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The Progress. (White Earth, Minn.) 1886-1889, October 20, 1888, Image 1

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83016853/1888-10-20/ed-1/seq-1/

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VOL. 1.
"We had already prepared the article
which appeared in our last issue, when
the letter of Chief Grass reached us.
TMs last reached us in time for pub
lication, and we presented both to the
t-ublio in order to afford the American
people an opportunity to judge the
argument from the view point of tho
Indian. And however much the aver
R6L onlooker may bo disposed to view
lightly tho logio of the Indian, he
must now confess that the Sioux chief
has presontod a -masterly and logioal
argument from the standpoint of thetreaties.
Sioux nation.
We are ploased therefore, that our
columns have afforded Grass tho medi
um for publio expression, both with
reference to the presentation of hisought
views, and those of his colleagues, and
also for the clearing away of false
opinions respecting ultimate action.
The commission has now olosed its
labors, having discovered what was
long ago apparent to the many,
that defoat was a foregone conclusion.
Still at this time we would review
the situation in order to make clear
tho grounds upon which our Sioux
brethren stand.
On the second day of the council at
Luwov Urulo Agency. The substance
vt Secret:iry Vilas' message to theaside,
Sioux was given by Capt. Pratt, ohair
m.tn of ihe commifcSion in the follow
ing words:
Tho government does not under-
'.'i.uul your ivtismis for refusing the
bill bciore you hear it, nor why you
tlu not tako up your allotments and
purport yourselves. It does not un-
rMand why it has to clothe and feed
,M.II when sou promised in 1876 to do
it for yourselves nor why
yon do mat taUt- land in
It v, like tije white man
who starts without anything, but
makes his own living and supports
ou, too. The, government has found
out that your young men can go out
in the East and work like anybody.
It does not take more than three years
to give up Indian ways and live like
white people. The old men ought to
be smarter than the young men. You
refuse year after year to take allot
ments of 160 acres a free gift and
make a living out of it. The man
over the river pays for his 1G0 acres,
when it is no better than yours.
The government is ashamed and is
losing heart in asking appropriations
to support you. It begins to think
your leaders are not wise. It does not
understand why, after so many years
it has to use force to put your children
in school. The government says you
violate your treaty in not sending
your children to school, and by notbten
taking allotments. By your own acts
you are released from any further sup
port. The government is afraid you
have been listening to men who are
enemies to the government and to
The Secretary said some pertinent
Ih'ngs, but they were answered.
Newspaper reports are meagre but we
presume that the answers given were
substantially the same as the
reasmiB given us by Chief Grass
In his communication for his
Ins- opposition to the bill. His argu
ment substantially is this:
The Sioux believe that the treaties
of 1868 and 1876 already provide what
is now offered tinder the new Sioux
bill, excepting the proposed loan of
$1,000,000 to be funded at 6 per ocni
per annum, and which the chief does
hot look upon with great favor.
In other words, they claim that un
der the treaty of 1868, each family
locating, was promised a yoke of oxen
and a cow, and upon receipt of certifi
cate of allotment, $100 worth of agri
cultural implements for the first year,
and $25 worth per annum for the three
succeeding years. They further claim
that this same treaty promises sckools
and in-i.ructors for a period of twenty
years. They also claim under this
treaty, a perapit of $10 in necessary
articles for each roving Indian, and
?20 for each actual .settler during the
nod of thirt years. We do not un
'dereti'ud that thov c\A\m a violation of
thi* clause, but that they do insist that
good faith has not been maintained in
regard to other stipulations. For in
ststnep, they hold that failure to have
\\mit reservation surveyed, deprives
tlicm of the benefit of the $1?5 worth
bf impletnents duviug the four years*
and they show also that tin Bchools
ivei'e Hot eatab-tMiod Until ten/years
aftei* the fcfeaty.
