Tuesday, May 15, 2007

MINUTES OF NEGOTIATIONS FOR THE AGREEMENT OF 1895

By this time the practice of negotiating treaties with only the Senate had been replaced by the idea of "agreements" with both houses.
(as published in the Glacier Reporter, beginning on May 23, 1985)

This is the creation of Glacier National Park.
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On Monday, September 23rd, it waas impossible to get the Indians together until 2 o’clock in the afternoon when the meeting was called to order by Mr. Pollock.

Little Dog: “I have a few words to say to you now. We will proceed with the treaty. I want to ask you a question first. At the last meeting we offered you the land north of Cut Bank for Two Million Dollars; now we want to know what you will give for the land north of the railroad to the boundary line.”

Mr. Pollack: “As we said before, Congress would not be willing to give Two Million Dollars for the land north of Cut Bank. You ask too much for the land. We think it will be best for you to sell the land north from the railway, but that is for you to say.”

Little Dog:
“We do not want to sell the land north from Birch Creek, but think that we will sell the land north from the railway. We do not try to hide anything from you, therefore, we think when we ask you to tell us what you will allow us for the land you ought to tell us. We do not go outside to come any conclusion about this, and we don’t think you should do so. It is best to decide now. I will sit down for a while until you decide upon how much the land is worth: then I will continue my speech to you.”

Mr. Pollock:
“We came out here not knowing anything about the land you wanted to sell, or the price you asked, but something about the needs of the Indians. We hope that you can make up your minds as to the value of the lands and the price you will take. We could then advise you as to the probability of Congress to allow the money to pay you for it. We are not acting for ourselves. If we were, we would know better how to act. We must do what we believe Congress will approve. This being true, we have decided to make a proposition offering the highest price, as we might do buying a horse for ourselves. We have consulted among ourselves and have taken into consideration the needs of the Indians and have concluded a larger amount of mney than we believe the government will ever realize from the land. We have decided to propose to pay for the lands north from the railway One-Million dollars and from Birch Creek north One-Million-Two-Hundred-Fifty dollars. If you wish to sell that much. The first proposition will give you, after the present treaty expires, One-Hundred Thousand dollars a year for ten years. The other will give you one-fourth more or One Hundred-Twenty-Five-Thousand dollars yearly. We believe this will be ample to provide for you and allow you to build houses and improve your lands, and be better able to live without the assistance of the government. We want you to remember that if you sell the land from Birch Creek that you will not be troubled to keep the white men off the reservation who may come to steal the mineral that is there. I fully agree with the Agent, Major Steell, when he said that it would be impossible to keep the white men off that portion of the reservation; that it would take nearly the whole army to do so. We have made this proposition believing that it is more than the land is worth and knowing that we cannot offer more. We want you to consider it well and decide as soon as you can upon the matter.”

Little Dog: “We don’t like the proposition that you have just made. I know that several kinds of mineral are produced in those mountains. We are of peaceful mind toward you and don’t intend to have any violent debate. We have made a proposition to you.”

Mr. Pollack: “You have made no proposition on the land you are talking of, north from the railway.”

Little Dog: “I am about to make a proposition on that land and I think it will surprise you; make you faint and fall down. We don’t want the Great Father to feed and clothe us all our lives. We ask for the land north of the railroad Three Million Dollars so we will be able to maintain ourselves and care for our wives and children. There are many thngs in which the Great Father has cheated us. Therefore, we ask Three Million Dollars for that land. Those mountains will never disappear. We will see them as long as we live; our children will see them all their lives, and when we are all dead they will still be there. This money will not last forever. I knew that you would be afraid when I told you our price so I will rest awhile and let you consider it as we do not intend to retreat or go back. You must not forget that we have wives and children; it is for them that we ask this money. Those mountains will not last forever; the money will not. I will now sit down and give you time to consider and to let us know the results of your decision.”

