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ernment and a warm friend to the white man. Here he has been too often unjustly and harshly treated, and he is the natural enemy of his oppressors. There they are civilized, and in large numbers converted to Christianity.
Here on the plains the wild Indian is often butchered because he has defended his rights against some robber who plundered him of his property. It
may be said we have the power to carry out this line of policy. That is true. But have we the right to do it? We are strong; we are powerful. But there is a Being stronger and much more powerful than we are.
And we should vot forget that nations as well as individuals have to answer for wrongs and outrages committed by them. In what way we may be called to answer I do not pretend to say. Whether it will be bý pestilence or war, or in what other manner we may be scourged for our cruelty to the aborigines of this country, I know not. But I believe the crimes committed by us against the Poncas, and in the massacre of the Cheyennes and other like outrages, will meet their reward in national punishment. Our course is condeinned by the civilization of the age. It is condemned by huinanity, and it is condemned by Christian men and women everywhere who understand the facts.
I do not put the blame at the door of any particular person or official. I do not pretend to say where it rests. I do not call in question the motives of any one, but I do say the acts were criminal; they cannot be justified. What were the facts? The Cheyennes had been carried to the Indian Territory. They could not stand the climate and were dying fast with disease. Some three hundred escaped, and in midwinter, under the most adverse circumstances, made their way back toward their own country, and had gone several hundred miles before the military overtook them. When summoned to surrender, they refused to do so without a guaranty that they should not be sent back to the Indian Territory, saying that they would rather fight till they died than to return. The commanding officer gave them to understand, and they did understand, that they should not be carried back to the Territory if they would surrender. After the surrender they were carried to Fort Robinson, and an order was then sent to carry them to the Indian Territory. They refused to go, and about one hundred and fifty of them, being all that survived, were imprisoned, thinly clad, in midwinter, when the thermometer was below zero, for five days at a time without food or fire, and thiree days of the time without water, to compel them to consent to return to the Indian Territory, where their ranks had been fast decimated by dis. eases incident to the climate, and when they preferred death to a return. If we were determined to carry out our dictatorial policy and compel them to return to the reservation, why did we not hold them at the fort and treat them humanely till we had provided the means to transport them, and then send them under military escort ?
But I turn from this sickening theme, and will not dwell longer upon it by rehearsing scenes that attended the butchery of men, women, and children who attempted, by violence, to escape from this horrible imprisonment.
If we treat the Indians as they do in Canada we may avoid wars. We need not have the army always chasing them if we will do justice to them and not be always robbing them. In my opinion it is much better to expend a few millions in locating them and giving them agricultural implements, and in educating and civilizing them and their children, than it is to expend a hundred millions in pursuing them over the plains and slaughtering them like wolves.
But it is said by those disposed to give no quarters to the Indians that they are savage and cruel in their mode of warfare, often slaughtering indiscrim
inately, men, women, and children. This is unfortunately true; but what better could we expect from people who have none of the advantages of the proper training incident to civilization, and who feel that they are greatly oppressed? The point I make, however, is that those wars in which they practice cruelty have usually been provoked by bad white men or by the agents of governments at war with the United States. The Indian is not naturally disposed to go to war with the white man. Our early history shows that very clearly. It was only when their rights had been trampled upon by the white man that they took up arms.
The rattlesnake is the most peaceable reptile on the plains. When you come in contact with him, if you will not trample upon him or practice aygression that causes him to believe that you intend to do it, he will crawl away and leave you; but when you place your foot upon him he declares war, and fights with savage de-peration. So with these children of the forest, once so strong and now so weak and so near extinction.
But it may be said that they are savages, and cannot be civilized and made good citizens. Our experience has taught us very differently. On that point I want to call attention to two or three passages taken from the reports of the Indian agents for the civilized tribes. The agent says, speaking of these civilized tribes :
" These people have recovered slowly from the effects of the war, but they are now in a position, if not disturbed, to become a strong and wealthy peo ple. Their only fear is that the United States will forget her obligations, and in some way deprive them of their lands. They do not seem to care for the loss in money value so much as they fear the trouble and the utter anni. hilation of a great portion of their people, if the whites are permitted to homestead in all portions of their country, as is contemplated by so many of the measures before Congress.” Agaiu he says:
Crime is no more frequent than in the adjoining States, and convictions by local authority are about as sure. The band of desperadoes, whites and Judians, who made their headquarters in the western part of this agency, and beyond, and who were the terror of the whole country last year, have all been killed or placed in the penitentiary. The feeling among these nations is stronger than ever for the enforcement of the law.
