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Peter Farb

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A well-intentioned movement had gained support to give the remnant Indian populations the dignity of private property, and the plan was widely adopted in the halls of Congress, in the press, and in the meetings of religious societies. ...the Dawes Allotment Act of 1887 ... provided that after every Indian had been allotted land, any remaining surplus would be put up for sale to the public. The loopholes... made it an efficient instrument for separating the Indians from this land. ...The first lands to go were the richest--bottom lands in river valleys, or fertile grasslands. Next went the slightly less desirable lands... and so on, until all the Indian had left to him was desert that no White considered worth the trouble to take. ...Between 1887, when the Dawes Act was passed, and 1934, out of 138 million acres that had been their meager allotment, all but 56 million acres had been appropriated by Whites. ...not a single acre was judged uneroded by soil conservationists.

 
Peter Farb

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Following the War of 1812, the young United States had no further need for Indian allies against the British, and as a result the fortunes of the Indians declined rapidly. By 1848, twelve new states had been carved out of the Indian's lands, two major and minor Indian wars had been fought, and group after group of Indians had been herded westward, on forced marches, across the Mississippi River.

 
Peter Farb
 

The desire of Whites to occupy Indian lands, and the constant rivalry between French and English traders for furs gathered by the Indians, led to many skirmishes and several bloody wars, all of which involved Indians on both sides. The Whites were determined to fight it our with each other --down to the last Indian. These battles culminated in the French and Indian War of 1763, which represented a disaster to many Indian groups in the northeastern part of the continent. In May, 1763, an Ottowa warrior by the name of Pontiac fell upon Detroit and captured the English forts, one after the other. Lord Jeffry Amherst, who commanded the British military forces in North America... distributed among the Indians handkerchiefs and blankets from the small pox hospital at Fort Pitt--probably the first use of biological warfare in history.

 
Peter Farb
 

There is nothing like [Indian cruelty] in history in any part of the world and the result was that the aboriginal Indians were regarded as ravening wolves or worse and deprived of all sympathy, while the Whites stole their lands and killed their game. No one who knew the true nature of the Indian felt any regret that they were driven off their hunting grounds. This attitude was found wherever the Whites came in conflict with them and explains why they were scarcely regarded as human beings.

 
Madison Grant
 

"Territory we do not want; having, it is probable, already more than we well know how to manage. Instead therefore of countenancing that vagrant and unsettled way of life which has become habitual to so many of our people; and that very general passion they have to be for ever running back in quest of fresh lands; a practice not more unpropitious to all agricultural improvements, than likely to keep us involved in Indian wars; let us enlarge our empire by the civilization of the Indians; who already have a better title to any of our un-located lands, than we can possibly give any new comers"

 
Jonathan Boucher
 

From the nature and purpose of civil institutions, all the lands within the limits which any particular society has circumscribed around itself are assumed by that society, and subject to their allotment only. This may be done by themselves, assembled collectively, or by their legislature, to whom they may have delegated sovereign authority; and if they are alloted in neither of these ways, each individual of the society may appropriate to himself such lands as he finds vacant, and occupancy will give him title.

 
Thomas Jefferson
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