CAH vol 5 Chap 4 Native Americans
Native Americans Confront America’s Expansion Westward Since the initial arrival of Europeans in North America, there had been tension and conflict between Native Americans and white settlers. As early as the colonial period, legislation enacted by Congress would radically alter the lives of these aboriginal Americans once the Anglos began to covet the vast land resources under their purview. Beginning with the Indian Removal Act of 1830, forcible relocation would move Indians from lands east of the Mississippi to the western side, creating an area ripe for conflict. America’s nineteenth-century Western frontier became a theatre for this battle, a place where rugged and individualistic frontiersmen were the most likely to encounter and clash with the Indians. Hotly debated within white American society was the choice between assimilation versus extermination. This duality shaped the events of the period, from the establishment of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) under the War Department in 1824, and its later removal and assignment to the newly formed Department of the Interior under its cabinet officer in 1849. A statement as early as the Peace Commission of 1868 conflated the Indians with the classical concept “of the Indian as a noble savage . . . the very embodiment of courage.” Much akin to the plight of the African slaves in early America, this concept of the barbarian was utilized to justify subjugation and repression of the Indians. This would set the stage for even greater debate between the BIA and the army, a power struggle that would ensue well into the twentieth century. While at first the government intended to allow Indians to maintain their sovereignty as foreign entities living within the United States, this plan did not prove to be an tenable reality in the long term. As time passed, peaceful coexistence was threatened by the persistent desire and demand by white settlers for grazing lands, arable farmland, and the quest for precious metals. Most American presidents of the early nineteenth century advocated removal; President Andrew Jackson believed that removal was a necessity “because Indians had neither the intelligence, the industry, the moral habits, nor the desire of improvement to live among whites” (White 89). The plan for removal was originally meant to be voluntary; because it was not enforced, most tribes resisted. In the end, the Five Civilized Tribes of the South (the Choctaws, Chickasaws, Creeks, Seminoles and Cherokees) were the ones primarily affected. By the end of the 1830s, the tribes had all moved west. In addition to the Indian removals in the 1830s, another event precipitating these larger conflicts was the passage of the Homestead Act of 186,2,which provided 160 acres of free land to any settler who paid a small filing fee and resided on and improved the land for five years. Through the Homestead Act and between 1862 and 1890, approximately two million people settled moved into land previously occupied by Indians. Many of these lands had already been cleared of the native population, so the Act did not directly or immediately push Indians off of their lands. However, it set the stage for the onslaught of Americans rushing westward to seek lands and a better life. The Sioux, a subset of the Lakotas, had lived in the affected area for Page 1 of 44
CAH vol 5 Chap 4 Native Americans hundreds of years; they saw the invasion of settlers as a legitimate threat to their way of life. Persistent expansionist desires catalyzed efforts at subjugation and forced their removal, after they had gained such a preeminent foothold prior to the eighteenth century. Establishing dominance early helped to consolidate power among various, disparate tribes. Increases in wealth, power, and “expansionist” designs of both polities set them both on a collision course with the imperialistic goals of the United States. Powerful, connected, and well-armed Indian tribes were a frightening prospect for the American military leaders at the time. As settlers sought out more and more lands for themselves, the Indian populations had to contend with an even greater challenge: greed and continued westward expansion on the part of the U.S. government. Members of the newly formed Department of the Interior wished to push the railroads westward, a desire that also had the consequence of bifurcating Sioux lands, further enraging the tribe against the Americans and leading to continuous warfare in the early 1860s between the Sioux and the United States. The frequent battles prevented merchants in towns such as Sioux City, Iowa, and St. Paul, Minnesota, from getting supplies to Montana miners. The army attempted to force peace on the Sioux, to no avail, precipitating the establishment of a “Peace Commission” by President Jackson in 1868. One of the repressive edicts handed down by the peace commission commanded the military to ensure that Indians remain on their reservations, being particularly careful to prevent them from leaving. This order, in addition to the influx of miners after the discovery of gold in the Black Hills area of the Sioux reservation, only exacerbated the situation, the climax of which came on June 26, 1876, at the Little Big Horn River. Earlier that year, on January 31, 1876, followers of Sioux chief Sitting Bull had been ordered onto their reservation under threat of punishment. The U.S. government wanted to keep the Sioux off of open lands, restricting them instead to their reservation. Besides the tribe members who wanted to leave the reservation for hunting purposes, there were warriors who were eager to engage in battle with the interlopers. When two Sioux chiefs, Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, ignored the order and allowed some of their followers to leave the reservation in order to gather supplies, the Department of the Interior involved the U.S. Army. Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer and the 7th Cavalry set out at the order of the U.S. government in pursuit of errant tribes. On June 25, 1876, he and his troops came upon the Sioux and Cheyenne encampment on the plains surrounding the Little Big Horn river. Custer split his command into three parts between himself, Captain Frederick Benteen, and Major Marcus Reno. Benteen, along with three companies, was sent to ensure that no Indians were encamped in the Little Bighorn Valley, above the main camp. Custer, along with five companies, and Reno, with three, headed down the river to attack the camp. Reno crossed the river and approached from the south; Custer planned to approach from the north. Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, and their warriors were first surprised by the attack and initially fled; however, they quickly regrouped, and Sioux and Cheyenne warriors engaged the attacking cavalry forces in battle. Reno, under attack, ordered his troops Page 2 of 44
CAH vol 5 Chap 4 Native Americans to fall back across the river; when he did so, the entire force of the Sioux and Cheyenne was concentrated on Custer and his troops. More than two hundred soldiers were annihilated in less than an hour. The Sioux considered the Battle of the Little Bighorn a triumph; the U.S. government and the military considered it a humiliation. However, the Native Americansâ€™ celebration was short-lived. By the following year, the Sioux had been forced to give up the Black Hills and had been moved into reservations. The removal of Native Americans to reservations was only one of many tactics in which the U.S. government engaged in order to control them, at best, and decimate their culture, at worst. Of all of the legislation enacted by Congress during the time period of the Indian conflicts, none would have as far-reaching and unintended consequences as the General Allotment Act of 1887, also known as the Dawes Severalty Act. The act and its designers (principally Massachusetts senator Henry Dawes) hoped to instill Indians with the same ideas whites held about land ownership and property rights; the government and the wider culture hoped to assimilate Native Americans into mainstream society through the same means. Under the Dawes Act, each Native American head of household was given 160 acres; single adults (over the age of eighteen) and orphans under the age of eighteen were given 80 acres each; and single persons (not orphans) were given 40 acres each; any individual who did not choose his or her own land within four years would be assigned land by the government. The property would be held in trust by the government for twenty-five years, and could not be leased or sold by the recipient of the allotment. Upon the end of the trust period, the land would be conferred to the Indian, who would also be granted U.S. citizenship. The acreage not allotted to Native Americans would become available for white settlers to buy. This goal was a double-edged sword, however; the more improvements Native Americans introduced to their land, the more white settlers wanted to make that same land their ownâ€”whether by legal means or otherwise. As a result of pressure from speculators and landhungry white settlers eager to buy the surplus lands, land formerly held by Native Americans was more than halved by the turn of the century, shrinking from 155,000,000 acres before the advent of the Dawes Act, to 77,000,000. Greed and underhanded dealings were not the only obstacles to the implementation of the Dawes Act. While the Indians were made to adopt a more traditional, agrarian-based lifestyle, the sizes of the allotments were insufficient to support self-sufficient agriculture to any real extent. Semi-arid conditions hampered progress as well. Droughts exacerbated the situation, and these small apportionments were insubstantial for raising cattle or any other type of grazing herd. Before the introduction of advanced irrigation techniques, Indians subjected to the Allotment Act would have found themselves struggling to make their fledgling farms productive. Further complicating matters, the Indians were expected to make their living as farmers; however, the education and training offered them by the government were wholly inadequate. Besides the difficulties in bringing the actâ€™s goals to fruition, there was also the problem inherent in forcing an apposite culture onto another. The culture of communal land use embraced by the Indians was the polar Page 3 of 44
CAH vol 5 Chap 4 Native Americans opposite of the individualistic, self-sufficient ideology of white Americans. As bureaucrats strove to supplant Native American culture, they viewed the act as a tremendous windfall, considering it a favor to Native Americans that their culture was being assimilated into the dominant culture. The Dawes General Allotment Act succeeded in precipitating the dissolution of the tribal structure that was so inherent to Native Americans. Various “uplift” groups agreed that it was necessary to force Indians to abandon their lifestyle, culture, and beliefs in order to assimilate into American white culture as a whole. Others saw the traditional Indian lifestyle as something that necessarily had to be broken. Native Americans, viewed as “savages,” had to be “civilized”—it was their only hope for survival. Much akin to antebellum slave society in the Southern United States, a belief was propagated that Indians were somehow “less” people than were white men. With the stated goal of repressing the culture of Native Americans, the BIA pushed for the Native American assimilation into American society. This plan was the impetus for the rise in the boarding-school movement. An additional extension to “educating” the children, the boarding mechanism served as a way to transplant younger children and keep them away from the cultural influences and reinforcement of their families and relatives. Captain Richard Henry Pratt founded one of the earliest of the boarding schools, the Carlisle School in Pennsylvania, in 1879. Believing that Indian ways were inferior to those of whites, he subscribed to the principle “kill the Indian and save the man’" (http://content.lib.washington.edu/aipnw/marr.html). His statement encapsulated one of the major underpinnings of the movement, which was to remove all vestiges of Native culture and societal connections in order to “humanize” and thereby assimilate them. The cultural differences between Indians and Anglos was ripe for conflict: the lack of understanding white Americans had for the Indian belief structure and religious practices instigated their prejudicial responses and use of words such as “immoral” or “corrupted” to describe the Indians. A strict program of separating the children from their parents and extended family was deemed necessary in order to strip them of their culture and traditions. Thus, complete separation was important, and if persuasion did not convince parents to send their children off, force became necessary. Later, in the 1880s, threats to withhold rations from reservation families were used if parents could not be convinced otherwise. Word traveled quickly around the various reservations about the activities that went on at the schools, including compulsory participation in American sports; the requirement to speak English only, as well as the ban on native languages; the tendency to cut off braids and forbid ornamental hairstyles; and the insistence on conformity to white American dressing norms. Morning slumber was punctuated by the perpetual bells that rang throughout the day for Native children in boarding schools. One former student, Joyce Simmons Cheeka, lamented, “Everything happened by bells, 'triangles´ they were called. A triangle would ring in the morning and we would all run, line up, march in, get our little quota of tooth powder, wash our teeth, brush our hair, wash our hands and faces, and then we all lined up and marched outside. Whether it was raining, snowing or blowing, we all went outside” (http://content.lib.washington.edu/aipnw/marr.html). Other Page 4 of 44
CAH vol 5 Chap 4 Native Americans daily tasks and courses were similarly regimented. Because the children were young, the assumption was that they had known and experienced so little of traditional native life that it would be easy to remove them from it and retrain them in the ways of white culture. Furthermore, the prohibition on speaking Native tongues would perpetuate the Americanist ideal, all the while diminishing the number of native-speaking Indians as generations evolved. Such efforts by the BIA were largely unsuccessful, however, as not only did parents attempt to revolt, but children did as well, often successfully. Few forgot the transgressions BIA educators were responsible for while they were on the reservation. Children, for their part, were prone to setting fires to their school buildings, destroying property, and threatening teachers and administrators, all in their attempts to revolt against the boarding school system. What was widely viewed as the “Indian problem” could never be solved in a hundred years, let alone in the few years a child would spend in their respective boarding schools. Return to the reservation following schooling meant—sometimes awkward—re-assimilation into their families and the more familiar structures of the traditional tribal units. All of these measures taken by the U.S. government—the allotment of tribal lands, forced agricultural lifestyles, boarding schools—were meant to force Native Americans to join the American mainstream; it was believed that, once the Indians had shed their identities and traditions and become like white Americans, they would be accepted into the greater society. This belief, however, remained largely untrue. Instead, Indians lost their lands on a mass scale and watched the slow dissolution of the family and communal structure of tribes. Corruption within the Bureau of Indian Affairs would be a contributing factor to the loss of native lands to white settlers as Bureau agents helped facilitate the transfer of Indian’s lands. Despite everything the government and the public were doing to destroy traditional Native American lifestyles, many Indians were working hard all along to try to preserve their culture and history. One of those measures included the Ghost Dance. Wovoka, a Paiute prophet, had begun to spread the message of the Ghost Dance throughout the plains in 1889. He said that he had had a vision in which the Great Spirit had asked him to spread the word of acceptance and peace among his fellow Indians, to avoid war with both one another and with the whites, and to love one another. In order to achieve these ends, the Great Spirit gave him the Ghost Dance, which would bring about the world’s renewal and would bring the living back into contact with those they had lost. Wovoka would bring the dance to his people, and they would perform it. Representatives came to him from various tribes, learned the dance, and returned with it to their people. The Lakota longed for days past; they had been plunged into despair by the loss of their lands, the loss of the bison, and their forced acculturation by the American government. The Ghost Dance, for them, led to a renewed sense of hope. Searching for ways to resist white control, they accepted the Ghost Dance, viewing it as an extension of the Sun Dance, which had been suppressed by whites in 1883. The Lakota came to believe that the performance of the Ghost Dance would make them invincible to attacks by whites. While some settlers and government officials did not view the Ghost Page 5 of 44
