hundred and sixty-five miles—has operated almost exclusively with
full-blooded Indians: "there has been no report of breach of trust on
the part of any Indians connected with this trust, and the contractor
expresses his entire approval of their conduct."

It is stated also that there was not sufficient clothing to furnish each
Indian with a warm suit of clothing, "as promised by the treaty," and
that, "by reference to official correspondence, the fact is established
that the Cheyennes and Arapahoes are judged as having no legal rights to
any lands, having forfeited their treaty reservation by a failure to
settle thereon," and their "present reservation not having been, as yet,
confirmed by Congress. Inasmuch as the Indians fully understood, and
were assured that this reservation was given to them in lieu of their
treaty reservation, and have commenced farming in the belief that there
was no uncertainty about the matter, it is but common justice that
definite action be had at an early day, securing to them what is their

It would seem that there could be found nowhere in the melancholy record
of the experiences of our Indians a more glaring instance of confused
multiplication of injustices than this. The Cheyennes were pursued and
slain for venturing to leave this very reservation, which, it appears,
is not their reservation at all, and they have no legal right to it. Are
there any words to fitly characterize such treatment as this from a
great, powerful, rich nation, to a handful of helpless people?

                              CHAPTER IV.

                            THE NEZ PERCÉS.

Bounded on the north, south, and east by snow-topped mountains, and on
the west by shining waters; holding in its rocky passes the sources of
six great rivers; bearing on its slopes and plains measureless forests
of pine and cedar and spruce; its meadows gardens of summer bloom and
fruit, and treasure-houses of fertility,—lies Oregon: wide, healthful,
beautiful, abundant, and inviting, no wonder it was coveted and fought

When Lewis and Clarke visited it, eighty years ago, they found living
there many tribes of Indians, numbering in all, at the lowest estimates,
between twenty and thirty thousand; of all these tribes the Nez Percés
were the richest, noblest, and most gentle.

To the Cayuses, one of the most warlike of these tribes, Messrs. Lewis
and Clarke presented an American flag, telling them it was an emblem of
peace. The gay coloring and beauty of the flag, allied to this
significance, made a deep impression on the poetic minds of these
savages. They set the flag up in a beautiful valley called the Grande
Ronde—a fertile basin some twenty-five miles in diameter, surrounded by
high walls of basaltic rock, and watered by a branch of the Snake River:
around this flag they met their old enemies the Shoshones, and swore to
keep perpetual peace with them; and the spot became consecrated to an
annual meeting of the tribes—a sort of fair, where the Cayuse, Nez
Percé, and Walla Walla Indians came every summer and traded their roots,
skins, elk and buffalo meats, for salmon and horses, with the Shoshones.
It was a beautiful spot, nearly circular, luxuriantly covered with
grass, the hill wall around it thick grown with evergreen trees, chiefly
larch. The Indians called it Karpkarp, which being translated is "Balm
of Gilead."

The life of these Indians was a peculiar one. Most of them had several
homes, and as they lived only a part of the year in each, were
frequently spoken of by travellers as nomadic tribes, while in fact they
were as wedded to their homes as any civilized inhabitants of the world;
and their wanderings were as systematic as the removals of wealthy city
people from town homes to country places. If a man were rich enough, and
fond enough of change, to have a winter house in New York, a house for
the summer in Newport, and one for autumn in the White Mountains, nobody
would think of calling him a nomad; still less if he made these
successive changes annually, with perfect regularity, owing to
opportunities which were offered him at regularly recurring intervals in
these different places to earn his living; which was the case with the
Oregon Indians.

As soon as the snow disappears in the spring there is in certain
localities, ready for gathering, the "pohpoh"—a small bulb, like an
onion. This is succeeded by the "spatlam," and the "spatlam" by the
"cammass" or "ithwa," a root like a parsnip, which they make into fine
meal. In midsummer come the salmon in countless shoals up the rivers.
August is the month for berries, of which they dry great quantities for
winter use. In September salmon again—coming down stream now, exhausted
and ready to die, but in sufficiently good condition to be dried for the
winter. In October comes the "mesani," another root of importance in the
Indian larder. After this they must depend on deer, bears, small game,
and wild-fowl. When all these resources fail, there is a kind of lichen
growing on the trees, of which they can eat enough to keep themselves
from starving, though its nutritive qualities are very small. Thus each
season had its duty and its appointed place of abode, and year after
year the same month found them in the same spot.

In 1833 a delegation from these Oregon Indians went to St. Louis, and
through Mr. Catlin, the artist, made known their object, which was "to
inquire for the truth of a representation which they said some white
men had made among them, that our religion was better than theirs, and
that they would all be lost if they did not embrace it." Two members
of this delegation were Nez Percés—"Hee-oh'ks-te-kin" and
"H'co-a-h'co-a-h'cotes-min," or "Rabbit-skin Leggings," and "No Horns
on his Head." Their portraits are to be found in "Catlin's American
Indians." One of these died on his way home; but the other journeyed
his thousands of miles safely back, and bore to his tribe the news
"that the report which they had heard was well founded, and that good
and religious men would soon come among them to teach this religion,
so that they could all understand and have the benefits of it."

Two years later the Methodist Episcopal Society and the American Board
both sent missionaries to Oregon. Before this the religion of the
fur-traders was the only white man's religion that the Indians had had
the opportunity of observing. Eleven different companies and
expeditions, besides the Hudson's Bay and the North-west Companies, had
been established in their country, and the Indians had become only too
familiar with their standards and methods. It was not many years after
the arrival of the missionaries in Oregon that a traveller there gave
the following account of his experience with a Nez Percé guide:

"Creekie (so he was named) was a very kind man; he turned my worn-out
animals loose, and loaded my packs on his own; gave me a splendid horse
to ride, and intimated by significant gestures that we would go a short
distance that afternoon. I gave my assent, and we were soon on our way;
having ridden about ten miles, we camped for the night. I noticed,
during the ride, a degree of forbearance toward each other which I had
never before observed in that race. When we halted for the night the two
boys were behind; they had been frolicking with their horses, and, as
the darkness came on, lost the trail. It was a half-hour before they
made their appearance, and during this time the parents manifested the
most anxious solicitude for them. One of them was but three years old,
and was lashed to the horse he rode; the other only seven years of
age—young pilots in the wilderness at night. But the elder, true to the
sagacity of his race, had taken his course, and struck the brook on
which we were encamped within three hundred yards of us. The pride of
the parents at this feat, and their ardent attachment to the children,
were perceptible in the pleasure with which they received them at their
evening fire, and heard the relation of their childish adventures. The
weather was so pleasant that no tent was spread. The willows were bent,
and the buffalo-robes spread over them. Underneath were laid other
robes, on which my Indian host seated himself, with his wife and
children on one side and myself on the other. A fire burnt brightly in
front. Water was brought, and the evening ablutions having been
performed, the wife presented a dish of meat to her husband and one to
myself. There was a pause. The woman seated herself between her
children. The Indian then bowed his head and prayed to God. A wandering
savage in Oregon, calling on Jehovah in the name of Jesus Christ! After
the prayer he gave meat to his children and passed the dish to his wife.
While eating, the frequent repetition of the words Jehovah and Jesus
Christ, in the most reverential manner, led me to suppose that they were
conversing on religious topics, and thus they passed an hour. Meanwhile
the exceeding weariness of a long day's travel admonished me to seek
rest. I had slumbered I know not how long, when a strain of music awoke
me. The Indian family was engaged in its evening devotions. They were
singing a hymn in the Nez Percés language. Having finished, they all
knelt and bowed their faces on the buffalo-robe, and Creekie prayed long
and fervently. Afterward they sung another hymn, and retired. To
hospitality, family affection, and devotion, Creekie added honesty and
cleanliness to a great degree, manifesting by these fruits, so contrary
to the nature and habits of his race, the beautiful influence of the
work of grace on the heart."

The earliest mention of the Nez Percés in the official records of the
Indian Bureau is in the year 1843. In that year an agent was sent out to
investigate the condition of the Oregon tribes, and he reports as
follows: "The only tribes from which much is to be hoped, or anything to
be feared in this part of Oregon, are the Walla Wallas, Cayuses, and Nez
Percés, inhabiting a district on the Columbia and its tributaries,
commencing two hundred and forty miles from its mouth, and stretching
four hundred and eighty miles in the interior."

The Nez Percés, living farther inland, "inhabit a beautiful grazing
district, not surpassed by any I have seen for verdure, water
privileges, climate, or health. This tribe forms an honorable exception
to the general Indian character—being more noble, industrious, sensible,
and better disposed toward the whites and their improvements in the arts
and sciences; and though brave as Cæsar, the whites have nothing to
dread at their hands in case of their dealing out to them what they
conceive to be right and equitable."

When this agent arrived at the missionary station among the Nez Percés,
he was met there by a large body of the Indians with twenty-two of their
chiefs. The missionaries received him "with joyful countenances and glad
hearts;" the Indians, "with civility, gravity, and dignified reserve."

He addressed them at length, explaining to them the kind intentions of
the Government toward them. They listened with "gravity, fixed
attention, and decorum." Finally an aged chief, ninety years of age,
arose and said: "I speak to-day; perhaps to-morrow I die. I am the
oldest chief of the tribe. I was the high chief when your great
brothers, Lewis and Clarke, visited this country. They visited me, and
honored me with their friendship and counsel. I showed them my numerous
wounds, received in bloody battle with the Snakes. They told me it was
not good; it was better to be at peace; gave me a flag of truce; I held
it up high. We met, and talked, but never fought again. Clarke pointed
to this day—to you and this occasion. We have long waited in
expectation; sent three of our sons to Red River school to prepare for
it; two of them sleep with their fathers; the other is here, and can be
ears, mouth, and pen for us. I can say no more; I am quickly tired; my
voice and limbs tremble. I am glad I live to see you and this day; but I
shall soon be still and quiet in death."

At this council the Nez Percés elected a head chief named Ellis, and
adopted the following Code of Laws:

    _Art. 1._ Whoever wilfully takes life shall be hung.

    _Art. 2._ Whoever burns a dwelling-house shall be hung.

    _Art. 3._ Whoever burns an out-building shall be imprisoned six
    months, receive fifty lashes, and pay all damages.

    _Art. 4._ Whoever carelessly burns a house or any property shall
    pay damages.

    _Art. 5._ If any one enter a dwelling without permission of the
    occupant, the chiefs shall punish him as they think proper.
    Public rooms are excepted.

    _Art. 6._ If any one steal, he shall pay back twofold; and if it
    be the value of a beaver-skin or less, he shall receive
    twenty-five lashes; and if the value is over a beaver-skin, he
    shall pay back twofold, and receive fifty lashes.

    _Art. 7._ If any one take a horse and ride it, without
    permission, or take any article and use it, without liberty, he
    shall pay for the use of it, and receive from twenty to fifty
    lashes, as the chief shall direct.

    _Art. 8._ If any one enter a field and injure the crops, or
    throw down the fence, so that cattle or horses go in and do
    damage, he shall pay all damages, and receive twenty-five lashes
    for every offence.

    _Art. 9._ Those only may keep dogs who travel or live among the
    game. If a dog kill a lamb, calf, or any domestic animal, the
    owner shall pay the damage, and kill the dog.

    _Art. 10._ If an Indian raise a gun or other weapon against a
    white man, it shall be reported to the chiefs, and they shall
    punish him. If a white man do the same to an Indian, it shall be
    reported to Dr. White, and he shall punish or redress it.

    _Art. 11._ If an Indian break these laws, he shall be punished
    by his chiefs; if a white man break them, he shall be reported
    to the agent, and punished at his instance.

These laws, the agent says, he "proposed one by one, leaving them as
free to reject as to accept. They were greatly pleased with all
proposed, but wished a heavier penalty to some, and suggested the
dog-law, which was annexed."

In a history of Oregon written by one W. H. Gray, of Astoria, we find
this Indian agent spoken of as a "notorious blockhead." Mr. Gray's
methods of mention of all persons toward whom he has antagonism or
dislike are violent and undignified, and do not redound either to his
credit as a writer or his credibility as a witness. But it is impossible
to avoid the impression that in this instance he was not far from the
truth. Surely one cannot read, without mingled horror and incredulity,
this programme of the whipping-post, offered as one of the first
instalments of the United States Government's "kind intentions" toward
these Indians; one of the first practical illustrations given them of
the kind of civilization the United States Government would recommend
and introduce.

We are not surprised to read in another narrative of affairs in Oregon,
a little later, that "the Indians want pay for being whipped, the same
as they did for praying—to please the missionaries—during the great
revival of 1839. *** Some of the influential men in the tribe desired to
know of what benefit this whipping-system was going to be to them. They
said they were willing it should continue, provided they were to receive
shirts and pants and blankets as a reward for being whipped. They had
been whipped a good many times, and had got nothing for it, and it had
done them no good. If this state of things was to continue, it was all
good for nothing, and they would throw it away."

The Secretary of War does not appear to have seen this aspect of his
agent's original efforts in the line of jurisprudence. He says of the
report which includes this astounding code, merely that "it furnishes
some deeply interesting and curious details respecting certain of the
Indian tribes in that remote part of our territories," and that the
conduct of the Nez Percés on the occasion of this important meeting
"impresses one most agreeably."

A report submitted at the same time by the Rev. Mr. Spaulding, who had
lived six years as missionary among the Nez Percés, is much pleasanter
reading. He says that "nearly all the principal men and chiefs are
members of the school; that they are as industrious in their schools as
on their farms. They cultivate their lands with much skill and to good
advantage, and many more would do so if they had the means. About one
hundred are printing their own books with the pen. This keeps up a deep
interest, as they daily have new lessons to print; and what they print
must be committed to memory as soon as possible. A good number are now
so far advanced in reading and printing as to render much assistance in
teaching. Their books are taken home at night, and every lodge becomes a
school-room. Their lessons are Scripture lessons; no others (except the
laws) seem to interest them."

Even this missionary seems to have fallen under some strange glamour on
the subject of the whipping-code; for he adds: "The laws which you so
happily prepared, and which were unanimously adopted by the people, I
have printed in the form of a small school-book. A great number of the
school now read them fluently."

In the next year's report of the Secretary of War we read that "the Nez
Percé tribe have adopted a few simple and plain laws as their code,
which will teach them self-restraint, and is the beginning of government
on their part." The Secretary also thinks it "very remarkable that there
should so soon be several well supported, well attended, and well
conducted schools in Oregon." (Not at all remarkable, considering that
the Congregationalists, the Methodist Episcopalians, and the Roman
Catholics have all had missionaries at work there for eight years.)

In 1846, the Nez Percés, with the rest of the Oregon tribes, disappear
from the official records of the Indian Bureau. "It will be necessary to
make some provision for conducting our relations with the Indian tribes
west of the Rocky Mountains," it is said; but, "the whole subject having
been laid before Congress, it was not deemed advisable to continue a
service that was circumscribed in its objects, and originally designed
to be temporary." The founder of the whipping-post in Oregon was
therefore relieved from his duties, and it is to be hoped his laws
speedily fell into disuse. The next year all the Protestant missions in
Oregon were abandoned, in consequence of the frightful massacre by the
Cayuses of the missionary families living among them.[13] But the Nez
Percés, though deprived of their teaching, did not give up the faith and
the practice they had taught them. Six years later General Benjamin
Alvord bore the following testimony to their religious character:

Footnote 13:

  See Appendix, Art. XIII.

"In the spring of 1853 a white man, who had passed the previous winter
in the country of the Nez Percés, came to the military post at the
Dalles, and on being questioned as to the manners and customs of the
tribe, he said that he wintered with a band of several hundred in
number, and that the whole party assembled every evening and morning for
prayer, the exercises being conducted by one of themselves in their own
language. He stated that on Sunday they assembled for exhortation and

In 1851 a superintendent and three agents were appointed for Indian
service in Oregon. Treaties were negotiated with some of the tribes, but
they were not ratified, and in 1853 there was, in consequence, a
wide-spread dissatisfaction among all the Indians in the region. "They
have become distrustful of all promises made them by the United States,"
says the Oregon superintendent, "and believe the design of the
Government is to defer doing anything for them till they have wasted
away. The settlement of the whites on the tracts which they regarded as
secured to them by solemn treaty stipulations, results in frequent
misunderstandings between them and the settlers, and occasions and
augments bitter animosities and resentments. I am in almost daily
receipt of complaints and petitions for a redress of wrongs from both

Governor Stevens, of Washington Territory, in charge of the Northern
Pacific Railroad Explorations and Survey, wrote, this year, "These
hitherto neglected tribes, whose progress from the wild wanderers of the
plains to kind and hospitable neighbors is personally known to you, are
entitled, by every consideration of justice and humanity, to the
fatherly care of the Government."

In Governor Stevens's report is to be found a comprehensive and
intelligible account of all the Indian tribes in Oregon and Washington
Territory. The greater part of the Nez Percés' country was now within
the limits of Washington Territory, only a few bands remaining in
Oregon. They were estimated to number at least eighteen hundred, and
were said to be a "rich and powerful tribe, owning many horses." Every
year they crossed the mountains to hunt buffalo on the plains of the

In 1855 there was a general outbreak of hostilities on the part of the
Oregon Indians. Tribe after tribe, even among those who had been
considered friendly, fell into the ranks of the hostiles, and some base
acts of treachery were committed. The Oregon settlers, menaced with
danger on all sides, became naturally so excited and terrified that
their actions were hasty and ill-advised. "They are without discipline,
without order, and similar to madmen," says one official report. "Every
day they run off the horses and the cattle of the friendly Indians. I
will soon no longer be able to restrain the friendly Indians. They are
indignant at conduct so unworthy of the whites, who have made so many
promises to respect and protect them if they remain faithful friends. I
am very sure, if the volunteers are not arrested in their brigand
actions, our Indians will save themselves by flying to the homes of
their relations, the Nez Percés, who have promised them help; and then
all these Indians of Oregon would join in the common defence until they
be entirely exterminated."

It is difficult to do full justice to the moral courage which is shown
by Indians who remain friendly to whites under such circumstances as
these. The traditions of their race, the powerful influence of public
sentiment among their relatives and friends, and, in addition, terror
for their own lives—all combine in times of such outbreaks to draw even
the friendliest tribes into sympathy and co-operation with those who are
making war on whites.

At this time the hostile Indians in Oregon sent word to the Nez Percés,
"Join us in the war against the whites, or we will wipe you out." They
said, "We have made the whites run out of the country, and we will now
make the friendly Indians do the same."

"What can the friendly Indians do?" wrote the colonel of a company of
Washington Territory Volunteers; "they have no ammunition, and the
whites will give them none; and the hostiles say to them, 'We have
plenty; come and join us, and save your lives.' The Nez Percés are very
much alarmed; they say, 'We have no ammunition to defend ourselves with
if we are attacked.'"

The Oregon superintendent writes to General Wool (in command at this
time of the Department of the Pacific), imploring him to send troops to
Oregon to protect both friendly Indians and white settlers, and to
enable this department to maintain guarantees secured to these Indians
by treaty stipulations. He says that the friendly Indians are "willing
to submit to almost any sacrifice to obtain peace, but there may be a
point beyond which they could not be induced to go without a struggle."

This outbreak terminated after some sharp fighting, and about equal
losses on both sides, in what the Oregon superintendent calls "a sort of
armistice," which left the Indians "much emboldened," with the
impression on their minds that they have the "ability to contend
successfully against the entire white race."

Moreover, "the non-ratification of the treaties heretofore made to
extinguish their title to the lands necessary for the occupancy and use
of our citizens, seems to have produced no little disappointment; and
the continued extension of our settlements into their territory, without
any compensation being made to them, is a constant source of
dissatisfaction and hostile feeling.

"It cannot be expected that Indians situated like those in Oregon and
Washington Territory, occupying extensive sections of country where,
from the game and otherwise, they derive a comfortable support, will
quietly and peaceably submit, without any equivalent, to be deprived of
their homes and possessions, and to be driven off to some other locality
where they cannot find their usual means of subsistence. Such a
proceeding is not only contrary to our policy hitherto, but is repugnant
alike to the dictates of humanity and the principles of natural justice.

"The principle of recognizing and respecting the usufruct right of the
Indians to the lands occupied by them has not been so strictly adhered
to in the case of the tribes in the Territories of Oregon and
Washington. When a territorial government was first provided for
Oregon—which then embraced the present Territory of Washington—strong
inducements were held out to our people to emigrate and settle there
without the usual arrangements being made in advance for the
extinguishment of the title of the Indians who occupied and claimed the
lands. Intruded upon, ousted of their homes and possessions without any
compensation, and deprived in most cases of their accustomed means of
support, without any arrangement having been made to enable them to
establish and maintain themselves in other locations, it is not a matter
of surprise that they have committed many depredations upon our
citizens, and been exasperated to frequent acts of hostility."

As was to be expected, the armistice proved of no avail; and in 1858 the
unfortunate Territories had another Indian war on their hands. In this
war we find the Nez Percés fighting on the side of the United States
against the hostile Indians. One of the detachments of United States
troops was saved from destruction only by taking refuge with them.
Nearly destitute of ammunition, and surrounded by hundreds of hostile
Indians, the little company escaped by night; and "after a ride of
ninety miles mostly at a gallop, and without a rest, reached Snake
River," where they were met by this friendly tribe, who "received them
with open arms, succored the wounded men, and crossed in safety the
whole command over the difficult and dangerous river."

The officer in command of the Nez Percé band writes as follows, in his
report to the Indian Commissioner:

"Allow me, my dear sir, while this general war is going on, to point you
to at least a few green spots where the ravages of war do not as yet
extend, and which thus far are untainted and unaffected, with a view of
so retaining them that we may hereafter point to them as oases in this
desert of war. These green spots are the Nez Percés, the Flat-heads, and
Pend d'Oreilles. In this connection I refer with grateful pride to an
act of Colonel Wright, which embodies views and motives which, endorsed
and carried out by the Government, must redound to his credit and
praise, and be the means of building up, at no distant day, a bold,
brave, warlike, and numerous people.

"Before leaving Walla-Walla, Colonel Wright assembled the Nez Percé
people, told them his object was to war with and punish our enemies; but
as this great people were and ever had been our friends, he wanted their
friendship to be as enduring as the mountains around which they lived;
and in order that no difference of views or difficulty might arise, that
their mutual promises should be recorded."

With this view he there made a treaty of friendship with them, and
thirty of the bravest warriors and chiefs at once marshalled themselves
to accompany him against the enemy.

When Colonel Wright asked these Indians what they wanted, "their reply
was worthy of a noble race—'Peace, ploughs, and schools.'" At this time
they had no agent appointed to attend to their welfare; they were
raising wheat, corn, and vegetables with the rude means at their
command, and still preserved the faith and many of the practices taught
them by the missionaries thirteen years before.

In 1859 peace was again established in Oregon, and the Indians
"considered as conquered." The treaties of 1855 were ratified by the
Senate, and this fact went far to restore tranquillity in the
territories. Congress was implored by the superintendents to realize
"the importance of making the appropriations for fulfilling those treaty
stipulations at the earliest practicable moment;" that it may "prevent
the recurrence of another savage war, necessarily bloody and devastating
to our settlements, extended under the authority and sanction of our
Government." With marvellous self-restraint, the superintendents do not
enforce their appeals by a reference to the fact that, if the treaties
had been fulfilled in the outset, all the hostilities of the last four
years might probably have been avoided.

The reservation secured to the Nez Percés was a fine tract of country,
one hundred miles long and sixty in width—well watered, timbered, and of
great natural resources. Already the Indians had begun to practice
irrigation in their fields; had large herds of horses, and were
beginning to give attention to improving the breed. Some of them could
read and write their own language, and many of them professed
Christianity, and were exemplary in their conduct—a most remarkable
fact, proving the depth of the impression the missionary teachings must
have made. The majority of them wore the American costume, and showed
"their progress in civilization by attaching little value to the gewgaws
and trinkets which so generally captivate the savage."

In less than two years the peace of this noble tribe was again invaded;
this time by a deadly foe—the greed of gold. In 1861 there were said to
be no less than ten thousand miners in the Nez Percé country prospecting
for gold. Now arose the question, What will the Government do? Will it
protect the rights of the Indians or not?

"To attempt to restrain miners would be like attempting to restrain the
whirlwind," writes the superintendent of Washington Territory; and he
confesses that, "seeing the utter impossibility of preventing miners
from going to the mines," he has refrained from taking any steps which,
by a certain want of success, would tend to weaken the force of the law.

For the next few years the Nez Percés saw with dismay the steady stream
of settlers pouring into their country. That they did not resist it by
force is marvellous, and can only be explained by the power of a truly
Christian spirit.

"Their reservation was overrun by the enterprising miners; treaty
stipulations were disregarded and trampled under foot; towns were
established thereon, and all the means that cupidity could invent or
disloyalty achieve were resorted to to shake their confidence in the
Government. They were disturbed in the peaceable possession of what they
regarded as their vested rights, sacredly secured by treaty. They were
informed that the Government was destroyed, and that whatever treaties
were made would never be carried out. All resistance on their part
proved unavailing, and inquietude and discontent predominated among
them," says the Governor of Idaho, in 1865. Shortly after, by the
organization of that new Territory, the Nez Percés' reservation had been
removed from the jurisdiction of Washington Territory to that of Idaho.

A powerful party was organized in the tribe, advocating the forming of a
league with the Crows and Blackfeet against the whites. The non-arrival
of promised supplies; the non-payment of promised moneys; the unchecked
influx of miners throughout the reservation, put strong weapons into the
hands of these disaffected ones. But the chiefs "remained firm and
unwavering in their devotion to the Government and the laws. They are
intelligent—their head chief, Sawyer, particularly so—and tell their
people to still wait patiently." And yet, at this very time, there was
due from the United States Government to this chief Sawyer six hundred
and twenty-five dollars! He had for six months been suffering for the
commonest necessaries of life, and had been driven to disposing of his
vouchers at fifty cents on the dollar to purchase necessaries. The
warriors also, who fought for us so well in 1856, were still unpaid;
although in the seventh article of the treaty of 1863 it had been agreed
that "the claims of certain members of the Nez Percé tribe against the
Government, for services rendered and horses furnished by them to the
Oregon Mounted Volunteers, as appears by certificates issued by W. H.
Fauntleroy, Acting Regimental Quartermaster, and commanding Oregon
Volunteers, on the 6th of March, 1856, at Camp Cornelius, and amounting
to $4665, shall be paid to them in full in gold coin."

How many communities of white men would remain peaceable, loyal, and
friendly under such a strain as this?

In 1866 the Indian Bureau report of the state of our diplomatic
relations with the Nez Percés is that the treaty concluded with them in
1863 was ratified by the Senate, "with an amendment which awaited the
action of the Indians. The ratification of this treaty has been delayed
for several years for various reasons, partly arising from successive
changes in the Superintendent of Indian Affairs in Idaho, whose varying
opinions on the subject of the treaty have caused doubts in the minds of
senators. A later treaty had been made, but, on careful consideration of
the subject, it was deemed advisable to carry into effect that of 1863.
The Nez Percés claimed title to a very large district of country
comprised in what are now organized as Oregon, Washington, and Idaho,
but principally within the latter Territory; and already a large white
population is pressing upon them in the search for gold. They are
peaceable, industrious, and friendly, and altogether one of the most
promising of the tribes west of the Rocky Mountains, having profited
largely by the labors of missionaries among them."

By the treaty ratified in this year they give up "all their lands except
a reservation defined by certain natural boundaries, and agree to remove
to this reservation within one year. Where they have improvements on
lands outside of it, such improvements are to be appraised and paid for.
The tillable lands are to be surveyed into tracts of twenty acres each,
and allotted to such Indians as desire to hold lands in severalty. The
Government is to continue the annuities due under former treaties, and,
in addition, pay the tribe, or expend for them for certain specific
purposes having their improvement in view, the sum of $262,500, and a
moderate sum is devoted to homes and salaries for chiefs. The right of
way is secured through the reservation, and the Government undertakes to
reserve all important springs and watering-places for public use."

In this same year the Governor of Idaho writes, in his annual report to
the Department of the Interior: "Prominent among the tribes of Northern
Idaho stand the Nez Percés, a majority of whom boast that they have ever
been the faithful friends of the white man. But a few over half of the
entire tribe of the Nez Percés are under treaty. The fidelity of those
under treaty, even under the most discouraging circumstances, must
commend itself to the favorable consideration of the Department. The
non-payment of their annuities has had its natural effect on the minds
of some of those under treaty; but their confiding head chief, Sawyer,
remains unmoved, and on all occasions is found the faithful apologist
for any failure of the Government. Could this tribe have been kept aloof
from the contaminating vices of white men, and had it been in the power
of the Government promptly to comply with the stipulations of the treaty
of 1855, there can be no doubt but that their condition at this time
would have been a most prosperous one, and that the whole of the Nez
Percé nation would by this time have been willing to come under treaty,
and settle on the reservation with those already there."

In 1867 the patience of the Nez Percés is beginning to show signs of
wearing out. The Governor of Idaho writes: "This disaffection is great,
and serious trouble is imminent. It could all be settled by prompt
payment by the Government of their just dues; but if delayed too long I
greatly fear open hostilities. They have been patient, but promises and
explanations are losing force with them now. *** Their grievances are
urged with such earnestness that even Sawyer, who has always been our
apologist, has in a measure abandoned his pacific policy, and asks
boldly that we do them justice. *** Even now it may not be too late;
but, if neglected, war may be reasonably expected. Should the Nez Percés
strike a blow, all over our Territory and around our boundaries will
blaze the signal-fires and gleam the tomahawks of the savages—Kootenays,
Pen d'Oreilles, Cœur d'Alenes, Blackfeet, Flat-heads, Spokanes,
Pelouses, Bannocks, and Shoshones will be involved."

This disaffection, says the agent, "began to show itself soon after the
visit of George C. Haigh, Esq., special agent, last December, to obtain
their assent to the amendments to the treaty of June 9th, 1863—the
non-ratification of that treaty had gone on so long, and promises made
them by Governor Lyon that it would not be ratified, and that he was
authorized to make a new treaty with them by which they would retain all
of their country, as given them under the treaty of 1851, except the
site of the town of Lewiston. They had also been informed in March,
1866, that Governor Lyon would be here in the June following, to pay
them back-annuities due under the treaty of 1855. The failure to carry
out these promises, and the idea they have that the stipulations of the
treaty of 1863 will be carried out in the same manner, is one of the
causes of their bad feeling. It showed itself plainly at the council
lately held, and is on the increase. If there is the same delay in
carrying out the stipulations of the treaty of 1863 that there has been
in that of 1855, some of the chiefs with their bands will join the
hostile Indians. There are many things it is impossible to explain to
them. They cannot understand why the $1185 that was promised by Governor
Lyon to the Indian laborers on the church is not paid. He told them when
the walls were up they should receive their pay. These laborers were
poor men, and such inducements were held out to them that they commenced
the work in good faith, with the full expectation of receiving their pay
when their labors ceased."

The head chief Sawyer's pay is still in arrears. For the last quarter of
1863, and the first and second of 1864, he has received no pay. No
wonder he has ceased to be the "apologist" of the Government, which four
years ago promised him an annuity of $500 a year.

Spite of this increasing disaffection the Nez Percés are industrious and
prosperous. They raised in this year 15,000 bushels of wheat. "Many of
them carried their wheat to be ground to the mills, while many sold the
grain to packers for feed, while much of it is boiled whole for food.
Some few of the better class have had their wheat ground, and sold the
flour in the mining-camps at lower prices than packers could lay it down
in the camps. Some have small pack-trains running through the summer;
one in particular, Cru-cru-lu-ye, runs some fifteen animals; he
sometimes packs for whites, and again runs on his own account. A
Clearwater Station merchant a short time ago informed me of his buying
some oats of Cru-cru-lu-ye last fall. After the grain had been weighed,
and emptied out of the sacks, the Indian brought the empty sacks to the
scales to have them weighed, and the tare deducted, saying he only
wanted pay for the oats. Their sales of melons, tomatoes, corn,
potatoes, squashes, green pease, etc., during the summer, in the
different towns and mining-camps, bring in some $2000 to $3000. Their
stock of horses and cattle is increasing fast, and with the benefits to
be derived from good American stallions, and good bulls and cows, to be
distributed to them under the stipulations of the treaty of 1863, they
will rapidly increase in wealth."

In 1869 their reservation is still unsurveyed, and when the Indians
claim that white settlers are establishing themselves inside the lines
there is no way of proving it, and the agent says all he can do is to
promise that "the white man's heart shall be better;" and thus the
matter will rest until another disturbance arises, when the same
complaints are made, and the same answers given as before—that "the
white man's heart shall be better, and the boundary-line shall be

Other treaty stipulations are still unfulfilled; and the non-treaty
party, while entirely peaceable, is very strong, and immovably opposed
to treaties.

In 1870, seven years after it was promised, the long deferred survey of
the reservation was made. The superintendent and the agent both
remonstrated, but in vain, against the manner in which it was done; and
three years later a Board of Special Commissioners, appointed to inquire
into the condition of the Indians in Idaho, examined the fence put up at
that time, and reported that it was "a most scandalous fraud. It is a
post-and-board fence. The posts are not well set. Much of the lumber is
deficient in width and length. The posts are not dressed. The lumber
laps at any joint where it may chance to meet, whether on the posts or
between them, and the boards are not jointed on the posts where they
meet; they are lapped and fastened generally with one nail, so that they
are falling down rapidly. The lumber was cut on the reservation. The
contract price of the fence was very high; the fencing done in places of
no value to any one, for the reason that water cannot be had for
irrigation. The Government cannot be a party to such frauds on the
people who intrust it with their property."

In this year a commission was sent to Oregon to hold council with the
band of Nez Percés occupying Wallowa Valley, in Oregon, "with a view to
their removal, if practicable, to the Nez Percé Reservation in Idaho.
They reported this removal to be impracticable, and the Wallowa Valley
has been withdrawn from sale, and set apart for their use and occupation
by Executive order."[14]

Footnote 14:

  Report of the Secretary of the Interior for 1873.

This commission report that one of the most troublesome questions in the
way of the Government's control of Indian affairs in Idaho is the
contest between the Catholic and Protestant churches. This strife is a
great detriment to the Indians. To illustrate this, they quote Chief
Joseph's reason for not wishing schools on his reservation. He was the
chief of the non-treaty band of Nez Percés occupying the Wallowa Valley,
in Oregon:

"Do you want schools and school-houses on the Wallowa Reservation?"
asked the commissioners.

_Joseph._ "No, we do not want schools or school-houses on the Wallowa

_Com._ "Why do you not want schools?"

_Joseph._ "They will teach us to have churches."

_Com._ "Do you not want churches?"

_Joseph._ "No, we do not want churches."

_Com._ "Why do you not want churches?"

_Joseph._ "They will teach us to quarrel about God, as the Catholics and
Protestants do on the Nez Percé Reservation, and at other places. We do
not want to learn that. We may quarrel with men sometimes about things
on this earth, but we never quarrel about God. We do not want to learn

Great excitement prevailed among the settlers in Oregon at the cession
of the Wallowa Valley to the Indians. The presence of United States
soldiers prevented any outbreak; but the resentment of the whites was
very strong, and threats were openly made that the Indians should not be
permitted to occupy it; and in 1875 the Commissioner of Indian Affairs

"The settlements made in the Wallowa Valley, which has for years been
the pasture-ground of the large herds of horses owned by Joseph's band,
will occasion more or less trouble between this band and the whites,
until Joseph is induced or compelled to settle on his reservation."

It is only two years since this valley was set apart by Executive order
for the use and occupation of these Indians; already the Department is
contemplating "compelling" them to leave it and go to the reservation in
Idaho. There were stormy scenes there also during this year. Suits were
brought against all the employés of the Lapwai Agency, and a claim set
up for all the lands of the agency, and for many of the Indian farms, by
one Langford, representing the old claim of the missionaries, to whom a
large tract of ground had been ceded some thirty years before. He
attempted to take forcible possession of the place, and was ejected
finally by military force, after the decision of the Attorney-general
had been given that his claim was invalid.

The Indian Bureau recommended a revocation of the executive order giving
the Wallowa Valley to Joseph and his band. In June of this year
President Grant revoked the order, and in the autumn a commission was
sent out "to visit these Indians, with a view to secure their permanent
settlement on the reservation, their early entrance on a civilized life,
and to adjust the difficulties then existing between them and the

It is worth while to study with some care the reasons which this
commission gave to Chief Joseph why the Wallowa Valley, which had been
given to him by Executive order in 1873, must be taken away from him by
Executive order in 1875:

"Owing to the coldness of the climate, it is not a suitable location for
an Indian reservation. *** It is now in part settled by white squatters
for grazing purposes. *** The President claimed that he extinguished the
Indian title to it by the treaty of 1863. *** It is embraced within the
limits of the State of Oregon. *** The State of Oregon could not
probably be induced to cede the jurisdiction of the valley to the United
States for an Indian reservation. *** In the conflicts which might arise
in the future, as in the past, between him and the whites, the President
might not be able to justify or defend him. *** A part of the valley had
already been surveyed and opened to settlement: *** if, by some
arrangement, the white settlers in the valley could be induced to leave
it, others would come."

To all these statements Joseph replied that he "asked nothing of the
President. He was able to take care of himself. He did not desire
Wallowa Valley as a reservation, for that would subject him and his band
to the will of, and dependence on, another, and to laws not of their own
making. He was disposed to live peaceably. He and his band had suffered
wrong rather than do wrong. One of their number was wickedly slain by a
white man during the last summer, but he would not avenge his death."

"The serious and feeling manner in which he uttered these sentiments was
impressive," the commissioners say, and they proceeded to reply to him
"that the President was not disposed to deprive him of any just right,
or govern him by his individual will, but merely subject him to the same
just and equal laws by which he himself as well as all his people were

What does it mean when commissioners sent by the President to induce a
band of Indians to go on a reservation to live, tell them that they
shall be subjected on that reservation "merely to the same just and
equal laws" by which the President and "all his people are ruled?" And
still more, what is the explanation of their being so apparently unaware
of the enormity of the lie that they leave it on official record, signed
by their names in full? It is only explained, as thousands of other
things in the history of our dealings with the Indians are only to be
explained, by the habitual indifference, carelessness, and inattention
with which questions relative to Indian affairs and legislation thereon
are handled and disposed of, in whatever way seems easiest and shortest
for the time being. The members of this commission knew perfectly well
that the instant Joseph and his band moved on to the reservation they
became subject to laws totally different from those by which the
President and "all his people were ruled," and neither "just" nor
"equal:" laws forbidding them to go beyond certain bounds without a pass
from the agent; laws making them really just as much prisoners as
convicts in a prison—the only difference being that the reservation is
an unwalled out-of-door prison; laws giving that agent power to summon
military power at any moment, to enforce any command he might choose to
lay on them, and to shoot them if they refused to obey.[15] "The same
just and equal laws by which the President himself and all his people
are ruled!" Truly it is a psychological phenomenon that four men should
be found willing to leave it on record under their own signatures that
they said this thing.

Footnote 15:

  Witness the murder of Big Snake on the Ponca Reservation, Indian
  Territory, in the summer of 1879.

Farther on in the same report there is an enumeration of some of the
experiences which the Nez Percés who are on the Idaho Reservation have
had of the advantages of living there, and of the manner in which the
Government has fulfilled its promises by which it induced them to go
there; undoubtedly these were all as well known to Chief Joseph as to
the commissioners. For twenty-two years he had had an opportunity to
study the workings of the reservation policy. They say:

"During an interview held with the agent and the treaty Indians, for the
purpose of ascertaining whether there were sufficient unoccupied
tillable lands for Joseph's band on the reservation, and for the further
purpose of securing their co-operation to aid us in inducing Joseph to
come upon the reservation, facts were brought to our attention of a
failure on the part of the Government to fulfil its treaty stipulations
with these Indians. The commission therefore deem it their duty to call
the attention of the Government to this subject.

"1st. Article second of the treaty of June 9th, 1863, provides that no
white man—excepting such as may be employed by the Indian
Department—shall be permitted to reside upon the reservation without
permission of the tribe, and the superintendent and the agent.
Nevertheless, four white men are occupying or claiming large tracts on
the reservation.

"It is clearly the duty of the Government to adjust and quiet these
claims, and remove the parties from the reservation. Each day's delay to
fulfil this treaty stipulation adds to the distrust of the Indians in
the good faith of the Government.

"2d. Article third of the same treaty of 1863 provides for the survey of
the land suitable for cultivation into lots of twenty acres each; while
a survey is reported to have been early made, no measures were then, or
have been since, taken to adjust farm limits to the lines of the
surveyed lots.

"3d. Rules and regulations for continuing the possession of these lots
and the improvements thereon in the families of deceased Indians, have
not been prescribed, as required by the treaty.

"4th. It is also provided that certificates or deeds for such tracts
shall be issued to individual Indians.

"The failure of the Government to comply with this important provision
of the treaty causes much uneasiness among the Indians, who are little
inclined to spend their labor and means in improving ground held by the
uncertain tenure of the pleasure of an agent.

"5th. Article seventh of the treaty provides for a payment of four
thousand six hundred and sixty-five dollars in gold coin to them for
services and horses furnished the Oregon Mounted Volunteers in 1856. It
is asserted by the Indians that this provision of the treaty has
hitherto been disregarded by the Government."

The commissioners say that "every consideration of justice and equity,
as well as expediency, demands from the Government a faithful and
literal compliance with all its treaty obligations toward the Indians. A
failure to do this is looked upon as bad faith, and can be productive of
only bad results."

At last Chief Joseph consented to remove from the Wallowa Valley with
his band, and go to the Lapwai Reservation. The incidents of the council
in which this consent was finally wrung from him, are left on record in
Chief Joseph's own words, in an article written by him (through an
interpreter) and published in the _North American Review_ in 1874. It is
a remarkable contribution to Indian history.

It drew out a reply from General O. O. Howard, who called his paper "The
true History of the Wallowa Campaign:" published in the _North American
Review_ two months after Chief Joseph's paper.

Between the accounts given by General Howard and by Chief Joseph of the
events preceding the Nez Percé war, there are noticeable discrepancies.

General Howard says that he listened to the "oft-repeated dreamer
nonsense of the chief, 'Too-hool-hool-suit,' with no impatience, but
finally said to him: 'Twenty times over I hear that the earth is your
mother, and about the chieftainship of the earth. I want to hear it no

Chief Joseph says: "General Howard lost his temper, and said 'Shut up! I
don't want to hear any more of such talk.'

"Too-hool-hool-suit answered, 'Who are you, that you ask us to talk, and
then tell me I sha'n't talk? Are you the Great Spirit? Did you make the

General Howard, quoting from his record at the time, says: "The rough
old fellow, in his most provoking tone, says something in a short
sentence, looking fiercely at me. The interpreter quickly says: 'He
demands what person pretends to divide this land, and put me on it?' In
the most decided voice I said, 'I am the man. I stand here for the
President, and there is no spirit, bad or good, that will hinder me. My
orders are plain, and will be executed.'"

Chief Joseph says: "General Howard replied, 'You are an impudent fellow,
and I will put you in the guard-house,' and then ordered a soldier to
arrest him."

General Howard says: "After telling the Indians that this bad advice
would be their ruin, I asked the chiefs to go with me to look at their
land. 'The old man (Too-hool-hool-suit) shall not go. I will leave him
with Colonel Perry.' He says, 'Do you want to scare me with reference to
my body?' I said, 'I will leave your body with Colonel Perry.' I then
arose and led him out of the council, and gave him into the charge of
Colonel Perry."

Chief Joseph says: "Too-hool-hool-suit made no resistance. He asked
General Howard, 'Is that your order? I don't care. I have expressed my
heart to you. I have nothing to take back. I have spoken for my country.
You can arrest me, but you cannot change me, or make me take back what I
have said.' The soldiers came forward and seized my friend, and took him
to the guard—house. My men whispered among themselves whether they
should let this thing be done. I counselled them to submit. ***
Too-hool-hool-suit was prisoner for five days before he was released."

General Howard, it will be observed, does not use the word "arrested,"
but as he says, later, "Too-hool-hool-suit was released on the pledge of
Looking-glass and White Bird, and on his own earnest promise to behave
better," it is plain that Chief Joseph did not misstate the facts. This
Indian chief, therefore, was put under military arrest, and confined for
five days, for uttering what General Howard calls a "tirade" in a
council to which the Indians had been asked to come for the purpose of
consultation and expression of sentiment.

Does not Chief Joseph speak common-sense, as well as natural feeling, in
saying, "I turned to my people and said, 'The arrest of
Too-hool-hool-suit was wrong, but we will not resent the insult. We were
invited to this council to express our hearts, and we have done so.'"

If such and so swift penalty as this, for "tirades" in council, were the
law of our land, especially in the District of Columbia, it would be "no
just cause of complaint" when Indians suffer it. But considering the
frequency, length, and safety of "tirades" in all parts of America, it
seems unjust not to permit Indians to deliver them. However, they do
come under the head of "spontaneous productions of the soil;" and an
Indian on a reservation is "invested with no such proprietorship" in
anything which comes under that head.[16]

Footnote 16:

  Annual Report of the Indian Commissioner for 1878, p. 69.

Chief Joseph and his band consented to move. Chief Joseph says: "I said
in my heart that, rather than have war, I would give up my country. I
would give up my father's grave. I would give up everything rather than
have the blood of white men upon the hands of my people."

It was not easy for Joseph to bring his people to consent to move. The
young men wished to fight. It has been told that, at this time, Chief
Joseph rode one day through his village, with a revolver in each hand,
saying he would shoot the first one of his warriors that resisted the
Government. Finally, they gathered all the stock they could find, and
began the move. A storm came, and raised the river so high that some of
the cattle could not be taken across. Indian guards were put in charge
of the cattle left behind. White men attacked these guards and took the
cattle. After this Joseph could no longer restrain his men, and the
warfare began, which lasted over two months. It was a masterly campaign
on the part of the Indians. They were followed by General Howard; they
had General Crook on their right, and General Miles in front, but they
were not once hemmed in; and, at last, when they surrendered at Bear Paw
Mountain, in the Montana Hills, it was not because they were beaten, but
because, as Joseph says, "I could not bear to see my wounded men and
women suffer any longer; we had lost enough already. *** We could have
escaped from Bear Paw Mountain if we had left our wounded, old women and
children, behind. We were unwilling to do this. We had never heard of a
wounded Indian recovering while in the hands of white men. *** I
believed General Miles, or I never would have surrendered. I have heard
that he has been censured for making the promise to return us to Lapwai.
He could not have made any other terms with me at that time. I could
have held him in check until my friends came to my assistance, and then
neither of the generals nor their soldiers would ever have left Bear Paw
Mountain alive. On the fifth day I went to General Miles and gave up my
gun, and said, 'From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more.' My
people needed rest; we wanted peace."

The terms of this surrender were shamefully violated. Joseph and his
band were taken first to Fort Leavenworth and then to the Indian
Territory. At Leavenworth they were placed in the river bottom, with no
water but the river water to drink.

"Many of my people sickened and died, and we buried them in this strange
land," says Joseph. "I cannot tell how much my heart suffered for my
people while at Leavenworth. The Great Spirit Chief who rules above
seemed to be looking some other way, and did not see what was being done
to my people."

Yet with a marvellous magnanimity, and a clear-headed sense of justice
of which few men would be capable under the circumstances, Joseph says:
"I believe General Miles would have kept his word if he could have done
so. I do not blame him for what we have suffered since the surrender. I
do not know who is to blame. We gave up all our horses, over eleven
hundred, and all our saddles, over one hundred, and we have not heard
from them since. Somebody has got our horses."

This narrative of Chief Joseph's is profoundly touching; a very Iliad of
tragedy, of dignified and hopeless sorrow; and it stands supported by
the official records of the Indian Bureau.

"After the arrival of Joseph and his band in Indian Territory, the bad
effect of their location at Fort Leavenworth manifested itself in the
prostration by sickness at one time of two hundred and sixty out of the
four hundred and ten; and 'within a few months' in the death of 'more
than one-quarter of the entire number.'"[17]

Footnote 17:

  Annual Report of the Indian Commissioner for 1878, p. 33.

"It will be borne in mind that Joseph has never made a treaty with the
United States, and that he has never surrendered to the Government the
lands he claimed to own in Idaho. *** Joseph and his followers have
shown themselves to be brave men and skilful soldiers, who, with one
exception, have observed the rules of civilized warfare. *** These
Indians were encroached upon by white settlers, on soil they believed to
be their own, and when these encroachments became intolerable, they were
compelled in their own estimation to take up arms."[18]

Footnote 18:

  Same Report, p. 34.

Chief Joseph and a remnant of his band are still in Indian Territory,
waiting anxiously the result of the movement now being made by the Ponca
chief, Standing Bear, and his friends and legal advisers, to obtain from
the Supreme Court a decision which will extend the protection of the
civil law to every Indian in the country.

Of the remainder of the Nez Percés (those who are on the Lapwai
Reservation), the report of the Indian Bureau for 1879 is that they
"support themselves entirely without subsistence from the Government;
procure of their own accord, and at their own expense, wagons, harness,
and other farming implements beyond the amount furnished by the
Government under their treaty," and that "as many again as were taught
were turned away from school for lack of room."

The Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions has contributed during this
year $1750 for missionary work among them, and the Indians themselves
have raised $125.

Their reservation is thus described: "The majority of land comprising
the reservation is a vast rolling prairie, affording luxuriant pasturage
for thousands of their cattle and horses. The Clearwater River, flowing
as it does directly through the reserve, branching out in the North,
Middle, and South Forks, greatly benefits their locations that they have
taken in the valleys lying between such river and the bluffs of the
higher land, forming in one instance—at Kaimaih—one of the most
picturesque locations to be found in the whole North-west. Situated in a
valley on either side of the South Fork, in length about six miles,
varying in width from one-half to two miles; in form like a vast
amphitheatre, surrounded on all sides by nearly perpendicular bluffs
rising two thousand feet in height, it forms one of the prettiest
valleys one can imagine. A view from the bluff reveals a living
panorama, as one sees the vast fields of waving grain surrounding
well-built and tasty cottages adorned with porches, and many of the
conveniences found among industrious whites. The sight would lead a
stranger, not knowing of its inhabitance by Indians, to inquire what
prosperous white settlement was located here. It is by far the most
advanced in the ways of civilization and progress of any in the
Territory, if not on the coast."

How long will the white men of Idaho permit Indians to occupy so fair a
domain as this? The small cloud, no larger than a man's hand, already
looms on their horizon. The closing paragraph of this (the last) report
from the Nez Percés is:

"Some uneasiness is manifest about stories set afloat by renegade
whites, in relation to their treatment at the expiration of their treaty
next July, but I have talked the matter over, and they will wait
patiently to see the action on the part of the Government. They are well
civilized; but one mistake on the part of the Government at this time
would destroy the effects of the past thirty years' teachings. Give them
time and attention; they will astonish their most zealous friends in
their progress toward civilization."

                               CHAPTER V.

                               THE SIOUX.

The word Sioux is a contraction from the old French word "Nadouessioux,"
or "Enemies," the name given by the French traders to this most powerful
and warlike of all the North-western tribes. They called themselves
"Dakota," or "many in one," because so many bands under different names
were joined together. At the time of Captain Carver's travels among the
North American Indians there were twelve known bands of these
"Nadouwessies." They entertained the captain most hospitably for seven
months during the winter of 1766-'7; adopted him as one of their chiefs;
and when the time came for him to depart, three hundred of them
accompanied him for a distance on his journey, and took leave with
expressions of friendship for him, and good-will toward the Great
Father, the English king, of whom he had told them. The chiefs wished
him to say to the king "how much we desire that traders may be sent to
abide among us with such things as we need, that the hearts of our young
men, our wives, and children may be made glad. And may peace subsist
between us so long as the sun, the moon, the earth, and the waters shall
endure;" and "acquaint the Great King how much the Nadouwessies wish to
be counted among his good children."

Nothing in all the history of the earliest intercourse between the
friendly tribes of North American Indians and the Europeans coming among
them is more pathetic than the accounts of their simple hospitality,
their unstinted invitations, and their guileless expressions of desire
for a greater knowledge of the white men's ways.

When that saintly old bigot, Father Hennepin, sailed up the Illinois
River, in 1680, carrying his "portable chapel," chalice, and chasuble,
and a few holy wafers "in a steel box, shut very close," going to teach
the savages "the knowledge of the Captain of Heaven and Earth, and to
use fire-arms, and several other things relating to their advantage,"
the Illinois were so terrified that, although they were several thousand
strong, they took to flight "with horrid cries and howlings." On being
reassured by signs and words of friendliness, they slowly returned—some,
however, not until three or four days had passed. Then they listened to
the good man's discourses with "great attention; afterward gave a great
shout for joy," and "expressed a great gratitude;" and, the missionaries
being footsore from long travel, the kindly creatures fell to rubbing
their legs and feet "with oil of bears, and grease of wild oxen, which
after much travel is an incomparable refreshment; and presented us some
flesh to eat, putting the three first morsels into our mouths with great

It was a pity that Father Hennepin had no more tangible benefit than the
doctrine of the "efficacy of the Sacraments" to communicate to the
hospitable Illinois in return for their healing ointments. Naturally
they did not appreciate this, and he proceeded on his way disheartened
by their "brutish stupidity," but consoling himself, however, with the
thought of the infants he had baptized. Hearing of the death of one of
them, he says he is "glad it had pleased God to take this little
Christian out of the world," and he attributed his own "preservation
amidst the greatest dangers" afterward to "the care he took for its
baptism." Those dangers were, indeed, by no means inconsiderable, as he
and his party were taken prisoners by a roaming party of these Indians,
called in the Father's quaint old book "Nadouwessians." He was forced to
accompany them on their expeditions, and was in daily danger of being
murdered by the more riotous and hostile members of the band. He found
these savages on the whole "good-natured men, affable, civil, and
obliging," and he was indebted for his life to the good-will of one of
the chiefs, who protected him again and again at no inconsiderable
danger to himself. The only evidence of religion among the Nadouwessies
which he mentions is that they never began to smoke without first
holding the pipe up to the sun, saying, "Smoke, sun!" They also offered
to the sun the best part of every beast they killed, carrying it
afterward to the cabin of their chief; from which Father Hennepin
concluded that they had "a religious veneration for the sun."

The diplomatic relations between the United States Government and the
Sioux began in the year 1815. In that year and the year following we
made sixteen "treaties" of peace and friendship with different tribes of
Indians—treaties demanding no cessions of land beyond the original
grants which had been made by these tribes to the English, French, or
Spanish governments, but confirming those to the United States;
promising "perpetual peace," and declaring that "every injury or act of
hostility committed by one or other of the contracting parties shall be
mutually forgiven and forgot." Three of these treaties were made with
bands of the Sioux—one of them with "the Sioux of the Leaf, the Sioux of
the Broad Leaf, and the Sioux who shoot in the Pine-tops."

In 1825 four more treaties were made with separate Sioux bands. By one
of those treaties—that of Prairie du Chien—boundaries were defined
between the Chippewas and the Sioux, and it was hoped that their
incessant feuds might be brought to an end. This hostility had continued
unabated from the time of the earliest travellers in the country, and
the Sioux had been slowly but steadily driven south and west by the
victorious Chippewas. A treaty could not avail very much toward keeping
peace between such ancient enemies as these. Fighting went on as before;
and white traders, being exposed to the attacks of all war-parties,
suffered almost more than the Indians themselves. The Government
consoled itself for this spectacle of bloody war, which it was powerless
to prevent, by the thought that the Indians would "probably fight on
until some one or other of the tribes shall become too reduced and
feeble to carry on the war, when it will be lost as a separate power"—an
equivocal bit of philosophizing which was unequivocally stated in these
precise words in one of the annual reports of the War Department.

In the third Article of the next treaty, also at Prairie du Chien, in
1830, began the trouble which has been from that day to this a source of
never ending misunderstanding and of many fierce outbreaks on the part
of the Sioux. Four of the bands by this article ceded and relinquished
to the United States "forever" a certain tract of country between the
Mississippi and the Des Moines River. In this, and in a still further
cession, two other bands of Sioux, who were not fully represented at the
council, must join; also, some four or five other tribes. Landed and
"undivided" estate, owned in common by dozens of families, would be a
very difficult thing to parcel out and transfer among white men to-day,
with the best that fair intentions and legal skill combined could do;
how much more so in those days of unsurveyed forests, unexplored rivers,
owned and occupied in common by dozens of bands of wild and ignorant
Indians, to be communicated with only by interpreters. Misconstructions
and disputes about boundaries would have been inevitable, even if there
had been all possible fairmindedness and good-will on both sides; but in
this case there was only unfairmindedness on one side, and unwillingness
on the other. All the early makers of treaties with the Indians
congratulated themselves and the United States on the getting of acres
of valuable land by the million for next to nothing, and, as years went
on, openly lamented that "the Indians were beginning to find out what
lands were worth;" while the Indians, anxious, alarmed, hostile at
heart, seeing themselves harder and harder pressed on all sides, driven
"to provide other sources for supplying their wants besides those of
hunting, which must soon entirely fail them,"[19] yielded mile after
mile with increasing sense of loss, which they were powerless to
prevent, and of resentment which it would have been worse than impolitic
for them to show.

Footnote 19:

  Treaty of Prairie du Chien.

The first annuities promised to the Sioux were promised by this
treaty—$3000 annually for ten years to the Yankton and Santee bands; to
the other four, $2000. The Yankton and Santee bands were to pay out of
their annuity $100 yearly to the Otoes, because part of some land which
was reserved for the half-breeds of the tribe had originally belonged to
the Otoes. "A blacksmith, at the expense of the United States; also,
instruments for agricultural purposes; and iron and steel to the amount
of $700 annually for ten years to some of the bands, and to the amount
of $400 to the others; also, $3000 a year 'for educational purposes,'
and $3000 in presents distributed at the time," were promised them.

It was soon after these treaties that the artist Catlin made his famous
journeys among the North American Indians, and gave to the world an
invaluable contribution to their history, perpetuating in his pictures
the distinctive traits of their faces and their dress, and leaving on
record many pages of unassailable testimony as to their characteristics
in their native state. He spent several weeks among the Sioux, and says
of them: "There is no tribe on the continent of finer looking men, and
few tribes who are better and more comfortably clad and supplied with
the necessaries of life. *** I have travelled several years already
among these people, and I have not had my scalp taken, nor a blow struck
me, nor had occasion to raise my hand against an Indian; nor has my
property been stolen as yet to my knowledge to the value of a shilling,
and that in a country where no man is punishable by law for the crime of
stealing. *** That the Indians in their native state are drunken, is
false, for they are the only temperance people, literally speaking, that
ever I saw in my travels, or expect to see. If the civilized world are
startled at this, it is the fact that they must battle with, not with
me. These people manufacture no spirituous liquor themselves, and know
nothing of it until it is brought into their country, and tendered to
them by Christians.

"That these people are naked, is equally untrue, and as easily disproved
with the paintings I have made, and with their beautiful costumes which
I shall bring home. I shall be able to establish the fact that many of
these people dress not only with clothes comfortable for any latitude,
but that they dress also with some considerable taste and elegance. ***
Nor am I quite sure that they are entitled to the name of 'poor' who
live in a country of boundless green fields, with good horses to ride;
where they are all joint tenants of the soil together; where the Great
Spirit has supplied them with an abundance of food to eat."

Catlin found six hundred families of the Sioux camped at one time around
Fort Pierre, at the mouth of the Teton River, on the west bank of the
Missouri. There were some twenty bands, each with their chief, over whom
was one superior chief, called Ha-won-je-tah (the One Horn), whose
portrait is one of the finest in Catlin's book. This chief took his
name, "One Horn," from a little shell which he wore always on his neck.
This shell had descended to him from his father, and he said "he valued
it more than anything which he possessed:" affording a striking instance
of the living affection which these people often cherish for the dead,
inasmuch as he chose to carry this name through life in preference to
many others and more honorable ones he had a right to have taken from
different battles and exploits of his extraordinary life. He was the
fleetest man in the tribe; "could run down a buffalo, which he had often
done on his own legs, and drive his arrow to the heart."

This chief came to his death, several years later, in a tragic way. He
had been in some way the accidental cause of the death of his only son—a
very fine youth—and so great was the anguish of his mind at times that
he became insane. In one of these moods he mounted his favorite
war-horse, with his bow and arrows in his hand, and dashed off at full
speed upon the prairies, repeating the most solemn oath that he would
slay the first living thing that fell in his way, be it man or beast,
friend or foe. No one dared follow him, and after he had been absent an
hour or two his horse came back to the village with two arrows in its
body covered with blood. Fears of the most serious kind were now
entertained for the fate of the chief, and a party of warriors
immediately mounted their horses and retraced the animal's tracks to the
place of the tragedy, where they found the body of their chief horribly
mangled and gored by a buffalo-bull, whose carcass was stretched by the
side of him.

A close examination of the ground was then made by the Indians, who
ascertained by the tracks that their unfortunate chief, under his
unlucky resolve, had met a buffalo-bull in the season when they are very
stubborn, and unwilling to run from any one, and had incensed the animal
by shooting a number of arrows into him, which had brought him into
furious combat. The chief had then dismounted and turned his horse
loose, having given it a couple of arrows from his bow, which sent it
home at full speed, and then had thrown away his bow and quiver,
encountering the infuriated animal with his knife alone, and the
desperate battle had resulted in the death of both. Many of the bones of
the chief were broken, and his huge antagonist lay dead by his side,
weltering in blood from a hundred wounds made by the chief's long and
two-edged knife.

Had the provisions of these first treaties been fairly and promptly
carried out, there would have been living to-day among the citizens of
Minnesota thousands of Sioux families, good and prosperous farmers and
mechanics, whose civilization would have dated back to the treaty of
Prairie du Chien.

In looking through the records of the expenditures of the Indian Bureau
for the six years following this treaty, we find no mention of any
specific provisions for the Sioux in the matter of education. The $3000
annually which the treaty promised should be spent "on account of the
children of the said tribes and bands," is set down as expended on the
"Choctaw Academy," which was in Kentucky. A very well endowed
institution that must have been, if we may trust to the fiscal reports
of the Indian Bureau. In the year 1836 there were set down as expended
on this academy: On account of the Miamis, $2000; the Pottawattomies,
$5000; the Sacs, Foxes, and others, $3000; the Choctaws, $10,000; the
Creeks, east, $3000; the Cherokees, west, $2000; the Florida Indians,
$1000; the Quapaws, $1000; the Chickasaws, $3000; the Creeks, $1000:
being a total of $31,000.

There were in this year one hundred and fifty-six pupils at the Choctaw
Academy, sixteen of them being from the Sacs, Foxes, Sioux, and others
represented in the Treaty of Prairie du Chien of 1830. For the education
of these sixteen children, therefore, these tribes paid $3000 a year.
The Miamis paid more in proportion, having but four youths at school,
and $2000 a year charged to them. The Pottawattomies, on a treaty
provision of $5000, educated twenty.

In 1836 Congress appropriated $2000 "for the purpose of extinguishing
the Indian title between the State of Missouri and the Missouri River.
The land owned here by the Indians was a long, narrow belt of country,
separated from the rest of the Indian country by the Missouri River. The
importance of it to the State of Missouri was evident—an "obvious
convenience and necessity." The citizens of Missouri made
representations to this effect; and though the President is said to have
been "unwilling to assent, as it would be in disregard of the guarantee
given to the Indians in the Treaty of Prairie du Chien, and might be
considered by them as the first step in a series of efforts to obtain
possession of their new country," he nevertheless consented that the
question of such a cession should be submitted to them. Accordingly,
negotiations were opened, and nearly all the Indians who had rights in
these lands, "seeing that from their local position they could never be
made available for Indian purposes," relinquished them.[20]

Footnote 20:

  For this relinquishment the Government gave to the Lower Sioux
  presents to the amount of $400, and to the upper bands $530 in goods.

In 1837 the Government invited deputations of chiefs from many of the
principal tribes to come to Washington. It was "believed to be important
to exhibit" to them "the strength of the nation they would have to
contend with" if they ventured to attack our borders, "and at the same
time to impress upon them the advantages which flow from civilization."
Among these chiefs came thirty chiefs and headmen of the Sioux; and,
being duly "impressed," as was most natural, concluded treaties by which
they ceded to the United States "all their land east of the Mississippi
River, and all their islands in the same." These chiefs all belonged to
the Medawakanton band, "community of the Mysterious Lakes."

The price of this cession was $300,000, to be invested for them, and the
interest upon this sum, at five per cent., to be paid to them "annually
forever;" $110,000 to be distributed among the persons of mixed blood in
the tribe; $90,000 to be devoted to paying the just debts of the tribe;
$8230 to be expended annually for twenty years in stock, implements, on
physicians, farmers, blacksmiths, etc.; $10,000 worth of tools, cattle,
etc., to be given to them immediately, "to enable them to break up and
improve their lands;" $5300 to be expended annually for twenty years in
food for them, "to be delivered at the expense of the United States;"
$6000 worth of goods to be given to them on their arrival at St. Louis.

In 1838 the Indian Bureau reports that all the stipulations of this
treaty have been complied with, "except those which appropriate $8230 to
be expended annually in the purchase of medicines, agricultural
implements, and stock; and for the support of a physician, farmers, and
blacksmiths," and "bind the United States to supply these Sioux as soon
as practicable with agricultural implements, tools, cattle, and such
other articles as may be useful to them, to an amount not exceeding
$10,000, to enable them to break up and improve their lands." The
fulfilment or non-fulfilment of these stipulations has been left to the
discretion of the agent; and the agent writes that it "must be obvious
to any one that a general personal intercourse" on his part "is
impracticable," and that "his interviews with many of the tribes must
result from casualty and accident." This was undoubtedly true; but it
did not, in all probability, occur to the Indians that it was a good and
sufficient reason for their not receiving the $18,000 worth of goods

Five thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine dollars were expended the
next year under this provision of the treaty, and a few Indians, who
"all labored with the hoe," raised their own crops without assistance.
Six thousand bushels of corn in all were housed for the winter; but the
experiment of turning hunters into farmers in one year was thought not
to be, on the whole, an encouraging one. The "peculiar habits of
indolence, and total disregard and want of knowledge of the value and
uses of time and property," the agent says, "almost forbid hope." A more
reasonable view of the situation would have seen in it very great hope.
That out of five hundred warriors a few score should have been already
found willing to work was most reassuring, and promised well for the
future of the tribe.

For the next ten years affairs went on badly with the Sioux; they were
continually attacked by the Chippewas, Ottawas, and others, and
continually retaliated. The authorities took a sensible view of this
state of things, as being the easiest way of securing the safety of the
whites. "So long as they (the Indians) are at war with each other they
will not feel a disposition to disturb the peace and safety of our
exposed frontier settlements," wrote Governor Dodge, in 1840.

Whiskey traders flocked faster and faster into the neighborhood; fur
traders, also, found it much more for their interest to trade with
drunken Indians than with sober ones, and the Sioux grew rapidly
demoralized. Their annuities were in arrears; yet this almost seemed
less a misfortune than a blessing, since both money, goods, and
provisions were so soon squandered for whiskey.

In 1842 several of the bands were reduced to a state of semi-starvation
by the failure of corn crops, and also by the failure of the Senate to
ratify a treaty they had made with Governor Doty in 1841.[21] Depending
on the annuities promised in this treaty, they had neglected to make
their usual provisions for the winter. Frosts, which came in June, and
drought, which followed in July, combined to ruin their crops. For
several years the water had been rapidly decreasing in all the lakes and
streams north-west of Traverse de Sioux: the musk-rat ponds, from which
the Indians used to derive considerable revenue, had dried up, and the
musk-rats had gone, nobody knew where; the beaver, otter, and other
furry creatures had been hunted down till they were hard to find; the
buffalo had long since been driven to new fields, far distant. Many of
the Indians were too poor to own horses on which to hunt. They were two
hundred miles from the nearest place where corn could be obtained, even
if they had money to pay for it. Except for some assistance from the
Government, they would have died by hundreds in the winter of this year.

Footnote 21:

  Never ratified.

In 1849 the "needs" of the white settlers on the east side of the
Mississippi made it imperative that the Sioux should be again removed
from their lands. "The desirable portions of Minnesota east of the
Mississippi were already so occupied by a white population as to seem to
render it absolutely necessary to obtain without delay a cession from
the Indians on the west side of the river, for the accommodation of our
citizens emigrating to that quarter, a large portion of whom would
probably be compelled to precipitate themselves on that side of the

Commissioners were accordingly sent to treat with the Indians owning
these desired lands. In the instructions given to these commissioners
there are some notable sentences: "Though the proposed purchase is
estimated to contain some twenty millions of acres, and some of it no
doubt of excellent quality," there are "sound reasons why it is
comparatively valueless to the Indians, and a large price should not be
paid for it." Alive to the apparent absurdity of the statement that
lands which are "absolutely necessary" for white farmers are
"comparatively valueless" to Indians whom the Government is
theoretically making every effort to train into farmers, and who have
for the last ten years made appreciable progress in that direction, the
commissioner adds, "With respect to its being valuable to the United
States, it is more so for the purpose of making room for our emigrating
citizens than for any other; and only a small part of it is now actually
necessary for that object. *** The extent of the proposed cession should
be no criterion of the amount that should be paid for it. On a full
consideration of the whole matter, it is the opinion of this office that
from two to two and a half cents an acre would be an ample equivalent
for it." Some discretion is left to the commissioners as to giving more
than this if the Indians are "not satisfied;" but any such increase of
price must be "based on such evidence and information as shall fully
satisfy the President and Senate."[22]

Footnote 22:

  "Chrysostom was of opinion, and not without reason, that, in
  contracts, as often as we strive earnestly to buy anything for less
  than it is worth, or to have more than our just measure or weight,
  there was in that fact a kind of theft."—GROTIUS _on Contracts_.

Reading farther on in these instructions, we come at last to the real
secret of this apparent niggardliness on the part of the Government. It
is not selfishness at all; it is the purest of philanthropy. The
Government has all along been suffering in mind from two conflicting
desires—"the desire to give these Indians an equivalent for their
possessions," and, on the other hand, "the well-ascertained fact that no
greater curse can be inflicted on a tribe so little civilized as the
Sioux than to have large sums of money coming to them as annuities." ***
On the whole, the commissioner says that we are called on, "as a matter
of humanity and duty toward this helpless race, to make every exertion
in our power not to place much money at their discretion." The
Government is beginning very well in this direction, it must be
admitted, when it proposes to pay for Mississippi Valley lands in
Minnesota only two and a half cents per acre. "Humanity and duty" allied
could hardly do more at one stroke than that.

We cannot ascribe to the same philanthropy, however, the withholding
from 1837 to 1850 the $3000 a year which the treaty of 1837 provided
should be expended "annually" as the President might direct, and which
was not expended at all, because President after President directed that
it should be applied to educational purposes; and there being no evident
and easy way of expending it in that manner, it was allowed to
accumulate, until in 1850 it amounted, according to the report of
Governor Ramsey, of Minnesota, to $50,000. The governor also thinks
better than the United States Government does of the country to be
relinquished this year by the Sioux. He says that it will be "settled
with great rapidity, possessing as it does from its situation
considerable prospective commercial as well as agricultural advantages."
It was evidently very cheap at two and a half cents an acre.

In this same code of instructions by the Indian Bureau there is a record
of another instance of the Government's disregard of treaty
stipulations. At the time of the treaty of Prairie du Chien, in 1850,
the Sioux chiefs had requested that a certain tract be set apart and
bestowed upon the half-breeds of their nation. This was provided for in
the ninth Article of that treaty; but the Government refused to give to
the half-breeds any title to this land, except "in the same manner as
other Indian titles are held." It was agreed, however, that the
President might "assign to any of said half-breeds, to be held by him or
them in fee-simple, any portion of said tract not exceeding a section of
six hundred and forty acres to an individual." This tract of land was
known as the "Half-breed Reservation on Lake Tepin."

The half-breeds had made almost unintermitting efforts to have these
assignments made, but the Government had as constantly refused to do it.
The Indian Bureau now assigns two reasons why this treaty stipulation
was never fulfilled: 1st, that "the half-breeds, or most of them, would
be speculated upon by designing persons, and cheated out of their
reservations;" 2d, that, "on account of the quality of the lands, some
would necessarily have much better reservations than others, which would
engender dissatisfaction and heart-burning among themselves as well as
against the United States." The Bureau felicitates itself that "the only
title they now have to this land, therefore, is that by which other
Indians hold their lands, viz., the occupant or usufruct right, and this
they enjoy by the permission of the United States." Such being the case,
and as the Government would probably never find it expedient and
advisable to make the assignment referred to, this tract, whatever may
be the character of the land, must be and would continue comparatively
worthless to them.

Nevertheless, it appears that in 1841 one of the three treaties made
with the Sioux, but not ratified, was with these very half-breeds for
this same "valueless" tract of 384,000 acres of land; that they were to
be paid $200,000 for it, and also to be paid for all the improvements
they had made on it; and that the treaty commissioners are still
instructed "to allow them for it now whatever sum the commissioners deem
it to be" fairly worth; "under no circumstances," however, "to exceed
the sum stipulated in 1841." Putting this all into plain English, it
simply means that in 1830 the Government promised to let a band of men
take out tracts of land in fee-simple, and settle down like other men on
their homesteads; that for ten years the men begged to do so, and were
refused; that at the end of ten years, thinking there was no hope of
anything better, they agreed to sell the whole tract back to the
Government for $200,000; that this bargain, also, the Government did not
fulfil (the treaties never being ratified), and nine years later was
found congratulating itself on the fact that, by reason of all these
unfulfilled agreements, the land was still "held only in the same manner
as other Indian titles are held"—_i.e._, not "held" at all—only used on
sufferance of the Government, and could be taken possession of at any
time at the Government's pleasure. (This matter was supposed to be
finally settled in 1854 by a law of Congress; but in 1856 the thing
appears to have been still unsettled. A commission had been sent out to
investigate it, and the report was that "the subject has been one of
some difficulty and intricacy; but the final report of the commissioners
has just been received, and steps will be taken at once to cause the
scrip to issue to the parties entitled thereto.")

A little farther on in this same notable document is a mention of
another tract, of which it is now "desirable to extinguish the title."
This was set apart by the tenth Article of that same old treaty for the
half-breeds of the Omahas, Otoes, Iowas, and Yankton and Santee Sioux.
This contains about 143,000 acres, but is "supposed to be of much less
value than that on Lake Tepin much less value than 'valueless;'" but the
"amount to be paid for it is left to the discretion" of the

At this time the bands of the Medewakanton Sioux were occupying a tract
of over two hundred miles along the west shore of the Mississippi,
reaching also some twenty-five miles up the St. Peter's. The Yanktons,
Santees, and other bands lived high up the St. Peter's, reaching over
into the lands west of the Missouri, out of reach of ordinary facilities
of intercourse. These bands were often in great distress for food, owing
to the failure of the buffalo. They never lost an occasion to send
imploring messages to the Great Father, urging him to help them. They
particularly ask for hoes, that they may plant corn. In his report for
1850 the superintendent of the territory embracing these Indians says:
"The views of most of those who have lived the longest among the Indians
agree in one respect—that is, that no great or beneficial change can
take place in their condition until the General Government has made them
amenable to local laws—laws which will punish the evil-disposed, and
secure the industrious in their property and individual rights."

Superintendents, agents, commissioners, secretaries, all reiteratedly
recommending this one simple and necessary step toward civilization—the
Indians themselves by hundreds imploring for titles to their farms, or
at least "hoes"—why did the United States Government keep on and on in
its obstinate way, feeding the Indian in gross and reckless improvidence
with one hand, plundering him with the other, and holding him steadily
down at the level of his own barbarism? Nay, forcing him below it by the
newly added vices of gambling and drunkenness, and yet all the while
boasting of its desire to enlighten, instruct, and civilize him. It is
as inexplicable as it is infamous: a phenomenal thing in the history of
the world.

In the summer of 1851 the desired treaties were made, the upper and
lower bands of Sioux being treated with separately at Traverse de Sioux
and at Mendota. The upper bands were soon disposed of, though "some few
of them, having been taught to read," had become impressed with the idea
that their country was of immense value, and at first demanded six
million dollars for the lands to be ceded. The treaty with the lower
bands—the Medawakantons and Wahpacootas—was "exceedingly difficult of
attainment" on account of, firstly, "their proximity to the flourishing
settlements on the east side of the Mississippi producing necessarily
frequent contact with the whites, whose ideas of the great value of the
country had been imparted to these Indians; secondly, their great
experience in Indian diplomacy, being in the enjoyment already of
liberal annuities under former stipulations"—all these things rendered
them as "indifferent to the making of another treaty at present as the
whites on their borders were anxious that their lands should be
acquired." In consequence of this indomitable common-sense on the part
of the Indians the sessions of the commissioners were tedious and long;
not until a month had passed did they prevail on these Indians to sign
away the coveted lands, "the garden-spot of the Mississippi Valley," and
they were obliged to more than treble the number of cents per acre which
they had been instructed to pay. For thirty-five millions of acres of
land they agreed to pay nominally $3,075,000, which would be between
eight and nine cents an acre. But as $2,500,000 was to be held in trust,
and only the interest at five per cent, to be paid to the Indians, and
this only for the term of fifty years, at which time the principal was
to revert to the Government, it will be easily reckoned that the Indians
would receive, all told, only about six and one-quarter cents an acre.
And taking into account the great value of the relinquished lands, and
the price the Government would undoubtedly obtain for them, it will be
readily conceded that Governor Ramsey was not too sanguine when he
stated, in his report to the Interior Department, that the "actual cost
to the Government of this magnificent purchase is only the sum paid in
hand" ($575,000).

The governor says that it was "by no means the purpose" of the
commission "to act other than justly and generously toward the Indians;"
that "a continuation of the payment of large sums of interest annually
would do them no further good "after fifty years had expired, and would
be "inconsistent with sound governmental policy." He says that the
Dakota nation, although warlike, is "friendly to the whites," and that
it may be reasonably expected that, "by a judicious expenditure of the
civilization and improvement funds provided for in these treaties," they
will soon take the lead "in agriculture and other industrial pursuits."

One of the provisions of this treaty forbade the introduction of ardent
spirits into the new reservation. This was put in in accordance with the
"earnest desire" of the chiefs, who requested that "some stringent
measures should be taken by the Government to exclude all kinds of
liquors from their new home."

