A Century of Dishonor: A Sketch of the United States by Helen Hunt Jackson

By Helen Hunt Jackson

This booklet is a facsimile reprint and will comprise imperfections equivalent to marks, notations, marginalia and unsuitable pages.

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Additional info for A Century of Dishonor: A Sketch of the United States Government’s Dealings with Some of the Indian Tribes

Sample text

There is but one hope of righting this wrong. It lies in appeal to the heart and the conscience of the American people. What the people demand, Congress will do. It has been—to our shame be it spoken—at the demand of part of the people that all these wrongs have been committed, these treaties broken, these robberies done, by the Government. So long as there remains on our frontier one square mile of land occupied by a weak and helpless owner, there will be a strong and unscrupulous frontiersman ready to seize it, and a weak and unscrupulous politician, who can be hired for a vote or for money, to back him.

Our right to put them, or to consider them to be in those anomalous positions, might be successfully disputed; but they, helpless, having accepted such positions, did, no doubt, thereby lose their right to be treated with as nations. Nevertheless, that is neither here nor there now: as soon as our Government was established, it proceeded to treat with them as nations by name and designation, and with precisely the same forms and ratifications that it used in treating with other nations; and it continued to treat with them as nations by name and designation, and with continually increasing solemnity of asseveration of good intent and good faith, for nearly a century.

It was in this same year, also, that General Putnam said to them, in a speech at Post Vincennes: “The United States don’t mean to wrong you out of your lands. They don’t want to take away your lands by force. ” And the venerable missionary, Heckewelder, who had journeyed all the way from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, to try to help bring about peace, said to them, “The great chief who has spoken to you is a good man. He loves you? and will always speak the truth to you. ” In 1793 a great council was held, to which came the chiefs and headmen of the Delawares, and of twelve other tribes, to meet commissioners of the United States, for one last effort to settle the vexed boundary question.

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