Mr. Pollock:
“The Commission has studied this matter carefully since coming here three weeks ago. There may be mineral. No one can tell whether it is in paying quantities or not. We have based our proposition on the fact that there may be. If there is no mineral the government will never get as much money from it as it pays. You have asked twice as much for this mountain land as you did for a larger tract of land upon which your cattle could graze. It is true that these mountains have always been there. They were there when your Grandfathers lived. They never furnished you houses; never fed your cattle nor fed and clothed you. I am glad to know that you think of your wives and children; but can you send them to these mountains to ask for food, clothing, wagons and cattle? You must know that you can keep these mountains forever and not realize anything from them. It is true that the money you may get will be gone after a time but in the meantime you will be getting clothing, blankets, cattle, wagons, food, etc. That money offers you all these things while those mountains offer you nothing but snow and ice and rock. I leave it for you to choose which you will take!”

Little Dog: “I have two things to tell you, then some others will talk. I know that you are trying now to say that the mountains are of no benefit to us. I know that they are of some benefit to us. It is a fact that when a small child places a value upon an article an older person will take pity and give it more than it asks. We want you to treat us in the same manner.”

White Grass: “My friends, while we shake hands let us come to a peaceful understanding on this question. My friends, the people living all around have their eyes upon us, and are watching our actions on the reservation. Little Dog’s words are good. All he said I agree with. I will add a few words. When I heard that the Great Father was going to send a commission to treat with the Indians, I was glad. I was not in favor of selling you a small piece of land. I want you to be suited with what we well you. My friends, don’t lay your heart aside. Open your heart and ears and eyes. We have tried to act as your friends since you came, and you should take pity on us for we are poor and need your sympathy. It is well known that from the railroad to the boundary line there are three large veins of minerals through the mountains, running clear through. That is the reason Little Dog placed so large a price on them. All the Indians on the outskirts of the reservation are listening intently to what we are saying. You should give us what we ask. Of course, this is a large sum and cannot be easily raised. I conclude.”

Bull Shoe: “We should have no argument on this matter. We have given you the land you asked for. (North from the railway.) It is a large reason we ask a large price for this land. The words of Little Dog and White Grass are my words. The valuation that they have named I agree to. Mr. Grinnell, take pity on us. Look at our wives and children. That is why we have put this price upon those mountaiins; so that we can live upon the money. That is all I have to say. I agree with the two speakers who have just spoken. Their words are my words also.”

Mr. Grinnell: “Do any of you wish to say more?”

Little Dog:
“We are waiting for you to speak.”

Mr. Grinnell:
“We are waiting to see if any of you wished to say more. We want to see the Indians get as much as possible, but we do not want to make fools of them. You have asked three times as much as we think those mountains are worth. After we make a treaty and the papers are made out and signed by more than half of you, they must go to Washington to the Big Chief of all the Indians. Congress must then act upon them. If it is a good treaty the papers are approved. If it is a bad treaty they are not approved and are worthless. If we make an agreement with you, we want it to stand. Suppose now we should agree to give you some large price for this land. It would make you happy for two or three months, but when the treaty was not approved by Congress you would find that we had been making fools of you. For many years I have known the Piegans and many times when I am in the east I think of you and your little ones who are going to school. I want you to grow fat and rich and your children to be happy. I don’t want to make fools of you. The price that we have offered you for the land north of the railroad will give you yearly for ten years after the present treaty expires, two-thirds of what you are now getting and if you want to sell from Birch Creek up it will give you more; almost as much as you are now getting. In this time you will get rich and your cattle will fill this reservation with fat herds. Otherwise, if you stick to your proposition we will have to return to the east and you will have gained nothing. The Great Father had us to come here and treat with you and then go to Belknap. If you don’t want to treat with us we must get on the train and go there. I hope you will not send us away. For we can help you. If you think you have enough for three years and then look out for yourselves, that is for you to decide. You people have been so well in the last seven years, have been so rich and have improved so much from being a savage people, that I want to see you go on and become self-sustaining. If you are helped for ten years more by another agreement you will not want any more help. You will be able to walk alone like the white man; the only difference will be the color of the skin. Try to think of these things carefully and let us know whether we are to go or to stay.”

Horace Clark:
“I think, Mr. Commissioers, that your offer has been made and that the Indians should go and talk together about it. It is the way the whites do business when offers are made pro and con. This is a great bargain. They should go away and inquire of those who have knowledge of these things and arrive at some conclusion. It will do us no good to get up and talk and talk here. You can’t do better but to go and talk among ourselves.”

