51. Indian Commissioner Crawford on Indian Policy: Extract from the Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, November 25, 1838
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

72 their protection against the encroachment of our citizens, and guarding the Indians as far as possible from those evils which have brought them to their present condition. Summary authority has been given by law to destroy all ardent spirits found in their country, without waiting the doubtful result and slow process of a legal seizure. I consider the absolute and unconditional interdiction of this article among these people as the first and great step in their melioration. Halfway measures will answer no purpose. These can not successfully contend against the cupidity of the seller and the overpowering appetite of the buyer. And the destructive effects of the traffic are marked in every page of the history of our Indian intercourse. Some general legislation seems necessary for the regulation of the relations which will exist in this new state of things between the Government and people of the United States and these transplanted Indian tribes, and for the establishment among the latter, and with their own consent, of some principles of intercommunication which their juxtaposition will call for; that moral may be substituted for physical force, the authority of a few and simple laws for the tomahawk, and that an end may be put to those bloody wars whose prosecution seems to have made part of their social system. After the further details of this arrangement are completed, with a very general supervision over them, they ought to be left to the progress of events. These, I indulge the hope, will secure their prosperity and improvement , and a large portion of the moral debt we owe them will then be paid. . . . [James D. Richardson, comp., Messages and Papers of the Presidents, 3:171–73.] 51. Indian Commissioner Crawford on Indian Policy Extract from the Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs November 25, 1838 Commissioner of Indian Affairs T. Hartley Crawford had strong views on Indian policy, which he expressed in his annual reports. In 1838 he wrote, among other things, about manual labor schools, allotment of Indian lands to individual Indians, and confederation of the Indians in the West. . . . . The principal lever by which the Indians are to be lifted out of the mire of folly and vice in which they are sunk is education . The learning of the already civilized and cultivated man is not what they want now. It could not be advantageously ingrafted on so rude a stock. In the present state of their social existence, all they could be taught, or would learn, is to read and write, with a very limited knowledge of figures. There are exceptions, but in the general the remark is true, and perhaps more is not desirable or would be useful. As they advance, a more liberal culture of their minds may be effected, if happily they should yield to the influences that, if not roughly thrust back, will certainly follow in the wake of properly directed efforts to improve their understanding. To attempt too much at once is to insure failure. You must lay the foundations broadly and deeply, but gradually, if you would succeed. To teach a savage man to read, while he continues a savage in all else, is to throw seed on a rock. In this particular there has been a general error. If you would win an Indian from the waywardness and idleness and vice of his life, you must improve his morals, as well as his mind, and that not merely by precept, but by teaching him how to farm, how to work in the mechanic arts, and how to labor profitably ; so that, by enabling him to find his comfort in changed pursuits, he will fall into those habits which are in keeping with the useful application of such education as may be given him. Thus too, only, it is conceived, are men to be christianized; the beginning is some education, social and moral lives, the end may be the brightest hope: but this allusion ought not, perhaps, to have been made; upon it I certainly will not enlarge; it is in better hands. Manual-labor schools are what the Indian condition calls for. The Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church has laid before the department 73 a plan, based upon the idea suggested, for establishing a large central school for the education of the Western Indians. Into their scheme enter a farm, and shops for teaching the different mechanic arts. Experience, they say, has shown them, after much...