By this treaty the four great bands of Minnesota Sioux were all to be
"consolidated together on one reservation in the upper part of the
Mississippi Valley." This region was thought to be "sufficiently remote
to guarantee" them against any pressure from the white population for
many years to come. Farms were to be opened for them, mills and schools
to be established, and dwelling-houses erected. They were to have now a
chance to own "that domestic country called home, with all the living
sympathies and all the future hopes and projects which people it." From
this time "a new era was to be dated in the history of the Dakotas: an
era full of brilliant promise." The tract of territory relinquished by
them was "larger than the State of New York, fertile and beautiful
beyond description," far the best part of Minnesota. It is "so far
diversified in natural advantages that its productive powers may be
considered almost inexhaustible. *** Probably no tract on the surface of
the globe is equally well watered. *** A large part is rich arable land;
portions are of unsurpassed fertility, and eminently adapted to the
production in incalculable quantities of the cereal grains. The
boundless plains present inexhaustible fields of pasturage, and the
river bottoms are richer than the banks of the Nile. In the bowels of
the earth there is every indication of extensive mineral fields."

It would seem that the assertion made only a few lines before this
glowing paragraph—"to the Indians themselves the broad regions which
have been ceded are of inconsiderable value"—could not be true. It would
seem that for eight thousand people, who, according to this same writer,
"have outlived in a great degree the means of subsistence of the hunter
state," and must very soon "resort to the pursuits of agriculture,"
nothing could have been more fortunate than to have owned and occupied
thirty-five millions of acres of just such land as this.

They appear to be giving already some evidence of a disposition to turn
this land to account. The reports from the different farms and schools
show progress in farming industry and also in study. The farming is
carried on with difficulty, because there are only a few carts and
ploughs, which must be used in turn by the different farmers, and
therefore must come to some quite too late to be of use, and there is
much quarrelling among them owing to this trouble. Nevertheless, these
bands have raised over four thousand bushels of corn in the year. There
is also a great opposition to the schools, because the Indians have been
told that the accumulated fifty thousand dollars which is due to them
would be paid to them in cash if it were not for the schools.
Nevertheless, education is slowly progressing; in this year fifty copies
of a little missionary paper called _The Dakota Friend_ were subscribed
for in the one mission station of Lac qui Parle, and sixty scholars were
enrolled at the school. The blacksmith at St. Peter's reports that he
has made during the year 2506 pieces of one sort and another for the
Indians, and repaired 1430 more. Evidently a community keeping
blacksmiths so busy as this are by no means wholly idle themselves.

It is worth while to dwell upon these seemingly trivial details at this
point in the history of the Minnesota Sioux, because they are all
significant to mark the point in civilization they had already reached,
and the disposition they had already shown toward industry before they
were obliged to submit to their first great removal. Their condition at
the end of two years from the ratification of these treaties is curtly
told in the official reports of the Indian Bureau:

"The present situation of that portion of the Sioux Indians parties to
the treaties of July 23d and August 5th, 1851, is peculiar, unfortunate,
and to them must prove extremely injurious. By these treaties they
reluctantly parted with a very large extent of valuable country, which
it was of the greatest importance to the Government to acquire. An
insignificant portion of it near its western boundary, not deemed
necessary or desirable for a white population for many years, if at all,
was agreed to be reserved and assigned to them for their future
residence. The Senate amended the treaties, striking out this provision,
allowing ten cents an acre in lieu of the reservations, and requiring
the President, with the assent of the Indians, if they agreed to the
amendments, to assign them such tracts of country, beyond the limits of
that ceded, as might be satisfactory for their future home. To the
amendments was appended a proviso 'that the President may, by the
consent of the Indians, vary the conditions aforesaid, if deemed
expedient.' The Indians were induced to agree to the amendments;
'confiding in the justice, liberality, and humanity of the President and
the Congress of the United States, that such tracts of country will be
set apart for their future occupancy and home as will be to them
acceptable and satisfactory.' Thus, not only was the assent of the
Indians made necessary to a country being assigned to them without the
limits of that ceded, but, by the authority given to the President to
vary the conditions of the amendments to the treaties, he was empowered,
with the consent of the Indians, to place them upon the designated
reservations, or upon any other portion of the ceded territory, 'if
deemed expedient.'

"To avoid collisions and difficulties between the Indians and the white
population which rapidly commenced pouring into the ceded country, it
became necessary that the former should vacate at least a large portion
of it without delay, while there was neither the time nor the means to
make the requisite explorations to find a suitable location for them
beyond the limits of the cession.

"Under these pressing and embarrassing circumstances the late President
determined to permit them to remain five years on the designated
reservations, if they were willing to accept this alternative. They
assented, and many of them have been already removed. However
unavoidable this arrangement, it is a most unfortunate one. The Indians
are fully aware of its temporary character, and of the uncertainty as to
their future position, and will consequently be disinclined and deterred
from any efforts to make themselves comfortable and improve their
condition. The inevitable result must be that, at the end of the time
limited, they will be in a far worse condition than now, and the efforts
and expenditures of years to infuse into them a spirit of improvement
will all have been in vain.

"The large investments in mills, farms, mechanic shops, and other
improvements required by the treaties to be made for their benefit, will
be entirely wasted if the Indians are to remain on their reservations
only during the prescribed five years. At the very period when they
would begin to reap the full advantage of these beneficial provisions
they would have to remove. Another unfortunate feature of this
arrangement, if temporary, is that the Indians will have expended the
considerable sums set apart in the treaties for the expenses of their
removal to a permanent home, and for subsistence until they could
otherwise provide it, leaving nothing for these important and necessary
purposes in the event of another emigration. In view of these facts and
considerations, no time should be lost in determining upon some final
and permanent arrangement in regard to them."

The Governor of Minnesota also writes at this time: "The doubtful tenure
by which this tribe hold their supposed reservation is well understood
by their chiefs and headmen, and is beginning to give deep
dissatisfaction, and throwing daily more and more obstacles in the way
of their removal. This reservation will not be wanted for white men for
many years.

"There is not wood, or timber, or coal sufficient for the purposes of
civilization, except immediately on the St. Peter's and its tributaries.
From near the vicinity of the new agency there commences a vast prairie
of more than one hundred miles in extent, entirely destitute of timber,
and I feel confident that we never shall be able to keep any very large
number of them at their new agency, or near there.

"Already the fund set apart for the removal and subsistence the first
year of the Sissetons and Wah-pa-tons has been expended, and all their
provisions eaten up. Seventeen thousand dollars and upward have been
expended by Governor Ramsey, and one year in advance of the time fixed
by the treaty for their removal. This expenditure was made while he was
getting them to sign the Senate amendments to the treaty of 1851, which
they were very reluctant to do, and which not more than half the chiefs
have signed. These Indians want the Government to confirm this
reservation to them. I would recommend that this be done as the only
means to satisfy them, and humanity demands it."

Here is a picture of a helpless people! Forced to give up the
"garden-spot of the State," and accept in its stead an "insignificant
tract, on the greater part of which there is not wood, or timber, or
coal sufficient for civilization;" and then, before the ink of this
treaty is dry, told that even from this insignificant tract they must
promise to move at the end of five years. What words could characterize
such a transaction between man and man? There is not a country, a
people, a community in which it would be even attempted! Was it less
base, or more, being between a strong government and a feeble race?

From the infamy of accomplishing this purpose the United States was
saved. Remonstrances, and still more the resistance of the Indians,
prevailed, and in 1854 we find the poor creatures expressing "much
satisfaction" that the President has decreed that they are to remain
permanently on their "insignificant tract."

The Upper Missouri Sioux are still suffering and destitute; a few of
them cultivating little patches of ground, depending chiefly on the
chase, and on roots and wild berries; when these resources fail there is
nothing left for them but to starve, or to commit depredations on white
settlers. Some of the bands, nevertheless, have scrupulously observed
the stipulations of the Fort Laramie treaty in 1851, show a "strong
desire for improvement," and are on the most friendly terms with the
whites. These peaceable and friendly bands are much distressed, as well
they may be, at the reckless course pursued by others of their tribe.
They welcome the presence of the soldiers sent to chastise the
offenders, and gladly render all the service to them they can, even
against their relatives and friends.

In 1855 it is stated that "various causes have combined to prevent the
Minnesota Sioux from deriving, heretofore, much substantial benefit from
the very liberal provisions of the treaties of 1851. Until after the
reservations were permanently assured to the Indians (1854) it would
have been highly improper to have made the expenditures for permanent
improvements, and since then the affairs of the agency have not been
free from confusion."

"Large sums of money have been expended for these Sioux, but they have
been indolent, extravagant, intemperate, and have wasted their means
without improving, or seeming to desire to improve their condition."

Both these statements are made in grave good faith; certainly without
any consciousness of their bearing on each other. It is not stated,
however, what specific means the Sioux could have employed "to improve
their condition," had they "desired" to do so.

The summer of 1857 was one which will long be remembered by the citizens
of Minnesota. It was opened by terrible massacres, which were all the
work of a strolling outcast band of Sioux, not more than fifteen in
number. They had been driven out of their tribe some sixteen years
previous, and had been ever since then leading a wandering and marauding
life. The beginning of the trouble was a trivial difficulty between one
of the white settlers on Rock River and an Indian. The settler's dog bit
the Indian, and the Indian shot the dog. For this the white settlers
beat the Indian severely, and then went to the camp and by force took
away all the guns of the band. This was at a season of the year when to
be without guns meant simply to be without food, and the Indians were
reduced at once to a condition of great suffering. By some means they
either repossessed themselves of their guns or procured others, and,
attacking the settlement, killed all the inhabitants except four women,
whom they carried away with them, and treated with the utmost barbarity.
The inevitable results of such horrors followed. The thousands of
peaceable Indians in Minnesota, who did not even know of this outrage,
were all held in one common terror and hatred by the general public;
only the very great firmness and discretion of the military officers
sent to deal with the outbreak saved Minnesota from a general uprising
and attack from all the Sioux bands, who were already in a state of
smouldering discontent by reason of the non-payment of their annuities.
However, they obeyed the demands of the Government that they themselves
should pursue this offending band, and either capture or exterminate it.
They killed four, and took three prisoners, and then returned "much
jaded and worn," and said they could do no more without the help of
United States soldiers; and that they thought they had now done enough
to show their loyalty, and to deserve the payment of their annuities.
One of the chiefs said: "The man who killed white people did not belong
to us, and we did not expect to be called to account for the people of
another band. We have always tried to do as our Great Father tells us."
Another said: "I am going to speak of the treaty. For fifty years we
were to be paid $50,000 per annum. We were also promised $300,000 that
we have not seen. I wish to say to my Great Father we were promised
these things, but have not seen them yet. Why does not the Great Father
do as he promised?"

These hostilities were speedily brought to an end, yet the situation was
by no means reassuring for the Indians. But one sentiment seemed to
inspire the whole white population, and this was the desire to
exterminate the entire Indian race.

"For the present," writes the superintendent, "it is equally important
to protect the Indians from the whites as the whites from the Indians
and this in spite of the fact that all the leading bands of the treaty
Sioux had contributed warriors to go in pursuit of the murderers, had
killed or captured all they could find, and stood ready to go again
after the remaining eight, if the United States troops would go also and
assist them. Spite of the exertions of one of the chiefs of the Lower
Sioux, "Little Crow," who, the superintendent says, labored with him
"night and day in organizing the party, riding continually between the
lower and upper agencies," so that they "scarcely slept" till the
war-party had set out on the track of the murderers; spite of the fact
that the whole body of the Sioux, without exception, "received the
intelligence with as much indignation and disapprobation as the whites
themselves, and did their best to stand clear of any suspicion of or
connection with the affair—spite of all this, they were in continual
danger of being shot at sight by the terrified and unreasoning settlers.
One band, under the chief Sleepy Eyes, were returning to their homes
from a hunt; and while they were "wondering what the panic among the
whites meant" (they having heard nothing of the massacre), were fired
into by some of the militia volunteers.

The next day a white settler was found killed near that spot—presumably
by some member of Sleepy Eyes' band. This excitement slowly abated, and
for the next four years a steady improvement was visible in the
Minnesota Sioux. Hundreds of them threw aside the blanket—the
distinctive badge of their wild state; schools were well attended, and
farms were well tilled. That there was great hostility to this
civilization, on the part of the majority of the tribe, cannot be
denied; but that was only natural—the inevitable protest of a
high-spirited and proud race against abandoning all its race
distinctions. When we see the men of Lorraine, or of Montenegro, ready
to die for the sake merely of being called by the name of one power
rather than by that of another, we find it heroic, and give them our
sympathies; but when the North American Indian is ready to die rather
than wear the clothes and follow the ways of the white man, we feel for
him only unqualified contempt, and see in his instinct nothing more than
a barbarian's incapacity to appreciate civilization. Is this just?

In 1861 the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, visiting these Sioux,
reports: "I was much surprised to find so many of the Sioux Indians
wearing the garb of civilization, many of them living in frame or brick
houses, some of them with stables or out-houses, and their fields
indicating considerable knowledge of agriculture. Their condition," he
says, "affords abundant evidence of what may be accomplished among the
Sioux Indians by steadily adhering to a uniform, undeviating policy.

"The number that live by agricultural pursuits is yet small compared
with the whole; but their condition is so much better than that of the
wild Indian, that they, too, are becoming convinced that it is the
better way to live; and many are coming in, asking to have their hair
cut, and for a suit of clothes, and to be located on a piece of land
where they can build a house and fence in their fields."

Many more of them would have entered on the agricultural life had the
Government provided ways and means for them to do so. In this same
report is a mention of one settlement of two thousand Indians at Big
Stone Lake, who "have been hitherto almost entirely neglected. These
people complain that they have lived upon promises for the last ten
years, and are really of opinion that white men never perform what they
promise. Many of them would go to work if they had any reasonable

The annuities are still in arrears. Every branch of the industries and
improvements attempted suffers for want of the promised funds, and from
delays in payments expected. The worst result, however, of these delays
in the fulfilment of treaty stipulations was the effect on the Indians.
A sense of wrong in the past and distrust for the future was ever
deepening in their minds, and preparing them to be suddenly thrown by
any small provocation into an antagonism and hostility grossly
disproportionate to the apparent cause. This was the condition of the
Minnesota Sioux in the summer of 1862.[23]

Footnote 23:

  See Appendix, Art. VI.

The record of the massacres of that summer is scarcely equalled in the
history of Indian wars. Early in August some bands of the Upper Sioux,
who had been waiting at their agency nearly two months for their annuity
payments, and had been suffering greatly for food during that time—so
much so that "they dug up roots to appease their hunger, and when corn
was turned out to them they devoured it uncooked, like wild
animals"—became desperate, broke into the Government warehouse, and took
some of the provisions stored there. This was the real beginning of the
outbreak, although the first massacre was not till the 18th. When that
began, the friendly Indians were powerless to resist—in fact, they were
threatened with their lives if they did not join. Nevertheless, some of
them rescued whole families, and carried them to places of safety;
others sheltered and fed women and children in their own lodges; many
fled, leaving all their possessions behind—as much victims of the
outbreak as the Minnesota people themselves. For three days the hostile
bands, continually re-enforced, went from settlement to settlement,
killing and plundering. A belt of country nearly two hundred miles in
length and about fifty in width was entirely abandoned by the
population, who flocked in panic to the towns and forts. Nearly a
thousand were killed—men, women, and children—and nameless outrages were
committed on many. Millions of dollars' worth of property were
destroyed. The outbreak was quickly quelled by military force, and a
large number of Indians captured. Many voluntarily surrendered, bringing
with them over two hundred whites that they had taken prisoners. A
military commission tried these Indians, and sentenced over three
hundred to be hung. All but thirty-nine were reprieved and put into
prison. The remainder were moved to Dakota, to a barren desert, where
for three years they endured sufferings far worse than death. The
remainder escaped to the Upper Missouri region or to Canada.[24]

Footnote 24:

  All the Winnebagoes were removed from Minnesota at the same time.

Minnesota, at a terrible cost to herself and to the United States
Government, was at last free from the presence of Indians within her
borders—Indians who were her enemies only because they had been treated
with injustice and bad faith.

During this time the bands of Sioux in the Upper Missouri region had
been more or less hostile, and military force in continual requisition
to subdue them. Re-enforced by the Minnesota refugees, they became more
hostile still, and in the summer of 1863 were in almost incessant
conflict. In 1864 the Governor of Dakota Territory writes to the
Department that the war is spreading into Nebraska and Kansas, and that
if provision is not made for the loyal treaty Indians in that region
before long, they also will join the hostiles. One band of the Sioux—the
Yanktons—has been persistently loyal, and rendered great service through
all the troubles. Fifty of these Yankton Sioux had been organized by
General Sibley into a company of scouts, and had proved "more effective
than twice the number of white soldiers." The only cost to the
Government "of this service on the part of the Yanktons had been fifty
suits of condemned artillery uniforms, arms, and rations in part to the
scouts themselves."

In 1865 the Government, having spent about $40,000,000 on these
campaigns, began to cast about for cheaper, if not more humane methods,
and, partly at the instance of the Governor of Dakota, who knew very
well that the Indians desired peace, sent out a commission to treat with
them. There were now, all told, some 14,000 Sioux in this region, nearly
2000 being the refugees from Minnesota.

The report of this commission is full of significant statements. There
seems to be no doubt that the great majority of the Indians are anxious
for peace; but they are afraid to meet the agents of the Government,
lest they be in some way betrayed. Such bands as are represented,
however, gladly assent to a treaty of peace and good-will. The
commissioners speak with great feeling of the condition of the loyal
Yanktons. "No improvements have been made on their lands, and the
commissioners were obliged to issue provisions to them to keep them from
starving. *** No crops met the eye, nor is there the semblance of a

Yet by Article four of the treaty with the Yankton Sioux the United
States Government had agreed to expend $10,000 in erecting a suitable
building or buildings, and to establish and maintain one or more normal
labor schools; and it is to be read in the United States Statutes at
Large that in each of the years 1860, 1861, 1862, and 1863, Congress
appropriated $65,000, as per treaty, for the benefit of the Yankton

"With the exception of a few miserable huts, a saw-mill, and a small
amount of land enclosed, there are few vestiges of improvement. *** They
are reduced to the necessity of hunting for a living, and, unless soon
reassured and encouraged, they will be driven to despair, and the great
discontent existing among them will culminate in another formidable
Indian war."

Nine treaties were concluded by this commission with as many different
bands of Sioux, the Indians pledging themselves to abstain from all
hostilities with each other and with the whites, and the Government
agreeing to pay to the Indians fifteen dollars a head per annum, and to
all who will settle down to farming twenty-five dollars a head.

In the winter following these treaties all these Indians faithfully kept
their promises, in spite of terrible sufferings from cold and from lack
of food. Some of them were at the old Crow Creek Reservation in Dakota,
where they were "kept from absolute starvation only by the issue to them
of such scanty supplies as could be spared from the stores at Fort
Sully, and from the agency." It is much to the credit of these Indians
that, in spite of their manifold sufferings, scarcely a case of stealing
occurred among them, they being determined to keep their faith to the

"They will run like chickens to gather the offal from the slop buckets
that are carried from the garrison kitchens; while they pass a pile of
corn and hundreds of loose cattle without touching a thing, except when
told they may gather up the grains of corn from the ground where the
rats in their depredations have let it fall from the sacks," says the
report of one of the commissioners.

In the summer of 1865 still further treaties were concluded with the
Indians of the plains, and all the Sioux, with the exception of those in
the British possessions, were now pledged to peace. This summer also saw
the first recognition on the part of the Government of its flagrant
injustice toward the friendly Minnesota Sioux who were moved to Crow
Creek, Dakota, at the time of the massacre. There were nearly one
thousand of these—mostly old men, women, and children—many of them the
widows and children of those who had been hung or were in prison at
Davenport. For three years they had been "quiet and patient in their

The two hundred prisoners in Davenport had also shown "an excellent
disposition and entire submission," although many of them were known and
proved to have been "absolutely guiltless of any acts of hostility; and
not only this, but deserving of reward for the rescue of white
captives." Certificates, petitions, and letters showing these facts were
forwarded from Iowa to the Department, but the commissioner says, in his
report for 1866, that "they have been mislaid in their passage through
the various departments, and cannot be found!"

There was still another class of these Indians deserving of help from
the Government—some two hundred and fifty friendly farmer Indians, who
were living in 1862 quietly on their farms, "who have acted as scouts
for the Government; who never committed any acts of hostility, nor fled
with those who did commit them," and have still remained friendly
through these four years, "while compelled to a vagabond life by the
indiscriminate confiscation of all their land and property."

"The crops belonging to these farmer Indians were valued at $125,000,
and they had large herds of stock of all kinds, fine farms, and
improvements. The United States troops engaged in suppressing the
massacre, also the prisoners taken by them—in all, some 3500 men—lived
for fifty days on this property."

Strong efforts were made by Bishop Whipple and others to obtain from the
Government some aid for these friendly Indians, and the sum of $7500 was
appropriated by Congress for that purpose. The letter of Bishop Whipple,
who was requested to report on the division of this sum, is so eloquent
a summing up of the case of these Indians, that it ought to be placed on
permanent record in the history of our country. He writes:

"There is positive injustice in the appropriation of so miserable a
pittance. *** A much larger sum would not pay the amount which we
honestly owe these men. The Government was the trustee of the Upper and
Lower Sioux. It held several millions of dollars for their benefit—the
joint property of the tribes. These friendly Sioux had abandoned their
wild life, and adopted the dress, habits, and customs of civilization;
and in doing this, which placed them in open opposition to the
traditions of their tribes, they were pledged the protection of the
Government. By a mistaken policy, by positive neglect to provide a
government, by the perversion of funds due them for the sale of one-half
their reservations, by withholding their annuities until two months
after they were due (which was caused by the use of a part of these
funds for claims), by permitting other causes of dissatisfaction to go
on unheeded, we provoked the hostility of the wild Indians, and it went
on until it ripened in massacre. These farmer Indians had been pledged a
patent for their farms: unless we violated our solemn pledge, these
lands were theirs by a title as valid as any title could be. They had
large crops, sufficient to support General Sibley's army for a number of
weeks. They lost all they had—crops, stock, clothing, furniture. In
addition to this, they were deprived of their share in these annuities,
and for four years have lived in very great suffering. You can judge
whether $5000 shall be deemed a just reward[25] for the bravery and
fidelity of men who, at the risk of their own lives, were instrumental
in saving white captives, and maintained their friendship to the whites.

Footnote 25:

  Two thousand five hundred of the seven thousand five hundred dollars
  had been especially set aside by the Government (unjust in its rewards
  as in its punishments) for Chief Other Day, who was really less
  deserving than many others.

"I submit to you, sir, and through you hope to reach all who fear God
and love justice, whether the very least we can do for all the friendly
Sioux is not to fulfil the pledges we made years ago, and give to each
of them a patent of eighty acres of land, build them a house, and
provide them cattle, seeds, and implements of husbandry?"

In 1866 all these Sioux were removed, and, in spite of the protestations
of the Nebraska citizens, settled on reservations on the Niobrara River,
in Northern Nebraska. It soon became evident that this place was
undesirable for a reservation, both on account of its previous occupancy
by the whites and scarcity of timber.

In the fall they removed again to the mouth of Bazile Creek. Temporary
buildings were again erected, and here they spent the winters of 1866
and 1867. In February they were cheered by the invitation sent their
chiefs and headmen to visit Washington. They went, feeling sure that
they should get a home for themselves and people. "All they got was a
promise that a commission should be sent out to visit them the next
year." They were told, however, to move to Breckenridge, on the west
bank of the Missouri, plant crops there, and were promised that, if they
liked the place, they should have it "secured to them as a permanent
home." Accordingly, the "agency buildings" were once more removed, and
two hundred acres of land were planted. Before the crops were harvested
the commission arrived, and urged the Indians to move farther up the
Missouri. The Indians being averse to this, however, they were allowed
to remain, and told that if they would cultivate the soil like white
men—take lands in severalty—the Government would assist them. The
Indians gladly consented to this, and signed a treaty to that effect.
But in 1868 their agent writes: "That treaty is not yet ratified, and,
instead of assistance to open farms, their appropriation has been cut
down one half. After paying for supplies purchased on credit last year,
it is entirely insufficient for clothing and subsistence, and leaves
nothing for opening farms, procuring cattle," etc. These Indians, only
five years previous, had been living on good farms, and had $125,000
worth of stock, implements, etc. No wonder their agent writes: "Leave
them without a home a few years longer, and you offer strong inducements
for them to become idle and worthless."

It is an intricate and perplexing task to attempt now to follow the
history of the different bands of the Sioux tribe through all their
changes of location and affiliation—some in Dakota, some in Nebraska,
and some on the Upper Arkansas with the hostile Cheyennes and
Arapahoes—signing treaties one summer, and on the war-path the
next—promised a home in spring, and ordered off it before harvest—all
the time more and more hemmed in by white settlers, and more and more
driven out of their buffalo ranges by emigrations—liable at any time to
have bodies of United States soldiers swoop down on them and punish
whole bands for depredations committed by a handful of men, perhaps of a
totally distinct band—the wonder is not that some of them were hostile
and vindictive, but that any of them remained peaceable and friendly.
Bandied about from civil authorities to military—the War Department
recommending "that all Indians not on fixed reservations be considered
at war," and proceeded against accordingly, and the Interior Department
neglecting to provide them with "fixed reservations," or to define or
enforce the boundaries of even their temporary reservations—tricked,
cheated on all sides—starving half the time—there is not a tribe of all
the persecuted tribes of Indians that has a more piteous record than the
Sioux. Nevertheless, we find many of the bands, in 1870, advancing in
civilization. In the Yankton band nearly one hundred children are in
school, and eight hundred acres of land are under cultivation. The Lower
Yanktons are peaceful and quiet, although they are near the Brulés, who
are always roving and hostile. The Sissetons and Wahpetons, who were by
a treaty of 1867 placed on reservations in Dakota, are "industrious, and
fast advancing in agricultural pursuits." Four schools are in operation
among them. The Yanktons are "anxious to farm, and state that the
Government has promised to assist and teach them to farm; that they are
and have been ready for some time, but as yet the agent has not received
any instructions or funds to permit of their accomplishing their

Two events, important in the history of the Sioux tribe, happened in
1869 and 1870. One was the visit of a delegation of chiefs and headmen
from several of the bands, under the leadership of the chief Red Cloud,
to Washington, Philadelphia, and New York. They had thus an opportunity
of relating all their grievances, and of receiving the Government's
declarations of good intentions toward them. Red Cloud, after his return
home, became an ardent and determined advocate of peace and loyalty. The
other was the withdrawal of a portion of the Santee Sioux from their
band, for the purpose of taking up farms under the Homestead Act, and
becoming independent citizens. The story of this experiment, and the
manner in which it was met by the United States Government, is best told
in the words of Dr. Williamson, a missionary, who had lived thirty-five
years among them, and who pleaded thus warmly for them in a letter
addressed to the Department in the summer of 1870: "Several
considerations have influenced the Dakotas in going to the Big Sioux
River: 1st. The soil and climate are more similar to that to which they
have been accustomed in Minnesota, their former home, than is that of
their reservation on the Missouri; 2d. Feeling that they were men
capable of sustaining themselves if a fair opportunity is afforded them,
they felt that it was degrading to live as sinecures and pensioners
dependent on Government for food and clothing; 3d. And chiefly a desire
to make homes for their families where they could be subjected to, and
protected by, the laws of the United States, the same as all other men
are. This they thought could not be the case on their reservation.

"These Sioux were parties to the treaties made in 1851, by which they
and other bands ceded to the United States all the best settled parts of
Minnesota west of the Mississippi for less than one-hundredth part of
its present value, and much less than the lands were worth to them as
hunting-grounds. And while as hunters they needed no protection of the
law, they knew that as agriculturists they could not live without it;
and they positively refused to sell their hunting-grounds till the
Commissioner of the United States promised that they should be protected
in their persons and property the same as white men. Government never
accorded to them this protection, which, in the view of the Indians, was
a very important consideration in selling the lands. This neglect on the
part of the Government led to yearly complaints, and the massacres of
1862. *** These Sioux were most of them previous to the war living in
comfortable homes, with well-cultivated farms and teams," and were
receiving by annuity provisions, either in money or the equivalent,
about $50 a head annually, from interest on their money invested in the
bonds of the Government. These Indians, in taking up their new
homesteads, were required by the Department to renounce, on oath, all
claims on the United States for annuities. Without doubt, citizenship of
the United States, the protection of our laws, is worth a great sum; but
is it wise or right in our Government to require these natives of the
country to purchase, at a price of several thousands of dollars, that
which is given without money or price to every immigrant from Asia,
Europe, or Africa that asks for it?

"Besides their annuities, there is due them from the Government the
proceeds of the sale of their old reservation on the Minnesota River,
which is more than forty miles long and ten wide; which, after paying
expenses of survey and sale, are, according to a law of the United
States, to be expended in assisting them to make homes elsewhere; and as
these lands were valued at $1.25 an acre and upward, and are rapidly
selling, the portion which will be due each of the Indians cannot be
less than $200 or $300—or $1000 for each family. The oath required of
them is supposed to bar them from any claim to this also. Now, I cannot
see how this decision of the Indian Department is consistent either with
justice or good policy, and it is certainly inconsistent with both the
spirit and letter of Articles six and ten of a treaty between the United
States of America and different bands of Sioux Indians, concluded in
1868, and ratified and proclaimed February, 1869. *** What I ask for
them is that our Government restore to them a part of what we took from
them, and give them the same chance to live and thrive which we give to
all the other inhabitants of our country, whether white or black. ***
That some aid is very necessary must be obvious to you, who know how
difficult it is for even white men, trained to work, and with several
hundred dollars in property, to open a new farm in this Western
wilderness. Their number is probably greater than you are aware of. When
I administered the Lord's Supper there on the first Sabbath of this
month, there were present seventy-seven communicants of our church,
besides quite a number of other persons. *** It is owing to the Santee
Sioux—partly to those on the Big Sioux River, chiefly to those near Fort
Wadsworth—that in the last five years not a single white inhabitant of
Minnesota or Iowa has been murdered by the wild Indians, while many have
been cut off in every frontier State and Territory south-west of the
Missouri. So long as the Christian Sioux can be kept on the frontier,
the white settlements are safe. *** In conclusion, I wish again to call
your attention to the fact that these Indians on the Big Sioux purchase
citizenship at a very great sum, and to entreat you to do all in your
power to secure for them that protection of person or property for which
they bargain, and without which nothing our Government can do will make
them prosperous or happy."

No attention was paid to this appeal; and the next year the
indefatigable missionary sent a still stronger one, setting forth that
this colony now numbered fifty families; had been under the instruction
of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions for many
years; had a church of one hundred members; a native preacher, partly
supported by them; had built log-cabins on their claims, and planted
farms, "many of them digging up the ground with hoes and spades."

Dr. Williamson reiterates the treaty provisions under which he claims
that these Indians are entitled to aid. The sixth Article of the treaty
of 1868 closes as follows: "Any Indian or Indians receiving a patent for
land under the foregoing provisions, shall thereby and henceforth become
and be a citizen of the United States, and be entitled to all the
privileges and immunities of such citizenship, and shall at the same
time retain all his rights and benefits accruing to Indians under this

This treaty goes on to provide most liberally for all Indians adopting
the civilized mode of life. Article eighth specially provides for
supplying them with seed and agricultural implements, and this is what
they most of all need.

The encouragement held forth in this treaty was one great motive in
leading these people to break tribal influences, so deleterious to
improvement, and adopt our democratic civilization. Is it not base
tyranny to disappoint them? They are the first Sioux, if not the first
Indians in the United States to adopt the spirit and life of our
American civilization. They have of their own accord done just what the
Government has been for generations trying to get the Indians to do. And
now will the Government refuse this helping hand? To our shame, it has
for two years refused. And why? Because the Indians said, "If we become
civilized, it is necessary for us to break up tribal relations, and
settle down like white men."

In 1873 the Government at last yielded to this request, and sent out
oxen, wagons, ploughs, etc., enough to stock thirty farms. In 1874, Dr.
Williamson, having been appointed a special agent for them, reports
their progress: "They all live in log-houses and wear citizens' dress.
*** One hundred and nineteen can read their own language fluently. They
all go to church regularly. They have broken one hundred and
seventy-seven acres of new prairie. Twenty new houses have been built.
*** They have cut and hauled two hundred cords of wood, hauling some of
it forty miles to market. *** They have done considerable freighting
with their teams, going sometimes a hundred miles away. They have earned
thirty-five hundred dollars, catching small furs. *** One Indian has the
contract for carrying the mail through Flandreau, for which he receives
one thousand dollars a year. *** It is but a few miles from Flandreau to
the far-famed pipe-stone quarry, and these Indians make many little sums
by selling pipes, rings, ink-glasses, etc., made of this beautiful red
stone. *** They are anxious to be taught how to make baskets, mats,
cloth; and the young men ask to be taught the blacksmith and carpenter

This is a community that only five years before had pushed out into an
unbroken wilderness without a dollar of money, without a plough, to open
farms. "Without ploughs, they had to dig the sod with their hoes, and at
the same time make their living by hunting. They suffered severe
hardships, and a number of their best men perished in snow-storms.
Believing they were carrying out the wishes of the Great Father, as
expressed in the treaty of 1868, to which they were parties, they were
disappointed when for three years no notice was taken of them." There is
something pathetic in the gratitude they are said now to feel for the
niggardly gift of a few oxen, wagons, and ploughs. They have apparently
given over all hope of ever obtaining any of the money due them on
account of their lands sold in Minnesota. No further allusion is made to
it by Dr. Williamson.

From the Yankton Sioux this year comes a remarkable report: "We have no
jail, no law except the treaty and the agent's word, yet we have no
quarrels, no fighting, and, with one or two exceptions, not a single
case of drunkenness during the year. This I consider remarkable, when we
take into consideration the fact that the reservation is surrounded by
ranches where liquors of all kinds can be obtained." Is there another
village of two thousand inhabitants in the United States of which this
can be said?

In this year a commission was sent to treat with some of the wilder
bands of Sioux for the relinquishment of their right to hunt and roam
over a large part of their unneeded territory in Kansas and Nebraska.
Some of the chiefs consented. Red Cloud's band refused at first; "but on
being told that the right would soon be taken from them," after a delay
of two days they "agreed to accept," merely stipulating that their share
of the twenty-five thousand dollars promised should be paid in horses
and guns. They insisted, however, on this proviso: "That we do not
surrender any right of occupation of the country situated in Nebraska
north of the divide, which is south of and near to the Niobrara River
and west of the one hundredth meridian."

It was a significant fact that, when these Sioux gave up this hunting
privilege, "they requested that nearly all the $25,000 they received in
compensation for this relinquishment should be expended in cows, horses,
harness, and wagons," says the Commissioner of Indian Affairs in 1875.

There are still some thousand or more of hostile Sioux roaming about
under the famous chief Sitting Bull—living by the chase when they can,
and by depredations when they must; occasionally, also, appearing at
agencies, and drawing rations among the other Indians unsuspected. The
remainder of the bands are steadily working their way on toward
civilization. The Santees are a Christian community; they have their
industrial-schools, Sabbath-schools, and night-schools; they publish a
monthly paper in the Dakota tongue, which prints twelve hundred copies.
The Yanktons have learned to weave, and have made cloth enough to give
every Indian woman in the tribe one good dress. The Flandreau citizen
Sioux have a Presbyterian church of one hundred and thirty-five members,
and pay half the salary of the native preacher. On the occasion of an
anniversary meeting of the Dakota missionaries there, these people
raised one hundred dollars to pay for their entertainment. These three
bands are far the most advanced, but all the others are making steady

In 1876 the news from the Sioux on the agencies is that, owing to the
failure of appropriations, the Indian Bureau had been unable to send the
regular supplies, and the Indians, being in "almost a starving
condition," had been induced, by the "apparent purpose of the Government
to abandon them to starvation," to go north in large numbers, and join
the hostile camps of Sitting Bull. This was in the spring; again in
midsummer the same thing happened, and many of the Indians, growing
still more anxious and suspicious, left their agencies to join in the

Congress would probably have paid little attention at this time to the
reading of this extract from "Kent's Commentaries:" "Treaties of peace,
when made by the competent power, are obligatory on the whole nation. If
the treaty requires the payment of money to carry it into effect, and
the money cannot be raised but by an act of the legislature, the treaty
is morally obligatory upon the legislature to pass the law; and to
repeal it would be a breach of the public faith."

A disturbed and unsettled condition of things prevailed at all the Sioux
agencies, consequent on this state of things. Companies of troops were
stationed at all of them to guard against outbreaks. Owing to lack of
funds, the Yanktons were obliged to give up their weaving and
basket-making. At the Standing Rock Agency, after the Indians had
planted eight hundred and seventy-two dollars' worth of seeds—of corn,
potatoes, and other vegetables—the grasshoppers came and devoured them.
"Many of these Indians, with their whole families, stood all day in
their fields fighting these enemies, and in several places succeeded so
far as to save a considerable part of their crops." The Santees were
made very anxious and unhappy by fresh rumors of their probable removal.
Public sentiment at the East, knowing no difference between different
tribes of Sioux, regarded it as maudlin sentimentalism to claim for the
Santees any more rights than for the hostiles that had murdered General
Custer. One of the agents in Dakota writes:

"The recent troubles in the Indian country, and the existing uncertainty
as to the future intentions of the Government toward the Indians,
occasion considerable uneasiness among them. *** Reports are circulated
that no further assistance will be rendered by the Government, as the
Great Council in Washington refuses to furnish money unless the Indians
are turned over to the War Department. Every inducement is held out to
encourage secession from the agencies, and strengthen the forces of the
hostile camp. It is not surprising that, in view of the non-arrival of
supplies, and the recent order of the War Department to arrest parties
leaving and arriving, that people less credulous than Indians would feel
undecided and uneasy. *** It must be remembered that the whole Sioux
nation is related, and that there is hardly a man, woman, or child in
the hostile camp who has not blood relations at one or the other of the

Contrast the condition into which all these friendly Indians are
suddenly plunged now, with their condition only two years previous:
martial law now in force on all their reservations; themselves in danger
of starvation, and constantly exposed to the influence of emissaries
from their friends and relations, urging them to join in fighting this
treacherous government that had kept faith with nobody—neither with
friend nor with foe; that made no discriminations in its warfare between
friends and foes; burning villages occupied only by women and children;
butchering bands of Indians living peacefully under protection of its
flag, as at Sand Creek, in Colorado—no wonder that one of the military
commander's official reports says, "The hostile body was largely
re-enforced by accessions from the various agencies, where the
malcontents were, doubtless, in many cases, driven to desperation by
starvation and the heartless frauds perpetrated on them;" and that the
Interior Department is obliged to confess that, "Such desertions were
largely due to the uneasiness which the Indians had long felt on account
of the infraction of treaty stipulations by the white invasion of the
Black Hills, seriously aggravated at the most critical period by
irregular and insufficient issues of rations, necessitated by inadequate
and delayed appropriations."

It was at this time that Sitting Bull made his famous reply: "Tell them
at Washington if they have one man who speaks the truth to send him to
me, and I will listen to what he has to say."

The story of the military campaign against these hostile Sioux in 1876
and 1877 is to be read in the official records of the War Department, so
far as statistics can tell it. Another history, which can never be read,
is written in the hearts of widowed women in the Sioux nation and in the
nation of the United States.

Before midsummer the Sioux war was over. The indomitable Sitting Bull
had escaped to Canada—that sanctuary of refuge for the Indian as well as
for the slave. Here he was visited in the autumn by a commission from
the United States, empowered by the President to invite him with his
people to return, and be "assigned to agencies," and treated "in as
friendly a spirit as other Indians had been who had surrendered." It was
explained to him that every one of the Indians who had surrendered had
"been treated in the same manner as those of your nation who, during all
the past troubles, remained peaceably at their agencies." As a great
part of those who had fled from these same agencies to join Sitting Bull
had done so because they were starving, and the Government knew this
(had printed the record of the fact in the reports of two of its
Departments), this was certainly a strange phraseology of invitation for
it to address to Sitting Bull. His replies and those of his chiefs were
full of scathing sarcasm. Secure on British soil, they had for once safe
freedom of speech as well as of action, and they gave the United States
Commissioners very conclusive reasons why they chose to remain in
Canada, where they could "trade with the traders and make a living," and
where their women had "time to raise their children."[26]

Footnote 26:

  See Appendix, Art. V.

The commissioners returned from their bootless errand, and the Interior
Department simply entered on its records the statement that "Sitting
Bull and his adherents are no longer considered wards of the
Government." It also enters on the same record the statement that "in
the months of September and October, 1876, the various Sioux agencies
were visited by a commission appointed under the Act of Congress, August
15th of that year, to negotiate with the Sioux for an agreement to
surrender that portion of the Sioux Reservation which included the Black
Hills, and certain hunting privileges outside that reserve, guaranteed
by the treaty of 1868; to grant a right of way across their reserve; and
to provide for the removal of the Red Cloud and Spotted Tail bands to
new agencies on the Missouri River. The commission were also authorized
to take steps to gain the consent of the Sioux to their removal to the
Indian Territory. *** The commission were successful in all the
negotiations with which they were charged, and the Indians made every
concession that was desired by the Government, although we were engaged
at that very time in fighting their relatives and friends." The only
comment needed on this last paragraph is to suggest that a proper list
of errata for that page should contain: "For 'although' read 'because!'"
"On behalf of the United States the agreement thus entered into provided
for subsisting the Sioux on a stated ration until they should become
self-supporting; for furnishing schools, and all necessary aid and
instruction in agriculture and the mechanical arts, and for the
allotment of lands in severalty."

In accordance with this act, a commission was sent to select a location
on the Missouri River for the two new Sioux agencies (the Red Cloud and
Spotted Tail).

"For the former the site chosen is the junction of Yellow Medicine and
Missouri rivers, and at that point agency buildings have just been
erected," says the Report of the Indian Bureau for 1877. "For the latter
the old Ponca Reserve was decided on, where the agency buildings,
storehouses, one hundred and fifty Indian houses, and five hundred acres
of cultivated fields, left vacant by the Poncas, offer special
advantages for present quarters."

The commissioner says: "The removal of fourteen thousand Sioux Indians
at this season of the year, a distance of three hundred miles from their
old agencies in Nebraska to their new quarters near the Missouri River,
is not a pleasant matter to contemplate. Neither the present Secretary
of the Interior nor the present Commissioner of Indian Affairs is
responsible for the movement, but they have carried out the law
faithfully though reluctantly. The removal is being made in accordance
with the Act of August 15th, 1876. It is proper to say here that I
cannot but look on the necessity thus imposed by law on the executive
branch of the Government as an unfortunate one, and the consequences
ought to be remedied as speedily as possible.

"Let us for a moment consider that the Spotted Tail Agency was in 1871
on the west bank of the Missouri River, where the whites became
exceedingly troublesome, and the river afforded abundant facilities for
the introduction of intoxicating liquors. In 1874 the Red Cloud and
Spotted Tail agencies were removed to what a subsequent survey proved to
be the State of Nebraska—the former agency one hundred and sixty-five
miles from Cheyenne, and the latter one hundred and eight miles from
Sidney, the nearest points on the Union Pacific Railroad. Here the usual
ill-fortune attending the removal of these Indians was again exemplified
in placing the agencies on absolutely barren land, where there was no
possibility of cultivating the soil, no hope of their being enabled to
become self-supporting, and where they have of necessity been kept in
the hopeless condition of paupers."

In the hope of placing these Indians upon arable land, where they might
become civilized and self-supporting, the determination was hastily
taken to remove them back to the Missouri River. This step was taken
without a proper examination of other points on their reservation, where
it is stated that "a sufficient quantity of excellent wheat lands can be
found on either bank of the White River, and where there is also timber
sufficient in quantity and quality for all practical purposes. *** The
Indian chiefs, in their interview with the President in September last,
begged that they might not be sent to the Missouri River, as
whiskey-drinking and other demoralization would be the consequence. This
was the judgment of the best men of the tribe; but the necessity was one
that the President could not control. The provisions and supplies for
the ensuing winter had been placed, according to law, on the Missouri,
and, owing to the lateness of the season, it was impossible to remove
them to the old agencies. Accordingly, the necessities of the case
compelled the removal of these Indians in the midst of the snows and
storms of early winter, which have already set in."

If there were absolutely no other record written of the management of
Indian affairs by the Interior Department than this one page of the
history of these two bands of the Sioux tribe, this alone would be
enough to show the urgent need of an entirely new system. So many and
such hasty, ill-considered, uninformed, capricious, and cruel decisions
of arbitrary power could hardly be found in a seven years' record of any
known tyrant; and there is no tyrant whose throne would not have been
rocked, if not upset, by the revolutions which would have followed on
such oppressions.

There is a sequel to this story of the removal of the Red Cloud and
Spotted Tail bands—a sequel not recorded in the official reports of the
Department, but familiar to many men in the Western country. Accounts of
it—some humorous, some severe—were for some time floating about in
Western newspapers.

The Red Cloud and Spotted Tail bands of Sioux consented to go to the old
Ponca Reserve only after being told that all their supplies had been
sent to a certain point on the Missouri River with a view to this move;
and it being too late to take all this freight northward again, they
would starve if they stayed where they were. Being assured that they
would be allowed to go back in the spring, and having a written pledge
from General Crook (in whose word they had implicit faith) that the
Government would fulfil this promise, they at last very reluctantly
consented to go to the Ponca Reserve for the winter. In the spring no
orders came for the removal. March passed, April passed—no orders. The
chiefs sent word to their friend, General Crook, who replied to them
with messages sent by a swift runner, begging them not to break away,
but to wait a little longer. Finally, in May, the Commissioner of Indian
Affairs went himself to hold a council with them. When he rose to speak,
the chief Spotted Tail sprung up, walked toward him, waving in his hand
the paper containing the promise of the Government to return them to
White Clay Creek, and exclaimed, "All the men who come from Washington
are liars, and the bald-headed ones are the worst of all! I don't want
to hear one word from you—you are a bald-headed old liar! You have but
one thing to do here, and that is to give an order for us to return to
White Clay Creek. Here are your written words; and if you don't give
this order, and everything here is not on wheels inside of ten days,
I'll order my young men to tear down and burn everything in this part of
the country! I don't want to hear anything more from you, and I've got
nothing more to say to you:" and he turned his back on the commissioner
and walked away. Such language as this would not have been borne from
unarmed and helpless Indians; but when it came from a chief with four
thousand armed warriors at his back, it was another affair altogether.
The order was written. In less than ten days everything was "on wheels,"
and the whole body of these Sioux on the move to the country they had
indicated; and the Secretary of the Interior says, naïvely, in his
Report for 1868, "The Indians were found to be quite determined to move
westward, and the promise of the Government in that respect was
faithfully kept."

The reports from all the bands of Sioux for the past two years have been
full of indications of their rapid and encouraging improvement. "The
most decided advance in civilization has been made by the Ogallalla and
Brulé Sioux," says the Report of the Indian Bureau for 1879. "Their
progress during the last year and a half has been simply marvellous."

And yet this one band of Ogallalla Sioux has been moved, since 1863,
eight times. Is it not a wonder that they have any heart to work, any
hope of anything in the future?

"It is no longer a question," says this same report, "whether Indians
will work. They are steadily asking for opportunities to do so, and the
Indians who to-day are willing and anxious to engage in civilized labor
are largely in the majority; *** there is an almost universal call for
lands in severalty; *** there is a growing desire to live in houses; the
demand for agricultural implements and appliances, and for wagons and
harness for farming and freighting purposes, is constantly increasing."

That all this should be true of these wild, warlike Sioux, after so many
years of hardships and forced wanderings and removals, is
incontrovertible proof that there is in them a native strength of
character, power of endurance, and indomitable courage, which will make
of them ultimately a noble and superior race of people, if civilization
will only give them time to become civilized, and Christians will leave
them time and peace to learn Christianity.

                              CHAPTER VI.

                              THE PONCAS.

In 1803 Captain Lewis and Lieutenant Clarke, of the First United States
Infantry, were commissioned by Congress to explore the river Missouri
from its mouth to its source, to "seek the best water communication from
thence to the Pacific Ocean," and to enter into conference with all the
Indian tribes on their route, with a view to the establishment of
commerce with them. They report the "Poncars" as "the remnant of a
nation once respectable in point of numbers; they formerly resided on a
branch of the Red River of Lake Winnipeg; being oppressed by Sioux, they
removed to the west side of the Missouri, on Poncar River, where they
built and fortified a village, and remained some years; but, being
pursued by their ancient enemies, the Sioux, and reduced by continual
wars, they have joined and now live with the Mahas (Omahas), whose
language they speak." Their numbers are estimated by Lewis and Clarke as
being only about two hundred, all told; but this small estimate is
probably to be explained by the fact that at this time the tribe was
away on its annual buffalo-hunt, and their village had been so long
empty and quiet that a buffalo was found grazing there. A few years
later the tribe is reckoned at four hundred: in a census of the Indian
tribes, taken by General Porter in 1829, they are set down at six
hundred. The artist Catlin, who visited them a few years later, rated
them a little less. He gives an interesting account of the chief of the
tribe, named Shoo-de-ga-cha (Smoke), and his young and pretty wife,
Hee-la'h-dee (the Pure Fountain), whose portraits he painted. He says:
"The chief, who was wrapped in a buffalo-robe, is a noble specimen of
native dignity and philosophy. I conversed much with him, and from his
dignified manners, as well as from the soundness of his reasoning; I
became fully convinced that he deserved to be the sachem of a more
numerous and prosperous tribe. He related to me with great coolness and
frankness the poverty and distress of his nation—and with the method of
a philosopher predicted the certain and rapid extinction of his tribe,
which he had not the power to avert. Poor, noble chief, who was equal to
and worthy of a greater empire! He sat on the deck of the steamer,
overlooking the little cluster of his wigwams mingled among the trees,
and, like Caius Marius weeping over the ruins of Carthage, shed tears as
he was descanting on the poverty of his ill-fated little community,
which he told me had 'once been powerful and happy; that the buffaloes
which the Great Spirit had given them for food, and which formerly
spread all over their green prairies, had all been killed or driven out
by the approach of white men, who wanted their skins; that their country
was now entirely destitute of game, and even of roots for food, as it
was one continuous prairie; and that his young men, penetrating the
countries of their enemies for buffaloes, which they were obliged to do,
were cut to pieces and destroyed in great numbers. That his people had
foolishly become fond of fire-water, and had given away everything in
their country for it; that it had destroyed many of his warriors, and
would soon destroy the rest; that his tribe was too small and his
warriors too few to go to war with the tribes around them; that they
were met and killed by the Sioux on the north, by the Pawnees on the
west, by the Osages and Konzas on the south, and still more alarmed from
the constant advance of the pale faces—their enemies from the east—with
whiskey and small-pox, which already had destroyed four-fifths of his
tribe, and would soon impoverish and at last destroy the remainder of
them.' In this way did this shrewd philosopher lament over the unlucky
destiny of his tribe, and I pitied him with all my heart."

The day before Catlin arrived at this village this old chief's son—the
young Hongs-kay-de—had created a great sensation in the community by
accomplishing a most startling amount of bigamy in a single day. Being
the chief's son, and having just been presented by his father with a
handsome wigwam and nine horses, he had no difficulty whatever in
ingratiating himself with the fathers of marriageable daughters, and
had, with ingenious slyness, offered himself to and been accepted by
four successive fathers-in-law, promising to each of them two
horses—enjoining on them profound secrecy until a certain hour, when he
would announce to the whole tribe that he was to be married. At the time
appointed he appeared, followed by some of his young friends leading
eight horses. Addressing the prospective father-in-law who stood nearest
him, with his daughter by his side, he said, "You promised me your
daughter: here are the two horses." A great hubbub immediately arose;
the three others all springing forward, angry and perplexed, claiming
his promises made to them. The triumphant young Turk exclaimed, "You
have all now acknowledged your engagements to me, and must fulfil them.
Here are your horses." There was nothing more to be said. The horses
were delivered, and Hongs-kay-de, leading two brides in each hand,
walked off with great dignity to his wigwam.

This was an affair totally unprecedented in the annals of the tribe, and
produced an impression as profound as it could have done in a civilized
community, though of a different character—redounding to the young
prince's credit rather than to his shame—marking him out as one daring
and original enough to be a "Big Medicine." Mr. Catlin says that he
visited the bridal wigwam soon afterward, and saw the "four modest
little wives seated around the fire, seeming to harmonize very well." Of
the prettiest one—"Mong-shong-shaw" (the Bending Willow)—he took a
portrait, and a very sweet-faced young woman she is too, wrapped in a
beautifully ornamented fur robe, much handsomer and more graceful than
the fur-lined circulars worn by civilized women.

The United States' first treaty with this handful of gentle and
peaceable Indians was made in 1817. It was simply a treaty of peace and

In 1825 another was made, in which the Poncas admit that "they reside
within the territorial limits of the United States, acknowledge their
supremacy, and claim their protection." They also admit "the right of
the United States to regulate all trade and intercourse with them." The
United States, on their part, "agree to receive the Poncar tribe of
Indians into their friendship and under their protection, and to extend
to them from time to time such benefits and acts of kindness as may be
convenient, and seem just and proper to the President of the United

After this there is little mention, in the official records of the
Government, of the Poncas for some thirty years. Other tribes in the
Upper Missouri region were so troublesome and aggressive that the
peaceable Poncas were left to shift for themselves as they best could
amidst all the warring and warring interests by which they were
surrounded. In 1856 the agent of the Upper Platte mentions incidentally
that their lands were being fast intruded upon by squatters; and in 1857
another agent reports having met on the banks of the Missouri a large
band of Poncas, who made complaint that all the Indians on the river
were receiving presents and they were overlooked; that the men from the
steamboats cut their trees down, and that white settlers were taking
away all their land. In 1858 the Commissioner for Indian Affairs writes:
"Treaties were entered into in March and April last with the Poncas and
Yankton Sioux, who reside west of Iowa, for the purpose of extinguishing
their title to all the lands occupied and claimed by them, except small
portions on which to colonize and domesticate them. This proceeding was
deemed necessary in order to obtain such control over these Indians as
to prevent their interference with our settlements, which are rapidly
extending in that direction. These treaties were duly laid before the
Senate at its last regular session, but were not, it is understood,
finally acted on by that body.

"Relying on the ratification of their treaty, and the adoption of timely
measures to carry out its provisions in their favor the Poncas proceeded
in good faith to comply with its stipulations by abandoning their
settlements and hunting-grounds, and withdrawing to the small tract
reserved for their future home. Being without a crop to rely upon, and
having been unsuccessful in their usual summer hunt, they were reduced
to a state of desperation and destitution. As nothing had been done for
them under the treaty, they concluded it was void, and threatened to
fall back upon their former settlements, some of the most important of
which had, in the mean time, been taken possession of by numerous white

The Poncas never heard of Grotius or Vattel; but, in assuming that the
treaty was void because it was not fulfilled, they only acted on the
natural principles of the law of nations and of treaties, as laid down
by all authorities. Thucydides said: "They are not the first breakers of
a league who, being deserted, seek for aid to others, but they that
perform not by their deeds what they have promised to do upon their

In consequence of this delay to fulfil the treaty provisions, the
Government was forced to step in at the last moment and "incur a heavy
expense" in furnishing the Poncas with food enough to keep them from
starving; and in 1859, under this pressure, the Senate ratified the
treaty. By it the Poncas ceded and relinquished to the United States all
the lands they had ever owned or claimed, "wherever situate," except a
small tract between the Ponca and Niobrara rivers. In consideration of
this cession, the United States Government agreed "to protect the Poncas
in the possession of this tract of land, and their persons and property
thereon, during good behavior on their part; to pay them annuities
annually for thirty years—$12,000 for the first five years, then $10,000
for ten years, then $8000 for fifteen years; to expend $20,000 for their
subsistence during the first year, for building houses, etc.; to
establish schools, and to build mills, mechanics' shops, etc.; to give
$20,000 for the payment of the existing obligations of the tribe."

Two years later the agent newly appointed to take charge of the Poncas
reports to the Department the amount of improvements made on the
reservation: "One saw and grist-mill; two agency houses—story and a half
houses—without inside lining or plastering, 16 by 26 and 18 by 32 feet
in size; six small round log-houses (three with a small shed for a
stable), a light log-corral for cattle, and a canvas shed for storing
under; and about sixty acres of ground, broken, comprised all the

Evidently a very small part of the $20,000 had been spent as yet. He did
not find an Indian on the reservation. From fear of the Sioux (who in
1860 had stolen from them more than half the horses they owned) they had
moved down the Niobrara River, some twenty miles nearer the Missouri. It
was with the greatest difficulty that the agent induced them to return;
and after they did so, they huddled their tents close about the agency
buildings, and could not be induced to go half a mile away unless
accompanied by some of the white employés.

As the agent had no food to feed them with, and no money to buy any
(spite of the appropriation of $20,000 for subsistence and
house-building), he induced them to go off on a hunt; but in less than a
month they came straggling back, "begging for provisions for their women
and children, whom they had left on the plains half-starved, having been
unable to find any game, or any food except wild-turnips. Some of them
went to visit the Omahas, others the Pawnees, where they remained until
the little corn they had planted produced roasting-ears. In the mean
time those who were here subsisted mainly on wild-cherries and plums and
the wild-turnip, and traded away most of their blankets and annuity
goods for provisions."

In 1863 the reports are still more pitiful. "They started on their
summer hunt toward the last of May, immediately after the first hoeing
of their corn. At first they were successful and found buffaloes; but
afterward, the ground being occupied by the Yanktons, who were sent
south of the Niobrara by the general commanding the district, and who
were about double the number, and with four times as many horses, they
soon consumed what meat they had cured, and were compelled to abandon
the chase. They commenced to return in the latter part of July. They
went away with very high hopes, and reasonably so, of a large crop, but
returned to see it all withered and dried up. In the mean time the
plains had been burnt over, so that they could not discover the roots
they are in the habit of digging. Even the wild-plums, which grow on
bushes down in ravines and gullies, are withered and dried on the limbs.
The building I occupy was constantly surrounded by a hungry crowd
begging for food. *** I am warned by military authority to keep the
Poncas within the limits of the reservation; but this is an
impossibility. There is nothing within its limits, nor can anything be
obtained in sufficient quantity, or brought here soon enough to keep
them from starving. *** The Poncas have behaved well—quite as well, if
not better than, under like circumstances, the same number of whites
would have done. I have known whole families to live for days together
on nothing but half-dried corn-stalks, and this when there were cattle
and sheep in their sight."

At this time martial law was in force on many of the Indian
reservations, owing to the presence of roving bands of hostile Sioux,
driven from Minnesota after their outbreak there.

The Poncas through all these troubles remained loyal and peaceable, and
were "unwavering in their fidelity to their treaty," says the Indian

In December of this year what the governmental reports call "a very
unfortunate occurrence" took place in Nebraska. A party of Poncas,
consisting of four men, six women, three boys, and two girls, returning
from a visit to the Omahas, had camped for the night about twelve miles
from their own reservation. In the night a party of soldiers from a
military post on the Niobrara River came to their camp, and began to
insult the squaws, "offering money with one hand, and presenting a
revolver with the other." The Indians, alarmed, pulled up their lodge,
and escaped to a copse of willows near by. The soldiers fired at them as
they ran away, and then proceeded to destroy all their effects. They cut
the lodge covers to pieces, burnt the saddles and blankets, cut open
sacks of beans, corn, and dried pumpkin, and strewed their contents on
the ground, and went away, taking with them a skin lodge-covering,
beaver-skins, buffalo-robes, blankets, guns, and all the small articles.
The Indians' ponies were hid in the willows. Early in the morning they
returned with these, picked up all the corn which had not been
destroyed, and such other articles as they could find, packed their
ponies as best they might, and set off barefooted for home. After they
had gone a few miles they stopped and built a fire to parch some corn to
eat. Some of the women and children went to look for wild-beans, leaving
three women and a child at the camp. Here the soldiers came on them
again. As soon as the Indians saw them coming they fled. The soldiers
fired on them, wounding one woman by a ball through her thigh; another,
with a child on her back, by two balls through the child's thighs, one
of which passed through the mother's side. These women were fired on as
they were crossing the river on the ice. The soldiers then took
possession of the six ponies and all the articles at the camp, and left.
The squaws and children who were looking for beans were half a mile
below; a little dog belonging to them barked and revealed their
hiding-place in the willows. The soldiers immediately turned on them,
dismounted, and, making up to them, deliberately shot them dead as they
huddled helplessly together—three women and a little girl!

One of the boys, a youth, ran for the river, pursued by the soldiers. On
reaching the river he dived into the water through a hole in the ice; as
often as he lifted his head they fired at him. After they went away he
crawled out and escaped to the agency. One of the murdered women, the
mother of this boy, had three balls in her head and cheek, her throat
cut, and her head half-severed by a sabre-thrust; another, the youngest
woman, had her cloth skirt taken off and carried away, and all her other
clothes torn from her body, leaving it naked!

The men who did this deed belonged to Company B of the Seventh Iowa

The outrage was promptly reported to the Department, and the general
commanding the Nebraska District detailed an officer to examine into it.
There was some correspondence between the military authorities relative
to it, but with no result; and in the report of the next year the Indian
Commissioner says: "Attention was called last year to the fact that the
murderers of several of this loyal and friendly tribe had not been
discovered and punished. I trust that, as there seems to be no
probability that this will be done, a special appropriation may be made
for presents to the relatives of the deceased."

In 1865 a supplementary treaty was made with the Poncas, extending their
reservation down the Niobrara to the Missouri River; and the Government
agreed to pay them $15,000, for the purpose of indemnifying them for the
loss they had sustained in this outrage and in others. For the
ratification of this treaty also they waited two years; and in 1867 the
Superintendent of the Dakota Territory says: "Schools would have been in
operation at the Ponca Agency before this time but for the long delay in
ratifying the supplementary treaty of 1865; and now that this measure
has fortunately been accomplished, there can be no further necessity for
delay, and it is confidently believed another year will witness the
foundation and rapid progress of an English school at this agency."

This superintendent, having been in office only one year, was probably
not familiar with the provisions of the treaty of 1859 with the Poncas,
in which, by Article three, the United States Government had promised
"to establish and maintain for ten years, at an annual expense not to
exceed $5,000, one or more manual labor schools for the education and
training of the Ponca youth in letters, agriculture, mechanics, and

This educational annuity has but one more year to run, whatever may have
been done with it up to this time, it really is now being spent on
schools, and it seems a great pity that it should soon cease. The
Governor of Dakota, in 1868, evidently thinks so too, for he writes to
the Department, in the autumn of 1868: "A school has been in successful
operation at this agency (the Ponca) for the past nine months, with an
average attendance of about fifty scholars, and with every evidence of
advancement in the primary department of an English education. But just
at this interesting period of its existence we are notified by the agent
that with this fiscal year all funds for school as well as for
agricultural purposes cease, agreeably to the terms and conditions of
their original treaty. This will be a serious and irreparable calamity
if not remedied by the most generous action of the Government. If funds
for this purpose cannot be otherwise procured, the Poncas are willing
and anxious to transfer their old reservation to the Government for a
moderate extension of these important and indispensable benefits."

The governor also says that in the past year the Poncas have paid out of
their annuity money for all the improvements which had been made on
lands occupied by certain white settlers, who were ejected from their
new reservation by the terms of the last treaty.

In the report for 1869 we read that the Ponca school has been
"discontinued for want of funds." The Department earnestly recommends an
appropriation of $25,000 to put it in operation again. The new Governor
of Dakota seconds the recommendation, and regrets to say that, "for the
enlightenment of the 35,000 Indians embraced in the Dakota
Superintendency, there is not one school in operation."

In 1870 an appropriation of $5,000 was made by the Department from a
general educational fund, for the purpose of resuming this school. The
condition of the Poncas now is, on the whole, encouraging; they are "not
only willing, but extremely anxious to learn the arts by which they may
become self-supporting, and conform to the usages of white men. With the
comparatively small advantages that have been afforded them, their
advancement has been very great."

In the summer of 1869 they built for themselves sixteen very comfortable
log-houses; in the summer of 1870 they built forty-four more; with their
annuity money they bought cookstoves, cows, and useful implements of
labor. They worked most assiduously in putting in their crops, but lost
them all by drought, and are in real danger of starvation if the
Government does not assist them. All this while they see herds of cattle
driven across their reservation to feed the lately hostile Sioux—flour,
coffee, sugar, tobacco, by the wagon-load, distributed to them—while
their own always peaceable, always loyal, long-suffering tribe is
digging wild roots to eat, and in actual danger of starvation.
Nevertheless they are not discouraged, knowing that but for the drought
they would have had ample food from their farms, and they make no
attempts to retaliate on the Sioux for raiding off their horses and
stock, because they hope "that the Government will keep its faith with
them," and that suitable remuneration for these losses will be made
them, according to the treaty stipulations.

For the next two years they worked industriously and well; three schools
were established; a chapel was built by the Episcopal mission; the
village began to assume the appearance of permanence and thrift; but
misfortune had not yet parted company with the Poncas. In the summer of
1873 the Missouri River suddenly overflowed, washed away its banks
hundreds of yards back, and entirely ruined the Ponca village. By
working night and day for two weeks the Indians saved most of the
buildings, carrying them half a mile inland to be sure of safety. The
site of their village became the bed of the main channel of the river;
their cornfields were ruined, and the lands for miles in every direction
washed and torn up by the floods.

"For nearly two weeks," the agent writes, "the work of salvage from the
ever-threatening destruction occupied our whole available force night
and day. We succeeded in carrying from the river bank to near half a
mile inland the whole of the agency buildings, mechanics' houses,
stabling, and sheds—more than twenty houses—nearly every panel of
fencing. The Poncas worked well and long, often through the night; and
the fact that the disaster did not cost us ten dollars of actual loss is
to be attributed to their labor, continuous and persevering—working
sometimes over the swiftly-flowing waters, terrible and turbid, on the
edge of the newly-formed current but a few inches below them, and into
which a fall would have been certain death, even for an Indian."

In one year after this disaster they had recovered themselves
marvellously; built twenty new houses; owned over a hundred head of
cattle and fifty wagons, and put three hundred acres of land under
cultivation (about three acres to each male in the tribe). But this year
was not to close without a disaster. First came a drought; then three
visitations of locusts, one after the other, which so completely
stripped the fields that "nothing was left but a few prematurely dry
stalks and straw." One hundred young trees which had been set
out—box-elder, soft maple, and others—withered and died.

In 1875 the locusts came again, destroyed the corn and oats, but left
the wheat. Much of this crop, however, was lost, as there was only one
reaping-machine on the agency, and it could not do all of the work. Many
of the Indians saved a part of their crop by cutting it with large
butcher-knives; but this was slow, and much of the wheat dried up and
perished before it could be harvested by this tedious process.

This year was also marked by a flagrant instance of the helplessness of
Indians in the courts. Two Poncas were waylaid by a party of Santees,
one of the Poncas murdered, and the other seriously wounded. This
occurred at the Yankton Agency, where both parties were visiting. When
the case was brought up before the courts, a motion was made to quash
the indictment for want of jurisdiction, and the judge was obliged to
sustain the motion, there being under the present laws no jurisdiction
whatever "over crimes committed by one Indian on the person or property
of another Indian in the Indian country."

In 1876 the project of consolidating all the Indians in the United
States upon a few reservations began to be discussed and urged. If this
plan were carried out, it would be the destiny of the Poncas to go to
the Indian Territory. It was very gratuitously assumed that, as they had
been anxious to be allowed to remove to Nebraska and join the Omahas,
they would be equally ready to remove to Indian Territory—a process of
reasoning whose absurdity would be very plainly seen if it were
attempted to apply it in the case of white men.

After a series of negotiations, protestations, delays, and
bewilderments, the tribe at last gave what the United States Government
chose to call a "consent" to the removal. The story of the influences,
deceits, coercions brought to bear on these unfortunate creatures before
this was brought about, is one of the most harrowing among the harrowing
records of our dealings with the Indians. A party of chiefs were
induced, in the first place, to go, in company with a United States
inspector—Kemble by name—to the Indian Territory, to see whether the
country would suit them. It was distinctly promised to them that, if it
did not suit them, they should then be permitted to go to Washington and
consult with the President as to some further plan for their

The story of this journey and of its results is best told in the words
of one of the Ponca chiefs, Standing Bear. No official document, no
other man's narrative—no, not if a second Homer should arise to sing
it—could tell the story so well as he tells it:

"We lived on our land as long as we can remember. No one knows how long
ago we came there. The land was owned by our tribe as far back as memory
of men goes.

"We were living quietly on our farms. All of a sudden one white man
came. We had no idea what for. This was the inspector. He came to our
tribe with Rev. Mr. Hinman. These two, with the agent, James Lawrence,
they made our trouble.

"They said the President told us to pack up—that we must move to the
Indian Territory.

"The inspector said to us: 'The President says you must sell this land.
He will buy it and pay you the money, and give you new land in the
Indian Territory.'

"We said to him: 'We do not know your authority. You have no right to
move us till we have had council with the President.'

"We said to him: 'When two persons wish to make a bargain, they can talk
together and find out what each wants, and then make their agreement.'

"We said to him: 'We do not wish to go. When a man owns anything, he
does not let it go till he has received payment for it.'

"We said to him: 'We will see the President first.'

"He said to us: 'I will take you to see the new land. If you like it,
then you can see the President, and tell him so. If not, then you can
see him and tell him so.' And he took all ten of our chiefs down. I
went, and Bright Eyes' uncle went. He took us to look at three different
pieces of land. He said we must take one of the three pieces, so the
President said. After he took us down there he said: 'No pay for the
land you left.'

"We said to him: 'You have forgotten what you said before we started.
You said we should have pay for our land. Now you say not. You told us
then you were speaking truth.' All these three men took us down there.
The man got very angry. He tried to compel us to take one of the three
pieces of land. He told us to be brave. He said to us: 'If you do not
accept these, I will leave you here alone. You are one thousand miles
from home. You have no money. You have no interpreter, and you cannot
speak the language.' And he went out and slammed the door. The man
talked to us from long before sundown till it was nine o'clock at night.

"We said to him: 'We do not like this land. We could not support
ourselves. The water is bad. How send us to Washington, to tell the
President, as you promised.'

"He said to us: 'The President did not tell me to take you to
Washington; neither did he tell me to take you home.'

"We said to him: 'You have the Indian money you took to bring us down
here. That money belongs to us. We would like to have some of it. People
do not give away food for nothing. We must have money to buy food on the

"He said to us: 'I will not give you a cent.'

"We said to him: 'We are in a strange country. We cannot find our way
home. Give us a pass, that people may show us our way.'

"He said: 'I will not give you any.'

"We said to him: 'This interpreter is ours. We pay him. Let him go with

"He said: 'You shall not have the interpreter. He is mine, and not

"We said to him: 'Take us at least to the railroad; show us the way to

"And he would not. He left us right there. It was winter. We started for
home on foot. At night we slept in hay-stacks. We barely lived till
morning, it was so cold. We had nothing but our blankets. We took the
ears of corn that had dried in the fields; we ate it raw. The soles of
our moccasins wore out. We were barefoot in the snow. We were nearly
dead when we reached the Otoe Reserve. It had been fifty days. We stayed
there ten days to strengthen up, and the Otoes gave each of us a pony.
The agent of the Otoes told us he had received a telegram from the
inspector, saying that the Indian chiefs had run away; not to give us
food or shelter, or help in any way. The agent said: 'I would like to
understand. Tell me all that has happened. Tell me the truth.'"

(This Otoe agent afterward said that when the chiefs entered his room
they left the prints of their feet in blood on the floor as they came

"Then we told our story to the agent and to the Otoe chiefs—how we had
been left down there to find our way.

"The agent said: 'I can hardly believe it possible that any one could
have treated you so. That inspector was a poor man to have done this. If
I had taken chiefs in this way, I would have brought them home; I could
not have left them there.'

"In seven days we reached the Omaha Reservation. Then we sent a telegram
to the President: asked him if he had authorized this thing. We waited
three days for the answer. No answer came.

"In four days we reached our own home. We found the inspector there.
While we were gone, he had come to our people and told them to move.

"Our people said: 'Where are our chiefs? What have you done with them?
Why have you not brought them back? We will not move till our chiefs
come back.'

"Then the inspector told them: 'To-morrow you must be ready to move. If
you are not ready you will be shot.' Then the soldiers came to the doors
with their bayonets, and ten families were frightened. The soldiers
brought wagons; they put their things in and were carried away. The rest
of the tribe would not move.

"When we got there, we asked the inspector why he had done this thing,
and he got very angry.

"Then we said to him: 'We did not think we would see your face again,
after what has passed. We thought never to see your face any more. But
here you are.'

"We said to him: 'This land is ours. It belongs to us. You have no right
to take it from us. The land is crowded with people, and only this is
left to us.'

"We said to him: 'Let us alone. Go away from us. If you want money, take
all the money which the President is to pay us for twelve years to come.
You may have it all, if you will go and leave us our lands.'

"Then, when he found that we would not go, he wrote for more soldiers to

"Then the soldiers came, and we locked our doors, and the women and
children hid in the woods. Then the soldiers drove all the people the
other side of the river, all but my brother Big Snake and I. We did not
go; and the soldiers took us and carried us away to a fort and put us in
jail. There were eight officers who held council with us after we got
there. The commanding officer said: 'I have received four messages
telling me to send my soldiers after you. Now, what have you done?'

"Then we told him the whole story. Then the officer said: 'You have done
no wrong. The land is yours; they had no right to take it from you. Your
title is good. I am here to protect the weak, and I have no right to
take you; but I am a soldier, and I have to obey orders.'

"He said: 'I will telegraph to the President, and ask him what I shall
do. We do not think these three men had any authority to treat you as
they have done. When we own a piece of land, it belongs to us till we
sell it and pocket the money.'

"Then he brought a telegram, and said he had received answer from the
President. The President said he knew nothing about it.

"They kept us in jail ten days. Then they carried us back to our home.
The soldiers collected all the women and children together; then they
called all the chiefs together in council; and then they took wagons and
went round and broke open the houses. When we came back from the council
we found the women and children surrounded by a guard of soldiers.

"They took our reapers, mowers, hay-rakes, spades, ploughs, bedsteads,
stoves, cupboards, everything we had on our farms, and put them in one
large building. Then they put into the wagons such things as they could
carry. We told them that we would rather die than leave our lands; but
we could not help ourselves. They took us down. Many died on the road.
Two of my children died. After we reached the new land, all my horses
died. The water was very bad. All our cattle died; not one was left. I
stayed till one hundred and fifty-eight of my people had died. Then I
ran away with thirty of my people, men and women and children. Some of
the children were orphans. We were three months on the road. We were
weak and sick and starved. When we reached the Omaha Reserve the Omahas
gave us a piece of land, and we were in a hurry to plough it and put in
wheat. While we were working the soldiers came and arrested us. Half of
us were sick. We would rather have died than have been carried back; but
we could not help ourselves."

Nevertheless they were helped. The news of their arrest, and the
intention of the Government to take them back by force to Indian
Territory, roused excitement in Omaha. An Omaha editor and two Omaha
lawyers determined to test the question whether the Government had a
legal right to do it. It seemed a bold thing, almost a hopeless thing,
to undertake. It has passed into a proverb that Providence is on the
side of the heaviest battalions: the oppressed and enslaved in all ages
have felt this. But there are times when a simple writ of habeas corpus
is stronger than cannon or blood-hounds; and this was one of these
times. Brought into the District Court of the United States for the
District of Nebraska, these Poncas were set free by the judge of that
court. Will not the name of Judge Dundy stand side by side with that of
Abraham Lincoln in the matter of Emancipation Acts?

The Government attorney, the Hon. G. M. Lambertson, made an argument
five hours long, said to have been both "ingenious and eloquent," to
prove that an Indian was not entitled to the protection of the writ of
habeas corpus, "_not_ being a person or citizen under the law."

Judge Dundy took several days to consider the case, and gave a decision
which strikes straight to the root of the whole matter—a decision which,
when it is enforced throughout our land, will take the ground out from
under the feet of the horde of unscrupulous thieves who have been
robbing, oppressing, and maddening the Indians for so long, that to try
to unmask and expose their processes, or to make clean their methods, is
a task before which hundreds of good men—nay, whole denominations of
good men—disheartened, baffled, and worn-out, have given up.

When Standing Bear found that by the decision of Judge Dundy he was
really a free man, and could go where he pleased, he made a speech which
should never be forgotten or left out in the history of the dealings of
the United States Government with the Indians.

After a touching expression of gratitude to the lawyers who had pleaded
his cause, he said: "Hitherto, when we have been wronged, we went to war
to assert our rights and avenge our wrongs. We took the tomahawk. We had
no law to punish those who did wrong, so we took our tomahawks and went
to kill. If they had guns and could kill us first, it was the fate of
war. But you have found a better way. You have gone into the court for
us, and I find that our wrongs can be righted there. Now I have no more
use for the tomahawk. I want to lay it down forever."

Uttering these words with eloquent impressiveness, the old chief,
stooping down, placed the tomahawk on the floor at his feet; then,
standing erect, he folded his arms with native dignity, and continued:
"I lay it down. I have no more use for it. I have found a better way."

Stooping again and taking up the weapon, he placed it in Mr. Webster's
hands, and said: "I present it to you as a token of my gratitude. I want
you to keep it in remembrance of this great victory which you have
gained. I have no further use for it. I can now seek the ways of peace."

The first use that Standing Bear made of his freedom was to endeavor to
procure the freedom of his tribe, and establish their legal right to
their old home in Dakota. Accompanied by a young and well-educated Omaha
girl and her brother as interpreters, and by Mr. Tibbles, the champion
and friend to whom he owed his freedom, he went to the Eastern States,
and told the story of the sufferings and wrongs of his tribe to large
audiences in many of the larger cities and towns. Money was generously
subscribed everywhere for the purpose of bringing suits to test the
question of the Poncas' legal right to the lands which the United States
Government had by treaty ceded to them in specified "townships," thus
giving to them the same sort of title which would be given to any
corporation or individual.

Very soon this movement of Standing Bear and his companions began to
produce on the community a strong effect, shown by the interest in their
public meetings, and by expressions of strong feeling in the newspapers.
This attracted the attention of the authorities at Washington. Letters
were published contradicting many of Standing Bear's assertions;
statements were circulated injurious to the reputation of all members of
the party. A careful observer of the whole course of the Department of
the Interior in this matter could not fail to come to the conclusion
that for some mysterious, unexplained, and unexplainable reason the
Department did not wish—in fact, was unwilling—that the Ponca tribe
should be reinstated on its lands. Discussions on the matter grew warm.
The inspector who had been concerned in their removal published long
letters reflecting equally on the veracity of Standing Bear and of the
Secretary of the Interior. Standing Bear replied in a few pithy words,
which were conclusive in their proving of the falsity of some of the
inspector's statements. The Secretary, also, did not think it beneath
his dignity to reply in successive newspaper articles to the inspector's
reflections upon him; but the only thing that was made clear by this
means was that either the Secretary or the inspector, or both, said what
was not true.

