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[Written for the Herald]
THE INDIAN QUESTION. BY REV. GEORGE G. SMITH. As the traditional ghost of a murdered man is represented to have appeared and reappeared to his murderer times without number, so the Indian obtrudes himself with blood-red face and hands at our National Capital, accusing, threat ening, and frightfully disturbing that part of our administration, civil and military, which relates to him. The Indian question is one of the most intri cate, perplexing and important of all the prob lems that demand solution at the hands of our government. It seems almost presumptuous to approach the discussion of a subject beset with such difficulties, yet this of all subjects that con cern our national polity most needs to be dis cussed ; for although the Indian may remind us in respect of his obtrusiveness of the ghost that would not down, the Indian is by no means a ghost, but, on the other hand, is a very live and active enemy of the public peace, and all the questions that relate to our treatment of him are living questions, and call for early and eternally decisive answering. It is not possible, in an article brief as this must be, to examine into the origin of the In dians and their history upon this continent. It would be extremely interesting to consider all that may be learnt from their physical and men tal characteristics, their traditions, weapons, modes of warfare, costumes, dwellings, lan guages and tribal organization, and to inquire what light the knowledge of these things sheds upon the derivation of the Indian. It is more to my present purpose, however, to take as I find them within the United States the facts that bear upon the relations between the white man and the red, and to ask what spirit should vital ize and direct our own conduct and the policy of our government in indian affairs. I.—The facts on the Indian side of the ques tion : 1. —The Indian is a Man —as you are, my reader; as lam. He who kills an Indian un der any circumstances or for any reason that would not justify the killing of a white man, commits murder. He who wrongs an Indian is accountable to God, and should be held by man accountable for the offense. The unreasonable and savage propensity to regard the Indian and treat him as if he were nothing more than a supremely ferocious and fiendish brute no just man will for a moment indulge, countenance or excuse. He who pronounces the extermination of the Indian the legitimate and desirable solu tion of the Indian question, proves himself either dangerously inconsiderate or shockingly malicious. The man who deliberately declares thejonly possible good Indian a dead one can be regarded better in any respect than such an In dian only as a living dog is better than a dead lion. Our own ancestors were heathen savages. The descendants of the Indian may move upon a higher plane of civilization than that on which we stand. Thousands of men upon the frontier exhibit most clearly in their foolish and cruel comments upon Indian affairs their own savage origin and their present incapacity for indepen dent and just judgment. Like senseless sheep they follow the bell-wether, let him leap a sun beam or plunge into a pit. The base counter from brutal brains passes, even with multitudes of worthy men who ought to stamp and issue their own honest currency, for sterling coin of the realm of thought. Let us come back to this primary truth :—the Indian is a Man. 2. —The Indian, being a man, thinks and feels as we should if we were in his place. His thought anti feeling are limited, modified and perverted as our own would be were we, in a barbarous condition, subjected to the influences that affect him. The birth and rearing of the Indian, and all the circumstances that mould his character, form his opinions and excite his hostilities must be taken into account. 3. —Hefore the foot of the white man pressed this continent the red man had been for centur ies the monarch of all he surveyed. Whether reasonably and justly or not, he believes him self the rightful owner of the broad territory now comprised within the United States. To determine how righteous was his claim you must discuss with profound learning and can dor the question :—What constitutes a really just tenure of land ? A powerful government such as ours may assume the right, as it has the might, to distribute under laws of its own adop tion vast regions long held as their possession by Indian tribes. How righteously were con cluded and observed the treaties by which the government acquired these lands may seem to the white settler a matter of small importance. The Indian will form a different judgment on this point. So would you and I if put into his place. 1 suppose we have but the faintest conception of the strength of the Indian's attachment to the country he has long frequented. The white man loves the haunts of his childhood. In the earliest years of life Nature is the playfellow of the child, his intimate, his friend and his teach er. His converse is with trees, grasses and flowers, with clouds and skies, zephyr and gale, brook, river and ocean, hill, mountain and meadow, with mellow sunlight, with calm and queenly moon and solemn stars. The living things that God has made have also been taken into companionship by.the child, or have in one way or another borne close relation to his interests. But as the white child approaches maturity he exchanges the simple and poetic pleasures ministered by Nature for the lessons of the schools and the occupations of busy life. The artificial pursuits of civilized society too often remove him from the contemplation of Nature and almost smother the memory of the as as an to