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Self-interest, the mightiest power in the State, would necessarily dictate this result; for success in agriculture, mining and stock-raising among those living near the Indians depends in large measure on the cultivation of peaceful relations with the Indians. It is well known that much of the trouble now so common between the Indians and their white neighbors arises from the encroachment of the latter on the Indian reservations; and these encroachments are the more frequent because of the difficulty of distinguishing clearly between the reservations and other territory of the United States, open for settlement; but were these very men to have a voice in deciding upon the lands set apart for the Indians, and were themselves to participate in the act of deeding to the Indians the lands they occupy, it could not but favorably influence the state of affairs.
In all difficulties between the Indians and whites the judiciary under the present régime is powerless. Whites steal horses and cattle from the Indians, and the red men have no resource but to retaliate, and, once on the reservation with their booty, are comparatively secure. The white settlers have no idea of taking their grievances into court, in which the Indians have heretofore had no legal standing. The agent, so far as he can, compels the Indians to keep on the reservation and leave their white neighbors to themselves. Should he fail in this endeavor, he calls on the army for assistance. This use of the military to preserve order, the necessity of defending property by violence, itself nourishes a spirit of lawlessness, which breaks out in such terrible tragedies as the holocaust, in the spring of 1879, in Custer County, Nebraska. As we approach the Indian reservations and hunting grounds, the power of the civil authority becomes weaker, until at length it ceases altogether, superseded by that of the executive, in the persons of frontier-men, who proceed to execute for themselves what they conceive the law to be, or rather what they think it ought to be. Had the State full control within its limits, except in those rare instances where the military must assist in maintaining order, the judiciary would retain its power and the law would be enforced by its proper and constituted authorities.
Nor is this proposed method of dealing with the Indians an untried experiment. In many of the older States the Indians were managed by the State authorities; they were well governed, and troubles between them and their white neighbors speedily disappeared. And in one of the western territories, where dwelt tribes closely related to the Utes, with whom we have just been at war, the Mormons lived side by side with the Indians, and experienced none of the difficulties so common in other States and territories. The secret of this was the fact that agreements with the Indians were carried out to the letter, and that crimes committed by the Indians against white men, or by white men against Indians, were punished impartially, just as similar crimes between white men were punished; and the Indian learned to respect the word of his white neighbor and to believe that what he said and agreed to, he meant to perform.
The theory on which our government is based should be carried out in the west as in the east, with Indians as with white men and negroes, viz.: the management of local affairs by those immediately interested, and the supremacy of the judiciary over the executive and legislative departments. Indian affairs should be conducted as other affairs are successfully conducted. Let the control of the Indians within their borders be given to the State and territorial governments: let the annuities which the general government is pledged to pay, be disbursed by State and territorial officers; let Indian agents, traders and contractors, if any be needed-which would soon cease to be the case under the proposed management-be appointed or elected by the States and territories; let there be given to the States and territories in which the Indians reside, the entire control of the land, and let the people within their limits be subject to no interference from the general Government. Thus the influence of the judiciary will be strengthened; the spirit of the Government will pervade every citizen of its territory. Peculation will cease; the white settlers on the frontier will be protected by the same means that protect white settlers in the interior; and the Indians will be treated with more regard to justice, because it will be for
the interest of their white neighbors so to treat them, to the end that both races may be peaceful and prosperous.
Not only by the proposed method of solving the Indian problem will the Indians and the whites on the frontiers be benefited, but the whole country will share in the benefit; for apart from the reduced expenditure in consequence of an honest administration of Indian affairs and the vast saving resulting from the decline of Indian wars, the most fruitful source of the corruption so alarming in the general Government will be removed. Indian traderships and contracts are now used by Senators and government officials as rewards for the dishonorable trickery employed to secure their election and appointment. The Senator does not dare to use money directly for such a purpose, as he might be impeached for bribery; but instead of that he promises a contractor a tradership, which answers the same purpose. Of course, even under State or territorial control there may, for a time, be contracts and trading-posts; though these would disappear as the Indians were treated more like other citizens.
The aim in any method of managing the Indians, should be to make them citizens as speedily as possible, who should have their own homes, and who should engage in some form of industry, whether farming, stock-raising or other industrial pursuit. To this end they should be established in some prescribed and secure locality from which they should never be removed except at their own request. Under the present management there have been frequent removals, often to localities unhealthy and ill-adapted to the manners and customs of the tribe. The advancing tide of emigration trespasses on the old reservation and the general Government is compelled to place the Indians on a new reservation. Under State or territorial control, the people of the State or territory, having themselves assigned the land to a given tribe, would for their own sake be interested to prevent any intrusion on these lands. And the very persons who now compel a transfer of the Indians to another locality would, under the new condition of affairs, preserve the lands of the tribe from spoliation. Treated in some sort as citizens, protected in
property and person by the laws, the Indians would approximate more and more nearly to the position of citizens, and each year would remove more and more of those troubles which now end in such frightful tragedies. In the territories, where the Indians are less civilized than in the States, and more numerous than the whites, complications might occur, unknown to the State. Under such circumstances, the military might have to be invoked. But there is a vast difference between a use of the military at the request of territorial authorities and at the request of Indian agents, between military used by the people to assist their own efforts, and used by the general Government with no regard to the wishes of the citizens or the rights at issue. And even in the territories there would be less frequent call on the arm of the executive, since the people would feel themselves responsible for the management of the Indians within their borders, and would prevent many of those acts, on the part of their neighbors, which now so often lead to disastrous conflicts. Furthermore, immigration to these territories is yearly increasing, and it cannot be long ere the whites will be so numerous as to enable them to manage their own affairs without invoking the aid of the military.
If the transfer of the management of Indian affairs to territorial governments be at present impracticable because of an inadequate population in certain territories, the objection cannot be made to a transfer of them in the several States now containing reservations. In these the experiment would seem certain of success; and some of the territories, as Utah, Dacotah, Wyoming and Washington, are already sufficiently populous to insure success in them, as also are Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, California and Oregon. Observation of the workings of the Indian Bureau, and of the causes of trouble between the two races, during many years' residence close to the scene of strife, has convinced us of the feasibility of our plan of dealing with the Indian problem as herein imperfectly sketched, and of the utter failure of the present management.
ART. III.—THE ENGLISH CLASSICS.
1. Histoire de la Littérature Anglaise. Par H. A. Taine. 5 Vols. Paris: 1863-65.
2. Masterpieces of English Literature. By H. B.
SPRAGUE. London: 1874.
3. English Writers. Writers before Chaucer: with Introductory Sketch of the four periods of English Literature. By H. MORLEY. London 1864.
"LET us first take the three principal productions of human intelligence-religion, art, and philosophy. What is a philosophy but a conception of nature and its primordial causes under the form of abstractions and formulas? What is there at the foundation of a religion or of an art but a conception of this same nature and of these same causes under the form of symbols more or less concise, and personages more or less marked; with this difference, that in the first place one believes that they exist; in the second, that they do not? Let one consider some of those grand creations of mind in India, Scandinavia, Persia, at Rome, in Greece, and one will see that art is a kind of philosophy become sensible, religion a poem taken for true, and philosophy an art and a religion desséchée and reduced to pure ideas."* Literature is the permanent expression of these ideas.
The literature of a nation, like its religion, its philosophy, and its art, is illustrated by its progress in civilization. As the civilization of a people is largely influenced by the soil, the climate, the physical aspects of the country, and by the abundance or scarcity of the national food, so is the growth * Littérature Anglaise.