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Kansas Historical Quarterly - The Indian Question in Congress and in Kansas

Marvin H. Garfield

February 1933 (Vol. 2, No. 1), pages 29 to 44
Transcribed by Lynn Nelson; HTML editing by Tod Roberts
digitized with permission of the Kansas Historical Society.

FROM 1864 to 1870 few greater problems confronted congress and the executive department than the complex Indian question. Both departments of government were torn by conflicting forces, one of which demanded that the Indian problem be settled by peaceful methods, while the other could see no solution except by the use of force. In the executive department the conflict raged between two subsidiary divisions, the Department of the Interior and the War Department. Administration of Indian affairs was in the hands of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in the Interior Department, which had supervision over all Indian superintendents and agents, including authority to distribute annuities. Whenever Indian hostilities broke out, however, the War Department was compelled to intervene until they could be put down. As a consequence, the authority of the two departments overlapped and, therefore, clashed. Military programs were constantly interfered with by the Indian Bureau with disastrous results both to the military and to the frontier settlements. On the other hand, the military people undoubtedly contributed to many unnecessary Indian wars. The War Department desired to regain the control over Indian affairs which it had exercised prior to 1841. The Indian Bureau, for various reasons, both selfish and otherwise, refused to be transferred.

This interdepartmental war spread into congress where pressure was brought to bear by friends of the War Department to bring about the proposed transfer. Congress divided on the question. Both senate and house hotly debated the proposition at intervals over a period of several years, finally allowing the Interior Department to retain the Indian Bureau. In general, the senate favored the status quo, while the house constantly passed bills providing for changing the location of the bureau.

Public opinion entered the contest, the East as a rule upholding the policy of the Indian Bureau, while the West denounced it in the strongest terms. Congressional legislation varied in accordance with changing situations, but on the whole it was tempered more by the peace party than by the war party. In pursuance of its policy to make peace with the Indians, congress in 1867 created a peace commission which attempted to settle the Indian problem on the plains.

(29)

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No serious resistance, however, was offered to the War Department when, in 1868-1869, it launched a decisive military campaign against the Indians.

The Indian Bureau in 1865 had attempted to establish harmony with the War Department by a division of authority. Comm. D. N. Cooley issued a circular to all superintendents and agents announcing that, in its relation with hostile Indians, the Interior Department would subordinate its actions to the War Department. Agents, however, were instructed to perform their regular official duties in governing friendly Indians.[1] Had this policy been carried out as planned, much trouble might have been avoided.

The difficulty was that hostile Indians could seldom be distinguished from friendly Indians, due to the fact that the red men were alternately warlike and peaceful. Thus in the Hancock war of 1867 the military authorities assumed that the Indians were hostile, whereas the Indian agents were positive of their friendliness. And Indian Bureau officials were quite critical of Gen. W. S. Hancock and. branded as a mistake his whole course of action. Supt. Thomas Murphy, of the central superintendency, at the time expressed a very decided wish that the military authorities would leave the management of Indian affairs to the Indian agents.[2]

Again in 1868 trouble arose between the rival departments over the distribution of arms and ammunition to the Indians. Interior Department officials had authorized Col. W. H. Wyncoop to issue the guns and bullets to the eager braves on that fateful August day at Fort Larned.[3] Soldiers hired by the War Department were then forced to face the Interior Department's guns in the Indian campaigns which ensued as a result of the Saline-Solomon raids in Kansas.

After years of discord the War and Interior Departments finally worked out a cooperative Indian policy. The Commissioner of Indian Affairs in 1869 announced that a perfect accord had been reached. The Indian policy for the future, as defined in the report, provided for the location of Indians upon reservations. Reservation Indians were to be entirely under the supervision of the bureau of Indian affairs. On the other hand, all Indian bands which refused to come into their reservations should be subject to control of the military authorities and treated as either friendly or hostile

GARFIELD: THE INDIAN QUESTION 31

according to the situation.[4] Since this policy provided a definite basis for dividing the jurisdiction of the rival departments, it did much to clarify the situation.

