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and driving off the cattle. The Mexicans feared them, and were unable to meet them man to man. At that time American trappers found the beaver very abundant about the headwaters of the Gila River, among those rich mountain valleys where the Apaches had, and still have, their secure retreats. At the time I speak of there were two companies of trappers in that region. One of the companies, about seventeen men, was under a captain named Johnson. The other company consisted of thirty men, I think. I was trapping on another head of the Gila, several miles north. The valleys were full of Apaches, but all peaceful toward the white men, both Indians and whites visiting each other's camps constantly and fearlessly, with no thought of treachery or evil. Besides the Mexicans, the only enemies of the Apaches were the Piutes and Navajoes, in the north-west. But here in their fastnesses. they felt safe from all foes.
“One day Johnson concluded to go down into Sonora on a spree, as was occasionally the way with mountain-men. He there saw the Governor of Sonora, who, knowing that he had the confidence of the Indians, offered him an ounce of gold for every Apache scalp he would bring him. The bargain was struck. Johnson procured a small mountain howitzer, and then, with supplies for his party, returned to his camp. Previous to entering it he loaded his howitzer with a quantity of bullets. On approaching the valley he was met by the Indians, who joyfully welcomed him back, and proceeded at once to prepare the usual feast. While they were boiling and roasting their venison and bear meat, and were gathered in a small group around the fire, laughing and chatting in anticipation of the pleasure they expected in entertaining their guests, Johnson told those of his party who had remained behind of the offer of the governor, and with such details of temptation as easily overcame any scruples such men might have.
“ As they were all armed with rifles, which were always in
hand day and night, together with pistols in belt, they needed no preparation. The howitzer, which the Indians might have supposed to be a small keg of whiskey, was placed on the ground and pointed at the group of warriors, squaws, and little children round the fire, watching the roasting meal.
“While they were thus engaged, with hearts full of kindly feelings toward their white friends, Johnson gave the signal. The howitzer was discharged, sending its load of bullets scattering and tearing through the mass of miserable human beings, and nearly all who were not stricken down were shot by the rifles. A very few succeeded in escaping into the ravine, and fled over the dividing ridge into the northern valleys, where they met others of their tribe, to whom they told the horrible story.
“ The Apaches at once showed that they could imitate their more civilized brothers. Immediately a band of them went in search of the other company of trappers, who, of course, were utterly unconscious of Johnson's infernal work. They were attacked, unprepared, and nearly all killed ; and then the story that the Apaches were treacherous and cruel went forth into all the land, but nothing of the wrongs they had received."
Is it to be wondered at that the Apaches became one of the most hostile and dangerous tribes on the Pacific coast ?
These are but four massacres out of scores, whose history, if written, would prove as clearly as do these, that, in the long contest between white men and Indians, the Indian has not always been the aggressor, and that treachery and cruelty are by no means exclusively Indian traits.
THERE are within the limits of the United States between two hundred and fifty and three hundred thousand Indians, exclusive of those in Alaska. The names of the different tribes and bands, as entered in the statistical tables of the Indian Office Reports, number nearly three hundred.' One of the most careful estimates which have been made of their numbers and localities gives them as follows : “In Minnesota and States east of the Mississippi, about 32,500; in Nebraska, Kansas, and the Indian Territory, 70,650; in the Territories of Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho, 65,000; in Nevada and the Territories of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona, 84,000 ; and on the Pacific slope, 48,000.”
Of these, 130,000 are self-supporting on their own reservations, “receiving nothing from the Government except interest on their own moneys, or annuities granted them in consideration of the cession of their lands to the United States.” *
This fact alone would seem sufficient to dispose forever of the accusation, so persistently brought against the Indian, that he will not work.
Of the remainder, 84,000 are partially supported by the Government—the interest money due them and their annuities, as provided by treaty, being inadequate to their subsistence on the reservations where they are confined. cases, however, these Indians furnish a large part of their sup.
* Annual Report of Indian Commissioner for 1872.
port—the White River Utes, for instance, who are reported by the Indian Bureau as getting sixty-six per cent. of their living by “root-digging, hunting, and fishing;” the Squaxin band, in Washington Territory, as earning seventy-five per cent., and the Chippewas of Lake Superior as earning fifty per cent. in the same way.
These facts also would seem to dispose of the ac cusation that the Indian will not work.
There are about 55,000 who never visit an agency, over whom the Government does not pretend to have either control
These 55,000 “subsist by hunting, fishing, on roots, nuts, berries, etc., and by begging and stealing ;" and this also seems to dispose of the accusation that the Indian will not “work for a living.” There remains a small portion, about 31,000, that are entirely subsisted by the Government.
There is not among these three hundred bands of Indians one which has not suffered cruelly at the hands either of the Government or of white settlers. The poorer, the more insignificant, the more helpless the band, the more certain the cruelty and outrage to which they have been subjected. This is especially true of the bands on the Pacific slope. These Indians found themselves of a sudden surrounded by and caught up in the great influx of gold-seeking settlers, as helpless creatures on a shore are caught up in a tidal wave. There was not time for the Government to make treaties ; not even time for communities to make laws. The tale of the wrongs, the oppressions, the murders of the Pacific-slope Indians in the last thirty years would be a volume by itself, and is too monstrous to be believed.
It makes little difference, however, where one opens the record of the history of the Indians ; every page and every year has its dark stain. The story of one tribe is the story of all, varied only by differences of time and place; but neither time nor place makes any difference in the main facts. Colorado is as greedy and unjust in 1880 as was Georgia in 1830, and Ohio
in 1795 ; and the United States Government breaks promises now as deftly as then, and with an added ingenuity from long practice.
One of its strongest supports in so doing is the wide-spread sentiment among the people of dislike to the Indian, of impatience with his presence as a “ barrier to civilization," and distrust of it as a possible danger. The old tales of the frontier life, with its horrors of Indian warfare, have gradually, by two or three generations' telling, produced in the average mind something like an hereditary instinct of unquestioning and unreasoning aversion which it is almost imposşible to dislodge or soften.
There are hundreds of pages of unimpeachable testimony on the side of the Indian; but it goes for nothing, is set down as sentimentalism or partisanship, tossed aside and forgotten.
President after president has appointed commission after commission to inquire into and report upon Indian affairs, and to make suggestions as to the best methods of managing them. The reports are filled with eloquent statements of wrongs done to the Indians, of perfidies on the part of the Government; they counsel, as earnestly as words can, a trial of the simple and unperplexing expedients of telling truth, keeping promises, making fair bargains, dealing justly in all ways and all things. These reports are bound up with the Government's Annual Reports, and that is the end of them. It would probably be no exaggeration to say that not one American citizen out of ten thousand ever sees them or knows that they exist, and yet any one of them, circulated throughout the country, read by the right-thinking, right-feeling men and women of this land, would be of itself a “campaign document” that would initiate a revolution which would not subside until the Indians' wrongs were, so far as is now left possible, righted.
In 1869 President Grant appointed a commission of nine men, representing the influence and philanthropy of six leading