Our relations with the Indians have been governed chiefly by treaties and trade, or war and subjugation.
These are hallowed moments, when every American has reason to express his gratitude to Almighty God that it has been our good fortune to witness the light of this auspicious morn.
It is unfair to suppose that one party has invariably acted rightly, and that the other is responsible for every wrong that has been committed.
The intrusions of the white race and the non- compliance with treaty obligations have been followed by atrocities that could alone satisfy a savage and revengeful spirit.
A Christian people who have for two hundred years kept a race in bondage, deprived of the advantages of civilization and religion, owe them a debt of gratitude which it would seem ungenerous to withhold.
Looking at the purpose of our government toward the Indians, we find that after subjugating them it has been our policy to collect the different tribes on reservations and support them at the expense of our people.
The more we study the Indian's character the more we appreciate the marked distinction between the civilized being and the real savage.
Whether or not our system of Indian management has been a success during the past ten, fifty, or hundred years is almost answered in the asking.
On the contrary, if they are treated with justice and humanity, proper example and the advantages of education given them, the coming years will be as bright and prosperous to the unfortunate race as the past has been dark and painful.
For a time during the early settlement of this country peace and goodwill prevailed, only to be followed later by violent and relentless warfare.
If the graves of the thousands of victims who have fallen in the terrible wars of the two races had been placed in line the philanthropist might travel from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and from the Lakes to the Gulf, and be constantly in sight of green mounds.
No administration could stop the tidal wave of immigration that swept over the land; no political party could restrain or control the enterprise of our people, and no reasonable man could desire to check the march of civilization.
One hundred years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth, the Spanish government issued a decree authorizing the enslavement of the American Indian as in accord with the law of God and man.
Step by step a powerful and enterprising race has driven them back from the Atlantic to the West until at last there is scarcely a spot of ground upon which the Indians have any certainty of maintaining a permanent abode.
The troops were occasionally occupied in pursuing scattered bands going north or south, and on three occasions the large camp of Sitting Bull ventured south of the Canadian border, and important expeditions were sent against them.
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