Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/318

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globe, each claiming the highest civilization, speaking identically the same language, and governed by the same general laws, contrive to pass two centuries and a half of close intercourse with such unsatisfactory interknowledgable results, is it strange that a like ignorance should exist between the American people and the nomadic races of this continent?

Causes similar to those which operated as a bar to English knowledge of the American character have interposed against our acquisition of precise information relative to the leading traits of Indian nature. Without being captious, it is assumed that British tourists have, for the most part, approached us with something of an intolerant and pre-occupied spirit. They came prepared to encounter ill-bred, semi-educated, uncouth and braggart provincials, rendered more unendurable by their democratic form of government, and political hostility to the time honored institutions of their own country. Reference can as emphatically be made to the course pursued by the British in India, the Spaniards in Mexico and Peru, the French in Africa and Cochin China. The conquering race seldom care to inform themselves minutely about the condition and characteristics of the conquered, and the results have been renewed sanguinary struggles and immensely increased expenditures. Our own dealings with the nomads of North America have been but so many chapters of the same record. What has our Government ever done, in a concerted, intelligent and liberal spirit, to acquire a definite knowledge of Indian character, as it exists among the tribes which wander over more than one-half the public domain?

The Indian Bureau, with its army of political camp-followers, bent upon improving their short and preca-