By Helen Hunt Jackson

First released in 1881 and reprinted in different variations on the grounds that, Helen Hunt Jackson’s A Century of Dishonor is a vintage account of the U.S. government’s unsuitable Indian coverage and the unfair and vicious therapy afforded North American Indians by way of expansionist americans. Jackson wrote the ebook as a polemic to "appeal to the hearts and sense of right and wrong of the yank people," who she was hoping might call for legislative reform from Congress and redeem the country’s identify from the stain of a "century of dishonor." Her efforts, which represent a landmark in Indian reform, helped commence the lengthy technique of public understanding for Indian rights that keeps to the current day.Beginning with a felony short at the unique Indian correct of occupancy, A Century of Dishonor maintains with Jackson’s research of ways irresponsibility, dishonesty, and perfidy at the a part of americans and the U.S. executive devastated the Delaware, Cheyenne, Nez Perce, Sioux, Ponca, Winnebago, and Cherokee Indians. Jackson describes the government’s therapy of the Indians as "a shameful list of damaged treaties and unfulfilled can provide" exacerbated through "a sickening list of homicide, outrage, theft, and wrongs" dedicated by means of frontier settlers, with in simple terms an occasional Indian retaliation. Such awesome occasions because the flight of leader Joseph of the Nez Perces and the Cherokee path of Tears illustrate Jackson’s arguments.Valerie Sherer Mathes’s foreword strains Jackson’s existence and writings and areas her within the context of reform advocacy in the course of 19th century expansionism. This unabridged paperback version includes an index, and the total appendix, together with Jackson’s correspondence about the Sand Creek bloodbath and her file as certain Comminnioner to enquire the wishes of California’s challenge Indians.

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But how shall they become civilized? Civilization is in a most important sense a gift rather than an acquisition. Men do not gain it for themselves, except as stimulated thereto by some incitement from above themselves. The savage does not labor for the gratifications of civilized life, since he does not desire these. His labors and his desires are both dependent upon some spiritual gift, which, having kindled him, quickens his desires and calls forth his toil. Unless he has some help from without, some light and life from above to illumine and inspire him, the savage remains a savage, and without this all the blandishments of the civilization with which he might be brought into contact could no more win him into a better state than could all the light and warmth of the sun woo a desert into a fruitful field.

Our most terrible wars have been with the noblest types of Page xxii the Indians, and with men who had been the white man's friend. Nicolet said the Sioux were the finest type of wild men he had ever seen. Old traders say that it used to be the boast of the Sioux that they had never taken the life of a white man. Lewis and Clarke, Governor Stevens, and Colonel Steptoe bore testimony to the devoted friendship of the Nez Percés for the white man. Colonel Boone, Colonel Bent, General Harney, and others speak in the highest praise of the Cheyennes.

The President did take the nomination of Indian agents from politicians, who had made the office a reward for political service. He gave the nomination of Indian agents to the executive committees of the missionary societies of the different churches. Where these Christian bodies established schools and missions, and the Government cast its influence on the side of labor, it was a success. More has been done to civilize the Indians in the past twelve years than in any period of our history. The Indian Ring has fought the new policy at every step; and yet, notwithstanding our Indian wars, our violated treaties, and our wretched system, thousands of Indians, who were poor, degraded savages, are now living as Christian, civilized men.

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