CAH vol 5 Chap 4 Native Americans Dance with alarm, others did, even if they did not express concern initially. As the Ghost Dance grew in popularity among tribes, the government became increasingly more nervous about it. BIA agent A. B. Reynolds believed that it had to be stopped because it encouraged belief in and practice of Native American traditions—something the United States was trying to stop. After all, Indians were supposed to be assimilated into U.S. culture by then—they were not supposed to be practicing their old beliefs. The Ghost Dance symbolized all that was barbarous, backward and immoral about the Lakotas and all of their Indian brethren. Military officials and civilians posted on or near reservations began to report their concerns to Washington, D.C. With an order coming directly from President Benjamin Harrison in 1890, General Nelson Miles hurriedly began calling up troop regiments from all over the Dakota district in response to concerns over the Ghost Dance. Tensions ran high as fears of an imminent uprising—or perhaps new Indian war—was in the making. Daniel Royer, who headed the Pine Ridge agency, presented some of the most alarmist responses to the revival of the Ghost Dance. He requested governmental intervention, and troops were dispatched on November 17, 1890. For a while, the occupying forces kept the Indians from practicing the Ghost Dance. However, events occurring on December 15 set in motion a new course of action. At the Standing Rock Reservation, Lakota chief Sitting Bull was killed as tribal police attempted to arrest him. Sitting Bull’s followers fled the reservation and headed south to join the Sioux leader Big Foot and his followers. The group traveled further south, and the army eventually intercepted them on December 28, twenty miles from Pine Ridge. The morning of December 29, the 7th Cavalry was in the process of disarming the his followers when one or more shots were fired; it is still unclear who fired the shot(s). Some historians hold that a gun accidentally went off as a member of the cavalry struggled to disarm one of the Lakotas; others assert that a Lakota medicine man, Yellow Bird, threw a handful of dirt into the air, which served as a signal to others; five or six Indians began firing. Regardless of the cause, the troops opened fire immediately; some Lakotas returned fire, but many fled. At the time, government sources stated that approximately 150 Lakota men, women, and children were killed, along with an estimated 25 soldiers; however, modern estimates place the number of Lakotas killed at nearly 300, and the number of soldiers at more than 60. It was also a harbinger of the end of the Sioux Wars. The myth of the old West is one that has been perpetuated through grandiose tales of gunfights between cowboys, epic battles between Indians and pioneers, and showdowns outside the local saloon. History reveals a deeply imbued romanticization of the American conquest of the Western frontier; consequently, many myths must be deconstructed in order to reveal the societal underpinnings that drove U.S. policy toward native Americans throughout the nation’s early history. Various themes from economic avarice, to religious and societal repression, to cultural and physical subjugation based upon the white man’s belief in racial inferiority, must be accounted for in any consideration of centuries of conflict that reached its climax in the final three decades of the nineteenth century. -James Molnar Page 6 of 44
CAH vol 5 Chap 4 Native Americans
CHRONOLOGY 1824 March 11: The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is established under the War Department. 1830 May 28: President Andrew Jackson signs the Indian Removal Act into law. The act gives the president the power to negotiate treaties with Native American tribes living east of the Mississippi River; the treaties meant that the tribes would give up their eastern lands for land west of the Mississippi. Some tribes moved of their own accord; others fought removal. 1836 The Creeks are ordered to move west. 1837 By this point, forty-six thousand Native Americans have been moved west, from their land east of the Mississippi. Winter 1837 – 1838 The Chickasaws migrate west; failure on the part of the U.S. government to live up to an 1832 treaty forces the Chickasaws to have to pay the Choctaws to live on their land. Fall 1838 – Winter 1839 The Cherokee nation is forced to abandon their lands in the southeastern United States and relocate to modern-day Oklahoma. This journey, known as the Trail of Tears, results in four thousand Cherokees, out of nearly fifteen thousand total, dying along the way. 1849 The BIA is transferred to the Department of the Interior. 1855–1856 The Puget Sound, or Yakima, Wars begin during the beginning of settlement of the area that becomes the states of Washington and Oregon. The confluence of large numbers of white settlers moving into the area occupied by the Cayuse Indians, with the attendant building of a fort, leads to heated conflict. 1856 Wovoka, a Paiute religious leader who developed the Ghost Dance, is born. 1858 The Coeur d'Alene War ends the Puget Sound, or Yakima Wars. 1861 February: The Apaches declare war on the United States; a series of wars Page 7 of 44
CAH vol 5 Chap 4 Native Americans ensue, lasting for the next twenty-five years. 1862 May 20: The Homestead Act is passed and signed into effect. Under the act, any adult citizen of the United States could claim 160 acres of surveyed government land. The act leads to the loss of land for many tribes. 1863 January 29: The origination of the Oregon and California Trails leads to an influx of settlers, trappers, and traders into the Washington Territory (presentday Idaho), which is occupied by the Shoshone Indians. The Shoshone tribe begins to starve as game is depleted and they are pushed further to the fringes of their land. This loss of land and food leads to a conflict known as the Bear River Massacre or the Massacre at Boa Ogoi. An army detachment led by Colonel Patrick Connor descends upon the river valley and leads his men into a bloody conflict that takes the lives of nearly 750 Native American men, women, and children. The clearing of this region leads the way for a Mormon settlement into the area. 1864 November 29: Per the terms of the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie, various Indian bands from seven different nations enter into a peace agreement with the U.S. government. The discovery of gold, however, in the lands occupied by the Arapaho and Cheyenne Indians leads to a tremendous influx of white settlers and prospectors, as part of the Gold Rush. The Treaty of Fort Wise, signed in 1861, cedes many of those lands, leaving the Cheyenne with a pittance of their former territory. Conflict between settlers and Indians begins to increase because of these pressures, increasing the number of troops sent to the area to protect the settlers. Despite a truce between Cheyenne chief Black Kettle and the U.S. government, elements of the First and Third Colorado Cavalry march on his encampment, slaughtering hundreds of Indian warriors, women and children; the events of this day become known as the Sand Creek Massacre. 1865 A series of wars begin between the Sioux and the United States. A congressional committee begins a study of the Indian wars and uprisings in the West. 1867 After completing their study, the congressional committee releases their Report on the Condition of the Indian Tribes. The report leads to the establishment of the Peace Commission, which has the goal of avoiding future wars with Indian tribes. 1869 January: While talking to Comanche chief Toch-a-way at Fort Cobb, Missourit, U.S. Army general Philip H. Sheridan states, â€œThe only good Page 8 of 44
CAH vol 5 Chap 4 Native Americans Indian is a dead Indian.” 1874 The discovery of gold in the Black Hills of Dakota Territory brings an influx of white miners to Native American landing, thereby beginning a series of conflicts between the Sioux, white settlers and miners, and the U.S. government. 1876 January 31: The U.S. government orders Sioux chief Sitting Bull and his followed onto their reservation under threat of punishment. June 25: Colonel George Armstrong Custer and more than 200 of the soldiers under his command die during the Battle of the Little Big Horn. Sitting Bull and his tribe flee to Canada after the battle. 1876–1877 Located in present-day South Dakota, the Cheyenne lived in a timber- and mineral-rich expanse of territory in the Black Hills. Despite the Treaty of Fort Laramie, settlers and prospectors had been rushing into the area since the discovery of gold, inciting skirmishes between settlers and Indians. A peace negotiation party of Sioux chiefs meets with President Grant in Washington, D.C., seeking an agreement, or, at the very least, hoping that the government will make good on their promises. When negotiations fail, a series of battles take place, often led on the Indian side by Crazy Horse or Sitting Bull. Prominent battles include the Battle at Rosebud and the Battle at Slim Buttes. 1877 March 5: Rutherford B. Hayes is inaugurated as the nineteenth president of the United States. June: Nez Perce chief Joseph leads followers on a 1,300-mile, three-month trek toward Canada; various battles occur between the Nez Perce and the pursuing U.S. Cavalry. October 5: Approximately twenty miles from the Canadian border, Chief Joseph surrenders to General Nelson Miles. 1879 The Carlisle Indian School is founded in Pennsylvania by Richard Henry Pratt. 1881 March 4: James Garfield is inaugurated as the twentieth president of the United States. July 2: Attorney Charles Guiteau shoots Garfield. September 19: Garfield dies. September 20: Chester Arthur, formerly Garfield’s vice president, is inaugurated as the twenty-first president of the United States. 1883 Page 9 of 44
CAH vol 5 Chap 4 Native Americans Sitting Bull surrenders to the U.S. government; he and his followers are assigned to the Standing Rock Reservation, in present-day South Dakota. 1885 March 4: Grover Cleveland is inaugurated as the twenty-second president of the United States. 1886 September 4: Apache chief Geronimo surrenders, thereby ending a twentyfive-year war between his tribe and the U.S. government. 1887 February 8: Congress passes the General Allotment (Dawes) Act; under this act, tribal lands will be divided among individual Native Americans to be held “in severalty” for twenty years, with the expectation that they will become farmers and cultivate the land. At the end of the twenty years, Indians will hold title to the land and be granted citizenship. “Surplus” land will be sold to non-Indians. The act is considered a tremendous step toward the “Americanization” and liberation of Native Americans; however, the act results in land loss and further marginalization for Indians. 1889 March 4: Benjamin Harrison is inaugurated as the twenty-third president of the United States. Wovoka begins to spread his message about the Ghost Dance to other tribes. Representatives of the Lakota Sioux visit him in Nevada to learn about the dance. 1890 December 15: As Sitting Bull is being arrested by tribal police on the Standing Rock Reservation, he is accidentally killed. His followers travel south toward the Pine Ridge Reservation. December 29: At Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota, while a final group of holdout Lakota Sioux are being forced onto their new reservation in Nebraska, accidental gunfire by a member of the tribe (most sources say Black Coyote) sets off a gunfight , eventually resulting in the deaths of approximately 150 Lakota men, women, and children (300 by modern accounts) and approximately 25 members of the Seventh Cavalry (65 according to modern accounts). The events of that day become known as the Massacre at Wounded Knee. 1893 March 4: Grover Cleveland is inaugurated as the twenty-fourth president of the United States. 1897 March 4: William McKinley is inaugurated as the twenty-fifth president of the United States. Page 10 of 44
CAH vol 5 Chap 4 Native Americans 1901 March 4: McKinley is inaugurated in his second term as president. September 6: President McKinley is shot by anarchist Leon Czolgosz. September 14: McKinley dies. He is succeeded by his vice president, Theodore Roosevelt. 1904 September 21: Chief Joseph, of the Nez Perce, dies. 1905 March 4: Roosevelt is inaugurated in his second term as the twenty-sixth president of the United States. 1909 February 17: Geronimo dies after being thrown from a horse. March 4: William Howard Taft is inaugurated as the twenty-seventh president of the United States. 1913 March 4: Woodrow Wilson is inaugurated as the twenty-eighth president of the United States. 1917 March 4: Wilson is inaugurated in his second term as the twenty-eighth president of the United States. 1932 Wovoka dies.
documents Document 1: General Miles and Geronimo The following article, published October 11, 1886, in The New York Times, outlines the surrender of Apache chief Geronimo to General Nelson Miles. . Geronimo had originally surrendered to General George Crook on March 27, 1886, in Mexico. During the trip back to the United States, he and thirtysix other Indians escaped from the army. General Nelson Miles relieved Crook of duty, and put Gatewood on the case. In July of that year, Miles and Gatewood joined forces in pursuit of Geronimo, who was still evading capture. Gatewood eventually persuaded Geronimo to surrender to Miles; he did so on September 3, 1886. In the following article, Miles reaffirms that no terms will be granted in the surrender. [end headnote] Gen. Milesâ€™s annual report, as commander of the Military Department of Arizona and New-Mexico, which has been received at the War Department, is a voluminous document, containing a full history of his operations against Geronimo and his band, together with a statement of his position in regard to Page 11 of 44
CAH vol 5 Chap 4 Native Americans the terms of surrender. It is learned that this part of his report sets forth minutely the official orders received by him; his own orders placing Capt. Lawton in immediate command; the system of signaling adopted, &c., and afterward recites substantially the following details: A few days prior to the surrender a deserter from Geronimo’s band came into Gen. Miles’s camp with the information that the renegades were short of food, clothing, and ammunition, were footsore and nearly exhausted from long marches, and could not hold out much longer. Thereupon Gen. Miles ordered Lieut. Gatewood, who knew Geronimo and Natchez well and spoke the Apache language, to take a guard of two men, obtain a parley if possible with Geronimo, and see if he would surrender. This mission Lieut. Gatewood accomplished successfully. He informed Geronimo, in answer to the chief’s question, that he had no authority to offer him terms. Geronimo then asked to be taken to Capt. Lawton, who was in the neighborhood. This was done, and on repeating the question asked Lieut. Gatewood Capt. Lawton told him he could make no terms and that he must surrender. Geronimo then wanted to see Gen. Miles and both parties, Capt. Lawton and command and Lieut. Gatewood and Geronimo, Natchez and their band, set out for the North, traveling for some days on parallel lines and within sight of each other. In the meantime a messenger had been sent ahead to inform Gen. Miles of their approach. On coming into Gen. Miles’s camp Geronimo, as before, asked what terms would be given him if he surrendered. The General replied that he had no terms to offer; that if he and his band surrendered at all they must surrender as prisons of war; that they must lay down their arms and trust to the President of the United States. Upon this Geronimo laid down his arms and signified his willingness to surrender, but Natchez, who had in the meantime kept out of reach and refused to come in, sent word that he wanted to go to the White Mountains for a month, whereupon Geronimo went out after Natchez and soon returned with him. Geronimo, in explanation and justification of his conduct, said that he left the reservation for the reason that there was a conspiracy afoot there headed by Chatto to murder him. Geronimo, Natchez, and two others were placed in an ambulance, followed by the rest of the band in charge of Capt. Lawton, taken to Fort Bowie Station and shipped to Texas. Gen. Miles, in his report, argues at some length the question of punishment, and calls attention to the fact that heretofore in such cases removal has been deemed sufficient. He cites several cases in which no greater punishment has been inflicted; speaks of the great good done Arizona by their removal, and suggests that they be treated as other Indians have been treated under similar circumstances. He highly compliments Capt. Lawton, Lieut. Gatewood, and the officers and soldiers generally, for their meritorious services during the campaign. From an army friend of Lieut. Gatewood it is learned that he found Geronimo and his band encamped near the Mexican town of Fronteras, in Sonora, an old Mexican adobe hamlet, surrounded by an adobe wall. It was at one time a mission settlement founded by the Jesuits. When Lieut. Gatewood came upon the band he left his guards and alone walked into Geronimo’s camp. On seeing the intruder the Indians seized their guns, but on the Lieutenant laying down his arms and beckoning Geronimo, whom he Page 12 of 44
CAH vol 5 Chap 4 Native Americans recognized, the Indian also laid down his gun and came forward. The two seated themselves on a pile of stones. Geronimo wanted to know what kind of a man Gen. Miles was, whether he had a bright eye or a dull one, whether he talked fast or slow, whether he was a large man, and what was his general appearance. He wanted to know all about him. Gatewood replied that Gen. Miles had a bright eye, did not talk much, but what he said could be relied on. The Indian was much pleased with this assurance, and together they walked away to find Capt. Lawton. Gov. Zulick, of Arizona, is in the city, and this afternoon had a long interview with the President, presumably concerning the question of Geronimo’s punishment, but when interrogated as to the result of the interview and his opinion of Gen. Miles’s report, he very firmly stated that as to the first question, his interview was of a confidential nature and not for the public, and as to the second question, he did not care to discuss a report of which he knew nothing. He stated, however, that he had great confidence in Gen. Miles’s judgment and other soldierly qualities, and believed him to be a brave and efficient officer. Source: “General Miles and Geronimo,” The New York Times (October 12, 1886) [page nos TK].
