Collection: 1822 Report on Indian Affairs

The Claims of the Indians on the Government and People of the United States

In the existing state of the Indians, and of our connections with them, what do we owe them? What are the duties, in reference to them, of the civil, and of the religious community ? The duties of each are different, but connected. Neither, alone, can do all that seems necessary to be done. There is enough for both to do; and a necessity that there should be mutual cooperation. The Government, according to the law of nations, having jurisdiction over the Indian Territory, and the exclusive right to dispose of its soil, the whole Indian population is reduced, of

Civilization of the Indians

When we look back in the pages of history four or five hundred years, and see what then was the state of our own Ancestors, and whence sprang the most polished and scientific nations of Europe, we should scarcely have supposed, that any man, acquainted with history, or making any pretensions to candor, would be found among the objectors to attempts to civilize our Indians, and thus to save them from perishing. Yet, painful as is the fact, objections have been made to the present course of procedure with Indians, and from men too, whose standing and office in society

Education Families

I give this name to those bodies which have been commonly denominated Mission Families, because it seems better to describe their character, and may less offend the opposers of Missions. By an Education Family I mean, an association of individual families, formed of one or more men regularly qualified to preach the Gospel, to be at the head of such a family; of schoolmasters and mistresses; of farmers, blacksmiths, carpenters, cabinetmakers, millwrights, and other mechanics-of women capable of teaching the use of the needle, the spinning wheel, the loom, and all kinds of domestic manufactures, cookery, &c. common in civilized

Indian College

As an important aid to the Government in their project in regard to the Indians, I would suggest the expediency of establishing. In some suitable situation, a College, for the education of such Indian youth, as shall have passed through the primary Indian schools with reputation and promise. Here, under competent instructors let them be prepared to teach their brethren of the wilderness, all, even the higher, branches of useful knowledge. Let this College be liberally endowed out of the avails of those public lands, which have been purchased of the Indians. To what better purpose can a portion of

Society for Promoting the General Welfare of the Indian Tribes

I would suggest the expediency of forming a Society, with the above or a similar title to be composed of members from each of the States and Territories, and of all denominations of Christians within the U. States. This Society to be placed under the patronage of the principal officers of the national Government. The object of this Society is summarily stated in its title. It should embrace everything which such a Society could do, that has a bearing on the improvement of the whole Indian population of our country, in all branches of useful knowledge. For these purposes it

The Education of Indian Females and Intermarriages Between Indian and White People

I connect these subjects, because, in contemplating the latter, the former should be kept in view. While Indians remain in their present state, the minds of civilized people must revolt at the idea of intermarrying with them. It is natural, and decent, that it should be so. Intermarriages, however, in the present state of the Indians, or, that which amounts to the same thing, have taken place to a great extent, and this too by many men of respectable talents and standing in society. 1Mons. Peniere, an exile from France during her revolution, a man of genius and information, who

Persons and Character of Indians

Indians, generally, are about the size of the white people. The Osage, and some other tribes, who are of remarkable height, and fine figure, are exceptions to this remark. In these respects they exceed any equally large body of white people known among us. In the shape of their limbs, and their erect form, Indians have evidently the advantage over the whites. Some, whom I have seen, would be perfect models for the sculptor. Instances of deformity are rare. In bodily strength they are inferior to the whites; as b true of all savages; civilized man being always superior in

The Nature of the Indian Titles to Their Lands

The relation which the Indians sustain to the government of the United States is peculiar in its nature. Their independence, their rights, their title to the soil which they occupy, are all imperfect in their kind. Each tribe possesses many of the attributes of independence and sovereignty. They have their own forms of government, appoint their own rulers, in their own way, make their own laws, have their own customs and religion, and, without control, declare war and make peace, and regulate all other of their civil, religious and social affairs. The disposal of their lands is always done by

Increase of Indians within the Extended Limits of the United States

By the treaty with Spain, of 1819, the Territory of the United States is extended from the Atlantic, to the Pacific Ocean j and a host of Indian tribes, in consequence, has been brought within our national limits. Many of these tribes, in point of numbers, rank among the largest in our country. These tribes are shut up within their present continually narrowing limits. They can migrate neither to the north, nor to the south; neither to the east, nor to the west. The cold and barren region, spreading from our northern boundary, in lat. 49 north, to the Frozen

Stephen Morse’s 1822 Tour into Canada

Conceiving that it was within the spirit and meaning of my commission, and that it might, in various ways, aid essentially the accomplishment of the grand object of the Government in respect to the Indians, I left home on the 4th of July 1821, with a view to visit both the Canadas, and to ascertain the feelings and views of the Governors and principal men in those provinces, on the subject of the civilization and moral and religious improvement of the Indians, within their respective jurisdictions, and whether their cooperation, in such manner as they should deem proper, might be