In Boston the interest in the Ponca case reached such a height that a
committee was appointed to represent the case in Washington, and to
secure legislation upon it. Standing Bear and his party went to
Washington, and, in spite of the secret hostility of the Interior
Department, produced a powerful impression upon Congress. Senator Dawes,
of Massachusetts, and Senator Morgan, of Alabama, both became warm
advocates of their cause. The subject once started, case after case came
up for investigation; and the Congressional committees called for
evidence in regard to several of the more striking instances of
injustice to Indians.

White Eagle, one of the Ponca chiefs, who had lost his wife and four
children, and who was himself fast sinking under disease developed by
the malarial Indian Territory, came to Washington and gave eloquent
testimony in behalf of his tribe. The physicians there predicted that he
had not three months to live. A bill was introduced into Congress for
restoring to the Poncas their old reservation in Dakota, and putting
their houses, farms, etc., in the same good condition they were at the
time of their removal.

The story of that removal was written out in full at the time by the
agent who superintended it. That he should forward this report to the
Department of the Interior was natural; but that the Department of the
Interior should have been willing to publish it to the country, to have
it on the official record of its management of Indian affairs for the
year 1877, is strange. It will make a fitting conclusion to this sketch
of the history of the Ponca tribe. The name of this agent was E. A.
Howard. He calls the report "Journal of the March."

"_May 21st._ Broke camp at seven o'clock and marched to Crayton, a
distance of thirteen miles. Roads very heavy. The child that died
yesterday was here buried by the Indians, they preferring to bury it
than to have it buried by the white people.

"_May 22d._ Broke camp at seven o'clock and marched to Neligh, a
distance of about twenty-five miles. The day was cool, and, the road
being high and comparatively good, the travel was made without much

"_May 23d._ The morning opened with light rain; but at eight o'clock a
terrific thunder-storm occurred of two hours' duration, which was
followed by steady rain throughout the day, in consequence of which we
remained in camp. During the day a child died, and several women and
children were reported sick, and medical attendance and medicine were
procured for them.

"_May 24th._ Buried the child that died yesterday in the cemetery at
Neligh, giving it a Christian burial. Broke camp at ten o'clock and
marched about eight miles, crossing the Elk-horn River about two miles
below Oakdale Village. Were unable to cross at Neligh, the road being
about two feet under water and the bridges being washed away. The road
was fearfully bad, and much time and labor were expended in making the
road and bridges at all passable over the Elk-horn flats, where the
crossing was effected.

"_May 25th._ Broke camp at six o'clock and marched twenty miles, to a
point on Shell Creek. No wood at this place, and none to be had except
what little had been picked up and brought in by the trains. Weather
cold, damp, and dreary. The Indians during the day behaved well, and
marched splendidly.

"_May 26th._ The morning opened with a heavy continuous rain, which
prevailed until ten o'clock. Broke camp at eleven o'clock and marched
eight miles farther down Shell Creek, when it again commenced raining,
and we went into camp. The evening set in cold and rainy, and no wood to
be had except what was purchased of a settler.

"_May 27th._ The morning opened cold, with a misty rain. Rain ceased at
half-past seven o'clock, and we broke camp at eight and marched eight
miles farther down Shell Creek, when, a heavy thunder-storm coming on,
we again went into camp. Several of the Indians were here found to be
quite sick, and having no physician, and none being attainable, they
gave us much anxiety and no little trouble. The daughter of Standing
Bear, one of the chiefs, was very low of consumption, and moving her
with any degree of comfort was almost impossible, and the same trouble
existed in transporting all the sick.

"_May 28th._ Last evening I gave orders to break camp at five o'clock
this morning, intending, if practicable, to reach Columbus before night;
but a heavy thunder-storm prevailed at that time. Broke camp at seven
o'clock. Marched seven miles, when we came to a slough confluent to
Shell Creek, which was only made passable after two hours of active work
in cutting willow-brush and bringing a large quantity of wheat straw
from a distance of thirty rods, with which we covered the road thickly.
After crossing the slough we marched to a point on Shell Creek and
camped, having made about fourteen miles during the day.

"_May 29th._ Broke camp at seven o'clock and crossed Shell Creek. For
about five miles the road led over a divide, and was quite good; but in
coming down on the flats, which extended for five miles between the
Bluffs and Columbus, we found the roads for the entire distance almost
impassable, owing to the many deep, miry sloughs which cross the road,
and the generally flooded and yielding condition of the soil aside from
the sloughs. Teams had to be frequently doubled, in order to get the
wagons through. The difficulties were finally overcome, and the train
marched into Columbus at two o'clock, and went into camp at Soap Fork,
having made a march of about ten miles, the march of five miles across
the flats occupying about seven hours. Major Walker, who had accompanied
us from the Niobrara River to this place with twenty-five soldiers,
under orders from the War Department, took leave of us, and returned to

It was asserted again and again by the Secretary of the Interior, and by
the inspector, E. C. Kemble, that these Indians were not removed by
force—that they consented to go.

In another part of this same report this agent says:

"On the 15th" (six days before the "march" began) "I held another
council, which was largely attended by the chiefs, headmen, and soldiers
of the tribe, and which was of more than four hours' duration. At this
council the Indians maintained that the Government had no right to move
them from the reservation, and demanded, as an inducement or equivalent
for them to give up the reservation and move to the Indian
Territory—first, the payment to them by the Government of the sum of
$3,000,000; and, second, that, before starting, I should show to them
the sum of $40,000 which they had been told had been appropriated by the
Government for their removal. To all of which I replied positively in
the negative, telling them that I would not accede to nor consider any
demands that they might make; but that I would take under my
consideration reasonable requests that they might submit touching their
removal, and, as their agent, do what I could for them in promoting
their welfare; that I demanded that they should at all times listen to
my words; that they should go with me to their new home; and that _they
should without delay give me their final answer whether they would go
peaceably or by force_. The Indians refused to give answer at this time;
the council closed without definite results; and the Indians dispersed
with a sullen look and determined expression."

This evidently was not the "consent" of which we have heard. We come to
it presently.

"On the following morning, however, May 16th, they sent word to me, at
an early hour, that they had considered my words, and had concluded to
go with me, and that they wanted assistance in getting the old and
infirm, together with their property, over the Niobrara River, which was
much swollen by the rains and at a low temperature."

What a night must these helpless creatures have passed before this
"consent" was given! Seven hundred people, _more than half of them women
and children_; a farming people, not armed with rifles, as the Ogallalla
Sioux were, when, one year later, on this same ground, the Chief Spotted
Tail told Commissioner Hayt that, if he did not give an order to have
his tribe on the way back to White Clay Creek in ten days, his young men
would go on the war-path at once; and the much-terrified commissioner
wrote the order then and there, and the Sioux were allowed to go where
they had chosen to go. Behold the difference between the way our
Government treats the powerful and treats the weak! What could these
Ponca farmers do? They must, "without delay," give their "final answer
whether they would go peaceably or _by force_." What did "_by force_"
mean? It was "_by force_" that the Government undertook to compel the
Cheyennes to go to Indian Territory; and in that Cheyenne massacre the
Cheyenne men, women, children, and babies were all shot down together!

What could these Ponca farmers do? What would any father, brother,
husband have done under the circumstances? He would have "consented" to

The agent, as was wise, took them at their word, quickly, and that very
day, "at five o'clock P.M., had the entire tribe, with their effects,
across the river, off the reservation, and in camp in Nebraska."

The agent should have said, "with part of their effects," for it was
only a part, and a very small part, that this helpless _consenting_
party were allowed to take with them. All their agricultural implements
and most of their furniture were left behind.

"It was a hard day's work," the getting the tribe and their "effects"
across the river, the agent says; "the river being about forty rods
wide, and the current so swift that it was found impossible to move the
goods across in any other way than by packing them on the shoulders of
the men, the quicksand bottom rendering it unsafe to trust them on the
backs of animals; even the wagons having to be drawn across by hand."

Let us dwell for a moment on this picture. Seven hundred helpless,
heart-broken people beginning their sad journey by having to ford this
icy stream with quicksands at bottom. The infirm, the sick, the old, the
infants, all carried "by packing them on the shoulders of the men!" What
a scene! The Honorable Secretary of the Interior said, in one of the
letters in his newspaper controversy with the inspector in regard to the
accounts of this removal, that "the highly-colored stories which are
told about the brutal military force employed in compelling their [the
Poncas'] removal from Dakota to the Indian Territory are sensational
fabrications; at least, the official record, which is very full, and
goes into minute details, does not in the least bear them out."

There was never any accusation brought against the "military force" of
"brutality" in this removal. The brutality was on the part of the
Government. The simple presence of the "military force" was brutal. It
meant but one thing. The Indians understood it, and the Government
intended that they should understand it; and when the agent of the
Government said to these Indians that they must give him their "final
answer whether they would go peaceably or by force," he intended that
they should understand it. Has anybody any doubt what were the orders
under which that "military force" was there? any doubt what it would
have been the military duty of Major Walker to have done in case the
Poncas had refused to "consent" to go?

And now let us return to the "Official Record," which is, indeed, as the
Honorable Secretary of the Interior says, "very full,"and" goes into
minute details," and let us see in how much it will "bear us out;" and
when we have done with this "Official Record," let us ask ourselves if
any imagination could have invented so "highly-colored" a "story" as it

"_June 2d._ Broke camp at seven o'clock and marched seventeen miles,
going into camp near Ulysses. Roads in bad condition.

"_June 3d._ Had some trouble in getting started. Broke camp at eleven
o'clock and marched eight miles. Went into camp on Blue River. Many
people sick, one of whom was reported in a dying condition. Had bad
roads. Rained during afternoon.

"_June 4th._ Broke camp at six o'clock. Marched fifteen miles, and went
into camp on Lincoln Creek, near Seward.

"_June 5th._ Broke camp at seven o'clock. Marched fourteen miles, and
went into camp near Milford. Daughter of Standing Bear, Ponca chief,
died at two o'clock, of consumption.

"_June 6th._ Remained in camp all day, for the purpose of obtaining
supplies. Prairie Flower, wife of Shines White and daughter of Standing
Bear, who died yesterday, was here given Christian burial, her remains
being deposited in the cemetery at Milford, Nebraska, a small village on
Blue River.

"In this connection I wish to take official knowledge and recognition of
the noble action performed by the ladies of Milford, in preparing and
decorating the body of the deceased Indian woman for burial in a style
becoming the highest civilization. In this act of Christian kindness
they did more to ameliorate the grief of the husband and father than
they could have done by adopting the usual course of this untutored
people and presenting to each a dozen ponies. It was here that, looking
on the form of his dead daughter thus arrayed for the tomb, Standing
Bear was led to forget the burial-service of his tribe, and say to those
around him that he was desirous of leaving off the ways of the Indian
and adopting those of the white men.

"_June 7th._ Quite a heavy rain during the afternoon. The storm, most
disastrous of any that occurred during the removal of the Poncas under
my charge, came suddenly upon us while in camp on the evening of this
day. It was a storm such as I never before experienced, and of which I
am unable to give an adequate description. The wind blew a fearful
tornado, demolishing every tent in camp, and rending many of them into
shreds, overturning wagons, and hurling wagon-boxes, camp-equipages,
etc., through the air in every direction like straws. Some of the people
were taken up by the wind and carried as much as three hundred yards.
Several of the Indians were quite seriously hurt, and one child died the
next day from injuries received, and was given Christian burial. The
storm caused a delay until the 8th for repairs, and for medical
attendance upon the injured.

"_June 8th._ Broke camp at Milford and marched seven miles. Roads very
bad. Child died during the day.

"_June 9th._ Put the child that died yesterday in the coffin and sent it
back to Milford, to be buried in the same grave with its aunt, Prairie
Flower. Broke camp at seven o'clock and marched to within three miles of

"_June 10th._ Broke camp at seven o'clock and marched one mile beyond De
Witt, where I employed a physician to visit camp and prescribe for the
sick. A woman had a thumb accidentally cut off, which caused further
commotion in the camp.

"_June 12th._ Broke camp at seven o'clock and marched to within two
miles of Otoe Agency. Crossed Wolf Creek with a part of the train, the
crossing being very difficult; but the Indians worked splendidly."

"The Indians worked splendidly!" Is not this a well-nigh incredible
record of patience and long-suffering? These poor creatures, marching
from ten to twenty-five miles a day, for twenty-two days, through muddy
sloughs, swollen rivers, in tempests and floods and dreary cold, leaving
their wives and their children dead by the way—dead of the sufferings of
the march—are yet docile, obedient, and "work splendidly!"

"_June 13th._ After considerable time we succeeded in building a bridge
over Wolf Creek out of drift-timber, and succeeded in crossing the
balance of the train. Broke camp and marched three miles, and went into
camp again near Otoe Agency.

"_June 14th._ Water-bound, and had to remain in camp all day waiting for
creek to run down. The Otoe Indians came out to see the Poncas, and gave
them ten ponies.

"_June 15th._ Still water-bound. Remained in camp all day.

"_June 16th._ Broke camp at seven o'clock and reached Marysville,
Kansas, where we went into camp. During the march a wagon tipped over,
injuring a woman quite severely. Indians out of rations, and feeling

What wonder that the Indians felt hostile? Hunger added to all the rest
of their direful misery!

"_June 18th._ Broke camp at seven o'clock. Marched nine miles and went
into camp at Elm Creek. Little Cottonwood died. Four families determined
to return to Dakota. I was obliged to ride nine miles on horseback to
overtake them, to restore harmony, and settle difficulty in camp. Had
coffin made for dead Indian, which was brought to camp at twelve o'clock
at night from Blue Rapids. A fearful thunder-storm during the night,
flooding the camp-equipage."

This is a "highly-colored" story, indeed! The darkness; the camp flooded
by the driving rain; thunder and lightning; a messenger arriving at
midnight with a coffin; the four families of desperate fugitives setting
out to flee back to their homes! What "sensational fabrication" could
compete with this?

"_June 19th._ The storm of last night left the roads in an impassable
condition, and, in consequence, was obliged to remain in camp all day.
Buried Little Cottonwood in a cemetery about five miles from camp. ***

"_June 25th._ Broke camp at six o'clock. Marched to a point about
fifteen miles farther up Deep Creek. Two old women died during the day.

"_June 30th._ Broke camp at six o'clock. Passed through Hartford, and
camped about six miles above Burlington. A child of Buffalo Chief died
during the day. ***

"_July 2d._ Broke camp at six o'clock. Made a long march of fifteen
miles for Noon Camp, for reason that no water could be got nearer. An
Indian became hostile, and made a desperate attempt to kill White Eagle,
head chief of the tribe. For a time every male in camp was on the
war-path, and for about two hours the most intense excitement prevailed,
heightened by continued loud crying by all the women and children."

This Indian, who is reported here as having "become hostile," no doubt,
tried to kill White Eagle for having allowed the tribe to be brought
into all this trouble. It is the general feeling among the less
intelligent members of a tribe that their chiefs are bound, under all
circumstances, to see that they come to no harm.

"_July 9th._ Broke camp at six o'clock, passing through Baxter Springs
at about one o'clock. Just after passing Baxter Springs a terrible
thunder-storm struck us. The wind blew a heavy gale and the rain fell in
torrents, so that it was impossible to see more than four or five rods
distant, thoroughly drenching every person and every article in the
train, making a fitting end to a journey commenced by wading a river and
thereafter encountering innumerable storms.

"During the last few days of the journey the weather was exceedingly
hot, and the teams terribly annoyed and bitten by green-head flies,
which attacked them in great numbers. Many of the teams were nearly
exhausted, and, had the distance been but little farther, they must have
given out. The people were all nearly worn out from the fatigue of the
march, and were heartily glad that the long, tedious journey was at an
end, that they might take that rest so much required for the
recuperation of their physical natures." Now let us see what provision
the Government had made for that "rest" and "recuperation," surely "much
required" and fairly earned. Not one dollar had been appropriated for
establishing them in their new home; not one building had been put up.
This people was set down in a wilderness without one provision of any
kind for their shelter.

"It is a matter of astonishment to me," says Agent Howard (p. 100 of
this "Report"), "that the Government should have ordered the removal of
the Ponca Indians from Dakota to the Indian Territory without having
first made some provision for their settlement and comfort. Before their
removal was carried into effect an appropriation should have been made
by Congress sufficient to have located them in their new home, by
building a comfortable home for the occupancy of every family of the
tribe. As the case now is, no appropriation has been made by Congress
except of a sum little more than sufficient to remove them; and the
result is that these people have been placed on an uncultivated
reservation, to live in their tents as best they may, and await further
legislative action."

This journal of Mr. Howard's is the best record that can ever be written
of the sufferings of the Poncas in their removal from their homes. It is
"highly colored;" but no one, however much it may be for his interest to
do so, can call it "a sensational fabrication," or can discredit it in
the smallest particular, for it is an "official record," authorized and
endorsed by being published in the "Annual Report" of the Secretary of
the Interior.

The remainder of the Ponca tribe is still in Indian Territory, awaiting
anxiously the result of the efforts to restore to them their old homes,
and to establish the fact of their indisputable legal right to them.[27]

Footnote 27:

  See Appendix, Art. II., for later facts in the history of the Poncas.

                              CHAPTER VII.

                            THE WINNEBAGOES.

The Winnebagoes belonged to the Dakota family, but, so far as can be
known, were naturally a peace-loving people, and had no sympathy with
the more warlike tribes of their race. The Algonquins gave them the name
of Winnebagoes, or "people of the salt-water;" and as the Algonquin word
for salt-water and stinking-water was the same, the French called them
"Les Puants," or "Stinkards." The Sioux gave them a more melodious and
pleasing name, "O-ton-kah," which signified "The large, strong people."

Bancroft, in his account of the North American tribes, says: "One little
community of the Dakota (Sioux) family had penetrated the territories of
the Algonquins: the Winnebagoes dwelling between Green Bay and the lake
that bears their name preferred to be environed by Algonquins than to
stay in the dangerous vicinity of their own kindred."

One of the earliest mentions that is found of this tribe, in the
diplomatic history of our country, is in the reports given of a council
held in July, 1815, at "Portage des Sioux," in Missouri, after the
treaty of Ghent. To this council the Winnebagoes refused to send
delegates; and their refusal was evidently considered a matter of some
moment. The commissioners "appointed to treat with the North-western
Indians" at this time reported that they found "the Indians much divided
among themselves in regard to peace with the United States." Some of
them "spoke without disguise of their opposition to military
establishments on the Mississippi," and many of them, "among whom were
the Winnebagoes, utterly refused to send deputies to the council." This
disaffection was thought by the commissioners to be largely due to the
influence of British traders, who plied the Indians with gifts, and
assured them that war would soon break out again between the United
States and Great Britain. It is probable, however, that the Winnebagoes
held themselves aloof from these negotiations more from a general
distrust of white men than from any partisan or selfish leaning to the
side of Great Britain; for when Dr. Jedediah Morse visited them, only
seven years later, he wrote: "There is no other tribe which seems to
possess so much jealousy of the whites, and such reluctance to have
intercourse with them, as this."

Spite of this reluctance they made, in 1816, a treaty "of peace and
friendship with the United States," agreeing "to remain distinct and
separate from the rest of their nation or tribe, giving them no
assistance whatever until peace shall be concluded between the United
States and their tribe or nation." They agreed also to confirm and
observe all the lines of British, French, or Spanish cessions of land to
the United States.

In 1825 the United States Government, unable to endure the spectacle of
Indians warring among themselves, and massacring each other, appears in
the North-western country as an unselfish pacificator, and compels the
Sacs, Foxes, Chippewas, and Sioux, including the Winnebagoes, to make a
treaty of peace and friendship with each other and with the United
States. The negotiations for this treaty occupied one month; which does
not seem a long time when one considers that the boundaries of all the
lands to be occupied by these respective tribes were to be defined, and
that in those days and regions definitions of distance were stated in
such phrases as "a half day's march," "a long day's march," "about a
day's paddle in a canoe," "to a point where the woods come out into the
meadows," "to a point on Buffalo River, half way between its source and
its mouth." These were surely precarious terms for peace to rest upon,
especially as it was understood by all parties that "no tribe shall hunt
within the actual limits of any other without their consent."

At the close of this treaty there occurred a curious incident, which
Schoolcraft calls "an experiment on the moral sense of the Indians with
regard to intoxicating liquors." "It had been said by the tribes that
the true reason for the Commissioners of the United States speaking
against the use of ardent spirits by the Indians, and refusing to give
it to them, was the fear of expense, and not a sense of its bad effects.
To show them that the Government was above such a petty motive, the
commissioners had a long row of tin camp-kettles, holding several
gallons each, placed on the grass; and then, after some suitable
remarks, each kettle was spilled out in their presence. The thing was
ill-relished by the Indians, who loved the whiskey better than the

At this time the lands of the Winnebagoes lay between the Rock and the
Wisconsin rivers, along the shore of Winnebago Lake, and the Indians
claimed that the whole lake belonged to them. It was here that President
Morse had found them living in 1822. He gives the following graphic
picture of their pleasant home: "They have five villages on the Lake,
and fourteen on Rock River. The country has abundance of springs, small
lakes, ponds, and rivers; a rich soil, producing corn and all sorts of
grain. The lakes abound with fine-flavored, firm fish." Of the Indians
themselves, he says: "They are industrious, frugal, and temperate. They
cultivate corn, potatoes, pumpkins, squashes, and beans, and are
remarkably provident. They numbered five hundred and eighty souls."

In 1827 a third treaty was signed by the Winnebagoes, Chippewas, and
Menomonies with the United States and with each other. This treaty
completed the system of boundaries of their lands, which had been only
partially defined by the two previous treaties. Of these three treaties
Schoolcraft says: "These three conferences embody a new course and
policy for keeping the tribes in peace, and are founded on the most
enlarged consideration of the aboriginal right of fee-simple to the
soil. They have been held exclusively at the charge and expense of the
United States, and contain no cession of territory."

They were the last treaties of their kind. In 1828 the people of
Northern Illinois were beginning to covet and trespass on some of the
Indian lands, and commissioners were sent to treat with the Indians for
the surrender of such lands. The Indians demurred, and the treaty was
deferred; the United States in the mean time agreeing to pay to the four
tribes $20,000, "in full compensation for all the injuries and damages
sustained by them in consequence of the occupation of any part of the
mining country."

In 1829 a benevolent scheme for the rescue of these hard-pressed tribes
of the North-western territory was proposed by Mr. J. D. Stevens, a
missionary at Mackinaw. He suggested the formation of a colony of them
in the Lake Superior region. He says—and his words are as true to-day,
in 1879, as they were fifty years ago: "The Indian is in every view
entitled to sympathy. The misfortune of the race is that, seated on the
skirts of the domain of a popular government, they have no vote to give.
They are politically a nonentity. *** The whole Indian race is not worth
one white man's vote. If the Indian were raised to the right of giving
his suffrage, a plenty of politicians on the frontiers would enter into
plans to better him; whereas now the subject drags along like an incubus
in Congress."

It did, indeed. Appropriations were sadly behindhand. The promises made
to the Indians could not be fulfilled, simply because there was no money
to fulfil them with. In 1829 a Washington correspondent writes to Mr.
Schoolcraft: "There is a screw loose in the public machinery somewhere.
In 1827 we were promised $48,000 for the Indian service, and got
$30,000; in 1828 $40,000, and got $25,000." A little later the Secretary
of War himself writes: "Our annual appropriation has not yet passed; and
when it will, I am sure I cannot tell."

In 1830 the all-engrossing topic of Congress is said to be "the removal
of the Indians. It occupies the public mind throughout the Union, and
petitions and remonstrances are pouring in without number."

Meantime the Indians were warring among themselves, and also retaliating
on the white settlers who encroached upon their lands. The inevitable
conflict had begun in earnest, and in September of 1832 the Winnebagoes
were compelled to make their first great cession of territory to the
United States. In exchange for it they accepted a tract west of the
Mississippi, and before the 1st of June, 1833, most of those who were
living on the ceded lands had crossed the river to their new homes.
Their title to this new country was not so good as they probably
supposed, for the treaty expressly stated that it was granted to them
"to be held as other Indian lands are held."

Article three of this treaty said, "As the country hereby ceded by the
Winnebagoes is more extensive and valuable than that given by the United
States in exchange," the United States would pay to the Winnebagoes
$10,000 annually in specie for twenty-seven years. The Government also
promised to put up buildings for them, send teachers, make various
allowances for stock, implements, tobacco, etc., and to furnish them
with a doctor.

The Winnebagoes agreed to deliver up some of their number who had
murdered white settlers. Lands were granted by patent to four
Winnebagoes by name—two men and two women; for what reason, does not
appear in the treaty.

Five years later the Winnebagoes ceded to the United States all their
lands east of the Mississippi, and also relinquished the right to
occupy, "except for hunting," a portion of that which they owned on the
west side. For this cession and relinquishment they were to receive
$200,000; part of this sum to be expended in paying their debts, the
expense of their removal and establishment in their new homes, and the
rest to be invested by the United States Government for their benefit.

In 1846 the Winnebagoes were forced to make another treaty, by which
they finally ceded and sold to the United States "all right, title,
interest, claim, and privilege to all lands heretofore occupied by
them;" and accepted as their home, "to be held as other Indian lands are
held," a tract of 800,000 acres north of St. Peter's, and west of the
Mississippi. For this third removal they were to be paid
$190,000—$150,000 for the lands they gave up, and $40,000 for
relinquishing the hunting privilege on lands adjacent to their own. Part
of this was to be expended in removing them, and the balance was to be
"left in trust" with the Government at five per cent. interest.

This reservation proved unsuited to them. The tribe were restless and
discontented; large numbers of them were continually roaming back to
their old homes in Iowa and Wisconsin, and in 1855 they gladly made
another treaty with the Government, by which they ceded back to the
United States all the land which the treaty of 1846 had given them, and
took in exchange for it a tract eighteen miles square on the Blue Earth
River. The improved lands on which they had been living, their mills and
other buildings, were to be appraised and sold to the highest bidder,
and the amount expended in removing them, subsisting them, and making
them comfortable in their new home. This reservation, the treaty said,
should be their "permanent home;" and as this phrase had never before
been used in any of their treaties, it is to be presumed that the
Winnebagoes took heart at hearing it. They are said to have "settled
down quietly and contentedly," and have gone to work immediately,
"ploughing, planting, and building."

The citizens of Minnesota did not take kindly to their new neighbors.
"An indignation meeting was held; a petition to the President signed;
and movements made, the object of all which was to oust these Indians
from their dearly-purchased homes," says the Report of the Indian
Commissioner for 1855.

Such movements, and such a public sentiment on the part of the
population surrounding them, certainly did not tend to encourage the
Winnebagoes to industry, or to give them any very sanguine hopes of
being long permitted to remain in their "permanent home." Nevertheless
they worked on, doing better and better every year, keeping good faith
with the whites and with the Government, and trusting in the
Government's purpose and power to keep faith with them. The only serious
faults with which they could be charged were drunkenness and gambling,
and both of these they had learned of the white settlers. In the latter
they had proved to be apt scholars, often beating professional gamblers
at their own game.

They showed the bad effects of their repeated removals, also, in being
disposed to wander back to their old homes. Sometimes several hundred of
them would be roaming about in Wisconsin. But the tribe, as a whole,
were industrious, quiet, always peaceable and loyal, and steadily
improving. They took hold in earnest of the hard work of farming; some
of them who could not get either horses or ploughs actually breaking up
new land with hoes, and getting fair crops out of it. Very soon they
began to entreat to have their farms settled on them individually, and
guaranteed to them for their own; and the Government, taking advantage
of this desire on their part, made a treaty with them in 1859, by which
part of their lands were to be "allotted" to individuals in "severalty,"
as they had requested, and the rest were to be sold, the proceeds to be
partly expended in improvements on their farms, and partly to be "left
in trust" with the Government. This measure threw open hundreds of
thousands of acres of land to white settlers, and drew the belt of
greedy civilization much tighter around the Indians. Similar treaties to
this had been already made with some of the Sioux tribes and with
others. It was evident that "the surplus land occupied by the Indians
was required for the use of the increasing white population," and that
it was "necessary to reduce the reservations."

There is in this treaty of 1859 one extraordinary provision: "In order
to render unnecessary any further treaty engagements or arrangements
with the United States, it is hereby agreed and stipulated that the
President, with the assent of Congress, shall have full power to modify
or change any of the provisions of former treaties with the Winnebagoes,
in such manner and to whatever extent he may judge to be necessary and
expedient for their welfare and best interest."

It is impossible to avoid having a doubt whether the chiefs and headmen
of the Winnebago tribe who signed this treaty ever heard that proviso.
It is incredible that they could have been so simple and trustful as to
have assented to it.

Prospects now brightened for the Winnebagoes. With their farms given to
them for their own, and a sufficient sum of money realized by the sale
of surplus lands to enable them to thoroughly improve the remainder,
their way seemed open to prosperity and comfort. They "entered upon
farming with a zeal and energy which gave promise of a prosperous and
creditable future."

"Every family in the tribe has more or less ground under cultivation,"
says their agent. He reports, also, the minutes of a council held by the
chiefs, which tell their own story:

"When we were at Washington last winter, we asked our Great Father to
take $300,000 out of the $1,100,000, so that we could commence our next
spring's work. We do not want all of the $1,100,000, only sufficient to
carry on our improvements. This money we ask for we request only as a
loan; and when our treaty is ratified, we want it replaced. We want to
buy cattle, horses, ploughs, and wagons; and this money can be replaced
when our lands are sold. We hope you will get this money: we want good
farms and good houses. Many have already put on white man's clothes, and
more of us will when our treaty is ratified.

"Father, we do not want to make you tired of talk, but hope you will
make a strong paper, and urgent request of our Great Father in respect
to our wishes."

In 1860 the Commissioner of Indian Affairs writes: "The Winnebagoes
continue steadily on the march of improvement. *** The progress of the
Winnebagoes in agricultural growths is particularly marked with success.
There have been raised by individuals as high as sixty acres of wheat on
a single farm. *** The agent's efforts have been directed to giving to
each Indian his own allotment of land. *** Wigwams are becoming as
scarce as houses were two years ago. *** All Indians who had horses
ploughed and farmed their own lands. *** The Indians were promised that
new and comfortable houses should be built for them. The treaty not yet
being ratified, I have no funds in my hands that could be made
applicable to this purpose. *** The greater part of the Indians have
entreated me to carry out the meaning of the commissioner on his visit
here, and the reasons for my not doing so do not seem comprehensible to
them. *** The school is in a flourishing condition."

In 1861 the commissioner writes that the allotment of lands in severalty
to the Winnebagoes has been "substantially accomplished;" but that the
sales of the remaining lands have not yet been made, owing to the
unsettled condition of the country, and therefore the funds on which the
Indians were depending for the improvements of their farms have not been
paid to them. They complain bitterly that the provisions of the treaty
of 1859 have not been fulfilled. "It has been two years and a half since
this treaty was concluded," says the agent, "and the Indians have been
told from one season to another that something would be done under it
for their benefit, and as often disappointed, till the best of them
begin to doubt whether anything will be done. *** The Indians who have
had their allotments made are 'clamoring for their certificates.'"

Drunkenness is becoming one of the serious vices of the tribe. They are
surrounded on all sides by white men who traffic in whiskey, and who
are, moreover, anxious to reduce the Indians to as degraded a state as
possible. "There are some circumstances connected with the location of
this tribe which make it more difficult to protect them from the ravages
of liquor-selling than any other tribe. They are closely surrounded by a
numerous white population, and these people feel very indignant because
the Indians are settled in their midst, and are disposed to make it as
uncomfortable for them to remain here as they can, hoping at some future
time they may be able to cause their removal."

The time was not far distant. In 1862 we find the Winnebagoes in trouble
indeed. A ferocious massacre of white settlers by the Sioux had so
exasperated the citizens of Minnesota, that they demanded the removal of
all Indians from the State. The people were so excited that not an
Indian could step outside the limits of the reservation without the risk
of being shot at sight. The Winnebagoes had utterly refused to join the
Sioux in their attack on the whites, and had been threatened by them
with extermination in consequence of this loyalty. Thus they were
equally in danger from both whites and Indians: their position was truly

In the Annual Report of the Interior Department for 1862 the condition
of things is thus described: "While it may be true that a few of the
Winnebagoes were engaged in the atrocities of the Sioux, the tribe, as
such, is no more justly responsible for their acts than our Government
would be for a pirate who happened to have been born on our territory.
Notwithstanding this, the exasperation of the people of Minnesota
appears to be nearly as great toward the Winnebagoes as toward the
Sioux. They demand that the Winnebagoes as well as the Sioux shall be
removed from the limits of the State. The Winnebagoes are unwilling to
move. Yet the Minnesota people are so excited that not a Winnebago can
leave his reservation without risk of being shot; and as they have never
received their promised implements of agriculture, and the game on their
reservation is exhausted, and their arms have been taken from them, they
are starving."

Their agent writes: "These Indians have been remaining here in a
continuous state of suspense, waiting for the Government to cause the
stipulations of the treaty of 1859 to be carried into operation: such
has been their condition for three years and a half, and they do not
understand why it is so. *** The fact that a very few of the Winnebagoes
were present and witnessed, if they did not take part in, the massacre
at the Lower Sioux Agency, has caused the Winnebagoes themselves to be
universally suspected of disloyalty. *** The hostile feelings of the
white people are so intense, that I am necessitated to use extra efforts
to keep the Indians upon their own lands. I have been notified by the
whites that the Indians will be massacred if they go out of their own
country; and it is but a few days since an Indian was killed while
crossing the Mississippi River, for no other reason than that he was an
Indian, and such is the state of public opinion that the murderer goes

As to the loyalty of the tribe, the agent says: "There is no tribe of
Indians more so." There is "no doubt of their loyalty as a tribe. *** In
consequence of a threat made by the Sioux, immediately upon their
outbreak, that they (the Sioux) would exterminate the Winnebagoes unless
they joined them in a raid against the white people, the Winnebagoes
have lived in fear of an attack from the Sioux, and have almost daily
implored me for protection. *** To further assure them, I requested of
the Governor of the State that two companies of United States infantry
be stationed here in their midst, which has allayed their fears. ***
Notwithstanding the nearness of the belligerent Sioux, and the
unfriendly feelings of the white people, and other unfortunate
circumstances, I am confident that my Indians will remain loyal to the
last. *** They have been informed that, notwithstanding their fidelity
to the Government and the people, the people of this State are
memorializing Congress to remove them out of the State—which they
consider very unjust under the circumstances, for they have become
attached to this location and would not leave it willingly, and think
their fidelity ought to entitle them to respect and kind treatment."

The "popular demand" of the people of Minnesota triumphed. In February,
1863, Congress passed an act authorizing the "peaceful and quiet removal
of the Winnebago Indians from the State of Minnesota, and the settling
of them on a new reserve." It was determined to locate them "on the
Missouri River somewhere within a hundred miles of Fort Randall, where
it is not doubted they will be secure from any danger of intrusion from
whites." All their guns, rifles, and pistols were to be taken from them,
"securely boxed up," labelled "with the names of their respective
owners." The Department impressed it on the agent in charge of the
removal that it was "absolutely necessary that no time should be lost in
the emigrating of these Indians." The hostile Sioux were to be removed
at the same time, and to a reservation adjoining the reservation of the
Winnebagoes. The reports of the Indian Bureau for 1863 tell the story of
this removal.[28]

Footnote 28:

  See Appendix, Art. VI.

The commissioner says: "The case of the Winnebagoes is one of peculiar
hardship. I am still of the opinion that this tribe was in no manner
implicated in or responsible for the cruel and wanton outbreak on the
part of the Sioux; but its consequences to the tribe have been as
disastrous as unmerited. In obedience to the Act of Congress, and the
popular demand of the people of Minnesota, they have been removed to a
new location upon the Missouri River, adjoining that selected for the
Sioux. Contrasting the happy homes, and the abundant supply for all
their wants which they have left behind them, with the extreme
desolation which prevails throughout the country, including their
present location, and their almost defenceless state, as against the
hostile savages in their vicinity, their present condition is truly
pitiable; and it is not surprising that they have become to some extent
discouraged, and are dissatisfied with their new homes. It cannot be
disguised that their removal, although nominally peaceable and with
their consent, was the result of the overwhelming pressure of the public
sentiment of the community in which they resided; and it is to be feared
that it will be many years before their confidence in the good faith of
our Government, in its professed desire to ameliorate and improve their
condition, will be restored. Their misfortunes and good conduct deserve
our sympathy."

The Act of Congress above mentioned provides for the peaceable removal
of the Indians. In its execution some of the members of the tribe were
found unwilling to leave their homes; and as there was neither the
disposition nor the power to compel them to accompany their brethren,
they remained upon their old reservation. The most of them are
represented as having entirely abandoned the Indian habits and customs,
and as being fully qualified by good conduct and otherwise for civilized
life. Many of them are enlisted in the military service, and all are
desirous of retaining possession of the homes allotted to them under the
provisions of their treaty.

"The trust lands belonging to the tribe have been placed in the market,
and from the amount already sold has been realized $82,537.62. An
appraisement has also been had of the lands of the diminished reserve,
and the same will soon be placed in the market."

In the Report of the Superintendent of the North-west Territory for the
same year is the following summing up of their case: "The case of these
Winnebago Indians is one of peculiar hardship. Hurried from their
comfortable homes in Minnesota, in 1863, almost without previous notice,
huddled together on steamboats with poor accommodations, and transported
to the Crow Creek Agency in Dakota Territory at an expense to themselves
of more than $50,000, they were left, after a very imperfect and hasty
preparation of their new agency for their reception, upon a sandy beach
on the west bank of the Missouri River, in a country remarkable only for
the rigors of its winter climate and the sterility of its soil, to
subsist themselves where the most industrious and frugal white man would
fail, five years out of six, to raise enough grain upon which to subsist
a family. The stern alternative was presented to this unfortunate
people, thus deprived of comfortable homes (on account of no crime or
misdemeanor of their own), of abandoning this agency, or encountering
death from cold or starvation. They wisely chose the former; and after
encountering hardships and sufferings too terrible to relate, and the
loss of several hundred of their tribe by starvation and freezing, they
arrived at their present place of residence [the Omaha Agency] in a
condition which excited the active sympathy of all who became acquainted
with the story of their wrongs. There they have remained, trusting that
the Government would redeem its solemn promise to place them in a
position west of the Missouri which should be as comfortable as the one
which they occupied in Minnesota.

"This tribe is characterized by frugality, thrift, and industry to an
extent unequalled by any other tribe of Indians in the North-west. Loyal
to the Government, and peaceable toward their neighbors, they are
entitled to the fostering care of the General Government. The
improvement of the homes which they have voluntarily selected for their
future residence will place them in a short time beyond the reach of
want, and take from the Government the burden of supplying their wants
at an actual expense of $100,000."

It was in May, 1863, that the Winnebagoes gathered at Fort Snelling,
ready for their journey. The chiefs are said to have "acquiesced in the
move as a matter of necessity, for the protection of their people," but
some of them "actually shed tears on taking leave." Colonel Mix, who was
in charge of this removal, wrote to Washington, urgently entreating that
tents at least might be provided for them on their arrival at their new
homes in the wilderness. He also suggests that it is a question whether
they ought to be settled so near the hostile Sioux, especially as just
before leaving Minnesota some of the tribe had "scalped three Sioux
Indians, thinking it would propitiate them in the kind regards of their
Great Father at Washington, and, as a consequence, they would perhaps be
permitted to remain in Minnesota."

The removal was accomplished in May and June. There were, all told, 1945
of the Winnebagoes. They arrived to find themselves in an almost barren
wilderness—a dry, hard soil, "too strong for ploughs;" so much so, that
it was "difficult to get a plough to run a whole day without breaking."
A drought had parched the grass, so that in many places where the
previous year several tons of good hay to an acre had been raised there
was not now "pasturage for a horse." The cottonwood timber, all which
could be procured, was "crooked, difficult to handle, full of
wind-shakes, rots, etc." The channel of the Missouri River here was so
"changeable," and the banks so low, that it was "dangerous to get too
near." They were obliged therefore to settle half a mile away from the
river. No wonder that on July 1st the Winnebagoes are reported as "not
pleased with their location, and anxious to return to Minnesota, or to
some other place among the whites." They gathered together in council,
and requested Superintendent Thompson to write to their Great Father for
permission "to move among the whites again. *** They have lived so long
among the whites that they are more afraid of wild Indians than the
whites are." The superintendent hopes, however, they will be more
contented as soon as he can get them comfortable buildings. But on July
16th we find Brigadier-general Sulley, commander of the North-western
expedition against Indians, writing to the Department in behalf of these
unfortunate creatures. General Sulley having been detained in camp near
Crow Creek on account of the low water, the chiefs had gone to him with
their tale of misery. "They stated that nothing would grow here. They
dare not go out to hunt for fear of other tribes, and they would all
starve to death. This I believe to be true, without the Government
intends to ration them all the time. The land is sandy, dry, and parched
up. *** The land is poor; a low, sandy soil. I don't think you can
depend on a crop of corn even once in five years, as it seldom rains
here in the summer. *** I find them hard at work making canoes, with the
intention of quitting the agency and going to join the Omahas or some
other tribe down the river. They said they had been promised to be
settled on the Big Sioux River. *** I told them they must stay here till
they get permission from Washington to move; that, if they attempted it,
they would be fired on by my troops stationed down the river."

This is a graphic picture of the condition of a band of two thousand
human beings, for whose "benefit" $82,537.62 had just been realized from
sale of their lands by the Government, to say nothing of the property
they owned in lands yet unsold, and in annuity provisions of previous
treaties to the amount of over $1,000,000 capital! Is not their long
suffering, their patience, well-nigh incredible?

Spite of the dread of being fired on by the United States troops, they
continued to make canoes and escape in them from this "new home" in the
desert, and in October the Department of the Interior began to receive
letters containing paragraphs like this: "I have also to report that
small detachments of Winnebagoes are constantly arriving in canoes,
locating on our reserve, and begging for food to keep them from
starving."—_Agent for Omaha Agency._

These are the men who only one year before had been living in
comfortable homes, with several hundred acres of good ground under
cultivation, and "clamoring for certificates" of their "allotted"
farms—now shelterless, worse than homeless, escaping by canoe-loads,
under fire of United States soldiers, from a barren desert, and
"clamoring" for food at Indian agencies!

The Department of the Interior promptly reports to the Superintendent of
Indian Affairs in Minnesota this "information," and calls it
"astounding." The Department had "presumed that Agent Balcombe would
adopt such measures as would induce the Winnebagoes to remain upon their
reservation," and had "understood that ample arrangements had been made
for their subsistence." It, however, ordered the Omaha agent to feed the
starving refugees till spring, and it sent word to those still remaining
on the reservation that they must not "undertake to remove without the
consent of their Great Father, as it is his determination that a home
that shall be healthy, pleasant, and fertile, shall be furnished to them
at the earliest practicable moment."

This was in the autumn of 1863. In one year no less than 1222 of the
destitute Winnebagoes had escaped and made their way to the Omaha
Reservation in Nebraska. Here the Superintendent of the Northern
Superintendency held a council with them.

"They expressed," he says, "a strong desire to have some arrangement
made by which they would be allowed to occupy a portion of that
reservation. It was represented that the Omahas wished it also. *** I
found that I could not gain their consent to go back to their
reservation, and I had no means within my reach of forcing them back,
even if I had deemed it proper to do so." The superintendent
recommended, therefore, that they be subsisted where they were "until
some arrangement be made for their satisfaction, or some concert of
action agreed upon between the War Department and the Interior
Department by which they can be kept on their reservation after they
shall have been moved there."

In September of this same year the agent for the Winnebago Reserve wrote
that the absence of a protecting force had been one of the reasons of
the Indians leaving in such numbers. "Both the Winnebagoes and Sioux who
have stayed here have lived in fear and trembling close to the stockade,
and have refused to separate and live upon separate tracts of land."

He gives some further details as to the soil and climate. "The region
has been subject, as a general rule, to droughts, and the destructive
visits of grasshoppers and other insects. The soil has a great quantity
of alkali in it; it is an excessively dry climate; it very seldom rains,
and dews are almost unknown here: almost destitute of timber. *** It is
generally supposed that game is plenty about here. This is an erroneous
impression. There are but a very few small streams, an entire absence of
lakes, and an almost entire destitution of timber—the whole country
being one wilderness of dry prairie for hundreds of miles around; hence
there is but a very little small game, fish, or wild fruit to be found.
In former times the buffalo roamed over this country, but they have
receded, and very seldom come here in any numbers. *** The Indians must
have horses to hunt them: horses they have not. The Winnebagoes had some
when they first arrived, but they were soon stolen by the hostile

Agent Balcombe must have led a hard life on this reservation. Exposed to
all the inconveniences of a remote frontier, three hundred miles from
any food-raising country; receiving letters from the Interior Department
expressing itself "astounded" that he does not "induce the Indians in
his charge to remain on their reservation;" and letters from citizens,
and petitions from towns in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska,
imploring him to "gather up" all the wandering Winnebagoes who have been
left behind; unprovided with any proper military protection, and
surrounded by hostile Indians—no wonder that he recommends to the
Government "to remove and consolidate" the different tribes of Indians
into "one territory" as soon as possible.

The effects of this sojourn in the wilderness upon the Winnebagoes were
terrible. Not only were they rendered spiritless and desperate by
sufferings, they were demoralized by being brought again into conflict
with the wild Sioux. They had more than one skirmish with them, and, it
is said, relapsed so far into the old methods of their barbaric life
that at one of their dances they actually roasted and ate the heart of a
Sioux prisoner! Yet in less than a year after they were gathered
together once more on the Omaha Reservation, and began again to have
hopes of a "permanent home," we find their chiefs and headmen sending
the following petition to Washington:

and headmen of your dutiful children the Winnebagoes.

"Father, we cannot see you. You are far away from us. We cannot speak to
you. We will write to you; and, Father, we hope you will read our letter
and answer us.

"Father: Some years ago, when we had our homes on Turkey River, we had a
school for our children, where many of them learned to read and write
and work like white people, and we were happy.

"Father: Many years have passed away since our school was broken up; we
have no such schools among us, and our children are growing up in
ignorance of those things that should render them industrious,
prosperous, and happy, and we are sorry. Father: It is our earnest wish
to be so situated no longer. It is our sincere desire to have again
established among us such a school as we see in operation among your
Omaha children. Father: As soon as you find a permanent home for us,
will you not do this for us? And, Father, as we would like our children
taught the Christian religion, as before, we would like our school
placed under the care of the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions. And
last, Father, to show you our sincerity, we desire to have set apart for
its establishment, erection, and support, all of our school-funds and
whatever more is necessary.

"Father: This is our prayer. Will not you open your ears and heart to
us, and write to us?"

This letter was signed by thirty-eight of the chiefs and headmen of the

In March, 1865, a new treaty was made between the United States and this
long-suffering tribe of Indians, by which, in consideration of their
"ceding, selling, and conveying" to the United States all their right in
the Dakota Reserve, the United States agreed "to set apart for the
occupation and future home of the Winnebago Indians forever" a certain
tract of 128,000 acres in Nebraska—a part of the Omaha Reservation which
the Omahas were willing to sell. The United States also agreed to erect
mills, break land, furnish certain amounts of seeds, tools, guns, and
horses, oxen and wagons, and to subsist the tribe for one year, as some
small reparation for the terrible losses and sufferings they had
experienced. From this word "forever" the Winnebagoes perhaps took

At the time of their removal from Minnesota, among the fugitives who
fled back to Wisconsin was the chief De Carry. He died there, two years
later, in great poverty. He was very old, but remarkably intelligent; he
was the grandson of Ho-po-ko-e-kaw, or "Glory of the Morning," who was
the queen of the Winnebagoes in 1776, when Captain Carver visited the
tribe. There is nothing in Carver's quaint and fascinating old story
more interesting than his account of the Winnebago country. He stayed
with them four days, and was entertained by them "in a very
distinguished manner." Indeed, if we may depend upon Captain Carver's
story, all the North-western tribes were, in their own country, a
gracious and hospitable people. He says: "I received from every tribe of
them the most hospitable and courteous treatment, and am convinced that,
till they are contaminated by the example and spirituous liquors of
their more refined neighbors, they will retain this friendly and
inoffensive conduct toward strangers."

He speaks with great gusto of the bread that the Winnebago women made
from the wild maize. The soft young kernels, while full of milk, are
kneaded into a paste, the cakes wrapped in bass-wood leaves, and baked
in the ashes. "Better flavored bread I never ate in any country," says
the honest captain.

He found the Winnebagoes' home truly delightful. The shores of the lake
were wooded with hickory, oak, and hazel. Grapes, plums, and other
fruits grew in abundance. The lake abounded in fish; and in the fall of
the year with geese, ducks, and teal, the latter much better flavored
than those found nearer the sea, as they "acquire their excessive
fatness by feeding on the wild rice which grows so plentifully in these

How can we bear to contrast the picture of this peace, plenty, and
gracious hospitality among the ancient Winnebagoes with the picture of
their descendants—only two generations later—hunted, driven, starved?
And how can we bear to contrast the picture of the drunken, gambling
Winnebago of Minnesota with this picture which Captain Carver gives of a
young Winnebago chief with whom he journeyed for a few days?

Captain Carver, after a four days' visit with the Winnebagoes, and
"having made some presents to the good old queen, and received her
blessing," went on his way. Two months later, as he was travelling to
the Falls of St. Anthony, he encountered a young Winnebago chief going
on an embassy to some of the bands of the "Nadouwessies" (Sioux). This
young chief, finding that Captain Carver was about to visit the Falls,
agreed to accompany him, "his curiosity having been often excited by the
accounts he had received from some of his chiefs. He accordingly left
his family (for the Indians never travel without their households) at
this place under charge of my Mohawk servant, and we proceeded together
by land, attended only by my Frenchman, to this celebrated place. We
could distinctly hear the noise of the water full fifty miles before we
reached the Falls; and I was greatly pleased and surprised when I
approached this astonishing work of nature; but I was not long at
liberty to indulge these emotions, my attention being called off by the
behavior of my companion. The prince had no sooner gained the point that
overlooks this wonderful cascade than he began with an audible voice to
address the Great Spirit, one of whose places of residence he imagined
this to be. He told him that he had come a long way to pay his
adorations to him, and now would make him the best offerings in his
power. He accordingly threw his pipe into the stream; then the roll that
contained his tobacco; after these the bracelets he wore on his arms and
wrists; next an ornament that encircled his neck, composed of beads and
wires; and at last the ear-rings from his ears; in short, he presented
to his god every part of his dress that was valuable. During this he
frequently smote his breast with great violence, threw his arms about,
and appeared to be much agitated. All this while he continued his
adorations, and at length concluded them with fervent petitions that the
Great Spirit would constantly afford us his protection on our travels,
giving us a bright sun, a blue sky, and clear, untroubled waters; nor
would he leave the place till we had smoked together with my pipe in
honor of the Great Spirit.

"I was greatly surprised at beholding an instance of such elevated
devotion in so young an Indian. *** Indeed, the whole conduct of this
young prince at once charmed and amazed me. During the few days we were
together his attention seemed to be totally employed in yielding me
every assistance in his power, and even in so short a time he gave me
innumerable proofs of the most generous and disinterested friendship, so
that on our return I parted from him with the greatest reluctance."

In 1866 the report from the Winnebagoes is that they are "improving;"
manifest "a good degree of industry;" that the health of the tribe is
generally poor, but "as good as can be expected when we remember their
exposures and sufferings during the last three years." The tribe has
"diminished some four or five hundred since they left Minnesota." One
hundred soldiers have returned, "who have served with credit to
themselves and to their tribe in the defence of their country." No
school has yet been established on the agency, and this is said to be
"their greatest want."

The superintendent writes: "The appropriations under the late treaty
have all been made, and the work of fitting up the reservation is
progressing. It affords me the highest personal satisfaction to assure
the Department that this deeply-wronged and much-abused tribe will soon
be in all respects comfortable and self-sustaining. They entered upon
their new reservation late last May, and during the present year they
have raised at least twenty thousand bushels of corn."

In 1867 the Commissioner of Indian Affairs says: "The Winnebagoes have a
just claim against the Government on account of their removal from
Minnesota, the expenses of which _were borne out of their own tribal
funds_. The Government is clearly bound in all honor to refund to them
moneys thus expended."

It would seem that there could have been no question in the beginning as
to who should pay the costs of such a removal as that. It should not
even have been a tax on the general Government, but on the State of
Minnesota, which demanded it—especially as there was no shadow of doubt
that the demand was made—not because the citizens of Minnesota had any
real fear of the peaceable and kindly Winnebagoes (who were as much in
terror of the Sioux as they were themselves), but because they "coveted
the splendid country the Winnebagoes were occupying, and the Sioux
difficulties furnished the pretext to get rid of them with the aid of
Congressional legislation."

Some members of the tribe who remained in Minnesota still claimed their
"allotted" lands; "their share of all moneys payable to the Winnebagoes
under treaty stipulations, and that their share of the funds of the
tribe be capitalized and paid to them in bulk; their peculiar relations
as Indians be dissolved, and they left to merge themselves in the
community where they have cast their lot." The commissioner urges upon
the Government compliance with these requests.

In 1868 a school was opened on the Winnebago Agency, and had a daily
attendance of one hundred and fifty scholars. The tribe adopted a code
of laws for their government, and the year was one of peace and
quietness, with the exception of some dissatisfaction on the part of the
Indians in regard to three hundred cows, which, having been sent to the
agency in fulfilment of one of the provisions of the treaty, were
nevertheless ordered by the Indian Bureau to be "kept as Department
stock." The Indians very naturally held that they had a right to these
cows; nevertheless, they continued peaceable and contented, in the
feeling that they had "at last found a home," where they might "hope to
remain and cultivate the soil with the feeling that it is theirs, and
that their children will not in a few days be driven from their
well-tilled and productive lands." They are, however, "growing
exceedingly anxious for the allotment of their lands in severalty."

In 1869 "preparations" were "being made for allotting the lands to heads
of families."

In 1870 "the allotment of land in severalty to the Indians has been
nearly completed, each head of a family receiving eighty acres. *** The
Indians anxiously look for the patents to these, as many have already
commenced making improvements. *** At least thirty have broken four
acres of prairie apiece, and several have built houses. *** Three
schools are in operation, and four hundred acres of ground under

In this year comes also an interesting report from the stray Winnebagoes
left behind in Wisconsin. They and the stray Pottawattomies? who are in
the same neighborhood are "remarkably quiet and inoffensive, giving no
cause of complaint; on the contrary, the towns and villages where they
trade their berries, maple-sugar, etc., are deriving considerable
benefit from them: a number have been employed in lumbering, harvesting,
and hop-picking. A number of mill-owners and lumbermen have informed me
that the Indians they have employed in their business have been steady,
good hands. *** There are nearly one thousand of these Winnebagoes. Some
of them have bought land; others are renting it; and all express an
anxiety that the 'Great Father' should give them a reservation in this
region, and allow them to remain."

In 1871 the Nebraska Winnebagoes deposed their old chiefs, and elected
twelve new ones, to serve one year; these were mainly from the younger
members of the tribe who were in favor of civilization and progress.
This was an important step toward breaking up the old style of tribal

In 1872 we hear again from the "strays" in Wisconsin. The whites having
complained of them, Congress has appropriated funds to move them to
their respective tribes "west of the Mississippi;" but the removal has
not been undertaken "for various reasons," and the commissioner doubts
"whether it can be accomplished without additional and severe
legislation on the part of Congress, as the Indians are attached to the
country, and express great repugnance to their contemplated removal from

The poor creatures are not wanted anywhere. Spite of their being
"steady, good hands" for hired labor, and useful to towns and villages
in furnishing fruits and fish, the Wisconsin people do not want them in
their State. And the agent of the Winnebago Reservation writes,
earnestly protesting against their being brought there. He thinks they
are in moral tone far below the Indians under his charge. Moreover, he
says "the prejudice in the surrounding country is such" that he believes
it would be bad policy to remove any "more Indians" there. Nebraska does
not like Indians any better than Wisconsin does, or Minnesota did. He
adds also that his Indians "would be greatly stimulated to improve their
claims if they could secure the titles for them. They have waited three
years since the first allotments were made. It is difficult to make them
believe that it requires so long a time to prepare the patents, and they
are beginning to fear that they are not coming."

In 1873 the Winnebagoes are cited as a "striking example of what can be
accomplished in a comparatively short time in the way of civilizing and
Christianizing Indians. *** Their beautiful tract of country is dotted
over with substantially-built cottages; the farmers own their wagons,
horses, harness, furniture of their houses—dress in civilized costume,
raise crops—and several hundred Winnebago men assisted the farmers in
adjoining counties during the late harvest in gathering their grain
crop, and proved themselves efficient and satisfactory workmen."

In the winter of 1874 the Wisconsin "strays" were moved down to the
Nebraska Reservation. They were discontented, fomented dissatisfaction
in the tribe, and in less than a year more than half of them had
wandered back to Wisconsin again; a striking instance of the differences
in the Government's methods of handling different bands of Indians. The
thirty Poncas who ran away from Indian Territory were pursued and
arrested, as if they had been thieves escaping with stolen property; but
more than five hundred Winnebagoes, in less than one year, stroll away
from their reserve, make their way back to Wisconsin, and nothing is
done about it.

In 1875 there are only two hundred and four of the Wisconsin "strays"
left on the Nebraska Reservation. All the others are "back in their old
haunts, where a few seem to be making a sincere effort to take care of
themselves by taking land under the Homestead Act."

The Nebraska Winnebagoes are reported as being "nearly civilized;" all
are engaged in civilized pursuits, "the men working with their own
hands, and digging out of the ground three-fourths of their
subsistence." They have raised in this year 20,000 bushels of corn, 5800
bushels of wheat, and 6000 bushels of oats and vegetables. They have
broken 800 acres of new land, and have built 3000 rods of fencing.
Nearly one-sixth of the entire tribe is in attendance at schools. The
system of electing chiefs annually works well; the chiefs, in their
turn, select twelve Indians to serve for the year as policemen, and they
prove efficient in maintaining order.

What an advance in six years! Six years ago there were but twenty-three
homes and only 300 acres of land under cultivation on the whole
reservation; the people were huddled together in ravines and
bottom-lands, and were dying of disease and exposure.

In 1876 the Winnebagoes are reported again as "fast emerging from a
condition of dependence upon their annual appropriations. *** Each head
of a family has a patent for eighty acres of land. Many have fine farms,
and are wholly supporting themselves and families by their own industry.
*** The issue of rations has been discontinued, except to the Wisconsin
branch of the tribe and to the sick-list."

In what does this report differ from the report which would be rendered
from any small farming village in the United States? The large majority
"wholly supporting themselves and their families by their own industry;"
a small minority of worthless or disabled people being fed by
charity—_i.e._, being fed on food bought, at least in part, by interest
money due on capital made by sales of land in which they had a certain
reckonable share of ownership. Every one of the United States has in
nearly every county an almshouse, in which just such a class of
worthless and disabled persons will be found; and so crowded are these
almshouses, and so appreciable a burden is their support on the
tax-payers of State and county, that there are perpetual disputes going
on between the authorities of neighboring districts as to the ownership
and responsibility of individual paupers: for the paupers in civilized
almshouses are never persons who have had proceeds of land sales
"invested" for their benefit, the interest to be paid to them "annually
forever." It is for nobody's interest to keep them paupers, or to take
care of them as such.

We now find the Winnebagoes once more quietly established in comfortable
homes—as they were, in their own primitive fashion, in 1822, when Dr.
Morse visited them on the shores of their beautiful lake; as they were,
after our civilized fashion, in 1862, on the healthful and fertile
up-lands of Minnesota. In their present home they seem to have reason,
at last, to feel secure, to anticipate permanence, safety, and success.
Their lands have been allotted to them in severalty: each head of a
family has his patent for eighty acres. They are, in the main,

How does the United States Government welcome this success, this heroic
triumph of a patient people over disheartening obstacles and sufferings?

In the Annual Report of the Secretary of the Interior for 1876 the
Secretary says: "As a matter of economy, the greatest saving could be
made by uniting all the Indians upon a few reservations; the fewer, the
better." He says that there is land enough in the Indian Territory to
give every Indian—man, woman, and child—in the country seventy-five
acres apiece. He says, "The arguments are all in favor of the
consolidation." He then goes on to enumerate those arguments: "Expensive
agencies would be abolished; the Indians themselves can be more easily
watched over and controlled; evil-designing men be the better kept away
from them, and illicit trade and barter in arms and ammunition and
whiskey prevented. Goods could be supplied at a greater saving; the
military service relieved; the Indians better taught, and friendly
rivalry established among them—those most civilized hastening the
progress of those below them; and _most of the land now occupied as
reserves reverting to the General Government, would be open to entry and

Here are nine reasons given for removing all Indians to Indian
Territory. Five of these reasons ostensibly point to benefits likely to
accrue from this removal to the Indians. The other four point to
benefits likely to accrue to the Government; the first three of these
last are, simply, "saving;" the fourth is the significant one,
"gain"—"most of the land reverting to the General Government would be
open to entry and sale."

It was before this necessity of opening Indian lands "to entry and sale"
that the Winnebagoes had been fleeing, from 1815 to 1863. It seems they
are no safer now. There is evidently as much reason for moving them out
of Nebraska as there was for moving them out of Wisconsin and Minnesota.

The Secretary goes on to say: "As soon as the Indian is taught to toil
for his daily bread, and realize the sense of proprietorship in the
results of his labor, it cannot but be further to his advantage to be
able to appreciate that his labor is expended upon his individual
possessions and for his personal benefit. *** The Indian must be made to
see the practical advantage to himself of his work, and feel that he
reaps the full benefit of it. Everything should teach him that he has a
home; *** a hearth-stone of his own, around which he can gather his
family, and in its possession be entirely secure and independent."

The logical relation of these paragraphs to the preceding one is
striking, and the bearing of the two together on the case of the
Winnebagoes is still more striking.

In the same report the Commissioner for Indian Affairs says: "If
legislation were secured giving the President authority to remove any
tribe or band, or any portion of a tribe or band, whenever in his
judgment it was practicable, to any one of the reservations named, and
if Congress would appropriate from year to year a sum sufficient to
enable him to take advantage of every favorable opportunity to make such
removals, I am confident that a few years' trial would conclusively
demonstrate the entire feasibility of the plan. I believe that all the
Indians in Kansas, Nebraska, and Dakota, and a part at least of those in
Wyoming and Montana, could be induced to remove to the Indian

He adds "that the Indian sentiment is opposed to such removal is true,"
but he thinks that, "with a fair degree of persistence," the removal
"can be secured." No doubt it can.

Later in the same report, under the head of "Allotments in Severalty,"
he says: "It is doubtful whether any high degree of civilization is
possible without individual ownership of land. The records of the past,
and the experience of the present, testify that the soil should be made
secure to the individual by all the guarantees which law can devise, and
that nothing less will induce men to put forth their best exertions. It
is essential that each individual should feel that his home is his own;
*** that he has a direct personal interest in the soil on which he
lives, and that that interest will be faithfully protected for him and
for his children by the Government."

The commissioner and the secretary who wrote these clear statements of
evident truths, and these eloquent pleas for the Indians' rights, both
knew perfectly well that hundreds of Indians had had lands "allotted to
them" in precisely this way, and had gone to work on the lands so
allotted, trusting "that that interest would be faithfully protected by
the Government;" and that these "allotments," and the "certificates" of
them, had proved to be good for nothing as soon as the citizens of a
State united in a "demand" that the Indians should be moved. The
commissioner and the secretary knew perfectly well, at the time they
wrote these paragraphs, that in this one Winnebago tribe in Nebraska,
for instance, "every head of a family owned eighty acres of land," and
was hard at work on it—industrious, self-supporting, trying to establish
that "hearth-stone" around which, as the secretary says, he must "gather
his family, and in its possession be entirely secure and independent."
And yet the secretary and the commissioner advise the moving of this
Winnebago tribe to Indian Territory with the rest: "all the Indians in
Kansas, Nebraska, and Dakota" could probably be "induced to move," they

These quotations from this report of the Interior Department are but a
fair specimen of the velvet glove of high-sounding phrase of
philanthropic and humane care for the Indian, by which has been most
effectually hid from the sight of the American people the iron hand of
injustice and cruelty which has held him for a hundred years helpless in
its grasp.

In this same year an agent on one of the Nebraska agencies writes
feelingly and sensibly:

"Nothing has tended to retard the progress of this tribe in the line of
opening farms for themselves so much as the unsettlement occasioned by a
continued agitation of the subject of selling their reservation and the
removal of the tribe. *** The improvement that has been made at this
agency during the past three years in the direction of developing among
the Indians the means of self-support, seems to have caused an
uneasiness that has been prolific of a great deal of annoyance, inasmuch
as it has alarmed this speculative element around us with the fear that
the same (continued) will eventually plant the Indians on their present
fertile land so firmly that they cannot be removed, and thus they be
deprived of the benefits of manipulating the sale of their reservation."

Nevertheless, the Winnebagoes keep on in their work—building houses,
school-buildings, many of them of brick made on the ground.

In this year (1876) they experienced a great injustice in the passing of
an Act of Congress fixing the total amount to be expended for pay of
employés at any one agency at not more than $10,000. This necessitated
the closing of the fine building they had built at a cost of $20,000 for
the purpose of an industrial boarding-school.

In this year's report their agent gives a resumé of the financial
condition of the tribe: "By treaty proclaimed June 16th, 1838, the
Winnebagoes ceded to the United States all their land east of the
Mississippi, in consideration of which they were to receive $1,100,000.
The balance of this, after making certain payments, was to be invested
for their benefit, on which the United States guaranteed to pay them an
annual interest of not less than five per cent.

"The Winnebagoes receive no support from the Government, other than from
the interest appropriated annually on what remains of these funds. This
in 1870 amounted to over $50,000. Since then the half-breeds, numbering
one hundred and sixty persons, members of the tribe remaining in
Minnesota at the time of the removal of the Indians from that State in
1863, have, in accordance with the provisions of the act making
appropriations for the Indian service, approved March 3d, 1871, been
paid their proportion of the principal of all Winnebago funds, as shown
on the books of the Treasury at that time, including the proportion of
$85,000, on which but five more instalments of interest were to be paid,
per fourth Article treaty October 13th, 1846. In computing this
proportion, the whole number of the tribe considered as being entitled
to participate in the benefits of the tribal funds was 1531; which
number included only those located on the Winnebago reservation in
Nebraska at that time, in addition to the one hundred and sixty already
spoken of. By this Act of Congress the Nebraska Winnebagoes, who
comprise only that portion of the tribe which has complied with treaty
stipulations, and quietly acquiesced in the demands of the Government,
were deprived of nearly one-eighth part of their accustomed support.

"Other reductions were afterward made for the purchase of a reservation
adjoining the old one in this State, and for removing to it the
wandering bands of Winnebagoes in Wisconsin. These were supposed to have
numbered in all nearly one thousand persons. They had not been in the
habit of receiving any attention or acknowledgment from the Government
since they, as a tribal organization, had declined to treat with it.
Nearly all of them objected to removing from Wisconsin to their new
reservation in Nebraska, and, as a natural consequence, soon returned
after being compelled to do so. At the present time there are probably
less than one hundred of the number remaining here. For the past three
years the sum to which the Wisconsin Winnebagoes would have been
entitled had they remained on their reservation, amounting in all to
$48,521 07, has been set apart, awaiting such act of Congress as will
give relief in the premises; thus reducing the total amount received per
annum by that portion of the tribe living on the reservation to but
little more than one-half of what it was seven years ago. It seems
needless to say that they are very much dissatisfied at this, and that
when they refer to the subject I have some difficulty in satisfying them
as to the justice of the governmental policy in setting apart funds (to
be expended at some future time) for the benefit of certain individuals
who persist in absenting themselves from their reservation, while
others, who are absent but a few months, are deprived of all advantages
from issues of supplies or payments that may have been made during their

This case is a good illustration of the working of the trustee relation
between the United States Government and its wards.

In 1877 we find the Secretary of the Interior still recommending that
the Indians be "gradually gathered together on smaller reservations," to
the end that "greater facilities be afforded for civilization." He
reiterates that "the enjoyment and pride of individual ownership of
property is one of the most effective civilizing agencies," and
recommends that "allotments of small tracts of land should be made to
the heads of families on all reservations, to be held in severalty under
proper restrictions, so that they may have fixed homes."

The commissioner also recommends "a steady concentration of the smaller
bands of Indians on the larger reservations." He calls attention again
to the fact that there are 58,000 square miles in the Indian Territory
"set apart for the use of Indians, and that there they can be fed and
clothed at a greatly diminished expense; and, better than all, can be
kept in obedience, and taught to become civilized and self-supporting."

In 1878 the Commissioner of Indian Affairs reports that a bill has been
drawn "providing for the removal and consolidation of certain Indians in
the States of Oregon, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and
Minnesota, and the Territories of Washington and Dakota. *** A reduction
of twenty-five reservations and eleven agencies will thus be effected.
*** There will be restored to the public domain 17,642,455 acres of
land." He says that "further consolidations of like character are not
only possible, but expedient and advisable. *** There is a vast area of
land in the Indian Territory not yet occupied."

With the same ludicrous, complacent logic as before, he proceeds to give
as the reason for uprooting all these Indians from the homes where they
are beginning to thrive and take root, and moving them again—for the
third, fourth, fifth, sixth, or seventh time, as it may be—the fact
that, "among the most radical defects of the policy formerly pursued
with the Indians, has been the frequent changes in their location which
have been made. *** Permanent homes, sufficient aid to enable them to
build houses, cultivate the soil, and to subsist them until they have
harvested their first crops, will wean them entirely from their old
methods of life, and in the course of a few years enable them to become
entirely self-supporting. *** Among the more forcible arguments which
can be presented in connection with this subject is the fact that the
expenses attending the removal and consolidation of the Indians, as
herein proposed, _will be more than met from the sale of lands vacated_.
*** Much of the land now owned by these Indians is valuable only for its
timber, and may be sold at an appraised value for an amount far in
excess of the price fixed by law, and yet leave a large margin of profit
to the purchaser into whose hands the lands will fall. *** I can see no
reason why the Government should not avail itself of these facts, and in
effecting the consolidation of the Indians, and the opening of the lands
for settlement, sell the same for an amount sufficient to support the
Indians in their new locations, without any actual drain on the Treasury
in the future. *** The lands belong to the Indians, and they are clearly
entitled to receive the full value of the same when sold."

In this sentence we reach the high-water mark of the sophistry and
dishonesty of the Department's position. "The lands belong to the
Indians," but we will compel them to "restore to the public domain"
(_i.e._, to give up to white settlers) 17,642,455 acres of them. The
Indians "are clearly entitled to receive the full value of the same when
sold," but we will compel them to expend that "full value" in removing
to a place where they do not want to go, opening new lands, building new
houses, buying new utensils, implements, furniture and stock, and
generally establishing themselves, "without any actual drain on the
Treasury" of the United States: and the Department of the Interior "can
see no reason why the Government should not avail itself of these

All this is proposed with a view to the benefit of the Indians. The
report goes on to reiterate the same old story that the Indians must
have "a perfect title to their lands;" that they have come to feel that
they are at any time liable to be moved, "whenever the pressure of white
settlers upon them may create a demand for their lands," and that they
"decline to make any improvements on their lands, even after an
allotment in severalty has been made, until they have received their
patents for the same," and that even "after the issue of patents the
difficulties surrounding them do not cease." Evidently not, since, as we
have seen, it is now several years since every head of a family among
these Winnebagoes, whose "removal" the commissioner now recommends,
secured his "patent" for eighty acres of land.

Finally, the commissioner says: "Every means that human ingenuity can
devise, legal or illegal, has been resorted to for the purpose of
obtaining possession of Indian lands." Of this there would seem to be
left no doubt in the mind of any intelligent person, after reading the
above quotations.

It is not to be wondered that when the news of such schemes as these
reaches the Indians on their reservations great alarm and discontent are
the result. We find in the reports from the Nebraska agencies for this
year unmistakable indications of disheartenment and anxiety. The
Winnebagoes are reported to be very anxious to be made citizens. A
majority are in favor of it, "provided the Government will adopt certain
measures which they consider necessary for the care and protection of
their property."

They have had a striking illustration of the disadvantage of not being
citizens, in an instance of the unpunished murder of one of their number
by a white man. The story is related by the agent tersely and well, and
is one of the notable incidents in the history of the relation between
the United States Government and its wards.

"Henry Harris, a Winnebago in good standing, an industrious man and a
successful farmer, was employed by Joseph Smith, a white man, to cut
wood on his land in Dakota County, a short distance north of the
reservation. While alone and thus engaged, on the 29th of last January,
Harris was shot through the heart with a rifle-ball. I had his dead body
taken before the coroner of the county, and at the inquest held before
that officer it was shown, to the satisfaction of the jury that rendered
a verdict in accordance therewith, that the Indian came to his death at
the hands of one D. Balinska, who had been for many years leading a
hermit's life on a tract of land that he owned adjoining the
reservation, and who had threatened Harris's life a few months before,
when they quarrelled about damages for corn destroyed by Balinska's
horse. There being snow on the ground at the time of the murder,
Balinska was tracked from his home to the place where, under cover, he
did the shooting; and his shot-pouch, containing a moulded ball of the
same weight as the one cut from the body of the Indian, was found near
by and identified. Notwithstanding this direct evidence, which was laid
before the Grand-jury of Dakota County, that honorable body was
unwilling to find a 'true bill;' for the reason, as I understand, that
it was only an Indian that was killed, and it would not be popular to
incur the expense of bringing the case to trial. This is but another
illustration of the difficulty of punishing a white man for a wrong
committed against an Indian. I need hardly say that the Indians, when
comparing this murder with that of a white man, committed eight years
ago by five of their young men—who, upon less direct evidence, were
sentenced to imprisonment in the State Penitentiary for life—are struck
with the wonderful difference in the application of the same law to
whites and Indians."

The report from the Winnebago Agency for 1879 tells the story of the
sequel to this unpunished murder of Henry Harris. The agent says: "In my
last report I referred to the murder of one of our best Indian farmers
by a white man, who was afterward arrested and discharged without trial,
though there was no question as to his guilt. As a sequel to this, one
white man is known to have been killed last May by Holly Scott, a nephew
of the murdered Indian; and another white man is supposed to have been
killed by Eddy Priest and Thomas Walker, two young Indians who have left
for Wisconsin. The murdered white men had temporarily stopped with the
Indians. Their antecedents are unknown, and they are supposed to have
belonged to the fraternity of tramps. Holly Scott was arrested by the
Indian police, and turned over to the authorities of Dakota County for
trial, the State Legislature having at its last session extended the
jurisdiction of that county over this reservation, by what authority I
am unable to say.

"The effect of these murders was to unsettle the Indians, nearly all
industry being suspended for several weeks. They feared that the white
people would do as they did in Minnesota in 1862, after the Sioux
massacre, when the Winnebagoes were driven from their homes in
Minnesota. *** A number of our most quiet and industrious men became
alarmed, and moved their families to Wisconsin, encouraged in so doing
by the hope of receiving from the Government a share of the funds which
have been set apart from the annual appropriations during the past four
years for the benefit of the Wisconsin Winnebagoes, and which they
suppose aggregate a large amount which will soon be paid in cash."

This brings the story of the Winnebagoes down to the present time. What
its next chapter may be is saddening to think. It is said by those
familiar with the Nebraska Indians that, civilized though they be, they
will all make war to the knife if the attempt is made by the Government
to rob them of their present lands on the plea again of offering them a
"permanent home." That specious pretence has done its last duty in the
United States service. No Indian is left now so imbecile as to believe
it once more.

Whether the Winnebagoes' "patents" in Nebraska would, in such a case,
prove any stronger than did their "certificates" in Minnesota, and
whether the Winnebagoes themselves, peaceable and civilized though they
be, would side with the United States Government, or with their wronged
and desperate brethren, in such an uprising, it would be hard to

                             CHAPTER VIII.

                             THE CHEROKEES.

The Cherokees were the Eastern Mountaineers of America. Their country
lay along the Tennessee River, and in the highlands of Georgia,
Carolina, and Alabama—the loveliest region east of the Mississippi
River. Beautiful and grand, with lofty mountains and rich valleys
fragrant with flowers, and forests of magnolia and pine filled with the
singing of birds and the melody of streams, rich in fruits and nuts and
wild grains, it was a country worth loving, worth fighting, worth dying
for, as thousands of its lovers have fought and have died, white men as
well as red, within the last hundred years.

When Oglethorpe came with his cargo of Madeira wine and respectable
paupers from England in 1733, and lived in tents in midwinter on the
shores of the Savannah River, one of the first conditions of safety for
his colossal almshouse, in shape of a new colony, was that all the
Indians in the region should become its friends and allies.

The reputation of his goodness and benevolence soon penetrated to the
fastnesses of their homes, and tribe after tribe sent chiefs and headmen
to greet him with gifts and welcome. When the Cherokee chief appeared,
Oglethorpe said to him, "Fear nothing. Speak freely." "I always speak
freely," answered the mountaineer. "Why should I fear? I am now among
friends: I never feared, even among my enemies."

The principal intention of the English trustees who incorporated the
Georgia colony was to provide a home for worthy persons in England who
were "in decayed circumstances." Among other great ends which they also
avowed was "the civilization of the savages." In one of Oglethorpe's
first reports to the trustees he says: "A little Indian nation—the only
one within fifty miles—is not only in amity, but desirous to be subjects
to his Majesty King George; to have lands given to them among us, and to
breed their children at our schools. Their chief and his beloved man,
who is the second man in the nation, desire to be instructed in the
Christian religion."

The next year he returned to England, carrying with him eight Indian
chiefs, to show them "so much of Great Britain and her institutions as
might enable them to judge of her power and dignity. *** Nothing was
neglected," we are told, "that was likely to awaken their curiosity or
impress them with a sense of the power and grandeur of the nation." They
were received by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and by the Fellows of
Eton, and for a space of four months were hospitably entertained, and
shown all the great sights of London and its vicinity.

The tribes at home were much gratified by these attentions paid to their
representatives, and sent out to the trustees a very curious missive,
expressing their thanks and their attachment to General Oglethorpe. This
letter was the production of a young Cherokee chief. It was written in
black and red hieroglyphs on a dressed buffalo-skin. Before it was sent
to England it was exhibited in Savannah, and the meaning of the
hieroglyphs translated by an interpreter in a grand gathering of fifty
Indian chiefs and all the principal people of Savannah. Afterward the
curious document was framed and hung up in the Georgia Office in

When the Wesleyan missionaries arrived in Georgia, two years later, some
of the chiefs who had made this visit to England went to meet them,
carrying large jars of honey and of milk as gifts, to "represent their
inclinations;" and one of the chiefs said to Mr. Wesley, "I am glad you
are come. When I was in England I desired that some one would speak the
Great Word to me. I will go up and speak to the wise men of our nation,
and I hope they will hear. But we would not be made Christians as the
Spaniards make Christians; we would be taught before we are baptized."