“ The Methodist, Presbyterian, and Baptist denominations have missionaries here, and are doing good work. Some of the missionaries have been here for many years, and their influence for good is great. Their means for support is small, and they work hard, and only those remain in the field who possess a true niissionary spirit. The church buildings are not expensive or ornamental, but are built for use. The Sabbath is well respected and observed. Many of the Indians are ordained ministers. Some of them bare been educated in the States, ai d returned to labor among their own people.
“ The schools of these nations are conduçted upon the school system of the States. The English language is taught exclusively: Many of the boys and girls are being sent to the States to be educated at ihe expense of the nation. Many of the wealthy send their children East to be educated at their own expense. The result is a surprise to the stranger who meets so many welleducated people among the nations. There are also private schools with good attendance. I am of the opinion that the solution of the Indian question, if it is ever solved before the last one is driven from the face of the earth, will be in the education of the Indian children."
It appears, therefore, from the reports from the five civilized tribes that they have made great progress in education and they are probably doing as much or more with the funds at their disposal now for the education of their
children than we are doing. Among them are intelligent divines, intelligent lawyers, intelligent judges ; in a word they are a civilized people, with dwellings and farms and orchards and gardens and stock, and are fast rivalling us in the arts of civilization. Why may not other tribes reach the same elevation with the same advantages ? There is no reason why it may not be so. Indeed it is almost a certainty that it will be so.
In the same report of the Coinmissioner of Indian Affairs I find state. ments in reference to the wild tribes that have been located there. Even the Modocs, who were carried down under circumstances so unfavorable, are making, as the ayent states, very decided progress toward becoming civilized. It may be said, then, why not carry out the policy that has been carried out heretofore, of taking them from their homes West, and, after killing off a large proportion, carry the little remnant there, and get them all together. I say it is cruelty; it is outrage. Put them upon reservations, upon their native heath, let them take their land in severalty on their reservations, encourage them to go to work, and when they have gone to work protect them in their labor and in the property they acquire by their labor. In a word, extend the protection of the law over them, and subject them to its penalties when they violate it. Treat them as persons, as human beings, not as wild animals.
Mr. Teller. The senator says the Indians should have their lands in severalty. I should like to inquire of the honorable senator if the progress in civilization made by the five civilized tribes has not been with land in common?
Mr. Brown. Yes ; I understand they hold the fee-simple in common.
Mr. Brown. I have no doubt in a very short time they will abandon the practice of holding the fee-simple in common. With their order of intelligence and enlightenment they will soon have the same idea of individual rights of property and of individual protection that we have. It is true, as I understand our treaties, (and I am for strict good faith in the observance of treaties), we have no right to compel them to take their lands in severalty; but I have no doubt in a few years they will divide them in severalty among themselves. As we started out wrong, I think in the future in dealing with the different tribes we should start right, and give the land to them in severalty at the cominencement.
Mr. President, I want this matter put where there can be no doubt about it, so that when the Indians desire to conform to the laws they shall have the right to do it under the protection of the law.
In the treaty made in 1854 with the Omahas there was provision made that their lands might be allotted in severalty whenever the President thinks proper to do so. I understand that they have sent petition after petition to the President to permit the division, and let them have their lands in severalty, but that a deaf ear has always been turned to them. The time has not yet come when the President has in his discretion concluded that it was best to perunit them to have those treaty regulations carried out. I would make the provision imperative, that when they comply with certain provisions laid dowu by law they shall have a right to the patent. Take the Omahas, for instance. As they have not any land in severalty, what inducement is there for the industrious, frugal, attentive Indian to labor for his advancement and the advancement of his family? If he undertakes to build a house and clear lands and raise stock he knows not what tiine he may be driven away from it. He knows not whether under a new apportionment that land will fall to him or to another, or whether it will be taken by the white man. Our own race would neither build houses, clear lands, nor make other im
provements under any such uncertainty as to their right to enjoy the fruits of their labor in future.
If the Omaha says, “ The treaty provides that I may have my land in severalty," the reply is, “ You have never got the exercise of the discretion of the President to permit you to do it.” What encouragement is there then ?
I understand there are bad Indians in every tribe and there are good Indians; there are lazy Indians and there are industrious Indians; and the way to encourage industry is to let each man who labors with his hands feel that he labors on his own soil and is protected by the laws of the country that are thrown over bim, avd, like a shield, guaranty him against robbery and wrong. Then you stimulate his industry; he has something to work for; but where he is driven from post to pillar at the will of the government, or an official of the government or of the army, what inducement do you hold out to him to act industriously or to make him a comfortable home or to make his family comfortable and happy? None whatever. We hold out the reverse. The ancestors of the present Indians once held the whole continent in fee-simple. We have taken it from them. Is it asking too much of us, when we have a vast unoccupied territory that the white man is not yet able to cultivate, that the descendants of the original proprietors of the whole should have the privilege of locating homesteads on this vast domain where they can labor for a livelihood and be protected in the fruits of their labor?
