paying him for them, upon which we pride ourselves so much, has been in fact, by the manner of its application, the direct cause of his degradation and of the temptation to wrong and plunder him. To the practical operation of a principle which is in itself wise and humane, we owe the constant recurrence of Indian wars and the deep degradation of the Indian. I propose, therefore, that the annuity Indians who still observe their treaties be removed to points far in rear of the frontier settlements in the manner and under the conditions indicated, and that all other Indians be left to the exclusive management of the War Department and the military commanders in the Indian country.
The application of a system based upon these recommendations would of necessity require a radical change in our whole Indian policy; and although I hardly feel justified in recommending so extensive a reorganization of our Indian system, I consider it not improper to present these views for the consideration of those who have jurisdiction of the subject. I have presented the foregoing suggestions for the consideration of the War Department because I believe that the time has arrived when, having had abundant experience of the evil working of our present Indian policy, we can remodel it without confusion so as best to promote the interests of the Government and to secure humane and just treatment of the Indian tribes. I have sketched the subject thus briefly, because I only design to present the outline of suggestions which can properly be made the basis of action by the legislative department of the Government, and to invite attention to a subject which merits and should receive careful consideration.
My immediate purpose in giving thus, in detail, the evil working of our present Indian system is simply that the facts stated my be made the basis of an urgent request to the War Department in view of military operations on the great plains during the coming spring. These operations will bring us into contact with tribes of wild Indians with whom treaties have never been made, and with powerful bands of annuity Indians belonging to the second class of annuity Indians described in this paper who have violated their treaties. In view of any permanently successful results of military movements, I have the honor to request respectfully, but with all earnestness, that the present system of thready making be not applied to the wild tribes, and that treaties already violated be not renewed. I have proposed to establish large military posts in the midst of the Indian country which shall cover the border settlements of Iowa, Dakota, and Minessota, at a long distance, and at the same time so locate them that they shall furnish some protection along the emigrant route to Idaho. Strong cavalry forces will visit the various tribes of Indians east, north, and south of the Missouri River, and hold such conferences with them and take such measures as shall assure quiet.
I would ask, therefore, that the military be left to deal with these Indians without the interposition of Indian agents. I ask it because I believe that any permanent peace with the Indians depends upon it, and because I am convinced that the condition of the Indian in his wild state is far better than his status under present Indian policy. If we could provide by treaty for the removal of the Indias to points far within the frontier Stats, and could place them in such condition that they would no longer be a temptation to covetous white men, whilst at the same time they would be prevented from indulging