us a It I influences she shed upon his opening mind. The Indian, on the other hand, is all his life in intimate communion with Nature, attent all her voices and observant of all her moods. Through all his years he is, as much as in his childhood, devoted to the study of the outer world and dependent upon this pursuit for pleasures analogous to those which we derive from .Poetry, Art, and all the resources of refined society. The world is his gallery and library» and God the author, the poet, the artist. There fore, that part of the world in which he was bom and lived and ranged he loves with pas sionate affection and reverences with supersti tious awe. We cannot wonder at this. The least attractive landscapes present many phases of beau'y. Even sandy plains and mountains of bald and rugged rock appear in the blue dis tance, or when variegated by light and shade glorified by the rich tints of sunset, unspeakably beautiful. But all the attractive scenery of this wide continent has lain under the eye of the In dian. The roar of the Atlantic has been to him as the voice of his Maker. The lakes, rivers, mountains, woods and plains have been his de light, and he has loved them better than we love. Where in grand forests sunlight and wind, playing with the tree-tops, wove golden lacework on green or sombre ground; where the birds sang and timid creatures browsed, the Indian made his hunting ground and home. Here he lived and roamed when the woods were decked with dew-drops glittering in sum mer sunshine, or were brilliant with the ice-gems of winter. The hunter finds strange fascination in the wild life he leads on the great plains and among the Rocky Mountains. Two results, I think, flow from life in the open air:—man gains real and desirable æsthetic culture, and he de velops self-reliance and strength. Charles Kingsley thought England owed much to what he called "The brave east wind." To face its harsh and searching blasts developed, he be lieved, vigor and manliness. Now the hunter battles with wind and storm, braves many forms of danger and becomes manly and well-poised. A hardier, more robust, manlier class of men than you find in mountain hut or on coach-box in all this region, from British America to the Mexican line, you may challenge the world to produce. Nearly all these men are Americans. The superior enterprise and boldness of our people are apparent in all this frontier land. What the adventurous American lad used to seek upon the ocean he finds now in life on the plains, and in the mountains of the West. This is one reason why our navy and our merchant marine service go begging for seamen. A life as wild, as full of every element of interest and of danger, aud far freer than that of the sailor is found on the frontier. Nature exerts a strange power upon these wild, brave men. They are obliged to observe her in all her aspects, by day and by night, and they become enamored of the freedom of the lot that affords them such sweet fellowship with her. I doubt not they find in it the same charm that bound with mystic cords to the life of outlaws in Sherwood Forest Robin Hood and his followers. It is a mistake to be lieve the Indian incapable of feeling the same spell. He is in a high degree susceptible to the influences of Nature. A certain Indian village built upon a high butte or mesa in Arizona is remote from water and from the lands tilled by its inhabitants. By instructions from Washington the agent of the tribe to which this village belongs used every inducement to persuade the people to build a new town near the water and the grain fields. "Our fathers dwelt upon this hill and saw from it the yellow sun : here we, too, will live and die." This was the final and decisive answer. The Moquis of that village continue to this day to carry from a distance in earthern jars the water that supplies their homes. Similarly the roving tribes are attached to their hunting grounds. When, therefore, the Indian is per suaded or forced to part with his patrimony—to sell his birthright for a mess of pottage—it is natural and right that he should at least require the pottage to be put into his hands, and to be as good as that for which he stipulated, and as abundant. In other words, the Indian has a right to expect to be dealt with in good faith. It is a notorious fact that Americans, not con tent with the lands laid open to them by the government, have, prompted by avarice, law lessly invaded the reservations set apart for the Indians. It is not surprising that men of this son are accustomed to breathe «ut threatenings and slaughter against the Indians whom they have wronged and therefore hate. I was waiting, some years ago, in the little station house at Kit Carson, on the Kansas Pa cific railroad. Among the travelers there con versation turned upon the Indians. I avowed some sympathy for the savage, and expressed my sense of the wrongs he often suffers. An outburst of rage and profanity fixed my gaze upon a stalwart ranch-man. "The red devils," said he, "if I had them all in that sack (and he pointed at a bag lying on the floor), I would chuck them into that stove (which was red-hot) as if they were so many bed-bugs." Is such a man fit to deal with Indians, or to dictate what treatment tl .c gr trernruent shall mete out in its management of Indian affairs? Such men tres pass upon the Indians, rob them, excite them to revenge, then curse and kill them. Earl Chat ham declared that if he had been an American, as he was an Englishman, he would never, while a foreign soldier was on American soil, lay down his arms—"Never, Never, NEVER! " What would he have done, what would you, as an Indian ? 