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The Indian Dispossessed

Since then, those who hold the magic wand of civilization have come, many times the world over, into the land of the unenlightened, with all shades of motives, and with all sorts of teachings; but the point of it all is that this mythological benefactor began the civilization of his chosen people, not by teaching them the alphabet, nor a new creed, nor to make beadwork for the curio market, but—"He first taught the Italians agriculture."

From Italy's beginning to the first page of the American aborigine's story may seem a far cry. It is. Their significant relation—if a hibernicism be permissible—is that of dissimilarity. Had some kindly Saturn preceded the Pilgrims in the land, and first taught the Indians agriculture, the meeting of the races might have resulted very differently; but it was decreed that the Indian should receive his first impression of the better life from mere mortals.

While the good Puritans appear to have yearned for the salvation of the Indian's soul, they labored more effectively for the possession of the Indian's land; and with a quick perception of their prime motive the Indian soon brought himself to see, above all else in the new civilization, a despoiler of his one possession—the great hunting-ground of his fathers. So, under the persuasive influence of these conditions, the Indian moved continually westward, with his heart full of hate for the white man, and the first great lesson in civilization still unlearned.