In those early days Wesley was an intolerant and injudicious enthusiast.
His missionary work in the Georgia Colony was anything but successful in
the outset, either among the whites or the Indians, and there was ample
justification for the reply which this same Indian chief made later when
urged to embrace the doctrines of Christianity.

"Why, these are Christians at Savannah. Those are Christians at
Frederica. Christians get drunk! Christians beat men! Christians tell
lies! Me no Christian!" On another occasion Wesley asked him what he
thought he was made for. "He that is above," answered the chief, "knows
what he made us for. We know nothing; we are in the dark; but white men
know much. And yet white men build great houses, as if they were to live
forever. But white men cannot live forever. In a little time white men
will be dust as well as I."

For twenty years Oglethorpe's colony struggled on under great
difficulties and discouragements. Wars with France and with Spain;
tiresome squabbles with and among Methodist missionaries, all combined
to make Oglethorpe's position hard. Again and again England would have
lost her colony except for the unswerving fidelity of the Indian allies;
they gathered by hundreds to fight for Oglethorpe. In one expedition
against the frontier, four hundred Creeks and six hundred Cherokees set
out in one day, under an urgent call for help sent by Indian runners to
their towns. His Indian friends were the only friends Oglethorpe had who
stood by him past everything: nothing could shake their fidelity.

"He is poor; he can give you nothing," said the St. Augustine Spaniards
to a Creek chief at this time; "it is foolish for you to go to him:" and
they showed to the Indian a fine suit of scarlet clothes, and a sword,
which they were about to give to a chief of the Tennessees who had
become their ally.

But the Creek answered, "We love him. It is true, he does not give us
silver; but he gives us everything we want that he has. He has given me
the coat off his back, and the blanket from under him."

At last the trustees of the Georgia Colony lost patience: very bitterly
they had learned that paupers, however worthy, are not good stuff to
build new enterprises of. In eighteen years the colony had not once
furnished a sufficient supply of subsistence for its own consumption:
farms which had been cultivated were going to ruin; and the country was
rapidly degenerating in every respect. Dishonest traders had tampered
with and exasperated the Indians, so that their friendliness could no
longer be implicitly trusted. For everything that went wrong the English
Company was held responsible, and probably there were no happier men in
all England on the 20th of June, 1752, than were the Georgia trustees,
who on that day formally resigned their charter, and washed their hands
of the colony forever.

The province was now formed into a royal government, and very soon
became the seat of frightful Indian wars. The new authorities neither
understood nor kept faith with the Indians: their old friend Oglethorpe
had left them forever, and the same scenes of treachery and massacre
which were being enacted at the North began to be repeated with
heart-sickening similarity at the South. Indians fighting
Indians—fighting as allies to-day with the French, to-morrow with the
English; treaties made, and broken as soon as made; there was neither
peace nor safety anywhere.

At last, in 1763, a treaty was concluded with the chiefs and headmen of
five tribes, which seemed to promise better things. The Cherokees and
Creeks granted to the King of England a large tract of land, cleared off
their debts with the sum paid for it, and observed its stipulations
faithfully for several years, until peace was again destroyed, this time
by no fault of the Indians, in consequence of the revolt of the American
Colonies against Great Britain. The English loyalists in Georgia now
availed themselves of the Indians' old habit of allegiance to the Crown.
One of their leading agents took a Cherokee woman as his mistress,
placed her at the head of his table, gave her the richest dress and
equipage that the country could afford, and distributed through her
lavish gifts to all the Indians he could reach. When war actually broke
out he retreated with her into the fastnesses of the Cherokee nation,
where he swayed them at his will. Attempts to capture him were repelled
by the Cherokees with ferocity. Prisoners taken by them at this time
were tortured with great cruelty; one instance is recorded (in a journal
kept by another prisoner, who escaped alive) of a boy about twelve years
of age who was suspended by the arms between two posts, and raised about
three feet from the ground. "The mode of inflicting the torture was by
light-wood splints of about eighteen inches long, made sharp at one end
and fractured at the other, so that the torch might not be extinguished
by throwing it. After these weapons of death were prepared, and a fire
made for the purpose of lighting them, the scene of horror commenced. It
was deemed a mark of dexterity, and accompanied by shouts of applause,
when an Indian threw one of these torches so as to make the sharp end
stick into the body of the suffering youth without extinguishing the
torch. This description of torture was continued for two hours before
the innocent victim was relieved by death."

These are sickening details, and no doubt will be instinctively set down
by most readers as proof of innate cruelty peculiar to the Indian race.
Let us, therefore, set side by side with them the record that in this
same war white men (British officers) confined white men ("rebels") in
prison-ships, starved, and otherwise maltreated them till they died,
five or six a day, then threw their dead bodies into the nearest marsh,
and had them "_trodden down in the mud_—from whence they were soon
exposed by the washing of the tides, and at low-water the prisoners
beheld the carrion-crows picking the bones of their departed
companions!" Also, that white men (British officers) were known at that
time to have made thumb-screws out of musket-locks, to torture Georgia
women, wives of "rebels," to force them to reveal the places where their
husbands were in hiding. Innate cruelty is not exclusively an Indian

The Cherokees had the worst of the fighting on the British side during
the Revolution. Again and again their towns were burnt, their winter
stores destroyed, and whole bands reduced to the verge of starvation. At
one time, when hard pressed by the American forces, they sent to the
Creeks for help; but the shrewd Creeks replied, "You have taken the
thorns out of our feet; you are welcome to them." The Creeks, having
given only limited aid to the British, had suffered much less severely.
That any of the Indians should have joined the "rebel" cause seems
wonderful, as they had evidently nothing to gain by the transfer of
their allegiance to what must have appeared to them for a long time to
be the losing side in the contest. For three years and a half Savannah
was in the possession of the British, and again and again they had
control of the entire State. And to show that they had no compunction
about inciting the Indians to massacres they left many a written
record—such, for instance, as this, which is in a letter written by
General Gage from Boston, June, 1775: "We need not be tender of calling
on the savages to attack the Americans."[29]

Footnote 29:

  See Appendix, Art. X.

The first diplomatic relations of the United States Government with the
Cherokees were in the making of the treaty of Hopewell, in 1785. At the
Hopewell council the United States commissioners said: "Congress is now
the sovereign of all our country which we now point out to you on the
map. They want none of your lands, nor anything else which belongs to
you; and as an earnest of their regard for you, we propose to enter into
articles of a treaty perfectly equal and conformable to what we now tell
you. *** This humane and generous act of the United States will no doubt
be received by you with gladness, and held in grateful remembrance; and
the more so, as many of your young men, and the greater number of your
warriors, during the late war, were our enemies, and assisted the King
of Great Britain in his endeavors to conquer our country."

The chiefs complained bitterly of the encroachments of white settlers
upon lands which had been by old treaties distinctly reserved to the
Cherokees. They demanded that some of these settlers should be removed;
and when the commissioners said that the settlers were too numerous for
the Government to remove, one of the chiefs asked, satirically, "Are
Congress, who conquered the King of Great Britain, unable to remove
those people?"

Finally, the chiefs agreed to accept payment for the lands which had
been taken. New boundaries were established, and a general feeling of
good-will and confidence was created. One notable feature in this
council was the speech of an Indian woman, called the "war-woman of
Chota." (Chota was the Cherokees' city of refuge. All murderers were
safe so long as they lived in Chota. Even Englishmen had not disdained
to take advantage of its shelter; one English trader who had killed an
Indian, having fled, lived there for many months, his own house being
but a short distance away. After a time he resolved to return home, but
the headmen of the tribe assured him that, though he was entirely safe
there, he would surely be killed if he left the town.) The chief who
brought this "war-woman" to the council introduced her as "one of our
beloved women who has borne and raised up warriors." She proceeded to
say, "I am fond of hearing that there is a peace, and I hope you have
now taken us by the hand in real friendship. I have a pipe and a little
tobacco to give the commissioners to smoke in friendship. I look on you
and the red people as my children. Your having determined on peace is
most pleasing to me, for I have seen much trouble during the late war. I
am old, but I hope yet to bear children who will grow up and people our
nation, as we are now to be under the protection of Congress, and shall
have no disturbance."

A brief summary of the events which followed on the negotiation of this
treaty may be best given in the words of a report made by the Secretary
of War to the President four years later. In July, 1789, General Knox
writes as follows of the Cherokees: "This nation of Indians, consisting
of separate towns or villages, are seated principally on the head-waters
of the Tennessee, which runs into the Ohio. Their hunting-grounds extend
from the Cumberland River along the frontiers of Virginia, North and
South Carolina, and part of Georgia.

"The frequent wars they have had with the frontier people of the said
States have greatly diminished their number. The commissioners estimated
them in November, 1785, at 2000 warriors, but they were estimated in
1787 at 2650; yet it is probable they may be lessened since by the
depredations committed on them.

"The United States concluded a treaty with the Cherokees at Hopewell, on
the Keowee, the 28th of November, 1785, which is entered on the printed
journals of Congress April 17th, 1786. The negotiations of the
commissioners on the part of the United States are hereunto annexed,
marked A. It will appear by the papers marked B. that the State of North
Carolina, by their agent, protested against the said treaty as
infringing and violating the legislative rights of that State.

"By a variety of evidence which has been submitted to the last Congress,
it has been proved that the said treaty has been entirely disregarded by
the white people inhabiting the frontiers, styling themselves the State
of Franklin. The proceedings of Congress on the 1st of September, 1788,
and the proclamation they then issued on this subject, will show their
sense of the many unprovoked outrages committed against the Cherokees.

"The information contained in the papers marked C., from Colonel Joseph
Martin, the late agent to the Cherokees, and Richard Winn, Esq., will
further evince the deplorable situation of the Cherokees, and the
indispensable obligation of the United States to vindicate their faith,
justice, and national dignity.

"The letter of Mr. Winn, the late superintendent, of the 1st of March,
informs that a treaty will be held with the Cherokees on the third
Monday of May, at the Upper War-ford on French Broad River. But it is to
be observed that the time for which both he and Colonel Joseph Martin,
the agent to the Cherokees and Chickasaws, were elected has expired, and
therefore they are not authorized to act on the part of the Union. If
the commissioners appointed by North Carolina, South Carolina, and
Georgia, by virtue of the resolve of Congress of the 26th of October,
1787, should attend the said treaty, their proceedings thereon may soon
be expected. But, as part of the Cherokees have taken refuge within the
limits of the Creeks, it is highly probable they will be under the same
direction; and, therefore, as the fact of the violation of the treaty
cannot be disputed, and as the commissioners have not power to replace
the Cherokees within the limits established in 1785, it is not probable,
even if a treaty should be held, as stated by Mr. Winn, that the result
would be satisfactory."

This is the summing up of the situation. The details of it are to be
read in copious volumes of the early history of Tennessee, North and
South Carolina, and Georgia—all under the head of "Indian Atrocities."
To very few who read those records does it occur that the Indians who
committed these "atrocities" were simply ejecting by force, and, in the
contests arising from this forcible ejectment, killing men who had
usurped and stolen their lands—lands ceded to them by the United States
Government in a solemn treaty, of which the fifth Article was as

"If any citizen of the United States or other person, not being an
Indian, shall attempt to settle on any of the lands westward or
southward of the said boundaries which are hereby allotted to the
Indians for their hunting-grounds, or having already settled and will
not remove from the same within six months after the ratification of
this treaty, such person shall forfeit the protection of the United
States, and the Indians _may punish him or not as they please_."

It is evident that it is necessary to go back to the days of the first
treaties with our Indians to possess ourselves of the first requisites
for fair judgment of their conduct toward white men. What would a
community of white men, situated precisely as these Cherokees were, have
done? What did these very Southern colonists themselves do to Spaniards
who encroached on their lands? Fought them; killed them; burnt their
houses over their heads, and drove them into the sea!

In a later communication in the same year to the President, the
Secretary says: "The disgraceful violation of the treaty of Hopewell
with the Cherokees requires the serious consideration of Congress. If so
direct and manifest contempt of the authority of the United States be
suffered with impunity, it will be in vain to attempt to extend the arm
of the Government to the frontiers. The Indian tribes can have no faith
in such imbecile promises, and the lawless whites will ridicule a
government which shall on paper only make Indian treaties and regulate
Indian boundaries."

The President, thus entreated, addressed himself to the Senate, and
asked their advice. He recapitulated the facts as set forth by General
Knox, "that upward of five hundred families are settled on the Cherokee
lands," and asks,

"1st. Is it the judgment of the Senate that overtures shall be made to
the Cherokees to arrange a new boundary, so as to embrace the
settlements made by the white people since the treaty of Hopewell in
November, 1785?

"2d. If so, shall compensation to the amount of $—— annually, or of $——
in gross, be made to the Cherokees for the land they shall relinquish,
holding the occupiers of the land accountable to the United States for
its value?

"3d. Shall the United States stipulate solemnly to guarantee the new
boundary which may be arranged?"

The Senate thereupon resolved that the President should, at his
discretion, cause the Hopewell treaty to be carried out, or make a new
one; but, in case a new one was made, the "Senate do advise and consent
solemnly to guarantee the same."

Accordingly, in July, 1791, a new treaty—the treaty of Holston—was made
with the Cherokees, new boundaries established, and $1000 a year
promised to the tribe for the lands relinquished.

By the seventh Article of this treaty the United States "solemnly
guarantee to the Cherokee nation all their lands not hereby ceded:" the
eighth Article reiterates the old permission that if any citizen of the
United States or other person (not an Indian) shall settle on the
Cherokees' lands, the Cherokees may punish him as they please. Article
ninth says that no citizen or inhabitant of the United States shall hunt
or destroy game on the Cherokee lands, or go into the Cherokee country
without a passport from the governor or some other authorized person.

The next year the Cherokees sent an embassy to Philadelphia to ask for
an increase of $500 in their annuity. One of the chiefs said that he had
told Governor Blunt the year before that he would not consent to selling
the lands for $1000 a year. "It would not buy a breech-clout for each of
my nation;" which was literally true.

To this additional annuity the Senate consented, and with this the
chiefs said they were "perfectly satisfied." But they begged for the
ploughs, hoes, cattle, etc., which had been promised in the treaty. They
said, "Game is going fast away from among us. We must plant corn and
raise cattle, and we want you to assist us."

In 1794 it was necessary to make another treaty, chiefly to declare that
the Holston treaty was in "full force and binding." It had not been
"fully carried into execution by reason of misunderstandings," it was
said. This was very true; white settlers had gone where they pleased, as
if it did not exist; Cherokees had murdered them, as they were, by their
treaty, explicitly permitted to do. The whites had retaliated by
unprovoked attacks on friendly Indians, and the Indians had retaliated
again. The exasperated Indians implored Congress to protect them: the
still more exasperated whites demanded of Congress to protect them. The
Secretary of War writes despairingly, that "The desire of too many
frontier white people to seize by force or fraud on the neighboring
Indian lands continues to be an unceasing cause of jealousy and hatred
on the part of the Indians; and it would appear, upon a calm
investigation, that until the Indians can be quieted on this point, and
rely with confidence on the protection of their lands by the United
States, no well-grounded hope of tranquillity can be entertained."

In this miserable manner, unjust equally to the white men and to the
Indians, affairs went on for several years, until in 1801 it became
absolutely necessary that in some way a definite understanding of
boundaries, and an authoritative enforcement of rights on both sides,
should be brought about; accordingly, commissioners were sent by the
President "to obtain the consent of the Cherokees" to new grants of land
and establishment of boundaries. The instructions given to these
commissioners are remarkable for their reiterated assertion of the
Indians' unquestioned right to do as they please about ceding these
lands. Such phrases as these: "Should the Indians refuse to cede to the
United States any of the above-designated lands," and "you will endeavor
to prevail upon them to cede," and "you will endeavor to procure the
consent of the Indians," are proof of the fulness of the recognition the
United States Government at that time gave of the Indians' "right of
occupancy;" also of the realization on the part of the Government that
these Indian nations were powers whose good-will it was of importance to
conciliate. "It is of importance," the instructions say, "that the
Indian nations generally should be convinced of the certainty in which
they may at all times rely upon the friendship of the United States, and
that the President will never abandon them or their children;" and, "It
will be incumbent on you to introduce the desires of the Government in
such a manner as will permit you to drop them, as you may find them illy
received, without giving the Indians an opportunity to reply with a
decided negative, or raising in them unfriendly and inimical
dispositions. You will state none of them in the tone of demands, but in
the first instance merely mention them as propositions which you are
authorized to make, and their assent to which the Government would
consider as new testimonials of their friendship."

Nevertheless, the Cherokees did reply with "a decided negative." They
utterly refused to cede any more lands, or to give their consent to the
opening of any more roads through their territory. But it only took four
years to bring them to the point where they were ready to acquiesce in
the wishes of the Government, and to make once more the effort to secure
to themselves an unmolested region, by giving up several large tracts of
land and a right of way on several roads. In 1805 they concluded another
treaty, ceding territory for which the United States thought it worth
while to pay $15,000 immediately, and an annuity of $3000.

Ten years later (in 1816) they gave up all their lands in South
Carolina, and the United States became surety that South Carolina should
pay to them $5000 for the same. In the autumn of the same year they made
still another cession of lands to the United States Government, for
which they were to have an annuity of $6000 a year for ten years, and
$5000 as compensation for the improvements they surrendered.

In 1817 an important treaty was concluded, making still further cessions
of lands, and defining the position of a part of the Cherokee nation
which had moved away, with the President's permission, to the Arkansas
River in 1809. The eighth Article of this treaty promises that the
United States will give to every head of an Indian family residing on
the east side of the Mississippi, who may wish to become a citizen, "a
reservation of six hundred and forty acres of land, in which they will
have a life estate, with a reversion in fee-simple to their children."

What imagination could have foreseen that in less than twenty years the
chiefs of this Cherokee nation would be found piteously pleading to be
allowed to remain undisturbed on these very lands? In the whole history
of our Government's dealings with the Indian tribes, there is no record
so black as the record of its perfidy to this nation. There will come a
time in the remote future when, to the student of American history, it
will seem well-nigh incredible. From the beginning of the century they
had been steadily advancing in civilization. As far back as 1800 they
had begun the manufacture of cotton cloth, and in 1820 there was
scarcely a family in that part of the nation living east of the
Mississippi but what understood the use of the card and spinning-wheel.
Every family had its farm under cultivation. The territory was laid off
into districts, with a council-house, a judge, and a marshal in each
district. A national committee and council were the supreme authority in
the nation. Schools were flourishing in all the villages.
Printing-presses were at work.

Their territory was larger than the three States of Massachusetts, Rhode
Island, and Connecticut combined. It embraced the North-western part of
Georgia, the North-east of Alabama, a corner of Tennessee and of North
Carolina. They were enthusiastic in their efforts to establish and
perfect their own system of jurisprudence. Missions of several sects
were established in their country, and a large number of them had
professed Christianity, and were living exemplary lives.

There is no instance in all history of a race of people passing in so
short a space of time from the barbarous stage to the agricultural and
civilized. And it was such a community as this that the State of
Georgia, by one high-handed outrage, made outlaws!—passing on the 19th
of December, 1829, a law "to annul all laws and ordinances made by the
Cherokee nation of Indians;" declaring "all laws, ordinances, orders,
and regulations of any kind whatever, made, passed, or enacted by the
Cherokee Indians, either in general council or in any other way
whatever, or by any authority whatever, null and void, and of no effect,
as if the same had never existed; also, that no Indian, or descendant of
any Indian residing within the Creek or Cherokee nations of Indians,
shall be deemed a competent witness in any court of this State to which
a white man may be a party."

What had so changed the attitude of Georgia to the Indians within her
borders? Simply the fact that the Indians, finding themselves hemmed in
on all sides by fast thickening white settlements, had taken a firm
stand that they would give up no more land. So long as they would cede
and cede, and grant and grant tract after tract, and had millions of
acres still left to cede and grant, the selfishness of white men took no
alarm; but once consolidated into an empire, with fixed and inalienable
boundaries, powerful, recognized, and determined, the Cherokee nation
would be a thorn in the flesh to her white neighbors. The doom of the
Cherokees was sealed on the day when they declared, once for all,
officially as a nation, that they would not sell another foot of land.
This they did in an interesting and pathetic message to the United
States Senate in 1822.

Georgia, through her governor and her delegates to Congress, had been
persistently demanding to have the Cherokees compelled to give up their
lands. She insisted that the United States Government should fulfil a
provision, made in an old compact of 1802, to extinguish the Indian
titles within her limits as soon as it could be peaceably done. This she
demanded should be done now, either peaceably or otherwise.

"We cannot but view the design of those letters," says this message, "as
an attempt bordering on a hostile disposition toward the Cherokee nation
to wrest from them by arbitrary means their just rights and liberties,
the security of which is solemnly guaranteed to them by these United
States. *** We assert under the fullest authority that all the
sentiments expressed in relation to the disposition and determination of
the nation never to cede another foot of land, are positively the
production and voice of the nation. *** There is not a spot out of the
limits of any of the States or Territories thereof, and within the
limits of the United States, that they would ever consent to inhabit;
because they have unequivocally determined never again to pursue the
chase as heretofore, or to engage in wars, unless by the common call of
the Government to defend the common rights of the United States. *** The
Cherokees have turned their attention to the pursuits of the civilized
man: agriculture, manufactures, and the mechanic arts and education are
all in successful operation in the nation at this time; and while the
Cherokees are peacefully endeavoring to enjoy the blessings of
civilization and Christianity on the soil of their rightful inheritance,
and while the exertions and labors of various religious societies of
these United States are successfully engaged in promulgating to them the
words of truth and life from the sacred volume of Holy Writ, and under
the patronage of the General Government, they are threatened with
removal or extinction. *** We appeal to the magnanimity of the American
Congress for justice, and the protection of the rights and liberties and
lives of the Cherokee people. We claim it from the United States by the
strongest obligation which imposes it on them—by treaties: and we expect
it from them under that memorable declaration, 'that all men are created
equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable
rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of

The dignified and pathetic remonstrances of the Cherokee chiefs, their
firm reiterations of their resolve not to part with their lands, were
called by the angry Georgian governor "tricks of vulgar cunning," and
"insults from the polluted lips of outcasts and vagabonds;" and he is
not afraid, in an official letter to the Secretary of War, to openly
threaten the President that, if he upholds the Indians in their
rejection of the overtures for removal, the "consequences are
inevitable," and that, in resisting the occupation of the Cherokee lands
by the Georgians, he will be obliged to "make war upon, and shed the
blood of brothers and friends."

To these Cherokees Mr. Jefferson had written, at one time during his
administration, "I sincerely wish you may succeed in your laudable
endeavors to save the remnant of your nation by adopting industrious
occupations, and a government of regular law. In this you may always
rely on the counsel and assistance of the United States."

In 1791 he had written to General Knox, defining the United States'
position in the matter of Indian lands: "Government should firmly
maintain this ground, that the Indians have a right to the occupation of
their lands independent of the States within whose chartered lines they
happen to be; that until they cede them by treaty, or other transaction
equivalent to treaty, no act of a State can give a right to such lands.
*** The Government is determined to exert all its energy for the
patronage and protection of the rights of the Indians."

And the year before General Washington had said to the Six Nations: "In
future you cannot be defrauded of your lands. No State or person can
purchase your lands unless at some public treaty held under the
authority of the United States. The General Government will never
consent to your being defrauded; but it will protect you in all your
just rights. *** You possess the right to sell, and the right of
refusing to sell your lands. *** The United States will be true and
faithful to their engagements."

What could Cherokee men and women have thought when, only thirty years
later, they found this United States Government upholding the State of
Georgia in her monstrous pretensions of right to the whole of their
country, and in her infamous cruelties of oppression toward them? when
they found this United States Government sending its agents to seduce
and bribe their chiefs to bargain away their country; even stooping to
leave on the public records of official instructions to a commissioner
such phrases as these: "Appeal to the chiefs and influential men—not
together, but apart, at their own houses;" "make offers to them of
extensive reservations in fee-simple, and other rewards, to obtain their
acquiescence;" "the more careful you are to secure from even the chiefs
the official character you bear, the better;" "enlarge on the advantage
of their condition in the West: there the Government would protect
them." This the Secretary of War called "moving on them in the line of
their prejudices."

In a report submitted to the War Department in 1825 by Thomas L.
McKenney is a glowing description of the Cherokee country and nation at
that time: "The country is well watered; abundant springs of pure water
are found in every part; a range of majestic and lofty mountains stretch
themselves across it. The northern part is hilly and mountainous; in the
southern and western parts there are extensive and fertile plains,
covered partly with tall trees, through which beautiful streams of water
glide. These plains furnish immense pasturage, and numberless herds of
cattle are dispersed over them; horses are plenty; numerous flocks of
sheep, goats, and swine cover the valleys and the hills. On Tennessee,
Ustanula, and Canasagi rivers Cherokee commerce floats. The climate is
delicious and healthy; the winters are mild; the spring clothes the
ground with the richest scenery; flowers of exquisite beauty and
variegated hues meet and fascinate the eye in every direction. In the
plains and valleys the soil is generally rich, producing Indian-corn,
cotton, tobacco, wheat, oats, indigo, and sweet and Irish potatoes. The
natives carry on considerable trade with the adjoining States; some of
them export cotton in boats down the Tennessee to the Mississippi, and
down that river to New Orleans. Apple and peach orchards are quite
common, and gardens are cultivated, and much attention paid to them.
Butter and cheese are seen on Cherokee tables. There are many public
roads in the nation, and houses of entertainment kept by natives.
Numerous and flourishing villages are seen in every section of the
country. Cotton and woollen cloths are manufactured: blankets of various
dimensions, manufactured by Cherokee hands, are very common. Almost
every family in the nation grows cotton for its own consumption.
Industry and commercial enterprise are extending themselves in every
part. Nearly all the merchants in the nation are native Cherokees.
Agricultural pursuits engage the chief attention of the people.
Different branches in mechanics are pursued. The population is rapidly
increasing. *** White men in the nation enjoy all the immunities and
privileges of the Cherokee people, except that they are not eligible to
public offices. *** The Christian religion is the religion of the
nation. Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, and Moravians are the most
numerous sects. Some of the most influential characters are members of
the Church, and live consistently with their professions. The whole
nation is penetrated with gratitude for the aid it has received from the
United States Government, and from different religious societies.
Schools are increasing every year; learning is encouraged and rewarded;
the young class acquire the English, and those of mature age the
Cherokee system of learning. *** Our relations with all nations are of
the most friendly character. We are out of debt, and our public revenue
is in a flourishing condition. Besides the amount arising from imports,
perpetual annuity is due from the United States in consideration of
lands ceded in former periods. Our system of government, founded on
republican principles by which justice is equally distributed, secures
the respect of the people. New Town, pleasantly situated in the centre
of the nation, and at the junction of the Canasagi and Gusuwati, two
beautiful streams, is the seat of government. The legislative power is
vested in what is denominated in native dialect Tsalagi Tinilawige,
consisting of a national committee and council. Members of both branches
are chosen by and from the people for a limited period. In New Town a
printing-press is soon to be established; also a national library and
museum. An immense concourse of people frequent the seat of government
when the Tsalagi Tinilawige is in session, which takes place once a

"The success which has attended the philological researches of one in
the nation whose system of education has met with universal approbation
among the Cherokees certainly entitles him to great consideration, and
to rank with the benefactors of man. His name is Guess, and he is a
native and unlettered Cherokee; but, like Cadmus, he has given to his
people the alphabet of their language. It is composed of eighty-six
characters, by which in a few days the older Indians, who had despaired
of deriving an education by means of the schools, and who are not
included in the existing school system, may read and correspond."[30]

Footnote 30:

  See Appendix, Art. IX.

Never did mountaineers cling more desperately to their homes than did
the Cherokees. The State of Georgia put the whole nation in duress, but
still they chose to stay. Year by year high-handed oppressions increased
and multiplied; military law reigned everywhere; Cherokee lands were
surveyed, and put up to be drawn by lottery; missionaries were arrested
and sent to prison for preaching to Cherokees; Cherokees were sentenced
to death by Georgia juries, and hung by Georgia executioners. Appeal
after appeal to the President and to Congress for protection produced
only reiterated confessions of the Government's inability to protect
them—reiterated proposals to them to accept a price for their country
and move away. Nevertheless they clung to it. A few hundreds went, but
the body of the nation still protested and entreated. There is nothing
in history more touching than the cries of this people to the Government
of the United States to fulfil its promises to them. And their cause was
not without eloquent advocates. When the bill for their removal was
before Congress, Frelinghuysen, Sprague, Robbins, Storrs, Ellsworth,
Evans, Huntington, Johns, Bates, Crockett, Everett, Test—all spoke
warmly against it; and, to the credit of Congress be it said, the bill
passed the Senate by only one majority.

The Rev. Jeremiah Evarts published a series of papers in the _National
Intelligencer_ under the signature of William Penn, in which he gave a
masterly analysis and summing up of the case, recapitulated the sixteen
treaties which the Government had made with the Cherokees, all
guaranteeing to them their lands, and declared that the Government had
"arrived at the bank of the Rubicon," where it must decide if it would
or would not save the country from the charge of bad faith. Many of his
eloquent sentences read in the light of the present time like
prophecies. He says, "in a quarter of a century the pressure upon the
Indians will be much greater from the boundless prairies, which must
ultimately be subdued and inhabited, than it would ever have been from
the borders of the present Cherokee country;" and asks, pertinently, "to
what confidence would such an engagement be entitled, done at the very
moment that treaties with Indians are declared not to be binding, and
for the very reason that existing treaties are not strong enough to bind
the United States." Remonstrances poured in upon Congress, petitions and
memorials from religious societies, from little country villages, all
imploring the Government to keep its faith to these people.

The Cherokees' own newspaper, _The Phœnix_, was filled at this time with
the records of the nation's suffering and despair.

"The State of Georgia has taken a strong stand against us, and the
United States must either defend us and our rights or leave us to our
foe. In the latter case she will violate her promise of protection, and
we cannot in future depend upon any guarantee to us, either here or
beyond the Mississippi.

"If the United States shall withdraw their solemn pledges of protection,
utterly disregard their plighted faith, deprive us of the right of
self-government, and wrest from us our land, then, in the deep anguish
of our misfortunes, we may justly say there is no place of security for
us, no confidence left that the United States will be more just and
faithful toward us in the barren prairies of the West than when we
occupied the soil inherited from the Great Author of our existence."

As a last resort the Cherokees carried their case before the Supreme
Court, and implored that body to restrain the State of Georgia from her
unjust interference with their rights. The reports of the case of the
Cherokee Nation _vs._ the State of Georgia fill a volume by themselves,
and are of vital importance to the history of Indian affairs. The
majority of the judges decided that an Indian tribe could not be
considered as a foreign nation, and therefore could not bring the suit.
Judge Thompson and Judge Story dissented from this opinion, and held
that the Cherokee tribe did constitute a foreign nation, and that the
State of Georgia ought to be enjoined from execution of its unjust laws.
The opinion of Chancellor Kent coincided with that of Judges Thompson
and Story. Chancellor Kent gave it as his opinion that the cases in
which the Supreme Court had jurisdiction would "reach and embrace every
controversy that can arise between the Cherokees and the State of
Georgia or its officers under the execution of the act of Georgia."

But all this did not help the Cherokees; neither did the fact of the
manifest sympathy of the whole court with their wrongs. The technical
legal decision had been rendered against them, and this delivered them
over to the tender mercies of Georgia: no power in the land could help
them. Fierce factions now began to be formed in the nation, one for and
one against the surrender of their lands. Many were ready still to
remain and suffer till death rather than give them up; but wiser
counsels prevailed, and in the last days of the year 1835 a treaty was
concluded with the United States by twenty of the Cherokee chiefs and
headmen, who thereby, in behalf of their nation, relinquished all the
lands claimed or possessed by them east of the Mississippi River.

The preamble of this treaty is full of pathos: "_Whereas_, The Cherokees
are anxious to make some arrangement with the Government of the United
States whereby the difficulties they have experienced by a residence
within the settled parts of the United States under the jurisdiction and
laws of the State governments may be terminated and adjusted; and with a
view to reuniting their people in one body, and securing a permanent
home for themselves and their posterity in the country selected by their
forefathers without the territorial limits of the State sovereignties,
and where they can establish and enjoy a government of their choice, and
perpetuate such a state of society as may be most consonant with their
views, habits, and condition, and as may tend to their individual
comfort and their advancement in civilization."

By this treaty the Cherokees gave up a country "larger than the three
States of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut combined, and
received therefor five millions of dollars and seven millions of acres
of land west of the Mississippi." This the United States "guaranteed,
and secured to be conveyed in patent," and defined it by exact
boundaries; and, "in addition to the seven millions of acres of land
thus provided for and bounded," the United States did "further guarantee
to the Cherokee nation a perpetual outlet west, and a free and
unmolested use of all the country west of the western boundary of said
seven millions of acres, as far west as the sovereignty of the United
States and their rights of soil extend."

The fifth Article of this treaty is, "The United States hereby covenant
and agree that the lands ceded to the Cherokee nation in the foregoing
article shall in no future time, without their consent, be included
within the territorial limits or jurisdiction of any State or

In the sixth Article is this promise: "The United States agree to
protect the Cherokee nation from domestic strife and foreign enemies,
and against intestine wars between the several tribes."

Even after this treaty was made a great part of the nation refused to
sanction it, saying that it did not represent their wish; they would
never carry it out; hundreds refused to receive any longer either money
or supplies from the United States agents, lest they should be
considered to have thereby committed themselves to the treaty.

In 1837 General Wool wrote from the Cherokee country that the people
"uniformly declare that they never made the treaty in question. *** So
determined are they in their opposition that not one of all those who
were present, and voted in the council held but a day or two since at
this place, however poor or destitute, would receive either rations or
clothing from the United States, lest they might compromise themselves
in regard to the treaty. These same people, as well as those in the
mountains of North Carolina, during the summer past preferred living on
the roots and sap of trees rather than receive provisions from the
United States. Thousands, I have been informed, had no other food for

For two years—to the very last moment allowed them by the treaty—they
clung to their lands, and at last were removed only by military force.
In May, 1838, General Scott was ordered to go with a sufficient military
force to compel the removal. His proclamation "to the Cherokee people
remaining in North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama" opens

"CHEROKEES,—The President of the United States has sent me with a
powerful army to cause you, in obedience to the treaty of 1835, to join
that part of your people who are already established on the other side
of the Mississippi. Unhappily the two years which were allowed for the
purpose you have suffered to pass away without following, and without
making any preparation to follow; and now, or by the time that this
solemn address shall reach your distant settlements, the emigration must
be commenced in haste, but I hope without disorder. I have no power, by
granting a further delay, to correct the error that you have committed.
The full-moon of May is already on the wane, and before another shall
have passed away every Cherokee man, woman, and child in those States
must be in motion to join their brethren in the West."

The tone of this proclamation, at once firm and kindly, could not fail
to profoundly impress the unfortunate people to whom it was addressed.
"My troops," said the humane and sympathizing general, "already occupy
many positions in the country that you are to abandon, and thousands and
thousands are approaching from every quarter, to render resistance and
escape alike hopeless. All those troops, regular and militia, are your
friends. Receive them and confide in them as such; obey them when they
tell you that you can remain no longer in this country. Soldiers are as
kind-hearted as brave, and the desire of every one of us is to execute
our painful duty in mercy. ***

"Chiefs, headmen, and warriors, will you then, by resistance, compel us
to resort to arms? God forbid. Or will you by flight seek to hide
yourselves in mountains and forests, and thus oblige us to hunt you
down? Remember that in pursuit it may be impossible to avoid conflicts.
The blood of the white man or the blood of the red man may be spilt; and
if spilt, however accidentally, it may be impossible for the discreet
and humane among you or among us to prevent a general war and carnage.
Think of this, my Cherokee brethren! I am an old warrior, and have been
present at many a scene of slaughter; but spare me, I beseech you, the
horror of witnessing the destruction of the Cherokees. Do not even wait
for the close approach of the troops, but make such preparations for
emigration as you can, and hasten to this place, to Ross's Landing, or
to Guinter's Landing, where you will be received in kindness by officers
selected for the purpose. *** This is the address of a warrior to
warriors. May its entreaties be kindly received, and may the God of both
prosper the Americans and Cherokees, and preserve them long in peace and
friendship with each other."

The reply of the council of the Cherokee nation to this proclamation is
worthy to be put on record. They make no further protest against going;
they simply ask the privilege of undertaking the whole charge of the
removal themselves. They say: "The present condition of the Cherokee
people is such that all dispute as to the time of emigration is set at
rest. Being already severed from their homes and their property, their
persons being under the absolute control of the commanding general, and
being altogether dependent on the benevolence and humanity of that high
officer for the suspension of their transportation to the West at a
season and under circumstances in which sickness and death were to be
apprehended to an alarming extent, all inducements to prolong their stay
in this country are taken away. And however strong their attachment to
the homes of their fathers may be, their interests and their wishes are
now to depart as early as may be consistent with their safety."

The council therefore submitted to General Scott several propositions:
1st. "That the Cherokee nation will undertake the whole business of
removing their people to the west of the river Mississippi." Their
estimates of cost, and arrangement as to time, intervals, etc., were
wise and reasonable. To their estimate of $65,880 as the cost for every
thousand persons transported General Scott objected, thinking it high.
He said that he was "confident" that it would be found that out of every
thousand there would be "at least five hundred strong men, women, boys,
and girls not only capable of marching twelve or fifteen miles a day,
but to whom the exercise would be beneficial; and another hundred able
to go on foot half that distance daily." He also objected to the
estimate of the ration at sixteen cents as too high.

The council replied that they believed the estimate reasonable, "having
the comfortable removal of our people solely in view, and endeavoring to
be governed, as far as that object will allow, by the rates of
expenditure fixed by the officers of the Government. After the necessary
bedding, cooking-utensils, and other indispensable articles of twenty
persons—say, four or five families—are placed in a wagon, with
subsistence for at least two days, the weight already will be enough to
exclude, in our opinion, more than a very few persons being hauled. The
great distance to be travelled, liability to sickness on the way of
grown persons, and the desire of performing the trip in as short a time
as possible, induce us still to think our estimate of that item not
extravagant. *** Whatever may be necessary in the emigration of our
people to their comfort on the way, and as conducive to their health, we
desire to be afforded them; at the same time it is our anxious wish, in
the management of this business, to be free at all times from the
imputation of extravagance." They added that the item of soap had been
forgotten in their first estimate, and must now be included, at the rate
of three pounds to every hundred pounds of rations.

General Scott replied, "as the Cherokee people are exclusively
interested in the cost as well as the comfort of the removal," he did
not feel himself at liberty to withhold his sanction from these
estimates. In the report of the Indian Commissioner, also, it is stated
that "the cost of removal, according to the Indian estimate, is high;"
but the commissioner adds, "as their own fund pays it, and it was
insisted on by their own confidential agents, it was thought it could
not be rejected."

Noble liberality! This nation of eighteen thousand industrious,
self-supporting people, compelled at the point of the bayonet to leave
their country and seek new homes in a wilderness, are to be permitted,
as a favor, to spend on their journey to this wilderness as much of
their own money as they think necessary, and have all the soap they

The record which the United States Government has left in official
papers of its self-congratulations in the matter of this Cherokee
removal has an element in it of the ludicrous, spite of the tragedy and

Says the Secretary of War: "The generous and enlightened policy evinced
in the measures adopted by Congress toward that people during the last
session was ably and judiciously carried into effect by the general
appointed to conduct their removal. The reluctance of the Indians to
relinquish the land of their birth in the East, and remove to their new
homes in the West, was entirely overcome by the judicious conduct of
that officer, and they departed with alacrity under the guidance of
their own chiefs. The arrangements for this purpose made by General
Scott, in compliance with his previous instructions, although somewhat
costly to the Indians themselves, met the entire approbation of the
Department, as it was deemed of the last importance that the Cherokees
should remove to the West voluntarily, and that upon their arrival at
the place of their ultimate destination they should recur to the manner
in which they had been treated with kind and grateful feelings. Humanity
no less than good policy dictated this course toward these children of
the forest; and in carrying out in this instance with an unwavering hand
the measures resolved upon by the Government, in the hope of preserving
the Indians and of maintaining the peace and tranquillity of the whites,
it will always be gratifying to reflect that this has been effected not
only without violence, but with every proper regard for the feelings and
interests of that people."

The Commissioner of Indian Affairs says, in his report: "The case of the
Cherokees is a striking example of the liberality of the Government in
all its branches. *** A retrospect of the last eight months in reference
to this numerous and more than ordinarily enlightened tribe cannot fail
to be refreshing to well-constituted minds."

A further appropriation had been asked by the Cherokee chiefs to meet
the expense of their removal (they not thinking $5,000,000 a very
munificent payment for a country as large as all Massachusetts, Rhode
Island, and Connecticut together), and Congress had passed a law giving
them $1147.67 more, and the commissioner says of this: "When it is
considered that by the treaty of December, 1835, the sum of $5,000,000
was stipulated to be paid them as the full value of their lands, after
that amount was declared by the Senate of the United States to be an
ample consideration for them, the spirit of this whole proceeding cannot
be too much admired. By some the measure may be regarded as just; by
others generous: it perhaps partook of both attributes. If it went
farther than naked justice could have demanded, it did not stop short of
what liberality approved. *** If our acts have been generous, they have
not been less wise and politic. A large mass of men have been
conciliated; the hazard of an effusion of human blood has been put by;
good feeling has been preserved, and we have quietly and gently
transported eighteen thousand friends to the west bank of the

To dwell on the picture of this removal is needless. The fact by itself
is more eloquent than pages of detail and description could make it. No
imagination so dull, no heart so hard as not to see and to feel, at the
bare mention of such an emigration, what horrors and what anguish it
must have involved. "Eighteen thousand friends!" Only a great
magnanimity of nature, strengthened by true Christian principle, could
have prevented them from being changed into eighteen thousand bitter

For some years after this removal fierce dissensions rent the Cherokee
nation. The party who held that the treaty of 1835 had been unfair, and
that the nation still had an unextinguished right to its old country at
the East, felt, as was natural, a bitter hatred toward the party which,
they claimed, had wrongfully signed away the nation's lands. Several of
the signers of the treaty, influential men of the nation, were murdered.
Party-spirit ran to such a height that the United States Government was
compelled to interfere; and in 1846, after long negotiations and
dissensions, a new treaty was made, by the terms and concessions of
which the anti-treaty party were appeased, a general amnesty provided
for, and comparative harmony restored to the nation.

The progress of this people in the ten years following this removal is
almost past belief. In 1851 they had twenty-two primary schools, and had
just built two large houses for a male and female seminary, in which the
higher branches of education were to be taught. They had a temperance
society with three thousand members, and an auxiliary society in each of
the eight districts into which the country was divided. They had a Bible
Society and twelve churches; a weekly newspaper, partly in English,
partly in Cherokee; eight district courts, two circuit courts, and a
supreme court. Legislative business was transacted as before by the
national council and committee, elected for four years. Nearly one
thousand boys and girls were in the public schools.

In 1860 the agitation on the subject of slavery began to be felt, a
strong antislavery party being organized in the nation. There were
stormy scenes also in that part of the country nearest the Kansas line.
For several years white settlers had persisted in taking up farms there,
and the Cherokees had in vain implored the Government to drive them
away. The officer at last sent to enforce the Cherokees' rights and
dislodge the squatters was obliged to burn their cabins over their heads
before they would stir, so persuaded were they of the superior right of
the white man over the Indian. "The only reason the settlers gave for
not heeding the notices was that they had been often notified before to
quit the reservation; and, no steps having been taken to enforce
obedience, they supposed they would be allowed to remain with like
security in this instance."

"It is surprising," says the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, "to see the
growing disposition on the part of our citizens to wholly disregard our
treaty obligations with Indian tribes within our borders; and it is to
be hoped that in future their rights will be held more sacred, or that
the Government will in every instance promptly see that they are
observed and respected."

In the first year of the Civil War a large number of the Cherokees took
up arms on the rebel side. That this was not from any love or liking for
the Southern cause, it would seem, must be evident to any one who
believed that they were possessed of memories. The opportunity of
fighting against Georgians could not but have been welcome to the soul
of a Cherokee, even if he bought it at the price of fighting on the side
of the government which had been so perfidious to his nation. Their
defection was no doubt largely due to terror. The forts in their
vicinity were surrendered to the rebels; all United States troops were
withdrawn from that part of the country. They had no prospect of
protection from the Government, and, as if to leave them without one
incentive to loyalty, the Government suspended the payment of their

The Confederate Government stepped in, artfully promising to pay what
the Northern Government refused. It would have taken a rare loyalty,
indeed, to have stood unmoved in such circumstances as these; yet
thousands of the Indians in Indian Territory did remain loyal, and fled
for their lives to avoid being pressed into the rebel service; almost
half of the Creek nation, many Seminoles, Chickasaws, Quapaws,
Cherokees, and half a dozen others—over six thousand in all—fled to
Kansas, where their sufferings in the winter of 1862 were heart-rending.

That the Cherokees did not lightly abandon their allegiance is on record
in the official history of the Department of the Interior. The Report of
the Indian Bureau for 1863 says: "The Cherokees, prior to the Rebellion,
were the most numerous, intelligent, wealthy, and influential tribe of
this superintendency (the southern). For many months they steadily
resisted the efforts made by the rebels to induce them to abandon their
allegiance to the Federal Government; but being wholly unprotected, and
without the means of resistance, they were finally compelled to enter
into treaty stipulations with the rebel authorities. This connection
was, however, of short duration, for upon the first appearance of United
States forces in their country an entire regiment of Indian troops,
raised ostensibly for service in the rebel army, deserted and came over
to us, and have ever since been under our command, and upon all
occasions have proved themselves faithful and efficient soldiers." In
the course of the next year, however, many more joined the rebels: it
was estimated that between six and seven thousand of the wealthier
portion of the nation co-operated in one way or another with the rebels.
The result was that at the end of the war the Cherokee country was

"In the Cherokee country," says the Report of the Indian Bureau for
1865, "where the contending armies have moved to and fro; where their
foraging parties have gone at will, sparing neither friend nor foe;
where the disloyal Cherokees in the service of the rebel government were
determined that no trace of the homesteads of their loyal brethren
should remain for their return; and where the swindling cattle-thieves
have made their ill-gotten gains for two years past, the scene is one of
utter desolation."

The party feeling between the loyal and disloyal Cherokees ran as high
as it did between the loyal and disloyal whites, and it looked for a
time as if it would be as impossible to make the two opposing parties in
the Cherokee nation agree to live peaceably side by side with each
other, as it would to make discharged soldiers from Georgia and from
Maine settle down in one village together. But after long and
troublesome negotiations a treaty was concluded in 1866, by which all
the necessary points seemed to be established of a general amnesty and

That the Indians were at a great disadvantage in the making of these new
treaties it is unnecessary to state. The peculiarity of the Government's
view of their situation and rights is most näively stated in one of the
reports for 1862. Alluding to the necessity of making at no very distant
time new treaties with all these Southern tribes, one of the Indian
superintendents says: "While the rebelling of a large portion of most of
these tribes abrogates treaty obligations, and places them at our mercy,
the very important fact should not be forgotten that the Government
first wholly failed to keep its treaty stipulations with those people,
and in protecting them, by withdrawing all the troops from the forts in
Indian Territory, and leaving them at the mercy of the rebels. It is a
well-known fact that self-preservation in many instances compelled them
to make the best terms they could with the rebels."

Nevertheless they are "at our mercy," because their making the "best
terms they could with the rebels abrogates treaty obligations." The
trite old proverb about the poorness of rules that do not work both ways
seems to be applicable here.

With a recuperative power far in advance of that shown by any of the
small white communities at the South, the Cherokees at once addressed
themselves to rebuilding their homes and reconstructing their national
life. In one year they established fifteen new schools, set all their
old industries going, and in 1869 held a large agricultural fair, which
gave a creditable exhibition of stock and farm produce. Thus a second
time they recovered themselves, after what would seem to be well-nigh
their destruction as a people. But the Indian's fate of perpetual
insecurity, alarm, and unrest does not abandon them. In 1870 they are
said to be "extremely uneasy about the security of their possession of
the lands they occupy." When asked why their high-schools are not
re-established, reforms introduced into the administration of justice,
desirable improvements undertaken, the reply inevitably comes, "We
expect to have our lands taken away: what is the use of all that when
our doom as a nation is sealed?"

"Distrust is firmly seated in their minds. National apathy depresses
them, and until they realize a feeling of assurance that their title to
their lands will be respected, and that treaties are an inviolable law
for all parties, the Cherokees will not make the efforts for national
progress of which they are capable."

When their delegates went to Washington, in 1866, to make the new
treaty, they were alarmed by the position taken by the Government that
the nation, as a nation, had forfeited its rights. They were given to
understand that "public opinion held them responsible for complicity in
the Rebellion; and, although they could point to the fact that the only
countenance the rebels received came from less than one-third of the
population, and cite the services of two Cherokee regiments in the Union
cause, it was urged home to them that, before being rehabilitated in
their former rights by a new treaty, they were not in a position to
refuse any conditions imposed. Such language from persons they believed
to possess the power of injuring their people intimidated the Cherokee
delegates. They sold a large tract in South-eastern Kansas at a dollar
an acre to an association of speculators, and it went into the
possession of a railroad company. They also acceded, against the wishes
of the Cherokee people, to a provision in the treaty granting right of
way through the country for two railroads. This excited great uneasiness
among the Indians."

And well it might. The events of the next few years amply justified this
uneasiness. The rapacity of railroad corporations is as insatiable as
their methods are unscrupulous. The phrase "extinguishing Indian titles"
has become, as it were, a mere technical term in the transfer of lands.
The expression is so common that it has probably been one of the
agencies in fixing in the minds of the people the prevalent impression
that extinction is the ultimate and inevitable fate of the Indian; and
this being the case, methods and times are not, after all, of so much
consequence; they are merely foreordained conditions of the great
foreordained progression of events. This is the only explanation of the
unconscious inhumanity of many good men's modes of thinking and speaking
in regard to the Indians being driven from home after home, and robbed
of tract after tract of their lands.

In the Report of the Indian Bureau for 1875 is an account of a remnant
of the Cherokee tribe in North Carolina: "They number not far from
seventeen hundred, and there are probably in other parts of North
Carolina, and scattered through Georgia and Tennessee, between three and
four hundred more. These Cherokees have had an eventful history. When
the main portion of the tribe was compelled to remove west of the
Mississippi they fled to the mountains, and have steadily refused to
leave their homes. The proceeds of their lands, which were sold in
accordance with a treaty with the main body of the Cherokees, have been
mainly expended in the purchase of lands, and providing funds for the
Western Cherokees. At various times previous to the year 1861 the agent
for the Eastern Cherokees, at their request, purchased lands with their
funds, upon which they might make their homes. These purchases, though
probably made with good intent, carelessly left the title in their agent
personally, and not in trust. By this neglect, when subsequently the
agent became insolvent, all their lands were seized and sold for his
debts. By special legislation of Congress their case has been brought
before the courts of North Carolina, and their rights to a certain
extent asserted, and they are enabled to maintain possession of their
lands; and, by the use of their own funds in extinguishing liens, are
now in possession of above seventy thousand acres of fair arable,
timber, and grazing lands. They have shown themselves capable of
self-support, and, I believe, have demonstrated the unwisdom of removing
Indians from a country which offers to them a home, and where a white
man could make a living. This is shown by the fact that they are now,
though receiving scarcely any Government aid, in a more hopeful
condition, both as to morals, and industry, and personal property, than
the Cherokees who removed West."

The Report of the Indian Bureau for 1876 fully bears out this statement.
The North Carolina Cherokees have, indeed, reason to be in a more
hopeful condition, for they have their lands secured to them by patent,
confirmed by a decision of State courts; but this is what the Department
of the Interior has brought itself to say as to the Western Cherokees'
lands, and those of all other civilized tribes in the Indian Territory:
"By treaty the Government has ceded to the so-called civilized
tribes—the Cherokees, Creeks, Choctaws, Chickasaws, and Seminoles—a
section of country altogether disproportionate in amount to their needs.
*** The amount susceptible of cultivation must be many-fold greater than
can ever be cultivated by the labor of the Indians. But the Indians
claim, it is understood, that they hold their lands by sanctions so
solemn that it would be a gross breach of faith on the part of the
Government to take away any portion thereof without their consent; and
that consent they apparently propose to withhold."

Let us set side by side with this last paragraph a quotation from the
treaty by virtue of which "the Indians claim, it is understood, that
they hold" these lands, which they now "apparently propose to withhold."
We will not copy it from the original treaty; we will copy it, and a few
other sentences with it, from an earlier report of this same Department
of the Interior. Only so far back as 1870 we find the Department in a
juster frame of mind toward the Cherokees. "A large part of the Indian
tribes hold lands to which they are only fixed by laws that define the
reservations to which they shall be confined. It cannot be denied that
these are in a great measure dependent on the humanity of the American
people. *** But the Cherokees, and the other civilized Indian nations no
less, hold lands in perpetuity by titles defined by the supreme law of
the land. The United States agreed 'to possess the Cherokees, and to
guarantee it to them forever,' and that guarantee 'was solemnly pledged
of seven million acres of land.' The consideration for this territory
was the same number of acres elsewhere located. The inducement to the
bargain set forth in the treaty was 'the anxious desire of the
Government of the United States to secure to the Cherokee nation of
Indians a permanent home, and which shall, under the most solemn
guarantee of the United States, be and remain theirs forever—a home that
shall never in all future time be embarrassed by having extended around
it the lines or placed over it the jurisdiction of a Territory or State,
or be pressed upon by the extension in any way of the limits of any
existing State.' To assure them of their title, a patent for the
Territory was issued."

This was the view of the Department of the Interior in 1870. In 1876 the
Department says that affairs in the Indian Territory are "complicated
and embarrassing, and the question is directly raised whether an
extensive section of country is to be allowed to remain for an
indefinite period practically an uncultivated waste, or whether the
Government shall determine to reduce the size of the reservation."

The phrase "whether the Government shall determine to reduce the size of
the reservation" sounds much better than "whether the Government shall
rob the Indians of a few millions of acres of land;" but the latter
phrase is truth, and the other is the spirit of lying.

The commissioner says that the question is a difficult one, and should
be "considered with calmness, and a full purpose to do no injustice to
the Indians." He gives his own personal opinion on it "with hesitancy,"
but gives it nevertheless, that "public policy will soon require the
disposal of a large portion of these lands to the Government for the
occupancy either of other tribes of Indians or of white people. There is
a very general and growing opinion that observance of the strict letter
of treaties with Indians is in many cases at variance with their own
best interests and with sound public policy." He adds, however, that it
must not be understood from this recommendation that it is "the policy
or purpose of this office to in any way encourage the spirit of rapacity
which demands the throwing open of the Indian Territory to white
settlement." He says, "the true way to secure its perpetual occupancy by
Indians is to fill it up with other Indians, to give them lands in
severalty, and to provide a government strong and intelligent enough to
protect them effectually from any and all encroachments on the part of
the whites."

Comment on these preposterously contradictory sentences would be idle.
The best comment on them, and the most fitting close to this sketch of
the Cherokee nation, is in a few more quotations from the official
reports of the Indian Bureau.

Of this people, from whom the Department of the Interior proposes, for
"public policy," to take away "a large portion" of their country, it has
published within the last three years these records:

"It has been but a few years since the Cherokees assembled in council
under trees or in a rude log-house, with hewed logs for seats. Now the
legislature assembles in a spacious brick council-house, provided with
suitable committee-rooms, senate chamber, representative hall, library,
and executive offices, which cost $22,000.

"Their citizens occupy neat hewed double log-cabins, frame, brick, or
stone houses, according to the means or taste of the individual, with
ground adorned by ornamental trees, shrubbery, flowers, and nearly every
improvement, including orchards of the choicest fruits. Some of these
orchards have existed for nearly twenty years, and are now in a good,
fruitful condition. Their women are usually good house-keepers, and give
great attention to spinning and weaving yarns, jeans, and linsey, and
make most of the pants and hunter-jackets of the men and boys. The
farmers raise most of their own wool and cotton, and it is not an
uncommon sight, in a well-to-do Cherokee farmer's house, to see a
sewing-machine and a piano.

"They have ample provision for the education of all their children to a
degree of advancement equal to that furnished by an ordinary college in
the States. They have seventy-five common day-schools, kept open ten
months in the year, in the different settlements. For the higher
education of their young men and women they have two commodious and
well-furnished seminaries, one for each sex; and, in addition to those
already mentioned, they have a manual labor school and an orphan asylum.
The cost of maintaining these schools the past year (1877) was, as
reported by the superintendent of public instruction, $73,441.65, of
which $41,475 was paid as salary to teachers.

"They have twenty-four stores, twenty-two mills, and sixty-five
smith-shops, owned and conducted by their own citizens.

"Their constitution and laws are published in book form; and from their
printing-house goes forth among the people in their own language, and
also in English, the _Cherokee Advocate_, a weekly paper, which is
edited with taste and ability.

"They have (and this is true also of the Choctaws, Creeks, Chickasaws,
and Seminoles) a constitutional government, with legislative, judicial,
and executive departments, and conducted upon the same plan as our State
governments, the entire expenses of which are paid out of their own
funds, which are derived from interest on various stocks and bonds—the
invested proceeds of the sale of their lands, and held in trust by the
Government of the United States—which interest is paid the treasurers of
the different nations semi-annually, and by them disbursed on national
warrants issued by the principal chief and secretary, and registered by
the auditors.

"They are an intelligent, temperate, and industrious people, who live by
the honest fruits of their labor, and seem ambitious to advance both as
to the development of their lands and the conveniences of their homes.
In their council may be found men of learning and ability; and it is
doubtful if their rapid progress from a state of wild barbarism to that
of civilization and enlightenment has any parallel in the history of the
world. What required five hundred years for the Britons to accomplish in
this direction they have accomplished in one hundred years."

Will the United States Government determine to "reduce the size of the

                              CHAPTER IX.


I.—_The Conestoga Massacre._

When the English first entered Pennsylvania messengers from the
Conestoga Indians met them, bidding them welcome, and bringing gifts of
corn and venison and skins. The whole tribe entered into a treaty of
friendship with William Penn, which was to last "as long as the sun
should shine or the waters run into the rivers."

The records of Pennsylvania history in the beginning of the eighteenth
century contain frequent mention of the tribe. In 1705 the governor sent
the secretary of his council, with a delegation of ten men, to hold an
interview with them at Conestoga, for purposes of mutual understanding
and confidence. And in that same year Thomas Chalkley, a famous Quaker
preacher, while sojourning among the Maryland Quakers, was suddenly
seized with so great a "concern" to visit these Indians that he laid the
matter before the elders at the Nottingham meeting; and, the idea being
"promoted" by the elders, he set off with an interpreter and a party of
fourteen to make the journey. He says: "We travelled through the woods
about fifty miles, carrying our provisions with us; and on the journey
sat down by a river and spread our food on the grass, and refreshed
ourselves and horses, and then went on cheerfully and with good-will and
much love to the poor Indians. And when we came they received us kindly,
treating us civilly in their way. We treated about having a meeting with
them in a religious way; upon which they called a council, in which they
were very grave, and spoke, one after another, without any heat or
jarring. Some of the most esteemed of their women speak in their

When asked why they suffered the women to speak, they replied that "some
women were wiser than some men." It was said that they had not for many
years done anything without the advice of a certain aged and grave
woman, who was always present at their councils. The interpreter said
that she was an empress, and that they gave much heed to what she said.
This wise queen of Conestoga looked with great favor on the Quakers, the
interpreter said, because they "did not come to buy or sell, or get
gain;" but came "in love and respect" to them, "and desired their
well-doing, both here and hereafter." Two nations at this time were
represented in this Conestoga band—the Senecas and the Shawanese.

The next year the governor himself, anxious to preserve their
inalienable good-will, and to prevent their being seduced by emissaries
from the French, went himself to visit them. On this occasion one of the
chiefs made a speech, still preserved in the old records, which contains
this passage: "Father, we love quiet; we suffer the mouse to play; when
the woods are rustled by the wind, we fear not; when the leaves are
disturbed in ambush, we are uneasy; when a cloud obscures your brilliant
sun, our eyes feel dim; but when the rays appear, they give great heat
to the body and joy to the heart. Treachery darkens the chain of
friendship; but truth makes it brighter than ever. This is the peace we

A few years later a Swedish missionary visited them, and preached them a
sermon on original sin and the necessity of a mediator. When he had
finished, an Indian chief rose and replied to him; both discourses being
given through an interpreter. The Swede is said to have been so
impressed with the Indian's reasoning that, after returning to Sweden,
he wrote out his own sermon and the Indian's reply in the best Latin at
his command, and dedicated the documents to the University of Upsal,
respectfully requesting them to furnish him with some arguments strong
enough to confute the strong reasonings of this savage.

"Our forefathers," said the chief, "were under a strong persuasion (as
we are) that those who act well in this life will be rewarded in the
next according to the degrees of their virtues; and, on the other hand,
that those who behave wickedly here will undergo such punishments
hereafter as were proportionate to the crimes they were guilty of. This
has been constantly and invariably received and acknowledged for a truth
through every successive generation of our ancestors. It could not,
then, have taken its rise from fable; for human fiction, however
artfully and plausibly contrived, can never gain credit long among
people where free inquiry is allowed, which was never denied by our
ancestors. *** Now we desire to propose some questions. Does he believe
that our forefathers, men eminent for their piety, constant and warm in
their pursuit of virtue, hoping thereby to merit eternal happiness, were
all damned? Does he think that we who are zealous imitators in good
works, and influenced by the same motives as we are, earnestly
endeavoring with the greatest circumspection to tread the path of
integrity, are in a state of damnation? If that be his sentiment, it is
surely as impious as it is bold and daring. *** Let us suppose that some
heinous crimes were committed by some of our ancestors, like to that we
are told of another race of people. In such a case God would certainly
punish the criminal, but would never involve us that are innocent in the
guilt. Those who think otherwise must make the Almighty a very
whimsical, evil-natured being. *** Once more: are the Christians more
virtuous, or, rather, are they not more vicious than we are? If so, how
came it to pass that they are the objects of God's beneficence, while we
are neglected? Does he daily confer his favors without reason and with
so much partiality? In a word, we find the Christians much more depraved
in their morals than we are; and we judge from their doctrine by the
badness of their lives."

It is plain that this Indian chief's speech was very much Latinized in
the good Swede's hands; but if the words even approached being a true
presentation of what he said, it is wonderful indeed.

In 1721 His Excellency Sir William Keith, Bart., Governor of the
Province of Pennsylvania, went with an escort of eighty horsemen to
Conestoga, and spent several days in making a treaty with the
representatives of the Five Nations, "the Indians of Conestoga and their
friends." He was entertained at "Captain Civility's cabin." When he left
them, he desired them to give his "very kind love and the love of all
our people to your kings and to all their people." He invited them to
visit him in Philadelphia, saying, "We can provide better for you and
make you more welcome. People always receive their friends best at their
own homes." He then took out a coronation medal of the King, and
presented it to the Indian in these words: "That our children when we
are dead may not forget these things, but keep this treaty between us in
perpetual remembrance, I here deliver to you a picture in gold, bearing
the image of my great master, the King of all the English. And when you
return home, I charge you to deliver this piece into the hands of the
first man or greatest chief of all the Five Nations, whom you call
Kannygoodk, to be laid up and kept as a token to our children's children
that an entire and lasting friendship is now established forever between
the English in this country and the great Five Nations."

At this time the village of Conestoga was described as lying "about
seventy miles west of Philadelphia. The land thereabout being exceeding
rich, it is now surrounded with divers fine plantations and farms, where
they raise quantities of wheat, barley, flax, and hemp, without the help
of any dung."

The next year, also, was marked by a council of great significance at
Conestoga. In the spring of this year an Indian called Saanteenee had
been killed by two white men, brothers, named Cartledge. At this time it
was not only politic but necessary for the English to keep on good terms
with as many Indians as possible. Therefore, the old record says,
"Policy and justice required a rigid inquiry" into this affair, and the
infliction of "exemplary punishment."

Accordingly, the Cartledges were arrested and confined in Philadelphia,
and the high-sheriff of Chester County went, with two influential men of
the province, to Conestoga, to confer with the Indians as to what should
be done with them. The Indians were unwilling to decide the matter
without advice from the Five Nations, to whom they owed allegiance. A
swift runner (Satcheecho) was, therefore, sent northward with the news
of the occurrence; and the governor, with two of his council, went to
Albany to hear what the Five Nations had to say about it. What an
inconceivable spectacle to us to-day: the governments of Pennsylvania
and New York so fully recognizing an Indian to be a "person," and his
murder a thing to be anxiously and swiftly atoned for if possible!

Only a little more than a hundred and fifty years lie between this
murder of Saanteenee in Conestoga and the murder of Big Snake on the
Ponca Reservation in 1880. Verily, Policy has kept a large assortment of
spectacles for Justice to look through in a surprising short space of

On the decision of the king and chiefs of the Five Nations hung the fate
of the murderers. Doubtless the brothers Cartledge made up their minds
to die. The known principles of the Indians in the matter of avenging
injuries certainly left them little room for hope. But no! The Five
Nations took a different view. They "desired that the Cartledges should
not suffer death, and the affair was at length amicably settled," says
the old record. "One life," said the Indian king, "on this occasion, is
enough to be lost. There should not two die."

This was in 1722. In 1763 there were only twenty of these Conestoga
Indians left—seven men, five women, and eight children. They were still
living in their village on the Shawanee Creek, their lands being assured
to them by manorial gift; but they were miserably poor—earned by making
brooms, baskets, and wooden bowls a part of their living, and begged the
rest. They were wholly peaceable and unoffending, friendly to their
white neighbors, and pitifully clinging and affectionate, naming their
children after whites who were kind to them, and striving in every way
to show their gratitude and good-will.

Upon this little community a band of white men, said by some of the old
records to be "Presbyterians," from Paxton, made an attack at daybreak
on the 14th of December. They found only six of the Indians at
home—three men, two women, and a boy. The rest were away, either at work
for the white farmers or selling their little wares. "These poor
defenceless creatures were immediately fired upon, stabbed, and
hatcheted to death; the good Shebaes, among the rest, cut to pieces in
his bed. All of them were scalped and otherwise horribly mangled, then
their huts were set on fire, and most of them burnt down."

"Shebaes was a very old man, having assisted at the second treaty held
with Mr. Penn, in 1701, and ever since continued a faithful friend to
the English. He is said to have been an exceeding good man, considering
his education; being naturally of a most kind, benevolent temper."

From a manuscript journal kept at this time, and belonging to the
great-granddaughter of Robert Barber, the first settler in Lancaster
County, are gathered the few details known of this massacre. "Some of
the murderers went directly from the scene of their crime to Mr.
Barber's house. They were strangers to him; but, with the hospitality of
those days, he made a fire for them and set refreshments before them.

"While they warmed themselves they inquired why the Indians were
suffered to live peaceably here. Mr. Barber said they were entirely
inoffensive, living on their own lands and injuring no one. They asked
what would be the consequence if they were all destroyed. Mr. Barber
said he thought they would be as liable to punishment as if they had
destroyed so many white men. They said _they_ were of a different
opinion, and in a few minutes went out. In the mean time two sons of Mr.
Barber's, about ten or twelve years old, went out to look at the
strangers' horses, which were hitched at a little distance from the

"After the men went the boys came in, and said that they had tomahawks
tied to their saddles which were all bloody, and that they had Christy's
gun. Christy was a little Indian boy about their own age. They were much
attached to him, as he was their playmate, and made bows and arrows for

While the family were talking over this, and wondering what it could
mean, a messenger came running breathless to inform them of what had
happened. Mr. Barber went at once to the spot, and there he found the
murdered Indians lying in the smouldering ruins of their homes, "like
half-consumed logs." He, "with some trouble, procured their bodies, to
administer to them the rights of sepulture."

"It was said that at the beginning of the slaughter an Indian mother
placed her little child under a barrel, charging it to make no noise,
and that a shot was fired through the barrel which broke the child's
arm, and still it kept silent."

The magistrates of Lancaster, shocked, as well they might be, at this
frightful barbarity, sent messengers out immediately, and took the
remaining Indians, wherever they were found, brought them into the town
for protection, and lodged them in the newly-erected workhouse or jail,
which was the strongest building in the place. The Governor of
Pennsylvania issued a proclamation, ordering all judges, sheriffs, and
"all His Majesty's liege subjects in the province," to make every effort
to apprehend the authors and perpetrators of this crime, also their
abettors and accomplices. But the "Paxton Boys" held magistrates and
governor alike in derision. Two weeks later they assembled again, fifty
strong, rode to Lancaster, dismounted, broke open the doors of the jail,
and killed every Indian there.

"When the poor wretches saw they had no protection nigh, nor could
possibly escape, and being without the least weapon of defence, they
divided their little families, the children clinging to their parents.
They fell on their faces, protested their innocence, declared their love
to the English, and that in their whole lives they had never done them
injury. And in this posture they all received the hatchet. Men, women,
and children were every one inhumanly murdered in cold blood. *** The
barbarous men who committed the atrocious act, in defiance of
government, of all laws, human and divine, and to the eternal disgrace
of their country and color, then mounted their horses, huzzaed in
triumph, as if they had gained a victory, and rode off unmolested. ***
The bodies of the murdered were then brought out and exposed in the
street till a hole could be made in the earth to receive and cover them.
But the wickedness cannot be covered, and the guilt will lie on the
whole land till justice is done on the murderers. The blood of the
innocent will cry to Heaven for vengeance."

These last extracts are from a pamphlet printed in Philadelphia at the
time of the massacre; printed anonymously, because "so much had fear
seized the minds of the people" that neither the writer nor the printer
dared to give "name or place of abode."

There are also private letters still preserved which give accounts of
the affair. A part of one from William Henry, of Lancaster, to a friend
in Philadelphia, is given in "Rupp's History of Lancaster County." He
says, "A regiment of Highlanders were at that time quartered at the
barracks in the town, and yet these murderers were permitted to break
open the doors of the city jail and commit the horrid deed. The first
notice I had of the affair was that, while at my father's store near the
court-house, I saw a number of people running down-street toward the
jail, which enticed me and other lads to follow them. At about six or
eight yards from the jail we met from twenty-five to thirty men, well
mounted on horses, and with rifles, tomahawks, and scalping-knives,
equipped for murder. I ran into the prison-yard, and there, oh, what a
horrid sight presented itself to my view! Near the back door of the
prison lay an old Indian and his squaw, particularly well known and
esteemed by the people of the town on account of his placid and friendly
conduct. His name was Will Soc. Around him and his squaw lay two
children, about the age of three years, whose heads were split with the
tomahawk and their scalps taken off. Toward the middle of the jail-yard,
along the west side of the wall, lay a stout Indian, whom I particularly
noticed to have been shot in his breast. His legs were chopped with the
tomahawk, his hands cut off, and finally a rifle-ball discharged in his
mouth, so that his head was blown to atoms, and the brains were splashed
against and yet hanging to the wall for three or four feet around. This
man's hands and feet had been chopped off with a tomahawk. In this
manner lay the whole of them—men, women, and children—spread about the
prison-yard, shot, scalped, hacked, and cut to pieces."

After this the Governor of Pennsylvania issued a second proclamation,
still more stringent than the first, and offering a reward of $600 for
the apprehension of any three of the ringleaders.

But the "Paxton Boys" were now like wild beasts that had tasted blood.
They threatened to attack the Quakers and all persons who sympathized
with or protected Indians. They openly mocked and derided the governor
and his proclamations, and set off at once for Philadelphia, announcing
their intention of killing all the Moravian Indians who had been placed
under the protection of the military there.

Their march through the country was like that of a band of maniacs. In a
private letter written by David Rittenhouse at this time, he says,
"About fifty of these scoundrels marched by my workshop. I have seen
hundreds of Indians travelling the country, and can with truth affirm
that the behavior of these fellows was ten times more savage and brutal
than theirs. Frightening women by running the muzzles of guns through
windows, hallooing and swearing; attacking men without the least
provocation, dragging them by the hair to the ground, and pretending to
scalp them; shooting dogs and fowls: these are some of their exploits."

It is almost past belief that at this time many people justified these
acts. An Episcopalian clergyman in Lancaster wrote vindicating them,
"bringing Scripture to prove that it was right to destroy the heathen;"
and the "Presbyterians think they have a better justification—nothing
less than the Word of God," says one of the writers on the massacre.

"With the Scriptures in their hands and mouths, they can set at naught
that express command, 'Thou shalt do no murder,' and justify their
wickedness by the command given to Joshua to destroy the heathen. Horrid
perversion of Scripture and religion, to father the worst of crimes on
the God of Love and Peace!" It is a trite saying that history repeats
itself; but it is impossible to read now these accounts of the massacres
of defenceless and peaceable Indians in the middle of the eighteenth
century, without the reflection that the record of the nineteenth is
blackened by the same stains. What Pennsylvania pioneers did in 1763 to
helpless and peaceable Indians of Conestoga, Colorado pioneers did in
1864 to helpless and peaceable Cheyennes at Sand Creek, and have
threatened to do again to helpless and peaceable Utes in 1880. The word
"extermination" is as ready on the frontiersman's tongue to-day as it
was a hundred years ago; and the threat is more portentous now, seeing
that we are, by a whole century of prosperity, stronger and more
numerous, and the Indians are, by a whole century of suffering and
oppression, fewer and weaker. But our crime is baser and our infamy
deeper in the same proportion.

Close upon this Conestoga massacre followed a "removal" of friendly
Indians—the earliest on record, and one whose cruelty and cost to the
suffering Indians well entitle it to a place in a narrative of

Everywhere in the provinces fanatics began to renew the old cry that the
Indians were the Canaanites whom God had commanded Joshua to destroy;
and that these wars were a token of God's displeasure with the Europeans
for permitting the "heathen" to live. Soon it became dangerous for a
Moravian Indian to be seen anywhere. In vain did he carry one of the
Pennsylvania governor's passports in his pocket. He was liable to be
shot at sight, with no time to pull his passport out. Even in the
villages there was no safety. The devoted congregations watched and
listened night and day, not knowing at what hour they might hear the
fatal warwhoop of hostile members of their own race, coming to slay
them; or the sudden shots of white settlers, coming to avenge on them
outrages committed by savages hundreds of miles away.

With every report that arrived of Indian massacres at the North, the
fury of the white people all over the country rose to greater height,
including even Christian Indians in its unreasoning hatred. But, in the
pious language of a narrative written by one of the Moravian
missionaries, "God inclined the hearts of the chief magistrates to
protect them. November 6th an express arrived from Philadelphia,
bringing an order that all the baptized Indians from Nain and
Wechquetank should be brought to Philadelphia, and be protected in that
city, having first delivered up their arms."

Two days later both these congregations set out on their sad journey,
weeping as they left their homes. They joined forces at Bethlehem, on
the banks of the Lecha, and "entered upon their pilgrimage in the name
of the Lord, the congregation of Bethlehem standing spectators, and, as
they passed, commending them to the grace and protection of God, with
supplication and tears."

Four of the Moravian missionaries were with them, and some of the
brethren from Bethlehem accompanied them all the way, "the sheriff, Mr.
Jennings, caring for them as a father."

The aged, the sick, and the little children were carried in wagons. All
the others, women and men, went on foot. The November rains had made the
roads very heavy. As the weary and heart-broken people toiled slowly
along through the mud, they were saluted with curses and abuse on all
sides. As they passed through the streets of Germantown a mob gathered
and followed them, taunting them with violent threats of burning,
hanging, and other tortures. It was said that a party had been organized
to make a serious attack on them, but was deterred by the darkness and
the storm. Four days were consumed in this tedious march, and on the
11th of November they reached Philadelphia. Here, spite of the
governor's positive order, the officers in command at the barracks
refused to allow them to enter. From ten in the forenoon till three in
the afternoon there the helpless creatures stood before the shut
gate—messengers going back and forth between the defiant garrison and
the bewildered and impotent governor; the mob, thickening and growing
more and more riotous hour by hour, pressing the Indians on every side,
jeering them, reviling them, charging them with all manner of outrages,
and threatening to kill them on the spot. The missionaries, bravely
standing beside their flock, in vain tried to stem or turn the torrent
of insult and abuse. All that they accomplished was to draw down the
same insult and abuse on their own heads.

Nothing but the Indians' marvellous patience and silence saved them from
being murdered by this exasperated mob. To the worst insults they made
no reply, no attempt at retaliation or defence. They afterward said that
they had comforted themselves "by considering what insult and mockery
our Saviour had suffered on their account."

At last, after five hours of this, the governor, unable to compel the
garrison to open the barracks, sent an order that the Indians should be
taken to Province Island, an island in the Delaware River joined to the
main-land by a dam. Six miles more, every mile in risk of their lives,
the poor creatures walked. As they passed again through the city,
thousands followed them, the old record says, and "with such tumultuous
clamor that they might truly be considered as sheep among wolves."

Long after dark they reached the island, and were lodged in some unused
buildings, large and comfortless. There they kept their vesper service,
and took heart from the fact that the verse for the day was that verse
of the beautiful thirty-second psalm which has comforted so many
perplexed souls: "I will teach thee in the way thou shalt go."

Here they settled themselves as best they could. The missionaries had
their usual meetings with them, and humane people from Philadelphia,
"especially some of the people called Quakers," sent them provisions and
fuel, and tried in various ways to "render the inconvenience of their
situation less grievous."

Before they had been here a month some of the villages they had left
were burnt, and the riotous Paxton mob, which had murdered all the
peaceful Conestoga Indians, announced its intention of marching on
Province Island and killing every Indian there. The Governor of
Pennsylvania launched proclamation after proclamation, forbidding any
one, under severest penalties, to molest the Indians under its
protection, and offering a reward of two hundred pounds for the
apprehension of the ringleaders of the insurgents. But public sentiment
was inflamed to such a degree that the Government was practically
powerless. The known ringleaders and their sympathizers paraded
contemptuously in front of the governor's house, mocking him derisively,
and not even two hundred pounds would tempt any man to attack them. In
many parts of Lancaster County parties were organized with the avowed
intention of marching on Philadelphia and slaughtering all the Indians
under the protection of the Government. Late on the 29th of December
rumors reached Philadelphia that a large party of these rioters were on
the road; and the governor, at daybreak the next day, sent large boats
to Province Island, with orders to the missionaries to put their people
on board as quickly as possible, row to Leek Island, and await further
orders. In confusion and terror the congregations obeyed, and fled to
Leek Island. Later in the day came a second letter from the governor,
telling them that the alarm had proved a false one. They might return to
Province Island, where he would send them a guard; and that they would
better keep the boats, to be ready in case of a similar emergency.

