Recommendations for Indian Policy 1886The Native Americans lead a strong resistance against their forced relocation evidenced in the Battle of the Greasy Grass, Red Cloud’s war, the Nez Perce trail, etc. Write a government policy arguing one of the following solutions for Native American-White relations. Mention specific ways in which it could be implemented. Present your policy.1. State the purpose of the policy.2. Give a reason for the policy.3. Discuss the implementation of the policy.POLICY OPTIONSa. No regulationb. Return to Homelandc. Reservation Systemd. Assimilatione. Annihilation
Homestead Act - 1862• Legal mandate for Manifest Destiny• 160 acres for a small fee
Fort Laramie Treaty - 1868• Cedes the Black hills to the Sioux• Black Hills = Gold• Black Hills war• Custer’s Last Stand / Custer’s Bluster http://www.custerwest.org/accueileng.htm
In a letter to General Sheridan of date October 15, 1868General Sherman said: "As to extermination; it is for the Indians themselves to determine… As brave men, and as the soldiers of a government which has exhausted its peace efforts, we, in the performance of a most unpleasant duty, accept the war begun by our enemies, and hereby resolve to make its end final. If it results in the utter annihilation of these Indians, it is but the result of what they have been warned again and again, and for which they seem fully prepared. I will say nothing and do nothing to restrain our troops from doing what they deem proper on the spot, and will allow no mere vague general charges of cruelty and inhumanity to tie their hands, but will use all the powers confided to me to the end that these Indians, the enemies of our race and of our civilization, shall not again be able to begin and carry on their barbarous warfare on any kind of pretext that they may choose to allege.”
Crazy Horse 1877We had buffalo for food, and their hides for clothing and for our tepees. Wepreferred hunting to a life of idleness on the reservation, where we weredriven against our will. At times we did not get enough to eat, and we werenot allowed to leave the reservation to hunt.We preferred our own way of living. We were no expense for the government.All we wanted was peace and to be left alone. Soldiers were sent out in thewinter, who destroyed our villages.The “Long Hair” [Custer] came in the same way. They say we massacred him ,but he would do the same thing to us had we not defended ourselves andfought to the last. Our first impulse was to escape with our [women], but wewere so hemmed in that we had to fight.
The Dawes Act - 1887“The more Indians we can kill this year, the less will have to be killed the next war, for themore I see of these Indians, the more convinced I am that they all have to be killed or bemaintained as a species of paupers.” - General William Tecumseh Sherman 1867[to be civilized is to]… "wear civilized clothes...cultivate the ground, live in houses, ride inStudebaker wagons, send children to school, drink whiskey [and] own property." – Congressman Henry Dawes
The Dawes Act - 1887•The Dawes Act divided tribal lands into individual parcels.
Senator Henry M. Teller of Colorado was one of the most outspokenopponents of allotment.In 1881, he said that allotment was a policy "to despoil the Indians of theirlands and to make them vagabonds on the face of the earth."Teller also said,"the real aim [of allotment] was "to get at the Indian lands and open them upto settlement. The provisions for the apparent benefit of the Indians are butthe pretext to get at his lands and occupy them....If this were done in thename of Greed, it would be bad enough; but to do it in the name ofHumanity...is infinitely worse."
VISION:The Dawes Act codified the idea of dividing Indian lands into individual holdings to promoteassimilation by deliberately destroying tribal relations. Surplus land was given to whites.Allotted land for specific tribe and left other tribal allotments to the discretion of the President.“Civilize” the Indians through education, private property, and introduction of agriculture.Support from paternalistic EasternersREALITY:Supporters of the Dawes Act either knew or should have known that in many cases it would meanallotting land that could not be farmed.The Indians, for the most part, did not become self-supporting farmers or ranchers.Inheritance caused problems as allotments were further and further subdivided.The Dawes Act prescribed the assimilation of Native Americans and the loss of their traditional ways ofagriculture, but most significantly, it resulted in the loss of Indian lands.Native Americans didn’t get the right to vote until 1924.
Oklahoma Land Runs - 1889• September 22, 1891: Land run to settle Iowa, Sac and Fox, Pottawatomie, and Shawnee lands.• April 19, 1892: Land run to settle the Cheyenne and Arapaho lands.• September 16, 1893: Cherokee Strip Land Run. The Run of the Cherokee Strip opened nearly 7,000,000 acres (28,000 km²) to settlement on September 16, 1893. The land was purchased from the Cherokees for $7,000,000.• May 23, 1895: Land run to settle the Kickapoo lands.
Ghost Dance - 1888• Wovoka• Native American apocalypse• A return to life without the white man
The frozen body of one of the victims at Wounded Knee. The caption written on this photograph identifies him as themedicine man who triggered the conflict with a handful of dust tossed into the air to illustrate how the power of the GhostDance would sweep the whites from the plains. (Library of Congress)
Dee Brown, Bury My Heart at Wounded KneeWhen the madness ended, Big Foot and more than half of his people were dead orseriously wounded; 153 were known dead, but many of the wounded crwaled away todie afterward. One estimate placed the final total of dead very nearly 300 of theoriginal 350 men, women and children. The soldiers lost 25 dead and 39 wounded,most of them struck by their own bullets or shrapnel.A detail of soldiers went over to the Wounded Knee battlefield, gathering up Indianswho were still alive and loading them into wagons. As it was apparent by the end ofthe day that a blizzard was approaching, the dead Indians were left lying where theyhad fallen. (After the blizzard, when a burial party returned to Wounded Knee, theyfound the bodies, including Big Foot’s, frozen into grotesque shapes.)The wagonloads of wounded Sioux reached Pine Ridge after dark. Because all availablebarracks were filled with soldiers, they were left lying in the open wagons in the bittercold while an inept Army officer searched for shelter. Finally the Episcopal mission wasopened, the benches taken out and hay scattered over the rough flooring.In was the fourth day after Christmas. When the first torn and bleeding bodies werecarried into the candlelit church, those who were conscious could see the Christmasgreenery hanging from the open rafters. Across the chancel front above the pulpit wasstrung a crudely lettered banner: PEACE ON EARTH, GOOD WILL TOWARD MEN.
“A great general has said that the only good Indian is a dead one, and that high sanction ofhis destruction has been an enormous factor in promoting Indian massacres. In a sense, Iagree with the sentiment, but only in this: that all the Indian there is in the race should bedead. Kill the Indian in him, and save the man.” -Richard H. Pratt, founder of the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania, 1892