Mr. Clements:
“I do not desire to make any extended talk. I simply wish to say, as my colleagues have said, that when we offered One-Million Dollars for the land north of the railroad, we were offering the limit: perhaps more than the land is worth. We would not have you go and council thinking that any other amount would be satisfactory. We have canvassed this matter thoroughly. It is not our purpose or desire to take advantage of you. We want to allow you every dollar that the land is worth. If this matter were viewed from a business standpoint from the government I think it would be considered a risky investment. As my colleagues have told you, the amount of money now coming to you from the present agreement will soon be gone -- will be exhausted. This is a question of great importance to you and you should consider it as such, from a busness standpoint. If we go away without accomplishing anything you will be in the same position you were before we came. It maybe be a very long time before Congress will again make an effort to help you. It may be very hard to keep people out of the mountains if they think there is mineral in them. It is therefore very important that you sell this land and get your money for it now. I would repeat and impress upon you the fact that we are not here to dicker with you or drive a close bargain. When we made the proposition, offering One-Million Dollars for the land north of the railroad, as Mr. Pollock has said, we believe it is really more than the government will get out of the land. You will now see that the question for you to determine is whether you will accept the amount we have offered. it would be useless for us to offer you more, for Congress would not ratify it if we did. Believing that you will take the matter into serious consideration and believing that you will see that we are acting for your own good, I now leave the matter in your own hands.”

Little Plume:
“I will not go out of the trail marked out by Little Dog. I will not say that you are dealing unfairly with us, for I believe you do not wish to do so. The offer of Little Bear Chief, to sell you the mountains from Cut Bank to the boundary liine did not seem to suit you. That is the reason Little Dog made you another offer. I have no doubt that some of you have families. The way you look at providing for them is the way we look at this matter. That is the reason Little Dog has asked a large sum for the land we offer. You men have said that we will not get any benefit from the mountains. On your trip into the mountains we learned that you found some very rich rock. All of the young men who have come here to this treaty were chopping wood in the mountains and getting game. I will now rest and we will consider.”

White Calf:
“I am in favor of resting. I see that we cannot come to any agreement tonight. This is no small question and needs much consideration. If we rest some may change their minds. I am in favor of going away and counciling among ourselves.”

Three Suns:
“When we make a treaty is when we put on our finest to meet one another. Little Dog has told you what part of the mountains we want to sell, and we are willing to stand by him. You have said that the mountains are poor. No, they are rich. It is three years yet. I am watching those three years. The same as at the last treaty we want to reserve a part of the mountains -- as when a man is selling his horses, he keeps one for himself. Now, the Great Father is trying to take it from us. I am pleased because the Great Father has sent you to buy some of our land. The Great Father is good, for he always wants us to advance. I know the Great Father has sent you here for an object, and I hope that object will be realized , and that you will get what you ask for from these people. The reason that we ask a large sum is because there are many women and many children going to school and needing to be provided for. That was Little Dog’s reason for asking a large sum of money. For the sake of argument we will reverse things. If the Great Father and yourselves were that same as ourselves, and you wanted to make a treaty with us we would take pity on you and give you what you ask. In the time since the last treaty many people have come to the reservation and filled it up and there are more to provide for than there were then. I have heard that there are a great many men outside of the reservation. Why is it that the Great Father has selected three such smart and good-looking men as yourselves? When a poor person owns a piece of land and sets a good price upon it it is no more than right that he should get what he asks. We have decided today to sell the mountains north of the railroad for Three-Million Dollars and ask you what you think of it. I think every person in the house should say what he thinks. No one man owns this land. All have something to say in this matter. It is useless for us to go away again and counsel together. We have set our price.”

Mr. Pollock:
“We will be glad to hear what any other person in the room has to say”

Running Crane:
“It is good -- the mission you have come upon. Our children have now deliberated upon it. I thought that we could settle the matter today. We were all very glad when you came and knew for what purpose you were coming. I think we should have no extended discussion. You should tell us what you think of the Three-Millioin dollar offer. Take it under your consideration so we can understand it before we go home.”

Mr. Pollock:
“We cannot consider your proposition.”

