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or starve. Considering, as the untutored Indian does, that labor is a degradation, and that there is nothing worthy of his ambition but prowess in war, success in the chase, and eloquence in council, it is only under such circumstances that his haughty pride can be subdued, and his wild energies trained to the more ennobling pursuits of civilized life. There should be assigned to each tribe, for a permanent home, a country adapted to agriculture, of limited extent and well-defined boundaries, within which all, with occasional exceptions, should be compelled constantly to remain until such time as their general improvement and good conduct may supersede the necessity of such restrictions. In the mean time, the government should cause them to be supplied with stock, agricultural implements, and useful materials for clothing; encourage and assist them in the erection of comfortable dwellings, and secure to them the means and facilities of education, intellectual, moral, and religious. The application of their own funds to such purposes would be far better for them than the present system of paying their annuities in money, which does substantial good to but few, while to the great majority it only furnishes the means and incentive to vicious and depraving indulgence, terminating in destitution and misery, and too frequently in premature death.
The time is at hand for the practical application of the foregoing views to the Sioux and Chippewas, as well as to some of the more northern tribes on the borders of Missouri and Iowa. Congress has made an appropriation for negotiations with the Sioux for a portion of their lands, which should, as far as practicable, be conducted on the principles laid down in the instructions given to the commissioners appointed for that purpose last year, and which were communicated with the annual report of my predecessor. Those instructions contemplated the purchase of a large extent of their territory, and their concentration within narrower limits upon lands remote from the white settlements and the Chippewas -objects of primary importance in view of the general policy already stated.
Since the treaties of 1837 and 1842, with the Chippewas, a considerable portion of those Indians have continued, by sufferance, to reside on the ceded lands east of the Mississippi river, in Wisconsin and Minnesota, where they have for some years been brought into injurious contact with our rapidly advancing and increasing population in that quarter. Having ample facilities for procuring ardent spirits, they have become much injured and corrupted by unrestrained indulgence in the use of that accursed element of evil. To remedy this unfortunate state of things, it was determined at an early period of the present year, to have these Indians removed northward to the country belonging to their tribe. Measures for this purpose were accordingly adopted; but, in consequence of the very late period at which the appropriation requisite to meet the necessary expenses was made, only a small number have, as yet, been removed. Their entire removal, however, will not sufficiently relieve our citizens from annoyance by them, as they will for some time have the disposition, and be near enough, to return with facility to their oid haunts and hunting-grounds. Nor will the situation of the Chippewas, generally, then be such as their well-being requires. They own a vast extent of territory on each side of the Mississippi, over which they will be scattered, following the chase and indulging in their vagrant habits, until the wild products of the country, on which they depend for a subsistence, are exhausted, and they are brought to a state of destitution and want. Efforts should therefore be made, at as early a period as practicable, to concentrate them within proper limits, where, with some additional means beyond those already provided, effective arrangements could be made to introduce among them a system of education, and the practice of agriculture and the simpler mechanic arts. The best portion of their country for this purpose is west of the Mississippi river; but it is not owned by the whole tribe in common—a considerable part of it being the exclusive property of particular bands, who are not parties to any of our treaties, and receive no annuities or other material aid from the United States. This circumstance not only excites dissatisfaction with the Government, but produces much jealousy and bad feeling towards the rest of the tribe, which may hereafter lead to serious difficulty; and as the game on which they mainly depend for the means of living must soon fail them, the government will be under the necessity of interposing to save them from starvation. A wise forecast and the dictates of a benevolent policy alike suggest that timely measures be taken to avert so disastrous a result. This may easily be done, and at a moderate expense compared with the importance of the objects to be accomplished.