Document 2: The Dawes Bill and the Indian March James B. Thayer’s introspective piece from the May 1888 issue of the Atlantic Monthly evaluates the efficacy of the General Allotment (Dawes) Act. The article discusses, once again, the “solution to the Indian question.” The magazine's editors concurred that removing the tribal structure and “Americanizing” the Indians was the key to fixing the problem. Indian title to the lands, however, is questioned, with the supposition made that “had these lands been occupied by Christian people, their title to the land would have been respected.” Nevertheless, it seems apparent throughout the article that the fertile lands they occupied would be much better if settled by white men. [end headnote] On February 8, 1887, the enactment of a great, far-reaching, and beneficent law relating to the Indians was completed by the signature of the President. So important a measure deserves to be carefully studied and exactly appreciated. This is the more desirable, because there is danger lest the greatness of the present achievement should lead good men and women to slacken their vigilance, and to forget that much yet remains to be done. The severalty law, still best known as the “Dawes Bill,” by the name of the distinguished Senator who secured the passage of it, contemplates and goes far to make certain the abolition of all the civil and political disabilities of the majority of the Indians, and the granting to them of land in separate ownership; but it does not accomplish all this at once. Moreover, there is much which it has not undertaken to do at all. What, then, is the exact scope of the law? What has it done, and what has it not done? What should now be undertaken? Page 13 of 44
CAH vol 5 Chap 4 Native Americans 1. As to what the law has done. It deals with two subjects only, namely, the ownership of land and citizenship. These things have no necessary connection with each other. A man may own land without being a citizen, or having the right to become one. A Chinaman, who cannot, under our present laws, be naturalized, may own land; and many a tribal Indian, not yet a citizen, has long owned it. A. Of these two things, it is the land question with which the severalty law is primarily and mainly taken up,—with provisions looking first to securing to the individual Indians the ownership of separate parcels of land; and second, after taking our land enough to satisfy these separate allotments, to getting the rest of the reservations into the market, and thus opening them to settlement and occupancy by the whites. It has long been perceived that the key to the solution of the Indian question lies in a just arrangement about their land,—one which should abolish the tribal title, give to individuals the ownership of reasonable quantities, and throw open to settlement all the rest. In general, as it is well known, our law has mainly dealt with the Indians by tribes, and not as individuals, and has not recognized, even in the tribes, ownership of the land they occupied, in any strict sense of the word. England, like the other states of Europe, claimed the lands of the New World by the right of discovery. Had these lands, when found, been occupied by “Christian people,” their title to the land would have been respected; but barbarous races were at that period dealt with in a very different way. The Indians were perceived to be human beings, and so capable of rights; and they were allowed a right of occupancy in the land, in such reasonable amounts, at any rate, as they actually inhabited and used. They were not quite on a footing with the wolves and wild-cats that also tenanted this country; for, unlike them, they did have their right of occupancy. But when they went away the right was gone; and it has been repeatedly laid known by the Supreme Court of the United States that the “Indian title,” as it is sometimes called, was not inconsistent with the fee simple, the absolute ownership, being in other persons. So that it is not too much to say that the soil of the country was granted by the Europeans, and has since passed from hand to hand, upon a theory which, as regards ownership of the soil, placed the Indians and the wild animals that roamed over it upon the same footing.1 But there came the inevitable process of adjustment, of fixing the boundaries of the “Indian country,” and taking a cession of their claims to all the rest; and then, further cessions and treaty arrangements, and removals of the Indians to new and remoter regions. In this way their slender rights to the land became modified; some tribes acquired and absolute title, and others a smaller right than that, but greater, or at least securer, than before. We moved most of them to the West, and were fain to forget them. But that was not so easily done. The country grew; and in recent years, instead of their being isolated and far beyond our settlements, it has come to pass that they are in the midst of them. The tide of our population has crept in and around and behind their reservations, and swept far beyond them. People look over into the fertile Indian tracts from which they are shut out, and covet them; and they Page 14 of 44
CAH vol 5 Chap 4 Native Americans begin to break through and steal. It has long been seen that these regions must be opened; that the ownership or control of great tracts of country by tribes—tribal control, that strong bulwark of the power of the chiefs—must be broken up; that individual Indians should be allowed the immense stimulus towards a civilized life which comes with the separate ownership of land; and last, but by no means least, that the clamor of outsiders for a chance at the Indians’ unused and wide-stretching fields must, in some honest way, be met. Indeed, this “greed of the land-grabber” it is to which leading supporters of the severalty law now look as furnishing a main impulse to the rapid execution of it,—recalling, perhaps, the familiar scripture: “Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee.” This matter, then, this dealing with the land question, takes up the body of the new statute. And what is it, exactly, that it does about the Indians’ land? 1. It authorizes, but it does not require, the President, in case any Indian reservation has good agricultural and grazing land (and it may probably be assumed that there are none in which there is not some such land, so that we may say that it authorizes the President, in the case of all reservations), to cause a survey of “said reservations, or any part thereof,” and to allot the land in specified amounts (for example, one quarter of a section to each head of a family) to such of the Indians, men, women, and children, as may apply for it in the designated way. So far it is wholly optional with the President whether he will offer anything to the Indians, and then with the Indians whether they will accept what is offered. But after four years from the time when the President directs the making of allotments on any specific reservation, if there be any Indians who have not come forward and claimed their share of land, the Secretary of the Interior is authorized, but he is not required, to compel all of these reluctant Indians to take an allotment, and, to that end, to appoint a person to select for them. It will be noticed, then, that the President has the power, in the case of all the reservations, (1) to proceed at once to a survey and allotment of all the lands; and (2) within four or five years—four years, in the case of each reservation, from the time that an allotment is ordered thereon—to fix each head of a family and each single person, among the tribal Indians, man, woman, or child, with the ownership of a considerable tract of land. This process, on several reservations, has already begun. So far all relates to the reservations. But there is another class of Indians, not very numerous,—wandering people, and others not living on reservations. As regards these, it is provided that they may settle upon any public lands not otherwise appropriated, and have an allotment, upon application to the local land-office, without the usual payment of fees. As touching these Indians, all is optional with them: they may proceed at once; no one can, at any time, compel them to take their land; and on the other hand, they need not wait for the action of President or secretary. There are matters of detail which it would not be instructive to enlarge upon; for example, provisions as to regulating the use of water for irrigation, and for extending over the reservations those laws of the adjoining State or Page 15 of 44
CAH vol 5 Chap 4 Native Americans Territory which relate to the descent and partition of land. The chief of these matters of detail is a provision that the Indian owner of land in severalty cannot for twenty-five years convey this land, or make “any contract...touching the same.” 2. But there is more which concerns the Indians’ land. Little mention has yet been made of that part of it where the mainspring lies,—that appeal to “the land-grabber,” to cite again the phrase of an eminent champion of the law,—which seems likely to bring a pressure upon our public officials that will start them into activity. The allotments to individual Indians may take but a small fraction of the whole reservation: these allotments run from forty acres up to a hundred and sixty acres apiece, and in some contingencies to a possible three hundred and twenty acres. Much land may be left. The law therefore authorizes the Secretary of the Interior, when all the allotments have been made, or sooner, if the President thinks it “for the best interests” of the tribe, to purchase from the Indians the whole or any part of the reservations not needed for allotments. This, then, may be done immediately, or at least as soon as it can be ascertained how much must be reserved for allotments. In this part of the law, also, there are details which need not be mentioned, with the exception of two: 1. The purchase money to be paid by the government for this land does not go directly to the Indians, but is to be held in the United States Treasury, on interest at three per cent, subject to appropriation by Congress for the education and civilization of the Indians of the particular reservation. One would feel a good deal surer of the proper application of that money if it were to be put into some trust company, upon specific and defined trusts. 2. Another provision requires all the land thus obtained by the government which is “adapted to agriculture” to be disposed of only to actual settlers, in tracts not exceeding a hundred and sixty acres to one person; and no patent (that is, no government deed) is to be issued until the grantee has occupied his tract for five years. Such, then, are the provisions of the severalty law about land: first, for breaking up tribal ownership, and giving to each tribal Indian, whether on or off a reservation, a separate title to a reasonable amount of land; and second, for opening to settlement all the rest of the Indian land. B. The other matter dealt with in this law is citizenship.2 All of this momentous part of the statute is found in the few lines of sec. 6; and it is not free from ambiguity. In order to understand it, one or two explanations are necessary. 1. It must be remembered that provisions for allotting land to Indians in separate ownership had previously been put into treaties and statutes. In this respect, the Dawes Bill only adopted and made of general application measures that had been here and there, in the case of particular tribes, made use of before; and this is the significance of the title, sometimes given to it, of the “General Land in Severalty Law.” 2. There have always been instances of Indians leaving their tribe, and settling among the whites. What the precise status of these people was had been made a question. Had they, by settling among the whites,—perhaps paying taxes and voting, and perhaps not, but still abandoning their tribe, and, as it were, expatriating themselves,—become citizens of any State or of the Union? Three years ago, this class of questions was mainly settled in the case of Elk v. Wilkens, 112 U. Page 16 of 44
CAH vol 5 Chap 4 Native Americans S. 94, where it was held that a tribal Indian could not become a citizen of the United States merely by thus abandoning his tribe and settling among the whites. 3. It must be remembered that a citizen of the United States is not necessarily a citizen of any State. A person born and always living in a Territory is never the citizen of any State, but he may be a citizen of the United States. Now, recognizing these things, let us see what sec. 6 of the severalty law accomplishes. 1. It declares that every Indian who has heretofore voluntarily left his tribe and adopted “the habits of civilized life” shall be a citizen of the United States. Whether those who do this hereafter are to become citizens thereby is no so clear. 2. It gives national citizenship to every Indian who shall have received an allotment of land under this law, or under any other law or treaty. The grounds for the doubt expressed just now as regards Indians who shall hereafter leave their tribe may be seen by comparing the language relating to that class of Indians with the expressions used in dealing with those who take allotments. The statute reads thus: “Every Indian...to whom allotments shall have been made...and every Indian...who has voluntarily taken up...his residence separate and apart,” etc. The general purposes and scheme of the statute give reason for construing these tenses as synonymous. 3. Upon the completion of all the allotments and the issuing of the government deeds in any reservation, those who receive them “shall have the benefit of and be subject to the laws, both civil and criminal, of the State or Territory in which they may reside.” This result is thought by many, including Senator Dawes, to follow immediately, in the case of each Indian, one by one, as fast as they receive allotments and deeds; and it is said that this construction is accepted by the Interior Department. The language is this: “Upon the completion of said allotments and the patenting of the lands to said allottees, each and every member...to whom allotments shall have been made shall have the benefit,” etc. There are several perplexing questions as to the precise effect and the proper construction and operation of sec. 6; but it is not best to enter further upon them here. This, then, is the upshot of the second part of the law, namely: (1) that all to whom land is patented becomes at once citizens of the United States; (2) that all who, before the law, had gone away and adopted the habits of civilized life (and perhaps all who thereafter do this) are declared to be such citizens; (3) that when all the Indians on any reservation have thus been made citizens (and perhaps as each in succession becomes a citizen), they are to pass from under the special control of Congress, and to come, so far as Congress may authorize this, under the jurisdiction of the States and Territories. As to the whole law, the main provisions of it may be put into a word or two, thus: It enables a willing President to give to the tribal Indians private ownership of land; and thereupon they become citizens of the United States. It also enables the Executive to acquire the remaining land of the reservations, if the Indians will sell it, and to open them to settlement. II. So much for what the law accomplishes. Now consider what it does not accomplish, and does not aim at. It is hardly necessary to say that the law does not seek to reach these grave results at once. That is apparent on the face of it. Some tribes, like the powerful Sioux, are not now ready to accept the new order of things. Even if all Indians were now ready, it may well be Page 17 of 44
