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[402] in anything whatever, without the slightest knowledge or concern as to what it all means. What is needed to civilize and Christianize Indians are practical common-sense men, who will first teach them to be human and to acquire the arts of civilized life; who will educate, as far as can be done, the children of the Indians, and who will be content to look to the future, and not to the immediate present, for results. Such missionaries could be of incalculable benefit to the Indian and to the Government; and I would recommend that whenever such men are sent to the military posts on the frontier, the Government furnish them with quarters and with rations, at the rate of two small families for each one of the larger posts, and for one small family for each smaller post, I have no doubt that these small missions at each post, if conducted by practical and earnest men, would greatly add to the hope of permanent peace with the Indians, and contribute to a healthy and increasing improvement in the moral and physical condition of the Indian tribes.

The military commanders will be instructed to give every assistance and encouragement to such missionaries, and to enjoin upon the officers and soldiers under their command that they exhibit toward the missionaries every respect and kindness.

The peace which will be made with Indians, under the instructions I have given to Generals Sully and Sibley, is based simply upon the understanding that the Indians on the one hand behave themselves and do not molest the whites, and on the other hand that the whites shall be made to deal fairly with the Indians, and not molest them in any way. The military authorities undertake to enforce good conduct on both sides, and will have the power, if not interfered with, to do so thoroughly. As such a peace involves neither annuities nor presents, and holds out no prospect in violating it, except hostilities, it will probably be lasting. Hitherto it has been the practice to accompany every treaty of peace, made by Indian agents, with expensive presents of goods and supplies of various kinds, and the Indians naturally understand that these are given them as bribes to keep the peace, and because the whites are afraid of them; and, of course, they observe such treaties only as long as they find it convenient, or until they need a further supply of presents, (ammunition, goods, &c.) In fact, it has been for years a saying with the Sioux, along the great mail-route to California, that whenever they became poor and needed blankets and powder and lead, they had only to go down to this great mail and emigrant route, and kill a few white people, and there would be another treaty of peace, which would supply all their wants.

It is beyond question that such a system of treaty-making is, of all others, the most impolitic, whether negotiated with savage or civilized people, and leads, in either case, to constant and increasing hostilities.

I intend, in settling a peace with Indians in this department, to do away entirely with this system, which, aside from its effect in stimulating and encouraging breaches of treaties of peace, is always attended with fraud upon the Government and upon the Indians.

I shall send up, in the spring, some companies of cavalry to make a cantonment for the summer, at some point on the lake, and to remain there until the last possible moment in the autumn, with the view of drawing the various tribes of Indians to that point, and furnishing them with facilities of trade during the summer and autumn. Such a cantonment, kept up for two or three seasons, will have a most beneficial effect upon the Indians, as all whites, except authorized traders acting under the supervision of the military authorities, will be prohibited from going into that region.

It is proper to remark that extensive strata of excellent coal have been found at Fort Rice, one vein six feet thick. This coal-field extends toward the south-west, and it is supposed outcrops on the slopes of the Black Hills. How far north it extends is not yet known. The existence of this great coal-field, half-way between the Great Lakes and the Rocky Mountains, is a fact, the value of which cannot well be overestimated. Aside from furnishing fuel for the navigation of the Upper Missouri river, it is a controlling element in the location of a railroad across the great plains to the Pacific.

Its extent and character will soon be developed by the troops from Fort Rice and other points on the Missouri river.

I may state finally, that the Government may safely dismiss all apprehensions of Indian wars in the North-west. Small Indian raids there doubtless will be, as there always have been, for stealing horses; but no hostilities, on any considerable scale, are likely again to occur. A small force, such as is designated in this report, will be quite sufficient to protect the frontier and the emigration.

I only ask, now, that the military authorities be left to themselves to deal with these Indians, and to regulate the trading with the Indian tribes without the interposition of Indian agents, and I will cheerfully guarantee peace with the Indian tribes in this department.

The department has been administered, so far as its relations with the State and other civil authorities are concerned, in accordance with the views and principles laid down in the accompanying letter from me to Governor Saloman, of Wisconsin. I am gratified to say that there have been entire harmony and success. The draft and all other laws of the United States have been promptly and fully executed in the department, without difficulty or trouble of any kind whatever.

I desire to bear testimony to the hearty cooperation and zeal of the district commanders in the department in the discharge of the various and perplexing duties which have devolved upon them.

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