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Nothing has operated more disagreeably upon the minds of the militia, than the fear of captivity, on the footing on which it has hitherto stood. What would be their reasonings, if it should be thought to stand upon a worse?
EXCHANGE OF OFFICERS.
I am convinced, that more mischief has been done by the British officers who have been prisoners, than by any other set of people. During their captivity, they have made connections in the country, they have confirmed the disaffected, converted many ignorant people, and frightened the lukewarm and timid, by their stories of the power of Britain.
I hope a general exchange is not far off, by which means we shall get rid of all that sort of people; and I am convinced, that we had better, in future, send all officers in upon parole, than keep them among us.
3. THE INDIANS.
Few men exhibit greater diversity, or, if we may so express it, greater antithesis of character, than the native warrior of North America. In war, he is daring, boastful, cunning, ruthless, self-denying, and self-devoted; in peace, just, generous, hospitable, revengeful, superstitious, modest, and commonly chaste.
J. FENIMORE COOPER.
If they had the vices of savage life, they had the virtues also. They were true to their country, their friends, and their homes. If they forgave not injury, neither did they forget kindness. Chief Justice JOSEPH STORY.
Washington's policy in regard to the Indians was always pacific and humane. He considered them as children, who should be treated with tenderness and forbearance. He aimed to conciliate them by good usage, to obtain their lands by fair purchase and punctual payments, to make treaties with them on terms of equity and reciprocal advantage, and strictly to redeem every pledge. JARED SPARKS.
THEIR CLAIM TO JUSTICE AND HUMANITY.
While the measures of government ought to be calculated to protect its citizens from all injury and violence, a due regard should be extended to those Indian tribes, whose happiness, in the course of events, so materially depends on the national justice and humanity of the United States.
JUSTICE PLEDGED TO THEM.
The basis of our proceedings with the Indian Nations has been, and shall be, JUSTICE, during the
period in which I have any thing to do with the administration of this government.
AMICABLE INTERCOURSE WITH THEM.
It is sincerely to be desired, that all need of coercion in future may cease, and that an intimate intercourse may succeed, calculated to advance the happiness of the Indians, and to attach them firmly to the United States.
It seems necessary, that they should experience the benefits of an impartial dispensation of justice ; that the mode of alienating their lands, the main source of discontent and war, should be so defined and regulated, as to obviate impositions, and, as far as may be practicable, controversy concerning the reality and extent of the alienations which are made; that commerce with them should be promoted, under regulations tending to secure an equitable deportment towards them, and that such rational experiments should be made, for imparting to them the blessings of civilization, as may, from time to time, suit their condition; that the Executive of the United States should be enabled to employ the means to which the Indians have long been accustomed, for uniting their immediate interests with the preservation of peace; and that efficacious provision should be made, for inflicting adequate penalties upon all those who, by violating
their rights, shall infringe the treaties, and endanger the peace of the Union.
PEACE WITH INDIANS.
A disposition to peace, in these people, can only be ascribed to the apprehension of danger, and would last no longer than till it was over, and an opportunity offered to resume their hostility, with safety and
This makes it necessary, that we should endeavor to punish them severely, for what has passed, and by an example of rigor, intimidate them for the future.
A trade with the Indians should be established, upon such terms, and transacted by men of such principles, as would at the same time redound to the reciprocal advantage of the Colony and the Indians, and effectually remove the bad impressions which the Indians have received, from the conduct of a set of villains, divested of all faith and honor; and give us such an early opportunity of establishing an interest with them, as would insure to us a large share of the fur-trade, not only of the Ohio Indians, but, in time, of the numerous nations possessing the back country westward.
To prevent this advantageous commerce from suffering in its infancy, by the sinister views of designing, selfish men, in the different provinces, I humbly conceive it advisable, that Commissioners from each of the colonies should be appointed, to regulate the mode of that trade, and fix it on such a basis, that all the attempts of one colony to undermine another, and thereby weaken and diminish the general system, might be frustrated.
PURCHASE OF INDIAN LANDS.
There is nothing to be obtained but the soil they live on; and this can be had by purchase, at less expense, and without that bloodshed and those distresses, which helpless women and children are made partakers. of, in all kinds of disputes with them.
PRESENTS TO INDIANS.
The plan of Annual Presents, in an abstract view, unaccompanied with other measures, is not the best mode of treating ignorant savages, from whose hostile conduct we experience much distress; but, it is not to be forgotten, that they in turn are not without serious causes of complaint, from the encroachments which are made on their lands by our people, who are