An excerpt from a book review in The Southern Workman , Vol. 34: SADDER reading can hardly be found than the oft repeated tale of the removal of the Indians from their homes. Whether it be the story of the Mission Indians of California, or of the Flatheads of the Bitter Root Valley, or of the Nez Perces of Idaho, or one of the many others, it is much the same. All are variations on one theme-the compulsory removal of the red brother because of the desire for his land by white settlers. "The Indian Dispossessed " is the ...
An excerpt from a book review in The Southern Workman , Vol. 34: SADDER reading can hardly be found than the oft repeated tale of the removal of the Indians from their homes. Whether it be the story of the Mission Indians of California, or of the Flatheads of the Bitter Root Valley, or of the Nez Perces of Idaho, or one of the many others, it is much the same. All are variations on one theme-the compulsory removal of the red brother because of the desire for his land by white settlers. "The Indian Dispossessed " is the counterpart of "A Century of Dishonor," and the special merit of the work lies in the closer searching out of the official documents and statements which the present author has made, and in the bringing of the miserable statement of the reservation Indian down to date. This is a plain, connected, and carefully prepared narrative of the actual and proved dealings of the United States Government with the subdued Indian. The author's account of Governmental oppression and ill-faith, and of successive removals of the Indians from their homes to regions unattractive to white settlers, and of confiscation of Indian property, are supported by extracts from official records. It is admittedly a one-sided story. When the author was asked if he did not think the Government had dealt generously with the Indians in providing such good schools for their children, he replied that he thought it had, so far as the schools were concerned, but that he was not writing that side of the case. And while his book is a severe arraignment of the Government it is critical not so much of the Indian Office as of Congress and of political chicanery. It is a story not of sentiment but of facts. This story of the Indian threads its away through the various public documents from 1855 to 1905. It is the avowed object of the book to pick out the official narratives of a few Indian tribes and to present the Indian in his unromantic reality-not the Indian in paint and feathers chasing the buffalo, nor the Indian of Cooper, but a forlorn individual wrested from old conditions and brought face to face with new; a being, bearing the impress of our common Maker, at the absolute mercy of those who profess that all men are created equal. In this race the love of country and of home is very largely developed, as it is in all brave peoples, and they have ever longed for their own valleys and mountains and streams. And however valid may be the claim that the Indian must needs lose his land because he did not develop it as the white man does, our author pointedly remarks, in connection with the captivity of the Nez Perces which was accomplished in 1877, that "a liberty-loving nation, dwelling at this centennial time upon the memories of its struggle for independence-pointing its youth to the picture of Washington and his men at Valley Forge, freezing, hungry, and ill clothed, yet holding out that they might rule their lives as they saw fit-might have dealt generously with a luckless people brought by the same love of liberty to a similar unhappy predicament." This is the sort of thing that the American citizen must bear in mind if he would be familiar with the race problem. The Indians have given up fighting, and given up hope.
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