4-—The Indian policy of the government has not been stable. The tribes have been bandied from one department to another to the mutual injury of the administration and the Indian. to all or a 5.—Under whatever department the Indian has been placed he has been wronged in many instances by the servants of our government. In discriminate charges of universal or general cor ruption, whether these are made against civil or military officers who have at different times ex ecuted our Indian policy, will, upon honest in quiry, be found as false as they are gratuitous. If the only aim were honest administration it would matter little, I think, to which department of the Government the Indian Bureau should be assigned. I have known hundreds of officers of the army and also many Indian agents appoint ed from civil life. It would be difficult to say in which service is found the greater proportion of corrupt and inefficient men. It is hard to be lieve that army officers who drink, gamble, and leave to their inferiors the whole care of inter ests for which the commissioned officer is re sponsible, signing, nevertheless, documents for the truthfulness of which they are altogether in competent to vouch, would be miraculously re newed into trustworthy Indian agents by a process so simple as the transfer to the War De partment of the conduct of Indian affairs. I know officers of the army who are true as Da mascus blades, and Indian agents who are crooked as their own pay rolls ; and on the other hand I know' thoroughly pure, efficient and noble Indian agents and scandalously weak, and vicious, and dishonorable officers of the army. The opinion so often expressed that the system of checks and vouchers in vogue under the War Department is superior as a safe-guard of integ rity to the system practiced by the Department of the Interior is not supported by facts. Un der the Indian Bureau of the Interior Depart ment checks and counter checks are multiplied to an appalling number and strained to fearful stringency. The dishonest Indian agent must perjure himsel and suborn perjury at every step of his disgraceful course. Montana is said to have been somewhat conspicuous for the corrupt dealing of some of its Indian agents. There are parts of the country where a dishonest In dian agent is rare,and is removed promptly so soon as he is even fairly suspected of wrong. Bad and pestilential officials are among the greatest obstacles to a successful working of our Indian service. Intemperate, licentious and violent subordinates magnify and multiply the ills in flicted upon the Indian. II.—Against the Indian the white man has many charges to prefer. 1— The Indian is foul in person and filthy in his habits. 2— It is said that he is lazy and will not work. 3.—He is exceedingly cruel and fiendish to his foes. Sometimes he seems to revel in mer ciless infliction of pain. Lately in New Mexi co the Southern Apaches slaughtered many white men and cut off the thumbs and toes of their victims, into whose mouths and eye-sock ets they wedged the dissevered members. They also mutilated the dumb animals of the slain and left them to live in torture. 4—The Indian is declared to be treacherous, ungrateful and cowardly. 5.—It is asserted that he is incapable of being civilized; that after having been subjected for years to the best influences of enlightened and refined society he at once » elapses into barbarity upon being restored to his own people. In comment upon these charges it may be said that all barba» ous peoples are dirty and cruel ; that the Indian is not more cruel than the Roman was ; that men do not work until they can be assured of the possession and control of the results of their labor; that the tribal or ganization of the Indians in many cases, and American aggression in other cases, make void the title of the Indian to what he may have ac quired by work ; that the white man can ill af ford to speak of the treachery of the Indian un til our race shall have set him an example of good faith, of his ingratitude until we have giv en him something for which to be thankful, or of his cowardice so long as he is ready with his small forces to engage in warfare with our peo ple and army ; that no fair and thorough en deavor to civilize the Indian will end in re signing him again to all the untoward and bar barous influences of his own wild tribe ; and that the Indian has been, in cases where the ex periment was properly made, civilized and Christianized. I have no faith in any effort to civilize the Indian if it do not rest upon the basis of some permanent policy of the Government and upon a persevering and unintermitted application of all the means of Christian education. Dissolution of the tribal organization, and conditional en franchisement of the Indian seem also essential. To aid in the reform an Indian soldiery and In dian police, both officered by white men of su perior merit, would be invaluable. I may be allowed to say a few words about the Christianization of the Indian. Believing as I do that only a Christian civilization can re> cover him from his barbarous condition, and believing thoroughly that the Indian can be Christianized I would direct attention to one feature of the present Indian policy. I cannot in any other way so well set the subject forth as by copying the subjoined letter, addressed May 18, 1872, to John C. Lowrie, D. D., by B. R. Cowan, Acting Secretary of the Depart ment of the Interior, at Washington. "SiF: I have received your letter of the 16th inst., in which you enquire whether in the opinion of this department the responsibili ty of a Missionary Board ends with the nomina tion of Indian agents, or is to be considered as extending also to their conduct after their ap pointment to office. I will enter more