The Indian Dispossessed
and fifty-five to nineteen hundred and five. It is the object of this book to pick out the official narratives of a few Indian tribes and present the Indian in his unromantic reality,—not the Indian in paint and feathers chasing the buffalo, nor the Indian of Cooper, but a forlorn individual wrested from old conditions and brought face to face with new; a being bearing the impress of a common Maker at the absolute mercy of those who profess that "all men are created equal." The public documents shall tell most of the story.
The first forcible exposition of the reservation system, somewhat revised and in working order, appears in the report for 1872 of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to the Honorable Secretary of the Interior. He says in part:
"In the first announcement made of the reservation system, it was expressly declared that the Indians should be made as comfortable on, and as uncomfortable off, their reservations as it was in the power of the Government to make them; that such of them as went right should be protected and fed, and such as went wrong should be harassed and scourged without intermission. It was not anticipated that the first proclamation of this policy to the tribes concerned would effect the entire cessation of existing evils; but it was believed that persistence in the course marked out would steadily reduce the number of the refractory, both by the