Congress, in attempting to analyze the Indian problem, created in 1865 the Joint Special Committee on the Condition of the Indian Tribes. The purpose of the act, as explained by its proponents when first introduced as Senate Resolution 89, was to investigate the alleged corruption of Indian agents and the alleged causing of unnecessary Indian wars by military authorities.[5] The Joint Special Committee was authorized to sit during recess of congress and to report its findings to congress at its next session. The complete report of the committee was published in 1867. Its main decisions were: (1) The Indians were rapidly decreasing in numbers, due to disease, wars, cruel treatment by the whites, unwise governmental policy and steady westward advance of the white man. (2) In a large majority of cases Indian wars are caused by aggressions of lawless white men. (3) Loss of hunting grounds and destruction of game is a big cause for decay. (4) The Indian Bureau should remain in the Department of the Interior. (5) In order that abuses of Indian administration may be corrected the Indian lands should be divided into five inspection districts with a board of inspection in each district. The board would be empowered to check up on all questions of Indian administration and report at stated intervals to congress.[6]

In order to put the ideas of the committee into legislation, Sen. J. R. Doolittle, of Wisconsin, chairman of both the Joint Special Committee and the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, introduced Senate Bill 204, which provided for the annual inspection of Indian affairs by five inspection boards, as heretofore mentioned. After long debate the bill passed the senate on March 19, 1866, by a vote of nineteen to sixteen.[7] The house failed to take action on the bill until the following session, when it amended by striking out the entire contents of the senate bill and substituting the provision that the Indian Bureau should be transferred to the War Department. When the house amendment was returned to the senate for concurrence it was decisively defeated.[8] A deadlock ensued, for the breaking of which conference committees were appointed from both

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houses. The joint committee met but failed to agree, so asked to be discharged from further consideration of the bill.[9]

The senate attitude throughout this contest was hostile to the proposal to transfer the Indian Bureau. During debate on the house amendment Senator Doolittle stated that the committee on Indian affairs of both senate and house and the Joint Special Committee on the Condition of the Indian Tribes were all unanimous in their desire to support the original bill, but were all unanimous in their desire to defeat the house amendment.[10]

Congress' next attempt to carry out recommendations of the Joint Special Committee took place in the special session of the fortieth congress in the summer of 1867. The seriousness of the Indian situation on the plains at the time was one of the reasons for the calling of the special session. With the peace party dominant in both houses, legislation was rushed through providing for the creation of a peace commission to make treaties with all the hostile tribes between the Mississippi and the Rockies. The functions of the peace commission, as stated in the act of July 20, 1867, were as follows: (1) To restore peace upon the plains. (2) To secure as far as possible the frontier settlements and the unimpeded right of way for the Pacific railroads. (3) To recommend a permanent Indian policy.

The commission accordingly went to the plains in the autumn of 1867 and concluded agreements with both the northern and southern plains tribes.[11] In its report to congress on January 7, 1868, the peace commission recommended the following changes in Indian policy: (1) Revision of laws governing relations of the two races. (2) Indian affairs should not be transferred to the War Department. A temporary transfer to the War Department of jurisdiction over hostiles, however, was suggested. (3) Congress should get rid of incompetent Indian officials. (4) A new department of Indian affairs should be created. (5) Territorial governors should treat the Indians more fairly. (6) No governor or legislature in either state or territory should be permitted to call out and equip troops for the purpose of carrying on war with the Indians. (7) Traders should all be required to receive permits from Indian Bureau officers in order to enter the Indian trade. (8) New provisions should be made which positively direct the military authori-

GARFIELD: THE INDIAN QUESTION 33

ties to remove white persons who persist in trespassing on Indian reservations.[12]

Efforts by the enemies of the peace commission to dissolve it failed. On the day that congress passed the act creating the commission, a bill was introduced into the senate for its dissolution. The senate killed the bill by referring it to the committee on Indian affairs.[13] Apparently congress was in sympathy with the work of the peace commission, because a bill appropriating $150,000 to enable it to carry on its work passed in July, 1868, with little opposition in either house.[14]

Numerous attempts were made to put through legislation which would bring about the transfer of the Indian Bureau to the War Department. One of the first of these arose in the senate on May 16, 1866, when Sen. W. M. Stewart, of Nevada, introduced a bill for that purpose. It was referred to the committee on Indian affairs and promptly lost.[15] Again, in the same year, the proposition was submitted to the senate, this time as an amendment to the annual Indian appropriation bill by Sen. John Sherman, of Ohio, chairman of the senate finance committee and brother of Gen. W. T. Sherman. A great debate took place between Sherman and Stewart on the one side and Doolittle on the other. In the end Doolittle won out, and the Indian Bureau for the time was saved from the transfer. The senate rejected Sherman's amendment by a 21 to 12 vote.[16] The third and strongest attempt to bring about the transfer occurred in 1867, when the house of representatives amended Senate Bill 204 by inserting the well-known provision.[17] This effort was also defeated by friends of the Indian Bureau in the senate.

