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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.


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 forbearHe 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.




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.



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 ad ministration of this government.



It is sincerely to be desired, that all need of coer cion 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.



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 con ceive 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.



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.



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

not to be restrained by any law now in being, or likely to be enacted.

They, poor wretches, have no press, through which their grievances are related. And it is well known, that, when one side only of a story is heard and often repeated, the human mind becomes impressed with it, insensibly.

The annual presents, however, are not given so much with a view to purchase peace, as by way of contribution for injuries not otherwise to be redressed.


Such is the nature of Indians, that nothing will prevent their going where they have any reason to expect presents; and their cravings are insatiable.


To enable, by competent rewards, the employment of qualified and trusty persons, to reside among them as Agents, would contribute to the preservation of peace and good neighborhood. If, in addition, an eligible plan could be devised, for promoting civilization among the friendly tribes, and for carrying on trade with them, upon a scale equal to their wants, and under regulations calculated to protect them from imposition and extortion, its influence, in cementing their interests with ours, could not but be considerable.


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