Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/320

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requires a change of the whole working department of the Indian Bureau whenever a change of administration takes place. Nor can this evil be remedied so long as the Indian Bureau continues to be a political machine. The savages cannot comprehend why it is that every few years imposes upon their acceptance new and untried Agents to regulate matters between them and their "Great Father" at Washington, nor why the new Agents should institute a policy different from that of their predecessors. Time, patience, zeal, great experience and conscientious discharge of duty are indispensably requisite for the proper and just management of our Indian relations, and even then they will be found delicate and difficult under peculiar circumstances which are constantly presenting themselves. The first great object should be a total and sweeping reform in this respect. The Department of Indian Affairs, as it is now organized, should be abolished as a costly and unnecessary adjunct to a Government already overburdened with political patronage. We have a large number of meritorious and highly educated officers of the army on the retired list. Many of them have acquired considerable insight into Indian character during the course of their campaigns in our Territories and on our frontiers. They are drawing pay from the Government without rendering effective service. Their own high sense of honor makes many of them feel as if they had been laid upon the shelf as being no longer useful, and they would be but too happy to prove that their capacity to serve their country in this line is quite as great as it ever was in their former field of operations. By appointing such men, and merging the Indian Bureau into the War Department, a regular, systematic policy would be pursued, upon which our savage tribes could place reliance,