fully in to the subject than merely answering the ques tion propounded by you. "On the 19th of August, 1870, Mr. Secretary Cox communicated to the various missionary Indian many In cor or ex in it be say be and inter re for in re a De I Da are the and and army. War integ Un must of have In so Bad in has in not to mer many of They slain for and be and than until or and void ac af un of giv or his peo en re bar and ex and the a all en In su re> be by in as societies the Indian policy of the Government, and invited their co-operation in the work. He also asked of them recommendations for the appointment of agents for the agencies respec tively tendered each association, with the un derstanding that the several agents would be allowed employees and subordinates selected also ty their own missionary associations, so as to make each agency a unit in purpose and spir it, and so add to its efficiency in the work ofln dian civilization and advancement. The ideas expressed by him are still entertained by this department. "Harmony and unity of purpose should ex ist between the society, the agents and their employes to the same extent as between the society and the government, and the agent should, as far as practicable, in all cases recom mend only such employes as will enter fully and cheerfully into the religious and moral training of the Indian, and who are worthy and acceptable to the missionary society having the supervision of the agency. "The agent should not consider himself after appointment as released from the oversight and care of the society, and should, by all means at his command, do his utmost to further the mis sionary work under his charge. Nor will an agent be permitted to remain in office who ren ders himself obnoxious to the society upon whose recommendation he was appointed. "In many instances the exigencies of the ser vice require immediate action, where delay would be a detriment to the service. In such cases time would not permit the agents consulting the so ciety ; but at all other times he should submit to it the names of all new appointees before sending the nominations here for confirmation. "Very respectfully," etc. From this letter we learn that under the pres ent policy 1. —Indian agents are, as a rule, to be nomi nated by the various Christian missionary so cieties of the country. 2. —The appointments of agents and their subordinates come from the Secretary of the In terior, who does not necessarily appoint the men nominated, but exercises his own discre tion as to the fitness of candidates. 3. —The declared aim of the government is to make the agencies efficient instruments for the "civilization and advancement" of the In dian, and to appoint only such officials as will "enter fully and cheerfully into the religious and moral training" of the red man. This policy has been severely criticised. It is said to establish a union of Church and State. Whatever other objections may lie against it, think this one is not well taken. If only one church had been entrusted with the duty of aid ing to civilize and Christianize the Indian the objections would be valid. We may truthfully say that the plan does assume that our country and government are, nominally, at least, Chris tian. So they are. God grant that so they ever may continue. We do not reckon our era from the year of the world, or from the hegira of Mohammed, but from the birth of Christ. Our government Is not sectarian. It tolerates all religions. But nothing in its Constitution or laws binds it to refrain from teaching as the standard of moral and civilizing truth the com mandments of Israel's God and the precepts and faith of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christian American, stand bravely to this truth! There seemed to be one of three courses open to the government : It could attempt to civil ize the Indian and utterly ignore the grandest civilizing instrumentality — Christianity. It could invite all denominations to send their missionaries indiscriminately to all the tribes without any respect to the relative needs of the Indians or to inter-ecclesiastical comity. It could adopt the plan now pursued. The first course would have been altogether indefensible. The second would have planted in some tribes several diverse denominational beliefs, and would have left other tribes desti ' A tute of all Christian teaching. If Christianity is to be regarded either as the essential basis of sound civilization such as our nation approves, or as the strongest support of this civilization, the course adopted seems to be the only one consistent with the nation's duty to the Indian. Let the government beware of abandoning it until a better can be devised. Let the endeav or rather be to perfect this policy and to bring all the churches to that conscientious and zeal ous performance of the work allotted, which has characterized so far only a few denomina tions. Shame upon the Christian people of the land that some of the societies have so dis gracefully performed their part in the work. In conclusion I will recapitulate the outline of reforms that have appeared possible and needed. I —An amendment of the Constitution of the United States to place the Indian Bureau per manently under one department or another and stop much of the rash legislation that now tri fles with Indian affairs. 2. —The adoption of a plan that will assume as possible and obligatory the civilizing of the Indians. 3. —Absolutely just and kind treatment of the Indian, and a code of laws for guidance of In dians and whites in all their relations to each other. To these laws should be affixed penal ties that would bear with equal severity upon white and Indian who transgressed. 