policy of the Government in relation to nearly all of the latter class of Indians has been settled by the President and the Senate in treaty stipulations, which carry with them the plighted faith of the nation and the force of law. Whether this policy is wise or unwise is not now and practical question for the Secretary of the Interior of the Secretary of War, nor for the President in his character as Commander-in-Chief of Chief Executive officer of the nation. Treaties made and ratified must be enforced by the President until abrogated by the same power which made them. All the Indians referred to by You as annuity Indians are in this category. It is on this account that the Secretary of the Interior recommended, and, as he supposes, the President approved the designation of some suitable person to proceed to the Indian country, to be on the ground when the proper moment should arrived to represent the President in negotiating for peace, and for the settlement of the Indians in districts of country as remote as practicable from the great lines of travel across the plains and unsettled Territories. It is true a general or other military officer might be thus designated by the President, were it not that Congress has provided by law that such treaties shall be negotiated by an officer of the Indian Department. For that reason it was, in the opinion of the Secretary of the Interior, necessary to send some such officer, conversant with the subject and the probable views of the Senate, to act in concert with the military authorities, whose presence and power would awe the Indians into obedience. Otherwise all would be futile on account of the non-compliance of the Indians or the refusal of the Senate to ratify the new arrangements. Hence, whether a new policy shall be proposed or the old policy enforced, a prudent, careful, and well-informed negotiation will be needed.
The evils growing out of the settlement of the Indians on the borders of Your frontier mentioned by You, and which You propose to remedy by removing them for in the rear of our settlements, have not escaped the observation of this Department. But it is no more than just to the Government, and is the same time in support of the wisdom of Your suggestion, to say that when these Indians were first settled on their present reservations they were far in the rear of our settlements. That the rapid growth of the nation has brought our people to their doors, and surrounded them in some cases with a white population, is no fault of their and is no misfortune of ours. And if does render this removal and relocation to us and to them, the practical inquiry arises "where can You for them a place and habitation" free from this returning evil? There is not now one foot of territory belonging to the United States except the comparatively small district west of Arkansas not embraced within the limits of an organized Territory. And this excepted district is owned in fee simple by the Indians who now occupy it. It is hoped that they may be induced to open this territory to settlement by other Indians who have obtained the same degree of civilization with themselves. Should the Department succeed in this arrangement, provision may be for such of the Indians, residing in Kansas and Nebraska as may agree to remove to that territory. So far as it may be practicable to execute this design, Your suggestion will be carried into effect, but beyond this the Government has no home to offer them where they would be free from constant friction with the worst classes of white people. They must, therefore, remain on their reservations for the present. And it is just to say of some of these that they are doing comparatively well and are increasing in numbers. But the more difficult question still remains. What
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