Not to be discouraged by reverses the house, in December, 1868, made another determined attempt to put across the transfer of the bureau. James A. Garfield, of Ohio, chairman of the house military committee, introduced a bill, H. R. 1482, for that purpose. Although Windom, of Minnesota, a member of the house committee on Indian affairs, made a valiant fight against the bill, he was outvoted 116 to 33.[18] When, however, the bill reached the senate it was killed in the committee on Indian affairs.[19] A final attempt

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failed in the house in January, 1869, when Garfield's effort to amend an appropriation bill by adding a section transferring the Indian Bureau to the War Department, was ruled out of order.[20] When the appropriation bill was sent to the senate for approval, Senator Stewart, of Nevada, amended it by adding a clause identical to that offered by Garfield in the house. Stewart's amendment was lost by a 36 to 9 vote, chiefly because it was regarded as inappropriate at the time.[21]

This ended the efforts of the friends of the War Department. It is clearly apparent by the debates and votes on these various bills that the senate consistently maintained its defense of the Indian Bureau. Both houses desired an improvement in Indian relations, bureau. Both houses desired an improvement in Indian relations, but could not become convinced that the removal of the Indian Bureau from one department to another would appreciably improve the situation.

From beginning to end of the great contest over Indian policy, Kansas remained in the war party. Governor, state legislature, press and public opinion united solidly in demanding a change in Indian administration. The Kansas delegation in congress, therefore, was compelled to enter the fight on the side of its state. Kansas was represented in the house during the period by Sidney Clarke, of Lawrence, while Sens. S. C. Pomeroy and E. G. Ross were in the upper chamber. Sen. J. H. Lane's death in 1866 occurred early in the struggle; consequently the chief interest lies in the actions and opinions of the other men mentioned.

Pomeroy, senior senator from Kansas, was the sole member of the Kansas delegation who did not share the general views of his state on the Indian question. In 1866, when the senate was debating the house proposal to amend Senate Bill 204 by transferring the Indian Bureau to the War Department, Pomeroy was decidedly opposed to the transfer.[22] In the course of his speech ion the amendment he stated that he was not prepared to turn out the army to exterminate the Indians; furthermore he believed that white men precipitated most Indian wars.[23] When the house amendment. came up for final decision, Pomeroy voted against it.[24]

GARFIELD: THE INDIAN QUESTION 35

In the special session of 1867, when congress was considering Senate Bill 136 for the organization of the peace commission, Pomeroy again ran counter to public opinion in his own state by favoring the creation of the commission. While he believed it to be only a temporary measure, he thought it was to the interest of the western country to secure peace.[25] The following season saw Pomeroy introducing a bill to transfer the Indian Bureau to the War Department by allowing the Freedman's Bureau to assume the duties of the Indian Bureau.[26] It is evident that Pomeroy had either changed a mind on the Indian question or that he was trying to please his constituency. The latter idea seems to be more plausible. This is further carried out by the fact that the Kansas senator in 1869 voted against Senator Stewart's proposition to transfer the Indian Bureau.[27] and earlier in the session introduced ,a bill to provide for the creation of a separate department of Indian affairs.[28] It is most probable that Pomeroy's personal opinion was unfavorable to the war party, but that his position as a senator from Kansas required in constantly to change his stand on the question. :The attitude of Senator Ross is not so difficult to define. Ross, as a personal friend of Gov. S. J. Crawford, received his appointment to the senate from Crawford, and maintained a fairly consistent position. as ardent advocate of frontier defense and enemy the Indian Bureau. Ross introduced numerous resolutions of die Kansas state legislature into the senate.[29] It was Ross to whom Governor Crawford turned on June 29, 1867, after Gen. W: T. Sherman had rejected his offer of volunteer cavalry.[30] Crawford poured out his bitter story in its entirety and appealed to Ross to convince congress that "there is no such thing as peace with the Indians except by war."[31] In response to this appeal Senator Ross amended the peace commission bill by a provision that the army should accept the services of mounted volunteers from states and territories of the West in order to suppress Indian hostilities.[32] In defense of his amendment Senator Ross argued that the peace

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commission bill made no provision for frontier defense, that Indian depredations were increasing, that Kansas sought merely permission to protect herself, that the first duty of the nation was to protect the white race, and that war was the only method of bringing about peace with the Indian. Ross condemned both the Easterner's view of the Indian as a hero and the Westerner's idea that the Indian was a devil incarnate. The conflict, he said, was one between civilization and barbarism and that civilization must win.[33]