"They immediately returned with joy to their former habitation," says
the old record, "comforted by the text for the day—'The Lord is my
strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him' (Ps. xxviii., 7)—and
closed this remarkable year with prayer and thanksgiving for all the
proofs of the help of God in so many heavy trials."

Four days later the missionaries received a second order for instant
departure. The reports of the murderous intentions of the rioters being
confirmed, and the governor seeing only too clearly his own
powerlessness to contend with them, he had resolved to send the Indians
northward, and put them under the protection of the English army, and
especially of Sir William Johnson, agent for the Crown among the
Northern Indians. No time was to be lost in carrying out this plan, for
at any moment the mob might attack Province Island. Accordingly, at
midnight of January 4th, the fugitives set out once more, passed through
Philadelphia, undiscovered, to the meeting-house of the Moravian
Brethren, where a breakfast had been provided for them. Here they were
met by the commissary, Mr. Fox, who had been detailed by the governor to
take charge of their journey. Mr. Fox, heart-stricken at their suffering
appearance, immediately sent out and bought blankets to be distributed
among them, as some protection against the cold. Wagons were brought for
the aged, sick, blind, little children, and the heavy baggage; and again
the pitiful procession took up its march. Again an angry mob gathered
fast on its steps, cursing and reviling in a terrible manner, only
restrained by fear from laying violent hands on them. Except for the
protection of a military escort they would scarcely have escaped
murderous assault.

At Amboy two sloops lay ready to transport them to New York; but just as
they reached this place, and were preparing to go on shore, a messenger
arrived from the Governor of New York with angry orders that not an
Indian should set foot in that territory. Even the ferry-men were
forbidden, under heavy penalties, to ferry one across the river.

The commissioner in charge of them, in great perplexity, sent to the
Governor of Pennsylvania for further orders, placing the Indians,
meantime, in the Amboy barracks. Here they held their daily meetings,
singing and praying with great unction, until finally many of their
enemies were won to a hearty respect and sympathy for them; even
soldiers being heard to say, "Would to God all the white people were as
good Christians as these Indians."

The Pennsylvania governor had nothing left him to do but to order the
Indians back again, and, accordingly, says the record, "The Indian
congregation set out with cheerfulness on their return, in full
confidence that the Lord in his good providence, for wise purposes best
known to himself, had ordained their travelling thus to and fro. This
belief supported them under all the difficulties they met with in their
journeys made in the severest part of winter."

They made the return journey under a large military escort, one party in
advance and one bringing up the rear. This escort was composed of
soldiers, who, having just come from Niagara, where they had been
engaged in many fights with the North-western savages, were at first
disposed to treat these defenceless Indians with brutal cruelty; but
they were soon disarmed by the Indians' gentle patience, and became
cordial and friendly.

The return journey was a hard one. The aged and infirm people had become
much weakened by their repeated hardships, and the little children
suffered pitiably. In crossing some of the frozen rivers the feeble ones
were obliged to crawl on their hands and feet on the ice.

On the 24th of January they reached Philadelphia, and were at once taken
to the barracks, where almost immediately mobs began again to molest and
threaten them. The governor, thoroughly in earnest now, and determined
to sustain his own honor and that of the province, had eight heavy
pieces of cannon mounted and a rampart thrown up in front of the
barracks. The citizens were called to arms, and so great was the
excitement that it is said even Quakers took guns and hurried to the
barracks to defend the Indians; and the governor himself went at
midnight to visit them, and reassure them by promises of protection.

On February 4th news was received that the rioters in large force were
approaching the city. Hearing of the preparations made to receive them,
they did not venture to enter. On the night of the 5th, however, they
drew near again. The whole city was roused, church-bells rung, bonfires
lighted, cannon fired, the inhabitants waked from their sleep and
ordered to the town-house, where arms were given to all. Four more
cannon were mounted at the barracks, and all that day was spent in
hourly expectation of the rebels. But their brave boasts were not
followed up by action. Seeing that the city was in arms against them,
they halted. The governor then sent a delegation of citizens to ask them
what they wanted.

They asserted, insolently, that there were among the Indians some who
had committed murders, and that they must be given up. Some of the
ringleaders were then taken into the barracks and asked to point out the
murderers. Covered with confusion, they were obliged to admit they could
not accuse one Indian there. They then charged the Quakers with having
taken away six and concealed them. This also was disproved, and finally
the excitement subsided.

All through the spring and summer the Indians remained prisoners in the
barracks. Their situation became almost insupportable from confinement,
unwholesome diet, and the mental depression inevitable in their state.
To add to their misery small-pox broke out among them, and fifty-six
died in the course of the summer from this loathsome disease.

"We cannot describe," said the missionaries, "the joy and fervent desire
which most of them showed in the prospect of seeing their Saviour face
to face. We saw with amazement the power of the blood of Jesus in the
hearts of poor sinners." This was, no doubt, true; but there might well
have entered into the poor, dying creatures' thoughts an ecstasy at the
mere prospect of freedom, after a year of such imprisonment and

At last, on December 4th, the news of peace reached Philadelphia. On the
6th a proclamation was published in all the newspapers that war was
ended and hostilities must cease. The joy with which the prisoned
Indians received this news can hardly be conceived. It "exceeded all
descriptions," says the record, and "was manifested in thanksgivings and
praises to the Lord."

It was still unsafe, however, for them to return to their old homes,
which were thickly surrounded by white settlers, who were no less
hostile now at heart than they had been before the proclamation of
peace. It was decided, therefore, that they should make a new settlement
in the Indian country on the Susquehanna River. After a touching
farewell to their old friends of the Bethlehem congregation, and a
grateful leave-taking of the governor, who had protected and supported
them for sixteen months, they set out on the 3d of April for their new
home in the wilderness. For the third time their aged, sick, and little
children were placed in overloaded wagons, for a long and difficult
journey—a far harder one than any they had yet taken. The
inhospitalities of the lonely wilderness were worse than the curses and
revilings of riotous mobs. They were overtaken by severe snow-storms.
They camped in icy swamps, shivering all night around smouldering fires
of wet wood. To avoid still hostile whites they had to take great
circuits through unbroken forests, where each foot of their path had to
be cut tree by tree. The men waded streams and made rafts for the women
and children. Sometimes, when the streams were deep, they had to go into
camp, and wait till canoes could be built. They carried heavy loads of
goods for which there was no room in the wagons. Going over high, steep
hills, they often had to divide their loads into small parcels, thus
doubling and trebling the road. Their provisions gave out. They ate the
bitter wild potatoes. When the children cried with hunger, they peeled
chestnut-trees, and gave them the sweet-juiced inner bark to suck. Often
they had no water except that from shallow, muddy puddles. Once they
were environed by blazing woods, whose fires burnt fiercely for hours
around their encampment. Several of the party died, and were buried by
the way.

"But all these trials were forgotten in their daily meetings, in which
the presence of the Lord was most sensibly and comfortably felt. These
were always held in the evening, around a large fire, in the open air."

They celebrated a "joyful commemoration" of Easter, and spent the
Passion-week "in blessed contemplation" of the sufferings of Jesus,
whose "presence supported them under all afflictions, insomuch that they
never lost their cheerfulness and resignation" during the five long
weeks of this terrible journey.

On the 9th of May they arrived at Machwihilusing, and "forgot all their
pain and trouble for joy that they had reached the place of their future
abode. *** With offers of praise and thanksgiving, they devoted
themselves anew to Him who had given them rest for the soles of their

"With renewed courage" they selected their home on the banks of the
Susquehanna, and proceeded to build houses. They gave to the settlement
the name of Friedenshutten—a name full of significance, as coming from
the hearts of these persecuted wanderers: Friedenshutten—"Tents of

If all this persecution had fallen upon these Indians because they were
Christians, the record, piteous as it is, would be only one out of
thousands of records of the sufferings of Christian martyrs, and would
stir our sympathies less than many another. But this was not the case.
It was simply because they were Indians that the people demanded their
lives, and would have taken them, again and again, except that all the
power of the Government was enlisted for their protection. The fact of
their being Christians did not enter in, one way or the other, any more
than did the fact that they were peaceable. They were Indians, and the
frontiersmen of Pennsylvania intended either to drive all Indians out of
their State or kill them, just as the frontiersmen of Nebraska and of
Colorado now intend to do if they can. We shall see whether the United
States Government is as strong to-day as the Government of the Province
of Pennsylvania was in 1763; or whether it will try first (and fail), as
John Penn did, to push the helpless, hunted creatures off somewhere into
a temporary makeshift of shelter, for a temporary deferring of the
trouble of protecting them.

Sixteen years after the Conestoga massacre came that of Gnadenhütten,
the blackest crime on the long list; a massacre whose equal for
treachery and cruelty cannot be pointed out in the record of massacres
of whites by Indians.

II.—_The Gnadenhütten Massacre._

In the year 1779 the congregations of Moravian Indians living at
Gnadenhütten, Salem, and Schonbrun, on the Muskingum River, were
compelled by hostile Indians to forsake their villages and go northward
to the Sandusky River. This movement was instigated by the English, who
had become suspicious that the influence of the Moravian missionaries
was thrown on the side of the colonies, and that their villages were
safe centres of information and supplies. These Indians having taken no
part whatever in the war, there was no pretext for open interference
with them; but the English agents found it no difficult matter to stir
up the hostile tribes to carry out their designs. And when the harassed
congregations finally consented to move, the savages who escorted them
were commanded by English officers.

"The savages drove them forward like cattle," says an old narrative;
"the white brethren and sisters in the midst, surrounded by the
believing Indians." "One morning, when the latter could not set out as
expeditiously as the savages thought proper, they attacked the white
brethren, and forced them to set out alone, whipping their horses
forward till they grew wild, and not even allowing mothers time to
suckle their children. The road was exceeding bad, leading through a
continuance of swamps. Sister Zeisberger fell twice from her horse, and
once, hanging in the stirrup, was dragged for some time; but assistance
was soon at hand, and the Lord preserved her from harm. Some of the
believing Indians followed them as fast as possible, but with all their
exertions did not overtake them till night."

For one month these unfortunate people journeyed through the wilds in
this way. When they reached the Sandusky Creek the savages left them to
take care of themselves as best they might. They were over a hundred
miles from their homes, "in a wilderness where there was neither game
nor provisions." Here they built huts of logs and bark. They had neither
beds nor blankets. In fact, the only things which the savages had left
them were their utensils for making maple sugar. It was the middle of
October when they reached Sandusky. Already it was cold, and the winter
was drawing near. In November Governor De Peyster, the English commander
at Fort Detroit, summoned the missionaries to appear before him and
refute the accusations brought against their congregations of having
aided and abetted the colonies.

"The missionaries answered that they doubted not in the least but that
very evil reports must have reached his ears, as the treatment they had
met with had sufficiently proved that they were considered as guilty
persons, but that these reports were false. *** That Congress, indeed,
knew that they were employed as missionaries to the Indians, and did not
disturb them in their labors; but had never in anything given them
directions how to proceed."

The governor, convinced of the innocence and single-heartedness of these
noble men, publicly declared that "he felt great satisfaction in their
endeavors to civilize and Christianize the Indians, and would permit
them to return to their congregations." He then gave them passports for
their journey back to Sandusky, and appended a permission that they
should perform the functions of their office among the Christian Indians
without molestation.

This left them at rest so far as apprehensions of attack from hostile
Indians were concerned; but there still remained the terrible
apprehension of death by starvation and cold. Deep snows lay on the
ground. Their hastily-built huts were so small that it was impossible to
make large fires in them. Their floors being only the bare earth,
whenever a thaw came the water forced itself up and then froze again.
Cattle died for lack of food, and their carcasses were greedily
devoured; nursing children died for want of nourishment from their
starving mothers' breasts; the daily allowance of corn to each adult was
one pint, and even this pittance it was found would not last till

Nevertheless, "they celebrated the Christmas holidays with cheerfulness
and blessing, and concluded this remarkable year with thanks and praise
to Him who is ever the Saviour of his people. But, having neither bread
nor wine, they could not keep the communion."

Meantime the corn still stood ungathered in their old fields on the
Muskingum River. Weather-beaten, frozen, as it was, it would be still a
priceless store to these starving people. The project of going back
there after it began to be discussed. It was one hundred and twenty-five
miles' journey; but food in abundance lay at the journey's end. Finally
it was decided that the attempt should be made. Their first plan was to
hide their families in the woods at some distance from the settlements
lest there might be some danger from hostile whites. On their way,
however, they were met by some of their brethren from Schonbrun, who
advised them to go back openly into their deserted towns, assuring them
that the Americans were friendly to them now. They accordingly did so,
and remained for several weeks at Salem and Gnadenhütten, working day
and night gathering and husking the weather-beaten corn, and burying it
in holes in the ground in the woods for future supply. On the very day
that they were to have set off with their packs of corn, to return to
their starving friends and relatives at Sandusky, a party of between one
and two hundred whites made their appearance at Gnadenhütten. Seeing the
Indians scattered all through the cornfields, they rode up to them,
expressing pleasure at seeing them, and saying that they would take them
into Pennsylvania, to a place where they would be out of all reach of
persecution from the hostile savages or the English. They represented
themselves as "friends and brothers, who had purposely come out to
relieve them from the distress brought on them on account of their being
friends to the American people. *** The Christian Indians, not in the
least doubting their sincerity, walked up to them and thanked them for
being so kind; while the whites again gave assurances that they would
meet with good treatment from them. They then advised them to
discontinue their work and cross over to the town, in order to make
necessary arrangements for the journey, as they intended to take them
out of the reach of their enemies, and where they would be supplied
abundantly with all they stood in need of."

They proposed to take them to Pittsburg, where they would be out of the
way of any assault made by the English or the savages. This the Indians
heard, one of their missionaries writes, "with resignation, concluding
that God would perhaps choose this method to put an end to their
sufferings. Prepossessed with this idea, they cheerfully delivered their
guns, hatchets, and other weapons to the murderers, who promised to take
good care of them, and in Pittsburg to return every article to its
rightful owner. Our Indians even showed them all those things which they
had secreted in the woods, assisted in packing them up, and emptied all
their beehives for these pretended friends."

In the mean time one of the assistants, John Martin by name, went to
Salem, ten miles distant, and carried the good news that a party of
whites had come from the settlements to carry them to a place of safety
and give them protection. "The Salem Indians," says the same narrative,
"did not hesitate to accept of this proposal, believing unanimously that
God had sent the Americans to release them from their disagreeable
situation at Sandusky, and imagining that when arrived at Pittsburg they
might soon find a safe place to build a settlement, and easily procure
advice and assistance from Bethlehem."

Some of the whites expressed a desire to see the village of Salem, were
conducted thither, and received with much friendship by the Indians. On
the way they entered into spiritual conversation with their unsuspecting
companions, feigning great piety and discoursing on many religious and
scriptural subjects. They offered also to assist the Salem Indians in
moving their effects.

In the mean time the defenceless Indians at Gnadenhütten were suddenly
attacked, driven together, bound with ropes, and confined. As soon as
the Salem Indians arrived, they met with the same fate.

The murderers then held a council to decide what should be done with
them. By a majority of votes it was decided to kill them all the next
day. To the credit of humanity be it recorded, that there were in this
band a few who remonstrated, declared that these Indians were innocent
and harmless, and should be set at liberty, or, at least, given up to
the Government as prisoners. Their remonstrances were unavailing, and,
finding that they could not prevail on these monsters to spare the
Indians' lives, "they wrung their hands, calling God to witness that
they were innocent of the blood of these Christian Indians. They then
withdrew to some distance from the scene of slaughter."

The majority were unmoved, and only disagreed as to the method of
putting their victims to death. Some were for burning them alive; others
for tomahawking and scalping them. The latter method was determined on,
and a message was sent to the Indians that, "as they were Christian
Indians, they might prepare themselves in a Christian manner, for they
must all die to-morrow."

The rest of the narrative is best told in the words of the Moravian
missionaries: "It may be easily conceived how great their terror was at
hearing a sentence so unexpected. However, they soon recollected
themselves, and patiently suffered the murderers to lead them into two
houses, in one of which the brethren were confined and in the other the
sisters and children. *** Finding that all entreaties to save their
lives were to no purpose, and that some, more blood-thirsty than others,
were anxious to begin upon them, they united in begging a short delay,
that they might prepare themselves for death, which request was granted
them. Then asking pardon for whatever offence they had given, or grief
they had occasioned to each other, they knelt down, offering fervent
prayers to God their Saviour and kissing one another. Under a flood of
tears, fully resigned to his will, they sung praises unto him, in the
joyful hope that they would soon be relieved from all pains and join
their Redeemer in everlasting bliss. *** The murderers, impatient to
make a beginning, came again to them while they were singing, and,
inquiring whether they were now ready for dying, they were answered in
the affirmative, adding that they had commended their immortal souls to
God, who had given them the assurance in their hearts that he would
receive their souls. One of the party, now taking up a cooper's mallet
which lay in the house, saying, 'How exactly this will answer for the
purpose,' began with Abraham, and continued knocking down one after
another until he counted fourteen that he had killed with his own hands.
He now handed the instrument to one of his fellow-murderers, saying: 'My
arm fails me. Go on in the same way. I think I have done pretty well.'
In another house, where mostly women and children were confined, Judith,
a remarkably pious aged widow, was the first victim. After they had
finished the horrid deed they retreated to a small distance from the
slaughterhouses; but, after a while, returning again to view the dead
bodies, and finding one of them (Abel), although scalped and mangled,
attempting to raise himself from the floor, they so renewed their blows
upon him that he never rose again. *** Thus ninety-six persons magnified
the name of the Lord by patiently meeting a cruel death. Sixty-two were
grown persons and thirty-four children. Many of them were born of
Christian parents in the society, and were among those who in the year
1763 were taken under the protection of the Pennsylvania Government at
the time of the riots of the Paxton Boys. *** Two boys, about fourteen
years of age, almost miraculously escaped from this massacre. One of
them was scalped and thrown down for dead. Recovering himself, he looked
around; but, with great presence of mind, lay down again quickly,
feigning death. In a few moments he saw the murderers return, and again
bury their hatchets in the head of Abel, who was attempting to rise,
though scalped and terribly mangled. As soon as it was dark, Thomas
crept over the dead bodies and escaped to the woods, where he hid
himself till night. The other lad, who was confined in the house with
the women, contrived unnoticed to slip through a trap-door into the
cellar, where he lay concealed through the day, the blood all the while
running down through the floor in streams. At dark he escaped through a
small window and crept to the woods, where he encountered Thomas, and
the two made their way together, after incredible hardships, to
Sandusky. To describe the grief and terror of the Indian congregation on
hearing that so large a number of its members was so cruelly massacred
is impossible. Parents wept and mourned for the loss of their children,
husbands for their wives, and wives for their husbands, children for
their parents, sisters for brothers, and brothers for sisters. But they
murmured not, nor did they call for vengeance on the murderers, but
prayed for them. And their greatest consolation was a full assurance
that all their beloved relatives were now at home in the presence of the
Lord, and in full possession of everlasting happiness."

An account of this massacre was given in the _Pennsylvania Gazette_, of
April 17th, 1782. It runs as follows:

"The people being greatly alarmed, and having received intelligence that
the Indian towns on the Muskingum had not moved, as reported, a number
of men, properly provided, collected and rendezvoused on the Ohio,
opposite the Mingo Bottom, with a desire to surprise the above towns.

"One hundred men swam the river, and proceeded to the towns on the
Muskingum, where the Indians had collected a large quantity of
provisions to supply their war-parties. They arrived at the town in the
night, undiscovered, attacked the Indians in their cabins, and so
completely surprised them that they killed and scalped upward of
ninety—but a few making their escape—about forty of whom were warriors,
the rest old women and children. About eighty horses fell into their
hands, which they loaded with the plunder, the greatest part furs and
skins, and returned to the Ohio without the loss of a man."

III.—_Massacres of Apaches._

In less than one hundred years from this Gnadenhütten massacre an
officer of the United States Army, stationed at Camp Grant, in Arizona
Territory, writes to his commanding officer the following letter:

                         "Camp Grant, Arizona Territory, May 17th, 1871.

"DEAR COLONEL,—Thanks for your kind letter of last week. If I could see
you and have a long talk, and answer all your questions, I could come
nearer giving you a clear idea of the history of the Indians at this
post than by any written account. Having had them constantly under my
observation for nearly three months, and the care of them constantly on
my mind, certain things have become so much a matter of certainty to me
that I am liable to forget the amount of evidence necessary to convince
even the most unprejudiced mind that has not been brought in contact
with them. I will, however, try and give you a connected account, and if
it proves not sufficiently full in detail, you may be sure all its
positive statements will be sustained by the testimony of all competent
judges who have been at this post and cognizant of the facts.

"Sometime in February a party of five old women came in under a flag of
truce, with a letter from Colonel Greene, saying they were in search of
a boy, the son of one of the number taken prisoner near Salt River some
months before. This boy had been well cared for, and had become attached
to his new mode of life, and did not wish to return. The party were
kindly treated, rationed while here, and after two days went away,
asking permission to return. They came in about eight days, I think,
with a still larger number, with some articles for sale, to purchase
manta, as they were nearly naked. Before going away they said a young
chief would like to come in with a party and have a talk. This I
encouraged, and in a few days he came with about twenty-five of his
band. He stated in brief that he was chief of a band of about one
hundred and fifty of what were originally the Aravapa Apaches; that he
wanted peace; that he and his people had no home, and could make none,
as they were at all times apprehensive of the approach of the cavalry. I
told him he should go to the White Mountains. He said, 'That is not our
country, neither are they our people. We are at peace with them, but
never have mixed with them. Our fathers and their fathers before them
have lived in these mountains, and have raised corn in this valley. We
are taught to make mescal, our principal article of food, and in summer
and winter here we have a never-failing supply. At the White Mountains
there is none, and without it now we get sick. Some of our people have
been in at Goodwin, and for a short time at the White Mountains; but
they are not contented, and they all say, "Let us go to the Aravapa and
make a final peace, and never break it."'

"I told him I had no authority to make any treaty with him, or to
promise him that he would be allowed a permanent home here, but that he
could bring in his hand, and I would feed them, and report his wishes to
the Department commander. In the mean time runners had been in from two
other small bands, asking the same privileges and giving the same
reasons. I made the same reply to all, and by about the 11th of March I
had over three hundred here. I wrote a detailed account of the whole
matter, and sent it by express to Department Head-quarters, asking for
instructions, having only the general policy of the Government in such
cases for my guidance. After waiting more than six weeks my letter was
returned to me without comment, except calling my attention to the fact
that it was not briefed properly. At first I put them in camp, about
half a mile from the post, and counted them, and issued their rations
every second day. The number steadily increased until it reached the
number of five hundred and ten.

"Knowing, as I did, that the responsibility of the whole movement rested
with me, and that, in case of any loss to the Government coming of it, I
should be the sufferer, I kept them continually under my observation
till I came not only to know the faces of the men, but of the women and
children. They were nearly naked, and needed everything in the way of
clothing. I stopped the Indians from bringing hay, that I might buy of
these. I arranged a system of tickets with which to pay them and
encourage them; and to be sure that they were properly treated, I
personally attended to the weighing. I also made inquiries as to the
kind of goods sold them, and prices. This proved a perfect success; not
only the women and children engaged in the work, but the men. The amount
furnished by them in about two months was nearly 300,000 pounds.

"During this time many small parties had been out with passes for a
certain number of days to burn mescal. These parties were always mostly
women, and I made myself sure by noting the size of the party, and from
the amount of mescal brought in, that no treachery was intended. From
the first I was determined to know not only all they did, but their
hopes and intentions. For this purpose I spent hours each day with them
in explaining to them the relations they should sustain to the
Government, and their prospects for the future in case of either
obedience or disobedience. I got from them in return much of their
habits of thought and rules of action. I made it a point to tell them
all they wished to know, and in the plainest and most positive manner.
They were readily obedient, and remarkably quick of comprehension. They
were happy and contented, and took every opportunity to show it. They
had sent out runners to two other bands which were connected with them
by intermarriages, and had received promises from them that they would
come in and join them. I am confident, from all I have been able to
learn, that but for this unlooked-for butchery, by this time we would
have had one thousand persons, and at least two hundred and fifty
able-bodied men. As their number increased and the weather grew warmer,
they asked and obtained permission to move farther up the Aravapa to
higher ground and plenty of water, and opposite to the ground they were
proposing to plant. They were rationed every third day. Captain Stanwood
arrived about the first of April, and took command of the post. He had
received, while _en route_, verbal instructions from General Stoneman to
recognize and feed any Indians he might find at the post as prisoners of
war. After he had carefully inspected all things pertaining to their
conduct and treatment, he concluded to make no changes, but had become
so well satisfied of the integrity of their intentions that he left on
the 24th with his whole troop for a long scout in the lower part of the
Territory. The ranchmen in this vicinity were friendly and kind to them,
and felt perfectly secure, and had agreed with me to employ them at a
fair rate of pay to harvest their barley. The Indians seemed to have
lost their characteristic anxiety to purchase ammunition, and had, in
many instances, sold their best bows and arrows. I made frequent visits
to their camp, and if any were absent from count, made it my business to
know why.

"Such was the condition of things up to the morning of the 30th of
April. They had so won on me that, from my first idea of treating them
justly and honestly, as an officer of the army, I had come to feel a
strong personal interest in helping to show them the way to a higher
civilization. I had come to feel respect for men who, ignorant and
naked, were still ashamed to lie or steal; and for women who would work
cheerfully like slaves to clothe themselves and children, but, untaught,
held their virtue above price. Aware of the lies industriously
circulated by the puerile press of the country, I was content to know I
had positive proof they were so.

"I had ceased to have any fears of their leaving here, and only dreaded
for them that they might be at any time ordered to do so. They
frequently expressed anxiety to hear from the general, that they might
have confidence to build for themselves better houses; but would always
say, 'You know what we want, and if you can't see him you can write, and
do for us what you can.' It is possible that, during this time,
individuals from here had visited other bands; but that any number had
ever been out to assist in any marauding expedition I know is false. On
the morning of April 30th I was at breakfast at 7.30 o'clock, when a
despatch was brought to me by a sergeant of Company P, 21st Infantry,
from Captain Penn, commanding Camp Lowell, informing me that a large
party had left Tucson on the 28th with the avowed purpose of killing all
the Indians at this post. I immediately sent the two interpreters,
mounted, to the Indian camp, with orders to tell the chiefs the exact
state of things, and for them to bring their entire party inside the
post. As I had no cavalry, and but about fifty infantry (all recruits),
and no other officer, I could not leave the post to go to their defence.
My messengers returned in about an hour with intelligence that they
could find no living Indians.

"Their camp was burning, and the ground strewed with their dead and
mutilated women and children. I immediately mounted a party of about
twenty soldiers and citizens, and sent them with the post surgeon with a
wagon to bring in the wounded, if any could be found. The party returned
late in the afternoon, having found no wounded, and without having been
able to communicate with any of the survivors. Early the next morning I
took a similar party with spades and shovels, and went out and buried
the dead immediately in and about the camp. I had, the day before,
offered the interpreters, or any one who would do so, $100 to go to the
mountains and communicate with them, and convince them that no officer
or soldier of the United States Government had been concerned in the
vile transaction; and, failing in this, I thought the act of caring for
their dead would be an evidence to them of our sympathy, at least, and
the conjecture proved correct; for while we were at the work, many of
them came to the spot and indulged in expressions of grief too wild and
terrible to be described.

"That evening they began to come in from all directions, singly and in
small parties, so changed as hardly to be recognizable in the
forty-eight hours during which they had neither eaten nor slept. Many of
the men, whose families had all been killed, when I spoke to them and
expressed sympathy for them, were obliged to turn away, unable to speak,
and too proud to show their grief. The women whose children had been
killed or stolen were convulsed with grief, and looked to me
appealingly, as if I were their last hope on earth. Children, who two
days before had been full of frolic, kept at a distance, expressing
wondering horror.

"I did what I could: I fed them, talked to them, and listened patiently
to their accounts. I sent horses to the mountains to bring in two badly
wounded women, one shot through the left leg, one with an arm shattered.
These were attended to, and are doing well, and will recover.

"Their camp was surrounded and attacked at daybreak. So sudden and
unexpected was it, that I found a number of women shot while asleep
beside their bundles of hay, which they had collected to bring in on
that morning. The wounded who were unable to get away had their brains
beaten out with clubs or stones, while some were shot full of arrows
after having been mortally wounded by gun-shots. The bodies were all
stripped. Of the number buried, one was an old man, and one was a
well-grown boy; all the rest women and children. Of the whole number
killed and missing—about one hundred and twenty-five—only eight were
men. It has been said that the men were not there: they were all there.
On the 28th we counted one hundred and twenty-eight men, a small number
being absent for mescal, all of whom have since been in. I have spent a
good deal of time with them since the affair, and have been astonished
at their continued unshaken faith in me, and their perfectly clear
understanding of their misfortune. They say, 'We know there are a great
many white men and Mexicans who do not wish us to live at peace. We know
that the Papagos would never have come out against us at this time
unless they had been persuaded to do so.' What they do not understand
is, while they are at peace and are conscious of no wrong intent, that
they should be murdered.

"One of the chiefs said: 'I no longer want to live; my women and
children have been killed before my face, and I have been unable to
defend them. Most Indians in my place would take a knife and cut their
throats; but I will live to show these people that all they have done,
and all they can do, shall not make me break faith with you so long as
you will stand by us and defend us, in a language we know nothing of, to
a great governor we never have and never shall see.'

"About their captives they say: 'Get them back for us. Our little boys
will grow up slaves, and our girls, as soon as they are large enough,
will be diseased prostitutes, to get money for whoever owns them. Our
women work hard, and are good women, and they and our children have no
diseases. Our dead you cannot bring to life; but those that are living
we gave to you, and we look to you, who can write and talk and have
soldiers, to get them back.'

"I assure you it is no easy task to convince them of my zeal when they
see so little being done. I have pledged my word to them that I never
would rest, day or night, until they should have justice, and just now I
would as soon leave the army as to be ordered away from them, or be
obliged to order them away from here. But you well know the difficulties
in the way. You know that parties who would engage in murder like this
could and would make statements and multiply affidavits without end in
their justification. I know you will use your influence on the right
side. I believe, with them, this may be made either a means of making
good citizens of them and their children, or of driving them out to a
hopeless war of extermination. They ask to be allowed to live here in
their old homes, where nature supplies nearly all their wants. They ask
for a fair and impartial trial of their faith, and they ask that all
their captive children may be returned to them. Is their demand

This letter was written to Colonel T. G. C. Lee, U.S.A., by Lieut. Royal
E. Whitman, 3d U.S. Cavalry. It is published in the Report of the Board
of Indian Commissioners for 1871. There is appended to it the following
affidavit of the post surgeon at Camp Grant:

"On this 16th day of September, 1871, personally appeared Conant B.
Brierley, who, being duly sworn according to law, deposeth and saith: 'I
am acting-assistant surgeon, U.S.A., at Camp Grant, Arizona, where I
arrived April 25th, 1871, and reported to the commanding officer for
duty as medical officer. Some four hundred Apache Indians were at that
time held as prisoners of war by the military stationed at Camp Grant,
and during the period intervening between April 25th and 30th I saw the
Indians every day. They seemed very well contented, and were busily
employed in bringing in hay, which they sold for manta and such little
articles as they desired outside the Government ration. April 29th
Chiquita and some of the other chiefs were at the post, and asked for
seeds and for some hoes, stating that they had ground cleared and ready
for planting. They were told that the garden-seeds had been sent for,
and would be up from Tucson in a few days. They then left, and I saw
nothing more of them until after the killing.

"'Sunday morning I heard a rumor that the Indians had been attacked, and
learned from Lieutenant Whitman that he had sent the two interpreters to
the Indian camp to warn the Indians, and bring them down where they
could be protected, if possible. The interpreters returned and stated
that the attack had already been made and the Indians dispersed, and
that the attacking party were returning.

"'Lieutenant Whitman then ordered me to go to the Indian camp to render
medical assistance, and bring down any wounded I might find. I took
twelve men and a wagon, and proceeded without delay to the scene of the
murder. On my arrival I found that I should have but little use for the
wagon or medicine. The work had been too thoroughly done. The camp had
been fired, and the dead bodies of twenty-one women and children were
lying scattered over the ground; those who had been wounded in the first
instance had their brains beaten out with stones. Two of the squaws had
been first ravished, and then shot dead. One infant of some two months
was shot twice, and one leg nearly hacked off. *** I know from my own
personal observations that, during the time the Indians were in, after
my arrival, they were rationed every three days, and Indians absent had
to be accounted for; their faces soon became familiar to me, and I could
at once tell when any strange Indian came in.

"'And I furthermore state that I have been among nearly all the tribes
on the Pacific coast, and that I have never seen any Indians who showed
the intelligence, honesty, and desire to learn manifested by these
Indians. I came among them greatly prejudiced against them; but, after
being with them, I was compelled to admit that they were honest in their
intentions, and really desired peace.

                                                       "'C. B. Brierley,
                                    "'Acting Assistant Surgeon, U.S.A.'"

                  *       *       *       *       *

This is not the only instance of cruel outrage committed by white men on
the Apaches. In the Report of the Board of Indian Commissioners for 1871
is the following letter from one of the Arizona pioneers, Mr. J. H.
Lyman, of Northampton, Mass. Mr. Lyman spent the years of 1840-'41 among
the Apaches, and thus briefly relates an occurrence which took place at
a time when they were friendly and cordial to all Americans going among

"The Indians were then, as now, hostile to the Mexicans of Sonora, and
they were constantly making raids into the State and driving off the
cattle. The Mexicans feared them, and were unable to meet them man to
man. At that time American trappers found the beaver very abundant about
the head-waters of the Gila River, among those rich mountain valleys
where the Apaches had, and still have, their secure retreats. At the
time I speak of there were two companies of trappers in that region. One
of the companies, about seventeen men, was under a captain named
Johnson. The other company consisted of thirty men, I think. I was
trapping on another head of the Gila, several miles north. The valleys
were full of Apaches, but all peaceful toward the white men, both
Indians and whites visiting each other's camps constantly and
fearlessly, with no thought of treachery or evil. Besides the Mexicans,
the only enemies of the Apaches were the Piutes and Navajoes, in the
north-west. But here in their fastnesses they felt safe from all foes.

"One day Johnson concluded to go down into Sonora on a spree, as was
occasionally the way with mountain-men. He there saw the Governor of
Sonora, who, knowing that he had the confidence of the Indians, offered
him an ounce of gold for every Apache scalp he would bring him. The
bargain was struck. Johnson procured a small mountain howitzer, and
then, with supplies for his party, returned to his camp. Previous to
entering it he loaded his howitzer with a quantity of bullets. On
approaching the valley he was met by the Indians, who joyfully welcomed
him back, and proceeded at once to prepare the usual feast. While they
were boiling and roasting their venison and bear meat, and were gathered
in a small group around the fire, laughing and chatting in anticipation
of the pleasure they expected in entertaining their guests, Johnson told
those of his party who had remained behind of the offer of the governor,
and with such details of temptation as easily overcame any scruples such
men might have.

"As they were all armed with rifles, which were always in hand day and
night, together with pistols in belt, they needed no preparation. The
howitzer, which the Indians might have supposed to be a small keg of
whiskey, was placed on the ground and pointed at the group of warriors,
squaws, and little children round the fire, watching the roasting meal.

"While they were thus engaged, with hearts full of kindly feelings
toward their white friends, Johnson gave the signal. The howitzer was
discharged, sending its load of bullets scattering and tearing through
the mass of miserable human beings, and nearly all who were not stricken
down were shot by the rifles. A very few succeeded in escaping into the
ravine, and fled over the dividing ridge into the northern valleys,
where they met others of their tribe, to whom they told the horrible

"The Apaches at once showed that they could imitate their more civilized
brothers. Immediately a band of them went in search of the other company
of trappers, who, of course, were utterly unconscious of Johnson's
infernal work. They were attacked, unprepared, and nearly all killed;
and then the story that the Apaches were treacherous and cruel went
forth into all the land, but nothing of the wrongs they had received."

Is it to be wondered at that the Apaches became one of the most hostile
and dangerous tribes on the Pacific coast?

These are but four massacres out of scores, whose history, if written,
would prove as clearly as do these, that, in the long contest between
white men and Indians, the Indian has not always been the aggressor, and
that treachery and cruelty are by no means exclusively Indian traits.

                               CHAPTER X.


There are within the limits of the United States between two hundred and
fifty and three hundred thousand Indians, exclusive of those in Alaska.
The names of the different tribes and bands, as entered in the
statistical tables of the Indian Office Reports, number nearly three
hundred. One of the most careful estimates which have been made of their
numbers and localities gives them as follows: "In Minnesota and States
east of the Mississippi, about 32,500; in Nebraska, Kansas, and the
Indian Territory, 70,650; in the Territories of Dakota, Montana,
Wyoming, and Idaho, 65,000; in Nevada and the Territories of Colorado,
New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona, 84,000; and on the Pacific slope,

Of these, 130,000 are self-supporting on their own reservations,
"receiving nothing from the Government except interest on their own
moneys, or annuities granted them in consideration of the cession of
their lands to the United States."[31]

Footnote 31:

  A Annual Report of Indian Commissioner for 1872.

This fact alone would seem sufficient to dispose forever of the
accusation, so persistently brought against the Indian, that he will not

Of the remainder, 84,000 are partially supported by the Government—the
interest money due them and their annuities, as provided by treaty,
being inadequate to their subsistence on the reservations where they are
confined. In many cases, however, these Indians furnish a large part of
their support—the White River Utes, for instance, who are reported by
the Indian Bureau as getting sixty-six per cent. of their living by
"root-digging, hunting, and fishing;" the Squaxin band, in Washington
Territory, as earning seventy-five per cent., and the Chippewas of Lake
Superior as earning fifty per cent. in the same way. These facts also
would seem to dispose of the accusation that the Indian will not work.

There are about 55,000 who never visit an agency, over whom the
Government does not pretend to have either control or care. These 55,000
"subsist by hunting, fishing, on roots, nuts, berries, etc., and by
begging and stealing;" and this also seems to dispose of the accusation
that the Indian will not "work for a living." There remains a small
portion, about 31,000, that are entirely subsisted by the Government.

There is not among these three hundred bands of Indians one which has
not suffered cruelly at the hands either of the Government or of white
settlers. The poorer, the more insignificant, the more helpless the
band, the more certain the cruelty and outrage to which they have been
subjected. This is especially true of the bands on the Pacific slope.
These Indians found themselves of a sudden surrounded by and caught up
in the great influx of gold-seeking settlers, as helpless creatures on a
shore are caught up in a tidal wave. There was not time for the
Government to make treaties; not even time for communities to make laws.
The tale of the wrongs, the oppressions, the murders of the
Pacific-slope Indians in the last thirty years would be a volume by
itself, and is too monstrous to be believed.

It makes little difference, however, where one opens the record of the
history of the Indians; every page and every year has its dark stain.
The story of one tribe is the story of all, varied only by differences
of time and place; but neither time nor place makes any difference in
the main facts. Colorado is as greedy and unjust in 1880 as was Georgia
in 1830, and Ohio in 1795; and the United States Government breaks
promises now as deftly as then, and with an added ingenuity from long

One of its strongest supports in so doing is the wide-spread sentiment
among the people of dislike to the Indian, of impatience with his
presence as a "barrier to civilization," and distrust of it as a
possible danger. The old tales of the frontier life, with its horrors of
Indian warfare, have gradually, by two or three generations' telling,
produced in the average mind something like an hereditary instinct of
unquestioning and unreasoning aversion which it is almost impossible to
dislodge or soften.

There are hundreds of pages of unimpeachable testimony on the side of
the Indian; but it goes for nothing, is set down as sentimentalism or
partisanship, tossed aside and forgotten.

President after president has appointed commission after commission to
inquire into and report upon Indian affairs, and to make suggestions as
to the best methods of managing them. The reports are filled with
eloquent statements of wrongs done to the Indians, of perfidies on the
part of the Government; they counsel, as earnestly as words can, a trial
of the simple and unperplexing expedients of telling truth, keeping
promises, making fair bargains, dealing justly in all ways and all
things. These reports are bound up with the Government's Annual Reports,
and that is the end of them. It would probably be no exaggeration to say
that not one American citizen out of ten thousand ever sees them or
knows that they exist, and yet any one of them, circulated throughout
the country, read by the right-thinking, right-feeling men and women of
this land, would be of itself a "campaign document" that would initiate
a revolution which would not subside until the Indians' wrongs were, so
far as is now left possible, righted.

In 1869 President Grant appointed a commission of nine men, representing
the influence and philanthropy of six leading States, to visit the
different Indian reservations, and to "examine all matters appertaining
to Indian affairs."

In the report of this commission are such paragraphs as the following:
"To assert that 'the Indian will not work' is as true as it would be to
say that the white man will not work.

"Why should the Indian be expected to plant corn, fence lands, build
houses, or do anything but get food from day to day, when experience has
taught him that the product of his labor will be seized by the white man
to-morrow? The most industrious white man would become a drone under
similar circumstances. Nevertheless, many of the Indians" (the
commissioners might more forcibly have said 130,000 of the Indians) "are
already at work, and furnish ample refutation of the assertion that 'the
Indian will not work,' There is no escape from the inexorable logic of

"The history of the Government connections with the Indians is a
shameful record of broken treaties and unfulfilled promises. The history
of the border white man's connection with the Indians is a sickening
record of murder, outrage, robbery, and wrongs committed by the former,
as the rule, and occasional savage outbreaks and unspeakably barbarous
deeds of retaliation by the latter, as the exception.

"Taught by the Government that they had rights entitled to respect, when
those rights have been assailed by the rapacity of the white man, the
arm which should have been raised to protect them has ever been ready to
sustain the aggressor.

"The testimony of some of the highest military officers of the United
States is on record to the effect that, in our Indian wars, almost
without exception, the first aggressions have been made by the white
man; and the assertion is supported by every civilian of reputation who
has studied the subject. In addition to the class of robbers and outlaws
who find impunity in their nefarious pursuits on the frontiers, there is
a large class of professedly reputable men who use every means in their
power to bring on Indian wars for the sake of the profit to be realized
from the presence of troops and the expenditure of Government funds in
their midst. They proclaim death to the Indians at all times in words
and publications, making no distinction between the innocent and the
guilty. They irate the lowest class of men to the perpetration of the
darkest deeds against their victims, and as judges and jurymen shield
them from the justice due to their crimes. Every crime committed by a
white man against an Indian is concealed or palliated. Every offence
committed by an Indian against a white man is borne on the wings of the
post or the telegraph to the remotest corner of the land, clothed with
all the horrors which the reality or imagination can throw around it.
Against such influences as these the people of the United States need to
be warned."

To assume that it would be easy, or by any one sudden stroke of
legislative policy possible, to undo the mischief and hurt of the long
past, set the Indian policy of the country right for the future, and
make the Indians at once safe and happy, is the blunder of a hasty and
uninformed judgment. The notion which seems to be growing more
prevalent, that simply to make all Indians at once citizens of the
United States would be a sovereign and instantaneous panacea for all
their ills and all the Government's perplexities, is a very
inconsiderate one. To administer complete citizenship of a sudden, all
round, to all Indians, barbarous and civilized alike, would be as
grotesque a blunder as to dose them all round with any one medicine,
irrespective of the symptoms and needs of their diseases. It would kill
more than it would cure. Nevertheless, it is true, as was well stated by
one of the superintendents of Indian Affairs in 1857, that, "so long as
they are not citizens of the United States, their rights of property
must remain insecure against invasion. The doors of the federal
tribunals being barred against them while wards and dependents, they can
only partially exercise the rights of free government, or give to those
who make, execute, and construe the few laws they are allowed to enact,
dignity sufficient to make them respectable. While they continue
individually to gather the crumbs that fall from the table of the United
States, idleness, improvidence, and indebtedness will be the rule, and
industry, thrift, and freedom from debt the exception. The utter absence
of individual title to particular lands deprives every one among them of
the chief incentive to labor and exertion—the very mainspring on which
the prosperity of a people depends."

All judicious plans and measures for their safety and salvation must
embody provisions for their becoming citizens as fast as they are fit,
and must protect them till then in every right and particular in which
our laws protect other "persons" who are not citizens.

There is a disposition in a certain class of minds to be impatient with
any protestation against wrong which is unaccompanied or unprepared with
a quick and exact scheme of remedy. This is illogical. When pioneers in
a new country find a tract of poisonous and swampy wilderness to be
reclaimed, they do not withhold their hands from fire and axe till they
see clearly which way roads should run, where good water will spring,
and what crops will best grow on the redeemed land. They first clear the
swamp. So with this poisonous and baffling part of the domain of our
national affairs—let us first "clear the swamp."

However great perplexity and difficulty there may be in the details of
any and every plan possible for doing at this late day anything like
justice to the Indian, however hard it may be for good statesmen and
good men to agree upon the things that ought to be done, there certainly
is, or ought to be, no perplexity whatever, no difficulty whatever, in
agreeing upon certain things that ought not to be done, and which must
cease to be done before the first steps can be taken toward righting the
wrongs, curing the ills, and wiping out the disgrace to us of the
present condition of our Indians.

Cheating, robbing, breaking promises—these three are clearly things
which must cease to be done. One more thing, also, and that is the
refusal of the protection of the law to the Indian's rights of property,
"of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

When these four things have ceased to be done, time, statesmanship,
philanthropy, and Christianity can slowly and surely do the rest. Till
these four things have ceased to be done, statesmanship and philanthropy
alike must work in vain, and even Christianity can reap but small



                        THE SAND CREEK MASSACRE.

The following letters were printed in the _New York Tribune_ in the
winter of 1879. They are of interest, not only as giving a minute
account of one of the most atrocious massacres ever perpetrated, but
also as showing the sense of justice which is to be found in the
frontiersman's mind to-day. That men, exasperated by atrocities and
outrages, should have avenged themselves with hot haste and cruelty,
was, perhaps, only human; but that men should be found, fifteen years
later, apologizing for, nay, justifying the cruel deed, is indeed a
matter of marvel.


In June, 1864, Governor Evans, of Colorado, sent out a circular to the
Indians of the Plains, inviting all friendly Indians to come into the
neighborhood of the forts, and be protected by the United States troops.
Hostilities and depredations had been committed by some bands of
Indians, and the Government was about to make war upon them. This
circular says:

"In some instances they (the Indians) have attacked and killed soldiers,
and murdered peaceable citizens. For this the Great Father is angry, and
will certainly hunt them out and punish them; but he does not want to
injure those who remain friendly to the whites. He desires to protect
and take care of them. For this purpose I direct that all friendly
Indians keep away from those who are at war, and go to places of safety.
Friendly Arapahoes and Cheyennes belonging to the Arkansas River will go
to Major Colby, United States Agent at Fort Lyon, who will give them
provisions and show them a place of safety."

In consequence of this proclamation of the governor, a band of
Cheyennes, several hundred in number, came in and settled down near Fort
Lyon. After a time they were requested to move to Sand Creek, about
forty miles from Fort Lyon, where they were still guaranteed "perfect
safety" and the protection of the Government. Rations of food were
issued to them from time to time. On the 27th of November, Colonel J. M.
Chivington, a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Denver, and
Colonel of the First Colorado Cavalry, led his regiment by a forced
march to Fort Lyon, induced some of the United States troops to join
him, and fell upon this camp of friendly Indians at daybreak. The chief,
White Antelope, always known as friendly to the whites, came running
toward the soldiers, holding up his hands and crying "Stop! stop!" in
English. When he saw that there was no mistake, that it was a deliberate
attack, he folded his arms and waited till he was shot down. The United
States flag was floating over the lodge of Black Kettle, the head chief
of the tribe; below it was tied also a small white flag as additional
security—a precaution Black Kettle had been advised by United States
officers to take if he met troops on the Plains. In Major Wynkoop's
testimony, given before the committee appointed by Congress to
investigate this massacre, is the following passage:

"Women and children were killed and scalped, children shot at their
mothers' breasts, and all the bodies mutilated in the most horrible
manner. *** The dead bodies of females profaned in such a manner that
the recital is sickening, Colonel J. M. Chivington all the time inciting
his troops to their diabolical outrages."

Another man testified as to what he saw on the 30th of November, three
days after the battle, as follows:

"I saw a man dismount from his horse and cut the ear from the body of an
Indian, and the scalp from the head of another. I saw a number of
children killed; they had bullet-holes in them; one child had been cut
with some sharp instrument across its side. I saw another that both ears
had been cut off. *** I saw several of the Third Regiment cut off
fingers to get the rings off them. I saw Major Sayre scalp a dead
Indian. The scalp had a long tail of silver hanging to it."

Robert Bent testified:

"I saw one squaw lying on the bank, whose leg had been broken. A soldier
came up to her with a drawn sabre. She raised her arm to protect
herself; he struck, breaking her arm. She rolled over, and raised her
other arm; he struck, breaking that, and then left her without killing
her. I saw one squaw cut open, with an unborn child lying by her side."

Major Anthony testified:

"There was one little child, probably three years old, just big enough
to walk through the sand. The Indians had gone ahead, and this little
child was behind, following after them. The little fellow was perfectly
naked, travelling in the sand. I saw one man get off his horse at a
distance of about seventy-five yards and draw up his rifle and fire. He
missed the child. Another man came up and said, 'Let me try the son of a
b——. I can hit him.' He got down off his horse, kneeled down, and fired
at the little child, but he missed him. A third man came up, and made a
similar remark, and fired, and the little fellow dropped."

The Indians were not able to make much resistance, as only a part of
them were armed, the United States officers having required them to give
up their guns. Luckily they had kept a few.

When this Colorado regiment of demons returned to Denver they were
greeted with an ovation. _The Denver News_ said: "All acquitted
themselves well. Colorado soldiers have again covered themselves with
glory;" and at a theatrical performance given in the city, these scalps
taken from Indians were held up and exhibited to the audience, which
applauded rapturously.

After listening, day after day, to such testimonies as these I have
quoted, and others so much worse that I may not write and _The Tribune_
could not print the words needful to tell them, the committee reported:
"It is difficult to believe that beings in the form of men, and
disgracing the uniform of United States soldiers and officers, could
commit or countenance the commission of such acts of cruelty and
barbarity;" and of Colonel Chivington: "He deliberately planned and
executed a foul and dastardly massacre, which would have disgraced the
veriest savage among those who were the victims of his cruelty."

This was just fifteen years ago, no more. Shall we apply the same rule
of judgment to the white men of Colorado that the Government is now
applying to the Utes? There are 130,000 inhabitants of Colorado;
hundreds of them had a hand in this massacre, and thousands in cool
blood applauded it when it was done. There are 4000 Utes in Colorado.
Twelve of them, desperate, guilty men, have committed murder and rape,
and three or four hundred of them did, in the convenient phrase of our
diplomacy, "go to war against the Government;" _i.e._, they attempted,
by force of arms, to restrain the entrance upon their own lands—lands
bought, owned and paid for—of soldiers that the Government had sent
there, to be ready to make way upon them, in case the agent thought it
best to do so! This is the plain English of it. This is the plain, naked
truth of it.

And now the Secretary of the Interior has stopped the issue of rations
to 1000 of these helpless creatures; rations, be it understood, which
are not, and never were, a charity, but are the Utes' rightful dues, on
account of lands by them sold; dues which the Government promised to pay
"annually forever." Will the American people justify this? There is such
a thing as the conscience of a nation—as a nation's sense of justice.
Can it not be roused to speak now? Shall we sit still, warm and well
fed, in our homes, while five hundred women and little children are
being slowly starved in the bleak, barren wildernesses of Colorado?
Starved, not because storm, or blight, or drouth has visited their
country and cut off their crops; not because pestilence has laid its
hand on them and slain the hunters who brought them meat, but because it
lies within the promise of one man, by one word, to deprive them of
one-half their necessary food for as long a term of years as he may
please; and "the Secretary of the Interior cannot consistently feed a
tribe that has gone to war against the Government."

We read in the statutes of the United States that certain things may be
done by "executive order" of the President. Is it not time for a
President to interfere when hundreds of women and children are being
starved in his Republic by the order of one man? Colonel J. M.
Chivington's method was less inhuman by far. To be shot dead is a mercy,
and a grace for which we would all sue, if to be starved to death were
our only other alternative.

                                                                   H. H.

New York, Jan 31st, 1880.

                  *       *       *       *       *

This letter drew from the former editor of the _Rocky Mountain News_, a
Denver newspaper, the following reply:


                    _To the Editor of the Tribune_:

SIR,—In your edition of yesterday appears an article, under the above
caption, which arraigns the people of Colorado as a community of
barbarous murderers, and finally elevates them above the present
Secretary of the Interior, thereby placing the latter gentleman in a
most unenviable light if the charges averred be true. "The Sand Creek
Massacre" of 1864 is made the text and burden of the article; its
application is to the present condition of the White River band of Utes
in Colorado. Quotations are given from the testimony gathered, and the
report made thereon by a committee of Congress charged with a so-called
investigation of the Sand Creek affair. That investigation was made for
a certain selfish purpose. It was to break down and ruin certain men.
Evidence was taken upon one side only. It was largely false, and
infamously partial. There was no answer for the defence.

The Cheyenne and Arapahoe Indians assembled at Sand Creek were not under
the protection of a United States fort. A few of them had been encamped
about Fort Lyon and drawing supplies therefrom, but they had gradually
disappeared and joined the main camp on Dry Sandy, forty miles from the
fort, separated from it by a waterless desert, and entirely beyond the
limit of its control or observation. While some of the occupants were
still, no doubt, occasional visitors at the fort, and applicants for
supplies and ammunition, most of the warriors were engaged in raiding
the great Platte River Road, seventy-five miles farther north, robbing
and burning trains, stealing cattle and horses, robbing and destroying
the United States mails, and killing white people. During the summer and
fall they had murdered over fifty of the citizens of Colorado. They had
stolen and destroyed provisions and merchandise, and driven away stock
worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. They had interrupted the mails,
and for thirty-two consecutive days none were allowed to pass their
lines. When satiated with murder and arson, and loaded with plunder,
they would retire to their sacred refuge on Sand Creek to rest and
refresh themselves, recruit their wasted supplies of ammunition from
Fort Lyon—begged under the garb of gentle, peaceful savages—and then
return to the road to relieve their tired comrades, and riot again in
carnage and robbery. These are facts; and when the "robbers' roost" was
cleaned out, on that sad but glorious 27th day of November, 1864, they
were sufficiently proven. Scalps of white men not yet dried; letters and
photographs stolen from the mails; bills of lading and invoices of
goods; bales and bolts of the goods themselves, addressed to merchants
in Denver; half-worn clothing of white women and children, and many
other articles of like character, were found in that poetical Indian
camp, and recovered by the Colorado soldiers. They were brought to
Denver, and those were the scalps exhibited in the theatre of that city.
There was also an Indian saddle-blanket entirely fringed around the
edges with white women's scalps, with the long, fair hair attached.
There was an Indian saddle over the pommel of which was stretched skin
stripped from the body of a white woman. Is it any wonder that soldiers
flushed with victory, after one of the hardest campaigns ever endured by
men, should indulge—some of them—in unwarranted atrocities after finding
such evidence of barbarism, and while more than forty of their comrades
were weltering in their own blood upon the field?

If "H. H." had been in Denver in the early part of that summer, when the
bloated, festering bodies of the Hungate family—father, mother, and two
babes—were drawn through the streets naked in an ox-wagon, cut,
mutilated, and scalped—the work of those same red fiends who were so
justly punished at Sand Creek; if, later, "H. H." had seen an upright
and most estimable business man go crazy over the news of his son's
being tortured to death a hundred miles down the Platte, as I did; if
"H. H." had seen one-half the Colorado homes made desolate that fateful
season, and a tithe of the tears that were caused to flow, I think there
would have been one little word of excuse for the people of
Colorado—more than a doubtful comparison with an inefficient and
culpable Indian policy. Bear in mind that Colorado had no railroads
then. Her supplies reached her by only one road—along the Platte—in
wagons drawn by oxen, mules, or horses. That line was in full possession
of the enemy. Starvation stared us in the face. Hardly a party went or
came without some persons being killed. In some instances whole trains
were cut off and destroyed. Sand Creek saved Colorado, and taught the
Indians the most salutary lesson they had ever learned. And now, after
fifteen years, and here in the shadow of the Nation's Capitol, with the
spectre of "H. H.'s" condemnation staring me in the face, I am neither
afraid nor ashamed to repeat the language then used by _The Denver
News_: "All acquitted themselves well. Colorado soldiers have again
covered themselves with glory."

Thus much of history is gone over by "H. H." to present in true dramatic
form the deplorable condition of the White River Utes, 1000 in number,
who are now suffering the pangs of hunger and the discomfort of cold in
the wilds of Western Colorado, without any kind agent to issue rations,
provide blankets, or build fires for them. It is really too bad. A
painful dispensation of Providence has deprived them of their best
friend, and they are desolate and bereaved. He placed his life and its
best efforts, his unbounded enthusiasm for their good, his great
Christian heart—all at their service. But an accident befell him, and he
is no more. The coroner's jury that sat upon his remains found that his
dead body had a barrel stave driven into his mouth, a log-chain around
his neck, by which it had been dragged about like a dead hog, and sundry
bullet-holes through his body. The presumption was that from the effect
of some one of these accidents he died; and, alas! he is no longer to
serve out weekly rations to his flock of gentle Utes. There is no sorrow
over his death or the desolation it wrought, but there is pity, oceans
of pity, for the Indians who are hungry and cold. True, at the time he
died they took the flour, the pork, and salt, and coffee, and sugar, and
tobacco, and blankets, and all the other supplies that he would have
issued to them through all this long winter had he lived. With his care
these would have lasted until spring, and been sufficient for their
wants; but, without it, "H. H." is suspicious that they are all gone,
and yet it is but just past the middle of winter. Can "H. H." tell why
this is thus? It is also true that they drove away the large herd of
cattle from the increase of which that same unfortunate agent and his
predecessors had supplied them with beef for eleven years past, and yet
the consumption did not keep pace with the natural increase. They took
them all, and are presumed to have them now. True, again, they had at
the beginning of winter, or at the period of the melancholy loss of
their best friend, about 4000 horses that were rolling fat, and three
acres of dogs—not bad food in an emergency, or for an Indian
thanksgiving feast—some of which should still remain.


But "H. H." intimates that there is an alleged excuse for withholding
rations from these poor, persecuted red angels. "Twelve" of them have
been bad, and the tyrant at the head of the Interior Department is
systematically starving all of the 1000 who constitute the band, and
their 4000 horses, and 1800 cattle, and three acres of dogs, and six
months' supplies, because those twelve bad Indians cannot
conscientiously pick themselves out and be offered up as a
burnt-offering and a sacrifice to appease the wrath of an outraged and
partly civilized nation. This is the present indictment, and the
Secretary and the President are commanded to stand up and plead "Guilty
or not guilty, but you know you are guilty, d—n you." Now I challenge
and defy "H. H.," or any other person living, to pick out or name twelve
White River male Utes, over sixteen years of age, who were _not_ guilty,
directly or indirectly, as principals or accomplices before the fact, in
the Thornburgh attack or in the Agency massacre. I know these Indians
well enough to know that these attacks were perfectly understood and
deliberately planned. I cannot be made to believe that a single one of
them, of common-sense and intelligence, was ignorant of what was to take
place, and that knowledge extended far beyond the White River band.
There were plenty of recruits from both the Los Pinos and the Uintah
bands. In withholding supplies from the White River Utes the Secretary
of the Interior is simply obeying the law. He cannot, except upon his
own personal responsibility, issue supplies to a hostile Indian tribe,
and the country will hold him accountable for a departure from his line
of duty. Inferentially the Indians are justified by "H. H." in their
attack upon Thornburgh's command. Their object was to defend "their own
lands—lands bought, owned, and paid for." Bought of whom, pray? Paid for
by whom? To whom was payment made? The soldiers were making no attack;
they contemplated none. The agent had no authority to order an attack.
He could not proclaim war. He could have no control whatever over the
troops. But his life was in danger. The honor of his family was at
stake. He asked for protection. "H. H." says he had no right to it. His
life and the honor of his aged wife and of his virgin daughter are gone,
and "H. H." is the champion of fiends who wrought the ruin.

                                                           WM. N. BYERS.

Washington, D. C., Feb. 6th, 1880.

                  *       *       *       *       *

The most fitting reply to the assertions in this extraordinary document
was by still further citations from the sworn testimony given before the
Congressional committees—evidence with which volumes could have been


                    _To the Editor of the Tribune_:

SIR,—In reply to the letter in Sunday's _Tribune_, headed "The Starving
Utes," I would like to place before the readers of _The Tribune_ some
extracts from sworn testimony taken in Colorado on the subject of the
Sand Creek massacre. The writer of this letter says:

"The Cheyenne and Arapahoe Indians assembled at Sand Creek were not
under the protection of a United States fort."

The following testimony is that of Lieutenant Craven, Senate Document,
vol. ii., 1866-67, p. 46:

"I had some conversation with Major Downing, Lieutenant Maynard, and
Colonel Chivington. I stated to them my feelings in regard to the
matter—that I believed it to be murder—and stated the obligations that
we of Major Wynkoop's command were under to those Indians.

"To Colonel Chivington I know I stated that Major Wynkoop had pledged
his word as an officer and man to those Indians, and that all officers
under him were indirectly pledged in the same manner that he was, and
that I felt that it was placing us in very embarrassing circumstances to
fight the same Indians that had saved our lives, as we all felt that
they had.

"Colonel Chivington's reply was that he believed it to be right and
honorable to use any means under God's heaven to kill Indians that would
kill women and children; and, 'damn any one that was in sympathy with
Indians;' and, 'such men as Major Wynkoop and myself had better get out
of the United States service.'"

This conversation was testified to by other witnesses. Major Wynkoop, it
will be remembered, was the officer in command at Fort Lyon when this
band of Cheyennes and Arapahoes came in there to claim protection, in
consequence of the governor's proclamation, saying that,

"All friendly Arapahoes and Cheyennes, belonging on the Arkansas River,
will go to Major Colby, United States Indian Agent at Fort Lyon, who
will give them provisions and show them a place of safety."

Major Wynkoop was succeeded in the command of Fort Lyon by Major
Anthony, who continued for a time to issue rations to these Indians, as
Major Wynkoop had done; but after a time he called them together and
told them he could not feed them any longer; they would better go where
they could hunt. _He selected the place to which they were to move on
Sandy Creek._ They obeyed, and he gave back to them some of the arms
which had been taken away. They were moved to Sandy Creek, about forty
miles from Fort Lyon, partly "for fear of some conflict between them and
the soldiers or emigrants," Fort Lyon being on a thoroughfare of travel.
One of the chiefs—One Eye—was hired by Major Anthony at $125 a month "to
obtain information for the use of the military authorities. Several
times he brought news to the fort of proposed movements of hostile
Indians." This chief was killed in the massacre.

This is the testimony of Captain Soule, First Colorado Cavalry:

"Did you protest against attacking those Indians?"

"I did."

"Who was your commanding officer?"

"Major Anthony."

"Did you inform Major Anthony of the relations existing with Black

"I did. He knew the relations. I frequently talked to him about it."

"What answer did Major Anthony make to your protests?"

"He said that we were going to fight the hostile Indians at Smoky Hill.
He also said that he was in for killing all Indians, and that he had
only been acting friendly with them until he could get a force large
enough to go out and kill all of them."

This is the testimony of S. E. Brown:

"Colonel Chivington in a public speech said his policy was to kill and
scalp all, little and big: nits made lice."

Governor Hunt testified as follows: [Governor Hunt was one of the
earliest settlers in Colorado. He was United States Marshal, Delegate to
Congress, and afterward Governor of the Territory.]

"We have always regarded Black Kettle and White Antelope as the special
friends of the white man ever since I have been in this country."

"Do you know of any acts of hostility committed by them or with their

"No, sir, I do not."

"Did you ever hear any acts of hostility attributed to them by any one?"

"No, sir." ***

The following extract is:

"The regiment, when they marched into Denver, exhibited Indian scalps."

This is from the official report of Major Wynkoop, major commanding Fort

"In conclusion, allow me to say that, from the time I held the
consultation with the Indian chiefs on the head-waters of Smoky Hill up
to the date of this massacre by Colonel Chivington, not one single
depredation had been committed by the Cheyenne and Arapahoe Indians. The
settlers of the Arkansas Valley had returned to their ranches, from
which they had fled, had taken in their crops, and had been resting in
perfect security under assurances from myself that they would be in no
danger for the present. Since this last horrible murder by Colonel
Chivington the country presents a scene of desolation. All communication
is cut off with the States, except by sending large bodies of troops,
and already over a hundred whites have fallen victims to the fearful
vengeance of these betrayed Indians."

                                                     January 15th, 1865.

                  *       *       *       *       *

The writer of this letter says, in regard to the investigation of the
Sand Creek massacre by the Congressional committee, that "evidence was
taken upon one side only," and "there was no answer for the defence."

A large part of the testimony is sworn evidence, given by the Governor
of Colorado, by Colonel J. M. Chivington himself, who planned and
executed the massacre, and by Major Anthony, who accompanied him with
troops from Fort Lyon. The writer of this article says that "the
investigation was made for a certain selfish purpose, *** to break down
and ruin certain men."

The names of Senator Foster, Senator Doolittle, and "honest Ben Wade
"are the best refutation of this statement. It will be hard to impeach
the trustworthiness of reports signed by these names, and one of these
reports says:

"It is difficult to believe that beings in the form of men, and
disgracing the uniform of United States soldiers and officers, could
commit or countenance the commission of such acts of cruelty and

Of Colonel Chivington, it says:

"He deliberately planned and executed a foul and dastardly massacre,
which would have disgraced the veriest savage among those who were the
victims of his cruelty."

And of Major Anthony:

"The testimony of Major Anthony, who succeeded an officer disposed to
treat these Indians with justice and humanity, is sufficient of itself
to show how unprovoked and unwarranted was this massacre. He testifies
that he found these Indians camped near Fort Lyon when he assumed
command of that fort; that they professed their friendliness to the
whites, and their willingness to do whatever he demanded of them; that
they delivered their arms up to him; that they went to and encamped on
the place designated by him; that they gave him information from time to
time of acts of hostility which were meditated by other hostile bands,
and in every way conducted themselves properly and peaceably; and yet he
says it was fear and not principle which prevented his killing them
while they were completely in his power; and, when Colonel Chivington
appeared at Fort Lyon on his mission of murder and barbarity, Major
Anthony made haste to accompany him with men and artillery."

The writer of this letter says that the evidence given in this
"so-called investigation" was "largely false and infamously partial." If
this were the case, why did not all persons so "infamously" slandered
see to it that before the year ended their own version of the affair
should reach, if not the general public, at least the Department of the
Interior? Why did they leave it possible for the Secretary of the
Interior to incorporate in his Annual Report for 1865—to be read by all
the American people—these paragraphs?

"No official account has ever reached this office from its own proper
sources of the most disastrous and shameful occurrence, the massacre of
a large number of men, women, and children of the Indians of this agency
(the Upper Arkansas) by the troops under the command of Colonel
Chivington of the United States Volunteer Cavalry of Colorado. ***

"When several hundred of them had come into a place designated by
Governor Evans as a rendezvous for those who would separate themselves
from the hostile parties, these Indians were set upon and butchered in
cold blood by troops in the service of the United States. The few who
escaped to the northward told a story which effectually prevented any
more advances toward peace by such of the bands as were well disposed."

And why did the Government of the United States empower General Sanborn,
in the Council held October 12th, 1865, with the Arapahoes and
Cheyennes, including the remnants of bands that had escaped from the
Sand Creek massacre, to formally and officially repudiate the action of
the United States soldiers in that massacre? General Sanborn said, in
this council:

"We all feel disgraced and ashamed when we see our officers or soldiers
oppressing the weak, or making war on those who are at peace with us.
*** We are willing, as representatives of the President, to restore all
the property lost at Sand Creek, or its value. *** He has sent out his
commissioners to make reparation, as far as we can. *** So heartily do
we repudiate the actions of our soldiers that we are willing to give to
the chiefs in their own right 320 acres of land each, to hold as his own
forever, and to each of the children and squaws who lost husbands or
parents; we are also willing to give 160 acres of land as their own, to
keep as long as they live."

The writer of this letter, quoting the statement from a previous article
in _The Tribune_, that the White River Utes, in their attack on Major
Thornburgh's command, fought "to defend their own lands—lands bought,
owned, and paid for," asks:

"Bought of whom, pray? Paid for by whom? To whom was payment made?"

"Bought" of the United States Government, thereby recognizing the United
States Government's right to "the sovereignty of the soil" as superior
to the Indians' "right of occupancy."

"Paid for" by the Ute Indians, by repeated "relinquishments" of said
"right of occupancy" in large tracts of valuable lands; notably by the
"relinquishment," according to the Brunot Treaty of 1873, of 4,000,000
acres of valuable lands, "unquestionably rich in mineral
deposits."—_Annual Report of the Secretary of the Interior for 1873_, p.

"To whom was payment made?"

To the United States Government, which has accepted and ratified such
exchanges of "right of occupancy" for "right of sovereignty," and such
sales of "right of occupancy" for large sums of money by repeated and
reiterated treaties.

The Secretary of the Interior has incorporated in his Annual Report for
1879 (in the report on Indian Affairs, p. 36) the following paragraphs:

"Let it be fully understood that the Ute Indians have a good and
sufficient title to 12,000,000 acres of land in Colorado, and that these
Indians did not thrust themselves in the way of the white people, but
that they were originally and rightfully possessors of the soil, and
that the land they occupy has been acknowledged to be theirs by solemn
treaties made with them by the United States.

"It will not do to say that a treaty with an Indian means nothing. It
means even more than the pledge of the Government to pay a bond. It is
the most solemn declaration that any government of any people ever
enters into. Neither will it do to say that treaties never ought to have
been made with Indians. That question is now not in order, as the
treaties have been made, and must be lived up to whether convenient or

"By beginning at the outset with the full acknowledgment of the absolute
and indefeasible right of these Indians to 12,000,000 acres in Colorado,
we can properly consider what is the best method of extinguishing the
Indian title thereto without injustice to the Indians, and without
violating the plighted faith of the Government of the United States."

The writer of this letter says:

"In withholding supplies from the White River Utes, the Secretary of the
Interior is simply obeying the law. He cannot, except upon his own
personal responsibility, issue supplies to a hostile Indian tribe."

Secretary Schurz has published, in the Annual Report of the Department
of the Interior for 1879, the following paragraph in regard to this case
of the White River Utes:

"The atrocity of the crimes committed should not prevent those
individuals who are innocent from being treated as such, according to
Article 17 of the treaty, viz.: _Provided_, that if any chief of either
of the confederated bands make war against the United States, or in any
manner violate this treaty in any essential part, said chief shall
forfeit his position as chief, and all rights to any of the benefits of
this treaty; but, _provided further_, any Indian of either of these
confederated bands who shall remain at peace, and abide by the terms of
this treaty in all its essentials, shall be entitled to its benefits and
provisions, notwithstanding his particular chief and band have forfeited
their rights thereto."

The writer of this letter says, in allusion to the murders and outrages
committed by some of the White River Utes, that "H. H. is the champion
of the fiends who wrought the ruin." Have the readers of _The Tribune_
so understood my protests against the injustice of punishing the
innocent for the crimes of the guilty?

                                                                   H. H.

New York, Feb. 22d, 1880.

                  *       *       *       *       *

This letter was followed by a card from Mr. Byers, reiterating some of
his assertions; and by a second short letter, which closed the

                    _To the Editor of the Tribune_:

SIR,—I ask only a little space for reference to the communication of "H.
H." in to-day's _Tribune_. It is asked, "If the investigation of the
Sand Creek affair was so unfair, why did not the people of Colorado
correct the false impression by presenting their own version of the
case?" The answer is that the case was prejudged, and we were denied a
hearing in our defence.

The inference is conveyed in to-day's article that Indian hostilities on
the plains were provoked by and followed after the Sand Creek massacre.
We, who were so unfortunate as to be citizens of Colorado at the time,
know that a very great majority of the savage atrocities of that period
occurred before the battle of Sand Creek. We know that the Sand Creek
Indian camp was the common rendezvous of the hostile bands who were
committing those atrocities. We know that comparatively few occurred
afterward. No amount of special pleading, no reiteration of partial
statements, and withholding of more important truths, will change the
facts so well known to the earlier settlers of Colorado.

I deny that the Utes have either bought or paid for any land. They have
relinquished for a consideration a certain portion of the land they
formerly claimed, and still retain the other portion. I deny, also, that
only twelve of the White River Utes are guilty and the great mass of
them innocent. The contrary is the fact.

                                                           WM. N. BYERS.

New York, Feb. 24th, 1880.

                    _To the Editor of the Tribune_:

SIR,—In reply to the assertion that the perpetrators of the Sand Creek
massacre were "denied a hearing in their defence," I wish to state to
the readers of _The Tribune_ that, in addition to the Congressional
committees from whose reports I have already quoted, there was appointed
a Military Commission to investigate that massacre. This commission sat
seventy-three days, in Denver and at Fort Lyon. Colonel J. M. Chivington
called before it, in his "defence," all the witnesses he chose, and gave
notice on the seventy-third day of the commission's sitting that he did
not "wish to introduce any more witnesses for the defence." He also had
(and used) the privilege of cross-examining every witness called by the
commission. The evidence given before this commission occupies over two
hundred pages of Volume II., Senate Documents for 1866-'67.

In reply to the assertion that "a great majority of the savage
atrocities of that period occurred before" the massacre at Sand Creek,
and that "comparatively few occurred after," I will give to the readers
of _The Tribune_ one extract from the report of the Indian Peace
Commission of 1868. Alluding to the Sand Creek massacre, the report

"It scarcely has its parallel in the records of Indian barbarity.
Fleeing women, holding up their hands and praying for mercy, were shot
down; infants were killed and scalped in derision; men were tortured and
mutilated in a manner that would put to shame the savages of interior
Africa. No one will be astonished that a war ensued which cost the
Government $30,000,000, and carried conflagration and death into the
border settlements. During the spring and summer of 1865 no less than
8000 troops were withdrawn from the effective forces engaged in the
Rebellion to meet this Indian war."

The Commissioners who made this report were N. J. Taylor, President; J.
B. Henderson, John B. Sanborn, William T. Sherman, Lieutenant-general;
William S. Harvey, Brevet Major-general; Alfred H. Terry, Brevet
Major-general; C. C. Augur, Brevet Major-general; S. F. Tappan.

In reply to the assertion that the Utes have not "either bought or paid
for any land," I will ask such of _The Tribune_ readers as are
interested in the subject to read the "Brunot Treaty," made September
13th, 1873, "between Felix R. Brunot, Commissioner for the United
States, and the chiefs, headmen, and men" of the seven confederated
bands of Utes. It is to be found in the report of the Department of the
Interior for 1873, p. 454.

In conclusion of the discussion as to the Sand Creek massacre, I will
relate one more incident of that terrible day. It has not been recorded
in any of the reports. It was told in Colorado, to one of the members of
the Senate Committee at the time of their investigation: One of the
squaws had escaped from the village, and was crouching behind some low
sage brush. A frightened horse came running toward her hiding-place, its
owner in hot pursuit. Seeing that the horse was making directly for her
shelter, and that she would inevitably be seen, and thinking that
possibly if she caught the horse, and gave him back to the owner, she
might thus save her life, she ran after the horse, caught it, and stood
holding it till the soldier came up. Remembering that with her blanket
rolled tight around her she might possibly be taken for a man, as she
put into the soldier's hand the horse's bridle, with the other hand she
threw open her blanket enough to show her bosom, that he might see that
she was a woman. He put the muzzle of his pistol between her breasts and
shot her dead; and afterward was "not ashamed" to boast of the act. It
was by such deeds as this that "the Colorado soldiers acquitted
themselves well, and covered themselves with glory."

                                                                   H. H.

New York, Feb. 28th, 1880.


                            THE PONCA CASE.

_Extract from Treaty with the Poncas, giving them Dakota Lands._

"ART. II.—In consideration of the cession or release of that portion of
the reservation above described by the Ponca tribe of Indians to the
Government of the United States, the Government of the United States, by
way of rewarding them for their constant fidelity to the Government
thereof, and with a view of returning to the said tribe of Ponca Indians
their old burying-grounds and cornfields, hereby cede and relinquish to
the tribe of Ponca Indians the following described fractional townships,
to wit, township thirty-one (31), north range, seven (7) west; also
fractional township thirty-two (32), north ranges, six (6), seven (7),
eight (8), nine (9), and ten (10) west; also fractional township
thirty-three (33), north ranges, seven (7) and eight (8) west; and also
all that portion of township thirty-three (33), north ranges, nine (9)
and ten (10) west, lying south of Ponca Creek; and also all the islands
in the Niobrara or Running Water River lying in front of lands or
townships above ceded by the United States to the Ponca tribe of

A correspondence which was held with the Secretary of the Interior in
the winter of 1879, in regard to the Poncas, is so excellent an
illustration of the methods and policy of the Interior Department that
it is worth while to give it at length here.



                                       New York, Friday, Jan. 9th, 1880.

_To the Secretary of the Interior_:

DEAR SIR,—I have received from a Boston lady a letter which has so
important a bearing on the interests of the Poncas that I take the
liberty of asking you to read and reply to the following extracts. I
send them to you with the writer's permission:

"In Boston most of those who are likely to give most largely and feel
most strongly for the Indians have confidence in Secretary Schurz. They
think that so far he has shown himself their friend, and they feel
unprepared to help any plan with regard to the Indians which he opposes.
The greatest service which could be rendered to the Indian cause at
present would be given, therefore, by some one sufficiently interested
to obtain an answer who would write to Secretary Schurz, and request
him, on the part of the Indians, either to aid them by publicly and
cordially endorsing this effort of the Poncas to secure their legal
rights in the courts, or else to give his reasons against this attempt,
in so clear a form that one could understand them. If there are good
reasons, there can be no ground for keeping them secret, and the public
has a right to know them. If not, no man can call himself a friend of
the Indians who throws cold water on the present interest of the public
in this matter.

"Secretary Schurz has already stated that it was not worth while to sue
for the Ponca lands, as the Poncas are better off where they now are;
but Secretary Schurz cannot deny that it is worth ten times $10,000 to
prove that if the Government seizes land given to the Indians forever by
solemn compact, the latter can by the courts recover it. Secretary
Schurz has also said that a bill to give the Indians land in severalty
is already before Congress. If he wishes that bill to pass he must know
that it is only by help of the people that the ignorance, apathy, and
greed which are accountable for the shameful record of the past can be
overcome; and that, whatever his sentiments toward these particular
Poncas, he cannot afford to throw aside the interest they have excited.

