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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1863

Report of the commissioner of Indian affairs,   pp. [5]-40 PDF (14.2 MB)

Page 13

COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS.                     13 
and begins to despoil them of their homes, the graves of their ancestors,
the means of supplying their rude and simple wants. Surely, it could not
supposed that all this could be accomplished without any manifestations of
position and hostility on the part of the Indians; and it cannot be doubted
aside from the humanitarian and moral aspects of the subject, it would have
been far more economical had we treated with these Indians; obtained from
them by fair purchase such portions of their country as are desirable for
people; secured to the Indians a location where they could live in peace,
where we could gradually subject them to those influences which would, in
end, reclaim them from their wild and barbarous modes of life. All this,
I fully 
believe, might have been done if we had been prompt to recognize the rights
the Indians, and to prepare them for the occupation of their country. The
portunity has now passed, and it is probably not an overestimate to say that,
besides the valuable lives of our own citizens as well as the lives of the
that have already been sacrificed, we have already expended and incurred
bilities in our military operations against these Indians more than double
amount that would have been required to establish relations with them upon
basis of a firm and lasting friendship. 
I have no doubt that hostilities may yet be terminated in this region much
more speedily by negotiation than by military power, and that thousands of
treasure and many valuble lives may be saved. I trust that the subject will
receive from Congress the consideration its importance demands, and that
legislation may be had as will not only result in a speedy termination of
troubles, but will also harmonize the conflicting interests of the whites
and In- 
dians throughout the State, and produce in the conduct of our Indian relations
that order and system which is so imperatively demanded. 
The principal tribes of this superintendency are the Navajoes, the Apaches,
and the Utahs. The Navajoes occupy the western portion of the Territory,
are the most powerful and hostile tribe within its limits. But little progress
been made in reducing them to submission to the authority of our government,
and they prove themselves a source of constant vexation and alarm to all
exposed settlements. The nature of the country and the character of their
organization is such that it has hitherto been found impossible, with the
sent against them, to produce any permanent and decisive results. Theh country
abounds in mountain fastnesses, rendering it extremely difficult for any
military force to pursue them to their retreats, or inflict upon them a blow
has anr considerable effect in breaking their power. 
They are represented as an ingenious and skilful people in manufacturing
blankets and other fabrics, in the cultivation of wheat and corn, and as
being in 
all other respects far in advance of all other tribes within the Territory.
The Apaches consist of three bands, viz: Jicarillas, occupying the north-
eastern portion of the Territory; the M:vescaleros, occupying the southeastern
portion, and the Gila Apaches the extreme southwest. With the exception of
some four hundred of thle Mescaleros, who are located at Bosque Rodondo,

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