Senator Ross assumed a somewhat different position in a speech at Lawrence, Kan., on November 5, 1867. Although condemning the treaty system in general and the Medicine Lodge treaty in particular, he did not advocate making peace by means of war. Instead he suggested that the best possible solution for the Indian problem was the gradual localization of Indians upon reservations. To accomplish this end, the senator stated the government must make a reasonable show of force. Military posts, he believed, should be increased both in number and size of garrison. In conclusion, he said

"After all, it is not so much the manner in which the peace of the plains is to be secured, as the fact itself, in which the people of Kansas are most interested. What we all most ardently desire is the immunity of our frontiers from the disturbances and devastations which have so effectually retarded the settlement and development of the West."[34]

Again in 1869 Senator Ross aided in the frontier defense of his state. In the autumn of that year Indian depredations were renewed in northwestern Kansas. Since the militia had been mustered out, Gov. J. M. Harvey became apprehensive for the safety of the settlers. Senator Ross accordingly was appealed to and secured the promise of Sherman that United States troops would be sent to the region.[35]

Of the entire Kansas delegation in congress, Representative Clarke maintained the most consistent attitude. He never changed his position of antagonism toward the peace party. When an Indian appropriation bill was before the house, in 1868, Clarke opposed it on the grounds that it provided for making appropriations to hostile tribes.36 On March 3, 1868, he introduced a bill, H. R. 854, for the

GARFIELD: THE INDIAN QUESTION 37

dissolution of the peace commission. The bill was referred to the committee on Indian affairs but was never acted upon.[37]

In 1869 Clarke agreed heartily with Garfield's efforts to get the Indian Bureau into the War Department. He stated in debate that public opinion in the West was almost unanimous in favor of the proposed transfer.[38] In a lengthy speech in support of Garfield's measure Clarke expressed his views plainly. The Indian question, he argued, was not a question of philanthropy, nor of laying the blame for aggression upon either whites or Indians. It was, however, he stated, a question of practical administration, that civilization had come in contact with the Indian, but that civilization would march forward in spite of opposition. He, therefore, wanted civilization aided instead of being hindered by congress.[39]

Although the votes and speeches of the Kansas delegation in congress are a good indication of the Kansas attitude toward the Indian question, a more thorough analysis can be obtained by turning to the state itself. Executive and legislative acts, press comments, and individual opinions best reflect. what Kansas actually thought.

Previous chapters in this monograph have disclosed the attitude of the governors of Kansas toward the entire Indian problem. Governor Crawford, who held the post of chief executive from 1865 to 1868, inclusive, had very decided opinions, which may be summarized as follows: (1) Every effort should be expended in defending the state from Indians. (2) Indian uprisings should be put down by the use of military force. (3) The wild tribes of Indians should be conquered and driven from the state. (4) Reservation Indians in eastern Kansas should be removed to Indian territory. (5) The Indian Bureau should be transferred from the Interior Department to the War Department. (6) Indian traders and agents should not be allowed to sell arms and ammunition to the Indians.

Crawford's successor, Governor Harvey, entertained similar ideas. In his message to the legislature in 1869 Harvey advocated: The transfer of the Indian Bureau to the War Department; that congress be urged to indemnify frontier settlers out of Indian annuities; that provision be made for the organization of two regiments of volunteer militia for frontier defense.

The Kansas legislature gave both governors able support in their efforts to obtain frontier protection and removal of the Indians. In

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January, 1865, a joint resolution passed both houses requesting the War Department to place a sufficient military force in the hands of Gen. S. R. Curtis to enable him to give ample protection to the Kansas frontier and the Overland and Santa Fe routes. The resolution also ordered the secretary of state to forward a copy of it to the legislatures of the states of Missouri, Iowa, Nevada, and California, and to the territories of Nebraska, Colorado, Montana, Washington and Utah with the view of inducing the legislatures of those states and territories to take similar action.[40]

In February, 1865, the legislature adopted House Concurrent Resolution No. 20 which provided that congress be urged immediately to order the construction of a telegraph line from Fort Leavenworth to Fort Lyon via Forts Riley, Zarah and Larned. The purpose of the proposed line was to enable United States troops and Kansas militia more easily to locate and punish Indian hostiles. The resolution further provided that the governor forward copies to the President of the United States, the Secretary of War, the Secretary of the Interior, and each senator and representative in congress.[41] The proposed line was not built.