"For a hundred years the Indians have been the victims of fraud and
oppression on the part of the Government. Will anything put an end to it
but to give the Indians the legal right to protect themselves? Promises
and plans will not do it, for who can assure their performance?
Secretary Schurz's position is a strange one, and the public are waiting
and watching to see what it means. Is it possible that he is satisfied
to have 250,000 human beings, with valuable possessions (however
uncivilized), held as absolute slaves, with no rights, and at the mercy
of a government like ours, whose constant changes, to say the least,
render most improbable the wise, equitable, and humane treatment he
recommends in his report—and when the distance of the Indian from the
personal interests of all but those States which have a personal
interest in possessing his lands makes the assistance of Congress in
such treatment still more unlikely? I cannot but believe that he has
allowed himself to be driven into an opposition he does not really feel;
and that he will yet have the magnanimity to forget any criticism on his
own acts, and take the lead with those who would try to give the Indians
a permanent defence against the vicissitudes of party and the greed of

"I will not forget to add that if the three thousand and odd hundreds of
dollars needed to complete the ten thousand required to pay the costs of
the Ponca suits cannot be raised in the great city of New York, I will
myself guarantee to raise it in Boston in twenty-four hours if Secretary
Schurz will openly endorse the plan."

The matter stands, therefore, in this shape: If you can say that you
approve of the Poncas bringing the suits they wish to bring for the
recovery of their lands, all the money for which they ask can be placed
in their hands immediately. The writer of the above letter assured me
that she would herself give the entire sum if there were any difficulty
in raising it. If you do not approve of the Poncas bringing these suits,
or making an effort to bring them, are you willing to give the reasons
of your disapproval? It would be a great satisfaction to those Boston
friends of yours whose action in this matter turns solely on your
decision, if these reasons could be stated in clear and explicit form.

                          Yours respectfully,

                                                          HELEN JACKSON.


 Department of the Interior, Office of the Secretary, Jan. 17th, 1880.

DEAR MADAM,—I should certainly have answered your letter of the 9th
instant more promptly had I not been somewhat overburdened with official
business during the past week. I hope you will kindly pardon the
involuntary delay.

As I understand the matter, money is being collected for the purpose of
engaging counsel to appear for the Poncas in the courts of the United
States, partly to represent them in the case of an appeal from Judge
Dundy's _habeas corpus_ decision, and partly to procure a decision for
the recovery of their old reservation on the Missouri River. I believe
that the collection of money for these purposes is useless. An appeal
from Judge Dundy's _habeas corpus_ decision can proceed only from the
Government, not from the Poncas, for the simple reason that the decision
was in favor of the latter. An appeal was, indeed, entered by the United
States District-attorney at Omaha immediately after the decision had
been announced. Some time ago his brief was submitted to me. On
examining it, I concluded at once to advise the attorney-general of my
opinion that it should be dropped, as I could not approve the principles
upon which the argument was based. The attorney-general consented to
instruct the district-attorney accordingly, and thus Judge Dundy's
decision stands without further question on the part of the Government.
Had an appeal been prosecuted, and had Judge Dundy's decision been
sustained by the court above, the general principles involved in it
would simply have been affirmed without any other practical effect than
that already obtained. This matter is therefore ended.

As to the right of the Poncas to their old reservation on the Missouri,
the Supreme Court has repeatedly decided that an Indian tribe cannot sue
the United States or a State in the federal courts. The decisions are
clear and uniform on this point. Among lawyers with whom I discussed
this matter, I have not found a single one who entertained a different
view; but I did find among them serious doubts as to whether a decision,
even if the Poncas could bring suits, would be in their favor,
considering the facts in the case. But, inasmuch as such a suit cannot
be brought at all, this is not the question. It is evidently idle to
collect money and to fee attorneys for the purpose of doing a thing
which cannot be done. Had the disinterested friends of the Indians who
are engaged in this work first consulted lawyers on the question of
possibility, they would no doubt have come to the same conclusion.

The study I have given to the Indian question in its various aspects,
past and present, has produced in my mind the firm conviction that the
only certain way to secure the Indians in their possessions, and to
prevent them from becoming forever a race of homeless paupers and
vagabonds, is to transform their tribal title into individual title,
inalienable for a certain period; in other words, to settle them in
severalty, and give them by patent an individual fee-simple in their
lands. Then they will hold their lands by the same title by which white
men hold theirs, and they will, as a matter of course, have the same
standing in the courts, and the same legal protection of their property.
As long as they hold large tracts in the shape of reservations, only
small parts of which they can make useful to themselves and to others,
the whole being held by the tribe in common, their tenure will always be
insecure. It will grow more and more so as our population increases, and
the quantity of available land diminishes. We may call this an ugly and
deplorable fact, but it is a fact for all that. Long experience shows
that the protests of good people in the name of justice and humanity
have availed but very little against this tendency, and it is useless to
disguise and unwise to overlook it, if we mean to do a real service to
the Indians.

For this reason I attach much more importance to the passage of
legislation providing for the settlement of the Indians in severalty,
and giving them individual title in fee-simple, the residue of their
lands not occupied by them to be disposed of for their benefit, than to
all the efforts, however well intended, to procure judicial decisions
which, as I have shown, cannot be had. I am glad to say that the
conversations I have had with senators and representatives in Congress
on the policy of settling the Indians in severalty have greatly
encouraged my hope of the success of the "severalty bill" during the
present session.

I need not repeat here what I said in a letter to Mr. Edward Atkinson,
which you may possibly have seen some time ago in the Boston papers,
about the necessity of educating Indian children. You undoubtedly
understand that as well as I do, and I hope you will concur in my
recommendation that the money collected for taking the Ponca case into
the courts, which is impossible of accomplishment, and as much more as
can be added, be devoted to the support and enlargement of our Indian
schools, such as those at Hampton and Carlisle. Thus a movement which
undoubtedly has the hearty sympathy of many good men and women, but
which at present seems in danger of being wasted on the unattainable,
may be directed into a practical channel, and confer a real and lasting
benefit on the Indian race.

                        Very respectfully yours,

                                                              C. SCHURZ.



                     Brevoort House, New York, Thursday, Jan. 22d, 1880.

_Hon. Carl Schurz_:

DEAR SIR,—Your letter of the 17th instant is at hand. If I understand
this letter correctly, the position which you take is as follows: That
there is in your opinion, and in the opinion of the lawyers whom you
have consulted on the subject, no way of bringing before the courts the
suits for the prosecution of which money has been and is being
contributed by the friends of the Poncas; that the reason you do not
approve of this movement is that "it is evidently idle to collect money
and to fee attorneys for the purpose of doing a thing which cannot be
done." This is the sole reason which I understand you to give for
discountenancing the collection of money for these suits. Am I correct
in this? And are we to infer that it is on this ground and no other that
you oppose the collection of money for this purpose? Are we to
understand that you would be in favor of the Poncas recovering their
lands by process of law, provided it were practicable?

You say, also, that you hope I will "concur" in your "recommendation
that the money collected for taking the Ponca case into the courts shall
be devoted to the support and enlargement of our Indian schools." May I
ask how it would be, in your opinion, possible to take money given by
thousands of people for one specific purpose and use it for another
different purpose? You say, "Had the friends of the Indians who are
engaged in this work first consulted lawyers on the question of
possibility, they would, no doubt, have come to the same conclusion."
Had the friends of the Indians engaged in this work, and initiated this
movement without having consulted lawyers, it would have been indeed
foolish. But this was not the case. Lawyers of skill and standing were
found ready to undertake the case; and the matter stands therefore
to-day precisely as it stood when I wrote to you on the 17th instant.
All the money which is thought to be needed for carrying the Ponca case
before the courts can be raised in twenty-four hours in Boston, if you
can say that you approve of the suits being brought. If your only
objection to the movement is the one objection which you have stated,
namely, that it would be futile, can you not say that, if lawyers of
standing are ready to undertake the case, you would be glad to see the
attempt made in the courts, and the question settled? If it is, as you
think, a futile effort, it will be shown to be so. If it is, as the
friends and lawyers of the Poncas think, a practicable thing, a great
wrong will be righted.

You say that "to settle them (the Indians) in severalty, and give them
by patent an individual fee-simple in their lands," will enable them to
"hold their lands by the same title by which white men hold theirs," and
that "then they will, as a matter of course, have the same standing in
the courts and the same legal protection of their property." May I ask
you if any bill has been brought before Congress which is so worded as
to secure these ends? My only apology for troubling you again is my deep
interest in the Indians, and in the Ponca case especially.

                              Yours truly,

                                                          HELEN JACKSON.


                                      Washington, D.C., Jan. 26th, 1880.

DEAR MADAM,—In reply to your letter of the 22d instant, I beg leave to
say that if an Indian tribe could maintain an action in the courts of
the United States to assert its rights, I should object to it just as
little as I would object to the exercise of the same privilege on the
part of white men. What I do object to is the collection of money from
philanthropic and public-spirited persons, ostensibly for the benefit of
the Indians, but in fact for the benefit of attorneys and others who are
to be paid for again testing a question which has been tested more than
once, and has been decided by the Supreme Court so clearly and
comprehensively that further testing seems utterly futile. You say that
there are lawyers of skill and standing ready to undertake the case. Of
course there are such. You can find lawyers of skill and standing to
undertake for a good fee any case, however hopeless: that is their
business. But I am by no means of your opinion that, whether it be
futile or not, the experiment should be tried once more, and for this
purpose the collection of money should be further encouraged. It cannot
be said in this case that if the attempt will not help it will not hurt.
There seems to be now a genuine and active interest in the Indian
question springing up. Many sincere friends of the Indian are willing to
spend time and money for the promotion of their welfare. Such a movement
can do great good if wisely guided in the direction of attainable
objects; but if it be so conducted that it can result only in putting
money into the pockets of private individuals, without any benefit to
the Indians, the collapse will be as hurtful as it seems to be
inevitable. It will not only be apt to end a movement which, if well
directed, might have become very useful, but it will also deter the
sincere friends of the Indians who contributed their means in the hope
of accomplishing something from further efforts of that kind, so that we
may find it very difficult, for a long time at least, to engage this
active sympathy again. Confidence once abused does not revive very
quickly. This is my view of the case. You ask me "how it would be
possible to take money given by thousands of people for one specific
purpose, and use it for another and different purpose," meaning the
support of Indian schools. It would, in my opinion, be far better to lay
the matter in its true aspect frankly before the contributors, and to
ask them for their consent to the change of purpose, than to throw away
the money for a purpose which cannot be accomplished.

In reply to your inquiry whether any bill has been brought before
Congress providing for the settlement of the Indians in severalty, and
for conferring upon the individual title in fee-simple to the lands
allotted to them, I am glad to say that several bills of this kind have
been introduced in both the Senate and the House, and are now before the
respective committees on Indian affairs for consideration. If such a
bill passes, of which there is great hope, the Indian, having a fee
title by patent to the piece of land which he individually, not as a
member of a tribe, holds as his own, will stand in the eye of the law
just like any other owner of property in his individual right, and, as a
matter of course, will have the same standing in court. This will do
more in securing the Indian in the practical enjoyment of his property
than anything else I can think of, and it has long been my endeavor to
bring about just this result. I trust we shall obtain the desired
legislation during the present session of Congress.

                        Very respectfully yours,

                                                              C. SCHURZ.


                  *       *       *       *       *

The evasive and inconclusive character of these replies of the Secretary
provoked much comment, and gave rise to a very wide-spread and natural
impression that he was for some reason or other averse to the
restoration to the Poncas of their old homes. The letters were reviewed
by one of the editors of the _New York Times_ in a paper so admirable
that the letters ought not to be printed without it.


(From the _New York Times_, February 21st, 1880.)

"As most of the readers of the _Times_ already know, friends of the
Ponca Indians are endeavoring to have the tribe restored to their old
reservation in Dakota. Or, more strictly speaking, it is proposed that
their reservation shall be restored to them. The lands occupied by the
Poncas were ceded to them by the United States by solemn treaty. By a
cruel and wicked blunder, which no man has attempted to explain, those
lands were ceded to the Sioux. But the Sioux did not want the lands, and
they have never occupied them unto this day. To this robbery of the
tribe was added the destruction of their houses, movable property, and
farms. A citizen of the United States would have redress in the courts
for such an outrage as this. An Indian has no legal status. He is merely
a live and particularly troublesome animal, in the eye of the law. But,
while the Poncas were trying to get back on their lands, they were
arrested by order of the Secretary of the Interior, on the charge of
running away from the agency to which they had been sent by the
Government when their lands were taken from them. It is not necessary to
add words to intensify this accumulation of criminal folly and wrong.
Certain citizens of Nebraska, hearing of the injustice which was being
perpetrated on the Poncas, raised funds, and had the chiefs brought
before United States District Judge Dundy on a writ of _habeas corpus_,
to inquire why they were thus restrained of their liberty. Judge Dundy
decided that an Indian was 'a person' within the meaning of the _Habeas
Corpus_ Act, and that these persons were unlawfully held in duress.

"It was thought that the United States would appeal from this dictum,
but no appeal was taken, much to the disappointment of the friends of
the Indians, as it was hoped that a decision could be reached to show
whether the Indian was or was not so far clothed with the privilege of a
citizen that he could have a standing in the courts of law. Accordingly,
the public-spirited and philanthropic persons who had espoused the cause
of the Poncas resolved to make up a case, which, carried to the United
States Supreme Court, should determine once and forever this moot point.
To this end money has been raised by subscription, by special gift, and
by contributions taken at public meetings in various parts of the
country. A lady residing in Boston, moved by the pitiful condition of
the Indians, who tried to struggle toward civilization, offered to
supply all the money which was lacking toward the expenses of the suit,
provided Secretary Schurz would give some public assurances that he
favored this manner of determining the case, or would give his reasons
against this attempt. The lady's proposition was sent to Mrs. Helen Hunt
Jackson, whose disinterested and efficient labors in behalf of the
deeply-wronged Poncas had already attracted attention. Mrs. Jackson
forwarded to Secretary Schurz the whole statement. Thereupon an
interesting correspondence ensued. This correspondence has been printed
in the Boston papers, presumably by direction of Secretary Schurz.

"In reply to the request to say whether he approves of the movement to
carry the Ponca case to the Supreme Court, in order that the tribe may
recover their old reservation, the Secretary says that this would be
useless, as the courts have repeatedly decided that an Indian tribe
cannot sue the United States. Unfortunately, Mr. Schurz does not cite
these cases, but we must take it for granted that he knows what he is
talking about. He adds that he has taken the advice of lawyers, who
coincide with him in this opinion. As a suit cannot be brought at all,
according to the Secretary and his legal advisers, it would be idle to
collect money for this purpose; and the Secretary suggests that, if the
disinterested friends of the Indians had consulted lawyers before they
began their work, they would be of his opinion as to the futility of the
attempt. This, of course, leaves the impression that the Secretary
withholds his approval of the movement to secure legal rights for the
Poncas, though he does not say so in express terms. His reason for not
approving the attempt is that it will do no good. His solution to the
Indian problem, as it is vaguely called, is to settle the Indians in
severalty, breaking up their tribal organization, and giving to each
individual his lands in fee-simple. This, the Secretary thinks, will
enable them to hold their lands by the same title as that by which white
men hold theirs, and, 'as a matter of course, they will have the same
standing in the courts' as white men. It is to be regretted that the
Secretary did not pause here long enough to show how the giving to an
Indian of 160 acres of land can clothe him with civil rights which he
does not now possess, and which the Secretary thinks that the courts
cannot give him. For this reason, however, Mr. Schurz is greatly in
favor of legislation providing for the settlement of the Indians in
severalty, various bills to accomplish which, he says, are in
preparation. As for the money raised already, the Secretary suggests
that since, in his opinion, it would be misspent in obtaining judicial
decision, it might be used in the education of Indian children.

"Replying to this, Mrs. Jackson asks if the Secretary would be in favor
of the Poncas recovering their lands by process of law, provided that
could be done. To this direct and very important inquiry we regret to
notice that the Secretary finds himself unable to reply, although, in a
letter immediately following this, he does say that if an Indian tribe
could maintain an action at law in the courts to assert its rights, he
would no more object to it than he would to a white man's doing the same
thing. As to the suggestion that the money collected for the expenses of
legal proceedings be used for educational purposes, Mrs. Jackson asks
the Secretary how it would be possible to take money given for one
specific purpose and use it for another and wholly different purpose.
Mr. Schurz rejoins that the consent of the donors may first be obtained;
but he forgets that it would be impossible to canvass the country to
ascertain the wishes of thousands of unknown givers to this fund.
Referring to the intimation that the friends of the Indians had not
taken legal counsel in this matter, and that the Secretary had, Mrs.
Jackson observes that they did take such counsel, and that an omission
to do so would have been indeed foolish.

"It will be observed that the Secretary's objection to the attempt to
secure civil rights is its futility; and, in answer to Mrs. Jackson's
statement that the friends of the Indians have sought the opinions of
lawyers in this case, he replies that one 'can find lawyers of skill and
standing to undertake, for a good fee, any case, however hopeless.' To
those who might think that this is unjustly severe on the legal
profession, it should be said that Mr. Schurz has been by profession a
lawyer, and should know what he is talking about. And we must presume
that Mr. Schurz's profound knowledge of the law, which is fortified by
the opinions of eminent legal men, induces him to consider the whole
case closed in advance of its submission to the courts. It would be
interesting, however, to know if the Secretary's lawyers of skill and
standing are less easily influenced by the prospect of a 'good fee' than
the lawyers of skill and standing consulted by the friends of the
Poncas. The exceedingly able opinion of Secretary Schurz, we find, is
that it is useless to give the Indian a standing in the courts through
judicial decisions, as he can readily secure this by accepting from the
Government of the United States a deed of 160 acres of land."


Standing Bear and his party, after their release by the decision of
Judge Dundy, settled on an island in the Niobrara River, which was a
part of their old reservation, and had fortunately been overlooked when
the United States Government took forcible possession of the rest of
their land and presented it to the Sioux. Here they were joined by other
fugitives of their tribe till the number reached about one hundred and
thirty. A committee which had been organized in Omaha for their relief
supplied them with farming implements, and they went industriously to
work. This committee published in July, 1880, a report containing the
following paragraphs:

"We consider the treatment of the Ponca Indians as one of the most
heart-sickening chapters in our national record of Indian wrongs, and we
are determined to spare no effort to restore to them their stolen homes
and rights, and to relieve the American people of the stigma of this
terrible wrong.

"The Senate of the United States during the past winter appointed a
select committee 'to ascertain and report the circumstances of the
removal of the Ponca Indians from their reservation, and whether the
said Indians are not entitled to be restored thereto.' This Senate
Committee devoted a long time to a thorough and patient investigation of
this whole Ponca case, and reported that the Poncas had been 'forced,
without authority of law, from their homes to the Indian Territory,' and
reported also a bill for their restoration to their former reservation,
and recommending 'that $50,000 be appropriated for the purpose of taking
the Poncas back, and restoring their now dilapidated homes.'

"This able report of the United States Senate says that 'in dealing with
one of the most peaceable and orderly and well-disposed of all the
tribes of Indians, the Government has violated in the most flagrant
manner their rights of property, and disregarded their appeals to the
honor and justice of the United States, and the dictates of humanity.'"

The report also says that "the committee can find no language
sufficiently strong to condemn the whole proceeding, and trace to it all
the troubles which have come upon the Poncas, and the hardships and
sufferings which have followed them since they were taken from their old
reservation and placed in their present position in the Indian

The Omaha Ponca Relief Committee need no better vindication of their
action in behalf of this distressed and outraged people than these
strong and weighty words of a committee of United States Senators,
composed of representative men of both political parties.

The Omaha Committee consisted of Bishop Clarkson, of Nebraska, chairman;
Rev. A. F. Sherrill, Rev. W. I. Harsha, Leavitt Burnham, W. M. Yates,
and P. L. Perine.

At the request of this committee, Mr. T. H. Tibbles in June went to the
Indian Territory to visit the Poncas (of whom only about 400 were left
alive). He was authorized "to assure them of the interest and efforts of
humane people all over the country in their behalf, and to notify them
that the Omaha Committee were ready to assist them in any practical way
to return to their old homes, from which they had been unjustly and
inhumanly ejected."

Mr. Tibbles succeeded in visiting the Poncas, although the Government
agent interfered with him in many ways, and finally arrested him by
authority of an order from Washington to arrest any member of the Omaha
Committee who came upon the reservation. He was insulted by the agent,
taken by force out of the reservation, and threatened with much more
severe treatment if he ever returned.

This high-handed outrage on a free citizen of the United States aroused
indignation throughout the country. The comments of the Press on the
occurrence showed that people were at last waking up to a sense of the
tyrannical injustice of the Indian Department. The _New York Tribune_
said, editorially:

"The Indian Department may as well understand at once that the Ponca
case has passed out of their control. It is a matter of simple justice
which the people are determined to see righted. *** No petty Indian
agent has the legal right to imprison, maltreat, and threaten the life
of any citizen totally guiltless of offence beyond that of working to
give these serfs of the Government the standing of human beings. *** It
is the Government of this great Republic, where all men are free and
equal, that holds these Poncas prisoners on a tract where to remain is
death. They are innocent of any crime except that they have been robbed
of their land, and that they ask to bring suit, as a black man or
convict could do, in the courts for its recovery."

Mr. Tibbles reported the condition of the Poncas in Indian Territory as
"deplorable in the extreme. They live in constant dread and fear, and
are as much imprisoned as if they were in a penitentiary." They seem "to
have lost all hope, are broken-hearted and disconsolate. With one or two
exceptions, they are making no effort to help themselves. Their
so-called farms are miserable little patches, to which they pay very
little attention. One of them said to me, 'If the Government forces me
to stay here, it can feed me. I had a good farm back at our old home,
and if I was back there I would farm again; I have no heart to work
here.' The one hundred and fifteen who are back on the old reservation
have a much larger amount of land under cultivation than the whole four
hundred who are in Indian Territory. They have kept their crops in good
condition, and are full of energy and hope."

The Government Agency for the Poncas having been transferred to the
Indian Territory, the annuities due the tribe were of course paid there,
and that portion of the tribe which had fled back to Dakota received
nothing. Moreover, the Indian Bureau issued an order forbidding any
Ponca who should leave the Indian Territory to take with him any kind of
property whatsoever, under penalty of being arrested for stealing. As
they could not take their families on the long, hard journey to Dakota
without food or means of transportation, this order kept them imprisoned
in Indian Territory as effectually as a military guard could have done.

The Government employés in charge of them reported, meanwhile, that they
had "made up their minds to live and die where they are. *** There
exists a feeling of contentment in the tribe that will make it very
difficult for any one to induce them to leave their present home," says
a general press despatch, presumably dictated by the Indian Bureau, and
sent throughout the country on July 15th.

It seems an insult to people's common-sense to suppose that this
statement would be believed, close on the heels of the general order for
the arrest of all fleeing Poncas who should dare to take with them out
of the Indian Territory one dollar's worth of property. A very
superfluous piece of legislation, surely, for a community so "contented"
that it would be "difficult for any one to induce them to leave their


The chivalric and disinterested attorneys who had had the charge of the
Ponca case from the outset, were not to be intimidated by the threats
nor outwitted by the expedients of the Indian Bureau. The ingenious
devices practised by the Department of the Interior to hinder the
getting service of summons upon the defendants in the suits necessary to
recover the Poncas' lands, make by themselves a shameful chapter, which
will some day be written out. But on the 13th of July the attorneys were
able to report to the Omaha Committee as follows:


                                                 Omaha, July 13th, 1880.

                   _To Omaha Ponca Indian Committee_:

In response to the inquiry of one of your members as to the condition of
the suits instituted by us to liberate Standing Bear and his associate
from the custody of the military, and to recover possession of the Ponca
reservation, we make the following statement:

On April 8th, 1879, was filed by us the petition in the case of United
States _ex rel._ Ma-chu-nah-zha (Standing Bear) _et al._ _vs._ George
Crook, a Brigadier-general of the Army of the United States and
Commander of the Department of the Platte, in the U.S. District Court
for the District of Nebraska, for a writ of _habeas corpus_ for the
release of Standing Bear and his companions. This cause was tried about
the first of May, 1879, and Standing Bear and his companions were
restored to their liberty. Thereupon the U. S. District-attorney took
the case to the United States Circuit Court for this District by appeal,
and about May 19th, upon hearing before Mr. Justice Miller, Associate
Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, was there continued,
and on January 5th, 1880, the appeal was dismissed on the motion of the
U. S. District-attorney.

On April 3d, 1880, was commenced by us the case of Ponca tribe of
Indians _vs._ Makh-pi-ah-lu-ta, or Red Cloud, in his own behalf, and in
behalf of the Sioux nation of Indians, in the U. S. Circuit Court for
the District of Nebraska, and on May 18th, 1880, we commenced in the
same court the case of Ponca tribe of Indians _vs._ Sioux nation of
Indians. These cases were commenced, and are being prosecuted by us, to
recover possession of and establish the title of the Ponca tribe of
Indians to so much of their old reservation as lies within the limits of
Nebraska. Great delay was made necessary in the commencement of these
cases, and the ones subsequently commenced in Dakota, of which we below
make mention, owing to difficulties in getting service of summons upon
the defendants. On May 22d, 1880, service of summons was had on the
defendants in both cases, and some action will be taken therein at the
next term of the court.

About the 20th of May, 1880, there were commenced in Dakota other suits
in the name of the Ponca tribe of Indians, and against the Sioux nation
of Indians, and against certain of their chiefs, to settle and establish
the title of the Ponca tribe of Indians to so much of their old
reservation as lies within the limits of Dakota. Service has been had in
these cases, and the several suits mentioned will be prosecuted by us
with all convenient speed.

We might add that we also have in charge the case of John Elk _vs._
Charles Wilkins, in the U. S. Circuit Court for this District, which is
being prosecuted by us to determine the rights of Indians under the
Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

                        Respectfully submitted,

                                                        A. J. POPPLETON,
                                                        JNO. L. WEBSTER.



"Early in 1800 the Governor of the North-west Territory, in his
message to the assembly, invited their attention to the condition of
the Indians. He observed that, irrespective of the principles of
religion and justice, it was the interest and should be the policy of
the United States to be at peace with them; but that could not
continue to be the case if the treaties existing between them and the
Government were broken with impunity by the inhabitants of the
Territory. He referred to the well-known fact that while the white men
loudly complained of every injury committed by the Indians, however
trifling, and demanded immediate reparation, they were daily
perpetrating against them injuries and wrongs of the most provoking
and atrocious nature, for which the perpetrators had not been brought
to justice. *** He stated that the number of those unfortunate people
who had been murdered since the peace of Greenville was sufficient to
produce serious alarm for the consequences. He added, further, that a
late attempt to bring to punishment a white man, who was clearly
proved to have killed two adult Indians and wounded two of their
children, had proved abortive."—BURNET'S _Notes on North-west


"Among other falsehoods it has been asserted confidently, but without a
shadow of argument or fact to sustain the assertion, that they cannot be
brought to a state of civilization, or be induced to form communities
and engage in the pursuits of agriculture and the arts, in consequence
of some physical difference between them and the Anglo-Saxon race. This
hypothesis is contradicted by experience, which has abundantly shown
that the two races, when placed in the same situation, and acted upon by
the same causes, have invariably resorted to the same expedients and
pursued the same policy.

"This averment is sustained by a reference to the white people who have
been taken prisoners in childhood and brought up among the Indians. In
every such case the child of civilization has become the ferocious adult
of the forest, manifesting all the peculiarities, tastes, and
preferences of the native Indian. His manners, habits, propensities, and
pursuits have been the same, so that the most astute philosophical
observer has not been able to discover any difference between them,
except in the color of the skin, and in some instances even this has
been removed by long exposure to the elements, and the free use of oils
and paints."

The many instances which there are on record of cases in which persons
taken captive by the Indians, while young, have utterly refused in later
life to return to their relatives and homes, go to confirm this
statement of Judge Burnet's.

On the other hand, he says: "The attempts that have been made at
different times to improve the minds and cultivate the morals of these
people have always been attended by success.

"On an unprejudiced comparison between the civilized educated white man
and the civilized educated Indian, all this theory of an organic
constitutional difference between the European and the native Indian

"In what respect have Ross, Boudinot, Hicks, Ridge, and others differed
from the educated men of our own race? Inasmuch then as the reclaimed
educated Indian becomes assimilated to the white man, and the European
brought up from infancy among the Indians becomes identified with them,
this alleged difference cannot be real, it must be imaginary.

"The fact is, the difficulty of civilizing the natives of this continent
is neither greater nor less than that which retarded the improvement of
the barbarous nations of Europe two thousand years ago. *** Men
uncivilized have always delighted in the chase, and had a propensity to
roam; both history and experience prove that nothing but necessity,
arising from such an increase of population as destroys the game, has
ever induced men to settle in communities, and rely on the cultivation
of the earth for subsistence. In the progress of civilization the chase
has given way to the pastoral state, and that has yielded to agriculture
as the increase of numbers has rendered it necessary.

"As soon as the Cherokees and the Wyandots were surrounded by a white
population, and their territory was so contracted as to cut off their
dependence on hunting and fishing, they became farmers, and manifested a
strong desire to cultivate the arts; and this would have been the choice
of the whole Indian race if the policy of the Government had permitted

"It is not just to consider the natives of this country as a distinct
and inferior race because they do not generally imitate us, when we not
only remove every consideration that could induce them to do so, but in
fact render it impossible. What motive of ambition was there to
stimulate them to effort, when they were made to feel that they held
their country as tenants at will, liable to be driven off at the
pleasure of their oppressors?

"As soon as they were brought to a situation in which necessity prompted
them to industry, and induced them to begin to adopt our manners and
habits of life, the covetous eye of the white man was fixed on their
incipient improvements, and they received the chilling notice that they
must look elsewhere for permanent homes.

"At the time our settlements were commencing north-west of the Ohio, the
Indians were its acknowledged owners and sovereigns; the Government
claimed no right either of occupancy or soil, except as they obtained it
by purchase."

(On the 31st of July, 1793, the United States Commissioners said to the
assembled chiefs of the North-western tribes, in a council held at the
home of one Captain Elliott, on the Detroit River: "By the express
authority of the President of the United States, we acknowledge the
property, or right of soil to the great country above described, to be
in the Indian nations as long as they desire to occupy it; we claim only
the tracts before particularly mentioned, and the right of pre-emption
granted by the King, as before explained.")

"The entire country from Pennsylvania to the Mississippi was admitted to
be theirs, and a more delightful, fertile valley cannot be found on the
earth. ***

"Unconscious of the ruinous consequences that were to follow their
intimacy with white men, they ceded to the American Government large and
valuable portions of the country at nominal prices. Those lands were
rapidly settled by Americans, in whose purity and friendship the
unsuspecting natives had great confidence; nor did they awake from that
delusion till their habits of sobriety and morality had been undermined,
and the vices engendered by intemperance and idleness had contaminated
every tribe. ***

"Their subsistence became precarious; their health declined; their
self-respect, their dignity of character, and the heroism inherited from
their ancestors were lost. They became in their own estimation a
degraded, dependent race. The Government, availing itself of their
weakness and want of energy, succeeded by bribes and menaces in
obtaining the best portions of their country, and eventually in driving
them from the land of their birth to a distant home in an unknown

"This distressing chapter of aboriginal history began at the treaty of
Greenville, in 1795, and terminated in less than fifty years. The writer
of these notes witnessed its commencement, progress, and
close."—BURNET'S _Notes on North-west Territory_.


"They were friendly in their dispositions, and honest to the most
scrupulous degree in their intercourse with the white men. *** Simply to
call these people religious would convey but a faint idea of the deep
hue of piety and devotion which pervades the whole of their conduct.
Their honesty is immaculate; and their purity of purpose and their
observance of the rites of their religion are most uniform and
remarkable. They are certainly more like a nation of saints than a horde
of savages."—CAPTAIN BONNEVILLE'S _Narrative_, _revised by_ W. IRVING.

"I fearlessly assert to the world, and I defy contradiction, that the
North American Indian is everywhere in his native state a highly moral
and religious being, endowed by his Maker with an intuitive knowledge of
some great Author of his being and the universe—in dread of whose
displeasure he constantly lives with the apprehension before him of a
future state, when he expects to be rewarded or punished according to
the merits he has gained or forfeited in this world.

"I never saw any other people who spend so much of their lives in
humbling themselves before and worshipping the Great Spirit as these
tribes do, nor any whom I would not as soon suspect of insincerity and

"Self-denial and self-torture, and almost self-immolation, are continual
modes of appealing to the Great Spirit for his countenance and

"To each other I have found these people kind and honorable, and endowed
with every feeling of parental, filial, and conjugal affection that is
met with in more enlightened communities."—CATLIN'S _North American

Mr. Catlin spent eight years among the Indians more than forty years
ago. He travelled among the wildest of them, lived with them in the
freest intimacy, and this is his verdict as to their native traits, when
uncontaminated by white men and whiskey.

As long ago as 1724, the Jesuit Father Lafitau wrote of the Indians, and
stated that to his own experience he added that of Father Garnier, who
had lived sixty years among them: "They are possessed," says he, "of
sound judgment, lively imagination, ready conception, and wonderful
memory. All the tribes retain at least some trace of an ancient
religion, handed down to them from their ancestors, and a form of
government. They reflect justly upon their affairs, and better than the
mass of the people among ourselves. They prosecute their ends by sure
means; they evince a degree of coolness and composure which would exceed
our patience; they never permit themselves to indulge in passion, but
always, from a sense of honor and greatness of soul, appear masters of
themselves. They are high-minded and proud; possess a courage equal to
every trial, an intrepid valor, the most heroic constancy under
torments, and an equanimity which neither misfortunes nor reverses can
shake. Toward each other they behave with a natural politeness and
attention, entertaining a high respect for the aged, and a consideration
for their equals which appears scarcely reconcilable with that freedom
and independence of which they are so jealous. They make few professions
of kindness, but yet are affable and generous. Toward strangers and the
unfortunate they exercise a degree of hospitality and charity which
might put the inhabitants of Europe to the blush."

Father Lafitau does not disguise the fact that the Indians have great
faults. He says they are "suspicious and vindictive, cruel to their

Père Lallemant, a missionary among the Hurons, says: "In point of
intellect they are not at all inferior to the natives of Europe; I could
not have believed that, without instruction, nature could have produced
such ready and vigorous eloquence, or such a sound judgment in their
affairs as that which I have so much admired among the Hurons. I admit
that their habits and customs are barbarous in a thousand ways; but,
after all, in matters which they consider as wrong, and which their
public condemns, we observe among them less criminality than in France,
although here the only punishment of a crime is the shame of having
committed it."

In a history of New France, published in 1618, it is stated of the
Indians that "they are valorous, faithful, generous, and humane; their
hospitality is so great that they extend it to every one who is not
their enemy. They speak with much judgment and reason, and, when they
have any important enterprise to undertake, the chief is attentively
listened to for two or three hours together, and he is answered point to
point, as the subject may require."

In 1656 the Jesuit missionaries among the Iroquois reported: "Among many
faults caused by their blindness and barbarous education, we meet with
virtues enough to cause shame among the most of Christians. Hospitals
for the poor would be useless among them, because there are no beggars;
those who have are so liberal to those who are in want, that everything
is enjoyed in common. The whole village must be in distress before any
individual is left in necessity."

Captain Carver, who travelled in 1766 among the wildest tribes,
describes them as "cruel, barbarous, and revengeful in war, persevering
and inflexible in pursuit of an enemy, sanguinary in their treatment of
prisoners, and sparing neither age nor sex." On the other hand, he found
them temperate in their mode of living, patient of hunger and fatigue,
sociable and humane to all whom they looked on as friends, and ready to
share with them the last morsel of food they possessed, or to expose
their lives in their defence. In their public character he describes
them as "possessing an attachment to their nation unknown to the
inhabitants of any other country, combining as if actuated by one soul
against a common enemy, never swayed in their councils by selfish or
party views, but sacrificing everything to the honor and advantage of
their tribe, in support of which they fear no danger, and are affected
by no sufferings. They are not only affectionately attached, indeed, to
their own offspring, but are extremely fond of children in general. They
instruct them carefully in their own principles, and train them up with
attention in the maxims and habits of their nation. Their system
consists chiefly in the influence of example, and impressing on them the
traditionary histories of their ancestors. When the children act wrong,
their parents remonstrate and reprimand but never chastise
them."—_HALKETT'S Hist. Notes._

The very idea of corporal punishment of little children seems to have
been peculiarly obnoxious to the native North American. In the "Relation
de Nouvelle France," published in 1633, there is a curious story of an
incident which took place at Quebec. A party of Indians, watching a
French drummer-boy beat his drum, pressed more closely around him than
he liked, and he struck one of the Indians in the face with his
drum-stick so sharply that the blow drew blood. The Indians, much
offended, went to the interpreter and demanded apologies and a present,
according to their custom. "No," said the interpreter, "our custom is to
punish the offender; we will punish the boy in your presence." When the
Indians saw the child stripped for the flogging they began immediately
to beg for his pardon; but as the soldiers continued their preparations
for whipping the lad, one of the Indians suddenly stripped himself and
threw his robe over the boy, crying out, "Scourge me, if you choose, but
do not strike the boy!" The good Father Le Jeune, who tells this story,
adds that this unwillingness of the Indians to see any child chastised
"will probably occasion trouble to us in the design we have to instruct
their youth."

As far back as 1587 we find evidence that the Indians were not without
religion. Thomas Hariot, an employé of Sir Walter Raleigh's, writing
from the Virginia colony, says of the Virginia Indians: "Theye beleeve
that there are many gods, which theye call Mantaoc, but of different
sorts and degrees; one onely chief and Great God, which hath been from
all eternitie; who, as theye affirme, when hee proposed to make the
world, made first other gods of a principall order, to bee as means and
instruments to bee used in the creation and government to folow; and
after the sunne, moone, and starres as pettie gods, and the instruments
of the other order more principall."

"In general," says Hunter, "a day seldom passes with an elderly Indian,
or others who are esteemed wise and good, in which a blessing is not
asked, or thanks returned to the Giver of Life, sometimes audibly, but
more generally in the devotional language of the heart."

All the employés of the North-west Fur Company bear the same testimony
to the fidelity and honesty of the Indians.

General H. Sibley once said to Bishop Whipple that for thirty years it
had been the uniform boast of the Sioux in every council that they had
never taken the life of a white man.



In Captain Bonneville's narrative of five years spent in the Rocky
Mountains are many instances of cruel outrages committed by whites upon

"One morning one of his trappers, discovering that his traps had been
carried off in the night, took a horrid oath that he would kill the
first Indian he should meet, innocent or guilty. As he was returning
with his comrades to camp, he beheld two unfortunate Root Diggers seated
on the bank, fishing; advancing upon them, he levelled his rifle, shot
one on the spot, and flung his bleeding body into the stream.

"A short time afterward, when this party of trappers were about to cross
Ogden's River, a great number of Shoshokies, or Root Diggers, were
posted on the opposite bank, when they imagined they were there with
hostile intent; they advanced upon them, levelled their rifles, and
killed twenty-five of them on the spot. The rest fled to a short
distance, then halted and turned about, howling and whining like wolves,
and uttering most piteous wailings. The trappers chased them in every
direction. The poor wretches made no defence, but fled in terror; nor
does it appear from the accounts of the boasted victors that a weapon
had been wielded by the Indians throughout the affair."

There seemed to be an emulation among these trappers which could inflict
the greatest outrages on the natives. They chased them at full speed,
lassoed them like cattle, and dragged them till they were dead.

At one time, when some horses had been stolen by the Riccarees, this
same party of trappers took two Riccaree Indians prisoners, and declared
that, unless the tribe restored every horse that had been stolen, these
two Indians, who had strayed into the trappers' camp without any
knowledge of the offence committed, should be burnt to death.

"To give force to their threat, a pyre of logs and fagots was heaped up
and kindled into a blaze. The Riccarees released one horse and then
another; but, finding that nothing but the relinquishment of all their
spoils would purchase the lives of the captives, they abandoned them to
their fate, moving off with many parting words and howlings, when the
prisoners were dragged to the blazing pyre and burnt to death in sight
of their retreating comrades.

"Such are the acts that lead to terrible recriminations on the part of
the Indians. Individual cases of the kind dwell in the recollections of
whole tribes, and it is a point of honor and conscience to avenge them.

"The records of the wars between the early settlers of Virginia and New
England and the natives exhibit cruelties on both sides that make one
shudder. *** When the Indian would tear the scalp from the crown of the
scarcely yet dead victim, and mutilate the body, could he be expected to
reform those cruelties when he saw the white man in his turn cut off the
heads of his people, and mutilate and quarter their bodies, as was done
with King Philip's, whose head, after being cut off, was sent to
Plymouth and hung up there on a gibbet, where it remained twenty years,
while one of his hands was sent to Boston as a trophy, his body being
quartered and hung upon four trees?"—_M'FORLEY'S History and Travels._


                     "Port Orford, Oregon Territory, February 5th, 1854.

"I grieve to report to you that a most horrid massacre, or rather an
out-and-out barbarous murder, was perpetrated on a portion of the Nason
tribe, residing at the mouth of the Coquille River, on the morning of
the 28th of January last, by a party of forty miners. Before giving you
the result of my examination and my own conclusions, I will give you the
reasons which that party assign in justification of their acts.

"They avow that, for some time past, the Indians at the mouth of the
Coquille have been insolent; that they have been in the habit of riding
the horses of white men without permission; that of late they have
committed many thefts, such as stealing paddles and many other articles
the property of white men; that one of their number recently discharged
his gun at the ferry-house; and that but a few days prior to the attack
on the Indians, the chief, on leaving the ferry-house, where he had just
been fed, fired his gun at a party of four white men standing near the
door of the house. They further state that, on the 27th of January, they
sent for the chief to come in for a talk; that he not only refused to
come in, but sent back word that he would kill white men if they came to
his home; that he meant to kill all the white men he could; that he was
determined to drive the white men out of his country; that he would kill
the men at the ferry, and burn their houses. Immediately after this
conversation with the chief, the white men at and near the ferry-house
assembled, and deliberated on the necessity of an immediate attack on
the Indians.

"The result of their deliberation, with the full proceedings of their
meeting, is herein enclosed. At the conclusion, a courier was despatched
to the upper mines for assistance. A party of about twenty responded to
the call, and arrived at the ferry-house on the evening preceding the
morning of the massacre. On the arrival of this re-enforcement the
proceedings of the meeting first held were reconsidered, and unanimously

"At the dawn of day on the morning of the 28th of January the party of
the ferry, joined by about twenty men from the upper mines, organized,
and, in three detachments, marched upon the Indian ranches, and
consummated a most inhuman slaughter. A full account of what they term
'a fight' you will find in the report which their captain, George H.
Abbott, forwarded to me on the day of the massacre.

"The Indians were roused from sleep to meet their death, with but feeble
show of resistance. They were shot down as they were attempting to
escape from their houses; fifteen men and one squaw killed; two squaws
badly wounded. On the part of the white men, not even the slightest
wound was received. The houses of the Indians, with but one exception,
were fired, and entirely destroyed. Thus was committed a massacre too
inhuman to be readily believed. Now for my examination of this horrid

"On the morning of the 29th of January I left Port Orford for the
Coquille. We arrived at the ferry-house early in the evening of that
day. Early in the morning of the day after my arrival I sent for the
chief, who immediately came in, attended by about thirty of his people.
The chief, as well as his people, was so greatly alarmed—apparently
apprehensive that the white men would kill them even in my presence—that
it was with a good deal of difficulty that I could induce him to express
his mind freely. He seemed only anxious to stipulate for peace and the
future safety of his people; and to procure this he was willing to
accept any terms that I might dictate. The chief was evidently afraid to
complain of or censure the slaughterers of his tribe, and for a time
replied to all the charges made against him with hesitancy. After
repeated assurances of protection, he finally answered to the point
every interrogatory. I asked him if he had at any time fired at the man
at the ferry-house. 'No!' was his prompt reply. At the time he was said
to have fired at the white man, he declared with great earnestness that
he shot at a duck in the river, at a distance of some two hundred yards
from the ferry-house, when on his way home, and possibly the ball of his
gun might have bounded from the water. My subsequent observation of the
course of the river, and the point from which he was said to have fired,
convinced me that his statement was entitled to the fullest credit. His
statement is confirmed by the doubt expressed by one of the party at
whom he was said to have fired.

"The white men making the accusation only heard the whizzing of a
bullet. This was the only evidence adduced in proof of the chief having
fired at them. I asked the chief if he, or if to his knowledge any of
his people, had ever fired at the ferry-house. To this he answered,
'No.' He most emphatically denied ever sending threatening language to
the men at the ferry, but admitted that some of his people had. He also
admitted that some of his tribe had stolen from white men, and that they
had used their horses without permission. He did not deny that his heart
had been bad toward white men, and that he had hoped they would leave
his country. He promised to do all I required of him. If I desired, he
said he would leave the home of his fathers and take his people to the
mountains; but, with my permission and protection, he would prefer
remaining in the present home of his people.

"Everything I asked or required of him he readily assented to, promising
most solemnly to maintain on his part permanent friendly relations with
white men. My interview with the tribe occupied about two hours. During
the entire council they listened with most profound attention, evidently
being determined to fasten on their minds all that fell from my lips. At
the conclusion of the council I requested the chief to send for all the
guns and pistols in the possession of his men. You will be surprised
when I tell you that all the guns and pistols in the hands of the
Indians at the ranches amounted to just five pieces, two of which were
unserviceable; as to powder and ball, I do not believe they had five
rounds. Does this look like being prepared for war? Can any sane man
believe those Indians, numbering not over seventy-five, all told,
including women and children, had concocted a plan to expel from their
country some three hundred whites? Such a conclusion is too preposterous
to be entertained for a moment. There was no necessity for resorting to
such extreme measures. I regard the murder of those Indians as one of
the most barbarous acts ever perpetrated by civilized men. But what can
be done? The leaders of the party cannot be arrested, though justice
loudly demands their punishment. Here we have not even a justice of the
peace; and as to the military force garrisoned at Fort Orford, it
consists of four men. If such murderous assaults are to be continued,
there will be no end of Indian war in Oregon."—_F. M. SMITH, Sub-Agent._

The Simon Kenton referred to in the following narrative was an
experienced Indian fighter, and commanded a regiment in the war of 1812.

"In the course of the war of 1812 a plan was formed by some of the
militia stationed at Urbana, Ohio, to attack an encampment of friendly
Indians, who had been threatened by the hostile tribes, and were invited
to remove with their families within our frontier settlements as a place
of safety, under an assurance that they should be protected. Kenton
remonstrated against the movement as being not only mutinous, but
treacherous and cowardly. He vindicated the Indian character against the
false charges which were alleged in justification of the outrage they
were about to perpetrate, and warned them against the infamy they would
incur by destroying a defenceless band of men, women, and children, who
had been induced to place themselves in their power by a solemn promise
of protection.

"He appealed to their humanity, their honor, and their duty as soldiers.
He contrasted his knowledge of the character of those unfortunate people
with their ignorance of it. He told them that he had endured suffering
and torture at their hands again and again, but that it was in time of
war, when they were defending their wives and children, and when he was
seeking to destroy and exterminate them; and that, under those
circumstances, he had no right to complain, and never did complain. But,
said he, in time of peace they have always been kind, faithful friends,
and generous, trustworthy men.

"Having exhausted the means of persuasion without effect, and finding
them still resolved on executing their purpose, he took a rifle and
called on them to proceed at once to the execution of the foul
deed—declaring with great firmness that he would accompany them to the
encampment, and shoot down the first man who attempted to molest it. 'My
life,' said he, 'is drawing to a close: what remains of it is not worth
much;' but, much or little, he was resolved that, if they entered the
Indian camp, it should be done by passing over his corpse. Knowing that
the old veteran would fulfil his promise, their hearts failed them; not
one ventured to take the lead; their purpose was abandoned, and the
Indians were saved."—_BURNET on the North-west Territory._




The commission consisted of Brigadier-general Terry, Hon. A. G.
Lawrence, and Colonel Corbin, secretary. After one month's journey,
_via_ Omaha, Nebraska, Helena, Montana, and Fort Benton, these gentlemen
were met on the Canadian boundary by a Canadian officer with a mounted
escort, who conducted them to Fort Walsh, when they were met by Sitting
Bull and the other chiefs.

General Terry recapitulated to them the advantages of being at peace
with the United States, the kindly treatment that all surrendered
prisoners had received, and said: "The President invites you to come to
the boundary of his and your country, and there give up your arms and
ammunition, and thence to go to the agencies to which he will assign
you, and there give up your horses, excepting those which are required
for peace purposes. Your arms and horses will then be sold, and with all
the money obtained for them cows will be bought and sent to you."

It is mortifying to think that representatives of the United States
should have been compelled gravely to submit in a formal council
proposals so ludicrous as these. The Indians must have been totally
without sense of humor if they could have listened to them without
laughter. Sitting Bull's reply is worthy of being put on record among
the notable protests of Indian chiefs against the oppressions of their

He said: "For sixty-four years you have kept me and my people, and
treated us bad. What have we done that you should want us to stop? We
have done nothing. It is all the people on your side that have started
us to do all these depredations. We could not go anywhere else, and so
we took refuge in this country. *** I would like to know why you came
here. In the first place I did not give you the country; but you
followed me from one place to another, so I had to leave and come over
to this country. *** You have got ears, and you have got eyes to see
with them, and you see how I live with these people. You see me. Here I
am. If you think I am a fool, you are a bigger fool than I am. This
house is a medicine house. You come here to tell us lies, but we don't
want to hear them. I don't wish any such language used to me—that is, to
tell me lies in my Great Mother's house. This country is mine, and I
intend to stay here and to raise this country full of grown people. See
these people here. We were raised with them" (again shaking hands with
the British officers). "That is enough, so no more. *** The part of the
country you gave me you ran me out of. *** I wish you to go back, and to
take it easy going back."

The-one-that-runs-the-Ree, a Santee chief, said: "You didn't treat us
well, and I don't like you at all. *** I will be at peace with these
people as long as I live. This country is ours. We did not give it to
you. You stole it away from us. You have come over here to tell us lies,
and I don't propose to talk much, and that is all I have to say. I want
you to take it easy going home. Don't go in a rush."

Nine, a Yankton, said: "Sixty-four years ago you got our country, and
you promised to take good care of us and keep us. You ran from one place
to another killing us and fighting us. *** You did not treat us right
over there, so we came back over here. *** I come in to these people
here, _and they give me permission to trade with the traders_. _That is
the way I make my living._ Everything I get I buy from the traders. I
don't steal anything. *** I am going to live with these people here."

So profound a contempt did the Indians feel for this commission that
they allowed a squaw to address it.

A squaw, named The-one-that-speaks-once, wife of
The-man-that-scatters-the-bear, said: "I was over at your country. I
wanted to raise my children there, but you did not give me any time. I
came over to this country to raise my children, and have a little peace"
(shaking hands with the British officers); "that is all I have to say to
you. I want you to go back where you came from. These are the people
that I am going to stay with and raise my children with."

The Indians having risen, being apparently about to leave the room, the
interpreter was directed to ask the following questions: "Shall I say to
the President that you refuse the offers that he has made to you? Are we
to understand that you refuse those offers?" Sitting Bull answered: "I
could tell you more, but that is all I have to tell. If we told you
more, you would not pay any attention to it. This part of the country
does not belong to your people. You belong on the other side, this side
belongs to us."

The Crow, shaking hands, and embracing Colonel McLeod, and shaking hands
with the other British officers, said: "This is the way I will live in
this part of the country. *** _These people that don't hide anything_,
they are all the people I like. *** Sixty-four years ago I shook hands
with the soldiers, and ever since that I have had hardships. I made
peace with them; and ever since then I have been running from one place
to another to keep out of their way. *** Go to where you were born, and
stay there. I came over to this country, and my Great Mother knows all
about it. She knows I came over here, and she don't wish anything of me.
We think, and all the women in the camp think, we are going to have the
country full of people. *** I have come back in this part of the country
again to have plenty more people, to live in peace, and raise children."

The Indians then inquired whether the commission had anything more to
say, and the commission answered that they had nothing more to say, and
the conference closed.

The commission, with a naïve lack of comprehension of the true situation
of the case, go on to say that "they are convinced that Sitting Bull and
the bands under him will not seek to return to this country at present.
It is believed that they are restrained from returning," partly by their
recollection of the severe handling they had by the military forces of
the United States in the last winter and spring, and partly "by their
belief that, for some reason which they cannot fathom, the Government of
the United States earnestly desires that they shall return. *** In their
intense hostility to our Government, they are determined to contravene
its wishes to the best of their ability." It would seem so—even to the
extent of foregoing all the privileges offered them on their return—the
giving up of all weapons—the exchanging of their horses for cows—and the
priceless privilege of being shut up on reservations, off which they
could not go without being pursued, arrested, and brought back by
troops. What a depth of malignity must be in the breasts of these
Indians, that to gratify it they will voluntarily relinquish all these
benefits, and continue to remain in a country where they must continue
to hunt, and make their own living on the unjust plan of free trade in
open markets!


                               THE SIOUX.


Claims had been set up by the Indian traders for $400,000 of the money
promised to the Sioux by the treaties of 1851 and 1852. The Indians
declared that they did not owe so much. Governor Ramsey endeavored to
compel Red Iron to sign a receipt for it; he refused. He said his tribe
had never had the goods. He asked the governor to appoint
arbitrators—two white men and one Indian; it was refused. He then said
that he would accept three white men as arbitrators, if they were honest
men: this was refused.

An eye-witness has sketched the appearance of the chief on that
occasion, and the interview between him and the governor: The council
was crowded with Indians and white men when Red Iron was brought in,
guarded by soldiers. He was about forty years old, tall and athletic;
about six feet high in his moccasins, with a large, well-developed head,
aquiline nose, thin compressed lips, and physiognomy beaming with
intelligence and resolution. He was clad in the half-military,
half-Indian costume of the Dakota chiefs. He was seated in the
council-room without greeting or salutation from any one. In a few
minutes the governor, turning to the chief in the midst of a breathless
silence, by the aid of an interpreter, opened the council.

Governor Ramsey asked: "What excuse have you for not coming to the
council when I sent for you?"

The chief rose to his feet with native grace and dignity, his blanket
falling from his shoulders, and purposely dropping the pipe of peace, he
stood erect before the governor with his arms folded, and right hand
pressed on the sheath of his scalping-knife; with firm voice he replied:

"I started to come, but your braves drove me back."

_Gov._ "What excuse have you for not coming the second time I sent for

_Red Iron._ "No other excuse than I have given you."

_Gov._ "At the treaty I thought you a good man, but since you have acted
badly, and I am disposed to break you. I do break you."

_Red Iron._ "You break me! My people made me a chief. My people love me.
I will still be their chief. I have done nothing wrong."

_Gov._ "Why did you get your braves together and march around here for
the purpose of intimidating other chiefs, and prevent their coming to
the council?"

_Red Iron._ "I did not get my braves together, they got together
themselves to prevent boys going to council to be made chiefs, to sign
papers, and to prevent single chiefs going to council at night, to be
bribed to sign papers for money we have never got. We have heard how the
Medewakantons were served at Mendota; that by secret councils you got
their names on paper, and took away their money. We don't want to be
served so. My braves wanted to come to council in the daytime, when the
sun shines, and we want no councils in the dark. We want all our people
to go to council together, so that we can all know what is done."

_Gov._ "Why did you attempt to come to council with your braves, when I
had forbidden your braves coming to council?"

_Red Iron._ "You invited the chiefs only, and would not let the braves
come too. This is not the way we have been treated before; this is not
according to our customs, for among Dakotas chiefs and braves go to
council together. When you first sent for us, there were two or three
chiefs here, and we wanted to wait till the rest would come, that we
might all be in council together and know what was done, and so that we
might all understand the papers, and know what we were signing. When we
signed the treaty the traders threw a blanket over our faces and
darkened our eyes, and made us sign papers which we did not understand,
and which were not explained or read to us. We want our Great Father at
Washington to know what has been done."

_Gov._ "Your Great Father has sent me to represent him, and what I say
is what he says. He wants you to pay your old debts, in accordance with
the paper you signed when the treaty was made, and to leave that money
in my hands to pay these debts. If you refuse to do that I will take the
money back."

_Red Iron._ "You can take the money back. We sold our land to you, and
you promised to pay us. If you don't give us the money I will be glad,
and all our people will be glad, for we will have our land back if you
don't give us the money. That paper was not interpreted or explained to
us. We are told it gives about 300 boxes ($300,000) of our money to some
of the traders. We don't think we owe them so much. We want to pay all
our debts. We want our Great Father to send three good men here to tell
us how much we do owe, and whatever they say we will pay; and that's
what all these braves say. Our chiefs and all our people say this." All
the Indians present responded, "Ho! ho!"

_Gov._ "That can't be done. You owe more than your money will pay, and I
am ready now to pay your annuity, and no more; and when you are ready to
receive it, the agent will pay you."

_Red Iron._ "We will receive our annuity, but we will sign no papers for
anything else. The snow is on the ground, and we have been waiting a
long time to get our money. We are poor; you have plenty. Your fires are
warm. Your tepees keep out the cold. We have nothing to eat. We have
been waiting a long time for our moneys. Our hunting-season is past. A
great many of our people are sick, for being hungry. We may die because
you won't pay us. We may die, but if we do we will leave our bones on
the ground, that our Great Father may see where his Dakota children
died. We are very poor. We have sold our hunting-grounds and the graves
of our fathers. We have sold our own graves. We have no place to bury
our dead, and you will not pay us the money for our lands."

The council was broken up, and Red Iron was sent to the guard-house,
where he was kept till next day. Between thirty and forty of the braves
of Red Iron's band were present during this arrangement before the
governor. When he was led away, they departed in sullen silence, headed
by Lean Bear, to a spot a quarter of a mile from the council-house,
where they uttered a succession of yells—the gathering signal of the
Dakotas. Ere the echoes died away, Indians were hurrying from their
tepees toward them, prepared for battle. They proceeded to the eminence
near the camp, where mouldered the bones of many warriors. It was the
memorable battle-ground, where their ancestors had fought, in a conflict
like Waterloo, the warlike Sacs and Foxes, thereby preserving their
lands and nationality. Upon this field stood two hundred resolute
warriors ready to do battle for their hereditary chief. Lean Bear, the
principal brave of Red Iron's band, was a large, resolute man, about
thirty-five years of age, and had great influence in his nation.

Here, on their old battle-ground, Lean Bear recounted the brave deeds of
Red Iron, the long list of wrongs inflicted on the Indians by the white
men, and proposed to the braves that they should make a general attack
on the whites. By the influence of some of the half-breeds, and of white
men who were known to be friendly to them, Lean Bear was induced to
abandon his scheme; and finally, the tribe, being starving, consented to
give up their lands and accept the sum of money offered to them.

"Over $55,000 of this treaty money, paid for debts of the Indians, went
to one Hugh Tyler, a stranger in the country, 'for getting the treaties
through the Senate, and for necessary disbursements in securing the
assent of the chiefs.'"

Five years later another trader, under the pretence that he was going to
get back for them some of this stolen treaty money, obtained their
signature to vouchers, by means of which he cheated them out of $12,000
more. At this same time he obtained a payment of $4,500 for goods he
said they had stolen from him. Another man was allowed a claim of $5,000
for horses he said they had stolen from him.

"In 1858 the chiefs were taken to Washington, and agreed to the treaties
for the cession of all their reservation north of the Minnesota River,
under which, as ratified by the Senate, they were to have $166,000; but
of this amount they never received one penny till four years afterward,
when $15,000 in goods were sent to the Lower Sioux, and these were
deducted out of what was due them under former treaties."—_History of
the Sioux War_, by ISAAC V. D. HEARD.

This paragraph gives the causes of the fearful Minnesota massacre, in
which eight hundred people lost their lives.

The treaty expressly provided that no claims against the Indians should
be paid unless approved by the Indians in open council. No such council
was held. A secret council was held with a few chiefs, but the body of
the Indians were ignorant of it. There was a clause in this treaty that
the Secretary of the Interior might use any funds of the Indians for
such purposes of civilization as his judgment should dictate. Under this
clause the avails of over six hundred thousand acres of land were taken
for claims against the Indians. Of the vast amount due to the Lower
Sioux, only a little over $800 was left to their credit in Washington at
the time of the outbreak. Moreover, a portion of their annual annuity
was also taken for claims.


"The guard that accompanied these Indians consisted of four commissioned
officers, one hundred and thirty-five soldiers, and one laundress; in
all, one hundred and forty persons. The number of Santee Sioux
transported was thirteen hundred and eighteen. For the transportation
and subsistence of these Indians and the guard there was paid the sum of

"The number of Winnebagoes transported was nineteen hundred and
forty-five; for their transportation and subsistence there was paid the
farther sum of $56,042.60—making the whole amount paid the contractors

"The Sioux were transported from Fort Snelling to Hannibal, Missouri, on
two steamboats. One of the boats stopped there, and the Indians on it
crossed over to St. Joseph, on the Missouri River, by rail. The other
boat continued to the junction of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers,
and thence up the latter to St. Joseph; and here the Indians that
crossed over by rail were put upon the boat, and from thence to Crow
Creek all of them were on one boat. They were very much crowded from St.
Joseph to Crow Creek. Sixteen died on the way, being without attention
or medical supplies. All the Indians were excluded from the cabin of the
boat, and confined to the lower and upper decks. It was in May, and to
go among them on the lower deck was suffocating. They were fed on hard
bread and mess pork, much of it not cooked, there being no opportunity
to cook it only at night when the boat laid up. They had no sugar,
coffee, or vegetables. Confinement on the boat in such a mass, and want
of proper food, created much sickness, such as diarrhœa and fevers. For
weeks after they arrived at Crow Creek the Indians died at the rate of
from three to four per day. In a few weeks one hundred and fifty had
died, mainly on account of the treatment they had received after leaving
Fort Snelling."—_MANEYPENNY, Our Indian Wards._


"During the summer the Indians were fed on flour and pork; they got no
beef till fall. They suffered for want of fresh beef as well as for
medical supplies. In the fall their ration began to fail; and the issue
was gradually reduced; and the Indians complained bitterly. *** The beef
furnished was from the cattle that hauled the supplies from Minnesota.
These cattle had travelled over three hundred miles, hauling the train,
with nothing to eat but the dry prairie grass, there being no
settlements on the route they came. The cattle were very poor. Some died
or gave out on the trip, and such were slaughtered, and the meat brought
in on the train for food for the Indians. About the 1st of January,
1864, near four hundred of the cattle were slaughtered. Except the dry
prairie grass, which the frost had killed, these cattle had no food from
the time they came to Crow Creek until they were slaughtered. A part of
the beef thus made was piled up in the warehouse in snow, and the
remainder in like manner packed in snow outside. This beef was to keep
the Indians until the coming June. The beef was black, and very poor—the
greater part only skin and bone. Shortly after the arrival of the train
from Minnesota the contractors for supplying the Indians with flour took
about one hundred head of the oxen, selecting the best of them, yoked
them up, and sent them with wagons to Sioux City, some two hundred and
forty miles, to haul up flour. This train returned in February, and
these oxen were then slaughtered, and fed to the Indians.

"In January the issue of soup to the Indians commenced. It was made in a
large cotton-wood vat, being cooked by steam carried from the boiler of
the saw-mill in a pipe to the vat. The vat was partly filled with water,
then several quarters of beef chopped up were thrown into it, and a few
sacks of flour added. The hearts, lights, and entrails were added to the
compound, and in the beginning a few beans were put into the vat; but
this luxury did not continue long. This soup was issued every other
day—to the Santee Sioux one day, the alternate day to the Winnebagoes.
It was very unpalatable. On the day the Indians received the soup they
had no other food issued to them. They were very much dissatisfied, and
said they could not live on the soup, when those in charge told them if
they could live elsewhere they had better go, but that they must not go
to the white settlements. Many of them did leave the agency, some going
to Fort Sully, others to Fort Randall, in search of food. From a
description of this nauseous mess called soup, given by Samuel C.
Haynes, then at Fort Randall, and assistant-surgeon in the military
service, it is seen that the Indians had good cause to leave Crow Creek.
He states that there were thrown into the vat 'beef, beef-heads,
entrails of the beeves, some beans, flour, and pork. I think there were
put into the vat two barrels of flour each time, which was not oftener
than once in twenty-four hours. This mass was then cooked by the steam
from the boiler passing through the pipe into the vat. When that was
done, all the Indians were ordered to come with their pails and get it.
It was dipped out to the Indians with a long-handled dipper made for the
purpose. I cannot say the quantity given to each. It was about the
consistency of very thin gruel. The Indians would pour off the thinner
portion and eat that which settled at the bottom. As it was dipped out
of the vat, some of the Indians would get the thinner portions and some
would get some meat. I passed there frequently when it was cooking, and
was often there when it was being issued. It had a very offensive odor.
It had the odor of the contents of the entrails of the beeves. I have
seen the settlings of the vat after they were through issuing it to the
Indians, when they were cleaning the vat, and the settlings smelled like
carrion—like decomposed meat. Some of the Indians refused to eat it,
saying they could not, it made them sick.'"—_MANEYPENNY, Our Indian


                     LETTER FROM SARAH WINNEMUCCA,

                       AN EDUCATED PAH-UTE WOMAN.

                   _To Major H. Douglas, U. S. Army_:

SIR,—I learn from the commanding officer at this post that you desire
full information in regard to the Indians around this place, with a
view, if possible, of bettering their condition by sending them on the
Truckee River Reservation. All the Indians from here to Carson City
belong to the Pah-Ute tribe. My father, whose name is Winnemucca, is the
head chief of the whole tribe; but he is now getting too old, and has
not energy enough to command, nor to impress on their minds the
necessity of their being sent on the reservation. In fact, I think he is
entirely opposed to it. He, myself, and most of the Humboldt and Queen's
River Indians were on the Truckee Reservation at one time; but if we had
stayed there, it would be only to starve. I think that if they had
received what they were entitled to from the agents, they would never
have left them. So far as their knowledge of agriculture extends, they
are quite ignorant, as they have never had the opportunity of learning;
but I think, if proper pains were taken, that they would willingly make
the effort to maintain themselves by their own labor, providing they
could be made to believe that the products were their own, for their own
use and comfort. It is needless for me to enter into details as to how
we were treated on the reservation while there. It is enough to say that
we were confined to the reserve, and had to live on what fish we might
be able to catch in the river. If this is the kind of civilization
awaiting us on the reserves, God grant that we may never be compelled to
go on one, as it is much preferable to live in the mountains and drag
out an existence in our native manner. So far as living is concerned,
the Indians at all military posts get enough to eat and considerable
cast-off clothing.

But how long is this to continue? What is the object of the Government
in regard to Indians? Is it enough that we are at peace? Remove all the
Indians from the military posts and place them on reservations such as
the Truckee and Walker River Reservations (as they were conducted), and
it will require a greater military force stationed round to keep them
within the limits than it now does to keep them in subjection. On the
other hand, if the Indians have any guarantee that they can secure a
permanent home on their own native soil, and that our white neighbors
can be kept from encroaching on our rights, after having a reasonable
share of ground allotted to us as our own, and giving us the required
advantages of learning, I warrant that the savage (as he is called
to-day) will be a thrifty and law-abiding member of the community
fifteen or twenty years hence.

Sir, if at any future time you should require information regarding the
Indians here, I will be happy to furnish the same if I can.

                                                       SARAH WINNEMUCCA.

Camp McDermitt, Nevada, April 4th, 1870.



[Adopted July 21st, A.D. 1866.]

The chiefs and councillors of the Delaware tribe of Indians convened at
their council-house, on the reservation of said tribe, adopted July
21st, 1866, the following laws, to be amended as they think proper:


_Section 1._ A national jail shall be built on the public grounds, upon
which the council-house is now situated.

_Sec. 2._ Any person who shall steal any horse, mule, ass, or cattle of
any kind, shall be punished as follows: For the first offence the
property of the offender shall be sold by the sheriff, to pay the owner
of the animal stolen the price of said animal, and all costs he may
sustain in consequence of such theft. But if the offender has no
property, or if his property be insufficient to pay for the animal
stolen, so much of his annuity shall be retained as may be necessary to
pay the owner of said animal, as above directed, and no relative of said
offender shall be permitted to assist him in paying the penalties of
said theft. For the second offence the thief shall be sent to jail for
thirty-five days, and shall pay all costs and damages the owner may
sustain on account of said theft. For the third offence the thief shall
be confined in jail three months, and shall pay all costs and damages,
as above provided.

_Sec. 3._ If any person shall steal a horse beyond the limits of the
reserve, and bring it within the limits thereof, it shall be lawful for
the owner to pursue and reclaim the same upon presenting satisfactory
proof of ownership, and, if necessary, receive the assistance of the
officers of the Delaware nation. _And it is further provided_, that such
officials as may from time to time be clothed with power by the United
States agent may pursue such offender either within or without the
limits of the reserve.

_Sec. 4._ Whoever shall ride any horse without the consent of the owner
thereof shall, for the first offence, pay the sum of ten dollars for
each day and night that he may keep the said animal; and for the second
offence shall be confined in jail for the term of twenty-one days,
besides paying a fine of ten dollars.

_Sec. 5._ Whoever shall reclaim and return any such animal to the
rightful owner, other than the wrong-doer, as in the last section
mentioned, shall receive therefor the sum of two and fifty-hundredths

_Sec. 6._ In all cases of theft, the person or persons convicted of such
theft shall be adjudged to pay all costs and damages resulting
therefrom; and in case of the final loss of any animal stolen, then the
offender shall pay the price thereof in addition to the costs and
damages, as provided in a previous section.

_Sec. 7._ Whoever shall steal any swine or sheep shall, for the first
offence, be fined the sum of fifteen dollars; ten of which shall be paid
to the owner of the sheep or swine taken, and five dollars to the
witness of the theft; for the second offence the thief shall, in
addition to the above penalty, be confined in jail for twenty-eight
days; and for the third offence the thief shall be confined four weeks
in jail, and then receive a trial, and bear such punishment as may be
adjudged upon such trial.

_Sec. 8._ Whoever shall steal a fowl of any description shall, for the
first offence, pay to the owner of such animal the sum of five dollars;
for the second offence, in addition to the above penalty, the thief
shall be confined in jail for twenty-one days. The witness by whom such
theft shall be proven shall be entitled to receive such reasonable
compensation as may be allowed to him, to be paid by the offender.

_Sec. 9._ A lawful fence shall be eight rails high, well staked and
ridered. If any animal shall break through or over a lawful fence, as
above defined, and do any damage, the owner of the enclosure shall give
notice thereof to the owner of such animal, without injury to the
animal. The owner of such animal shall therefore take care of the same,
and prevent his doing damage; but should he neglect or refuse so to do,
the animal itself shall be sold to pay for the damage it may have done.
But if the premises be not enclosed by a lawful fence, as above defined,
the owner of the enclosure shall receive no damages; but should he
injure any animal getting into such enclosure, shall pay for any damage
he may do such animal.

_Sec. 10._ Every owner of stock shall have his or her brand or mark put
on such stock, and a description of the brand or mark of every person in
the tribe shall be recorded by the national clerk.


_Sec. 1._ Whoever shall maliciously set fire to a house shall, for the
first offence, pay to the owner of such house all damages which he may
sustain in consequence of such fire; and, in addition thereto, for the
second offence shall be confined in jail for the term of twenty-one

_Sec. 2._ Should human life be sacrificed in consequence of any such
fire, the person setting fire as aforesaid shall suffer death by

_Sec. 3._ It shall be unlawful for any person to set on fire any woods
or prairie, except for the purpose of protecting property, and then only
at such times as shall permit the person so setting the fire to
extinguish the same.

_Sec. 4._ Whoever shall violate the provisions of the last preceding
section shall, for the first offence, be fined the sum of five dollars,
and pay the full value of all property thereby destroyed; for the second
offence, in addition to the penalty above described, the offender shall
be confined in jail for the term of thirty-five days; and for the third
offence the same punishment, except that the confinement in jail shall
be for the period of three months.

_Sec. 5._ Any person living outside of the reserve cutting hay upon the
land of one living on the reserve, shall pay to the owner of such land
the sum of one dollar per acre, or one-half of the hay so cut.

_Sec. 6._ No person shall sell any wood on the reserve, except said wood
be first cut and corded.


_Sec. 1._ Whoever shall find any lost article shall forthwith return the
same to the owner, if he can be found, under the penalty imposed for
stealing such article, for a neglect of such duty.

_Sec. 2._ Whoever shall take any article of property without permission
of its owner shall pay the price of the article so taken, and receive
such punishment as the judge in his discretion may impose.


_Sec. 1._ Whoever shall take up any animal on the reserve as a stray
shall, within one week, have the description of such animal recorded in
the stray-book kept by the council.

_Sec. 2._ If the owner of said stray shall claim the same within one
year from the day on which the description was recorded, he shall be
entitled to take it, after duly proving his property, and paying at the
rate of five dollars per month for the keeping of such animal.

_Sec. 3._ The title to any stray, duly recorded, and not claimed within
one year from the date of such record, shall rest absolutely in the
person taking up and recording the same.

_Sec. 4._ Whoever shall take up a stray, and refuse or neglect to record
a description of the same, as provided in Section 1 of this Article,
shall be deemed to have stolen such animal, if the same be found in his
possession, and shall suffer the penalties inflicted for stealing like
animals. The stray shall be taken from him, and remain at the disposal
of the council, and a description of the same shall be recorded in the


_Sec. 1._ If a person commit murder in the first degree, he shall, upon
conviction, suffer the penalty of death; but if the evidence against him
be insufficient, or if the killing be done in self-defence, the person
doing the killing shall be released.

_Sec. 2._ Whoever shall, by violence, do bodily harm to the person of
another shall be arrested, and suffer such punishment as may on trial be
adjudged against him; and should death result from such bodily harm done
to the person of another, the offender shall be arrested, and suffer
such punishment as may be adjudged against him.

_Sec. 3._ Whoever shall wilfully slander an innocent party shall be
punished for such slander at the discretion of the judge.

_Sec. 4._ Whoever, being intoxicated or under the influence of liquor,
shall display at the house of another, in a dangerous or threatening
manner, any deadly weapons, and refuse to desist therefrom, being
commanded so to do, and put up such weapons, either by the owner of the
house or by any other person, shall for the first offence be fined the
sum of five dollars, and pay all damages which may accrue; for the
second offence shall be confined in jail twenty-one days, and pay a fine
of ten dollars, and pay all damages which may accrue; and for the third
offence shall be imprisoned in the jail for thirty-five days, be fined
twenty dollars, and pay all damages as aforesaid.

_Sec. 5._ Officers shall be appointed to appraise all damages accruing
under the last preceding section, who shall hear all the evidence, and
render judgment according to the law and the evidence.

_Sec. 6._ Whoever shall, being under the influence of liquor, attend
public worship or any other public meeting, shall first be commanded
peaceably to depart; and if he refuses, it shall be the duty of the
sheriff to arrest and confine such person until he becomes sober; and
the offender shall pay a fine of five dollars.

_Sec. 7._ It shall be the duty of the sheriff to attend all meetings for
public worship.

_Sec. 8._ No member of the Delaware nation shall be held liable for any
debts contracted in the purchase of intoxicating liquors.

_Sec. 9._ The United States Agent and the chiefs shall have power to
grant license to bring merchandise to the national payment ground for
sale to so many traders as they may think proper for the interest of the

_Sec. 10._ It shall be unlawful for any one person to bring any kind of
drinks, except coffee, on the payment ground; and any person who shall
offend against this section shall forfeit his drinkables and his right
to remain on the payment ground.

_Sec. 11._ It shall be unlawful for any one person to bring within the
reserve more than one pint of spirituous liquors at any one time. For
the first offence against this section the offender shall forfeit his
liquors, and pay a fine of five dollars; for the second offence he shall
forfeit his liquors, and pay a fine of ten dollars; and for the third
offence he shall forfeit his liquors, and be fined the sum of
twenty-five dollars.

_Sec. 12._ Any person who shall find another in possession of more than
one pint of liquor at one time upon the reserve may lawfully spill and
destroy the same, and shall use such force as may be necessary for such
purpose. Should the owner resist, and endeavor to commit bodily harm
upon the person engaged in spilling or destroying said liquor, he shall
be taken into custody by the sheriff, and be punished as an offender
against the law.

_Sec. 13._ The sheriff may lawfully compel any man or any number of men,
ministers of the Gospel excepted, to assist in capturing any person who
shall violate these laws.

_Sec. 14._ Whoever shall offer resistance to any capture or arrest for
violating any of the provisions of these laws shall be punished, not
only for the original offence for which he was arrested, but also for
resisting an officer.


_Sec. 1._ All business affecting the general interest of the nation
shall be transacted by the council in regular sessions.

_Sec. 2._ All personal acts of chiefs, councillors, or private
individuals, in such matters as affect the general interest of the
nation, shall be considered null and void.

_Sec. 3._ Whoever shall violate the last preceding section by
undertaking, in a private capacity and manner, to transact public and
national business, shall be imprisoned in the national jail for a period
not less than six months nor more than one year, and shall forfeit his
place of office or position in the nation; which place or position shall
be filled by the appointment of other suitable persons.

_Sec. 4._ Councillors shall be appointed who shall take an oath
faithfully to perform their duties to the nation, and for neglect of
such duties others shall be appointed to fill their places.

_Sec. 5._ Should a councillor go on a journey, so that it is impossible
for him to attend the meetings of the council regularly, he may appoint
a substitute who shall act for him in his absence.

_Sec. 6._ Certain days shall be set apart for council and court days.

_Sec. 7._ The chiefs and councillors shall appoint three sheriffs, at a
salary of one hundred and fifty dollars per annum each; one clerk, at
one hundred dollars per annum; and one jailer, at a salary of one
hundred dollars per annum, whose salary shall be due and payable
half-yearly; and in case either of the above officers shall neglect or
refuse to perform any of the duties of his office, he shall forfeit his
salary, and his office shall be declared vacant, and another shall be
appointed to fill the office.

_Sec. 8._ The chiefs and councillors shall semi-annually, in April and
October, make an appropriation for national expenses, which
appropriation shall be taken from the trust fund, or any other due the
Delawares, and paid to the treasury.

_Sec. 9._ There shall be a treasurer appointed annually, on the first
day of April, whose duty it shall be to receive and disburse all moneys
to be used for national purposes; but the treasurer shall pay out money
only on order of chiefs and councillors, and for his services shall be
paid five per cent. on the amount disbursed.