4. —The dissolution of tribal organizations. 5.—The organization of Indian soldiery and police. 6. —The conditional enfranchisement of the Indian. 7. —The last reform I will mention should be practiced by all of us, and by all Christian denominations, by the faithful use of all our opportunities to teach the Indian the nature of a truly Christian and liberal and industrious society and civilization. as at is It I of or [Written for the Herald.] SILVER m m VICINITY, Mining and Milling Results in a Gold District. BY R. H. KEMP. I have just finished a "round-up" of the camps in this vicinity, and the following is the result of my observations and information gained : The Penobscot has crushed 11,222 tons in the past year. Average value of ore saved, $18 42*100 per ton. Total amount of bullion sold amounts to $206,709 24-100 ; 1,900 feet of levels have been run in the past year ; 495 feet of sinking has been done during the year, including shafts and winzes. The company had only ten stamps and three arastra tubs until November 20tb, 1878, when ten were added. Ten stamps more started April 22d, 1879. The next ten stamp* started May 20th, 1879. Six additional arastra beds started May 25th, 1879. An arastra treats six tons per 24 hours, and has only aVefaigëd half-time since. This report is from November 1, 1878, to November 1, 1879. The mill can be run two years on ore yet in the stopes. The main shaft, 260 feet deep, shows twenty feet of pay ore in the bottom. The Belmont mine has crushed 6,038 tons. Averaged $11.25 per ton saved. Sold bullion to the amount of $79,608 27-100. Three tunnels extended on the lode, in the aggre gate t'00 feet. A winz sunk 160 feet, con nects tunnel No. 1 with No. 3. The company has done considerable dead work in the past year, but have come out ahead, and will make plenty of money hereafter. The work in the mine is now being doneon the contract sys tem, instead of the day's pay system. This report is from November 1, 1878, to Novem ber 1, 1879. L. C. Trent, General Manager ; Wm. Muth, Secretary and Cashier. Blue Bird (Hickey mine.) I could get no exact figuresas to the number of tons treated. The ore averages now about $47.00 per ton. Cotter & Hickey have sold gold since the discovery of the mine to the amount of over $100,000. About $65,000 were produced in the past year. The deepest shaft, 175 feet, carries from four to eight feet of good pay ore. The Sanford mine, discovered last fall, has furnished several hundred tons of ore. Aver age by mill test, $20 per ton. Five stamps of the Cotter & Hickey mill are running on this ore. Owned by S&ndford, Woods & Shan non. Shaft, 60 feet deep ; carries from three to five feet of pay ore. The Whippoorwill mine milled 1,800 tons of ore. Average saved, $12 45-100 per ton. Sold in gold, $22,398 75-100. The mill has not run half the time. The mine is still work ing 11 men, but the mill has not been run ning for some time. This property is owned by Vestel & Leahry. The Gloster mine mill started on December 10th. It treats six tons every twentytfour hours and averages $15 to $20 per ton. The mine carries from 4 to 8 feet of pay ore/ Owned by Mitchell, Powers, Culenen and Fogarty. It will pay well in the future no doubt. The Drum Lummond mine, milled by Wm. Mayger, 204 tons from a poor part of the mine, which gave it no fair test, and yielded about $9.00 per ton. The lode is 59 feet be tween walls, carrying some streaks of very high grade ore. When the ore is assorted at the mine it will pay as well as any lead in Montana. A cross cut tunnel 300 feet long cuts the vein 125 feet deep. Thomas Corsen, sole owner. Number of stamps in operation at present Penobscot Mill.....................................40 Belmont Mill.......................................20 Whipporwill Mill.............. 10 Cotter & Hickey Mill...............................10 Gloster Mill..,......................................5 Mayger Mill........................................5 Total 90 Number of arastra beds : Penobscot Arastra.................................. 9 Whipporwill Arastra.............................. 2 Emma Miller Arastra............................... 3 Total...............................................14 Amount produced in the past year : Penobscot..................................|206,T09 24 Belmont................................... 79,608 27 Whippowill................................ 22,398 70 Maygeris Mill.............................. 3,000 00 Cotter & Hickey.......................... 66,000 00 Gloster................................... 1,500 (0 Emma Miller Arastra...................... 2,600 00 Total yield of District.....................| 380,716 21 The last three are approximations, but from the data 1 have I am satisfied the figures are not far wrong. Besides this there are a number of placer mines, of which I have no account There are also any number of good mines in various stages of development, some of them being as valuable, to all appearances, as those described. I regret that time and space will not admit of a notice of all of them. ' ^ Specimen of Rich Silver Ore. As an evidence of the richness of our sil ver mines we can vouch for the following ; From seven pounds of ore taken from the Islington mine, within sight of Helena, Capt. Guyer smelted out in an ordinary cru cible a button weighing two and one-eight pounds of pure silver. solid Credit. The financial standing of Montana may be judged by the circumstance that, in convert ing her indebtedness from ten into seven per cents, recently, her bonds were all bid for at a premium of nearly one per cent The as sessible wealth of the Territory expanded nearly $3,000,000 Coring the past year, and promises largely to exceed this amount dur ing 1880.