Page:Letters of Life.djvu/340
LETTERS OF LtFA
residence among them and labors for their salvation entitle his opinions to n ;■• ct, Bays :
"In their attachments to home, kindred, and coun irv.in their natural endowments and virtues, and in their belief in One Great Spirit, they compare favor- ably with any heathen race on earth. Our early inter- course was marked by warm friendships, and white men lived in peace and tranquillity, when their only protection was the good faith of the Indian.
"But our first dealing with them as a government was based upon falsehood. Instead of encouraging them to live by honest labor, they made payments for their lands in beads, trinkets, and scalping-knives, giv- ing the weight of official influence on the side of sav- age life. The sale of fire-water among them has been unblushing, and the office of Indian Agent sought, not because it was one of the noblest trusts that could be committed to man, but because, through corruption, a fortune might be realized in a few years.
" Because, as a nation, we fear God, let us fear to cover up these iniquities ; because we hope in His mercy, let us reform a system which has proved so per-
��5. " Sketch of Connecticut, Forty Tears Since." A descriptive prose work of two hundred and eighty pages, tracing primitive habits and traditions,