fhey cite the treaty of 1870
Which the Black Hills" Country Was
ceded, ftnd dhim suustsiahcp therefrom
supporting. While this is an am
iguous clause the solution might have
eon, at least partially solved had the
voaty of 1868 been acted upon prompt"
and unreservedly.- They may be
eedlessly alarmed, but they are war
.Med by the current of past events*
dis trusting the new bill, and in
.ieving that its ratification would vitiate
he treaties of 1868 and 1876. In
iaiming as they do that the new bill
vould give them no more than they
.Iready have, they expressafear that the
provisions of the bill impair the former
It is almost certain that i*
it does not from a legal point of view'
it would create oonfusion when the
liiestion of appropriation for the sev
eral treaties and the bill came up. It
to be made clear in terms that
lie new bill does not vitiate former
But from another stand-point a dif
culty is visible, and that is, opposing
Htimates of value. The government
.ffurs fifty cents per acre, and Chief
trass thinks they should have at least
one dollar per sore clear of all exdian
panse,?. We admit this is a serious
difference, and perhaps from their
ownfchowingour Sioux friends can be
made see that their proposition
admits of modification. But all this
it must be seen that whether for
weal or woe, the Indian has a right
to express his opinion and to act upon
it. Chief Grass says, "\vo are not op
posed to disposing of any surplus lands
we may have, if a fair and reasonable
proposition is made to us
and in our present stand, simply refuse
to have an unfair act forced upon ua.M
There is certainly no wrong in this ex
pression, no defiance of the government
s'mply the language of a man who
believes that he and his people should
be treated justly, and given the oppor
tunity of doing the best possible for
themselves. And furthermore it is well
to notice the emphatic language of the
chief in declaring that the rumors
that the Sioux are liable to Ksort to
arms to oppose tho aot are totally with
out foundation."
The conference at Brule has closed,
negotiations have ceased and certain
chiefs are to rielt Washington and will
there be given an opportunity to pre
sent to the government their wishes.
This is as it should be. Capt. Pratt
speaking for himself and his brother
mmissioners stated frankly that they
w(.uid have made some changes had it
in their power.
This is a confession that the bill
needs revision, as all proposals do,
when presented to parties for accept
ance who have had no hand in framing
them. While the prejudice against
treaty-making may be well founded, it
by no means follows that everything
proposed to tho Indian should be before
hand cut and dried, and then presented
with the virtual direction this or
It may be urged that the experiment
of mutual action was attempted in the
creation of the Northwestern commis
sion, and did not work as well as
should have been expected,
This is true in a measure, but may
be explained by considering the charac
ter of the commission. We do notviews
know its method of procedure else
where, but we can say with certaintv
that its method here partook too much
of the bulldozing order. Unhappy
complications had much to do with the
defeat of tho negotiation here by what
we know locally as the Whipple com
mission. The influence of persons who
should not have been at all considered
was felt, and exerted itself upon the
minds of the commissioners. Such
persons ignored, we believe it possible
for the government to negotiate favor
In the meantime and with reference
to the Sioux, we beliove that if duly
accredited tribal representatives are
allowed to go to Washington, much
can be accomplished, because more can
be done at the seat of government, and
because small petty objections can bet*
ter be met in a small conclave than in
a large.
At last the President has filled the
vacancy in the Indian Bureau, and the
new office of Superintendent of Ihdian
Instructioni We hope that the Presi
dent has been largely influenced in his
action by the actual heeds of the ser-
viee.) and has tried to select men who
'^f'A higher Civilization: Tho^ainUnanoe of Law and Order."-
will be an honor to the positions they
have been chosen to ^-fjl I &e wgumtntot the opposite tide, less
We know comparatively nothing $t might be said on the part of the Indian
these gentlemen, and can only express against outside taflueaeea^W* 4?