In order to enable the Department to carry out these views in reference to the whole Chippewa tribe, I respectfully recommend that Congress be asked for an appropriation at the ensuing session, to defray the expense of negotiating a joint treaty with the different bands, for the purpose of acquiring so much of their country on the east side of the Mississippi as we may require for a long time to come; to provide that the whole of their remaining lands, together with their present and future means, shall be the common property of the whole tribe, so that all will be placed upon an equal footing; and that as large a proportion of their funds as practicable shall be set apart and applied in such a manner as will secure their comfort, and most rapidly advance them in civilization and prosperity. With such arrangements for this tribe, and the adoption of a like policy towards the Winnebagoes, now located in their vicinity on the west side of the Mississippi, and the Menomonees, soon to be removed there, the whole face of our Indian relations in that quarter, would, in a few years, present an entire and gratifying change. We should soon witness in this, our northern colony of Indians, those evidences of general improvement, now becoming clearly manifest among a number of our colonized tribes in the south-west ; and which present to the mind of the philanthropist and the Christian, encouraging assurance of the practicability of regenerating the red race of our country, and elevating them to a position, moral and social, similar if not equal to our own. There are two evils in the section of country referred to, operating injuriously upon the welfare and interests of the Indians in that quarter, and our citizens engaged in trade among them, which require prompt attention, and which must be suppressed before our Indian relations there can be placed upon a safe and satisfactory footing. These are, first, the immense annual destruction of the buffalo, and other game by the half breeds from the British side of the line, generally in the employinent of the Hudson's Bay Company; and, secondly, the introduction of ardent spirits among our Indians by the traders of that company. The embarrassment and injury to our Indians resulting from the devastation of game by these foreign depredators, have justly occasioned much dissatisfaction among them, and, if not soon checked, serious difficulties may well be apprehended. The introduction of ardent spirits among the Indians by the persons referred to, is not only an aggravated evil, but is derogatory to the authority and dignity of this government.
Our laws and regulations prohibit the introduction of spirituous liquor among the Indians, as well as the ingress of foreigners into their country for purposes of trade, or indeed for any purpose without permission from the proper authorities. A strict compliance with these laws and regulations is required of our traders, while the traders of the Hudson's Bay Company, in contemptuous disregard of them, frequently come over on our side of the line, and, through the nefarious means of ardent spirits, carry on a corrupting traffic with the Indians, injurious alike to them and to our licensed and bonded traders. Suitable measures should be promptly adopted to put a stop to these abuses; for which purpose, the establishment of a military post and an Indian agency in that quarter will be indispensable; and, in the present state of affairs, this cannot be done at too early a period.
It was expected that the Menomonees, for whom a location has been provided between the Winnebagoes and Chippewas, would be removed this year; but before the exploration of their new country by a party of these Indians had been completed, the season was too far advanced for the tribe to emigrate before the approach of winter. The President, therefore, in a just spirit of humanity, gave them permission to remain in Wisconsin until the first day of June next.
The Stockbridge and Munsee Indians, residing in Wisconsin, having, in 1848, ceded all their lands to the government, are expected to settle somewhere in the same region of country. The treaty which provides for their removal stipulates that, in the selection of a country for their future residence, they shall be consulted ; and they have expressed a preference for a site in the vicinity of the St. Peter's river. As soon as a suitable location can be found for them, and their removal effected, Wisconsin, like most of the other States, will be relieved substantially of the evils of an Indian population.
As usual with the Winnebagoes, in whatever situation placed, a considerable number of them have been restless and discontented in their new location on the Upper Mississippi, to which they were removed in the year 1848. This has arisen less from any well-grounded objection to the country, than from their own reckless disposition and vagrant habits, together, possibly, with an omission on the part of the government to do all that might have been done for their comfortable settlement in their new home. There was considerable difficulty in effecting their removal; and a portion of them, eluding the agent of the government charged with the superintendence of their emigration, remained behind. These, with others who returned to their old haunts in Iowa and Wisconsin, gave serious annoyance to our citizens by their threatening conduct and actual depredations. The white population became more or less alarmed, and strong representations were made to the government of the necessity for their immediate removal. The urgency appearing to be great, there was but little time to make the necessary arrangements for the purpose. A resort to military force was considered inexpedient, as it might have tended to exasperate their feelings and lead to actual hostilities. And it was greatly to be desired, that they should be taken to their country under cir
cumstances calculated to allay, their discontent, and dispose them to remain.
My predecessor, therefore, with the concurrence and approbation of the head of the Department, entered into a contract with a gentleman recommended for his high character and great influence over these Indians, to remove them in a kind and judicious manner, and to make suitable and satisfactory arrangements for their comfortable and permanent settlement. It appears that the measure has thus far been attended with corresponding results, and that the contractor is entitled to credit for his energy and success in the prosecution of his undertaking.
