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I have taken the liberty to give a liberal construction to this article; and as the object of the government is to attempt the civilization of the Indians generally, I have prepared, with no small labor, from the most authentic materials which I could command, a Statistical Table, embracing the names and numbers of all the tribes within the jurisdiction of the United States, and have accompanied this Table with a map, shewing, as far as is known, where each tribe resides. [The reader is referred to the Table and Map, preceding the Title page.]
II. After the foregoing general tabular and map views, of a preliminary nature, I proceed to give, in order, such particular accounts of the several tribes enumerated in the table, as shall exhibit, what my commission requires, “the actual condition" of the Indian Tribes—particularly “the extent of their respective territories, with the nature of their soil and climate, their modes of life, customs, laws and political institutions,—the character and dispositions of their principal and most influential men; the number of schools, their position, the number of teachers-of scholars of each sex, the plan of education, with the degree of success which appears to attend the respective schools, and the disposition, which appears to exist in the tribes, and with their chief men, to promote among them civilization.”
The body of the information collected in compliance with the part of my commission above recited, I have, for obvious reasons, thrown into an Appendix, to which reference may be bad for facts and information in detail, to establish and illustrate the different branches of this Report.
In this part of my Report, I shall make general, summary remarks only, on the various nations of Indians, in the order they are mentioned in the Table, beginning with the Remnants of the Tribes remaining in
A particular account of these several tribes is given in the Appendix.* These Indians are all provided for, both as to instruc
* Appendix L.
tion and comfort, by the governments and religious associations, of the several states in which they reside, as far as they will, in their present situation, receive these blessings. Should the Government of the United States, provide an Asylum for the remnants of these depressed and wretched people, who have been long insulated, corrupting and wasting away in the midst of us, a portion of them might be persuaded to take shelter in it from the ruin which otherwise seems inevitably to await them. The body of them, however, would doubtless prefer to remain where they are, for this prominent reason, among others, that very few of them are of unmixed blood. The others, having intermarried with the lowest classes of white people and negroes, and feeling no sympathy with Indians of pure blood, would not be comfortable, or happy, or of wholesome influence, if removed and planted among them. In the view given of the history, and present state, of these tribes, we may see the results of past experiments; and continue those means which have been successful, and correct, or abandon those, which have proved abortive. On these tribes, formerly, and on others now extinct, were bestowed the Missionary labors almost single handed, of Eliot, the Mayhews, Edwards, the Sergeants, Kirkland, Wheelock, Badger, Occum and others, whose zeal, trials, and faithful services, are remembered and recorded on earth, and, we doubt not, in heaven.
In this State, are what remain in the United States, of the celebrated confederacy of the Sir Nations, with the Stockbridge, Brotherton, and some of a few other tribes, who are planted on lands given them principally by the Oneidas and Senecas. Of the present state of these Indians, in all the particulars desired by the Government, a full account will be found in the Appendix.* There is a division among them on the subject of removal. The greater part, probably, at present, choose to remain on their several Reservations; and they are supported in this choice by some religious associations and individuals, who believe that they can,
* Appendix M.
to more advantage, be civilized where they are, than in any place to which they could be removed. My own opinion, however, and that of many others, and of a large part of the Indians themselves, is different. A removal of these, and of all other reduced tribes, in the settled parts of our country, and their colonization on some sequestered spot, selected and prepared with judgment, and libe. rality, under the direction and patronage of the Government, would place them in circumstances for improvement, far more eligible than those in which they are now placed. The spot which has been lately selected, and purchased of the Winebago and Me. nomine Indians, on Fox river, in the N. W. Territory, by a delegation from the Stockbridge, Oneida, St. Regis, and some other tribes, at the head of which was Mr. Eleazer Williams, I consider as judiciously chosen for this purpose. After those who are now willing to go, shall have settled in this chosen and pleasant country, under the auspices of the Government, and some religious Association, who will plant Education Families among them, there is little doubt, in my own mind, but more of these, and other reduced and feeble tribes, and ultimately the whole, or nearly all of this class, will voluntarily, or with a little persuasion and assistance follow them. But more will be found on this prominent subject in the Appendix, F. G. H.