the hope that they will bring with tbeaii
into the discharge of their duties a keeA
appreciation of the sympathetic quali
which are so essential in the man
agement of the Indians. Mr. Oberiy,
we believe has had some experience,
and may therefore be judged to be la
possession of some knowledge of the
duties incumbent upon hla|.. We trite*
that he will recognize one important
fact, and that is, that the past, botgf
remote and near has not been waHL
that changes are necessary in order W
insure a harmonious' working of his
office. His predecessor, unfortunately,
was dominated by the influence of his
subordinates, and who in turn were
biased by the representation of lo
cal prejudices. We speak more
particularly of affairs connected
with his agency, but at the
same time with an implication that has
ft wider reach. The friends of the In
in the East have made it appar
ent that everywhere Mr. Upshaw's eon
duct was damaging to the government
and Indian alike. We know not
whether Mr. Oberiy will retain this
official, but we trust that he will not.
The prestige of this individual will be
unfortunate for the department if he is
permitted to remain. Mr. Oborly may
go further down oa tLe scale of official
incumbency, and dispense with the as
sistance of the lady who has held the
ear of every commissioner since the
time of her relatives incumbency and
perhaps he might with profit request
the resignation of local officials in some
quarters where they are doing more
harm than good, it Is an Augean sta.
ble that lies before him for cleansing,
and we trust that he will prove the
Hercules to accomplish the
Auf-wedev-sehoa Mr. Commissioner.
The eaption of this attide has beeome
as popular as most of the phrases now
in dallf use, and however its birth, it
seems that it has com to stay. It finds
an acceptable place in the vocabulary
of campaignists, it finds a congenial
field in the seasons of politioul exeite
ment, and therefore flourishes like a
green bay tree.
LThe hater of the Indian and all which
concerns him has also learned to use the
word, pronouncing it trippingly on
the tongue." To his mind that which
does not meet with his approbation, is
the outcome of "the pernicious influ
ence" which permeats the reservations,
in other words the half breed and the
squaw-man have "put in their work."
If these appelatives give them any
comfort we shall not venture to remon
strate, we shall only say, that as they
use the terms in an insulting sense, and
thus betray the calibre of those who
use them, we can well leave them to
the judgement of those who are gen
tlemen by instinct But leaving this
phase of the question, we wish to say
a few words otherwise. Tho mixed
bloods, and the whites who are married
in the tribe have an Indisputable right
to give an expression to their
respecting anything which
affects their rights, whether as to liber
ty of action or as to property, The
mixed bloods are inherently members
of the tribe, legally and conventionally
they are regarded as Indians, and it
would simply be an anomoly now orelsewhere!
at any time to look upon their words
and deeds as partaking of the character
of foreign interference. As well look
upon the vote of the naturalized for
eigner or df him born of foreign par
entage to be something unwarranted,
as to look upon whatever a mixed blood
may do or bay as something reprehen
sible. We may say this much, that the
majority of this class, are men of Intel*
ligence* of disoernment and eduoatiort,
abov,e the avprage member of the tribe
They have kept pace with the progress, "g^id (struggling to button his
of the times, and in general knowledge shirt^I can't find this dinged button-
respecting men and events, stand on hole,
pai With those Outside of a reservation,
and who claim to be fully up to theunder
standard of popular enlightenment* 3
Certainly* such men are better abta
to speak of the needs of the Indian thin,
the average settler about Indian resel
rations* and whose judgment is biasw
by popular clamors for the territory bi
the Indiant &^^:&4&Mi
And were his ?vieWs more .tJ\
-ouched in moderate Uu^a^x.*
*Hh some degree t consideration lot
who are
of the frontier for the
Having rights through their families
they are entitled to a voice in matters
which concern the publio welfare, by
which, We mean the rights of spoeoh,
and the free exeroise of such influence
as they may possess. Let us hear no
more then of the "pernicious influence
of,halfbived Or squaw-man."
Mtome Lift.
Wife=What is the matter, ,Tohn,
You are the most impatient man I
better, for the desire to restrict the ter
ritory of the Indians from the stand
point of self interest Had national
pride they are right, but they fall to
take cognisance of the fact, that the
aboriginal element has alsosome rights
to he considered, aomethiag to say ia
defence of these right*, gome plans to
suggest for the solution of the Indian
question. They forget, that^Tifcupqq^
tioa is not logic."