In 1867 the Kansas state legislature sent several concurrent resolutions to congress in an effort to obtain greater frontier security. The most prominent of these was a resolution requesting the Kansas delegation in congress to urge upon the government the necessity of promptly establishing a military post or permanent camp between Fort Kearney and Fort Harker. This resolution was tabled in the senate on February 15, 1867, thus practically killing it.[42]

Col. J. H. Leavenworth, Indian agent for the Comanche and Kiowa tribes, was especially unpopular with the Kansas legislators; consequently they petitioned congress for his removal. The complete text of the resolution adopted on February 8, 1867, will best convey the opinion the legislature held concerning Mr. Leavenworth.

"WHEREAS, It has come to the knowledge of the legislature of the State of Kansas that Col. J. H. Leavenworth, present agent of certain hostile tribes of Indians on the western and southwestern frontier of the State of Kansas, is wholly incompetent to perform the duties thereof; and whereas the settlers on said frontier are in imminent peril of their lives and property through said incompetency; and whereas, unless some competent person be appointed in his stead friendly to the whites, with nerve to meet our present wants

GARFIELD: THE INDIAN QUESTION 39

and emergency, our citizens will be butchered, as heretofore in detail; Therefore,
Resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring, That the said Congress, and especially our delegation therein, be earnestly requested to see that said Leavenworth be removed, and a man substituted in his stead who will use his best and honest endeavors, while protecting the interests of the Indians, to save our citizens from slaughter."
[43]

Congress failed to heed this petition, also, so Mr. Leavenworth continued in office.

The legislative session of 1869 not only sent many appeals to congress for frontier protection, but passed a large number of state laws on the subject. The Kansas delegation in congress was instructed to use its efforts to secure the passage through congress of an act to enable the adjustment and payment by the United States of claims of Kansas citizens. The claims in question were for damages inflicted by Arapahoe, Cheyenne, Kiowa, and Comanche Indians in 1864.[44]

Another resolution urged congress and the general government to make a speedy appropriation for the relief of Kansas citizens who had been victims of Indian depredations from 1861 to 1866.45 Both of these resolutions were referred to the committee on Indian affairs in the senate but failed to emerge. Congress was also memorialized to transfer the Indian Bureau to the War Department, Mr. Clarke, of Kansas, presenting to the house of representatives the concurrent resolution of the state legislature.[46]

Legislative measures for frontier protection passed during the 1869 session dealt chiefly with the financing of military expeditions of 1868. An act was passed providing for the issuance and sale of $14,000 in state bonds to defray the expenses incurred by the raising of the Nineteenth Kansas cavalry.[47] Another act of similar nature provided for the issuance of $75,000 in state bonds for payment of all other military indebtedness of 1868. Especially did this apply to the expenses of raising and maintaining the First frontier battalion.[48] For future protection of the frontier the legislature ordered that $100,000 of state bonds be issued and sold to provide a state military fund.[49]

In the session of 1870 the legislature again sent a memorial to congress, the main points of which were an appeal to the govern-

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ment to prevent repetition of the Indian outrages on Kansas settlers and a protest against any reduction of the United States army.[50]

In reading through the files of Kansas newspapers for the period one is impressed by the unmistakable attitude of antagonism which the press maintained toward the Indian, the Indian traders and agents, and the Indian policy of the United States government. Several representative articles chosen from a variety of newspapers will indicate what the Kansas papers thought on the Indian question. One editor during the Civil War demanded the complete extermination of the plains Indians.[51] Others approved heartily of Col. John M. Chivington's method of dealing with them.[52] In 1866, when Maj. Gen. W. F. Cloud was contemplating a campaign against the Indians with Kansas militia, the Junction City Union commented in the following way:

"If the general has any compunctions of conscience in regard to `playing Sand Creek' upon them he had better not start. It is unfortunate for the settlements that so many asses have existed as to make such a tremendous howl, in the interests of thieving agents, because of Sand Creek whipping. Had the effect of that not been spoiled, Indians would have been effectually subdued for years." 53 Following some sarcastic comments about Indians indulging in their "little innocent pastime of scalping," another editor made a caustic reference to the United States military posts. The posts, he declared, were of no protection whatever to travelers or settlers and he stated that "the only purpose subserved by these ornamental appendages to the government seems to be the consumption of poor commissary whiskey."[54]

Epithets applied to the Indians by newspapers were numerous. They varied from the slightly sarcastic references to "the noble red man" and "Lo, the Poor Indian" to the more emphatic appellations of "red devils," "hell hounds," and "sons of the. Devil." Even the reservation Indians in the eastern part of the state were not exempt. An amusing yet contemptuous opinion of the Kaw Indians is reproduced below:

"We have not seen the dusky forms of the noble red man of the Kaw persuasion about our streets in the last two or three days. Doubtless those

GARFIELD: THE INDIAN QUESTION 41

sweet-scented ones that were encamped near here have gone back to their reservation. When we consider how efficient they were in `gobbling up' the putrescent animal and vegetable matter about the city, we almost regret their departure.