CAH vol 5 Chap 4 Native Americans doubted by any President who cares for their best interests whether they should be made citizens at once, or with anything like the speed which would attend an immediate execution of the provisions of the law. For it must be observed that when this is done, Congress can no longer give any special protection to Indians; they are then at sea, in the same boat with all other citizens, and must sink or swim with them, and take their chance, with the rest, of being covertly thrown overboard by the majority. That is a very grave objection to giving immediate citizenship to Indians. If the severalty law, instead of giving citizenship at once upon the allotment and patenting of land, had adopted some such rule as that applied to certain Wisconsin Indians in 1865, or that in the case of certain Kansas Indians in 1873,3 requiring specified evidence of intelligence and fitness before citizenship was given, it might be assumed that the execution of the law ought to be pushed forward with all possible speed. But as things stand, it is by no means certain that it would be best to do that now, or that those will think it best who have the discretion to initiate proceedings. But even if we assume that the law will be rapidly put in force, it will take a considerable number of years before it accomplishes its purpose. What will be the situation in the interval? In order to answer that question, it must be observed what it is that the law does not do. 1. It does not cover the case of all the tribal Indians. Ten or eleven tribes are excepted, including the so-called “civilized tribes” in the Indian Territory. Very likely this may have been a wise omission,—at any rate in the main; but the fact continues, and should be kept in mind, that many thousands of Indians, perhaps a quarter or a third of them all, are not touched by the severalty law. 2. While it provides for the gradual picking off of members of the tribes, and planting them, here and there, on the reservations as citizens and land-owners, it provides them with no courts there, no means whatever of enforcing their rights there, and no system of law. There is little or no law on the reservations now except the vanishing traditions of tribal authority.4 Certainly an Indian lacks much who is set up in the middle of a reservation which may be several times as large as Massachusetts; endowed, to be sure, with citizenship and land, but with no courts to appeal to, and no organized political society about him. He has lost his old surroundings, and has not yet acquired any new ones; he has passed into a sort of limbo. “As far from help as limbo is from bliss.” 3. It leaves these land-owners with little power to use their land. They cannot let it on shares, or let it at all, or make any contract about it, or make an exchange. 4. There is no arrangement for securing to these new citizens the laying out of roads, or any other public improvements. Since their land is inalienable for a quarter of a century and untaxable, there is small inducement to any State or county to do much for them. Trouble has already arisen on this score, in the case of lands allotted under previous laws. 5. The law makes no provision for the education of these new citizens or their children. Page 18 of 44
CAH vol 5 Chap 4 Native Americans 6. It leaves the whole reservation system untouched. Outsiders are still to be kept out; only the agents and political officials from Washington and such as they admit may come in. Only the licensed Indian trader can do business there. The new citizen will, indeed, be in the same position on the reservation as any of us would be if we were to go out and live there. But what would that be? We should be full citizens, to be sure, with liberty to move away if we liked. But while we chose to stay there we should find the air not very invigorating; we should be subject to all the restraints and limitations upon our full rights which are incidental to maintaining a nonintercourse reservation system; we should find there the same prevailing barbarism, the same sickly, stunted, abortive civilization, the same absence of trade or commerce, the same mischievous and unfettered political control, denying civil and political rights to the tribal Indians who have not become citizens, and making beggars of them. III. What, then, remains to be done? 1. Courts and some system of law should be at once provided for the reservations, not merely to protect the newly created Indian citizens, but for all the Indians and others who may be living there. 2. Provisions should be made to enable the new citizens, with the approval of some suitable person, to use and perhaps to exchange their lands; and also to secure to them that necessity of civilization,—good roads. 3. The case of the Indians not covered by the severalty law should be dealt with. 4. A thorough system of compulsory education among the Indians should be adopted. 5. And finally, at least where the law is not likely to make an early ending of the reservation system, that whole accidental and outgrown scheme of non-intercourse and absolute power should be ended; and without making the Indians citizens all at once, the administration of their affairs should be carried on as that of other people’s affairs is carried on, namely, under the ordinary laws of the land, applied and administered by the authority of the general government. But as regards this matter, it would seem wise to wait a little, until it can be seen just how, and how fast, the severalty law is likely to work. One additional thing should be mentioned. It is of the utmost importance that the general government should not lose its control over the Indian question until it really means to part with it. Now in the race for the admission of new States which appears to be impending, and which, as some persons seem to think, may end the existence of almost all our “Territories” within a few months, our congressmen should be held to the utmost vigilance, lest the power of the general government as regards the Indians be cut down by any artful omission or turn of phrase in the acts for admitting new States. In the several organic acts of the Territories, and partly, also, in the Revised Statutes of the United States, there are provisions protecting the Indians from territorial legislation, and reserving the full authority of the general government over them; in some cases, there are clauses which in terms exclude the reservation from the territorial limits of the new community. This was the case, for example, in the Territories of Kansas and Nebraska, and of Colorado. What the effect of such clauses may be is shown in a very recent Page 19 of 44
CAH vol 5 Chap 4 Native Americans case in Nebraska,5 in which an act of the territorial legislature in 1855, undertaking to organize a county in an Indian reservation, was held void, after thirty years, on the ground that the reservation, although within the outside limits of the Territory, constituted no part of it, and was absolutely outside of its jurisdiction. When Kansas was admitted into the Union as a State, these same restrictions were wisely required to be continued, and they were enforced in 1866, by the Supreme Court of the United States, as against attempted legislation by the State.6 In speaking of the Shawnees, the court said, through Mr. Justice Davis: “If the tribal organization of the Shawnees is...recognized by the political department of the government as existing, then they are a people distinct from others,...separated from the jurisdiction of Kansas, and to be governed exclusively by the government of the Union.” But in 1864 and 1875, when Nebraska and Colorado were admitted, the same care was not taken. And accordingly, in 1881, the Supreme Court had to hold that the general government had lost its jurisdiction over offenses committed on the Ute reservation in Colorado.7 Mr. Justice Gray, speaking for the court, said, after referring to the territorial restrictions: “If this provision ...had remained in force after Colorado became a State, this indictment might doubtless have been maintained in the Circuit Court of the United States ...But the act of Congress...for the admission of Colorado into the Union...contains no exception of the Ute reservation, or of jurisdiction over it...The act necessarily repeals the provisions of any prior statute or of any existing treaty which are clearly inconsistent therewith.” It is not necessary to go further with these illustrations. Enough had been said to show the danger. It behoves all who care for the right settlement of the Indian question to see to it that in admitting any new States hereafter, the power of the general government as regards the Indians should not be diminished. James B. Thayer.
1. “This whole continent was divided and parceled out and granted by the governments of Europe as if it had been vacant and unoccupied land.” (Taney, C. J., in U. S. v. Rogers, 4 Howard at page 572.) For a brief statement as to the “Indian title” see U. S. v. Cook, 19 Wallace, 591. 2. It is interesting to notice that these words “citizen” and “citizenship,” which we use so freely and familiarly to-day as indicating membership of a selfgoverning State, did not have that meaning in English speech until a little more than a hundred years ago; and it is we, on this side of the water, who have given them this sense, as it is we who have given prominence to the thing for which these words now stand. The words, indeed, are very old in English usage, as one may see by his Blackstone; but they imported merely membership of a burgh or local municipal corporation. The word “was the English representative of our present term “citizen.” Our sense of it seems to have been a Gallicism; in French use (teste Rousseau) it was common enough to speak of one’s countrymen as citoyens and concitoyens. In the Declaration of Independence we read it once: “He has constrained our fellow-citizens.” Page 20 of 44
CAH vol 5 Chap 4 Native Americans etc.; and once in 1781, in the Articles of Confederation. In the treaty with France of 1778, the usual phrase is “subjects,” “people,” or “inhabitants,” but “citizens” does occur as applicable to the United States. In the treaty with Great Britain of 1782, it is used in a marked way: “There shall be a...peace between his British majesty and the said States, and between the subjects of the one and the citizens of the other.” There was evidently felt to be an awkwardness in calling these newly emancipated republican “sovereigns” of America by the old phrase of “subjects.” Of course, as all know, the word was freely used in the national Constitution in 1789; and so, but less freely, in the Massachusetts constitution of 1780; but it does not occur in the rejected constitution of 1778. I believe that it is not to be found in any of the ten state constitutions that were adopted before that of Massachusetts. In the ninth decade it seems to have become a familiar phrase. There are, however, interesting little signs, in the correspondence of the period, of a certain perplexity that was felt by foreigners at our use of the word. See, for example, in 1784, John Adam’s Works, viii. 213. 3. Rev. Stat. U. S., sec. 2312; 17 U. S. Stat. at Large, p. ?31. The last reads thus: “If any adult member of said tribe shall desire to become a citizen of the United States, shall prove, by at least two competent witnesses, to the satisfaction of the Circuit Court of the United States for the State of Kansas, that he or she is sufficiently intelligent and prudent to manage his or her own affairs, and has, for the period of five years, been able to maintain himself or herself and family, and has adopted the habits of civilized life, and shall take an oath of allegiance to the United States, as provided by law for the naturalization of aliens, he or she shall be declared by said court to be a citizen of the United States, which shall be entered of record, and a certificate thereof given to said party.” 4. If one were to speak with minute accuracy, he would have to except a certain amount of criminal jurisdiction in the United States, and in one or two States a claim, at least on their part to something more than that; but such laws are only enforcible by traveling to courts outside the reservation. Mention would also have to be made of the good and sensible endeavors on some reservations to administer a rude justice through the agents. But such attempts have no fixed basis of law. Indians, when off their reservation, are as fully protected by and amenable to the laws, and as fully entitled to sue in the courts, as any other class of persons who are not citizens of the United States; for example, as a newly landed Englishman or any Chinaman. The present writer may be permitted to refer to a fuller consideration of this question in the Harvard Law Review, i. 149. 5. State v. Thayer, 35 Northwestern Reporter, 200; decided November 16, 1887. 6. The Kansas Indians, 5 Wallace, 737. 7. U. S. v. McBratney, 104 U. S. 621. Page 21 of 44
CAH vol 5 Chap 4 Native Americans Source: James B. Thayer. “The Dawes Bill and the Indians,” Atlantic Monthly (March 1888): 315–322.
Document 3: Problems with the General Allotment Act The following article from Salt Lake City's Deseret News, published [DATE? ], 1889, outlines a report received by Indian Affairs commissioners from their special agent; according to the report, the Indians at the Devil's Lake reservation did not want to receive allotments. Despite the fact that the lands under allotment are exempt for twenty-five years, it is the idea of paying personal property tax immediately that is most egregious to the Indians. This objection furthered their feeling of being treated unfairly, which was compounded by their belief that they had been cheated out of annuities due them. [end headnote] The Commissioner of Indian Affairs received a report today from Special Agent Krewes, announcing the refusal of the Indians on Devil’s Lake Reservation, in Northern Dakota, to receive allotments in severalty as contemplated in the general allotments act of 1888. The matter of paying taxes is their greatest objection to taking land in severalty. They were told they would have no taxes to pay before the expiration of twenty-five years, and this was fully explained to them, but they could not be reconciled to pay taxes even on personal property. Other questions were brought up by the Indians. They alleged they have not been treated fairly by the Government, and that certain annuities were taken from them that ought to be restored. By errors in the exterior lines of the survey on the western boundary of the reservation, 64,000 acres of land were taken from them for which they would receive no pay. The error in the survey of the reservation of the boundary lines in 1875 complained of was referred to in the annual report of the Commissioner of the Land Office for 1877, and the claim for compensation for the loss of the 64,000 acres was, in the judgment of the Commissioner, a just one. No action in the matter, however, has yet been taken by Congress. Source: Deseret News (Salt Lake City) (1889) [page nos TK].