And more, because an iateliigeat
nixed blood or a so called squaw-man
'aises his voice in defence of tribal
nterests, a hue and cry is raised, and
he open sesame to popular prejudice,
ho tallsmanlo words "pernicious ia
luenoe of half breeds and squaw-men"
pe sounded. We are sorry It is so, we
Regret that men who are selected to
djvevsee the affairs of reservations are
influenced by this ory, and so often
j^in in its utterance. Of all men these
tyreaittttof their sojourn on reserva
oilght to see that this cry is unwar
|Vo hardly expect thorn to acknowl
edge that they find upon reservations
men their superior in education and in
general information, but In all fairness
we do expect them to acknowledge at
least an equality. Such men come,
surcharged with the idea that the
knowledge obtained from a casual sur
vey of the specimeus found in travel
ling shows is sufficient to enable them
to b&tter judge of the needs of a com
munity than those whose lives have
been spent on reservations.
And yet we must not judge such men
too harshly. They come, and they
find even on reservations men suscept
ible to "pernicious influences." While
we are claiming an average possession
of moral respectability, we are not
claiming that Svery red-skin or a light
er-shaded epidermis is an' insipient
saint, or without guile. There are
only too many susceptible to the perni
cious influence of the warehouse sys
tem. For a consideration in provender
whose averdupois is less than the load
of sin they bear such truckles to the
local Poobah, and vow eternal alleg
If support must be bought and main
tained at such price, well and good,
but we wish it generally understood
that this support has a tangible materi
al side, and therefore is worthless from
a moral point of view. And a word in
defence of those so ignominiously term
ed "squaw-men." Their sin is that
being white men they have chosen to
oast their lot with an alien people, and
that from the motive of family affection
they raise their voices against the
arbitrary clamors of their brethren
across the line. Often the epithet
squaw-man is not sufficiently denounc
ing, so the charming appellations,
"renegade" and "outlaw" are added.
It may be true that here and there on
reservations, may be found those who
are deserving of these epithets, but we
protest against the general usage of the
terms. On this reservation for instanoe,
are dozens of reputable, intelligent and
industrious men, members of ohurohes,
and the peers of any respectable man
Wife (placidly}Have yoti looked
the bureau for itP
An artistic colony in the Catskills
has named Its cottages after wild flow,
ers: AtnOng others is the "Bachelor's
Button)" owned by a little artist who
apparently has no realisation of the
forlornticss of his condition.
tatBijfc Br in Niwtfork6tie nuhdfea lawtfcftiTE
ers of the Shyster Class who read the pa
sra.everjr inorning tofindsomething on
feieh the? Mgh% bus* suit Uk Ufew
& rt'j'' 'i"k
DKALEtt fit $ -f/'
Ctaeks, Watchea &nd jewelry.
|J teMtmuQ A srtmAtfY*
fcAiiftt Orders, if left with
Benjamin Caswell* at Fairbanks &
Bro.* iSfcoj* will receive prompt at
teutioiu 4tf
Gay-go Oway-iimi-ng.
NO. 50.
Dry Goods, Groceries,
Boots 6 Shoes, Hardware.
Everything Pint-Class, and at Astonishingly low Prices.
Car-oads of Now Goods Arriving Every Gay. Come Early.
1 I 1
O pa
Tinware, ,Cockery,
Glassware and Lamp.
S0m9 iJtgf Mail Orders will^Rsoem Prompt Attention, ^g^f
lit tha Wtlt
'fk^Uows,.V ^f
Boots & SAoesf
fimQlT BOOT and SHOE MftE.
tI*tOs!Tt i*Oflfl e#)tiu -yF
ftfil'AIRIXO A SPfeClAtTT.
Mftil Orders will receive ]Prouipl
A. s, BOWLING, DS^PW, Ma^.
rfT^^ti &

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