"Now that these scavengers are gone, our city fathers should look to it that some other means be employed to guard the health of our people."[55]

Occasionally a Kansas paper took the part of the Indian. The Kansas State Record in 1868 deplored the fact that people persisted in getting up rumors of an Indian war when there was no occasion for it. The editor admitted that more than half of the Indian outrages were caused in the first place by wrongs done to the Indian by the white man.[56] The same editor later in the year denied that the majority of Indian wars were caused by the whites.[57] A few days subsequent to this, after riding on a train in the company of Col. E. W. Wyncoop, Indian agent at Fort Larned, the editor published an article in which he coincided with Wyncoop's views. Wyncoop had said that the military never punished the guilty Indians but wreak their vengeance on the innocent; also that every treaty made by the United States with the Indians was first broken by the whites.[58]

Indian agents received their share of abuse at the hands of the press. Colonel Leavenworth, of course, was the principal target at which these literary shafts were aimed. A newspaper correspondent writing from Fort Harker on July 10, 1867, handed the following bouquet to the colonel:

". . . the Indians evidently having either gone North, or to the vicinity of Colonel Leavenworth's headquarters, there to receive those presents that tender-hearted functionary has recently obtained from the government for distribution among the Lo family. It is the earnest wish of every person in this section, so far as I can ascertain, that the Indians immediately after receiving their presents from Leavenworth will return the compliment by lifting his hair." [59]

The Junction City Union, in speaking of John Smith, an Indian trader, was almost incoherent with rage because the said Smith hobnobbed with congressional committees, professed horror at any proposal to punish the Indians, yet grew rich by stealing from both the government and Indians. The article advised the government

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to get rid of its thieving agents, interpreters and hangers-on if it intended to solve the Indian question.[60]

Kansas editors especially resented the attitude of the eastern press toward the people of their state. A common accusation of eastern newspapers was that the people of Kansas desired an Indian war for the sake of the contracts and profits which would accrue to the locality in which military expeditions were organized and outfitted. This was constantly denied with vehemence by the Kansas press.61 When a St. Louis paper, the Missouri Republican, quoted General Sherman as saying that parties in Kansas wanted an Indian war, the Leavenworth Conservative immediately published a statement which not only denied the truth of the accusation but doubted that Sherman ever said it.62 Following the Saline-Solomon raids of 1868 a Topeka journal expressed the views of Kansas in these words:

"We hope that Easterners will learn that Kansas citizens are not thieves, constantly striving for an Indian war for the purpose of speculation; but that the frontier settlers are constantly in the presence of a great danger so long as the Indians are permitted to remain in or come into the state."[63]

Kansas in general ridiculed the Easterner's ideas on the Indian question. "Maudlin sentimentalists," "Eastern philanthropists," "Indian worshippers," and other similar epithets were hurled back at those people in the East who advanced solutions for the great racial problem. An eastern proposal to withdraw troops from the plains in the fall of 1865 was regarded as absurd.[64] Horace Greeley's plan for putting the Indian to work raising cattle and sheep on the plains was hailed with glee by a quick-wined Kansas editor who observed that it was about as practical as going to the moon in a balloon.[65]

Whenever the Indian Bureau received mention in a Kansas paper it was only in the most scathing terms. The Leavenworth Daily Conservative at one time described the "Indian Office" as being nothing but a great buying and selling agency which paid tribute to barbarism to compensate for damages done to civilization.[66] The same paper again alluded to the bureau as a reproach and a disgrace to the nation and stated that the country looked upon it as a den of robbers.[67] The Conservative had previously adhered to the belief

GARFIELD: THE INDIAN QUESTION 43

that the Indian Bureau should be transferred to the War Department, but in 1867, when a suggestion had been made in Washington to make the bureau an independent department, the Leavenworth paper approved. Especially did the Conservative welcome that part of the new plan which proposed consigning the wild Indians to the War Department while the Indian Department supervised the civilized tribes. "By all odds let the War Department have the uncivilized Indians," it shouted.[68]