Document 4: The Death of Sitting Bull This article, published December 16, 1890 in The New York Times, highlights the death of Sitting Bull, who was killed while in the custody of tribal police. Sitting Bull is referred to as the "arch villain," in obvious polarity to the federal troops, who are made to seem the heroes in these matters. Moreover, the article states that his followers will lose their motivation, now that he is dead. [end headnote] The Old Chief Killed While Resisting Arrest. A Desperate Fight between His Followers and the Indian Police–Thirteen Page 22 of 44
CAH vol 5 Chap 4 Native Americans Said to Have Been Killed on Both Sides. A report has been received here to the effect that Sitting Bull, the Sioux chief, has been killed. It is stated that the Indian police started out this morning to arrest him, and meeting him three miles from camp tried to effect his capture. A fight ensued in which Sitting Bull was killed. The news of the killing has been confirmed by advices received by Gen. Miles at the military headquarters in this city. He received two dispatches this evening, the first from Pierre, S. D., stating that Sitting Bull and his son had been killed, but giving no further particulars. The other dispatch was from Standing Rock Agency, and stated that the Indian police started out this morning to arrest Sitting Bull, having understood that he proposed starting for the Bad Lands at once. The police were followed by a troop of cavalry under Capt. Souchet and infantry under Col. Drum. When the police reached Sitting Bull’s camp on the Grand River, about forty miles from Standing Rock, they found arrangements being made for departure. The cavalry had not yet reached the camp, when the police arrested Bull and started back with him. His followers quickly rallied to his rescue and tried to retake him. In the mêlée that ensued, the wily old chief is said to have been killed, and five of the best of the Indian police were also killed. A Pioneer Press (Dickinson, S. C.) specia says reliable dispatches received are to the effect that Sitting Bull’s camp was attacked by troops, and himself and seven warriors were killed. The remainder of the band are now in retreat up the Grand River, but it is not yet known definitely along which fork their trail will lie. Information of the most reliable nature was received to-day that a band of eight wagons were encamped on the Little Missouri opposite Pretty Buttes. It is therefore probable that the fugitives will make this camp their objective point. They will not be able without great exertion to reach the forks of Grand River to-day. It is estimated that 150 warriors are in the band, and this number is likely to be increased by other bands. Lieut. Casey, with a troop of Cheyenne scouts and Capt. Adams’s troop of the First Cavalry, are headed for the north end of the Powder River range, opposite the mouth of the Box Alder Creek. Capt. Fountain’s troop of the Eighth cavalry, with pack transportation, which will leave here in the morning for White Buttes, will probably intercept the band before it reaches the Little Missouri. If not, Lieut. Casey and Capt. Adams will do so. Settlers who are aware of the movements of the troops are little alarmed as the weather is such that intelligence of disturbances and of movements travels rapidly, and it is well known that the troops are so distributed as to have the situation in hand. A general outbreak on the Sioux reservation is not feared, and those disaffected bands which are now giving trouble will soon be placed where they will cease to be a cause of alarm for the settlers. The Sioux reservation is surrounded by troops, thoroughly equipped for a Winter campaign in the most difficult country. All are in communication with each other and department headquarters. No outbreak can become general in the face of the precaution already taken, and the wild rumors which have caused the population of entire valleys to fly for their lives are malicious and groundless. The arch villain is dead, and his followers will soon lose the Page 23 of 44
CAH vol 5 Chap 4 Native Americans enthusiasm necessary to follow his teachings. Troops are now hot on their trail and before another sun has set Sitting Bull’s celebrated chorus of dancers will be good Indians or prisoners. Source: “The Last of Sitting Bull,” The New York Times (December 16, 1890) [page nos TK].
Document 5: A Big Battle Expected As information on the battle of Wounded Knee trickled in via the transcontinental telegraph line,s the rumor that General Miles had been killed was quickly dispelled. The distance separating the battlefield from Washington, D.C., however, made the possibility of rumor more likely, as can be seen in the following article, published January 6, 1891, in The New York Times. It was presupposed, especially as Indian scouts and spies were relaying information to the Army, that a "huge" battle was soon to ensue. [end headnote] The Indian Situation Becoming More Alarming. A False Report of the Killing of Gen. Miles—The Relief of Gen. Forsyth Arouses Much Comment—The Killed at Wounded Knee OMAHA, Neb., Dec. 5.—The Bee correspondent telegraphs as follows: . . . The event of yesterday here was the taking away of twentynine wounded soldiers. Instead of all being taken to one point they will be distributed to Forts Omaha, Robinson, and Riley. The wounded left Rushville in special cars attached to the east-bound passenger train that left at 10:15 o’clock last night. Assistant Surgeon Glenon will have charge of the sufferers while en route, and will remain at Fort Riley when that point is reached. Privates Goodwin and Kuhn of the hospital corps also accompany the wounded, but will return here. Indications that the greatest battle in Indian history is almost at hand are increasing. The report of every scout adds new and strong support to these indications that were only emphasized by the bloody affair on wounded [sic] Knee. General Miles believes this and has said so in strong words. The small handful of Indian employes [sic] here affirm it vehemently. Before the terrific crash comes they want to try and rescue their relatives from the enemy’s camp and are now interceding with the authorities for permission, at the risk of their lives, to make the attempt. These Indians in Government employ also express the hope that they can induce many of those who were friendly before the Wounded Knee battle, and were remaining here according to instructions, also to come in and be saved from the certain annihilation that awaits them within the ranks of the hostiles. Extensive rifle pits are reported being dug twelve miles west of here by the hostiles, and the report is of such a nature that the authorities rely upon its truthfulness. Last night the hostiles burned many houses belonging to the settlers Page 24 of 44
CAH vol 5 Chap 4 Native Americans along the White River, and finished killing the last remnant of the great herd of Government cattle that they raided so heavily about a month ago and have been drawing on ever since. There is a rumor current in official circles here that a general call for volunteers to protect the adjacent territory will be made. The shooting of an Indian war arrow covered with pitch, partially burned, last night created considerable comment. The Indians have a superstition that if the first fire arrow fired into an enemy’s camp is extinguished in its flight it is evidence that their contemplated raid will be a failure. The arrow that came in last night was shot from the north and barely missed the head of a teamster who was unhitching a team a few yards south of the hotel, where the correspondents are quartered, which is near the center of the agency. Arrivals of physicians yesterday helped to make the largest assemblage of medical officers here that has occurred since the rebellion, coming as they do immediately after the battle of last Monday and the heavy skirmishes of Tuesday. The fact is plain that the War Department is convinced that great bloodshed is at hand. A special dispatch from Rushville, Neb., says: “Heavy cannonading has been going on north of here this morning, but no news of a battle has yet been received. The Omaha guards who volunteered their services have been ordered to hold themselves in readiness to move to the front. They are in fine form and have a Gatling gun attached to the command.” Source: “A Big Battle Expected,” New York Times (January 6, 1891) [page nos TK].
Document 6: The Lands of the Red Savages The title of this article alone immediately suggests a prejudicial stance, with its pejorative "Red Savages" to refer to the aboriginal Americans. In the short synopsis prefacing the article, which was published October 11, 1891, in the Chicago Daily Tribune, mention is made of the supposed fact that Indians "are always paid for their lands," an idea that has since been disputed many times in the ensuing century. Nevertheless, it is made to appear that the Indians were the transgressors, who were in no position to complain, since they had been treated fairly and judiciously at all times. This piece furthermore celebrates the end to traditional treaty making, as legislative changes refused to recognize tribal entities or individuals, further dispossessing them from the democratic process. Though "this law expressly respected existing obligations," it nevertheless reaffirmed the U.S. government's title to lands occupied by the Indians. Allotment is touted as a good idea, and elements of such are cited as a reinforcement,including the granting of citizenship and the paramount advantage: adapting the habits of "a civilized life." Though allotment is moving slowly, its progress is seen as acceptable because of the fact that education and instruction in an agrarian lifestyle takes time and is of the utmost importance in ensuring the success of the Indians on their new allotments. [end headnote] Page 25 of 44
CAH vol 5 Chap 4 Native Americans Commissioner Morgan’s Anxiety to Abolish the Reservation System— The Indians Are Always Paid for Their Lands—They Are Well Treated—Rights of the United States. Before Mr. Morgan’s appearance at the head of the Indian Bureau Congress had passed the Severalty Allotment law, which is based on a prospective, gradual abandonment of tribal reservations and the absorption of the red men into American citizenship. An even twenty years ago Congress passed a law declaring that “no Indian nation or tribe within the territory of the United States shall be acknowledged or recognized as an independent nation, tribe, or power with whom the United States may contract by treaty.” Up to that time the government had made with them, during the century preceding, between 800 and 400 treaties, which, however, did not concede to them the rights that belong to autonomous nations. This law expressly respected existing obligations, but from the first the courts had held that the ultimate title of all Indian lands was in the government, subject to the right of occupancy. It had been further held by the Supreme Court in repeated cases that the government had the exclusive power of extinguishing that right of occupancy by procuring a voluntary cession of it. Throughout the colonial period the Indian right of occupancy was respected by the Crown and the courts, and when lands were surrendered by the red men it was through the medium of a regular contract or treaty, usually with a consideration in the form of money or goods. When Great Britain acknowledged the independent of the United States the latter acquired her rights in the soil, and so it was with the purchase of Louisiana from France and of Florida from Spain. Our government has never extinguished an Indian title by right of conquest except one, during the Sioux outbreak in Minnesota about thirty years ago, and in this instance the proceeding was repaired by giving the Indians another reservation and the net value of the lands from which they had been evicted. During these processes of acquisition injustice was occasionally done to the Indians, but it was something to acknowledge invariably that their rights of occupancy must be extinguished by purchase, and if it be true that in some cases the Indians were virtually driven to sell, yet the government in the exercise of its right of eminent domain has frequently forced the relinquishment by whites also of land which it sought to acquire. An exception may appear in the Southwest and on the Pacific coast, since Mexico admitted no Indian title of occupancy except where it had been expressly ceded, but our government extended to the lands acquired under the treaty of Guadaloupe Hidalgo its uniform policy of laying out reservations for Indians; and then if the advance of civilization demanded the acquisition of a whole or a part of them it effected this by negotiation. Of the more than 160 reservations established in the country some depend on treaties or agreements, others on acts of Congress, and more than a third on Executive order. In the Indian Territory there are reservations regularly patented to Indian tribes in fee simple or in a qualified fee, with a reversion to the United States on its abandonment by them. The homes of the civilized tribes in the Indian Territory and one or two others in the States are expressly excepted from the operation of the Severalty Allotment act of 1887. Everything indicates that severalty allotments may ultimately be the Page 26 of 44
CAH vol 5 Chap 4 Native Americans rule among the quarter of a million Indians of this country. The wise provision of the law makes these allotments inalienable for twenty-five years. It gives to every head of an Indian family 160 acres; half as much to every unmarried person over 18 years of age and every orphan; finally forty acres to each person under 18. Its ultimate effect will be to break up tribal allegiance; in fact, Indians accepting allotments thereby become citizens, as are also those who have taken up their residence apart from a tribe and have adopted the habits of civilized life. The process of allotment under this act has undoubtedly been slow hitherto, but it is better that it should be so, since education and ability to earn a living by the cultivation of the soil, by grazing, by hauling, or in general by some form of manual skill or labor, are necessary to make the allotments most beneficial to the Indians. Much of the allotment work thus far has been done with the smaller tribes and bands, who have sold their surplus lands to the government and have occupied the portions set out to the extent already indicated. In spite of the enormous cessions of Indian lands made during the last few years the red men still hold nearly 100,000,000 acres, and possibly more. Since there are not more than 250,000 of them it is evident that large reductions could still be made in their holdings and yet leave them much more than is required under the allotment basis. Commissioner Morgan’s anticipation of a time “when the Indian reservation will no longer appear on our maps” echoes the expectations of his recent predecessors; but this should be rather the consequence of other steps in the progress of the race than the condition precedent. In Dakota with the Sioux, in Minnesota with the Chippewas, and in Montana with the Crows the needs for settlement have stimulated the acquisition of territory; but the education of the Indian and his preparation for entering into citizenship are more important than the reduction of reservations for the mere sake of reduction. Above all, it is necessary that the terms of purchase should be carried out in good faith prior to any opening of such lands to settlement. Source: “The Lands of the Red Savages,” Chicago Daily Tribune (October 11, 1891): 31. Document 7: A People without Law The following Atlantic Monthly article by James Bradley Thayer, published in November 1891, points out the tremendous irony in how the Indians cannot be “recognized as an independent nation or tribe,” which means no treaties can be made with them, yet war can be made with them. How, then, does one justify a truce, and enforce it? At the same time, it discusses how American criminal law supersedes tribal law, as of the 1871 act, and that “seven leading crimes—murder, manslaughter, assault, rape, arson and burglary,” can be tried in American courts. No longer does the reservation shield the Indians from such. These are characterized as a “deadly blow” to the tribal autonomy. [end headnote] . Page 27 of 44
