AND INDIANS' ADVOCATE
Wednesday, September 2, 1829
Vol. II, no. 22
Page 2, col. 3a.
From the National Intelligencer of August 11.
We cannot admit to the dignity of "Indian Hostilities" the fracas on the frontier of Missouri, of which an account is given in the preceding column. It is lamentable that men should slay their fellow men, and we regret the death of the four whites. But, in our judgement, the incident which has just occurred is anything but an evidence of Indian hostility. The hostility, it is obvious, lays the other way. The whites begun the quarrel on the plea of the Indians having some stock (cattle) which they claimed; the Indians denied the justice of the claim; they were ordered to stack their arms- that is, in effect, to place themselves in the power of the whites: they refused to do so, and showed a disposition to defend themselves: they were then fired upon by the whites: in defence of their own lives, only, they returned the fire: the whites were worked in a conflict of their own choosing- and the whole country is roused up to revenge this "Indian Hostilities!"
This, as we understand the account drawn up near the scene of action, (and under the influence of natural grief for the death of friends and acquaintances,) is the plain state of the case before us. The whites, it seems went against the Indians in military array, 26 in number. The Indians, it is said, numbered from 80 to 100. If the whites had not supposed themselves more than a match for them, they would have let them alone. As it was, three times as many Indians as whites were killed: yet, the whole physical force of the country is in motion to exterminate the remainder of these eighty Indians who would not suffer themselves to be quietly killed by the twenty-six whites.
Is not this too true a sample of the most of the "Indian hostilities" of which we have heard since the termination of the War of 1812? What have they proceeded from, in general but encroachments on the hunting grounds of the Aborigines, breeding quarrels, which the whites have ever been too ready, upon any excuse, to engage with these wreched [sic] remnants of a departing race?
One can hardly read with patience the statement of the quantum of military
force called into service upon this great emergency. By calling forth
the whole population, four hundred mounted men at least are assembled, all well
armed with rifles, &c. The Governor, however, does not think this
a sufficient force, but orders out, in addition, a thousand Militia, and not
yet content, calls upon the commander of the Military Station to come to his
relief, and fourteen companies of U. States troops (say eight hundred men) are
already on the march.- Here are, if we reckon right, between two and three thousand
efficient soldiers in full march, under a Brigadier General of the army of the
United States, to chastise the surviving remnant of eighty poor savages, who
have shed white blood only to save their own, and who would be glad to find
safety for their own lives in the deepest cavern of the mountain, or the darkest
recesses of the forest. Really, this array of force on such an occasion
reminds one of
"Ocean into deepest wrought_______"To drown a fly".