When the Indian Bureau in 1868 declared that Kansans were greatly exaggerating reports of Indian raids the Kansas State Record rose in anger and wrathfully retorted:

"The Indian Bureau will believe nothing till they obtain, through miles of red tape a month later, an official report. We only hope that Governor Crawford will put himself at the head of a band of our western men, follow the Indians to their homes, and do his work a la Chivington. If he does he must be sure to keep out of the way of United States officials; or, if necessary, fight them."[69]

Upon hearing of the senate confirmation of L. V. Bogy as commissioner of Indian affairs the Junction City Union vented its opinion of the man. Among other things he was referred to as "one of the most skulking and cowardly rebels of all wretches of the class who ever cursed Missouri with the evil of their wicked lives."[70]

The Kansas press was especially belligerent toward the peace party in congress, who endeavored to settle the Indian troubles by treaty instead of by force. The Kansas Daily Tribune advocated a short residence upon the plains with the loss of a scalp as a sure cure for the romantic ideas which the United States senators and congressmen had formed in regard to "the dirty red devils." [71] The White Cloud Chief, in reference to Gen. P. E. Connor's destruction of an Arapahoe village, feared that Connor would "go overboard" since a "sniffling congressional investigating committee will shortly be after him to examine into and report upon this fiendish piece of barbarism."[72]

While a special session of congress in the summer of 1867 debated the question of sending a peace commission to the plains, the newspapers in Kansas were ridiculing its efforts. The way to make peace, according to one editor, was by notifying the Indians that no more treaties would be made and then removing the red men to res-

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ervations.[73] Throughout the period spent by the peace commission in Kansas in 1867, the Leavenworth Conservative printed sarcastic articles, most of which applied the term "Full Moon Exercises" to the treaty of Medicine Lodge.

Miscellaneous remarks of Kansas papers are worthy of note. The report of the Joint Congressional Committee on the Condition of the Indian Tribes was met by a storm of protest. The Atchison Daily Free Press thought the report would "wonderfully please the worshippers of the noble red man in the East," but doubted if it would find favor with the frontier people who were acquainted with the facts in the case.[74] The Junction City Union once went so far as to declare that all treaty makers should be killed by Indians.[75]

To sum up the attitude of the newspapers of Kansas toward the Indian a representative selection is quoted from one of the leading journals

"With our routes of travel closed; with our borders beleaguered by thousands of these merciless devils whose natures are compounded of every essential diabolism of hell . . . . we present to the civilized world a picture of weakness and vacillation, deliberately sacrificing men and women, one of whose lives is worth more than the existence of all the Indians in America."[76]

Lest it be thought that a few newspaper editors were dictating the thinking of the people of Kansas, it is well to cite opinions of the frontiersmen themselves. Citizens of Marion county first circulated a petition for the removal of Colonel Leavenworth. The petition was then indorsed by Governor Crawford and sent to the Secretary of the Interior.[77] Opinions expressed by the frontiersmen concerning the Indians and Indian policy, while less polished, were just as forceful as those of newspaper editors. The majority of the letters sent by frontiersmen to the Kansas governors expressed hatred and fear of the Indians, horror at the Indian Bureau's policy of arming the red men, and disgust at the peace-treaty making, present-giving system employed by the government.

Another expression of the people's attitude was the resolution adopted by the Republican state convention at Topeka on September 9, 1868: " We demand in the name of our frontier settlers, that the uncivilized Indians be driven from the state, and the civilized tribes be speedily removed to the Indian country."[78]

