In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

149 the intelligent Committees on Indian Affairs of the Senate and House can readily propose legislation which will accomplish this most desirable result. I regard this suggestion as by far the most important which I have to make in this report. Since our Government was organized two questions, or rather two classes of questions, have transcended all others in importance and difficulty, viz, the relations of the Government and the white people to the negroes and to the Indians. The negro question has doubtless absorbed more of public attention, aroused more intense feeling, and cost our people more blood and treasure than any other question, if not all others combined. That question, it is to be hoped, is settled foreverintheonlywayinwhichitssettlement was possible—by the full admission of the negro to all the rights and privileges of citizenship . Next in importance comes the Indian question, and there can be no doubt that our Indian wars have cost us more than all the foreign wars in which our Government has been engaged. It is time that some solution of this whole Indian problem, decisive, satisfactory , just, and final, should be found. In my judgment it can be reached only by a process similar to that pursued with the negroes. In the three propositions above stated, will, I believe, be found the true and final settlement of this perplexing subject. However efficient may be the administration of the Indian Office, and however faithful the labors of its agents and their subordinates, I have little hope of any marked degree of success until the above suggestions are substantially adopted as a permanent Indian policy. If Congress concludes to act on these suggestions , laws should be passed at the coming session to extend the jurisdiction of the courts over all Indians, and to provide for the allotment of lands in severalty in the Indian Territory, and on such other reservations as may be selected as permanent; and an appropriation should be made with which to begin the removal of Indians to their permanent homes. I trust I may be pardoned for stating that it appears to me that the fundamental difficulty in our relations hitherto with Indians has been the want of a well-defined, clearlyunderstood , persistent purpose on the part of the Government. Indian affairs have heretofore been managed largely by the application of mere temporary expedients in a fragmentary and disjointed manner. For a hundred years the United States has been wrestling with the “Indian question,” but has never had an Indian policy. The only thing yet to be done by the Government in regard to the Indians which seems to have been permanent and far-reaching in its scope and purpose, is the dedication of the Indian Territory as the final home for the race. Surely it is time that a policy should be determined on, which shall be fully understood by the Government, the people, and the Indians. We cannot afford to allow this race to perish without making an honest effort to save it. We cannot afford to keep them in our midst as vagabonds and paupers. I appeal to the statesmen of the country to give to this subject their earnest attention; the sooner it is settled on some wise and comprehensive principle the better for all concerned. We have despoiled the Indians of their rich hunting-grounds, thereby depriving them of their ancient means of support. Ought we not and shall we not give them at least a secure home, and the cheap but priceless benefit of just and equitable laws? . . . [House Executive Document no. 1, 44th Cong., 2d sess., serial 1749, pp. vii–xi.] 90. Indian Commissioner Hayt on Indian Police Extract from the Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs November 1, 1877 The use of Indians to police the reservations had been tried with success by John Clum, agent of the Apaches on the San Carlos Reservation, and by other agents. Commissioner Ezra A. Hayt recommended the general adoption of an Indian police force in his annual report of 1877. Congress authorized pay for 430 privates and 50 officers in 1878 and raised the number to 800 privates and 100 officers in 1879 (U.S. Statutes at Large, 20:86, 315). 150 . . . . The preservation of order is as necessary to the promotion of civilization as is the enactment of wise laws. Both are essential to the peace and happiness of any people. As a means of...


Additional Information

MARC Record
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.