CAH vol 5 Chap 4 Native Americans Three important statutes about the Indians remain to be mentioned, one of which was incorporated in the Revised Statutes. (a.) A statute of March 3, 1871, reads: “No Indian nation or tribe within territory of the United States shall be acknowledged or recognized as an independent nation, tribe, or power with whom the United States may contract by treaty,”—saving, however, the obligation of previous treaties. This was enacted twenty years ago. Did it abolish the existence of these separate political powers, nations, or tribes? No, we all know that they have continued and been recognized just as before. Did it abolish the carrying on of war with the Indians? No, we remember the horrible events of last winter, and a recent judicial decision in South Dakota, that the Indian known as “Plenty Horses” was not guilt of homicide in killing a white man during those troubles, because it was an act of war. Do we then carry on war with Indians and not make treaties with them? Yes. A strange absurd situation, is it not? Yet we do make “agreements” with them as with a separate people; and the chief result of this law is, and was intended to be, that it is no longer the President and Senate (the treaty-maker power) that conclude these measures, but the legislative body, Congress. This statute was the result of a struggle on the part of the House of Representatives to share in these proceedings, and was forced upon the Senate on the last day of a session by putting it into an appropriation bill. It was thought at the time by so competent an observer as General Walker, formerly Commissioner of Indian Affairs, to be “a deadly blow at the tribal autonomy;” and so it was, in the logic of it. But the step was not then followed up, for it did not represent any clear determination of Congress to end the old methods; and this strange notion of refusing to make treaties with a people with whom we continue to go to war has remained on our statute book as another of the many anomalies that mark our Indian policy. Is it not plain, however, that if we abandon the policy of treaties with Indians we should give up the practice of war with them? Our arrangements with them are now called agreements; but this gives them no added sanction; they are still to be dealt with on the analogy of treaties. (b.) The second statute to which I refer is that of March 3, 1885. It followed up timidly the logic of the law of 1871, though for only a step or two; but it marked the greatest advance yet reached in the process of assuming the direct government of the Indians. The law provides that thereafter Indians should be punished for committing upon Indians or others any one of seven leading crimes (murder, manslaughter, assault with intent to kill, rape, arson, burglary, or larceny): if in a Territory (whether on or off a reservation), under the territorial laws and in the territorial courts; and if in a State and on a reservation, then under the same laws and in the same courts as if the act were done in a place within the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States. This is a very important statute. In principle it claims for the United States full jurisdiction over the Indians over the reservations, whether in a State or Territory. Heretofore, the laws, for example the statue of 1817 and the renewals of it, had excepted the acts of Indians committed upon their fellows within the Indian country. The acts of Indians against white persons or of whites against Indians had been dealt with, but the internal economy of Indian government was not Page 28 of 44
CAH vol 5 Chap 4 Native Americans invaded in its dealing or refusing to deal with the relations of members of the tribe to one another. The constitutionality, even, of such legislation as this of 1885 had been denied. Judges had been careful to avoid asserting this full power in cases where the reservation was in a State. Thus the Supreme Court of the United States, in 1845, in holding good the law of 1817, which punished (in this particular case) the act of a white man against a white man in the Indian country, among the Cherokees, said: “Where the country occupied by them is not within the limits of one of the States; Congress may by law punish any offense committed there, no matter whether the offender be a white man of an Indian.” In 1834 Mr. Justice McLean had denied the power of Congress to legislate in this way for an Indian reservation in a State, while admitting it in a Territory; and in December, 1870, the judiciary committee of the Senate of the United States even went so far as to say, “An act of Congress which should assume to treat the members of a tribe as subject to the municipal jurisdiction of the United States would be unconstitutional and void.”1 But the air was at last cleared in 1886, when the Supreme Court of the United States had to deal with the indictment, under this statue, of one Indian for the murder of another Indian on a reservation in the State of California.2 It was laid down in this case, one of the landmarks of our Indian law, that the government of the United States has full power, under the Constitution, to govern the Indians as its own subjects, if it sees fit to do so, and to such partial or full extent as it sees fit; that nothing in the tribal relation or in any previous recognition of it by the United States cuts down this legislative power; that this is so not merely in the Territories, but on reservations within the States. The case, as I said, arose on a reservation in the State of California. “This proposition itself,” said the court, with no dissent, speaking through Mr. Justice Miller (that is, the proposition to punish under the laws of a Territory and by its courts a tribal Indian who commits a crime under another tribal Indian on a reservation in a Territory), “is new in legislation of Congress. . . . The second, which applies solely to offenses . . . committed within the limits of a State, and . . . of a reservation, . . . is a still further advance as asserting this jurisdiction over the Indians within the limits of the States of the Union. . . . After an experience of a hundred years of the treaty-making system of government, Congress has determined upon a new departure,—to govern them by acts of Congress. . . . It seems to us that this is within the competency of Congress.” Not less important than the decision itself is the principle on which it is put. In supporting the statute the government counsel had relied on the clause in the Constitution which gives Congress power “to regulate commerce with . . . the Indian tribes.” But the court boldly rejected this as “a very strained construction of this clause,” and rested its decision upon no specific provision of the Constitution, but upon the just inferences to be drawn from the nature of the situation, namely, that the Indiana are a decayed power, residing upon our soil and under the protection of the general government,—a Page 29 of 44
CAH vol 5 Chap 4 Native Americans people who must be governed by somebody, and whom, so long as their separate political existence is recognized by the United States, nobody but the United States has any right to govern. “The Constitution,” says the court, “is almost silent in regard to the relations of the government . . . to the numerous tribes of Indians within its borders. . . . While we are not able to see in either of these clauses of the Constitution” (namely, the one relating to the basis of representation, “excluding Indians not taxed,” or the clause giving Congress power to regulate commerce with the Indian tribes), “any delegation of power to enact a code of criminal law, . . . [yet] these Indians are within the geographical limits of the United States. The soil and the people within those limits are under the political control [either] of the government of the United States or of the States of the Union. There exist . . . but these two. The territorial governments owe all their power to the statutes of the United States. . . . [But] Congress has defined a crime committed within the State and made it punishable in the courts of the United States. . . . Congress has done it. It can do it with regard to all offenses to which the federal authority extends. . . . This is within the competency of Congress. These Indian tribes are the wards of the nation. They are . . . dependent3 on the United States, dependent largely for their daily food, dependent for their political rights. They owe no allegiance to the States and receive from them no protection. Because of the local ill feeling, the people of the States where they are found are often their deadliest enemies. From their very weakness and helplessness, so largely due to the course of dealing of the federal government with them and the treaties in which it has been promised them, arises the duty of protection, and with it the power. . . . The power of the general government . . . is necessary to their protection as well as to the safety of those among whom they dwell. In must exist in that government because it never has existed anywhere else, because the theatre of its exercise is within the geographical limits of the United States, because it never has been denied, and because it alone can enforce its laws on all the tribes.” Here, it will be noticed, is a comprehensive and statesmanlike declaration. It covers the entire ground; the government, if it pleases, can go on to extend its law fully over the Indians while they are still a separate people. Observe, now, one thing. The existence of this right and power, and the clear and authoritative declaration of it by the Supreme Court of the United States for the first time in 1886, have brought home to the Congress of the United States and to us all, now within these recent years, a great weight of responsibility. It may have been thought possible before to deny the legal power fully to govern the Indians. It cannot be denied now. Under such circumstances, the mere neglect or refusal to act is itself action, and action of the worst kind. (c.) The third and last of these statutes—and the last upon which I shall comment—is the General Land in Severalty Law (often known as the Dawes Bill). This was passed in February, 1887, within nine months of the great decision upon which I have just been remarking; the Page 30 of 44
CAH vol 5 Chap 4 Native Americans dates are May 10, 1886, and February 8, 1887. But it was pending in Congress at the time of that decision, and had long been pending there under bitter opposition. This great enactment opens the way, within a generation or two, to settle the whole Indian question. Whether it is to be regarded as a good law or a bad one, however, depends on the moderation with which it is administered. The peculiarity of it is not that its methods are new, for similar arrangements had repeatedly been made, for a score of years before, in the case of particular tribes, as the Winnebagoes in 1863, the Stockbridge Munsee Indians in 1871, the Utes in 1880, and the Omahas in 1882. But now, by a general law applicable to all reservations, the President is given power to make almost ever Reservation Indian outside the civilized tribes a landowner in severalty and a citizen of the United States against his will. The right of citizenship is made to follow the ownership of land. The scheme of the act is this: Whenever the President thinks that any Indian reservation, or any part of one, is advantageous for agricultural or grazing purposes, he may cause the whole or any part of the reservation to be surveyed and allotted in severalty, in specified amounts, among all the heads of families, single persons, and orphan children of the tribe or band. The Indian heads of families may select for their children, and the Indian agents for the orphans. If in four years from the ordering of an allotment no selection is made in any given case, it may be made by an agent on the order of the Secretary of the Interior. Patents (that is, deeds) are to be issued by the Secretary of the Interior. Patents (that is, deeds) are to be issued by the Secretary of the Interior on his approval of the allotments, setting forth that the United States will hold the land in trust for the allottee for twenty-five years, and then convey in fee to him or his heirs, free of all incumbrances. Meantime the alottee cannot convey or incumber the land, and, as it seems, it is not taxable. When these allotments and patents are all made (and perhaps sooner) the Indians are said by the terms of the statute to pass at once from the jurisdiction of the Untied States to that of the Territory or State in which the reservation is situated, and to become at once citizens of the United States. The construction of the law is doubtful, but it is the view, I believe, of the Indian Bureau at Washington that those results happen not merely when all is done, by man by man, as each has his allotment and his patent. I venture to question the soundness of that view. This statute also provides for allotments, with like results, to tribal Indians not on reservations who may settle upon the public lands. It makes citizens at once of all Indians who leave their tribe and voluntarily live apart from it, adopting the habits of civilized life. This last class of persons had been declared by the Supreme Court of the United States, in November, 1884, not to be citizens of the United States, in the absence of such legislation. It is important, also, to notice that Indians are stimulated to take their allotments by a clause that this shall be a ground of preference in appointments on the Indian police and other public offices. But the allotment may leave a surplus of land still belonging Page 31 of 44
CAH vol 5 Chap 4 Native Americans to the Indians. The severalty Act provides that after the lands have been allotted to all the tribe, or sooner if the President thinks it for the interest of the tribe, such portions as they will consent to sell may be purchased by the United States, for the sole purpose of selling it again (in tracts of not over one hundred and sixty acres to any one person) to actual settlers, who are not to have a deed until after five years of occupancy. The money is to be held by the United States for the benefit of the Indians. One observes that this last provision for obtaining the surplus land requires the consent of the tribe; the allotment does not. What happens, then, if this consent is not given? Evidently the tribe and tribal ownership of land may continue for some purposes after all the allotments are made. There are other difficulties in the construction of the act; but these need not detain us. Now this statute puts it in the power of the President to forward rapidly the absorption of the Indians into our body politic. It does not compel him to do it. How fast he will move we cannot tell; but it is manifestly possible for him to move a great deal faster than is wise. It cannot be well to incorporate into our Western Territories and States the bulk of the Reservation Indians as citizens within any short time. Observe what Senator Dawes said at the Mohonk Conference in October, 1887, soon after the passing of this law: “President Cleveland said that he did not intend, when he signed this bill, to apply it to more than one reservation at first, and so on, which I thought was very wise. But you see he has been led to apply it to half a dozen. The bill provides for capitalizing the remainder of the land for the benefit of the Indian, but the greed of the land-grabber is such as to press the application of this bill to the utmost. There is no danger but this will come most rapidly,—too rapidly, I think. The greed and hunger and thirst of the white man for the Indian’s land are almost equal to his ‘hunger and thirst for righteousness.’ That is going to be the difficulty in the application of this bill. He is going to press it forward too fast.” And the Senator added this advice: “Say that no Indian shall be put upon a homestead, under this act, until he realizes what is meant by it, and until he has such material round about him as will enable him to maintain himself there, and then let him work out his own destiny.” That was wisely said. In order to guard against this danger, there ought to be an amendment to the Severalty Law, requiring for many years to come the sort of evidence of fitness which has heretofore been demanded in several cases of allotments authorized by treaty or special law, as in that of certain Wisconsin Indians in 1865, and certain Kansas Indians in 1873. In the last-named case the provision was this: “If any adult member of said tribe shall desire to become a citizen of the United States, shall prove by at least two competent witnesses, to the satisfaction of the Circuit Court of the United States for the State of Kansas, that he or she is sufficiently intelligent and prudent to manage his or her own affairs, and has for the period of five years been able to maintain himself or herself and family, and has adopted the habits of civilized life, and shall take an oath of allegiance to the United States, Page 32 of 44
CAH vol 5 Chap 4 Native Americans as provided by law for the naturalization of aliens, he or she shall be declared by said court to be a citizen of the United States, which shall be entered of record, and a certificate thereof given to said party.” This sort of provision, in the case of an adult, is a reasonable and fit one. Without it there is no sufficient assurance that the Indians will not be crowded out into the world much too fast. I notice that our excellent Indian commissioner, General Morgan, who will remain in his present office, I trust, until he is promoted to a higher one, expresses the very sensible opinion, in his last report, that the surplus land ought not to be negotiated for until the allotments are all made. Now consider what the pressure to get hold of these lands is going to be. “The greed of the land-grabber,” like a strong mainspring, will be forever operating to secure the surplus land. If, as seems wise, the allotments must first be made, then it will be forever operating to secure allotments; and if, as the law is not interpreted, the Indians cannot have their allotments and patents without being thereby made citizens and subject to state and territorial law, the pressure of this dangerous and constant mainspring will be transferred to that point, and will be felt in a most serious way in hurrying them out from under the protection general government long before they should go. Consider what the condition of a vast proportion of them still is. “I wish,” said the agent at the Santee Agency in Nebraska, in his report to the commissioner in August last, “to impress upon the department that these Indians are yet as overgrown children. But very few of the adults are able to speak English, and during this generation will need more or less encouragement and training.” Remember the Messiah craze, and the state of advancement in civilization that it indicated. An agent on the Sac and Fox Reservation in Iowa reported to the commissioner last August: “I have lived near these people twenty years, and I can see but very little improvement among them during that time as a whole. . . . [Their] general appearance . . . today is one of filth, ignorance, laziness, and poverty.” Again, if it be true, as it is thought to be in some quarters (although I do not believe it), that the Indians, as fast as they get their allotments, are taken by this law wholly out from the possibility of control by such courts as may be constitutionally provided on the reservations for the tribal Indians who have not yet had allotments, then in that respect the law should be changed. They should not be so taken out. They should be held under the protection of the United States, as regulated through courts of its own upon the reservations, for a considerable period. Still further, since the Indian land cannot be taxed for twenty-five years, the United States government should pay the local taxes; otherwise these poor people, when enlarged, cannot get any proper help from the authorities of their counties or States. What an desirable neighbor will he be who pays no taxes, and expects other people to tax themselves to support him in the matter of roads, schools, and courts! This mischief has already been bitterly felt among the Omahas and others. Read, for instance, what the agent at the Page 33 of 44