Notes

1. Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1865, p. iv.
2. Ibid., 186?, p. 292.
3. Ibid., 1868, p. 68.
4. Ibid., 1889, p. 6.
5. Senate debate, 1865, Congressional Globe, 38 Cong., 2 sess., p. 327.
6. Senate Reports, 39 Cong., 2 sess., No. 156, pp. 1-10.
7. Senate debate, 1866, Congressional Globe, 39 Cong., 1 sess., p. 1492.
8. Ibid., 1887, 89 Cong., 2 sess., p. 1720.
9. Ibid., p. 1923.
10. Ibid., p. 1712.
11. For a detailed account of these treaties see Marvin H. Garfield, "Defense of the Kansas Frontier, 1866-1867," Kansas Historical Quarterly, August, 1932.
12. "Report of the Indian Peace Commission," January 7, 1868, in Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1868, pp. 2650.
13. Senate debate, 1868, Congressional Globe, 40 Cong., 2 sess., p. 1461.
14. Ibid., 40 Cong., 2 sess., pp. 3100, 3174, 3175, 3183, 3249, 3271, 3279, 3299, 3731.
15. Ibid., 1866, 39 Cong., 1 sess., p. 2613.
16. Ibid., pp. 3506, 3507, 3552-3559.
17. See previous reference to the house amendment.
18. House proceedings, 1868, Congressional Globe, 40 Cong., 3 sess., pp. 17-21.
19. Ibid., Senate debates, 1868-1869, 40 Cong., 3 sess., pp. 40-43, 663.
20. Ibid., House proceedings, 1869, 40 Cong., 3 sess., p. 880.
21. Ibid., Senate debate, 1869, 40 Cong., 3 sess., p. 1378.
22. See footnote No. 17.
23. Congressional Globe, Senate debate, 1867, 39 Cons., 2 sess., p. 1624.
24. Ibid., p. 17-20.
25. Ibid., 40 Cong., 1 sess., pp. 708, 709.
26. Ibid., 1868, 40 Cong., 2 sess., p. 3275
27. Ibid., 40 Cong., 1 sess., pp. 708, 709. Ibid., 1868, 40 Cong., 2 sess., p. 3276.
28. Ibid., 1869, 40 Cong., 3 sess., p. 1878.
29. Ibid., 1868, p. 61. 89. A prominent example was the resolution urging congress to establish a military post in northern Kansas between Fort Harker and Fort Kearney, Neb.
30. Garfield, op. cit.
31. "Indian Depredations" (Clippings), v. II, pp. 183-186, Kansas Historical Society
32. See "Defense of the Kansas Frontier, 1864-1865," in Kansas Historical Quarterly, 1932, p. 148.
33. Speech of the Hon. E. G. Ross in the senate, July 18 1867 in "Kansas Collected Speeches and Pamphlets," v. IX (compiled by the Kansas Historical Society).
34. Kansas State Record, Topeka, November 6, 1867.
35. Senator Ross to Governor Harvey, including letter of Ross to Gen. J. M. Schofield dated December 30, 1869, Adjutant General's Correspondence, 1869 (Kansas).
36. Congressional Globe, House proceedings, 1888,40 Cong., 2 sess., p. 1424.
37. Ibid., p. 1631.
38. Ibid., House proceedings, 1869, 40 Cong., 3 seas., pp. 881, 882.
39. Ibid., 1868, p. 18.
40. House Journal, Kansas state legislature, 1865, p. 105.
41. Ibid., pp. 338, 339.
42. Senate Miscellaneous Documents, No. 26, 39 Cong., 2 sess.
43. Ibid., No. 34, 39 Cong., 2 sess.
44. Ibid., No. 32, 40 Cong., 3 sess.
45. Ibid., No. 48, 40 Cong., 3 sess.
46. Congressional Globe, House proceedings, 1869, 40 Cong., 3 sess., p. 581.
47. Laws of Kansas, 1869, pp. 46-48.
48. Ibid., pp. 38-41.
49. Ibid., pp. 42-44.
50. Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 23, Senate Journal, Kansas state legislature, 1870, pp. 122-124, 259.
51. Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, August 25, 1864.
52. Ibid., December 21, 1865, a reprint from the Denver Rocky Mountain News.
53. Editorial of August 4, 1866.
54. Daily Kansas State Record, Topeka, July 23, 1868.
55. Ibid., June 25, 1888.
56. Ibid., June 3, 1868.
67. Ibid., November 22, 1868.
58. Ibid., November 28, 1868.
59. Leavenworth Daily Conservative, July 12, 1867.
61. Editorial, Leavenworth Daily Conservative, July 27, 1867.
62. Ibid., May 23, 1867.
63. Daily Kansas State Record, Topeka, August 23, 1868.
64. Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, October 20, 1865.
65. Leavenworth Daily Conservative, February 19, 1867.
66. Ibid., July 11, 1867.
67. Ibid., February 13, 1867.
68. Ibid., October 15, 1867.
69. Issue of August 21, 1868.
70. Issue of March 16, 1867.
71. Issue of January 26, 1865.
72. Reprinted in the Kansas Daily Tribune, October 4, 1866.
73. Leavenworth Daily Conservative, July 19, 1867.
74. Issue of January- 7, 1868.
75. Issue of August 4, 1866.
76. Leavenworth Daily Conservative, August 11, 1867.
77. Correspondence of Kansas Governors, Crawford (Copy Book), p. 45, Archives, Kansas Historical Society. (Petition indorsed on January 31, 1867.)
78. Wilder, Annals of Kansas, pp. 483-485.