Page:Eleven years in the Rocky Mountains and a life on the frontier.djvu/495

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

celebrates its centennial year by another bloody Indian war. On the other side of the line there is the same greedy, dominant Anglo-Saxon race, and the same heathen. They have not spent one dollar in Indian war; they have had no Indian massacres. Why? In Canada the Indian treaty calls these men 'the Indian subjects of her Majesty.' When civilization approaches them they are placed on ample reservations; they receive aid in civilization; they have personal rights of property; they are amenable to law and are protected by law; they have schools, and Christian people delight to give them their best men to teach them the religion of Christ. We expend more than one hundred dollars to their one in caring for Indian wards."

The results of the Indian disturbances, whatever their causes, have borne heavily on the hardy and enterprising settlers along the border. Of these citizens Gen. Crook says:—

"I believe it is wrong for a Government as great and powerful as ours not to protect its frontier people from savages. I do not see why a man who has the courage to come out here and open the way for civilization in his own country, is not as much entitled to the protection of his Government as anybody else. I am not one of those who believe, as many missionaries sent out here by well-meaning eastern socities do, that the people of the frontiers are cut-throats, thieves, and murderers. I have been thrown among them for nearly 25 years of my life, and believe them to compare favorably in energy, intelligence and manhood with the best of their eastern brethren. They are mercilessly plundered by Indians without any attempt being made to punish the perpetrators, and when they ask for protection, they are told by some of our peace commissioners sent out to make further concessions to the Indians, that they have no business out here anyhow. I do not deny that my sympathies have been with the frontier people in their unequal contest against such obstacles. At the same time I do not wish to be understood as the unrelenting foe of the Indian."

The Sioux Indians, embracing several tribes, are the old Dakotahs, long known as among the bravest and most warlike aboriginals of this continent. They