stantly increasing barrier to travel and emigration westward. Through this barrier all emigrants to the new Territories and to the Pacific States are compelled to force their way, and difficulties, leading to robbery and violence and oftentimes to extensive massacres both of whites and Indians, are of not infrequent occurrence.
If the whites be worsted in these difficulties, troops are immediately demanded, and then begins an Indian war, which the greed of contractors and speculators interested in its continuance, playing upon the natural apprehensions of the people and influencing the press, makes it very difficult to conduct successfully or bring to an end. Both in an economic and a humane view, the present Indian policy has been a woeful failure. Instead of preventing, it has been, beyond doubt, the source of all the Indian wars which have occurred in late years. So long as our present policy prevails, the money and the goods furnished to the Indians will be a constant and sufficient temptation to unscrupulous white men, and so long may we expect outrages and Indian outbreaks on the frontier.
It is not to be denied that the expense of this system to the United States has greatly exceeded what would have been necessary to keep troops enough on the frontier to insure peace with the Indians. It is equally certain that the condition of the Indian, so far from being improved, has been greatly injured. He has lost all the high qualities of his native state, and has simply been reduced to the condition of an idle, drunken, gambling vagabond. The mortality among these annuity Indians living on reservations has far exceeded that among the wild tribes, and bids fair to extinguish the whole race in a wonderfully short period. I think it will not be disputed by those familiar with the subject that our Indian policy has totally failed of any humanizing influence over the Indian, has worked him a cruel wrong, and has entailed a very great and useless expense upon the Government. I have passed ten years of my life in service on the frontier, and the facts herein stated are the result of observation and experience and are familiar to every officer of the Army who has served in the West. However wise may have bene the theory of our Indian system, it can readily be substantiated that in its practical operation it has worked injustice and wrong to the Indian, has made his present state worse, morally and physically, than it was in his native wildness, and has entailed heavy and useless expense upon the Government. Some change, therefore, seems to be demanded by well-established facts resulting from an experience of many years.
It will doubtless be remembered by the War Department that shortly after my arrival in Minnesota in October, 1862, to assume command of this department, I invited the attention of the Secretary of war to this subject in relation to its application to the reserve and annuity Indians concerned in the outbreaks in that State. I proposed then that all the annuity Sioux, as well as the Winnebagoes, be collected together, with or without their consent, and be removed to some point far in rear of frontier settlements; that their arms be taken away from them; that the payment of money annuities be stopped; that the appropriations for that purpose and to pay for all lands claimed by such Indians be devoted to building them villages and supplying them with food and clothing. By this means the annuity Indian would be deprived of any power to indulge his wandering habits or to injure his white or other neighbors, the temptation which the payment of money to his constantly presents to