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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1864
([1864])

Dakota superintendency,   pp. 259-293 PDF (15.0 MB)


Page 286

286 
DAKOTA SUPERINTENDENCY. 
by the protecting arm of the government, and rushed ruthlessly out of existence,
with the stain of his extermination upon our hands. The history of our country
clearly shows us that the race is passing away. The only question to be solved
is, How shall the Indian's destiny be fulfilled with the greatest good to
him, 
and the least evil to ourselves? 
That the military stationed upon our frontiers, who were formerly the especial
guardians of the Indians, are the best suited to this end, I do not believe.
I am 
free to admit that they have made many efforts at improving the condition
of 
the Indian. Their close contact with the Indians has given them every oppor-
tunity to test their theory, yet, amongst the hundreds of living examples
of their 
charitable and humane efforts to improve the race, demoralization and debauchery
shows itself a thousand-fold more prominently than in the thorough-bred Indian.
The utter demoralization amongst the "Indians who are entirely surrounded
by 
white settlements," as described by General Pope in his report to the
Secretary 
of War, does not exist amongst the Yanctons or the surrounding tribes in
this part 
of the country, however true his assertions may be in regard to other tribes
in 
the northwest, and I can but feel that his " ten years'" experience
upon the 
frontiers has failed to afford him that degree of knowledge which a person
should 
possess, before sweeping into oblivion with one stroke of his pen a system
that 
has worked so well for nearly a quarter of a century. 
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
W. A. BURLEIGH, 
United States Indian Agent. 
Hon. Wm. P. DOLE, 
Commissioner Indian Affairs, Washington, D. C. 
No. 130. 
WAR DEPARTMENT, 
Washington City, June 15, 1864. 
SIR: I have the honor to inform you that the papers referred by you to this
department on the 14th of March last, in relation to an attack by United
States 
soldiers upon a party of fifteen unoffending Ponca Indians near Niobrara,
Nebraska Territory, were referred to Major General Curtis, commanding depart-
ment of Kansas, for investigation and report. 
An examination of the report made by General Curtis leads to the suspicion
that the soldiers were at fault. The papers have, therefore, been re-referred
to 
General Curtis, with instructions to bring the offending parties to trial
before 
the proper military court without delay. 
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
E. M. STANTON, 
Secretary of WVar. 
Hon J. P. USHER, 
Secretary of the Interior, Washington, D. C. 
No. 131. 
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERnOt, 
Oiflce Indian Affairs, April 5, 1864. 
SIR: I have to acknowledge the receipt by reference from you of the letter
from the War Department of the 30th ultimo, enclosing a letter from Brigadier
General Sully, indorsed by Major General Pope, relative to the policy of
furnish- 


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