_Sec. 1._ It shall be lawful for any person, before his or her death, to
make a will, and thereby dispose of his or her property as he or she may

_Sec. 2._ If a man dies, leaving no will to show the disposal of his
property, and leaves a widow and children, one-fourth of his property
shall be set aside for the payment of his debts. Should the property so
set aside be insufficient to pay all his debts in full, it shall be
divided among his creditors _pro rata_, which _pro rata_ payment shall
be received by his creditors in full satisfaction of all claims and
demands whatever.

_Sec. 3._ If the property so set apart for the payment of debts is more
than sufficient to pay all debts, the remainder shall be equally divided
among the children.

_Sec. 4._ The widow shall be entitled to one-third of the property not
set aside for the payment of debts.

_Sec. 5._ If a man dies, leaving no widow or children, his debts shall
first be paid out of the proceeds of his personal property, and the
remainder, if any, with the real estate, shall be given to the nearest

_Sec. 6._ Whoever shall take or receive any portion of the property
belonging to the widow and orphans, shall be punished as if he had
stolen the property.

_Sec. 7._ The council shall appoint guardians for orphan children when
they deem it expedient so to do.


_Sec. 1._ If a white man marry a member of the nation, and accumulate
property by such marriage, said property shall belong to his wife and
children; nor shall he be allowed to remove any portion of such property
beyond the limits of the reserve.

_Sec. 2._ Should such white man lose his wife, all the property shall
belong to the children, and no subsequent wife shall claim any portion
of such property.

_Sec. 3._ Should such white man die in the nation, leaving no children,
all his property shall belong to his wife, after paying his debts.

_Sec. 4._ Should such white man lose his wife, and have no children,
one-half of the personal property shall belong to him, and the other
half shall belong to his wife's nearest relatives.

_Sec. 5._ Should such white man be expelled from the reserve, and the
wife choose to follow her husband, she shall forfeit all her right and
interest in the reserve.


_Sec. 1._ No member of the nation shall lease any grounds to persons not
members of the nation.

_Sec. 2._ Should a white man seek employment of any member of the
nation, he shall first give his name to the United States Agent, and
furnish him with a certificate of good moral character, and also a
statement of the time for which he is employed, and the name of his

_Sec. 3._ The employed shall pay all hired help according to agreement.

_Sec. 4._ Any person or persons violating any of the provisions of these
laws on the reserve shall be punished as therein provided.

_Sec. 5._ All white men on the reserve disregarding these laws shall
also be expelled from the reserve.


_Sec. 1._ Whoever shall forcibly compel any woman to commit adultery, or
who shall commit a rape upon a woman, shall, for the first offence, be
fined the sum of fifty dollars, and be imprisoned in jail for
thirty-five days; for the second offence he shall be fined one hundred
dollars, and be confined three months in the national jail; and for the
third offence he shall be punished as the court shall see proper.


                           CHEROKEE ALPHABET.

"Sequoyah, a Cherokee Indian, instead of joining the rude sports of
Indian boys while a child, took great delight in exercising his
ingenuity by various mechanical labors. He also assisted in the
management of his mother's property, consisting of a farm and cattle and
horses. In his intercourse with the whites he became aware that they
possessed an art by which a name impressed upon a hard substance might
be understood at a glance by any one acquainted with the art. He
requested an educated half-breed, named Charles Hicks, to write his
name; which being done, he made a die containing a fac-simile of the
word, which he stamped upon all the articles fabricated by his
mechanical ingenuity. From this he proceeded to the art of drawing, in
which he made rapid progress before he had the opportunity of seeing a
picture or engraving. These accomplishments made the young man very
popular among his associates, and particularly among the red ladies; but
it was long before incessant adulation produced any evil effect upon his
character. At length, however, he was prevailed upon to join his
companions, and share in the carouse which had been supplied by his own
industry. But he soon wearied of an idle and dissipated life, suddenly
resolved to give up drinking, and learned the trade of a blacksmith by
his own unaided efforts. In the year 1820, while on a visit to some
friends in a Cherokee village, he listened to a conversation on the art
of writing, which seems always to have been the subject of great
curiosity among the Indians. Sequoyah remarked that he did not regard
the art as so very extraordinary, and believed he could invent a plan by
which the red man might do the same thing. The company were incredulous;
but the matter had long been the subject of his reflections, and he had
come to the conclusion that letters represented words or ideas, and
being always uniform, would always convey the same meaning. His first
plan was to invent signs for words; but upon trial he was speedily
satisfied that this would be too cumbrous and laborious, and he soon
contrived the plan of an alphabet which should represent sounds, each
character standing for a syllable. He persevered in carrying out his
intention, and attained his object by forming eighty-six characters.

"While thus employed he incurred the ridicule of his neighbors, and was
entreated to desist by his friends. The invention, however, was
completely successful, and the Cherokee dialect is now a written
language; a result entirely due to the extraordinary genius of Sequoyah.
After teaching many to read and write, he left the Cherokee nation in
1822 on a visit to Arkansas, and introduced the art among the Cherokees
who had emigrated to that country; and, after his return home, a
correspondence was opened in the Cherokee language between the two
branches of the nation. In the autumn of 1823 the General Council
bestowed upon him a silver medal in honor of his genius, and as an
expression of gratitude for his eminent public services."—_North
American Review._

"We may remark, with reference to the above, that as each letter of this
alphabet represents one of eighty-six sounds, of which in various
transpositions the language is composed, a Cherokee can read as soon as
he has learned his alphabet. It is said that a clever boy may thus be
taught to read in a single day."—_The Saturday Magazine_, London, April,



"In the wars between France and England and their colonies, their
Indian allies were entitled to a premium for every scalp of an enemy.
In the war preceding 1703 the Government of Massachusetts gave twelve
pounds for every Indian scalp. In 1722 it was augmented to one hundred
pounds—a sum sufficient to purchase a considerable extent of American
land. On the 25th of February, 1745, an act was passed by the American
colonial legislature, entitled 'An Act for giving a reward for
scalps.'"—_Sketches of the History, Manners, and Customs of the North
American Indians, by JAMES BUCHANAN, 1824._

"There was a constant rivalry between the Governments of Great Britain,
France, and the United States as to which of them should secure the
services of the barbarians to scalp their white enemies, while each in
turn was the loudest to denounce the shocking barbarities of such tribes
as they failed to secure in their own service; and the civilized world,
aghast at these horrid recitals, ignores the fact that nearly every
important massacre in the history of North America was organized and
directed by agents of some one of these Governments."—_GALE, Upper



ART. 6th of the treaty of Oct. 14th, 1865, between the United States and
the chiefs and headmen representing the confederated tribes of the
Arapahoe and Cheyenne Indians:

"The United States being desirous to express its condemnation of, and as
far as may be repudiate the gross and wanton outrages perpetrated
against certain bands of Cheyenne and Arapahoe Indians by Colonel J. M.
Chivington, in command of United States troops, on the 29th day of
November, 1864, at Sand Creek, in Colorado Territory, while the said
Indians were at peace with the United States and under its flag, whose
protection they had by lawful authority been promised and induced to
seek, and the Government, being desirous to make some suitable
reparation for the injuries thus done, will grant 320 acres of land by
patent to each of the following named chiefs of said bands, *** and will
in like manner grant to each other person of said bands made a widow, or
who lost a parent on that occasion, 160 acres of land. *** The United
States will also pay in United States securities, animals, goods,
provisions, or such other useful articles as may in the discretion of
the Secretary of the Interior be deemed best adapted to the respective
wants and conditions of the persons named in the schedule hereto
annexed, they being present and members of the bands who suffered at
Sand Creek on the occasion aforesaid, the sums set opposite their names
respectively, as a compensation for property belonging to them, and then
and there destroyed or taken from them by the United States troops

One of the Senate amendments to this treaty struck out the words "by
Colonel J. M. Chivington, in command of United States troops." If this
were done with a view of relieving "Colonel J. M. Chivington" of
obloquy, or of screening the fact that "United States troops" were the
instruments by which the murders were committed, is not clear. But in
either case the device was a futile one. The massacre will be known as
"The Chivington Massacre" as long as history lasts, and the United
States must bear its share of the infamy of it.



In his report for 1877 the Superintendent of Indian Affairs in Dakota
says: "Orders have been received to stop cutting of wood by Indians, to
pay them for what they have already cut, to take possession of it and
sell it. This I am advised is under a recent decision which deprives
Indians of any ownership in the wood until the land is taken by them in
severalty. If agents do not enforce these orders, they lay themselves
liable. If they do enforce them, the Indians are deprived of what little
motive they have for labor. In the mean time, aliens of all nations cut
wood on Indian lands, sell to steamboats, fill contracts for the army
and for Indian agencies at high prices. *** Cutting wood is one of the
very few things an Indian can do in Dakota at this time."



[This narrative was written by a well-known army officer, correspondent
of the _Army and Navy Journal_, and appeared in that paper Nov. 1st,

The history of that affair (the Walla Walla Massacre) was never written,
we believe; or, if it was, the absolute facts in the case were never
given by any unprejudiced person, and it may be interesting to not a few
to give them here. The story, as told by our Washington correspondent,
"Ebbitt," who was a witness of the scenes narrated, is as follows:

"The first settlements in Oregon, some thirty years ago, were made by a
colony of Methodists. One of the principal men among them was the late
Mr. or Governor Abernethy, as he was called, as he was for a short time
the prominent Governor of Oregon. He was the father-in-law of our genial
Deputy Quartermaster-general Henry C. Hodges, an excellent man, and he
must not be remembered as one of those who were responsible for the
shocking proceedings which we are about to relate. A minister by the
name of Whitman, we believe, had gone up to the Walla Walla region,
where he was kindly received by the Cayuse and other friendly Indians,
who, while they did not particularly desire to be converted to the
Christian faith as expounded by one of Wesley's followers, saw no
special objection to the presence of the missionary. So they lived
quietly along for a year or two; then the measles broke out among the
Indians, and a large number of them were carried off. They were told by
their medicine men that the disease was owing to the presence of the
whites, and Mr. Whitman was notified that he must leave their country.
Filled with zeal for the cause, and not having sense enough to grasp the
situation, he refused to go.

"At this time the people of the Hudson's Bay Company had great influence
with all the Indians in that region, and the good old Governor Peter
Skeen Ogden was the chief factor of the Company at Fort Vancouver. He
was apprised of the state of feeling among the Indians near the mission
by the Indians themselves, and he was entreated by them to urge Whitman
to go away, for if he did not he would surely be killed. The governor
wrote up to the mission advising them to leave, for a while at least,
until the Indians should become quiet, which they would do as soon as
the measles had run its course among them. His efforts were useless, and
sure enough one day in 1847, we believe, the mission was cleaned out,
the missionary and nearly all of those connected with it being killed.

"An Indian war follows. This was carried on for some months, and with
little damage, but sufficient for a claim by the territory upon the
General Government for untold amounts of money. Two or three years
later, when the country had commenced to fill up with emigration, and
after the regiment of Mounted Riflemen and two companies of the First
Artillery had taken post in Oregon, the people began to think that it
would be well to stir up the matter of the murder of the Whitman family.
General Joseph Lane had been sent out as governor in 1849, and he
doubtless thought it would be a good thing for him politically to humor
the people of the territory. Lane was a vigorous, resolute, Western man,
who had been a general officer during the Mexican war, and he then had
Presidential aspirations. So the governor came to Fort Vancouver, where
the head-quarters of the department were established, under Colonel
Loring, of the Mounted Rifles, and procured a small escort, with which
he proceeded to hunt up the Indians concerned in the massacre, and
demand their surrender. By this time the Indians had begun to comprehend
the power of the Government; and when the governor found them, and
explained the nature of his mission, they went into council to decide
what was to be done. After due deliberation, they were convinced that if
they were to refuse to come to any terms they would be attacked by the
soldiers, of whom they then had deadly fear, and obliged to abandon
their country forever. So they met the governor, and the head chief said
that they had heard what he had to say. It was true that his people had
killed the whites at the mission, but that they did so for the reason
that they really thought that a terrible disease had been brought among
them by the whites; that they had begged them to go away from them, for
they did not wish to kill them, and that they only killed them to save
their own lives, as they thought. He said that for this the whites from
down the Columbia had made war upon them, and killed many more of their
people than had been killed at the mission, and they thought they ought
to be satisfied. As they were not, three of their principal men had
volunteered to go back with the governor to Oregon City to be tried for
the murder. This satisfied the governor, and the men bid farewell to
their wives and little ones and to all their tribe, for they very well
knew that they would never see them again. They knew that they were
going among those who thirsted for their blood, and that they were going
to their death, and that death the most ignominious that can be accorded
to the red man, as they were to be hung like dogs.

"The governor and his party left. The victims gave one long last look at
the shore as they took the little boat on the Columbia, but no word of
complaint ever came from their lips. When they arrived at Fort Vancouver
we had charge of these Indians. They were not restrained in any way—no
guard was ever kept over them, for there was no power on earth that
could have made them falter in their determination to go down to Oregon
City, and die like men for the salvation of their tribe.

"At Oregon City these men walked with their heads erect, and with the
bearing of senators, from the little boat, amidst the jibes and jeers of
a brutal crowd, to the jail which was to be the last covering they would
ever have over their heads.

"The trial came on, the jury was empanelled, and Captain Claiborne, of
the Mounted Rifles, volunteered to defend the Indians, who were told
that they were to have a fair trial, and that they would not be punished
unless they were found guilty. To all this they paid no heed. They said
it was all right, but they did not understand a word of what they were
compelled to listen to for several days, and they cared nothing for the
forms of the law. They had come to die, and when some witnesses swore
that they recognized them as the very Indians who killed Whitman—all of
which was explained to them—not a muscle of their faces changed,
although it was more than suspected that the witnesses were never near
the mission at the time of the massacre. The trial was over, and, of
course, the Indians were condemned to be hanged. Without a murmur or
sigh of regret, and with a dignity that would have impressed a Zulu with
profound pity, these men walked to the gallows and were hung, while a
crowd of civilized Americans—men, women, and children of the nineteenth
century—looked on and laughed at their last convulsive twitches.

"We have read of heroes of all times, but never did we read of or
believe that such heroism as these Indians exhibited could exist. They
knew that to be accused was to be condemned, and they would be executed
in the civilized town of Oregon City just as surely as would a poor
woman accused of being a witch have been executed in the civilized and
Christian town of Salem, in the good State of Massachusetts, two hundred
years ago.

"A generation has passed away since the execution or murder of these
Indians at Oregon City. Governor Lane still lives, not as ex-President,
but as a poor but vigorous old man down in the Rogue River Valley. The
little nasty town of Oregon City was the scene of a self-immolation as
great as any of which we read in history, and there were not three
persons there who appreciated it. The accursed town is, we hear, still
nastier than ever, and the intelligent jury—no man of whom dared to have
a word of pity or admiration for those poor Indians—with the spectators
of that horrid scene, are either dead and damned, or they are sunk in
the oblivion that is the fate of those who are born without souls."


                               AN ACCOUNT


[From the Report of Francis A. Walker, United States Commissioner of
Indian Affairs for the year 1872.]

The Indians within the limits of the United States, exclusive of those
in Alaska, number, approximately, 300,000.

They may be divided, according to their geographical location or range,
into five grand divisions, as follows: in Minnesota, and States east of
the Mississippi River, about 32,500; in Nebraska, Kansas, and the Indian
Territory, 70,650; in the Territories of Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, and
Idaho, 65,000; in Nevada, and the Territories of Colorado, New Mexico,
Utah, and Arizona, 84,000; and on the Pacific slope, 48,000. *** As
regards their means of support and methods of subsistence, they may be
divided as follows: those who support themselves upon their own
reservations, receiving nothing from the Government except interest on
their own moneys, or annuities granted them in consideration of the
cession of their lands to the United States, number about 130,000; those
who are entirely subsisted by the Government, about 31,000; those in
part subsisted, 84,000,—together, about 115,000; those who subsist by
hunting and fishing, upon roots, nuts, berries, etc., or by begging and
stealing, about 55,000.



The Indians of New York, remnants of the once powerful "Six Nations,"
number 5070. They occupy six reservations in the State, containing in
the aggregate 68,668 acres. Two of these reservations, viz., the
Alleghany and Cattaraugus, belonged originally to the Colony of
Massachusetts; but, by sale and assignment, passed into the hands of a
company, the Indians holding a perpetual right of occupancy, and the
company referred to, or the individual members thereof, owning the
ultimate fee. The same state of facts formerly existed in regard to the
Tonawanda reserve; but the Indians who occupy it have purchased the
ultimate fee of a portion of the reserve, which is now held in trust for
them by the Secretary of the Interior. The State of New York exercises
sovereignty over these reservations. The reservations occupied by the
Oneidas, Onondagas, and Tuscaroras have been provided for by treaty
stipulations between the Indians and the State of New York. All six
reserves are held and occupied by the Indians in common. While the
Indian tribes of the continent, with few exceptions, have been steadily
decreasing in numbers, those of New York have of late more than held
their own, as is shown by an increase of 100 in the present reports over
the reported number in 1871, and of 1300 over the number embraced in the
United States census of 1860. On the New York reservations are
twenty-eight schools; the attendance during some portions of the past
year exceeding 1100; the daily average attendance being 608. Of the
teachers employed, fifteen are Indians, as fully competent for this
position as their white associates. An indication of what is to be
accomplished in the future, in an educational point of view, is found in
the successful effort, made in August last, to establish a teacher's
institute on the Cattaraugus Reservation for the education of teachers
specially for Indian schools. Thirty-eight applicants attended, and
twenty-six are now under training. The statistics of individual wealth
and of the aggregate product of agricultural and other industry are, in
general, favorable; and a considerable increase in these regards is
observed from year to year. Twenty thousand acres are under cultivation;
the cereal crops are good; while noticeable success has been achieved in
the raising of fruit.


The bands or tribes residing in Michigan are the Chippewas of Saginaw,
Swan Creek, and Black River; the Ottawas and Chippewas; the
Pottawattomies of Huron; and the L'Anse band of Chippewas.

_The Chippewas_ of Saginaw, Swan Creek, and Black River, numbering 1630,
and the Ottawas and Chippewas, 6039, are indigenous to the country. They
are well advanced in civilization; have, with few exceptions, been
allotted lands under treaty provisions, for which they have received
patents; and are now entitled to all the privileges and benefits of
citizens of the United States. Those to whom no allotments have been
made can secure homesteads under the provisions of the Act of June 10th,
1872. All treaty stipulations with these Indians have expired. They now
have no money or other annuities paid to them by the United States
Government. The three tribes first named have in all four schools, with
115 scholars; and the last, two schools, with 152 scholars.

_The Pottawattomies_ of Huron number about fifty.

_The L'Anse_ band of Chippewas, numbering 1195, belong with the other
bands of the Chippewas of Lake Superior. They occupy a reservation of
about 48,300 acres, situated on Lake Superior, in the extreme northern
part of the State. But few of them are engaged in agriculture, most of
them depending for their subsistence on hunting and fishing. They have
two schools, with an attendance of fifty-six scholars.

The progress of the Indians of Michigan in civilization and industry has
been greatly hindered in the past by a feeling of uncertainty in regard
to their permanent possession and enjoyment of their homes. Since the
allotment of land, and the distribution of either patents or homestead
certificates to these Indians (the L'Anse or Lake Superior Chippewas, a
people of hunting and fishing habits, excepted), a marked improvement
has been manifested on their part in regard to breaking land and
building houses. The aggregate quantity of land cultivated by the
several tribes is 11,620 acres—corn, oats, and wheat being the chief
products. The dwellings occupied consist of 244 frame and 835
log-houses. The aggregate population of the several tribes named
(including the confederated "Chippewas, Ottawas, and Pottawattomies,"
about 250 souls, with whom the Government made a final settlement in
1866 of its treaty obligations) is, by the report of their agent for the
current year, 9117—an increase over the number reported for 1871 of 402;
due, however, perhaps as much to the return of absent Indians as to the
excess of births over deaths. In educational matters these Indians have,
of late, most unfortunately, fallen short of the results of former
years; for the reason mainly that, their treaties expiring, the
provisions previously existing for educational uses failed.


The bands or tribes in Wisconsin are the Chippewas of Lake Superior, the
Menomonees, the Stockbridges, and Munsees, the Oneidas, and certain
stray bands (so-called) of Winnebagoes, Pottawattomies, and Chippewas.

_The Chippewas_ of Lake Superior (under which head are included the
following bands: Fond du Lac, Boise Forte, Grand Portage, Red Cliff, Bad
River, Lac de Flambeau, and Lac Court D'Oreille) number about 5150. They
constitute a part of the Ojibways (anglicized in the term Chippewas),
formerly one of the most powerful and warlike nations in the north-west,
embracing many bands, and ranging over an immense territory, extending
along the shores of Lakes Huron, Michigan, and Superior to the steppes
of the Upper Mississippi. Of this great nation large numbers are still
found in Minnesota, many in Michigan, and a fragment in Kansas.

The bands above mentioned by name are at present located on several
small reservations set apart for them by treaties of September 30th,
1854, and April 7th, 1866, in Wisconsin and Minnesota, comprising in all
about 695,290 acres. By Act of Congress of May 29th, 1872, provision was
made for the sale, with the consent of the Indians, of three of these
reservations, _viz._, the Lac de Flambeau and Lac Court D'Oreille in
Wisconsin, and the Fond du Lac in Minnesota; and for the removal of the
Indians located thereon to the Bad River Reservation, where there is
plenty of good arable land, and where they can be properly cared for,
and instructed in agriculture and mechanics.

The greater part of these Indians at present lead a somewhat roving
life, finding their subsistence chiefly in game hunted by them, in the
rice gathered in its wild state, and in the fish afforded by waters
conveniently near. Comparatively little is done in the way of
cultivating the soil. Certain bands have of late been greatly
demoralized by contact with persons employed in the construction of the
Northern Pacific Railroad, the line of which runs near one (the Fond du
Lac) of their reservations. Portions of this people, however, especially
those situated at the Bad River Reservation, have begun to evince an
earnest desire for self-improvement. Many live in houses of rude
construction, and raise small crops of grain and vegetables; others
labor among the whites; and a number find employment in cutting rails,
fence-posts, and saw-logs for the Government. In regard to the efforts
made to instruct the children in letters, it may be said that, without
being altogether fruitless, the results have been thus far meagre and
somewhat discouraging. The majority of the parents profess to wish to
have their children educated, and ask for schools; but when the means
are provided and the work undertaken, the difficulties in the way of
success to any considerable extent appear in the undisciplined character
of the scholars, which has to be overcome by the teacher without
parental co-operation, and in the great irregularity of attendance at
school, especially on the part of those who are obliged to accompany
their parents to the rice-fields, the sugar-camps, or the

_The Menomonees_ number 1362, and are located on a reservation of
230,400 acres in the north-eastern part of Wisconsin. They formerly
owned most of the eastern portion of the State, and, by treaty entered
into with the Government on the 18th of October, 1848, ceded the same
for a home in Minnesota upon lands that had been obtained by the United
States from the Chippewas; but, becoming dissatisfied with the
arrangement, as not having accorded them what they claimed to be
rightfully due, subsequently protested, and manifested great
unwillingness to remove. In view of this condition of affairs, they
were, by the President, permitted to remain in Wisconsin, and
temporarily located upon the lands they now occupy, which were secured
to them by a subsequent treaty made with the tribe on the 12th of May,
1854. This reservation is well watered by lakes and streams, the latter
affording excellent power and facilities for moving logs and lumber to
market; the most of their country abounding with valuable pine timber. A
considerable portion of the Menomonees have made real and substantial
advancement in civilization; numbers of them are engaged in agriculture;
others find remunerative employment in the lumbering camp established
upon their reservation, under the management of the Government Agent,
while a few still return at times to their old pursuits of hunting and

Under the plan adopted by the Department in 1871, in regard to cutting
and selling the pine timber belonging to these Indians, 2,000,000 feet
have been cut and driven, realizing $23,731, of which individual Indians
received for their labor over $3000, the treasury of the tribe deriving
a net profit of five dollars per thousand feet. The agent estimates
that, for labor done by the Indians upon the reservation, at lumbering,
and for work outside on railroads, during the past year, about $20,000
has been earned and received, exclusive of the labor rendered in
building houses, raising crops, making sugar, gathering rice, and
hunting for peltries. The work of education upon the reservations has
been of late quite unsatisfactory, but one small school being now in
operation, with seventy scholars, the average attendance being fifty.

_The Stockbridges and Munsees_, numbering 250, occupy a reservation of
60,800 acres adjoining the Menomonees. The Stockbridges came originally
from Massachusetts and New York. After several removals, they, with the
Munsees, finally located on their present reservation. Under the
provisions of the Act of February 6th, 1871, steps are now being taken
to dispose of all of their reservation, with the exception of eighteen
sections best adapted for agricultural purposes, which are reserved for
their future use. They have no treaty stipulations with the United
States at the present time; nor do they receive any annuities of any
kind from the Government. These tribes—indeed it may be said this tribe
(the Stockbridges), for of the Munsees there probably remain not more
than half a dozen souls—were formerly an intelligent, prosperous people,
not a whit behind the most advanced of the race, possessed of good
farms, well instructed, and industrious. Unfortunately for them, though
much to the advantage of the Government, which acquired thereby a
valuable tract of country for white settlement, they removed, in 1857,
to their present place of abode. The change has proved highly
detrimental to their interests and prospects. Their new reservation, the
greater part poor in soil and seriously affected by wet seasons and
frequent frosts, has never yielded them more than a meagre subsistence.
Many have for this reason left the tribe, and have been for years
endeavoring to obtain a livelihood among the whites, maintaining but
little intercourse with those remaining on the reservation, yet still
holding their rights in the tribal property. The result has been
bickerings and faction quarrels, prejudicial to the peace and
advancement of the community. More than one-half of the present
membership of the tribe, from both the "citizen" and the "Indian"
parties, into which it has been long divided, are reported by the agent
as having decided to avail themselves of the enrolment provisions in the
Act of Congress of February, 1871, before referred to, by which they
will finally receive their share of the tribal property, and become
citizens of the United States. Those who desire to retain their tribal
relation under the protection of the United States may, under the act
adverted to, if they so elect by their council, procure a new location
for their future home. The school interests and religious care of this
people are under the superintendence of Mr. Jeremiah Slingerland, a
Stockbridge of much repute for his intelligence, and his success in the
cause of the moral and educational improvement of his people.

_The Oneidas_, numbering 1259, have a reservation of 60,800 acres near
Green Bay. They constitute the greater portion of the tribe of that name
(derived from Lake Oneida, where the tribe then resided), formerly one
of the "Six Nations." ***


The Indians residing within the limits of Minnesota, as in the case of
those of the same name living in Wisconsin, heretofore noticed,
constitute a portion of the Ojibway or Chippewa nation, and comprise the
following bands: Mississippi, Pillager, Winnebagoshish, Pembina, Red
Lake, Boise Forte, Fond du Lac, and Grand Portage. The last three bands,
being attached to the agency for the Chippewas of Lake Superior, have
been treated of in connection with the Indians of Wisconsin. The five
first-named bands number in the aggregate about 6455 souls, and occupy,
or rather it is intended they shall ultimately occupy, ample
reservations in the central and northern portion of the State, known as
the White Earth, Leech Lake, and Red Lake reservations, containing
altogether about 4,672,000 acres—a portion of which is very valuable for
its pine timber. *** _Mississippi Bands._—These Indians reside in
different localities. Most of them are on their reservation at White
Earth; others are at Mille Lac, Gull Lake, and some at White Oak Point
reservations. Upon the first-named reservation operations have been
quite extensive in the erection of school-buildings, dwelling-houses,
shops, and mills, and in breaking ground. At one time during the past
summer there was a prospect of an abundant yield from 300 acres sown in
cereals; but, unfortunately, the grasshoppers swept away the entire
crop; and a second crop of buckwheat and turnips proved a failure. The
Indians on this reservation are well-behaved, and inclined to be
industrious. Many of them are engaged in tilling the soil, while others
are learning the mechanical arts; and they may, as a body, be said to be
making considerable progress in the pursuits of civilized life. About
one-half of the Indians at Gull Lake have been removed to White Earth:
the remainder are opposed to removal, and will, in their present
feeling, rather forfeit their annuities than change their location. The
Mille Lac Chippewas, who continue to occupy the lands ceded by them in
1863, with reservation of the right to live thereon during good
behavior, are indisposed to leave their old home for the new one
designed for them on the White Earth Reservation. Only about twenty-five
have thus far been induced to remove. Their present reservation is rich
in pine lands, the envy of lumber dealers; and there is a strong
pressure on all sides for their early removal. They should have help
from the Government, whether they remain or remove; and this could be
afforded to a sufficient extent by the sale for their benefit of the
timber upon the lands now occupied by them. Probably the Government
could provide for them in no better way.

_The White Oak Point Chippewas_ were formerly known as Sandy Lake
Indians. They were removed in 1867 from Sandy Lake and Rabbit Lake to
White Oak Point, on the Mississippi, near the eastern part of the Leech
Lake Reservation. This location is unfavorable to their moral
improvement and material progress, from its proximity to the lumber
camps of the whites. Thus far the effort made to better their condition,
by placing them on farming land, has proved a failure. The ground broken
for them has gone back into grass, and their log-houses are in ruins,
the former occupants betaking themselves to their wonted haunts. It
would be well if these Indians could be induced to remove to the White
Earth Reservation.

At Red Lake the Indians have had a prosperous year: good crops of corn
and potatoes have been raised, and a number of houses built. This band
would be in much better circumstances were they possessed of a greater
quantity of arable lands. That to which they are at present limited
allows but five acres, suitable for that use, to each family. It is
proposed to sell their timber, and with the proceeds clear lands,
purchase stock, and establish a manual-labor school.

_The Pembina_ bands reside in Dakota Territory, but are here noticed in
connection with the Minnesota Indians, because of their being attached
to the same agency. They have no reservation, having ceded their lands
by treaty made in 1863, but claim title to Turtle Mountain in Dakota, on
which some of them resided at the time of the treaty, and which lies
west of the line of the cession then made. They number, the full-bloods
about 350, and the half-breeds about 100. They lead a somewhat nomadic
life, depending upon the chase for a precarious subsistence, in
connection with an annuity from the Government of the United States.

_The Chippewas_ of Minnesota have had but few educational advantages;
but with the facilities now being afforded, and with the earnest
endeavors that are now being put forth by their agent and the teachers
employed, especially at White Earth, it is expected that their interests
in this regard will be greatly promoted. At White Earth school
operations have been quite successful; so much so, that it will require
additional accommodations to meet the demands of the Indians for the
education of their children. The only other school in operation is that
at Red Lake, under the auspices of the American Indian Mission


There are now in Indiana about 345 Miamis, who did not go to Kansas when
the tribe moved to that section under the treaty of 1840. They are good
citizens, many being thrifty farmers, giving no trouble either to their
white neighbors or to the Government. There is also a small band called
the Eel River band of Miamis, residing in this State and in Michigan.


_Cherokees._—There are residing in these States probably about 1700
Cherokees, who elected to remain, under the provisions respecting
Cherokees averse to removal, contained in the twelfth article of the
treaty with the Cherokees of 1835. Under the Act of July 29th, 1848, a
_per capita_ transportation and subsistence fund of $53.33 was created
and set apart for their benefit, in accordance with a census-roll made
under the provisions of said act; the interest on which fund, until such
time as they shall individually remove to the Indian country, is the
only money to which those named in said roll, who are living, or the
heirs of those who have deceased, are entitled. This interest is too
small to be of any benefit; and some action should be taken by Congress,
with a view of having all business matters between these Indians and the
Government settled, by removing such of them west as now desire to go,
and paying those who decline to remove the _per capita_ fund referred
to. The Government has no agent residing with these Indians. In
accordance with their earnestly expressed desire to be brought under the
immediate charge of the Government, as its wards, Congress, by law
approved July 27th, 1868, directed that the Secretary of the Interior
should cause the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to take the same
supervisory charge of them as of other tribes of Indians; but this
practically amounts to nothing, in the absence of means to carry out the
intention of the law with any beneficial result to the Indians. The
condition of this people is represented to be deplorable. Before the
late Rebellion they were living in good circumstances, engaged, with all
the success which could be expected, in farming, and in various minor
industrial pursuits. Like all other inhabitants of this section, they
suffered much during the war, and are now, from this and other causes,
much impoverished.


_Seminoles._—There are a few Seminoles, supposed to number about 300,
still residing in Florida—being those, or the descendants of those, who
refused to accompany the tribe when it removed to the West many years
ago. But little is known of their condition and temper.


The tribes residing in Nebraska, Kansas, and the Indian Territory are
divided as follows: in Nebraska, about 6485; in Kansas, 1500; in the
Indian Territory, 62,465.


The Indians in Nebraska are the Santee Sioux, Winnebagoes Omahas,
Pawnees, Sacs and Foxes of the Missouri, Iowas, and the Otoes and
Missourias. ***

_Omahas._—The Omahas, a peaceable and inoffensive people, numbering 969,
a decrease since 1871 of fifteen, are native to the country now occupied
by them, and occupy a reservation of 345,600 acres adjoining the
Winnebagoes. They have lands allotted to them in severalty, and have
made considerable advancement in agriculture and civilization, though
they still follow the chase to some extent. Under the provisions of the
Act of June 10th, 1872, steps are being taken to sell 50,000 acres of
the western part of their reservation. The proceeds of the sale of these
lands will enable them to improve and stock their farms, build houses,
etc., and, with proper care and industry, to become in a few years
entirely self-sustaining. A few cottages are to be found upon this
reservation. There are at present three schools in operation on this
reservation, with an attendance of 120 scholars.

_Pawnees._—The Pawnees, a warlike people, number 2447, an increase for
the past year of eighty-three. They are located on a reservation of
288,000 acres, in the central part of the State. They are native to the
country now occupied by them, and have for years been loyal to the
Government, having frequently furnished scouts for the army in
operations against hostile tribes or marauding bands. Their location, so
near the frontier, and almost in constant contact with the Indians of
the plains, with whom they have been always more or less at war, has
tended to retard their advancement in the arts of civilization. They
are, however, gradually becoming more habituated to the customs of the
whites, are giving some attention to agriculture, and, with the
disappearance of the buffalo from their section of the country, will
doubtless settle down to farming and to the practice of mechanical arts
in earnest. The Act of June 10th, 1872, heretofore referred to, provides
also for the sale of 50,000 acres belonging to the Pawnees, the same to
be taken from that part of their reservation lying south of Loup Fork.
These lands are now being surveyed; and it is believed that, with the
proceeds of this sale, such improvements, in the way of building houses
and opening and stocking farms, can be made for the Pawnees as will at
an early day induce them to give their entire time and attention to
industrial pursuits. There are two schools in operation on the
reservation—one a manual-labor boarding-school, the other a day-school,
with an attendance at both of 118 scholars. Provision was also made by
Congress, at its last session, for the erection of two additional
school-houses for the use of this tribe.

_Sacs and Foxes of the Missouri._—These Indians, formerly a portion of
the same tribe with the Indians now known as the Sacs and Foxes of the
Mississippi, emigrated many years ago from Iowa, and settled near the
tribe of Iowas, hereafter to be mentioned. They number at the present
time but eighty-eight, having been steadily diminishing for years. They
have a reservation of about 16,000 acres, lying in the south-eastern
part of Nebraska and the north-eastern part of Kansas, purchased for
them from the Iowas. Most of it is excellent land; but they have never,
to any considerable extent, made use of it for tillage, being almost
hopelessly disinclined to engage in labor of any kind, and depending
principally for their subsistence, a very poor one, upon their annuity,
which is secured to them by the treaty of October 31st, 1837, and
amounts to $7870. By Act of June 10th, 1872, provision was made for the
sale of a portion or all of their reservation, the proceeds of such sale
to be expended for their immediate use, or for their removal to the
Indian Territory or elsewhere. They have consented to the sale of their
entire reservation; and, so soon as funds shall have been received from
that source, steps will be taken to have them removed to the Indian
Territory south of Kansas.

_Iowas._—These Indians, numbering at present 225, emigrated years ago
from Iowa and North-western Missouri, and now have a reservation
adjoining the Sacs and Foxes of the Missouri, containing about 16,000
acres. They belong to a much better class of Indians than their
neighbors the Sacs and Foxes, being temperate, frugal, industrious, and
interested in the education of their children. They were thoroughly
loyal during the late rebellion, and furnished a number of soldiers to
the Union army. Many of them are good farmers; and as a tribe they are
generally extending their agricultural operations, improving their
dwellings, and adding to their comforts. A large majority of the tribe
are anxious to have their reservation allotted in severalty; and,
inasmuch as they are not inclined to remove to another locality, it
would seem desirable that their wishes in this respect should be
complied with. One school is in operation on the reservation, with an
attendance of sixty-eight scholars, besides an industrial home for
orphans, supported by the Indians themselves.

_Otoes and Missourias._—These Indians, numbering 464, an increase of
fourteen over last year, were removed from Iowa and Missouri to their
present beautiful and fertile reservation, comprising 160,000 acres, and
situated in the southern part of Nebraska. Until quite recently they
have evinced but little disposition to labor for a support, or in any
way to better their miserable condition; yet cut off from their wonted
source of subsistence, the buffalo, by their fear of the wild tribes
which have taken possession of their old hunting-grounds, they have
gradually been more and more forced to work for a living. Within the
last three years many of them have opened farms and built themselves
houses. A school has also been established, having an attendance of
ninety-five scholars.


The Indians still remaining in Kansas are the Kickapoos, Pottawattomies
(Prairie band), Chippewas and Munsees, Miamis, and the Kansas or Kaws.

_Kickapoos._—The Kickapoos emigrated from Illinois, and are now located,
to the number of 290, on a reservation of 19,200 acres, in the
north-eastern part of the State. During the late war a party of about
one hundred, dissatisfied with the treaty made with the tribe in 1863,
went to Mexico, upon representations made to them by certain of their
kinsmen living in that republic that they would be welcomed and
protected by the Mexican Government; but, finding themselves deceived,
attempted to return to the United States. Only a few, however, succeeded
in reaching the Kickapoo Agency. The Kickapoos now remaining in Mexico
separated from the tribe more than twenty years ago, and settled among
the southern Indians in the Indian Territory, on or near the Washita
River, whence they went to Mexico where they still live, notwithstanding
the efforts of the Government of late to arrange with Mexico for their
removal to the Indian Territory, and location upon some suitable
reservation. Their raids across the border have been a sore affliction
to the people of Texas; and it is important that the first promising
occasion should be taken to secure their return to the United States,
and their establishment where they may be carefully watched, and
restrained from their depredatory habits, or summarily punished if they
persist in them. The Kickapoos remaining in Kansas are peaceable and
industrious, continuing to make commendable progress in the cultivation
of their farms, and showing much interest in the education of their
children. Under the provisions of the treaty of June 28th, 1862, a few
of these Indians have received lands in severalty, for which patents
have been issued, and are now citizens of the United States. Two schools
are in operation among these Indians, with a daily average attendance of
thirty-nine scholars.

_Pottawattomies._—The Prairie band is all of this tribe remaining in
Kansas, the rest having become citizens and removed, or most of them, to
the Indian Territory. The tribe, excepting those in Wisconsin heretofore
noticed, formerly resided in Michigan and Indiana, and removed to Kansas
under the provisions of the treaty of 1846. The Prairie band numbers, as
nearly as ascertained, about 400, and is located on a reserve of 77,357
acres, fourteen miles north of Topeka. Notwithstanding many efforts to
educate and civilize these Indians, most of them still cling tenaciously
to the habits and customs of their fathers. Some, however, have recently
turned their attention to agricultural pursuits, and are now raising
stock, and most of the varieties of grain produced by their white
neighbors. They are also showing more interest in education than
formerly—one school being in operation on the reservation, with an
attendance of eighty-four scholars.

_Chippewas and Munsees._—Certain of the Chippewas of Saginaw, Swan
Creek, and Black River, removed from Michigan under the treaty of 1836;
and certain Munsees, or Christian Indians, from Wisconsin under the
treaty of 1839. These were united by the terms of the treaty concluded
with them July 16th, 1859. The united bands now number only fifty-six.
They own 4760 acres of land in Franklin County, about forty miles south
of the town of Lawrence, holding the same in severalty, are considerably
advanced in the arts of life, and earn a decent living, principally by
agriculture. They have one school in operation, with an attendance of
sixteen scholars. These Indians at present have no treaty with the
United States; nor do they receive any assistance from the Government.

_Miamis._—The Miamis of Kansas formerly resided in Indiana, forming one
tribe with the Miamis still remaining in that State, but removed in 1846
to their present location, under the provisions of the treaty of 1840.

Owing to the secession of a considerable number who have allied
themselves with the Peorias in the Indian Territory, and also to the
ravages of disease consequent on vicious indulgences, especially in the
use of intoxicating drinks, this band, which on its removal from Indiana
embraced about five hundred, at present numbers but ninety-five. These
have a reservation of 10,240 acres in Linn and Miami Counties, in the
south-eastern part of Kansas, the larger part of which is held in
severalty by them.

The Superintendent of Indian Affairs, in immediate charge, in his report
for this year says the Miamis remaining in Kansas are greatly
demoralized, their school has been abandoned, and their youth left
destitute of educational advantages. Considerable trouble has been for
years caused by white settlers locating aggressively on lands belonging
to these Indians, no effort for their extrusion having been thus far

_Kansas or Kaws._—These Indians are native to the country they occupy.
They number at present 593; in 1860 they numbered 803. Although they
have a reservation of 80,640 acres of good land in the eastern part of
the State, they are poor and improvident, and have in late years
suffered much for want of the actual necessaries of life. They never
were much disposed to labor, depending upon the chase for a living, in
connection with the annuities due from the Government. They have been
growing steadily poorer; and even now, in their straitened
circumstances, and under the pressure of want, they show but little
inclination to engage in agricultural pursuits, all attempts to induce
them to work having measurably proved failures. Until quite recently
they could not even be prevailed upon to have their children educated.
One school is now in operation, with an attendance of about forty-five
scholars. By the Act of May 8th, 1872, provision was made for the sale
of all the lands owned by these Indians in Kansas, and for their removal
to the Indian Territory. Provision was also made, by the Act of June
5th, 1872, for their settlement within the limits of a tract of land
therein provided to be set apart for the Osages. Their lands in Kansas
are now being appraised by commissioners appointed for the purpose,
preparatory to their sale.


The Indians at present located in the Indian Territory—an extensive
district, bounded north by Kansas, east by Missouri and Arkansas, south
by Texas, and west by the one hundredth meridian, designated by the
commissioners appointed under Act of Congress, July 20th, 1867, to
establish peace with certain hostile tribes, as one of two great
Territories (the other being, in the main, the present Territory of
Dakota, west of the Missouri) upon which might be concentrated the great
body of all the Indians east of the Rocky Mountains—are the Cherokees,
Choctaws, Chickasaws, Creeks, Seminoles, Senecas, Shawnees, Quapaws,
Ottawas of Blanchard's Fork and Roche de Bœuf, Peorias, and confederated
Kaskaskias, Weas and Piankeshaws, Wyandottes, Pottawattomies, Sacs and
Foxes of the Mississippi, Osages, Kiowas, Comanches, the Arapahoes and
Cheyennes of the south, the Wichitas and other affiliated bands, and a
small band of Apaches long confederated with the Kiowas and Comanches.

_Choctaws and Chickasaws._—These tribes are for certain national
purposes confederated. The Choctaws, numbering 16,000—an increase of
1000 on the enumeration for 1871—have a reservation of 6,688,000 acres
in the south-eastern part of the Territory; and the Chickasaws,
numbering 6000, own a tract containing 4,377,600 acres adjoining the
Choctaws on the west. These tribes originally inhabited the section of
country now embraced within the State of Mississippi, and were removed
to their present location in accordance with the terms of the treaties
concluded with them, respectively, in 1820 and 1832. The remarks made
respecting the language, laws, educational advantages, industrial
pursuits, and advancement in the arts and customs of civilized life of
the Cherokees will apply in the main to the Choctaws and Chickasaws. The
Choctaws have thirty-six schools in operation, with an attendance of 819
scholars; the Chickasaws eleven, with 379 scholars. The Choctaws, under
the treaties of November 16th, 1805, October 18th, 1820, January 20th,
1825, and June 22d, 1855, receive permanent annuities as follows: in
money, $3000; for support of government, education, and other beneficial
purposes, $25,512 89; for support of light-horsemen, $600; and for iron
and steel, $320. They also have United States and State stocks, held in
trust for them by the Secretary of the Interior, to the amount of
$506,427 20, divided as follows: on account of "Choctaw general fund,"
$454,000; of "Choctaw school fund," $52,427 20. The interest on these
funds, and the annuities, etc., are turned over to the treasurer of the
nation, and expended under the direction of the National Council in the
manner and for the objects indicated in each case. The Chickasaws, under
Act of February 25th, 1799, and treaty of April 28th, 1866, have a
permanent annuity of $3000. They also have United States and State
stocks, held in trust for them by the Secretary of the Interior, to the
amount of $1,185,947 03-2/3—$183,947 03-2/3 thereof being a "national
fund," and $2000 a fund for "incompetents." The interest on these sums,
and the item of $3000 first referred to, are paid over to the treasurer
of the nation, and disbursed by him under the direction of the National
Council, and for such objects as that body may determine.

_Creeks._—The Creeks came originally from Alabama and Georgia. They
numbered at the latest date of enumeration 12,295, and have a
reservation of 3,215,495 acres in the eastern and central part of the
territory. They are not generally so far advanced as the Cherokees,
Choctaws, and Chickasaws, but are making rapid progress, and will
doubtless in a few years rank in all respects with their neighbors, the
three tribes just named. The Creeks, by the latest reports, have
thirty-three schools in operation; one of which is under the management
of the Methodist Mission Society, and another supported by the
Presbyterians. The number of scholars in all the schools is 760. These
Indians have, under treaties of August 7th, 1790, June 16th, 1802,
January 24th, 1826, August 7th, 1856, and June 14th, 1866, permanent
annuities and interest on moneys uninvested as follows: in money,
$68,258 40; for pay of blacksmiths and assistants, wagon-maker,
wheelwright, iron and steel, $3250; for assistance in agricultural
operations, $2000; and for education, $1000. The Secretary of the
Interior holds in trust for certain members of the tribe, known as
"orphans," United States and State bonds to the amount of $76,999 66,
the interest on which sum is paid to those of said orphans who are
alive, and to the representatives of those who have deceased.

_Seminoles._—The Seminoles, numbering 2398, an increase of 190 over the
census of 1871, have a reservation of 200,000 acres adjoining the Creeks
on the west. This tribe formerly inhabited the section of country now
embraced in the State of Florida. Some of them removed to their present
location under the provisions of the treaties of 1832 and 1833. The
remainder of the tribe, instigated by the former chief, Osceola,
repudiated the treaties, refused to remove, and soon after commenced
depredating upon the whites. In 1835 these depredations resulted in war,
which continued seven years, with immense cost of blood and treasure.
The Indians were at last rendered powerless to do further injury, and,
after efforts repeated through several years, were finally, with the
exception of a few who fled to the everglades, removed to a reservation
in the now Indian territory. In 1866 they ceded to the United States, by
treaty, the reservation then owned by them, and purchased the tract they
at present occupy. They are not so far advanced in the arts of civilized
life as the Cherokees, Choctaws, Chickasaws, and Creeks, but are making
rapid progress in that direction, and will, it is confidently believed,
soon rank with the tribes named. They cultivate 7600 acres; upon which
they raised during the past year 300,000 bushels of corn, and 6000
bushels of potatoes. They live in log-houses, and own large stocks of
cattle, horses, and hogs. The schools of the Seminoles number four, with
an attendance of 169 scholars.

They receive, under treaties made with them August 7th, 1856, and March
21st, 1866, annuities, etc., as follows: interest on $500,000, amounting
to $25,000 annually, which is paid to them as annuity; interest on
$50,000, amounting to $2500 annually, for support of schools; and $1000,
the interest on $20,000, for the support of their government.

_Senecas and Shawnees._—The Senecas, numbering 214, and the Shawnees,
numbering ninety, at the present time, removed, some thirty-five or
forty years ago, from Ohio to their present location in the
north-eastern corner of the territory. They suffered severely during the
Rebellion, being obliged to leave their homes and fly to the north,
their country being devastated by troops of both armies. Under the
provisions of the treaty of 1867, made with these and other tribes, the
Senecas, who were then confederated with the Shawnees, dissolved their
connection with that tribe, sold to the United States their half of the
reservation owned by them in common with the Shawnees, and connected
themselves with those Senecas who then owned a separate reservation. The
Shawnees now have a reservation of 24,960 acres, and the united Senecas
one of 44,000 acres. These tribes are engaged in agriculture to a
considerable extent. They are peaceable and industrious. Many are
thrifty farmers, and in comfortable circumstances. They have one school
in operation, with an attendance of thirty-six scholars, which includes
some children of the Wyandottes, which tribe has no schools.

_Quapaws._—These Indians number at the present time about 240. They are
native to the country, and occupy a reservation of 104,000 acres in the
extreme north-east corner of the territory. They do not appear to have
advanced much within the past few years. In common with other tribes in
that section, they suffered greatly by the late war, and were rendered
very destitute. Their proximity to the border towns of Kansas, and the
facilities thereby afforded for obtaining whiskey, have tended to retard
their progress; but there has recently been manifested a strong desire
for improvement; and with the funds derived from the sale of a part of
their lands, and with the proposed opening of a school among them,
better things are hoped for in the future.

_Ottawas._—The Ottawas of Blanchard's Fork and Roche de Bœuf number, at
the present time, 150. They were originally located in Western Ohio and
Southern Michigan, and were removed, in accordance with the terms of the
treaty concluded with them in 1831, to a reservation within the present
limits of Kansas. Under the treaty of 1867 they obtained a reservation
of 24,960 acres, lying immediately north of the western portion of the
Shawnee Reservation. They have paid considerable attention to education,
are well advanced in civilization, and many of them are industrious and
prosperous farmers. They have one school, attended by fifty-two
scholars. The relation of this small band to the Government is somewhat
anomalous, inasmuch as, agreeably to provisions contained in the
treaties of 1862 and 1867, they have become citizens of the United
States, and yet reside in the Indian country, possess a reservation
there, and maintain a purely tribal organization. They removed from
Franklin Co., Kansas, in 1870.

_Peorias_, _etc._—The Peorias, Kaskaskias, Weas, and Piankeshaws, who
were confederated in 1854, and at that time had a total population of
259, now number 160. They occupy a reservation of 72,000 acres,
adjoining the Quapaw Reservation on the south and west. Under treaties
made with these tribes in 1832, they removed to a tract within the
present limits of Kansas, where they remained until after the treaty of
1867 was concluded with them, in which treaty provision was made whereby
they obtained their present reservation. These Indians are generally
intelligent, well advanced in civilization, and, to judge from the
statistical reports of their agent, are very successful in their
agricultural operations, raising crops ample for their own support. With
the Peorias are about forty Miamis from Kansas. They have one school in
operation, with an attendance of twenty-nine scholars.

_Wyandottes._—The Wyandottes number at the present time 222 souls. Ten
years ago there were 435. They occupy a reservation of 20,000 acres,
lying between the Seneca and Shawnee reservations. This tribe was
located for many years in North-western Ohio, whence they removed,
pursuant to the terms of the treaty made with them in 1842, to a
reservation within the present limits of Kansas. By the treaty made with
them in 1867 their present reservation was set apart for those members
of the tribe who desired to maintain their tribal organization, instead
of becoming citizens, as provided in the treaty of 1855. They are poor,
and, having no annuities and but little force of character, are making
slight progress in industry or civilization. They have been lately
joined by members of the tribe, who, under the treaty, accepted
citizenship. These, desiring to resume their relations with their
people, have been again adopted into the tribe.

_Pottawattomies._—These Indians, who formerly resided in Michigan and
Indiana, whence they removed to Kansas, before going down into the
Indian Territory numbered about 1600. They have, under the provisions of
the treaty of 1861 made with the tribe, then residing in Kansas, become
citizens of the United States. By the terms of said treaty they received
allotments of land, and their proportion of the tribal funds, with the
exception of their share of certain non-paying State stocks, amounting
to $67,000, held in trust by the Secretary of the Interior for the
Pottawattomies. Having disposed of their lands, they removed to the
Indian Territory, where a reservation thirty miles square, adjoining the
Seminole Reservation on the west, had been, by the treaty of 1867,
provided for such as should elect to maintain their tribal organization.
It having been decided, however, by the Department that, as they had all
become citizens, there was consequently no part of the tribe remaining
which could lay claim, under treaty stipulations, to the reservation in
the Indian Territory, legislation was had by Congress at its last
session—Act approved May 23d, 1872—by which these citizen Pottawattomies
were allowed allotments of land within the tract originally assigned for
their use as a tribe, to the extent of 160 acres to each head of family,
and to each other person twenty-one years of age, and of eighty acres to
each minor. Most if not all of them are capable of taking care of
themselves; and many of them are well-educated, intelligent, and thrifty

_Absentee Shawnees._—These Indians, numbering 663, separated about
thirty years ago from the main tribe, then located in Kansas, and
settled in the Indian Territory, principally within the limits of the
thirty miles square tract heretofore referred to in the remarks relative
to the Pottawattomies, where they engaged in farming, and have since
supported themselves without assistance from the Government.

_Sacs and Foxes._—The Sacs and Foxes of the Mississippi number at the
present time 463. In 1846 they numbered 2478. They have a reservation of
483,340 acres, adjoining the Creeks on the west, and between the North
Fork of the Canadian and the Red Fork of the Arkansas Rivers. They
formerly occupied large tracts of country in Wisconsin, Iowa, and
Missouri, whence they removed, by virtue of treaty stipulations, to a
reservation within the present limits of Kansas. By the terms of the
treaties of 1859 and 1868 all their lands in Kansas were ceded to the
United States, and they were given in lieu thereof their present
reservation. These Indians, once famous for their prowess in war, have
not, for some years, made any marked improvement upon their former
condition. Still they have accomplished a little, under highly adverse
circumstances and influences, in the way of opening small farms and in
building houses, and are beginning to show some regard for their women
by relieving them of the burdens and labors heretofore required of them.
There is hope of their further improvement, although they are still but
one degree removed from the Blanket or Breech-clout Indians. They have
one school in operation, with an attendance of only about twelve
scholars. Three hundred and seventeen members of these tribes, after
their removal to Kansas, returned to Iowa, where they were permitted to
remain, and are now, under the Act of March 2d, 1867, receiving their
share of the tribal funds. They have purchased 419 acres of land in Tama
County, part of which they are cultivating. They are not much disposed
to work, however, on lands of their own, preferring to labor for the
white farmers in their vicinity, and are still much given to roving and

_Osages._—The Osages, numbering 3956, are native to the general section
of the country where they now live. Their reservation is bounded on the
north by the south line of Kansas, east by the ninety-sixth degree of
west longitude, and south and west by the Arkansas River, and contains
approximately 1,760,000 acres. They still follow the chase, the buffalo
being their main dependence for food. Their wealth consists in horses
(of which they own not less than 12,000) and in cattle.

_Kiowas, Comanches, and Apaches._—These tribes, confederated under
present treaty stipulations, formerly ranged over an extensive country
lying between the Rio Grande and the Red River. As nearly as can be
ascertained, they number as follows: Kiowas, 1930; Comanches, 3180; and
Apaches, 380. They are now located upon a reservation secured to them by
treaty made in 1867, comprising 3,549,440 acres in the south-western
part of the Indian Territory, west of and adjoining the Chickasaw
country. Wild and intractable, these Indians, even the best of them,
have given small signs of improvement in the arts of life; and,
substantially, the whole dealing of the Government with them thus far
has been in the way of supplying their necessities for food and
clothing, with a view to keeping them upon their reservation, and
preventing their raiding into Texas, with the citizens of which State
they were for many years before their present establishment on terms of
mutual hatred and injury. Some individuals and bands have remained quiet
and peaceable upon their reservation, evincing a disposition to learn
the arts of life, to engage in agriculture, and to have their children
instructed in letters. To these every inducement is being held out to
take up land, and actively commence tilling it. Thus far they have under
cultivation but 100 acres, which have produced the past year a good crop
of corn and potatoes. The wealth of these tribes consists in horses and
mules, of which they own to the number, as reported by their agent, of
16,500, a great proportion of the animals notoriously having been stolen
in Texas.

However, it may be said, in a word, of these Indians, that their
civilization must follow their submission to the Government, and that
the first necessity in respect to them is a wholesome example, which
shall inspire fear and command obedience. So long as four-fifths of
these tribes take turns at raiding into Texas, openly and boastfully
bringing back scalps and spoils to their reservation, efforts to inspire
very high ideas of social and industrial life among the communities of
which the raiders form so large a part will presumably result in

_Arapahoes and Cheyennes of the South._—These tribes are native to the
section of country now inhabited by them. The Arapahoes number at the
present time 1500, and the Cheyennes 2000. By the treaty of 1867, made
with these Indians, a large reservation was provided for them, bounded
on the north by Kansas, on the east by the Arkansas River, and on the
south and west by the Red Fork of the Arkansas. They have, however,
persisted in a refusal to locate on this reservation; and another tract,
containing 4,011,500 acres, north of and adjoining the Kiowa and
Comanche Reservation, was set apart for them by Executive order of
August 10th, 1869. By Act of May 29th, 1872, the Secretary of the
Interior was authorized to negotiate with these Indians for the
relinquishment of their claim to the lands ceded to them by the said
treaty, and to give them in lieu thereof a "sufficient and permanent
location" upon lands ceded to the United States by the Creeks and
Seminoles in treaties made with them in 1866. Negotiations to the end
proposed were duly entered into with these tribes unitedly; but, in the
course of such negotiations, it has become the view of this office that
the tribes should no longer be associated in the occupation of a
reservation. The Arapahoes are manifesting an increasing disinclination
to follow farther the fortunes of the Cheyennes, and crave a location of
their own. Inasmuch as the conduct of the Arapahoes is uniformly good,
and their disposition to make industrial improvement very decided, it is
thought that they should now be separated from the more turbulent
Cheyennes, and given a place where they may carry out their better
intentions without interruption, and without the access of influences
tending to draw their young men away to folly and mischief. With this
view a contract, made subject to the action of Congress, was entered
into between the Commissioner of Indian Affairs and the delegation of
the Arapahoe tribe which visited Washington during the present season
(the delegation being fully empowered thereto by the tribe), by which
the Arapahoes relinquish all their interest in the reservation granted
them by the treaty of 1867, in consideration of the grant of a
reservation between the North Fork of the Canadian River and the Red
Fork of the Arkansas River, and extending from a point ten miles east of
the ninety-eighth to near the ninety-ninth meridian of west longitude.
Should this adjustment of the question, so far as the Arapahoes are
concerned, meet the approval of Congress, separate negotiations will be
entered into with the Cheyennes, with a view to obtaining their
relinquishment of the reservation of 1867, and their location on some
vacant tract within the same general section of the Indian Territory.

A considerable number of the Arapahoes are already engaged in
agriculture, though at a disadvantage; and, when the question of their
reservation shall have been settled, it is confidently believed that
substantially the whole body of this tribe will turn their attention to
the cultivation of the soil. Two schools are conducted for their benefit
at the agency, having an attendance of thirty-five scholars. Of the
Cheyennes confederated with the Arapahoes, the reports are less
favorable as to progress made in industry, or disposition to improve
their condition. Until 1867 both these tribes, in common with the Kiowas
and Comanches, were engaged in hostilities against the white settlers in
Western Kansas; but since the treaty made with them in that year they
have, with the exception of one small band of the Cheyennes, remained
friendly, and have committed no depredations.

_Wichitas_, _etc._—The Wichitas and other affiliated bands of Keechies,
Wacoes, Towoccaroes, Caddoes, Ionies, and Delawares, number 1250,
divided approximately as follows: Wichitas, 299; Keechies, 126; Wacoes,
140; Towoccaroes, 127; Caddoes, 392; Ionies, 85; Delawares, 81. These
Indians, fragments of once important tribes originally belonging in
Louisiana, Texas, Kansas, and the Indian Territory, were all, excepting
the Wichitas and Delawares, removed by the Government from Texas, in
1859, to the "leased district," then belonging to the Choctaws and
Chickasaws, where they have since resided, at a point on the Washita
River near old Fort Cobb. They have no treaty relations with the
Government, nor have they any defined reservation. They have always, or
at least for many years, been friendly to the whites, although in close
and constant contact with the Kiowas and Comanches. A few of them,
chiefly Caddoes and Delawares, are engaged in agriculture, and are
disposed to be industrious. Of the other Indians at this agency some
cultivate small patches in corn and vegetables, the work being done
mainly by women; but the most are content to live upon the Government.
The Caddoes rank among the best Indians of the continent, and set an
example to the other bands affiliated with them worthy of being more
generally followed than it is. In physique, and in the virtues of
chastity, temperance, and industry, they are the equals of many white

A permanent reservation should be set aside for the Indians of this
agency; and, with proper assistance, they would doubtless in a few years
become entirely self-sustaining. But one school is in operation, with an
attendance of eighteen scholars. These Indians have no annuities; but an
annual appropriation of $50,000 has for several years been made for
their benefit. This money is expended for goods and agricultural
implements, and for assistance and instruction in farming, etc.


The tribes residing in Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho are divided
as follows: in Dakota, about 28,000; Montana, 30,000; Wyoming, 2000; and
Idaho, 5000. The present temporary location of the Red Cloud Agency has,
however, drawn just within the limits of Wyoming a body of Indians
varying from 8000 to 9000, who are here, and usually reckoned as
belonging to Dakota.


The Indians within the limits of Dakota Territory are the Sioux, the
Poncas, and the Arickarees, Gros Ventres, and Mandans. ***

_Arickarees, Gros Ventres, and Mandans._—These tribes number 2200, and
have a reservation set apart for their occupancy by Executive order of
April 12th, 1870, comprising 8,640,000 acres, situated in the
north-western part of Dakota and the eastern part of Montana, extending
to the Yellowstone and Powder rivers. They have no treaty with the
Government, are now and have always been friendly to the whites, are
exceptionally known to the officers of the army and to frontiersmen as
"good Indians," and are engaged to some extent in agriculture. Owing to
the shortness of the agricultural season, the rigor of the climate, and
the periodical ravages of grasshoppers, their efforts in this direction,
though made with a degree of patience and perseverance not usual in the
Indian character, have met with frequent and distressing reverses; and
it has from time to time been found necessary to furnish them with more
or less subsistence to prevent starvation. They are traditional enemies
of the Sioux; and the petty warfare maintained between them and the
Sioux of the Grand River and Cheyenne River Agencies—while, like most
warfare confined to Indians alone, it causes wonderfully little loss of
life—serves to disturb the condition of these agencies, and to retard
the progress of all the parties concerned. These Indians should be moved
to the Indian Territory, south of Kansas, where the mildness of the
climate and the fertility of the soil would repay their labors, and
where, it is thought, from their willingness to labor and their docility
under the control of the Government, they would in a few years become
wholly self-supporting. The question of their removal has been submitted
to them, and they seem inclined to favor the project, but have expressed
a desire to send a delegation of their chiefs to the Indian Territory,
with a view of satisfying themselves as to the desirableness of the
location. Their wishes in this respect should be granted early next
season, that their removal and settlement may be effected during the
coming year. Notwithstanding their willingness to labor, they have shown
but little interest in education. Congress makes an appropriation of
$75,000 annually for goods and provisions, for their instruction in
agricultural and mechanical pursuits, for salaries of employés, and for
the education of their children, etc.


The Indian tribes residing within the limits of Montana are the
Blackfeet, Bloods, and Piegans, the Gros Ventres of the Prairie, the
Assinaboines, the Yanktonais, Santee and Teton (so-called) Sioux, a
portion of the Northern Arapahoes and Cheyennes, the River Crows, the
Mountain Crows, the Flat-heads, Pend d'Oreilles and Kootenays, and a few
Shoshones, Bannocks, and Sheep-eaters, numbering in the aggregate about
32,412. They are all, or nearly all, native to the regions now occupied
by them respectively.

The following table will exhibit the population of each of these tribes,
as nearly as the same can be ascertained:

        Blackfeet, Bloods, and Piegans                      7500

        Assinaboines                                        4790

        Gros Ventres                                        1100

        Santee, Yanktonais, Uncpapa, and
        Cut-head Sioux, at Milk River Agency                2625

        River Crows                                         1240

        Mountain Crows                                      2700

        Flat-heads                                           460

        Pend d'Oreilles                                     1000

        Kootenays                                            320

        Shoshones, Bannocks, and Sheep-eaters                677

        Roving Sioux, commonly called Teton
        Sioux, including those gathered during
        1872 at and near Fort Peck (largely
        estimated)                                          8000


        Estimated total                                   30,412

The number of Northern Cheyennes and Arapahoes roaming in Montana, who,
it is believed, have co-operated with the Sioux under Sitting Bull, in
their depredations, is not known: it is probably less than 1000.

The Blackfeet, Bloods, and Piegans (located at the Blackfeet Agency, on
the Teton River, about seventy-five miles from Fort Benton), the Gros
Ventres, Assinaboines, the River Crows, about 1000 of the Northern
Arapahoes and Cheyennes, and the Santee and Yankton Sioux (located at
the Milk River Agency, on the Milk River, about one hundred miles from
its mouth), occupy jointly a reservation in the extreme northern part of
the Territory, set apart by treaties (not ratified) made in 1868 with
most of the tribes named, and containing about 17,408,000 acres. The
Blackfeet, Bloods, and Piegans, particularly the last-named band, have
been, until within about two years, engaged in depredating upon the
white settlers. The Indians at the Milk River Agency, with the exception
of the Sioux, are now, and have been for several years, quiet and
peaceable. The Sioux at this agency, or most of them, were engaged in
the outbreak in Minnesota in 1862. On the suppression of hostilities
they fled to the northern part of Dakota, where they continued roaming
until, in the fall of 1871, they went to their present location, with
the avowed intention of remaining there. Although they had been at war
for years with the Indians properly belonging to the Milk River Agency,
yet, by judicious management on the part of the agent of the Government
stationed there, and the influence of some of the most powerful chiefs,
the former feuds and difficulties were amicably arranged; and all
parties have remained friendly to each other during the year past. The
Indians at neither the Blackfeet nor the Milk River Agency show any
disposition to engage in farming; nor have they thus far manifested any
desire for the education of their children. They rely entirely upon the
chase and upon the bounty of the Government for their support. They,
however, quite scrupulously respect their obligation to preserve the
peace; and no considerable difficulty has of late been experienced, or
is anticipated, in keeping them in order. The Blackfeet, Bloods, and
Piegans have an annual appropriation of $50,000 made for their benefit;
the Assinaboines, $30,000; the Gros Ventres of the Prairie, $35,000; the
River Crows, $30,000. These funds are used in furnishing the respective
tribes with goods and subsistence, and generally for such other objects
as may be deemed necessary to keep the Indians quiet.

_Mountain Crows._—These Indians have a reservation of 6,272,000 acres,
lying in the southern part of the Territory, between the Yellowstone
River and the north line of Wyoming Territory. They have always been
friendly to the whites, but are inveterate enemies of the Sioux, with
whom they have for years been at war. By the treaty of 1868—by the terms
of which their present reservation was set apart for their
occupancy—they are liberally supplied with goods, clothing, and
subsistence. But few of them are engaged in farming, the main body
relying upon their success in hunting, and upon the supplies furnished
by the Government for their support. They have one school in operation,
with an attendance, however, of only nine scholars. By the treaty of May
7th, 1868, provision is made by which they are to receive for a limited
number of years the following annuities, etc., viz.: in clothing and
goods, $22,723 (twenty-six instalments due); in beneficial objects,
$25,000 (six instalments due); in subsistence, $131,400 (one instalment
due). Blacksmiths, teachers, physician, carpenter, miller, engineer, and
farmer are also furnished for their benefit, at an expense to the
Government of $11,600.

_Flat-heads_, _etc._—The Flat-heads, Pend d'Oreilles, and Kootenays have
a reservation of 1,433,600 acres in the Jocko Valley, situated in the
north-western part of the Territory, and secured to them by treaty of
1855. This treaty also provided for a reservation in the Bitter-root
Valley, should the President of the United States deem it advisable to
set apart another for their use. The Flat-heads have remained in the
last-named valley; but under the provisions of the Act of June 5th,
1872, steps are being taken for their removal to the Jocko Reservation.
Many of these Indians are engaged in agriculture; but, as they receive
little assistance from the Government, their progress in this direction
is slow. They have one school in operation, with an attendance of
twenty-seven scholars.

_Shoshones_, _etc._—The Shoshones, Bannocks, and Sheep-eaters are at
present located about twenty miles above the mouth of the Lemhi Fork of
the Salmon River, near the western boundary of the Territory. They have
shown considerable interest in agriculture, and many of them are quite
successful as farmers. They have no reservation set apart for them,
either by treaty or by Executive order. They are so few in number that
it would probably be better to remove them, with their consent, to the
Fort Hall Reservation in Idaho, where their brethren are located, than
to provide them with a separate reservation. They have no schools in
operation. An annual appropriation of $25,000 is made for these Indians,
which sum is expended for their benefit in the purchase of clothing,
subsistence, agricultural implements, etc.


The Indians in this Territory, with the exception of the Sioux and
Northern Arapahoes and Cheyennes, mentioned under the heads of Dakota
and Montana, respectively, are the eastern band of Shoshones, numbering
about 1000. The Shoshones are native to the country. Their reservation
in the Wind River Valley, containing 2,688,000 acres, was set apart for
them by treaty of 1868.

But little advancement in civilization has been made by these Indians,
owing to their indisposition to labor for a living, and to the incessant
incursions into their country of the Sioux and the Northern Arapahoes
and Cheyennes, with which tribes they have for many years been at war.
The losses sustained from these incursions, and the dread which they
inspire, tend to make the Shoshones unsettled and unwilling to remain
continuously on the reservation. They therefore spend most of the year
in roaming and hunting, when they should be at work tilling the soil and
improving their lands. There is one school at the agency, having an
attendance of ten scholars, in charge of an Episcopal missionary as


The Indian tribes in Idaho are the Nez Percés, the Boisé and Bruneau
Shoshones, and Bannocks, the Cœur d'Alênes, and Spokanes, with several
other small bands, numbering in the aggregate about 5800 souls. ***

_Shoshones and Bannocks._—These Indians, numbering 1037—the former 516
and the latter 521—occupy a reservation in the south-eastern part of the
Territory, near Fort Hall, formerly a military post. This reservation
was set apart by treaty of 1868 and Executive order of July 30th, 1869,
and contains 1,568,000 acres. The Shoshones on this reservation have no
treaty with the Government. Both bands are generally quiet and
peaceable, and cause but little trouble; are not disposed to engage in
agriculture, and, with some assistance from the Government, depend upon
hunting and fishing for subsistence. There is no school in operation on
the reservation.

_Cœur d'Alênes_, _etc._—The Cœur d'Alênes, Spokanes, Kootenays, and Pend
d'Oreilles, numbering about 2000, have no treaty with the United States,
but have a reservation of 256,000 acres set apart for their occupancy by
Executive order of June 14th, 1867, lying thirty or forty miles north of
the Nez Percés Reservation. They are peaceable, have no annuities,
receive no assistance from the Government, and are wholly
self-sustaining. These Indians have never been collected upon a
reservation, nor brought under the immediate supervision of an agent. So
long as their country shall remain unoccupied, and not in demand for
settlement by the whites, it will scarcely be desirable to make a change
in their location; but the construction of the Northern Pacific
Railroad, which will probably pass through or near their range, may make
it expedient to concentrate them. At present they are largely under the
influence of Catholic missionaries of the Cœur d'Alêne Mission.


The tribes residing in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona, and Nevada
are divided as follows: in Colorado, about 3800; New Mexico, 19,000;
Utah, 10,000; Arizona, 25,000; and Nevada, 13,000.


The Indians residing in Colorado Territory are the Tabequache band of
Utes, at the Los Pinos Agency, numbering 3000, and the Yampa, Grand
River, and Uintah bands of the White River Agency, numbering 800. They
are native to the section which they now inhabit, and have a reservation
of 14,784,000 acres in the western part of the Territory, set apart for
their occupancy by treaty made with them in 1868. The two agencies above
named are established on this reservation, the White River Agency being
in the northern part, on the river of that name, and the other in the
south-eastern part. This reservation is much larger than is necessary
for the number of Indians located within its limits; and, as valuable
gold and silver mines have been, or are alleged to have been, discovered
in the southern part of it, the discoveries being followed by the
inevitable prospecting parties and miners, Congress, by Act of April
23d, 1872, authorized the Secretary of the Interior to enter into
negotiations with the Utes for the extinguishment of their right to the
south part of it.

A few of these Indians, who have declined to remove to and remain upon
the reservation, still roam in the eastern part of the Territory,
frequently visiting Denver and its vicinity, and causing some annoyance
to the settlers by their presence, but committing no acts of violence or
extensive depredations. The Indians of Colorado have thus far shown but
little interest in the pursuits of civilized life or in the education of
their children. A school is in operation at the Northern or White River
Agency, with an attendance of forty scholars. Steps are also being taken
to open one at the southern or Los Pinos Agency.


The tribes residing and roaming within the limits of New Mexico are the
Navajoes, the Mescalero, Gila, and Jicarilla bands of Apaches; the
Muache, Capote, and Weeminuche bands of Utes; and the Pueblos.

_Navajoes._—The Navajoes now number 9114, an increase of 880 over last
year's enumeration. Superintendent Pope considers this increase to be
mainly due to the return, during the year, of a number who had been held
in captivity by the Mexicans. They have a reservation of 3,328,000 acres
in the north-western part of New Mexico and north-eastern part of
Arizona, set apart for them by treaty of 1868. These Indians are natives
of the section of the country where they are now located. Prior to 1864
no less than seven treaties had been made with these tribes, which were
successively broken on their part, and that, with but one exception,
before the Senate could take action on the question of their
ratification. In 1864 the Navajoes were made captives by the military,
and taken to the Bosque Redondo Reservation, which had been set apart
for the Mescalero Apaches, where they were for a time held as prisoners
of war, and then turned over to this Department. After the treaty of
1868 had been concluded, they were removed to their present location,
where they have, as a tribe, remained quiet and peaceable, many of them
being engaged in agriculture and in raising sheep and goats. Of these
they have large flocks, numbering 130,000 head, which supply them not
only with subsistence, but also with material from which they
manufacture the celebrated, and for warmth and durability unequalled,
Navajo blanket. They also have a stock of 10,000 horses. These Indians
are industrious, attend faithfully to their crops, and even put in a
second crop when the first, as frequently happens, is destroyed by
drought or frost. One school is in operation on the reservation, with an
attendance of forty scholars.

_Mescalero Apaches._—These Indians, numbering about 830, are at present
located—not, however, upon a defined reservation secured to them—near
Fort Stanton, in the eastern part of the Territory, and range generally
south of that point. Prior to 1864 they were located on the Bosque
Redondo Reservation, where they were quiet and peaceable until the
Navajoes were removed to that place. Being unable to live in harmony
with the newcomers, they fled from the reservation, and until quite
recently have been more or less hostile. They are now living at peace
with the whites, and conducting themselves measurably well. They have no
schools, care nothing apparently about the education of their children,
and are not to any noticeable extent engaged in farming, or in any
pursuit of an industrial character. These Indians have no treaty with
the United States; nor do they receive any annuities. They are, however,
subsisted in part by the Government, and are supplied with a limited
quantity of clothing when necessary. In addition to the Mescaleros
proper, Agent Curtis reports as being embraced in his agency other
Indians, called by him Aguas Nuevos, 440; Lipans, 350 (probably from
Texas); and Southern Apaches, 310, whose proper home is no doubt upon
the Tularosa Reservation. These Indians, the agent remarks, came from
the Comanche country to his agency at various dates during the past

_Gila (sometimes called Southern) Apaches._—This tribe is composed of
two bands, the Mimbres and Mogollons, and number about 1200. They are
warlike, and have for years been generally unfriendly to the Government.
The citizens of Southern New Mexico, having long suffered from their
depredatory acts, loudly demanded that they be removed; and to comply
with the wish of the people, as well as to prevent serious difficulties
and possibly war, it was a year or two since decided to provide the
Indians with a reservation distant from their old home, and there
establish them. With a view to that end a considerable number of them
were collected early last year at Cañada Alamosa. Subsequently, by
Executive order dated November 9th, 1871, a reservation was set apart
for them with other roving bands of Apaches in the Tularosa Valley, to
which place 450 of them are reported to have been removed during the
present year by United States troops. These Indians, although removed
against their will, were at first pleased with the change, but, after a
short experience of their new home, became dissatisfied; and no small
portion left the reservation to roam outside, disregarding the system of
passes established. They bitterly object to the location as unhealthy,
the climate being severe and the water bad. There is undoubtedly much
truth in these complaints. They ask to be taken back to Cañada Alamosa,
their own home, promising there to be peaceable and quiet. Of course
nothing can be said of them favorable to the interests of education and
labor. Such of these Indians as remain on the reservation are being fed
by the Government. They have no treaty with the United States; nor do
they receive annuities of any kind.

_Jicarilla Apaches._—These Indians, numbering about 850, have for
several years been located with the Muache Utes, about 650 in number, at
the Cimarron Agency, upon what is called "Maxwell's Grant," in
North-eastern New Mexico. They have no treaty relations with the
Government; nor have they any reservation set apart for them. Efforts
were made some years ago to have them, with the Utes referred to, remove
to the large Ute Reservation in Colorado, but without success. The
Cimarron Agency, however, has lately been discontinued; and these
Apaches will, if it can be effected without actual conflict, be removed
to the Mescalero Agency at Fort Stanton. Four hundred Jicarilla Apaches
are also reported as being at the Tierra Amarilla Agency.

_Muache, Weeminuche, and Capote Utes._—These bands—the Muache band,
numbering about 650, heretofore at the Cimarron Agency, and the other
two bands, numbering 870, at the Abiquiu Agency—are all parties to the
treaty made with the several bands of Utes in 1868. It has been desired
to have these Indians remove to their proper reservation in Colorado;
but all efforts to this end have thus far proved futile. The
discontinuance of the Cimarron Agency may have the effect to cause the
Muaches to remove either to that reservation or to the Abiquiu Agency,
now located at Tierra Amarilla, in the north-western part of the
territory. These three bands have generally been peaceable, and friendly
to the whites. Recently, however, some of them have shown a disposition
to be troublesome; but no serious difficulty is apprehended. None of
them appear disposed to work for a subsistence, preferring to live by
the chase and on the bounty of the Government; nor do they show any
inclination or desire to have their children educated, and taught the
habits and customs of civilized life. Declining to remove to and locate
permanently upon the reservation set apart for the Utes in Colorado,
they receive no annuities, and participate in none of the benefits
provided in the treaties of 1863 and 1868 with the several bands of Ute
Indians referred to under the head of "Colorado."