I understand it is the wish of the chiefs of many of the tribes to continue the tribal relations. They are like all other human beings, I suppose; they love power, and they want to continue things as they are so that they may have control of their people. Therefore they carry them from point to point, and frequently we see that they come here and sell out; the country is disposed of by four or five men agreeing that they will move off a hundred or a thousand miles from the place of their nativity, and all the tribe must leave their homes becanse a certain amount of money lias been spent on four or five chiefs here. I say to encourage the common Indians to take their homesteads and settle down upon them and go to work and abandon the tribal relations and become peaceable citizens of the United States, is in my judgment the best solution of the Indian question. As long as they roam or are driven from one point to another we cannot expect they will settle down and become good citizens. Whenever you hold out the inducement and say to the Indian, " Take your homestead here, build your house, clear Jour plantation, raise your stock, send your children to school, and he who comes here to steal your pony shall atone for it in the penitentiary; he who takes your life shall go to the gallows, and you, too, shall conform to the laws or suffer the penalties,” you will find them or at least a large proportion of them ready to do it. If there be those among them who will not do it, subject them to the laws until the penal statutes properly executed have brought them to subjection. That is the way to civilize them, in my opinion. Do justice to them. I do not believe there is any other plan that will ever solve ilis Indian question short of their extermination from the continent.
I knew a few of them in my own State who staiid when the Cherokee tribe left there, mostly half-breeds, some quadroons. They have taken reservations there, and are as good citizens as any we have in the State. They are intelligent, they are law-abiding, they are orderly; part of them are good Christiau men and women, and they are exemplary citizens. Why may it not be so elsewhere if we give them the same opportunities?
I trust, Mr. President, that we shall pass this bill in a shape that will give every Indian a home on his reservation, and guaranty it to him and his children for all time to come, and that the power of alienation will be re
stricted until he has learned the rights and the duties of an American citi.
After that let him and his posterity take care of it or alienate it as may any one else. Fix a reasonable time; exempt their homestead from taxationi. After that time there is no further exclusion in the fourteenth constitutional amendment in the way of counting them in the representative population of the States where they may reside, and no reason that I can see why they may not be full-fledged citizens and voters.
SPEECH OF Hon. Joseph E. Brown, DELIVERED IN THE SEXATE OF TIE
UNITED STATES, FEBRUARY 17, 1881, ON THE FUNDING BILL. Mr. Brown said:
Mr. President: So much has been said upon this question that the Senate is doubtless fatigued with the discussion and they could not patiently hear further speeches of any great length. It is not my purpose, therefore, to enter into a general discussion of the questions involved in the issue now before us. I ain unwilling, however, to cast my vote without stating a few of the reasons which control my judgment in the premises.
As has already been said by other senators, we have paid off a large part of the public debt incurred by the war within the last ten years; and while the taxes of our people have been heavy they have not been such as to prevent us from moving forward to a high tide of prosperity. The country as a whole has probably at no time been more prosperous than it now is. Within the last twenty years the area of production, or the increase in the acreage of cultivation, has been enormous. Our population has increased at a rapid rate, and it has already reached over fifty millions. We have a vast territory of unsurpassed fertility. The American people are a hardy, laborious people, full of energy and enterprise, ambitious for success, and determined to accumulate wealth. During the last few years our principal crops have been about doubled in quantity, and our facilities for transportation have been so largely increased that all our productions of every character, to say nothing of our manufactured articles, find a ready market either at home or in foreign ports. Not many years ago corn was a very common fuel in parts of the West during the winter season where wood was scarce, and wheat and pork and other productions of the country found scarcely any market, leaving the people on the fertile plains of the West, without market, with but little to stimulate their energy or enterprise, content to make enough produce to live upon, and to remain at home and enjoy it. Now we have some ninety thousand miles of railroad in operation, penetrating every section of the country that has been settled by our people, and pressing forward into the uncultivated wilderness, leading and inducing population to follow. This state of things, together with the wars and oppressions of some of the European governments, has bronght to our shores a largely increased number of immigrants, each of whom finds a home in a rich country, where by labor he can soon make himself and his family comfortable.
A few years ago our exchanges were conducted almost entirely upon the cot. ton and tobacco crops of the South. Now the grain crop and the meat crop of the West enter very largely into the account. Why? Because the mar. kets of the world are now open to these productions, which can be sent over long lines of railroad at low rates to the coast and then rapidly transported across the ocean upon steamships. The result has been that the last few years have shown an enormous balance of trade in our favor, which has poured a stream of gold into the United States from other countries to pay