CAH vol 5 Chap 4 Native Americans Sisseton Reservation in South Dakota says, in his report of September 29, 1890, to Commissioner Morgan. He is speaking of Indians who have lately been made citizens. “In this connection I will state that although the law of Congress and the department authorities direct these Indians to the county courts for the settlement of all minor crimes and civil cases, still it is apparent that this course at present is impracticable. The authorities of the counties decline to audit any expenses of prisoners, paupers, or litigants who hold lands under the allotment set. All the information I have upon this subject convinces me that Indians and mixed bloods who hold hands under the allotment act will not have the same privileges as the white man in the county courts. Nor will prisoners’, paupers’, and litigants’ expenses be paid.” Under the law as it now stands this result is almost unavoidable. Of course also, education must be provided for, and we may well second and applaud the farseeing plans of General Morgan to that end. I only wish that he would insist more upon one point, namely, that no education can be better for these Indians, as a preparation for the condition of citizenship, then practice in political usages and duties,— a chance, for instance, to vote in town meeting and serve on a jury, a chance to spend their own money and earn their own living, with the ordinary security and restraints of legal obligation and legal right, the ordinary stimulus of competition, and the ordinary hope of gain. There is no education, there is no civilizing agency, so important as this for the present generation of Indians who are beyond childhood, and so for all of them as they pass that line. While, then, this great measure, the Severalty Law, in course of time is going to put an end to the strange anomaly of the Indian situation, in that form of it which now presses upon our attention,—that is, as touching the bulk of the tribal Indians outside the so-called civilized tribes,—the process must inevitably take many years. How many? The Commissioner of Indian Affairs informed me recently that in the four years and a half (nearly) since the Severalty Law was passed about 12, 752 allotments a year, and 600 patents. Patents, it will be remembered, are issued upon the approval of allotments by the Secretary of the Interior. That leaves about thirteen times as many more allotments to be made, and the time required for winding up the reservations, at that rate, would be nearly sixty years. Suppose it to be half that time,—this is quite too long to allow us to yield to the arguments of those who say: “Let the matter alone; it is a vanishing state of things; all will have passed away before you can mend matters.” During this process of “vanishing,” such bloody fruits of our present system are showing themselves, and will continue to show themselves, as the dreadful outbreak and slaughter of last winter. How soon we can mend matters depends on ourselves and our representatives at Washington. Matters can be mended at the next session of Congress if the people sternly demand it. What shall we do? (1.) We must not leave things alone for one or two generations, to be worked out by the Severalty Law unaided. We cannot do that. See what General Morgan says of the existing system, in his last report: “The entire system of dealing with them [the Indians] is vicious, involving as it does the installing of agents with semi-despotic power over Page 34 of 44
CAH vol 5 Chap 4 Native Americans ignorant, superstitious, and helpless objects; the keeping of thousands of them on reservations practically as prisoners, isolated from civilized life, and dominated by fear and force; the issue of rations and annuities, which inevitably tends to breed pauperism; the disbursement of millions of dollars’ worth of supplies by contract, which invites fraud; the maintenance of a system of licensed trade, which stimulates cupidity and extortion.” If it be thought that a wise and steady administration of the present system will answer well enough, I reply that we cannot have, under such a government as ours, a steady, firm, uniform administration of the merely political sort, in the case of so complicated a matter as our Indian affairs. Good administration is the weak point in our form of government; for the proof of that it is enough to appeal to the record of a hundred years. We may mend and patch, but the result will be bad oftener than good. (2.) If it be said, “Very well, let us hurry through the allotments; let us do as was done with the slaves after the war, remove all civil disabilities at once and set up the Indians forthwith as citizens,” I have already dealt with that sort of suggestion. But let me say a word or two more. This is, indeed, the kind of short cut which suits a democratic people when it is once aroused to the necessity of having a change; then the tendency is to go straight to the mark. One reason for this is the instinctive apprehension, in such a community, of its own weakness in administering any complicated system or adhering long and steadily to a purpose. The slow method (it says to itself), the method of gradual approach, is not safe. Accordingly, we all know that this sort of swift dispatch has been urged. It is the way which preoccupied and impatient minds are apt to recommend; and some others also. It was the one preferred by that excellent soldier and friend of the Indians, General Crook. Undoubtedly it has its advantages. To give the Indians the ballot at once would do for them what was done for the slaves; it would put into their hands a weapon which would powerfully help them in working out their political salvation among their neighbors. Whatever temporary disturbances may take place, the ultimate result is certain, that he who has the ballot is one who will be protected from abuse. Such was General Crook’s reasoning about it. But this course, as I have said, has insuperable objections. The great body of the tribal Indians are totally unfit for the ballot, and it would be inexcusable to force such a body of voters suddenly upon the States where they live. It was bad enough, although politically necessary, to do this sort of thing at the end of the war, in communities which had revolted, staked all upon war, and lost. It would be inexcusable to do it in the midst of a loyal population, who are entitled to have their wishes consulted by the government. And above all, it would be an abandonment by the government of its highest present duty to the red men, that of governing and sheltering them. In view of what has happened at the South with the negroes, and of the well-known local hostility to the Indians at the West, it cannot be doubted that they would suffer much. Remember that with the giving of full citizenship there would take place a loss of all power in the federal government to legislate specially for them. Nothing is clearer than they need, and will need for a good while, the very careful and exceptional protection exists now, growing out of the strange political situation which I have expounded; and it is the one best thing there is about the present state of things. We must seize Page 35 of 44
CAH vol 5 Chap 4 Native Americans upon this and use it. (3.) How shall we use it? That is the question that still recurs. We use our power now in dealing with the Indians by this vile process which pretends to leave them to govern themselves, and yet, in its actual application, denies them liberty and shuts them up on reservations; pauperizes them; insults and breaks down all of law, custom, and religion that they have inherited from their fathers and have been taught to venerate; excludes civilization, trade, law; and subjects them to the unsteady tyranny of the politicians. This way of using our power should be at once abandoned. But there is a wise way to use it, and I am glad to say that while Congress has lagged the Indians commissioners have made, since 1882, a slight but useful beginning in the right direction. Upon some agencies the agent is directed to appoint Indians to hear and judge the complaints of their fellows against one another, subject to the revision of the agent himself, and ultimately of the commissioner. The testimony is uniform, I think, s to the salutary and unsteadying effect of these “courts.” Of course they are not courts in our ordinary sense, for they do not administer law, but merely certain rules of the Indian Department. They bear about the same relation to courts, in the proper sense of the term, that courts-martial do; they are really a branch of the executive department. But their effect in educating the Indians and assisting the department in its heavy burden of government has been such as to point clearly to the wisdom of following up this beginning (the suggestion of Commissioner Hiram Price, I believe) and giving the Indians real courts and real law. This is what we must do,—extend law and courts of justice to the reservations. A simple thing, indeed, is it not? Does this seem to my reader, I wonder, as it does to me, obviously just, obviously wise, obviously expedient? Yet our legislators at Washington let it linger year after year, and we cannot get it done. We must demand of them that they no longer neglect it,—they abandon any attitude of obstruction upon this subject, any mistaken fancy that the Severalty Law has actually done all that has been made possible by it. I express the conviction not merely of one person, but of a vast number of the friends of the Indians, in declaring that the one most pressing and vital necessity to-day, in this matter, is that of bringing the Indians and all their affairs under the steady operation of law and courts. This is saying no new thing. Many of us who had the honor of advocating the Severalty Law before it was passed always coupled it with the demand for extending law to the Indians. This necessity has long been obvious; indeed, it sickens one to look back and see how uniform and how pressing has been the cry for this, during many years, as the thing most needful. Let me repeat some of these utterances. Nearly twenty years ago, in 1873, the Indian commissioner urged this matter in his report, and again, in 1874, pressed it, with careful specific recommendations for establishing a system of law among the Indians. In 1876 the Indian commissioner (J. Q. Smith) said in his annual report: “My predecessors have frequently called attention to the startling fact that we have within our midst 275,000 people, the least intelligent portion of our population, for whom we provide no law, either for their protection or for the punishment of crime committed among themselves. . . . Our Indians are remitted by a great civilized government to the control, if control it can be called, of the rude regulations of petty ignorant Page 36 of 44
CAH vol 5 Chap 4 Native Americans tribes. Year after year we expend millions of dollars for these people, in the faint hope that, without law, we can civilize them. That hope has been to a great degree a long disappointment, and year after year we repeat the folly of the past. That the benevolent efforts and purposes of the government have proved so largely fruitless is, in my judgment, due more to its failure to make these people amenable to our laws then to any other cause, or to all other causes combined. I believe it to be the duty of Congress at once to extend over the Indian reservations the jurisdiction of the United States courts, and to declare that each Indian in the United States shall occupy the same relation to law that a white man does. . . .I regard this suggestion as by far the most important which I have to make in this report.” In 1877 the wise and devoted Bishop Hare said, in a passage which was quoted at length by the Indian commissioner in his report of 1883 with renewed recommendations: “Civilization has loosened, in some places broken, the bonds which regulate and hold together Indian society in its wild state, and has failed to give the people law and officers of justice in their place. This evil still continues unabated. Women brutally beaten and outraged: men are murdered in cold blood; the Indians who are friendly to schools and churches are intimidated and preyed upon by the evil-disposed; children are molested on their way to school, and schools are dispersed by bands of vagabonds: but there is no redress. This accursed condition of things is an outrage upon the one Lawgiver. It is a disgrace to our land. It should make every man who sits in the national halls of legislation blush. And, wish well to the Indians as we may, and do for them what we will, the efforts of civil agents, teachers, and missionaries are like the struggles of drowning men weighted with lead as long as, by the absence of law, Indian society is left without a base.” In that same year (1877) Indian agents declared over and over again that a system of law on the reservations was the great need. “By far the greatest need of this agency,” said one of them, “is civil law. Give us civil law and power to execute it.” In 1878 the Indian commissioner in his report quoted Joseph, the famous and very able Nez Percé chief, as saying that “the greatest want of the Indians is a system of law by which controversies between Indians and between Indians and white men can be settled without appealing to physical force. . . . Indians . . . understand the operation of laws, and if there were any statutes the Indians would be perfectly content to place themselves in the hands of a proper tribunal, and would not take the righting of their wrongs into their own hands or retaliate, as they now do, without the law.” How many of my readers have ever read that wonderful, most moving story of this same Chief Joseph, sent by Bishop Hare to the North American Review, and published there in April, 1879? In introducing it the bishop expressed his own appreciation of it by saying, “I wish that I had words at command in which to express adequately the interest with which I have read the extraordinary narrative which follows.” The emphasis that Joseph lays upon the need of law is striking. “There need by no trouble,” he declares. “Treat all men alike. Give them all the same law. Give them all an even chance to live and grow. . . . I only ask of the government to be treated as all other men are treated. . . . I know that my race must change. We cannot hold our own with the white race as we are. We only ask an even chance to Page 37 of 44
CAH vol 5 Chap 4 Native Americans live as other men live. . . . We ask that the same law shall work alike on all men. If the Indian breaks the law, punish him by the law. If the white man breaks the law, punish him also.” Bishop Hare enforces this request. “Indian chiefs,” he says, “however able and influential, are really without power, and for this reason, as well as others, the Indians . . .should at the earliest practicable moment be given the support and protection of our government and of our law.” In March of the same year, (1879) General Miles printed an article on The Indian Problem in the North American Review, in which he pressed the need of establishing law and courts of justice among the Indians. He quoted Chief Joseph’s words that “the greatest want of the Indians is a system of law,” etc., and added, “Do we need a savage to inform us of the necessity that has existed for a century?” In 1881 General Crook, General Miles, and others, as commissioners appointed by the President to investigate certain matters relating to the Ponca tribe, closed their report as follows: “In conclusion we desire to give expression to the conviction of this case that it is of the utmost importance to white and red men alike that all Indians should have an opportunity of appealing to the courts for the protection and vindication of the rights of person and property. Indians cannot be expected to understand the duties of men living under the forms of civilization, until they know, by being subject to it, the authority of stable law as administered by the courts, and are relieved from the uncertainties and oppression frequently attending subjection to arbitrary personal authority.” In 1884 Miss Alice Fletcher said, in a public address wholly devoted to the need of law on the Indian reservations: Were the Indians as keen for crime as many believe them to be, not a human being could be safe in their midst during the present hiatus between the old tribal law and our failure to give the protection of the courts. Although matters are not at their worst, they are bad indeed, and it is almost futile to try to build up a people when the very stay and supports of industry and morality are lacking.” These remarks were accompanied by convincing illustrations of their truth drawn from her experience among the Omahas. In Miss Fletcher’s learned and thorough Special Report to the Bureau of Education on Indian Education and Civilization, published as a Senate Document by the United States in 1888 (page 142), she comments again upon “the need for recasting the entire legal position of Indians towards the state and towards each other, and of permitting the laws of the land to be fully extended over all the various reservations and tribes.” For many years that admirable association in Philadelphia of which Mr. Herbert Welsh is secretary has urged this matter, and as early as eight or ten years ago had prepared a bill which embodied it. In a report of Mr. Herbert Welsh to his society, made in 1885, he presses (to quote his own words) “the immediate introduction of law upon the reservations.” For years, also, the Boston Indian Citizenship Committee has devoted itself to efforts for accomplishing this purpose. In February last it issued a memorial, in which the following language was used: “The Boston Indian Citizenship Committee, in view of recent events at the West, renews its solemn appeal to Congress and the country for the immediate extension of the ordinary laws of the land over the Indian reservations. . . . We desire to record our belief that this Page 38 of 44
