Wednesday June 11, 1828
Vol. I, Number 16
Page 3, col. 3
INDIANS OF THE U. STATES
The following piece is from a series of numbers published some time since in the Boston Recorder and Telegraph.
Account of what the U. S. Government have done for their benefit.
Mr. Jefferson during his administration felt a deep interest in the subject of civilization, and since his time Congress have adopted various measures calculated as was supposed to promote it. They established an agency for the purpose of trading with the Indians, and of protecting them against the cheating tricks of dishonest whites; but this not answering the desire object was in 1823 abandoned. They have granted money to the several charitable societies, who have established schools and education families among the Indians, to assist them in carrying their benevolent designs into effect. By an Act of March 3, 1819, a fund for the promotion of Indian civilization was placed at the disposal of the President which yields somewhat more than $11,000 annually, Government have purchased lands of the Indians and paid them in money partly down, and partly in annual payments; and they have often made them presents of various necessary articles and supplied them with instruments of agriculture, Mills, &c. A statement of the annuities payable for lands is as follows:
in 1828 $1,000 in 1832 $3,300
" '26 25,000 " '34 2,000
" '28 20,000 Total 74,250
" '29 12,000 Cap'l 1,597,500
" '30 300
Total an. 154,575
Total cap. 2,876,250
There are also granted to different tribes of Indians annually 20 bushels of salt, valued at Fort Wayne, where it is delivered, at $2,50 cents per bushel, making an additional annual expense of $525. The grants recently made to the Creeks for the Georgia lands are not included in this statement.
Besides these payments, Congress have frequently made gratuitous grants
to those tribes who have missionary stations within their limits to assist them
in carrying forward their plans of improvement. To the Chickasaws at the
station near Chickasaw Agency they granted $5000 for buildings, to the Great
Osages at Harmony station $1000 for the same purpose. Out of the fund
mentioned above, the following annual remittances have been made, viz.
To the Cornwall School, Conn. $1,438
Senecas and Onondagas, Buffalo
New York 350
Tuscaroras, Lewistown, N.Y. 350
Miamies, Fort Wayne, Ind. 417
Cherokees, Spring Place, 250
do. Brainerd 1000
do. Valley Towns 500
Choctaws Eliot, 1000
Indians at the Great Crossings, 400
The exact sum paid by the Treasury of the United States for the promotion of Indian civilization in 1823 was $11,135,32.
At first view it may appear very generous in our government to do so much for the Indians; but it should be remembered that Government has always purchased their lands at its own price, and sold them again to its own citizens for 2 dollars per acre. Up to 1820 the United States had purchased of the Indians 191,778,536 acres of land, for payment of which Congress appropriated $2,542,916.- Previously to Oct. 1819, Government had sold 18,500,000 acres for $44,000,000. Should the remainder of these lands be disposed of at the same advantageous rate, there will be placed in the U. S. treasury after having paid the Indians all they are ever to receive a net gain of $500,000,000. This statement reaches only to 1820, but Government has bought large tracts of land since, at about the same rate.
Now making all reasonable deduction for waste lands, failure of public creditors, expenses of surveying &c. there must still remain an immense pecuniary profit to our Government from its trade with the Indians, besides the political importance of the country acquired, and the vast accession of national strength, arising from its being settled by our own citizens. Cannot government afford then to do something for the Indians?