restricted access 69. Report of the Indian Peace Commission, January 7, 1868
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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 said tribes shall ever be permitted to enter thereon without the permission of the tribes interested, except officers and employees of the United States: Provided, That the district or districts shall be so located as not to interfere with travel on highways located by authority of the United States, nor with the route of the Northern Pacific Railroad, the Union Pacific Railroad, the Union Pacific Railroad Eastern Division, or the proposed route of the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad by the way of Albuquerque. Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That the following sums of money are hereby appropriated out of any moneys in the treasury, to wit: To carry out the provisions of the preceding sections of this act, one hundred and fifty thousand dollars; to enable the Secretary of the Interior to subsist such friendly Indians as may have separated or may hereafter separate themselves from the hostile bands or tribes and seek the protection of the United States, three hundred thousand dollars. Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That the Secretary of War be required to furnish transportation, subsistence, and protection to the commissioners herein named during the discharge of their duties. Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That if said commissioners fail to secure the consent of the Indians to remove to the reservations and fail to secure peace, then the Secretary of War, under the direction of the President, is hereby authorized to accept the services of mounted volunteers from the Governors of the several States and Territories, in organized companies and battalions, not exceeding four thousand men in number, and for such term of service as, in his judgment, may be necessary for the suppression of Indian hostilities. Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, That all volunteers so accepted shall be placed upon the same footing, in respect to pay, clothing, subsistence, and equipment, as the troops of the regular army. Sec. 7. And be if further enacted, That said commissioners report their doings under this act to the President of the United States, including any such treaties and all correspondence as well as evidence by them taken. [U.S. Statutes at Large, 15:17–18.] 69. Report of the Indian Peace Commission January 7, 1868 The Peace Commission, in its initial report of January 7, 1868, reviewed the causes of Indian hostilities and severely indicted white treatment of the Indians. It urged bringing the Indians into white civilization and made formal recommendations of means to that end. . . . . In making treaties it was enjoined on us to remove, if possible, the causes of complaint on the part of the Indians. This would be no easy task. We have done the best we could under the circumstances, but it is now rather late in the day to think of obliterating from the minds of the present generation the remembrance of wrong. Among civilized men war usually springs from a sense of injustice. The best possible way then to avoid war is to do no act of injustice. When we learn that the same rule holds good with Indians, the chief difficulty is removed. But, it is said our wars with them have been almost constant. Have we been uniformly unjust? We answer, unhesitatingly, yes! We are aware that the masses of our people have felt kindly toward them, and the legislation of Congress has always been conceived in the best intentions , but it has been erroneous in fact or perverted in execution. Nobody pays any attention to Indian matters. This is a deplorable 106 fact. Members of Congress understand the negro question, and talk learnedly of finance, and other problems of political economy, but when the progress of settlement reaches the Indian’s home, the only question considered is, “how best to get his lands.” When they are obtained the Indian is lost sight of. While our missionary societies and benevolent associations...