CAH vol 5 Chap 4 Native Americans country has no duty towards the Indians so solemn and so instant as that of bringing these poor people under the protection and the control of the ordinary laws of the land.” Year after year the same appeal has come from the Mohonk Conference.4 So long, so uniform, so weighty, so urgent, has been this appeal for a government of law for the Indians, and yet the thing is not done. Why? Perhaps the chief reasons are three: (1.) That there has been no one man in Congress who was deeply impressed with the importance of this particular step. Some men there appear to think the Severalty Law a finality, instead of one great step to be followed by others. (2.) That the whole Indian question gets little hold on public men, and is crowded aside by tariffs and silver and President-making and office-jobbing and pension-giving. (3.) That so far as questions of Indian policy get any attention, this is spent on matters of detail, and in administering and patching the present system. But, I may be asked, do you call all this effort for the education of the Indians and their religious teaching, and the improvement of the civil service among them,—all these things matters of detail? Well, it would be an extravagance to say that, and yet sometimes one can best convey his meaning and best intimate the truth by an extravagance. I am almost ready to answer, Yes, I do. This, at any rate, I will say: It is as true now as it was fifteen years ago, when Indian Commissioner J. Q. Smith put it on record in his annual report: “That the benevolent efforts and purposes of the government have proved so largely fruitless is . . . due more to its failure to make these people amenable to our laws than to any other cause, or to all other causes combined.” It is as true to-day as it was fourteen years ago when Bishop Hare said it first, and as it was eight years ago when the Indian commissioner quoted it with approval in his annual report, and seven years ago when Miss Fletcher quoted and indorsed it, that, “Wish well to the Indians as we may, and do for them what we will, the efforts of civil agents, teachers, and missionaries are like the struggles of drowning men weighted with lead as long as, by the absence of law, Indian society is left without a base.” It is as true now as it was thirteen years ago, when the Indian commissioner quoted it from one of the ablest of the Indian chiefs, that “the greatest want of the Indians is a system of law by which controversies between Indians and between Indians can be settled without an appeal to physical force.” Will not my reader agree with me, then, in saying that the time has come when all causes of obstruction and delay must give way; when (1) we must find or place some men at Washing ton who are profoundly impressed with the necessity of a government of law for the Indians; when (2) we must cause it to be understood that this matter is no longer to be shoved aside by any question whatever; and when (3), in dealing with the Indian question, this matter of establishing law among the Indians must take precedence for the time being of all other aspects of the subject? The Indian associations of the country and all individual friends of the Indian should now gather themselves together and concentrate their efforts for a time upon this single point. They have very great influence when they unite; they can, if they please, make such an appeal to Congress and the Executive as will be speedily heeded. Since the spring of 1888 a carefully prepared bill for accomplishing the objects I have named has been pending in the Senate of the United States. Page 39 of 44
CAH vol 5 Chap 4 Native Americans If has the support of some of the best lawyers in the country. It was prepared by a committee of the Mohonk Conference, and has been steadily supported by the leading Indian associations. That bill, or something better, should be passed at the next session of Congress. James Bradley Thayer. Endnotes 677-1 Walker, The Indian Question, 125. 677-2 United States v. Kagama, 118 U. S. 875. 678-1 The italics are those of the court. There is a tacit reference to the famous phrases of an earlier opinion. 686-1 1 And, finally, since this article was written, the American Bar Association, after listening to a valuable paper on this subject by Mr. William B. Hornblower, of New York, and after a debate in which the leaders of that body participated, on August 26 last unanimously unresolved: “It is the opinion of this association that the United States should provide, at the earliest possible moment, courts and a system of law for the Indian reservations.” Source: James Bradley Thayer. “A People without Law,” Atlantic Monthly (November 1891): 676–687 Document 8: Our Indian Citizens The following article, published November 5, 1892, in The New York Times, is a poignant statement of the supposed successes of the General Allotment (Dawes) Act. The article celebrates the 11,845 Indians who have received American citizenship since the inception of the act. These “U.S. citizens” were now entitled to vote, having received the “franchise”; however, it is noted that Indians on the Yankton reservation may be disenfranchised. [end headnote] The Secretary of the Interior has approved the allotments of lands to the Indians on the Devil’s Lake Reservation, in North Dakota, to the number of 869. By the terms of the General Allotment act, these Indians are thereby declared to be citizens of the United States and entitled to all the rights, privileges, and immunities of such citizens. This, of course, entitles those having the other necessary qualifications to vote at the approaching election. During the last four years and by the act of taking their lands in severalty, 11,845 Indians have been admitted to citizenship as follows: In the Indian Territory and Oklahoma, 7,054; South Dakota, 1,651; Oregon, 269; Wisconsin, 1,520; Kansas, 191; North Dakota, 869, and Arizona, 291. Prior to 1888 about 1,400 had become citizens. It is understood that the judicial authorities at Yankton, S. D., have decided that they have no authority to establish voting precincts on the Yankton Reservation, and this may prevent the exercise by these Indians of the elective franchise. Source: The New York Times (November 5, 1892) [page nos TK]. Page 40 of 44
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Document 9: General Miles Assumes Command The following newspaper article, published November 22, 1894, in The New York Times, gives some colorful background to General Nelson Miles and his assumption as commander of the East upon the retirement of General Oliver Otis Howard. He, along with his wife and extended family, were to be received by the garrison with much pomp, including a full review in his honor. Rain, however, prevented the festivities from occurring. [end headnote] Gen. Nelson A. Miles, formerly Commander of the Department of the Missouri and recently appointed by President Cleveland to succeed Gen. Oliver Otis Howard, retired, as Commander of the Department of the East, yesterday morning paid his first visit to Governors Island since Gen. Hancock’s death some years ago. Gen. Miles was accompanied by his wife, his wife’s cousin, and her husband, Mr. Wiber of Cincinnati, and two aides, Capt. M. P. Maus and Capt. Frank Meehler. Capt. E. C. Haggin, another of Gen. Miles’s aides, is in Chicago at present. The party boarded the Governors Island tug at the Battery and crossed to the island, were [sic] the following members of the staff of the Department of the East welcomed them: Col. Samuel Breck, Assistant Adjutant General; Col. Robert P. Hughes, Inspector General; Lieut. Col. William J. Volkmar, Assistant Adjutant General; Major Charles R. Barnett, Quartermaster; Lieut. Col. Thomas F. Barr, Col. Charles G. Sawtelle, Col. John W. Barriger, Col. Joseph Smith, Major Asa B. Carey, Lieut. Col. Alexander C. M. Pennington, Major John Van R. Hoff, Capt. William P. Kendall of Fort Columbus, N. Y.; Lieut. Col. Dangerfield Parker, Capt. Benjamin H. Gilman, First Lieut. Marion B. Saffold, Capt. James Fornance, and many other minor officers. While the General was being escorted to headquarters the usual salute was fired in his honor. It had been decided late Tuesday night to muster the entire garrison and have them turn out on review in honor of Gen. Miles’s arrival. The rain prevented this, and the firing of the salute was about the only formality. As the tug steamed up to the dock at the island, Gen. Miles, who had braved the drizzling rain all the way across, refusing the shelter of the cabin, looked about him and said: “It is very sad to me. The last time I was here I shook the hand of Gen. Hancock.” Gen. Miles, as Commander of the Department of the East, issued his first order Tuesday. It was as follows: In accordance with the orders of the President, the undersigned hereby assumes command of the department. NELSON A. MILES. Major General United States Army. Gen. Miles said that he purposed to make no changes in the department in the near future. He will stay at the Holland House, in this city, until his house on Governors Island is ready for him. It is now being overhauled, and the work Page 41 of 44
CAH vol 5 Chap 4 Native Americans will take two or three weeks. Gen. Nelson A. Miles is fifty-four years of age and has ten years before the age limit will compel his retirement. A reception will be tendered Gen. Miles two weeks hence on Governors Island. Source: “Gen. Miles Assumes Command,” The New York Times (November 22, 1894) [page nos TK].
BIBLIOGRAPHY Aleshire, Peter. The Fox and the Whirlwind: General George Crook and Geronimo, a Paired Biography. New York: Wiley, 2000. This deeply detailed, thorough text juxtaposes the parallels between Crook and Geronimo. Ambrose, Stephen E. Crazy Horse and Custer: The Parallel Lives of Two American Warriors. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1975. This dual biography prefaces the events of the Battle of the Little Bighorn by highlighting the backgrounds, upbringing, and lives of these two great leaders. Bailey, John W. Pacifying the Plains: General Alfred Terry and the Decline of the Sioux, 1866-1890. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1979. Bailey provides a thorough anatomy of the U.S. Army’s actions against the Sioux, leading to their eventual repression and the end of the Indian Wars. Braveheart, Maria Yellow Horse, and DeBryun, Lemyra. "The American Indian Holocaust: Healing Historical Unresolved Grief." American Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health Research 8, no. 2 (1998): 56–78. This research paper makes the argument for the generational stress, survivor’s guilt, and associated mental illness affecting Native Americans following the Removal and Boarding School periods. Braveheart and DeBryun detail their theories of the genocide that occurred since the arrival of Europeans on the North American continent and make parallels to the Jewish Holocaust of World War II. Brinkley, Alan. The Unfinished Nation. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1993. Brinkley’s work is a thorough, comprehensive, collegiate-level history textbook that succinctly highlights the major aspects of American history, from the pre-colonial era to the present. Connell, Evan S. Son of the Morning Star: Custer and the Little Bighorn. San Francisco: North Point Press, 1984. Through hundreds of primary source accounts, Connell re-creates the events leading up to and including the disastrous day at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Reading almost like a novel, this voluminous work goes into the most intimate details surrounding that military action. Page 42 of 44
CAH vol 5 Chap 4 Native Americans Davis, Julie. “American Indian Boarding School Experiences: Recent Studies from Native Perspectives.“ OAH Magazine of History 15, 2 (Winter 2001): 20–22. Through stories and histories of the victimization of Native Americans during the rise of the Boarding School Movement, Davis highlights the accounts from the Native Americans themselves. DeMallie, Raymond J. "The Lakota Ghost Dance: An Ethnohistorical Account." Pacific Historical Review 51, 4 (November 1982): 385–405. This anthropological study into the Lakota Ghost Dance provides the reader with good insight to the societal, cultural, and religious responses to the dance. DeMallie provides a myriad of interpretive views of the dance, more as a response to repression, the loss of the buffalo, and confinement to the reservations, rather than the characterization that it was a “war dance” or had violent intentions. Dippie, Brian. Custer’s Last Stand: The Anatomy of an American Myth. New York: Viking, 1976. Dippie spends a good deal of type deconstructing the various mythologies surrounding Custer’s Last Stand. His work includes the battle's role in various art and media, movies and television shows, portrayal in poetry, as well as many nonfiction works about Custer’s denouement. "Grafting on the Indians and How It Is Done." New York Times Magazine (August 7, 1910): SM6. This article by an unidentified author discusses some of the previous transgressions by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and reservation agents against the Indians. Corruption was a recurring theme with regard to tribal-government relations, up through and past World War I. Greene, Jerome A. Yellowstone Command: Colonel Nelson A. Miles and the Great Sioux War, 1876–1877. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1991. Greene provides an account of the campaigns of Colonel Miles during the Great Sioux Uprising. Much of this focus has been lost, as it was overshadowed by the prefatory events of the Little Bighorn disaster. Gump, James O. The Dust Rose Like Smoke: The Subjugation of the Zulu and the Sioux. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1994. Gump juxtaposes the events of the latter half of the nineteenth century involving the Zulu in Africa and the Sioux of North America. General Custer and his defeat play a prominent role in this work, as well as the revival of the Ghost Dance and subsequent attempts at repression by the U.S. Army. Ostler, Jeffrey. "Conquest and the State: Why the United States Employed Massive Military Force to Suppress the Lakota Ghost Dance." Pacific Historical Review 65, 2 (May 1996): 217-248. Ostler looks into the reasons for the strong military response President Benjamin Harrison orders to suppress the Ghost Dance. Though the dance was considered a “peaceful” movement, newspapers, media, and some of the settlers themselves stirred themselves up into a frenzy, leading to a harsh military response. Roberts, David. Once They Moved Like the Wind: Cochise, Geronimo and the Page 43 of 44
CAH vol 5 Chap 4 Native Americans Apache Wars. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993. The flight of Geronimo’s group of thirty-four Apaches through the Southwest United States and Mexico is chronicled in this extensive piece. Sandoz, Mari. The Battle of the Little Bighorn. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1966. Sandoz provides an early historical account of the battle, told from the perspective of the white man. Tyler, S. Lyman. A History of Indian Affairs. Washington, D.C.: The Bureau of Indian Affairs, 1973. This report, part of the U.S. government public record, is an exhaustive documentary of the Bureau of Indian Affairs from its founding, transition from the War Department to the Department of Interior, and its relations with various Native American tribes. It does great justice to the graft, corruption, and outright injustices committed by the managers of the various agencies that dealt directly with the Indians on the reservations. Utley, Robert Marshall. The Last Days of the Sioux Nation. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1963. Utley's detailed treatment of relationship between the Sioux and white Americans focuses on the Sioux Indian Wars up until the conflict at Wounded Knee. White, Richard. “It's Your Misfortune and None of My Own”: A New History of the American West. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991. White takes a broad-based view of the social conflict between whites and Western Native Americans. A central theme of his work investigates how the myth of the “rugged individualism” and can-do spirit of the pioneers has supplanted the realities of the subjugation and extermination of the Native Americans.
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