restricted access 73. Secretary of War Schofield on Transfer of the Indian Bureau: Extract from the Annual Report of the Secretary of War, November 20, 1868
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116 who now have located or may hereafter locate permanently on their respective agricultural reservations. Resolved, That the treaties of said tribes with United States, whether ratified or not, should be considered to be and remain in full force as to all Indians of such tribes as now have or may hereafter have their homes upon the agricultural reservations described in their respective treaties, and no others. Resolved, That in the opinion of this commission the time has come when the government should cease to recognize the Indian tribes as “domestic dependent nations,” except so far as it may be required to recognize them as such by existing treaties, and by treaties made but not yet ratified; that hereafter all Indians should be considered and held to be individually subject to the laws of the United States, except where and while it is otherwise provided in said treaties, and that they should be entitled to the same protection from said laws as other persons owing allegiance to the government enjoy. Resolved, That the recent outrages and depredations committed by the Indians of the plains justify the government in abrogating those clauses of the treaties made in October, 1867, at Medicine Lodge creek, which secure to them the right to roam and hunt outside their reservations; that all said Indians should be requested to remove at once to said reservations and remain within them, except that after peace shall have been restored, hunting parties may be permitted to cross their boundaries with written authority from their agent or superintendent. And Resolved further, That military force should be used to compel the removal into said reservations of all such Indians as may refuse to go, after due notice has been given to them that provision has been made to feed and protect them within the same. Resolved, That in the opinion of this commission the Bureau of Indian Affairs should be transferred from the Department of the Interior to the Department of War. . . . [House Executive Document no. 1, 40th Cong., 3d sess., serial 1366, pp. 831–32.] 73. Secretary of War Schofield on Transfer of the Indian Bureau Extract from the Annual Report of the Secretary of War November 20, 1868 The arguments of military men in favor of transferring the Bureau of Indian Affairs from the Department of the Interior to the War Department were well stated by Secretary of War J. M. Schofield in his annual report for 1868. . . . . I believe it manifest that an important change should be made in our mode of dealing with the Indians. While good faith and sound policy alike require us to strictly observe existing treaties so long as the Indians maintain like good faith, when any tribe has violated its treaty it should no longer be regarded as a nation with which to treat, but as a dependent uncivilized people, to be cared for, fed when necessary, and governed. It is manifest that any branch of the public service cannot be efficiently and economically managed by two departments of the government. If the Interior Department can alone manage Indian affairs, and thus save the large expense of the army in the Indian country, very well. But if the army must be kept there for the protection of railroads and frontier settlements, why not require the army officers to act as Indian agents, and thus save all the expense of the civilians so employed. Besides, an army officer has his military reputation and commission at stake, and is subject to trial by court-martial for any misconduct in office. Thus is afforded the strongest possible security the government can have for an honest administration of Indian affairs by officers of the army; while the civilian agent, being only a temporary officer of the government, and practically exempt from trial and punishment for misconduct, gives the government the least possible security for honest administration. For the sake of economy to the government , for the sake of more efficient protection to the frontier settlements, and for the 117 sake of justice to the Indians, I recommend that the management of Indian affairs be restored to the War Department, with authority to make regulations for their government and for their protection against lawless whites. . . . [House Executive Document no. 1, 40th Cong., 3d sess., serial 1367, pp. xvii–xviii.] 74. Indian Commissioner Taylor on Transfer of the Indian Bureau Extract from the Annual Report of the Commissioner...


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