War of the Rebellion: Serial 102 Page 0881 Chapter LX. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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when they fear the consequences of breaking it, and not because they are paid (and badly paid, too) for keeping it, and when they can by the present system of treaty making really make more by committing hostilities than by keeping the peace. The Indians with whom Governor Edmunds proposes to treat are Indians who are now violating a former treaty. what have they done to entitle them to presents and annuities or to greater confidence in their promises, unless, indeed, the violation of former treaties and the murder of whites is to be thus compensated? I am very willing to unite with Indian officials, or anybody else, to secure peace with the Indians, but am not willing, if I can prevent it, to pay Indians for outrages committed upon innocent women and children, and thus encourage them to a renewal of the same atrocities. I oppose the proposed treaty of Governor Edmunds, because it will only lead to renewed hostilities and very certainly in the future, as in the past and the present, involve the necessity of exactly the same operation in treaty making.

At the same time, if the Government and the people concerned will hold the military authorities blameless for any hostilities which may result from such a treaty, I will very willingly aid the Indian agents in making one; but unless the Indian Department will hold itself responsible for any murders of white people by the Indians with whom they make a treaty - Indians who have already violated one or more treaties of the same kind, and upon whom we have no greater hold now than hitherto - I am not willing to consent. Whenever Indian hostilities or massacres occur on the frontier the military are held responsible for them, and by none are they so held more promptly and violently than by the officials of the Indian Department who have made treaties with the very Indians concerned which could not fail to lead to an outbreak. Either the War or the Interior Department should have the sole management of Indian affairs. This divided jurisdiction leads to nothing but evil. The Indian officials are anxious, in season and out of season, to make treaties for reasons best known to themselves. The military commanders foreseeing the inevitable result of these bribing treaties, and knowing that they will be held responsible for all the Indian hostilities which surely result from such treaties, oppose treaty making of this character; hence, constant differences of opinion and conflicts of jurisdiction, which can only be avoided in one of two ways: First, to return to the War Department the whole management of Indian affairs, or, second, to provide for making treaties with Indians without the expenditure of money or goods. Having no power to effect the former arrangement, I am endeavoring to effect the latter. Permanent or even long-continued peace with Indians, under the present system of treaty making, even if conducted with strict honesty and good faith with the Indian, I believe to be hopeless. I again invite attention to my letter on this subject to the Secretary of War, dated February 1 [6], 1864, and published in the Official Army and Navy Gazette of April 23 [26], 1864. * Wisdom and humanity alike dictate a change in the present system of Indian management. The development of the mining regions in the Territories of Colorado, Nevada, Idaho, and Montana has attracted such a horde of emigrants that the Indian country is penetrated in every direction, highways are made through it, and the game driven off or destroyed. The Indians are more and more confined to circumscribed areas, where they are less able every day to subsist by hunting. A few years more and they will be driven to extremities. No one can say what outrages


* See Vol. XXXIV, Part II, p. 259.