In examining the reports of my predecessors for several years, I find a measure of policy strongly urged with reference to the tribes located on the borders of our Western States, in which I fully concur. It is, by a partial change in their relative positions, to throw open a wide extent of country for the spread of our population westward, so as to save them from being swept away by the mighty and advancing current of civilization, which has already engulphed a large portion of this hapless race. To a large majority of those that have been removed there from the States, we are under obligations of the highest character, enjoined alike by contract and conscience, to secure to them their present homes and possessions forever; and, ere it be too late, we should make all the arrangements necessary and proper to a faithful discharge of this solemn duty.
Below the most southern of our colonized tribes, we have an ample outlet to the south-west; but another of higher latitude is required, leading more directly towards our remote western possessions. A beginning will be made in carrying this measure of policy and humanity into effect, by the purchase, as contemplated, from the Sioux of a large portion of their country; and it may be fully consummated by the removal of a few tribes between the Sioux territory and the Kansas river, with whom we have no treaty stipulations, guarantying in perpetuity their present possessions. Suitable locations may be found for them south of that river, where, secure in comfortable and permanent homes, they would be stimulated by the salutary influence and example of neighboring and more enlightened tribes.
That the border tribes in question are in danger of ultimate extinction from the causes indicated, must be evident to every well informed and reflecting mind; and it is equally clear that the adoption of the policy recommended is the only practicable means of averting the melancholy fate with which they are threatened. If they remain as they are, many years will not elapse before they will be over-run and exterminated; or, uprooted and broken-spirited, be driven forth towards the setting sun to perish amidst savage enemies on the plains, or the sterile and in hospitable regions of the Rocky Mountains. Such a catastrophe would be an abiding reproach to our government and people, especially when it is considered that these Indians, if properly established, protected, and cherished, may at no distant day become intelligent, moral, and Christian communities—fully understanding, and appreciating the principles and blessings of our free institutions, and entitled to equal participation in the rights, privileges, and immunities of American citizens.
It is among the tribes of our Southern colony that we find the most satisfactory and encouraging evidences of material advancement in civilization; and we need no better indication of the wisdom and humanity of our Indian policy, thus far, than the gratifying results among a number of these tribes. Surrounded in the States where they formerly resided by a white population continually pressing upon them, and without the natural enterprise and energy, or the intellectual culture, requisite to enable them to contend with a superior race in any of those employments and pursuits upon which the dignity and happiness of man depend -discouraged and depressed by their inferior and helpless condition, they, with a fatal and ruinous facility, adopted only the vices of the white man, and were fast wasting away. In a few years, they would have become extinct, and, like other once numerous and powerful tribes, their names would have been preserved only in the records of history. Removed from this unfortunate and to them unnatural position ; placed where they have the assurance and guaranty of permanent homes; where they are, in a great measure, free from those influences arising out of a close contact with a white population, so injurious and fatal to them in their untutored state; and where the elements of civilization could be steadily and systematically introduced among them—they are gradually increasing in numbers and rapidly advancing in prosperity.
Several of these tribes have already abandoned their original and crude forms of government and adopted others, fashioned more or less after the model of our own—having regularly established constitutions of republican character, and written laws adapted to their peculiar state of affairs, with proper and responsible officers to carry them into execution. They are adopting agricultural and mechanical pursuits, and, through the efforts of the government and of various Christian societies, having become impressed with the necessity and advantages of education, they are making highly commendable exertions to disseminate more generally its blessings among them.
In addition to the means furnished by government and liberally provided by missionary associations, they make large appropriations from their own funds towards the establishment and support of manual labor schools, which have been found efficient auxiliaries in imparting to them a knowledge of letters, agriculture, and mechanic arts, and of advancing them in civilization and Christianity. During the few years that institutions of this description have been in operation, they have done much towards the accomplishment of these great objects; and, had they effected nothing more than to excite the desire for instruction now existing among a number of the tribes, the expenditures they have occasioned would not have been in vain. Introduced, however, as an experiment, we were liable to errors in regard to them, which experience alone could develope; and after much reflection, I am satisfied that there are defects in the system as at present organized, which must be remedied in order to ensure its full degree of efficiency and usefulness. In my judgment, confirmed by the experience of others, the great error committed has been in establishing most of the institutions upon too large a scale. In consequence of the heavy expenditures required to establish and maintain them, they are necessarily limited in number, and so wide apart as to be at an inconvenient distance from the great majority of those for whose benefit they are intended. Hence, the advantages and benefits of the schools are confined almost entirely to the neighborhoods within which they are respectively located; for the Indians at a distance being naturally averse to having their children taken so far from their homes, it often happens