_Pueblos._—The Pueblos, so named because they live in villages, number
7683. They have 439,664 acres of land confirmed to them by Act of
Congress of December 22d, 1858, the same consisting of approved claims
under old Spanish grants. They have no treaty with the United States,
and receive but little aid from the Government. During the past two
years efforts have been made, and are still being continued, to secure
the establishment of schools in all the villages of the Pueblos, for the
instruction of their children in the English language. Five such schools
are now being conducted for their benefit.

The history of the Pueblos is an interesting one. They are the remains
of a once powerful people, and in habits and modes of life are still
clearly distinguished from all other aborigines of the continent. The
Spanish invaders found them living generally in towns and cities. They
are so described by Spanish historians as far back as 1540. They early
revolted, though without success, against Spanish rule; and in the
struggle many of their towns were burnt, and much loss of life and
property occasioned. It would seem, however, that, in addition to the
villagers, there were others at that time living dispersed, whose
reduction to Pueblos was determined upon and made the subject of a
decree by Charles V. of Spain, in 1546, in order chiefly, as declared,
to their being instructed in the Catholic faith. Under the Spanish
Government schools were established at the villages; the Christian
religion was introduced, and impressed upon the people, and the rights
of property thoroughly protected. By all these means a high degree of
civilization was secured, which was maintained until after the
establishment of Mexican independence; when, from want of Government
care and support, decay followed, and the Pueblos measurably
deteriorated, down to the time when the authority of the United States
was extended over that country: still they are a remarkable people,
noted for their sobriety, industry, and docility. They have few wants,
and are simple in their habits and moral in their lives. They are,
indeed, scarcely to be considered Indians, in the sense traditionally
attached to that word, and, but for their residence upon reservations
patented to these bands in confirmation of ancient Spanish grants, and
their continued tribal organization, might be regarded as a part of the
ordinary population of the country. There are now nineteen villages of
these Indians in New Mexico. Each village has a distinct and organized
government, with its governor and other officers, all of whom are
elected annually by the people, except the _cacique_, a sort of
high-priest, who holds his office during life. Though nominally
Catholics in religion, it is thought that their real beliefs are those
of their ancestors in the days of Montezuma.


The tribes residing wholly or in part within the limits of Utah are the
North-western, Western, and Goship bands of Shoshones; the Weber, Yampa,
Elk Mountain, and Uintah bands of Utes; the Timpanagos, the San Pitches,
the Pah-Vents, the Piedes, and She-be-rechers—all, with the exception of
the Shoshones, speaking the Ute language, and being native to the
country inhabited by them.

_North-western, Western, and Goship Shoshones._—These three bands of
Shoshones, numbering together about 3000, have treaties made with the
Government in 1863. No reservations were provided to be set apart for
them by the terms of said treaties, the only provision for their benefit
being the agreement on the part of the United States to furnish them
with articles, to a limited extent and for a limited term, suitable to
their wants as hunters or herdsmen. Having no reservations, but little
can be done for their advancement. They live in North-western Utah and
North-eastern Nevada, and are generally inclined to be industrious, many
of them gaining a livelihood by working for the white settlers, while
others cultivate small tracts of land on their own account.

The Weber Utes, numbering about 300, live in the vicinity of Salt Lake
City, and subsist by hunting, fishing, and begging. The Timpanagos,
numbering about 500, live south of Salt Lake City, and live by hunting
and fishing. The San Pitches, numbering about 300, live, with the
exception of some who have gone to the Uintah Valley Reservation, in the
country south and east of the Timpanagos, and subsist by hunting and
fishing. The Pah-Vents number about 1200, and occupy the Territory south
of the Goships, cultivate small patches of ground, but live principally
by hunting and fishing. The Yampa Utes, Piedes, Piutes, Elk Mountain
Utes, and She-be-rechers live in the eastern and southern parts of the
Territory. They number, as nearly as can be estimated, 5200; do not
cultivate the soil, but subsist by hunting and fishing, and at times by
depredating in a small way upon the white settlers. They are warlike and
migratory in their habits, carrying on a petty warfare pretty much all
the time with the southern Indians. These bands of Utes have no treaties
with the United States: they receive no annuities, and but very little
assistance from the Government.

The Uintah Utes, numbering 800, are now residing upon a reservation of
2,039,040 acres in Uintah Valley, in the north-eastern corner of the
Territory, set apart for the occupancy of the Indians in Utah by
Executive order of October 3d, 1861, and by Act of Congress of May 5th,
1864. This reservation comprises some of the best farming land in Utah,
and is of sufficient extent to maintain all the Indians in the
Territory. Some of the Indians located here show a disposition to engage
in agriculture, though most of them still prefer the chase to labor. No
steps have yet been taken to open a school on the reservation. The
Uintah Utes have no treaty with the United States; but an appropriation
averaging about $10,000 has been annually made for their civilization
and improvement since 1863.


The tribes residing in the Territory of Arizona are the Pimas and
Maricopas, Papagoes, Mohaves, Moquis, and Orivas Pueblos, Yumas,
Yavapais, Hualapais, and different bands of the Apaches. All are native
to the districts occupied by them, respectively.

_Pimas and Maricopas._—These, said to have been in former years
"Village" or "Pueblo" Indians, number 4342, and occupy a reservation of
64,000 acres, set apart for them under the Act of February 28th, 1859,
and located in the central part of the Territory, on the Gila River.
They are, and always have been, peaceful and loyal to the Government;
are considerably advanced, according to a rude form of civilization, and
being industrious, and engaged quite successfully, whenever the
conditions of soil and climate are favorable, in farming operations, are
nearly self-sustaining. The relations of these bands with the
neighboring whites are, however, very unfavorable to their interests;
and the condition of affairs is fast growing worse. The difficulty
arises out of the fact of the use, and probably the improvident use, by
the whites above them, of the water of the Gila River, by which they are
deprived of all means of irrigating their lands. Much dissatisfaction is
manifested on this account; and the result is, so far, that many of the
Indians have left the reservation, and gone to Salt River Valley, where
they are making a living by tilling the soil, not, however, without
getting into trouble at this point also with the settlers.

The Pimas and Maricopas are greatly interested in the education of their
children. Two schools are in operation on the reservation, with an
attendance of 105 scholars. These tribes have no treaty with the United
States, and receive but little assistance from the Government.

_Papagoes._—These Indians, numbering about 5000, are of the same class,
in some respects, as the Pueblos in New Mexico, living in villages,
cultivating the soil, and raising stock for a support. They have no
reservation set apart for their occupancy, but inhabit the south-eastern
part of the Territory. Many of them have embraced Christianity; and they
are generally well-behaved, quiet, and peaceable. They manifest a strong
desire to have their children educated; and steps to this end have been
taken by the Department. These Indians have no treaty relations with the
United States, and receive no assistance from the Government. The
expediency of assigning to the Papagoes a reservation, and concentrating
them where they can be brought within the direct care and control of the
Government, is under consideration by the Department. There seems to be
no reason to doubt that, if so established, and once supplied with
implements and stock, they would become in a short time not only
self-sustaining but prosperous.

_Mohaves._—These Indians have a reservation of 75,000 acres, located on
the Colorado River, and set apart for them and other tribes in the
vicinity of said river, under the Act of March 3d, 1865. The Mohaves
number about 4000, of whom only 828 are on the reservation, the rest
either roaming at large or being fed at other reservations in the
Territory. An irrigating canal has been built for them at great expense;
but farming operations have not as yet proved very successful. Over 1100
acres, however, are being cultivated by the Indians. The crops consist
of corn, melons, and pumpkins. These Indians show but little progress in
civilization. The parents objecting to the education of their children,
no schools have been put in operation on the reservation, as they could
be conducted only on a compulsory system. The Mohaves have no treaty
stipulations with the United States; but they are partly subsisted, and
are largely assisted in their farming operations, from the general
incidental fund of the Territory.

_Yumas._—These Indians number probably 2000. They inhabit the country
near the mouth of the Colorado River, but belong to the reservation
occupied by the Mohaves. They refuse, however, to remove to the
reservation, and gain a scanty subsistence by planting, and by cutting
wood for steamers plying on the river. Many of them remain about Arizona
City, performing menial services for the whites, and gratifying their
inveterate passion for gambling. They have no treaty with the United
States, and receive but little assistance from the Government.

_Hualapais._—These Indians, numbering about 1500, inhabit the country
near the Colorado River, north of the Mohaves, ranging a considerable
distance into the interior. They have been, and still are, more or less
hostile. Those who are quiet and peaceable are, with members of other
bands of Indians, being fed by the Government at Camps McDowell, Beal's
Spring, and Date Creek.

_Yavapais and Apaches._—These Indians are estimated to number from 8000
to 12,000, the lower estimate being the more reasonable. Their
ranging-grounds are in the central, northern, and eastern parts of the
Territory. Most of them have long been hostile to the Government,
committing numerous robberies and murders. Earnest efforts have been
made during the past year to settle them on reservations, three of
which, viz., Camp Apache, Camp Grant, and Camp Verde, were set apart for
their occupancy by Executive order dated November 9th, 1871. These
efforts, however, have not resulted very successfully; the Indians
occasionally coming upon the reservations in large numbers, but leaving
without permission, and, indeed, defiantly, whenever so disposed,
oftentimes renewing their depredations before their supplies of
government rations are exhausted. Many of the bands of this tribe (if it
can be called a tribe; habits, physical structure, and language all
pointing to a great diversity in origin among the several bands) are
seemingly incorrigible, and will hardly be brought to cease their
depredations and massacres except by the application of military force.


The tribes residing in Nevada are Pah-Utes, Piutes, Washoes, Shoshones,
and Bannocks, and are native to the districts inhabited by them

_Pah-Utes._—These Indians, numbering about 6000, inhabit the western
part of the State. Two reservations have been set apart for them—one
known as the Walker River, the other as the Pyramid Lake Reservation,
containing each 320,000 acres. These Indians are quiet, and friendly to
the whites—are very poor, and live chiefly upon fish, game, seeds, and
nuts, with such assistance as the Government from time to time renders
them. They show considerable disposition to labor; and those on the
reservations, especially the Walker River Reservation, are cultivating
small patches of ground. The Pyramid Lake Reservation affords, in
addition, excellent fishing, and the surrounding settlements a ready
market for the catch over and above what the Indians require for their
own consumption. No schools have been established for these Indians.
They have no treaty relations with the Government, and receive no

_Piutes._—The Piutes, numbering probably 2500, inhabit the south-eastern
part of the State. They have no reservation set apart for them; nor have
they any treaty with the United States. They roam about at will, are
very destitute, and obtain a living principally by pilfering from the
whites, although a few of them are engaged in a small way in farming.
But very little can be done for these Indians by the Government in their
present unsettled condition. They should be brought upon one of the
reservations set apart for the Indians in Nevada, or upon the Uintah
Reservation in Utah, where they could receive suitable care and proper
instruction in the arts of civilized life.

_Washoes._—These Indians, numbering about 500, are a poor, miserable,
and debauched people, and spend most of their time among the white
settlements, where they gain some supplies of food and clothing by
menial services. They have no reservation and no treaty, are not in
charge of any agent of the Government; and vice and disease are rapidly
carrying them away.

_Shoshones._—The Shoshones are a portion of the North-western, Western,
and Goship bands, referred to under the head of "Utah." Those roaming or
residing in the eastern part of Nevada number about 2000. The remarks
made respecting their brethren in Utah will equally apply to them.

_Bannocks._—The Bannocks, roaming in the north-eastern part of the
State, number, probably, 1500, and are doubtless a portion of the people
of that name ranging in Eastern Oregon and Southern Idaho. They have no
treaty with the Government, nor any reservation set apart for them, and
are not in charge of any United States agent. They should, if possible,
be located upon the Fort Hall Reservation in Idaho, where some steps
could be taken to advance them in civilization.


The Indians on the Pacific slope are divided as follows: in Washington
Territory, about 14,000; in Oregon, 12,000; in California, 22,000.


The tribes residing in Washington Territory are the Nisqually, Puyallup,
and other confederate tribes; the D'Wamish and other allied bands; the
Makahs, the S'Klallams, the Qui-nai-elts and Qui-leh-utes, the Yakamas,
the Chehalis, and other allied tribes, and the Colville, Spokanes, Cœur
d'Alênes, Okanagans, and others.

_Nisqually, Puyallup, and others._—These Indians, numbering about 1200,
have three reservations, containing, as per treaty of 1854, 26,776
acres, situated on the Nisqually and Puyallup Rivers, and on an island
in Puget Sound. Some of these Indians are engaged in farming, and raise
considerable wheat, also potatoes and other vegetables. Many are
employed by the farmers in their vicinity; while others still are idle
and shiftless, spending their time wandering from place to place. One
school is in operation on the Puyallup Reservation, with an attendance
of eleven scholars.

_D'Wamish and others._—The D'Wamish and other allied tribes number 3600,
and have five reservations, containing in all 41,716 acres, set apart by
treaty made with them in 1855, and located at as many points on Puget
Sound. Many of these Indians, particularly those residing on the Lummi
Reservation, are industrious farmers, raising all the produce necessary
for their support, and owning a large number of cattle, horses, hogs,
etc.; while others are either employed by the neighboring white farmers
or engaged in lumbering on their own account. They are generally
Christianized, most of them members of the Catholic Church. One school,
with fifty-seven scholars, is in operation on the Tulalip Reservation,
where all the Government buildings are located. This school has had a
remarkable degree of success, as reported by the agent and by
disinterested visitors.

_Makahs._—These Indians number 604, and have a reservation of 12,800
acres, set apart by treaty made with them in 1855, and located at the
extreme north-west corner of the Territory. They are a bold, hardy race,
not inclined to till the soil for a support, but depending principally
upon fishing and the taking of fur-seal for their livelihood. One school
is in operation among them, with an attendance of sixteen scholars.

_S'Klallams._—These Indians, numbering 919, have a reservation of 4000
acres, set apart by treaty made with them in 1855, and located on what
is known as "Hood's Canal." Some of them are engaged, in a small way, in
farming; and others are employed in logging for the neighboring
saw-mills. Their condition generally is such that their advancement in
civilization must necessarily be slow. A school has been established on
the reservation, and is attended by twenty-two scholars.

_Qui-nai-elts, Qui-leh-utes, Hohs, and Quits._—These Indians number 520,
and have a reservation of 25,600 acres, in the extreme eastern part of
the Territory, and almost wholly isolated from white settlements, set
apart under a treaty made with them July 1st, 1855. But one of the four
tribes mentioned, the Qui-nai-elts, live upon the reservation: the
others reside at different points along the coast, northward from the
reservation. These declare that they never agreed to sell their country,
and that they never knowingly signed any treaty disposing of their right
to it. The bottom land on the reservation is heavily timbered, and a
great deal of labor is required to clear it; but, when cleared, it
produces good crops. Many of the Indians, though in the main fish-eaters
(the Qui-nai-elt River furnishing them with salmon in great abundance),
are cultivating small patches, and raise sufficient vegetables for their
own use. One school is in operation on the reservation, with an
attendance of fifteen scholars.

_Yakamas._—The Yakamas number 3000, and have a reservation in the
southern part of the Territory, containing 783,360 acres, set apart for
them by treaty of June 9th, 1855. These Indians belong to numerous
bands, confederated under the title of Yakamas. Many of them, under the
able management of their present agent, have become noticeably advanced
in civilization, and are good farmers or skilled mechanics. The
manual-labor school at the Yakama Agency has been a complete success,
and of incalculable benefit in imparting to the children a practical
knowledge of farming and of the different mechanical arts. Their
principal wealth is in horses, of which they own 12,000. The fact that
the reservation for these Indians is located east of the Cascade
Mountains, away from all contact with the whites, has doubtless tended,
in a great measure, to make this what it is—the model agency on the
Pacific slope: though to this result the energy and devotion of Agent
Wilbur have greatly contributed. Churches have been built on the
reservation, which are well attended, the services being conducted by
native preachers. There are at present two schools, with an attendance
of forty-four scholars.

_Chehalis and others, Remnants of Tribes, and Parties to no Treaty with
the Government._—These Indians number about 600, and have a reservation
of 4322 acres in the eastern part of the territory, set apart for them
by Executive order of July 8th, 1864. A considerable portion of the land
in this reservation is excellent for agricultural purposes; and quite
extensive crops are being raised by the Indians of the Chehalis tribe.
None of the other tribes for whom the reservation was intended reside
upon it, declining to do so for the reason that they do not recognize it
as their own, and fear to prejudice their claims to other lands by so

All these Indians have horses and cattle in abundance. They are
industrious; and, being good field-hands, those of them who do not farm
on their own account find ready employment from the surrounding farmers,
their services always commanding the highest wages. Having no treaty
relations with the Government, no direct appropriations are made for
their benefit. They, however, receive some assistance from the general
incidental fund of the Territory. The Indians herein referred to as not
living upon the reservation are of the Cowlitz, Chinook, Shoalwater Bay,
and Humboldt tribes. They profess to desire a home at the mouth of the
Humboldt and Coinoose rivers, where they originated.

_Colville and other Tribes._—These Indians, numbering 3349, occupy the
north-eastern portion of the territory. They have no treaty relations
with the Government, and, until the present year, have had no
reservation set apart for them. They are now, however, to be
established, under an order of the President of July 2d, 1872, in the
general section of the Territory where they now are, upon a tract which
is bounded on the south and east by the Columbia River, on the west by
the Okinakane River, and on the north by British Columbia. The tribes
for whom this reservation is designed are known as Colvilles,
Okinakanes, San Poels, Lake Spokanes, Cœur d'Alênes, Calispells, and
Methows. Some of these Indians, however, have settled upon valuable
tracts of land, and have made extensive improvements, while others, to a
considerable number, have begun farming in a small way at various points
within the district from which it is proposed to remove their respective
tribes. It is doubtful whether these individuals will voluntarily remove
to the reservation referred to, which is some distance west of their
present location. It is proposed, therefore, to allow such as are
engaged in farming to remain where they are, if they so desire. Owing to
the influx of whites into the country thus claimed or occupied by these
Indians, many of them have been crowded out; and some of them have had
their own unquestionable improvements forcibly wrested from them. This
for a time during the past summer caused considerable trouble, and
serious difficulties were apprehended; but thus far peace has been
preserved by a liberal distribution among them of agricultural
implements, seeds, blankets, etc. No funds are appropriated specially
for these Indians, such supplies and presents as are given them being
furnished from the general incidental fund of the Territory.


The tribes residing in Oregon are the Umatillas, Cayuses, Walla-Wallas,
Wascoes, Molels, Chasta Scotans, Coosas, Alseas, Klamath, Modocs, and
Wal-pah-pee Snakes, besides numerous other small bands. They are all
native to the country. On account of the great number of small tribes
and bands in this State—the number of tribes and bands parties to the
same treaty being in some cases as high as ten or fifteen—these Indians
will be treated of, and the remarks concerning them will be made, under
the heads of the agencies at which they are respectively located.

_Umatilla Agency._—The tribes located at this agency are the Umatillas,
Cayuses, and a portion of the Walla-Wallas, and number 837. They have a
reservation of 512,000 acres, situated in the north-eastern part of the
State, set apart for them by treaty of June 9th, 1855. This reservation
is very fertile, and, as usual in such cases, has attracted the cupidity
of the whites. A proposition was made last year, under the authority of
Congress, to have the Indians take land in severalty, or sell and remove
to some other reservation. The Indians, however, in the exercise of
their treaty rights, refused to accede to this proposition. These
Indians are successfully engaged in agricultural operations, are nearly
self-supporting, and may be considered, comparatively speaking, wealthy.
It is gratifying to state that the introduction of whiskey by whites
upon this reservation, and its sale to the Indians, has, during the last
year, received a decided check through the vigilance of Agent Cornoyer
in causing the arrest and trial of four citizens for a violation of the
law in this respect. All the parties charged were convicted, and are now
in prison. This is especially worthy of note, from the fact that it is
always exceedingly difficult to obtain convictions for such dealing with
Indians in any section of the country. There is one school in operation
on the reservation, with an attendance of twenty-seven scholars.

_Warm Spring Agency._—The Indians at this agency, known as the
"Confederated Tribes and Bands of Indians in Middle Oregon," comprise
seven bands of the Walla-Walla and Wasco tribes, numbering 626. They
have a reservation of 1,024,000 acres, located in the central part of
the State, set apart for them by the treaty of June 25th, 1855. Though
there is but little really good land in this reservation, many of the
Indians, by reason of their industry, have succeeded measurably in their
farming operations, and may be considered as self-sustaining. In morals
they have greatly improved; so that polygamy, the buying and selling of
wives, gambling, and drunkenness have ceased to be common among them, as
in the past. There are some, however, who are disposed to wander off the
reservation and lead a vagabond life. But little advancement has been
made in education among these Indians. One school is in operation at the
agency, with an attendance of fifty-one scholars.

_Grand Ronde Agency._—The Indians at this agency comprise the Molalla,
Clackama, Calapooia, Molel, Umpqua, Rogue River, and other bands,
seventeen in all, with a total population of 870. The reservation upon
which these bands are located is in the northwestern part of the State.
It contains 69,120 acres, and was set apart for their occupation by
treaty of January 22d, 1855, with the Molallas, Clackamas, etc., and by
Executive order of June 30th, 1857. Some portions of this reservation
are well adapted to grain-raising, though much of it is rough and
heavily timbered. An allotment of land in severalty has been directed to
be made, much to the gratification and encouragement of the tribes.
These Indians are inclined to industry, and show commendable zeal in
cultivating their farms, growing crops which compare favorably with
those of their white neighbors. Their customs and habits of life also
exhibit a marked improvement. One school is in operation, with an
attendance of fifty scholars.

_Siletz Agency._—The Indians at this agency are the Chasta Scotans and
fragments of fourteen other bands, called, generally, coast-tribes,
numbering altogether about 2500. These Indians, including those at the
Alsea Sub-agency, have a reservation of 1,100,800 acres set apart for
them by treaty of August 11th, 1855; which treaty, however, has never
been ratified, although the reservation is occupied by the Indians. They
were for a long time much averse to labor for a support; but recently
they have shown more disposition to follow agriculture, although
traditionally accustomed to rely chiefly upon fish for food. Many
already have their farms well fenced and stocked, with good, comfortable
dwellings and out-houses erected thereon. There is no reason why they
should not, in time, become a thoroughly prosperous people. The failure
to make allotments of land in severalty, for which surveys were
commenced in 1871, has been a source of much uneasiness to the Indians,
and has tended to weaken their confidence in the good intentions of the
Government. One school is in operation on the reservation, with an
attendance of twenty scholars. None of the tribes or bands at this
agency have any treaty relations with the United States, unless it may
be a few members of the Rogue River band, referred to under the head of
the Grand Ronde Agency.

_Alsea Sub-agency._—The Indians at this sub-agency are the Alseas,
Coosas, Sinselans, and a band of Umpquas, numbering in all 300, located
within the limits of the reservation referred to under the head of the
Siletz Agency. The remarks made about the Indians at the Siletz Agency
will generally apply to the Indians of this sub-agency. The Coosas,
Sinselans, and Umpquas are making considerable advancement in
agriculture, and, had they advantages of instruction, would rapidly
acquire a proficiency in the simpler mechanical branches of industry.
The Alseas are not so tractable, and exhibit but little desire for
improvement. All the assistance they receive from the Government is
supplied out of the limited amount appropriated for the general
incidental expenses of the service in Oregon.

_Klamath Agency._—The Indians belonging to this agency are the Klamaths
and Modocs, and the Yahooskin and Wal-pah-pee bands of Snakes, numbering
altogether about 4000, of whom only 1018 are reported at the agency.
They have a reservation containing 768,000 acres, set apart for them by
the treaty of October 14th, 1864, and by Executive order of March 14th,
1871, situated in the extreme southern portion of the State. This
reservation is not well adapted to agriculture. The climate is cold and
uncertain; and the crops are consequently liable to be destroyed by
frosts. It is, however, a good grazing country. Although this
reservation is, comparatively speaking, a new one, the Indians located
upon it are making commendable progress, both in farming operations and
in lumbering. A part of the Modocs, who belong by treaty to this agency,
and who were at one time located upon the reservation, have, on account
of their troubles with the Klamaths—due principally to the overbearing
disposition of the latter—left the agency, and refuse to return to it.
They desire to locate upon a small reservation by themselves. Under the
circumstances they should be permitted to do this, or else be allowed to
select a tract on the Malheur Reservation. There is no school at present
in operation for these Indians.

_Malheur Reservation._—This reservation, set apart by Executive order of
September 12th, 1872, is situated in the south-eastern part of the
State. Upon this it is the intention of the Department eventually to
locate all the roving and straggling bands, in Eastern and South-eastern
Oregon, which can be induced to settle there. As no funds are at the
disposal of the Department with which to make the necessary
improvements, and to provide temporary subsistence for Indians removed,
the work has not yet been fairly commenced. The Indians who should be
collected upon this reservation are now a constant source of annoyance
to the white settlers. They hang about the settlements and military
posts, begging and stealing; and, unless some prompt measures be taken
to bring them under the care and control of an agent of the Government,
serious trouble may result at any time. Congress should make the
necessary appropriation during the coming session to maintain an agent
for these Indians, to erect the agency buildings, and to provide
subsistence for such as may be collected and may remain upon the

_Indians not upon Reservations._—There are a number of Indians, probably
not less than 3000, "renegades," and others of roving habits, who have
no treaty relations with the Government, and are not in charge of any
agent. The tribal names of some of these are the Clatsops, Nestucals,
Tillamooks, Nehalims, Snakes, and Nez Percés. The "renegades," such in
fact, and so called, roam on the Columbia River, and are of considerable
annoyance to the agents at Warm Springs and Umatilla: others, the
Snakes, 200 in number, are upon the edge of the Grand Ronde Reservation.
These live by hunting and fishing, and profess to desire to have lands
allotted to them, and a school provided for their children. The Nez
Percés, belonging in Idaho, to the estimated number of 200, are found in
Wallowa Valley, in the eastern part of the State. They claim that they
were not parties to the treaty with the Nez Percé tribe years ago; that
the valley in which they live has always belonged to them; and they
strenuously oppose its settlement by the whites.


The tribes in California are the Ukie, Pitt River, Wylackie, Concon,
Redwood, Humboldt, Hoonsolton, Miscott, Siah, Tule, Tejon, Coahuila,
King's River, and various other bands and tribes, including the "Mission
Indians," all being native to the country.

_Round Valley Agency._—The Indians belonging to this agency are the
Ukies, Concons, Pitt Rivers, Wylackies, and Redwoods, numbering in all
1700. The number has been increased during the past year by bringing in
1040 Indians collected in Little Lake and other valleys. A reservation
containing 31,683 acres has been set apart, per Act of April 8th, 1864,
and Executive order of March 30th, 1870, in the western and northern
part of the State, for these Indians, and for such others as may be
induced to locate thereon. The lands in the reservation are very
fertile; and the climate admits of a widely varied growth of crops. More
produce being raised than is necessary for the subsistence of the
Indians, the proceeds derived from the sale of the surplus are used in
purchasing stock and work animals, and for the further improvement of
the reservation. Several of the Indians are engaged in cultivating
gardens, while others work as many as twenty-five or thirty acres on
their own account.

The Indians on this reservation are uniformly quiet and peaceable,
notwithstanding that they are much disturbed by the white trespassers.
Suits, by direction of the Department, were commenced against such
trespassers, but without definite results as yet; the Attorney-general
having directed the United States District-attorney to suspend
proceedings. Of this reservation the Indian Department has in actual
possession and under fence only about 4000 acres; the remainder being in
the possession of settlers, all clamorous for breaking up the
reservation and driving the Indians out.

The Indians at this reservation have shown no especial disposition to
have their children educated; and no steps were taken to that end until
in the summer of 1871, when a school was commenced. There is now one
school in operation, with an attendance of 110 scholars. These Indians
have no treaties with the Government; and such assistance as is rendered
them in the shape of clothing, etc., is from the money appropriated for
the general incidental expenses of the Indian service in the State.

_Hoopa Valley Agency._—The Indians belonging to this agency are the
Humboldts, Hoonsoltons, Miscotts, Siahs, and several other bands,
numbering 725.

A reservation was set apart, per Act of April 8th, 1864, for these and
such other Indians in the northern part of the State as might be induced
to settle thereon. This reservation is situated in the north-western
part of the State, on both sides of the Trinity River, and contains
38,400 acres. As a rule, sufficient is raised on the reservation to
supply the wants of the Indians. These Indians are quiet and peaceable,
and are not disposed to labor on the reservation in common, but will
work industriously when allowed to do so on their own individual
account. One school is in operation on the reservation, with an
attendance of seventy-four scholars. Having no treaty relations with the
United States, and, consequently, no regular annuities appropriated for
their benefit, the general incidental fund of the State is used so far
as may be necessary, and so far as the amount appropriated will admit,
to furnish assistance in the shape of clothing, agricultural implements,
seeds, etc. Besides these, their agent has a general supervisory control
of certain Klamath Indians, who live adjacent to the reservation and
along the banks of the Klamath River. These formerly belonged to a
reservation bearing their name, which was, years ago, abandoned in
consequence of the total destruction by flood of agency buildings and
improvements. They now support themselves chiefly by hunting and
fishing, and by cultivating small patches in grain and vegetables.

_Tule River Farm, or Agency._—The Indians located at this point are the
Tules and Manaches, numbering 374. These Indians are gradually
improving, are quite proficient in all kinds of farm-work, and show a
good disposition to cultivate the soil on their own account. There is
one school in operation at the Tule River Farm, with an attendance of
thirty-seven scholars. About sixty miles from the agency reside several
hundred King's River Indians, who are in a wretched and destitute
condition. They desire to be attached to the agency, and have in the
past received occasional supplies of food from it.

_Indians not on Reservations._—In addition to the Indians located at the
three agencies named, there are probably not less than 20,000, including
the Mission Indians (so called), the Coahuilas, Owen's River, and
others, in the southern part of the State; and those on the Klamath,
Trinity, Scott, and Salmon rivers, in the northern part. The Mission
Indians, having been for the past century under the Catholic missions
established on the California coast, are tolerably well advanced in
agriculture, and compare favorably with the most highly civilized tribes
of the east. The Coahuilas, and others inhabiting the south-eastern and
eastern portions of the State, and those in the north, support
themselves by working for white settlers, or by hunting, fishing,
begging, and stealing, except, it may be, a few of the northern Indians,
who go occasionally to the reservations and the military posts in that
section for assistance in the way of food.

There are also about 4000 Owen's River and Manache Indians east of the
Sierras, whom the settlers would gladly see removed to a reservation,
and brought under the care of an agent. The Department has under
consideration the propriety of establishing a new reservation, upon
which shall be concentrated these and numerous other Indians, in which
event the Tule River Agency could advantageously be discontinued.




                                Colorado Springs, Col., July 13th, 1883.

SIR,—In compliance with our instructions bearing dates November 28th,
1882, and January 12th, 1883, we have the honor to submit to you the
following report on the subject of the Mission Indians in Southern

The term "Mission Indians" dates back over one hundred years, to the
time of the Franciscan missions in California. It then included all
Indians who lived in the mission establishments, or were under the care
of the Franciscan Fathers. Very naturally the term has continued to be
applied to the descendants of those Indians. In the classification of
the Indian Bureau, however, it is now used in a somewhat restricted
sense, embracing only those Indians living in the three southernmost
counties of California, and known as Serranos, Cahuillas, San Luisenos,
and Dieguinos; the last two names having evidently come from the names
of the southernmost two missions, San Luis Rey and San Diego. A census
taken in 1880, of these bands, gives their number as follows:

                  Serranos                         381
                  Cahuillas                        675
                  San Luisenos                   1,120
                  Dieguinos                        731
                  Total                          2,907

This estimate probably falls considerably short of the real numbers, as
there are no doubt in hiding, so to speak, in remote and inaccessible
spots, many individuals, families, or even villages, that have never
been counted. These Indians are living for the most part in small and
isolated villages; some on reservations set apart for them by Executive
order; some on Government land not reserved, and some upon lands
included within the boundaries of confirmed Mexican grants.

Considerable numbers of these Indians are also to be found on the
outskirts of white settlements, as at Riverside, San Bernardino, or in
the colonies in the San Gabriel Valley, where they live like gypsies in
brush huts, here to-day, gone to-morrow, eking out a miserable existence
by days' works, the wages of which are too often spent for whiskey in
the village saloons. Travellers in Southern California, who have formed
their impressions of the Mission Indians from these wretched wayside
creatures, would be greatly surprised at the sight of some of the Indian
villages in the mountain valleys, where, freer from the contaminating
influence of the white race, are industrious, peaceable communities,
cultivating ground, keeping stock, carrying on their own simple
manufactures of pottery, mats, baskets, &c., and making their living,—a
very poor living, it is true; but they are independent and
self-respecting in it, and ask nothing at the hands of the United States
Government now, except that it will protect them in the ownership of
their lands,—lands which, in many instances, have been in continuous
occupation and cultivation by their ancestors for over one hundred

From tract after tract of such lands they have been driven out, year by
year, by the white settlers of the country, until they can retreat no
farther; some of their villages being literally in the last tillable
spot on the desert's edge or in mountain fastnesses. Yet there are in
Southern California to-day many fertile valleys, which only thirty years
ago were like garden spots with these same Indians' wheat-fields,
orchards, and vineyards. Now, there is left in these valleys no trace of
the Indians' occupation, except the ruins of their adobe houses; in some
instances these houses, still standing, are occupied by the robber
whites who drove them out. The responsibility for this wrong rests,
perhaps, equally divided between the United States Government, which
permitted lands thus occupied by peaceful agricultural communities to be
put "in market," and the white men who were not restrained either by
humanity or by a sense of justice, from "filing" homestead claims on
lands which had been fenced, irrigated, tilled, and lived on by Indians
for many generations. The Government cannot justify this neglect on the
plea of ignorance. Repeatedly, in the course of the last thirty years,
both the regular agents in charge of the Mission Indians and special
agents sent out to investigate their condition have made to the Indian
Bureau full reports setting forth these facts.

In 1873 one of these special agents, giving an account of the San
Pasquale Indians, mentioned the fact that a white man had just
pre-empted the land on which the greater part of the village was
situated. He had paid the price of the land to the register of the
district land office, and was daily expecting his patent from
Washington. "He owned," the agent says, "that it was hard to wrest from
these well-disposed and industrious creatures the homes they had built
up; but," said he, "if I had not done it, somebody else would; for all
agree that the Indian has no right to public lands." This San Pasquale
village was a regularly organized Indian pueblo, formed by about one
hundred neophytes of the San Luis Rey Mission, under and in accordance
with the provisions of the Secularization Act in 1834. The record of its
founding is preserved in the Mexican archives at San Francisco. These
Indians had herds of cattle, horses, and sheep; they raised grains, and
had orchards and vineyards. The whole valley in which this village lay
was at one time set off by Executive order as a reservation, but by the
efforts of designing men the order was speedily revoked; and no sooner
has this been done than the process of dispossessing the Indians began.
There is now, on the site of that old Indian pueblo, a white settlement
numbering 35 voters. The Indians are all gone,—some to other villages;
some living near by in cañons and nooks in the hills, from which, on the
occasional visits of the priest, they gather and hold services in the
half-ruined adobe chapel built by them in the days of their prosperity.

This story of the San Pasquale Indians is only a fair showing of the
experiences of the Mission Indians during the past fifty years. Almost
without exception they have been submissive and peaceable through it
all, and have retreated again and again to new refuges. In a few
instances there have been slight insurrections among them, and
threatenings of retaliation; but in the main their history has been one
of almost incredible long suffering and patience under wrongs.

In 1851 one of the San Luiseno bands, the Aqua Caliente Indians, in the
north part of San Diego County, made an attack on the house of a white
settler, and there was for a time great fear of a general uprising of
all the Indians in the country. It is probable that this was instigated
by the Mexicans, and that there was a concerted plan for driving the
Americans out of the country. The outbreak was easily quelled, however;
four of the chiefs were tried by court-martial and shot by order of
General Heintzelman, and in January of the following year a treaty was
made with the San Luiseno and Dieguino Indians, setting off for them
large tracts of land. This treaty was made by a United States
commissioner, Dr. Wozencraft, and Lieutenant Hamilton, representing the
Army, and Col. J. J. Warner, the settler whose house had been attacked.
The greater part of the lands which were by this treaty assigned to the
Indians are now within the boundaries of grants confirmed and patented
since that time; but there are many Indian villages still remaining on
them, and all Indians living on such lands are supposed to be there
solely on the tolerance and at the mercy of the owners of said ranches,
and to be liable to ejectment by law. Whether this be so or not is a
point which it would seem to be wise to test before the courts. It is
certain that in the case of all these Mission Indians the rights
involved are quite different from and superior to the mere "occupancy"
right of the wild and uncivilized Indian.

At the time of the surrender of California to the United States these
Mission Indians had been for over seventy years the subjects, first of
the Spanish Government, secondly of the Mexican. They came under the
jurisdiction of the United States by treaty provisions,—the treaty of
Guadalupe Hidalgo, between the United States and Mexico, in 1848. At
this time they were so far civilized that they had become the chief
dependence of the Mexican and white settlers for all service indoors and
out. In the admirable report upon these Indians made to the Interior
Department in 1853, by the Hon. B. D. Wilson, of Los Angeles, are the
following statements:—

"These same Indians had built all the houses in the country, planted all
the fields and vineyards. Under the Missions there were masons,
carpenters, plasterers, soap-makers, tanners, shoe-makers, blacksmiths,
millers, bakers, cooks, brick-makers, carters and cart-makers, weavers
and spinners, saddlers, shepherds, agriculturalists, horticulturalists,
vineros, vaqueros; in a word, they filled all the laborious occupations
known to civilized society."

The intentions of the Mexican Government toward these Indians were wise
and humane. At this distance of time, and in face of the melancholy
facts of the Indians' subsequent history, it is painful to go over the
details of the plans devised one short half-century ago for their
benefit. In 1830 there were in the twenty-one missions in California
some 20,000 or 30,000 Indians, living comfortable and industrious lives
under the control of the Franciscan Fathers. The Spanish colonization
plan had, from the outset, contemplated the turning of these mission
establishments into pueblos as soon as the Indians should have become
sufficiently civilized to make this feasible. The Mexican Government,
carrying out the same general plan, issued in 1833 an act, called the
Secularization Act, decreeing that this change should be made. This act
provided that the Indians should have assigned to them cattle, horses,
and sheep from the mission herds; also, lands for cultivation. One
article of Governor Figueroa's regulations for the carrying out of the
Secularization Act provided that there should be given to every head of
a family, and to all above twenty-one years of age, though they had no
family, a lot of land not exceeding 400 varas square, nor less than 100.
There was also to be given to them in common, enough land for pasturing
and watering their cattle. Another article provided that one-half the
cattle of each mission school should be divided among the Indians of
that mission in a proportionable and equitable manner; also one-half of
the chattels, instruments, seeds, &c. Restrictions were to be placed on
the disposition of this property. The Indians were forbidden "to sell,
burden, or alienate under any pretext the lands given them. Neither can
they sell the cattle." The commissioners charged with the carrying out
of these provisions were ordered to "explain all the arrangements to the
Indians with suavity and patience;" to tell them that the lands and
property will be divided among them so that each one may "work,
maintain, and govern himself without dependence on any one." It was also
provided that the rancherias (villages) situated at a distance from the
missions, and containing over twenty-five families, might, if they
chose, form separate pueblos, and the distribution of lands and property
to them should take place in the same manner provided for those living
near the missions.

These provisions were in no case faithfully carried out. The
administration of the Missions' vast estates and property was too great
a temptation for human nature, especially in a time of revolution and
misrule. The history of the thirteen years between the passing of the
Secularization Act and the conquest of California is a record of
shameful fraud and pillage, of which the Indians were the most hapless
victims. Instead of being permitted each one to work, maintain, and
govern himself without dependence on any one, as they had been promised,
their rights to their plats of land were in the majority of cases
ignored; they were forced to labor on the mission lands like slaves; in
many instances they were hired out in gangs to cruel masters. From these
cruelties and oppressions they fled by hundreds, returning to their old
wilderness homes. Those who remained in the neighborhood of the pueblos
became constantly more and more demoralized, and were subjected to every
form of outrage. By a decree of the Los Angeles aqumiento, about the
time of our taking possession of California, all Indians found without
passes, either from the alcalde of the pueblos in which they lived, or
from their "masters [significant phrase], were to be treated as
horse-thieves and enemies." At this time there were, according to Mr.
Wilson's report, whole streets in Los Angeles where every other house
was a grog-shop for Indians; and every Saturday night the town was
filled with Indians in every stage of intoxication. Those who were
helpless and insensible were carried to the jail, locked up, and on
Monday morning bound out to the highest bidders at the jail gates. "The
Indian has a quick sense of justice," says Mr. Wilson; "he can never see
why he is sold out to service for an indefinite period for intemperance,
while the white man goes unpunished for the same thing, and the very
richest and best men, to his eye, are such as tempt him to drink, and
sometimes will pay him for his labor in no other way." Even the sober
and industrious and best skilled among them could earn but little; it
having become a custom to pay an Indian only half the wages of a white

From this brief and necessarily fragmentary sketch of the position and
state of the Mission Indians under the Mexican Government, at the time
of the surrender of California to the United States, it will be seen
that our Government received by the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo a legacy
of a singularly helpless race in a singularly anomalous position. It
would have been very difficult, even at the outset, to devise
practicable methods of dealing justly with these people, and preserving
to them their rights. But with every year of our neglect the
difficulties have increased and the wrongs have been multiplied, until
now it is, humanly speaking, impossible to render to them full measure
of justice. All that is left in our power is to make them some
atonement. Fortunately for them, their numbers have greatly diminished.
Suffering, hunger, disease, and vice have cut down more than half of
their numbers in the last thirty years; but the remnant is worth saving.
Setting aside all question of their claim as a matter of atonement for
injustice done, they are deserving of help on their own merits. No one
can visit their settlements, such as Aqua Caliente, Saboba, Cahuilla
Valley, Santa Ysabel, without having a sentiment of respect and profound
sympathy for men who, friendless, poor, without protection from the law,
have still continued to work, planting, fencing, irrigating, building
houses on lands from which long experience has taught them that the
white man can drive them off any day he chooses. That drunkenness,
gambling, and other immoralities are sadly prevalent among them, cannot
be denied; but the only wonder is that so many remain honest and
virtuous under conditions which make practically null and void for them
most of the motives which keep white men honest and virtuous.

Having thus given as brief a presentation as possible of the general
situation and nature of these Indians, we will proceed to state what, to
the best of our judgment, are the steps which ought to be taken by the
United States Government in their behalf. The descriptions of the most
important villages we visited, and the detailed accounts of
circumstances and situations on which our suggestions are based, are
given for convenience of reference in separate exhibits.

1st. The first and most essential step, without which there is no
possibility of protecting these Indians or doing anything intelligently
for them, is the determining, resurveying, rounding out, and distinctly
marking, their reservations already existing. The only way of having
this done accurately and honestly, is to have it done by a surveyor who
is under the orders and constant supervision of an intelligent and
honest commissioner; not by an independent surveyor who runs or "floats"
reservation lines where he and his friends or interested parties choose,
instead of where the purpose of the United States Government, looking to
the Indians' interests, had intended. There have been too many surveys
of Indian reservations in Southern California of this sort. (See
Exhibits C, H, I, J, L.) All the reservations made in 1876—and that
comprises nearly all now existing—were laid off by guess, by the
surveyor in San Diego, on an imperfect county map. These sections, thus
guessed at by the surveyor, were reported by the commissioner to the
Interior Department, set aside by Executive order, and ordered to be
surveyed. When the actual survey came to be made, it was discovered that
in the majority of cases the Indian villages intended to be provided for
were outside the reservation lines, and that the greater part of the
lands set apart were wholly worthless. The plats of these reservations
are in the surveyor-general's office at San Francisco. On each of them
was marked by the surveyor an additional line in color, showing what
tracts ought to be added to take in the Indian villages and fields. So
far as we could learn, no action was taken in regard to these proposed

The reservation lines, when thus defined, should be marked plainly and
conspicuously by monuments and stakes, leaving no room for doubt. A plat
of each reservation should then be given to the Indians living on it. It
was pathetic, in our visits to village after village, to hear the
Indians' request reiterated for this thing,—"a paper to show to the
white men where their lands were." Every fragment of writing they had
ever received, which could by any possibility bear on their title to
their lands, they had carefully preserved; old tattered orders from Army
officers thirty years back, orders from justices of the peace, &c., all
worthless of course, but brought forward with touching earnestness to
show us. In no single instance had the reservation lines ever been
pointed out to them. One band, the Sequan Indians, who had never seen
any agent, said they had been told that they were on a reservation, but
they did not know if it were true or not. They had been obliged to give
up keeping stock, because they could not find any place where the whites
would let them pasture cattle. (See Exhibit J.)

There are some settlements of Indians on Government lands not set off as
reservations, in some instances not surveyed. These tracts should all be
surveyed, their boundaries marked, and the lands withdrawn from market
to be permanently set aside for the Indians' use. We use the term
"rounding out" in regard to these reservations chiefly on account of the
complication which results from their being in some cases within the
limit of railroad grants, and made subsequent to those grants. Some are
actually within the limits of the Southern Pacific Railroad grant;
others will be within the limits of the Texas Pacific grant, should that
be confirmed. The odd sections thus belonging to the railroads should be
secured to the Indians. There are also a few claims to lands within
reservation boundaries, which are legal on account of their having been
made before the reservations were set off. These should be extinguished.
(See Exhibit O.)

2d. All white settlers now on reservations should be removed. For the
last four years stray settlers have been going in upon reservation
tracts. This is owing to the lack of boundary definitions and marks as
aforesaid, also to the failure of the surveys to locate the reservations
so as to take in all the ground actually occupied by Indian villages.
Thus, in many instances, the Indians' fields and settlements have been
wrested from them, and they in their turn have not known where they
could or could not go. There is not a single reservation of any size
which is free from white settlers. It would seem that agents in charge
of these Indians should have been authoritatively instructed in no case
to allow squatters to settle on lands known to be within reservation
lines, whether they were occupied by Indians or not. (See Exhibits H, I,

The amount of land set off in Indian reservations in Southern California
appears by the record to be very large, but the proportion of it which
is really available is very small. San Diego County itself is
four-fifths desert and mountain, and it is no exaggeration to say that
the proportion of desert and mountain in the reservation is even larger
than this. By thus resurveying, rounding out, and freeing from white
settlers the present reservations, adding to them all Government lands
now actually in occupation by Indians, there will be, according to the
best of our judgment, nearly land enough for the accommodation of all
the Mission Indians except those whose settlements are on grants.

3d. In regard to this latter class, _i.e._, those whose villages are now
within the boundaries of confirmed grants, the Government has to choose
between two courses of action,—either to remove them and make other
provision for them, or to uphold and defend their right to remain where
they are. In support of the latter course we believe a strong case could
be made out, and we have secured from one of the ablest firms in
Southern California a written legal opinion on this point. (See Exhibit
A.) It seems clear that this contest should be made by the Government
itself. It is impossible for these poverty-stricken and ignorant people
to undertake on their own account and at their own expense the legal
settlement of this matter. It would be foolish to advise it; inhuman to
expect it. A test case could be made which would settle the question for
all. (See Exhibit B.) In case the decision be favorable to the Indians
remaining, the ranch owners should then be called on to mark off the
boundaries of the Indians' lands according to the California State law
covering such cases. (See Exhibit R.) Whether the lands thus reverting
to the Indians could properly be considered as Government lands or not,
would be a question to be determined. Probably the surest way of
securing them for the Indians' permanent use would be to consider them
as such and have them defined as reservations by act of Congress.

4th. And this brings us to our fourth recommendation, which is, that all
these Indians' reservations, those already set off by Executive order,
and all new ones made for them, whether of Government lands now in their
occupation, or of lands which may be hereafter by legal process
reclaimed for them from the grant lands on which they are now living, be
patented to the several bands occupying them; the United States to hold
the patent in trust for the period of twenty-five years; at the
expiration of that time the United States to convey the same by patent
to said Indians, as has been done for the Omaha Indians. The insecurity
of reservations made merely by Executive order is apparent, and is
already sadly illustrated in Southern California by the history of the
San Pasquale Reservation, that of Aqua Caliente, and others. The
insecurity of reservations set apart by act of Congress is only a degree
less. The moment it becomes the interest and purpose of white men in any
section of the country to have such reservation tracts restored to the
public domain, the question of its being done is only a question of
influence and time. It is sure to be done. The future of these
industrious, peaceable, agricultural communities ought not to be left a
single day longer than is necessary, dependent on such chances; chances
which are always against and never for Indians' interests in the matter
of holding lands. The best way and time of allotting these Indians'
lands to them in severalty must be left to the decision of the
Government, a provision being incorporated in their patent to provide
for such allotments from time to time as may seem desirable, and agents
and commissioners being instructed to keep the advantages of this system
constantly before the Indians' minds. Some of them are fit for it now,
and earnestly desire it, but the majority are not ready for it. The
communal system, on which those now living in villages use their lands,
satisfies them, and is apparently administered without difficulty. It is
precisely the same system as that on which the pueblo lands were
cultivated by the early Spanish settlers in Southern California. They
agree among themselves to respect each other's right of occupancy; a
man's right to a field this year depending on his having cultivated it
last year, and so on. It seems not to occur to these Indians that land
is a thing to be quarrelled over.

In the village of Aqua Caliente, one of the most intelligent of the
young men was so anxious to show us his fields that we went with him a
little distance outside the village limits to see them. He had some
eight acres in grain, vine, and fruit trees. Pointing first in one
direction, then in another, he indicated the places where his ground
joined other men's ground. There was no line of demarcation whatever,
except it chanced to be a difference of crops. We said to him,
"Alessandro, how do you know which is your land and which is theirs?" He
seemed perplexed, and replied, "This was my mother's land. We have
always had it." "But," we persisted, "suppose one of these other men
should want more land and should take a piece of yours?" "He couldn't,"
was all the reply we could get from Alessandro, and it was plain that he
was greatly puzzled by the suggestion of the possibility of neighbors
trespassing on each other's cultivated fields.

5th. We recommend the establishment of more schools. At least two more
are immediately needed, one at the Rincon, and one at Santa Ysabel. (See
Exhibits G, L.) As the reservations are gradually cleared, defined and
assured for the Indians' occupancy, hundreds of Indians who are now
roving from place to place, without fixed homes, will undoubtedly settle
down in the villages, and more schools will be needed. It is to be
hoped, also, that some of the smaller bands will unite with the larger
ones, for the sake of the advantages of the school and other advantages
of a larger community. The isolated situation of many of the smaller
settlements is now an insuperable difficulty in the way of providing
education for all the children. These Indians are all keenly alive to
the value of education. In every village that we visited we were urged
to ask the Government to give them a school. In one they insisted upon
ranging the children all in rows, that we might see for ourselves that
there were children enough to justify the establishing of a school.

In this connection we would suggest that if a boarding and industrial
school, similar to those at Hampton and Carlisle, could be established
in Southern California, it would be of inestimable value, and would
provide opportunities for many children who, owing to the isolation of
their homes, could not be reached in any other way.

We would further suggest that, in our judgment, only women teachers
should be employed in these isolated Indian villages. There is a great
laxity of morals among these Indians; and in the wild regions where
their villages lie, the unwritten law of public sentiment, which in more
civilized communities does so much to keep men virtuous, hardly exists.
Therefore the post of teacher in these schools is one full of
temptations and danger to a man. (See Exhibit M.) Moreover, women have
more courage and self-denying missionary spirit, sufficient to undertake
such a life, and have an invaluable influence outside their
school-rooms. They go familiarly into the homes, and are really
educating the parents as well as the children in a way which is not
within the power of any man, however earnest and devoted he may be.

We would also suggest that great good might be accomplished among these
Indians by some form of itinerary religious and educational labor among
them. In the list of assignments of Indian agencies to different
religious denominations, as given in the report of the Indian Bureau for
1882, the Mission Agency is assigned to the Evangelical Lutheran; but we
could not learn that this denomination had done any work among them. So
far as the Mission Indians have any religion at all they are Catholics.
In many of the villages are adobe chapels, built in the time of the
missions, where are still preserved many relics of the mission days,
such as saints' images, holy-water kettles, &c. In these chapels on the
occasions of the priest's visits the Indians gather in great numbers,
women sometimes walking two days' journey, bringing their babies on
their backs to have them baptized. There are also in several of the
villages old Indians, formerly trained at the missions, who officiate
with Catholic rites at funerals, and on Sundays repeat parts of the
Mass. As these Indians are now situated in isolated settlements so far
apart, and so remote from civilized centres, the only practicable method
of reaching them all would be by some form of itinerary labor. A fervent
religious and practical teacher, who should spend his time in going from
village to village, remaining in each a few days or weeks, as the case
might be, would sow seed which would not cease to grow during the
intervals of his absence. If he were a man of sound common-sense and
knowledge of laws of life, fitted to instruct the Indians in matters of
hygiene, cleanliness, ventilation, &c., and in a few of the simple
mechanical arts, as well as in the doctrines of religion and morality,
he would do more for the real good of these people at present than can
be accomplished by schools.

6th. The suggestion of the value of itinerary labor among the Indians
leads to our next recommendation, which we consider of great importance,
_viz._, that it should be made the duty of any Government agent in
charge of the Mission Indians to make a round of inspection at least
twice a year, visiting each village or settlement however small. In no
other way can anything like a proper supervision of these Indians'
interests be attained. This proof of the Government's intention to keep
a sharp eye on all that might occur in relation to the Indians would
have a salutary moral effect, not only on the Indians, but on the white
settlers in their neighborhood. It would also afford the means of
dealing with comparative promptitude with the difficulties and troubles
continually arising. As it is now, it is not to be wondered at that the
Indians feel themselves unprotected and neglected, and the white
settlers feel themselves safe in trespassing on Indians' property or
persons. In some of the villages, where pre-emption claims have been
located within the last four years, no agent has ever been. It is safe
to say, that had an agent been on the ground each year, with the proper
authority to take efficient measures, much of the present suffering and
confusion would have been prevented. In the case, for instance, of the
Los Coyotes village, filed on a few months ago (see Exhibit F), there
was no reason why those lands should not have been set apart for the
Indians long ago, had their situation been understood; so in the San
Ysidro case, and others. The whole situation of an agent in regard to
the Mission Indians is totally different from that of ordinary agency on
a reservation. The duties of an Indian agent on a reservation may be
onerous, but they are in a sense simple. His Indians are all together,
within comparatively narrow limits, and, so to speak, under his hand,
and dependent largely on the Government. The Mission Indians, on the
contrary, are scattered in isolated settlements thirty, forty, a hundred
miles away from the agency headquarters, many of them in regions
difficult of access. Moreover, the Indians are in the main
self-supporting and independent. Protection or oversight worth anything
to them can only be given by a systematic method of frequent visitation.

What is true in this respect of the agent's work is, if possible, still
truer of the physician's. If there is to be an agency physician for the
Mission Indians at all, he should be a young, strong, energetic man, who
is both able and willing to make at least four circuits a year through
the villages, and who will hold himself bound to go when called in all
cases of epidemics, serious illness, or accidents occurring among
Indians within one day's journey of the agency headquarters. Whatever
salary it is necessary to pay to secure such service as this should be
paid, or else the office of agency physician to the Mission Indians
should be abolished. Anything less than this is a farce and a fraud.

7th. We recommend that there be secured the appointment of a lawyer, or
a law firm in Los Angeles, to act as special United States attorney in
all cases affecting the interests of these Indians. They have been so
long without any protection from the law that outrages and depredations
upon them have become the practice in all white communities near which
they live. Indians' stock is seized, corraled and held for fines,
sometimes shot, even on the Indians' own reservations or in the public
domain. In seasons of dearth roving stockmen and shepherds drive their
herds and flocks into Indians' grain-fields, destroying their
subsistence for a whole year. Lands occupied by Indians or by Indian
villages are filed on for homestead entry precisely as if they were
vacant lands. This has been more than once done without the Indians
receiving any warning until the sheriff arrived with the writ for their
ejectment. The Indians' own lives are in continual danger, it being a
safe thing to shoot an Indian at any time when only Indian witnesses are
present. (See Exhibits C, E.) It is plain that all such cases as these
should be promptly dealt with by equal means. One of the greatest
difficulties in the position of the Mission Indians' agent is, that in
all such cases he is powerless to act except through the at best slow
and hitherto unsatisfactory channel of reporting to the Interior
Department. He is in the embarrassing position of a guardian of wards
with property and property rights, for the defence of which he is unable
to call in prompt legal assistance. In instances in which the Indians
themselves have endeavored to get redress through the courts, they have
in the majority of cases—to the shame of the Southern California bar be
it spoken—been egregiously cheated. They are as helpless as children in
the hands of dishonest, unscrupulous men. We believe that the mere fact
of there being such a United States legal authority near at hand to act
for the Indians would in a short time, after a few effective
illustrations of its power, do away with the greater proportion of the
troubles demanding legal interference.

The question of the rights of Indians living on grant lands to remain
there will, if the Department decides to test it by law, involve some
litigation, as it will no doubt be contested by the ranch owners; but
this point once settled, and the Indians secured in the ownership of
their lands, a very few years will see the end of any special need of
litigation in their behalf. We recommend in this connection and for this
office the firm of Brunson & Wells, of Los Angeles. We have obtained
from this firm a clear and admirable opinion on these Indians' right to
their present homes (see Exhibit A), and we know them to be of high
standing at the bar and to have a humane sympathy for Indians.

8th. We recommend that there should be a judicious distribution of
agricultural implements among these Indians. No village should be
omitted. Wagons, harness, ploughs, spades, and hoes are greatly needed.
It is surprising to see what some of these villages have accomplished
with next to no implements. In the Santa Ysabel village the Indians had
three hundred acres in wheat; there were but three old broken ploughs in
the village, no harness, and no wagon. (See Exhibit G.) There is at
present much, and not unfounded, sore feeling in some of the villages
which have thus far received no help of this kind, while others of the
villages have been supplied with all that was needed.

9th. There should always be provided for the Mission Indians' agency a
small fund for the purchase of food and clothing for the very old and
sick in times of especial destitution. The Mission Indians as a class do
not beg. They are proud-spirited, and choose to earn their living. They
will endure a great deal before they will ask for help. But in seasons
of drought or when their little crops have, for any cause, failed, there
is sometimes great distress in the villages. Last winter the Cahuillas,
in the Cahuilla Valley (see Exhibit C), were for many weeks without
sufficient food. The teacher of their school repeatedly begged them to
let her write to the agent for help, but they refused. At last one night
the captain and two of the head men came to her room and said she might
write. They could no longer subdue the hunger. She wrote the letter; the
next morning at daylight the Indians were at her door again. They had
reconsidered it, they said, and they would not beg. They would rather
starve, and they would not permit her to send the letter.

10th. The second and third special points on which we were instructed to
report to the Department were, whether there still remains in Southern
California any Government land suitable for an Indian reservation, and
if not, in case lands must be bought for that purpose, what lands can be
most advantageously purchased. There is no Government land remaining in
Southern California in blocks of any size suitable for either white or
Indian occupancy. The reason that the isolated little settlements of
Indians are being now so infringed upon and seized, even at the desert's
edge and in stony fastnesses of mountains, is that all the good
lands—_i.e._, lands with water or upon which water can be developed—are
taken up.

We recommend two purchases of land,—one positively, the other
contingently. The first is the Pauma Ranch, now owned by Bishop Mora, of
Los Angeles. (See Exhibit P.) This ranch, lying as it does between the
Rincon and Pala Reservations on the north and south, and adjoining the
La Jolla Reservation, affords an admirable opportunity to consolidate a
large block of land for Indian occupancy. It is now, in our opinion, a
desirable tract. While it is largely hilly and mountainous, there is
considerable good sheep and cattle pasturing on it, and a fair amount of
bottom land for cultivation along the river. The price asked for it is,
as lands are now selling in Southern California, low. If the already
existing reservations are cleared of whites, unified, and made ready for
Indian occupancy, and the Government lands now in actual occupation by
Indians be assured to them, the addition of this Pauma Ranch will be, in
our opinion, all that will be required to make comfortable provision for
all the Indians, except those living within the boundaries of confirmed

Should the Department decide to remove all these and provide them with
new homes, we recommend the purchase of the Santa Ysabel ranch. (See
Exhibit Q.) The purchase of this ranch for an Indian reservation was
recommended to the Government some years ago, but it was rejected on
account of the excessive price asked for it. It is now offered to the
Government for $95,000. During the past ten years the value of lands in
Southern California has in many places quadrupled; in some it is worth
more than twenty times what it was then. We have no hesitation in saying
that it is not now possible to buy an equally suitable tract for any
less money. The ranch contains 17,719.40 acres; is within the rain belt
of San Diego County, is well watered, and, although it is largely
mountainous, has good pasture, some meadow land, and some oak timber. It
is, moreover, in the region to which the greater proportion of these
Indians are warmly attached and in the vicinity of which most of them
are now living. One large Indian village is on the ranch. (See Exhibit
G.) Father Ubach, the Catholic priest of San Diego, who has known these
Indians for seventeen years, says of it, "it is the only tract to which
human power can force these Indians to remove." We recommend this
purchase only as a last resort in the event of the Department's being
compelled to provide new homes for all the Indians now living within the
boundaries of confirmed grants.

In conclusion, we would make the suggestion that there are several small
bands of Mission Indians north of the boundaries of the so-called
Mission Indians' agency, for whom it would seem to be the duty of the
Government to care as well as for those already enumerated. One of these
is the San Carlos Indians, living near the old San Carlos Mission at
Monterey. There are nearly one hundred of these, and they are living on
lands which were given to them before the Secularization Act in 1834.
These lands are close to the boundaries of the ranch San Francisquito of
Monterey. These boundaries have been three times extended, each time
taking in a few more acres of the Indians' lands, until now they have
only ten or twelve acres left. There are also some very destitute
Indians living in the neighborhood of the San Antonio Mission, some
sixty miles south of Monterey, and of San Miguel, forty miles farther
south, and of Santa Juez near Santa Barbara. These Indians should not be
overlooked in arrangements made for the final establishing of the
Mission Indians in Southern California.

Hoping that these recommendations may be approved by the Department, we

                        Very respectfully yours,

                                                          HELEN JACKSON.
                                                           ABBOT KINNEY.

HON. H. PRICE, Commissioner of Indian Affairs

                           INDEX OF EXHIBITS.


     A.   Legal brief of Brunson & Wells                       475

     B.   Saboba                                               479

     C.   Cahuilla Reservation                                 481

     D.   Warner's Ranch Indians                               485

     E.   San Ysidros                                          488

     F.   Los Coyotes                                          490

     G.   Santa Ysabel                                         492

     H.   Mesa Grande                                          494

     I.   Capitan Grande                                       496

     J.   Sequan                                               500

     K.   The Conejos                                          501

     L.   Pala and neighborhood, including Rincon,
          Pauma, and La Jolla                                  502

     M.   Pachanga                                             504

     N.   The Desert Indians                                   506

                  O. San Gorgonio Reservation      508

     P.   Pauma Ranch and the proposal for its
          sale to the U. S. Government                         512

     Q.   Proposition for sale of Santa Ysabel
          Ranch to the U. S. Government                        513

     R.   Copy of California State law for the
          government and protection of Indians                 513


                                      Los Angeles, Cal., May 12th, 1883.

SIR,—In response to your verbal request asking our opinion as to the
following questions, _viz._:—

1st. Have civilized Indians and those who are engaged in agriculture or
labor of any kind, and also those who are known as Pueblos or Rancheros
Indians in California, a right to occupy and possess lands which they
and their predecessors had continuously occupied, possessed, and enjoyed
while said lands were under the jurisdiction of the Mexican Government,
up to and at the date of the ratification of the treaty Guadalupe
Hidalgo between the United States and the Mexican Republic, March, 1848,
notwithstanding that said lands so occupied and enjoyed by the Indians
aforesaid had been while they were so occupying and possessing the same,
by the proper Spanish and Mexican authorities before the ratification of
said treaty granted to certain Spanish and Mexican citizens, and since
the acquisition by the United States of the territory embracing said
lands so granted been by the United States confirmed, surveyed, and
patented to the grantees or their legal representatives?

2d. Has the United States Government the right to condemn lands within
the State of California for the purpose of giving Indians homes thereon?

We have the honor to submit the following as our reply and answer to the
above interrogatories. Before and at the date of the treaty of Guadalupe
Hidalgo, all the territory now known as California was a part of and
under the jurisdiction of the Mexican Republic. We do not regard it as
necessary, in order to answer the questions propounded, to give a
history of the land-laws of Spain and Mexico, nor the method of
acquiring land prior to August 18th, 1824.

On August 18th, 1824, the Mexican Congress enacted a general
colonization law, prescribing the mode of granting lands throughout the
Mexican territory. This law was limited and defined by a series of
regulations ordained by the Mexican Government, November 21st, 1828. By
these laws and regulations, which have ever since continued in force,
the governors of Territories were authorized to grant, with certain
specified exceptions, vacant land. By the fundamental laws of 1824, the
regulations of 1824, and the regulations of the departmental legislature
consistent therewith, all Mexican grants in California have been
determined; and by this has been determined the validity of every grant
of land in California. (Lesse & Vallejo _vs._ Clark, 3 Cal. 17.) The
limitations, as well as the fundamental laws mentioned, provided that in
making grants or distribution of land (such as are now known as Mexican

1st. It must be vacant land, and, if occupied by Indians, then without
prejudice to them.

2d. That such land as would be granted to the damage and injury of the
Indians should be returned to the rightful owners.

The Mexican Government reserved from private grant all lands occupied
and possessed by the Indians. Great care was taken to make strict
reservation of such land; and by law no valid grant of land occupied or
possessed by Indians could be made so as to dispossess them. When
California was ceded to the United States, the rights of property of its
citizens remained unchanged. By the law of nations those rights were
sacred and inviolable, and the obligations passed to the new government
to protect and maintain them. The term property, as applied to lands,
embraces all titles, legal or equitable, perfect or imperfect.
(Teschemacher _vs._ Thompson, 18 Cal. 12.) The United States never had,
and does not now possess, any power under or by virtue of said treaty
whereby it could or can confer upon a citizen holding and claiming
property granted by the Mexican Government other or different property
rights than those conferred by such Government, and such as were
possessed, enjoyed, and held by him while under the jurisdiction of such
government. It cannot abridge or enlarge the right to enjoy and to
possess property held by virtue of Mexican law at the date of said
treaty, nor can it deprive persons of any right to property which
belonged to them at the date of said treaty.

A mere grant of land by the Mexican governor without compliance by the
grantee with the further requisitions of the Mexican laws forms but an
inchoate title, and the land passed to the United States, which hold it
subject to the trust imposed by the treaty and the equities of the
grantee. _The execution of the trust is a political power._ (Lesse _vs._
Clark, 3 Cal. 17.)

By the fundamental laws of 1824, the regulation of 1828, and the
regulation of the departmental legislature, one condition was that in
making private grants of lands the lands granted must be vacant lands.
Lands occupied by and in possession of Indians were not such vacant
lands; for by the same laws and regulations it was provided that such
grants must be without prejudice or damage to the Indians, and that such
land granted to the damage and injury of the Indians should be returned
to the rightful owners. (New Code, law 9, title 12, book 4.)

The Mexican authorities recognized the rights of Indians to hold, enjoy,
and possess lands, and there are of record a number of grants made by
the Mexican authorities to Indians. They not only had the right to
receive grants of land under the Mexican laws, but also to convey the
lands so granted. (United States _vs._ Sinnol, Hoffman's Reports, 110.)

It will be observed that at the date when private grants of land were
made with some regard for law, the limitation and conditions required by
law to be observed were inserted in such grants, _viz._: L.C., No.
342-6, S. D., 398; L. C., No. 254-219, S. D., 228-407; L. C., No.
740-372, N. D., 208; L. C., No. 326-359, N. D., 389; Hoffman's Report
Land Cases, pp. 35 _et seq._; Surveyor-General's letter, dated San
Francisco, March 14, 1883, and addressed to Mrs. William S. Jackson.

The Indians and their descendants, who occupied and now occupy lands
within the grants above named, as well as grants containing claims of a
similar character, are in our opinion possessed and seized of the lands
which were and have been and now are in their possession; and they can
hold the same against persons claiming the same by virtue of a United
States patent, issued upon a confirmed Mexican grant. This leaves to be
answered the following question: Can the Indians hold lands for which a
United States patent has issued conditioned as set out in the first
question, provided no conditions or limitations are contained or
expressed in the grant? This is a question beset and surrounded by many
difficulties; nor do we deem it necessary to do more than refer to
restrictions and limitations contained in the laws of Mexico concerning
private grants of lands upon which Indians were residing,—lands which
were occupied by them. It is certain that if such lands were granted by
a Mexican official, and the authorities omitted to recite the conditions
and limitations required by law, and reserve from the operation of such
grant such lands as the law conditioned could not be conveyed by such
grant, such a grant would and could not take it out of the operation of
the law. It could not defeat the rights of those whose rights attached
by reason of law. If the officers of the Mexican Government to whom was
confided the trust exceeded their authority as regulated by the
solemnities and formalities of the law, the courts are bound to take
notice of it, and cannot shield those claiming under such title from the
necessary consequence of ignorance, carelessness, or arbitrary
assumption of power. (Lesse & Vallejo _vs._ Clark, 3 Cal. 17.)

It is now necessary to inquire how far and to what extent will the
issuance to the grantee of the United States patent change or modify
this rule. We shall not discuss, as we do not deem it necessary, the
decision of the United States Supreme Court, that "a United States
patent cannot be attached collaterally, but may be by a direct
proceeding," as we did not regard these decisions as in any way
affecting the question submitted and now before us.

In 1851, March 3d, Congress passed an act entitled "An act to ascertain
and settle the private land-claims in the State of California." By said
statute it was enacted "that it shall be the duty of the commission
herein provided for to ascertain and report to the Secretary of the
Interior the tenure by which the Mission lands are held, and those held
by civilized Indians, and those who are engaged in agriculture or labor
of any _kind_, and also those which are _occupied_ and cultivated by
Pueblos or Rancheros Indians." (U. S. Statutes at Large, vol. ix. p.
634, sec. 16, Little & Brown's ed.) We have no means of ascertaining
whether such a report was made, or, if made, its contents. We have no
doubt the commission did their duty and complied with the law, and that
their report will be found on file in the Department of the Interior.
This report, if in our hands, would greatly aid us in reaching a correct
conclusion. By the same act it is further provided that the patent of
the United States issued to parties holding Mexican grants are
conclusive between the United States and the said claimants only, and
shall not affect the interest of that person. (_Ib._ p. 634.) If the
report of the commission established the fact that the Indians were
residing upon and occupying lands within the boundaries of claimed
grants, which grants have no conditions or limitation inserted therein,
that they claimed such lands by virtue of the laws of Mexico, this
evidence, with such other evidence as we understand can be furnished, is
in our opinion enough to establish under the law, as we regard it, a
right in the Indians to hold and occupy such lands against the confirmee
or patentee. If, however, no such report has been made, we are of the
opinion, if conclusive evidence can be furnished proving that these
Indians were in possession of these lands at the time these grants were
made by the Mexican authorities, that they continued in possession, and
were in possession at the date of the treaty, and have since continued
in possession, the law will entitle them to hold such land against all
persons claiming under the patent.

We answer the second question propounded as follows:—

By the fifth amendment to the Constitution of the United States it is
provided: *** "Nor shall private property be taken for public use
without just compensation." Would the taking of lands belonging to
citizens for the purpose of giving the same to Indians be such a public
use as is contemplated by the Constitution? We are of the opinion it
would not. (Walther _vs._ Warner, 25 Mo. 277; Board of Education _vs._
Hockman, 48 Mo. 243; Buffalo & New York Railroad Company _vs._ Brannan,
9 N.Y. 100; Bradley _vs._ New York, &c. Railroad Company, 21 Conn. 294;
Fisher _vs._ Horicon Iron Work, &c. Company, 10 Wis. 354; New Orleans &
Railroad Company _vs._ Railroad Company, 53 Ala. 211; Conn _vs._
Horrigan, 2 Allen, 159; Chambers _vs._ Sattuler, 40 Cal. 497; Railroad
Company _vs._ City of Stockton, 41 Cal. 149; Channel Company _vs._
Railroad Company, 51 Cal. 269; Gilmer _vs._ Lime Point, 18 Cal. 229;
Conn _vs._ Tewksbury, 11 Metcalf, 55; Manufacturing Company _vs._ Head,
56 N.H. 386; Olmstead _vs._ Camp, 33 Conn. 532; Buckman _vs._ Saratoga
Railroad Company, 3 Paige Ch. 45; Memphis Freight Company _vs._ Memphis,
4 Cold. 419; Enfield Toll Bridge Company _vs._ Hartford Railroad
Company, 17 Conn. 42.)

                       We are, very respectfully,

                                      BRUNSON & WELLS, Attorneys-at-Law.

                                   ABBOT KINNEY, Esq., Los Angeles, Cal.



Saboba is the name of a village of Indians of the Serrano tribe, one
hundred and fifty-seven in number, living in the San Jacinto Valley, at
the base of the San Jacinto Mountains, in San Diego County. The village
is within the boundaries of a Mexican grant, patented to the heirs of J.
Estudillo, January 17th, 1880. The greater part of the grant has been
sold to a company which, in dividing up its lands, allotted the tract
where the Saboba village lies to one M. R. Byrnes, of San Bernardino,
who proposes to eject the Indians unless the United States Government
will buy his whole tract of seven hundred acres at an exorbitant price.
The Saboba village occupies about two hundred acres, the best part of
Mr. Byrnes's tract. The Indians have lived in the place for over a
hundred years. They have adobe houses, fenced fields and orchards, and
irrigating ditches. There is in the village a never-failing spring, with
a flow of about twenty-five miner's inches. It is claimed by the Indians
that the first surveys did not take in their village. This is probably
true; the resurveying of grants and "floating" their lines so as to take
in lands newly discovered to be of value, and leave out others
discovered to be worthless, being a common practice in California. In a
country where water is gold, such a spring as these Saboba Indians owned
could not long escape notice or be left long in the undisturbed
possession of Indians. These Indians support themselves now, and have
always done so, by farming, and by going out in organized bands as
sheep-shearers and vintagers. They are industrious and peaceable, and
make in good seasons a fairly comfortable living. They formerly kept
stock, but since the new occupancy, allotting and fencing of the valley,
have been obliged to give it up. There is a Government school in this
village, numbering from thirty to forty pupils, who have made remarkable
progress in their studies. The school is taught by a Pennsylvania lady,
formerly a teacher of the freedmen. Her gentleness and refinement have
exerted an influence all through the village, and her self-denying
labors among the people in times of sickness and suffering have been the
work of a missionary rather than of a teacher. The following letters
were written by two of the children in this school, both under fourteen
years of age. They were written without the teacher's knowledge or aid,
and brought to her with the request that she would send them. The
handwritings are clear and good:—

_To the President of the United States_:

MR. PRESIDENT: DEAR SIR,—I wish to write a letter for you, and I will
try to tell you some things. The white people call San Jacinto rancho
their land, and I don't want them to do it. We think it is ours, for God
gave it to us first. Now I think you will tell me what is right, for you
have been so good to us, giving us a school and helping us. Will you not
come to San Jacinto some time to see us, the school, and the people of
Saboba village? Many of the people are sick, and some have died. We are
so poor that we have not enough good food for the sick, and sometimes I
am afraid that we are all going to die. Will you please tell what is
good about our ranches, and come soon to see us?

                              Your friend,

                                                           RAMON CAVAVI.

_Mrs. Jackson_:

MY DEAR FRIEND,—I wish to write you a letter about the American people
that want to drive us away from our own village of Saboba. I don't know
what they can be about. I don't know why they do so. My teacher told me
she was very sorry about the town, and then my teacher said, I think
they will find a good place for you if you have to go; but I do hope
they will not drive you away. Then it will be very good for all the
people of Saboba. It is a very good town for the people. They have all
the work done on their gardens, and they are very sorry about the work
that is done. My work is very nicely done also. The people are making
one big fence to keep the cows and the horses off their garden.

                           Your true friend,

                                                           ANTONIO LEON.

These Saboba Indians are greatly dispirited and disheartened at the
prospect of being driven out of their homes, and feel that the
Government ought to protect them. The captain of the village, a very
sensible and clear-headed man, said, "If the Government says we must go,
we must; but we would rather die right here than move." The right of
these Indians to the tract they have so long occupied and cultivated is
beyond question. That this right could be successfully maintained in the
courts is the opinion of the law firm of Brunson & Wells, whose
admirable paper covering all cases of this kind is given herewith. (See

We found three miles from this village on Government land a narrow cañon
called Indian Cañon, in which half a dozen Indian families were living.
The cañon is but five or six miles long and very narrow; but it has a
small, never-failing brook in it, and some good bottom land, on which
the Indians had excellent wheat crops growing. The sides of it are
moderately well wooded. It was surprising that so desirable a nook had
been overlooked or omitted by the surveyors of the San Jacinto Ranch. We
wrote to the Department immediately, recommending its being set aside
for Indians' use. In another beautiful cañon, also with a never-failing
stream running through it, we found living the old chief, Victoriano,
nearly one hundred years old. The spot was an oasis of green, oak and
willow trees, a wheat field, and apricot orchard and vineyard, the
latter planted by Victoriano's father. This place has been given by
Victoriano to his grandson, who we were told is taking steps to secure
it to himself under the Indian Homestead Act.



The Cahuilla Valley is about forty miles from Saboba, high up among the
peaks and spurs of the San Jacinto Mountains; a wild, barren,
inaccessible spot. The Cahuilla village, situated here, was one of the
most interesting that we visited, and the Indians seemed a clear-headed,
more individual and independent people than any other we saw. This is
partly due to their native qualities, the tribe having been originally
one of the most warlike and powerful in the country, as is indicated by
their name, which signifies "master." The isolation of this village has
also tended to keep these Indians self-respecting and independent. There
is no white settlement within ten miles, there being comparatively
little to tempt white men into these mountain-fastnesses. The population
of the village numbers from one hundred and fifty to two hundred. The
houses are of adobe, thatched with reeds; three of the houses have
shingled roofs, and one has the luxury of a floor. These Indians make
the greater part of their living by stock-raising. They also send out a
sheep-shearing band each year. They have sixteen fiel