All these tribes remaining in New-York, have been supplied for many years with more or less of religious and moral instruction; several houses for public worship have been erected for their use; schools established, various kinds of mills have been built, tools for husbandry and for carrying on several of the mechanical arts, furnished, and other means employed for the general improvement of these Indians. Besides what has been done for them in these ways by the Legislature and religious Associations of the State in which they reside, the Society in Scotland for propagating Christian Knowledge, the Society for propagating the Gospel among the Indians and others in North-America, established in Boston and vicinity, and the Corporation of Harvard College, have supported for many years, one or more Missionaries and school-masters among the Oneida and Stockbridge Indians.
These means have not been used without very apparent good effects. Whole tribes have been converted from Paganism to Christianity; many hopeful converts have been made to the faith of the Gospel; churches, respectable for their numbers, have been formed; the ordinances of religion have been regularly administered; church music has been successfully cultivated; valuable improvements have been made in agriculture, manufactures and some of the most useful and necessary mechanic arts, and in their dwellings, and style of living. Some of them are wealthy, in cattle, and other stock, and in the produce of their farms; numbers have made such advances in the common branches of knowledge, reading, writing, and arithmetic, as to become teachers of schools and some have risen to be respectable religious teachers. Among these last is Mr. Williams, who has just been named, who is of Indian descent, and who for several years has officiated successfully in the Episcopal forms of worship, as the religious Teacher of the Oneidas. All these improvements, however, have fallen short of the public expectations, and seem not to have produced generally that encouragement to continued and increased exertion, which the friends to the happiness of the Indians had hoped. The success of these efforts has doubtless been much obstructed by the influence of low and depraved white people, who have insinuated themselves among these Indians, and whose interest it is to keep them ignorant; and whose exertions, of course, would be against all improvements. The imperfect plans upon which these benevolent efforts have been made, have lessened their good effects. As the new plans to be submitted, provide against these evils and defects of both kinds, past experience should in no degree discourage new attempts on new plans, the wisdom and efficacy of which have been tested by a variety and succession of experiments.
The aid given by the Government to religious Associations, who have made establishments for the improvement of several portions of these Indians, appears to have been judiciously bestowed, and probably is the full proportion of the fund, placed at the disposal of the President for the civilization of the Indians, which should be appropriated to the tribes in this section of our country. An Education Family, formed and organized on the plan hereafter recommended, would be able to impart all necessary instruction
to a much larger number than now dwell together in any part of the state of New-York; and hence may be drawn a weighty argument in favor of their colinization. It would economise, to a great extent, our means and labor for the benefit of these Indians, A large family, embracing instructors in all branches of useful knowl. edge, might superintend and conduct the education of a large body of Indians.
I bave given in the Appendix,* so full an account of the Indians, who remain in this State, in answer to the enquiries of the Gov. ernment, that very few obseryations remain to be made in this place. It seems not easy te reconcile the accounts given of the feelings and opinions of the Delawares, by the Indian Agent, and the Rev. Mr. Sergeant. These differences render it difficult to determine the real state of facts. Very considerable attention has been paid to the instruction of these Indians by several denominations of Christians, more especially by the Society of Friends, and the favorable results are stated. Several remarks of Rev. Mr. Hoge in his letter, are worthy of special notice, particularly the following. “They (the Indians) begin to be convinced, that their migratory life is unfriendly to their welfare; that it will soon be impossible to gain subsistence by hunting; that they must have recourse to agriculture and the mechanic arts," These convictions are undoubtedly fast becoming general among the sensible part of the tribes within the circle of our settlements.
On the subject of Colonization, the reply of Richardville, expresses the sentiments of some of the Indians, who have a controlling influence over their respective tribes. “I think," says this sensible Chief, in answer to my question to him—“I think the plan of collecting the Indians now scattered, into large bodies, , for the purpose of educating them with more convenience, and at less expense, both practicable and advantageous."
* Appendix 0.
† Appendix P.
† Appendix R.