68. Creation of an Indian Peace Commission, July 20, 1867
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104 also; to some extent they serve as a check upon each other: neither are slow to point to the mistakes and abuses of the other. It is therefore proper that they should be independent of each other, receive their appointments from and report to different heads of departments. Weighing this matter and all the arguments for and against the proposed change, your committee are unanimously of the opinion that the Indian Bureau should remain where it is. boards of inspection. Fifth. In our Indian system, beyond all doubt, there are evils, growing out of the nature of the case itself, which can never be remedied until the Indian race is civilized or shall entirely disappear. The committee are satisfied that these evils are sometimes greatly aggravated, not so much by the system adopted by the government in dealing with the Indian tribes, as by the abuses of that system. As the best means of correcting those abuses and ameliorating those evils, the committee recommend the subdivision of the Territories and States wherein the Indian tribes remain into five inspection districts, and the appointment of five boards of inspection ; and they earnestly recommend the passage of Senate bill 188, now pending before the House. That bill was unanimously recommended by the joint special committee, and also recommended by the committees of both Houses upon Indian Affairs. It is the most certainly efficient mode of preventing these abuses which they have been able to devise. . . . It is believed that such boards of inspection thus organized and composed of the men who should be appointed to fill them, would save the country from many useless wars with the Indians, and secure in all branches of the Indian service greater efficiency and fidelity. If such boards should cost the government a hundred and fifty thousand dollars annually , and should avert but one Indian war in ten years, still, upon the score of economy alone, the government would be repaid five hundred per cent. [Senate Report no. 156, 39th Cong., 2d sess., serial 1279, pp. 3–10.] 68. Creation of an Indian Peace Commission July 20, 1867 The outbreak of wars on the plains in the mid-1860s convinced Congress that a serious peace offensive was in order. It authorized a Peace Commission, which was to determine the reasons for Indian hostilities and at its discretion to make treaty arrangements and to select reservations for the tribes. An Act to establish Peace with certain Hostile Indian Tribes. Be it enacted . . . , That the President of the United States be, and he is hereby, authorized to appoint a commission to consist of three officers of the army not below the rank of brigadier general, who, together with N. G. Taylor, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, John B. Henderson, Chairman of the Committee of Indian Affairs of the Senate, S. F. Tappan, and John B. Sanborn, shall have power and authority to call together the chiefs and headmen of such bands or tribes of Indians as are now waging war against the United States or committing depredations upon the people thereof, to ascertain the alleged reasons for their acts of hostility, and in their discretion, under the direction of the President, to make and conclude with said bands or tribes such treaty stipulations, subject to the action of the Senate, as may remove all just causes of complaint on their part, and at the same time establish security for person and property along the lines of railroad now being constructed to the Pacific and other thoroughfares of travel to the western Territories, and such as will most likely insure civilization for the Indians and peace and safety for the whites. Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That said commissioners are required to examine and select a district or districts of country having sufficient area to receive all the Indian tribes now occupying territory east of the Rocky 105 mountains, not now peacefully residing on permanent reservations under treaty stipulations , to which the government has the right of occupation or to which said commissioners can obtain the right of occupation, and in which district or districts there shall be sufficient tillable or grazing land to enable the said tribes, respectively, to support themselves by agricultural and pastoral pursuits. Said district or districts, when so selected, and the selection approved by Congress, shall be and remain permanent homes for said Indians to be located thereon, and no person [s] not members of...


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