Middle Calf: “I want to point out one thing to you. You bought one mountain (the Sweet Grass Hills) from us in the last treaty. It is not all gone yet. The government is still getting money from it. This mountain you are going to buy is worth more than the other, and I don’t think One-Million Dollars is enough for it. We want to make one another happy, so we ask Three-Million dollars for it. You ought to take it carefully under your consideration. We will not recede from our Three-Million Dollar offer. We will be very glad after you go away if you will give us this. Our children will wake up with a happy mind after thinking of what you have done. We will not regret selling it if you give us Three-Million Dollars for it.”

Four Horns: “There is something that is worth money in the mountains. The metal that is in your watch chains is good without doubt. The same kind of metal is to be found in the mountains. I think the fault will be with you three men if a treaty is not made. I think you have placed too small a price upon the mountains. The watches you have in your pockets cost many dollars. The same kind of metal that they are made of is in those mountains. I refer to your jewelry as valuable articles. The same kind of metals are to be found in the mountains. We have no other lands to go to, therefore, we ask a good price for this mountain land. If you should not happen to have any money in your pockets and should go down the road towards Blackfoot you would be troubled to know how you would get your next meal or a pipeful of tobacco. You ought to think carefully of this matter. You came to these mountains and should consider it carefully. The proposition you have made for the mountaiins down to Birch Creek would leave us very little land the way the line would run. I don’t think the Indians would deviate from their proposition or price. Don’t take this in an unfriendly way. It is your fault if you don’t make a treaty, not mine. When the last Commission came here they did not go into the country to see what they were going to buy. Two of you went into the mountains and saw the rock. Now you have set too small a price on them. I think the reason you have set so small a price is that you are ashamed of the Great Father. It think it lies with you and you should wire to the Great Father and see if he will give our price. Don’t take this in an unfriendly spirit.”

White Calf:
“This is the Chief Mountain in the country and we now offer you it from the railroad to the boundary line. You think it is a small country from Cut Bank to the line. You can see the two points at once. The railroad is the natural boundary, and it is from there that we now offer you. There are a great many white people with money and there are all kinds of metal in the mountains, the same as are in the money. I have told my children that we would ask Three-Million Dollars for these mountains. All that we have said upon this subject we will always say, and we will not change. Our Great Father will never be all gone. The mountains will never disappear. All people will get benefit from the mountains on both sides. When you first came I gave you the land north from the railroad to the boundary line. I have been among the mountains and everything the white men will get benefit from is there. What I have told you is the truth. All the white men will get benefit from them. They all know it is rich; that all that is wealth is to be found in them. I think that everyone on the reservation will want the price we have asked. If you want to counsel among yourselves, remember that what I and my friends have said is not to be changed. If you came to buy this land you should not go away without paying for it. We have given what you asked for. What we have said is not to be changed. I now repeat it, Mr. Grinnell, I have given you those mountaiins and you will now argue among yourselves, whether you will take them or not.”

Running Rabbit:
“Just as soon as I heard you were coming I was glad. I thought at that time we would come to some agreement. All the people do not like to sell the mountains but you have come a long way and we have given them to you. I don’t think when we want to sell anything that we want half-price for it. It is a fact that when a person sells anything to another the one who sells feels good. I do not think that when a person comes to buy anything he should go away without buying it. If it were not that there is plenty of money in the mountains I should not ask so much for them, but I went up there and saw this metal and consequently I want a good price. When you go into the mountains to buy them for the Great Father who has instructed you to pay a certain sum even if you should exceed your authority by paying more still, when you go back he will feel good. We shall all die and go away but here are plenty of young men to take our places. It is true that if a party comes to buy anything and goes away without buying it he feels ashamed of himself. Mr. Grinnell is a friend of us and he will feel ashamed if he does not buy this land. We ask a large sum but it is because we want to provide for our children. That is all I have to say.”

Mad Wolf: “The whites are swarming into this country and they have selected Mr. Pollock, Mr. Grinnell and Mr. Clements to come and buy this land and to please the people who have sent you and the people whom you buy from. I think when you leave here you will not leave these people disappointed. I repeat that we ask Three-Million Dollars for the land. Our mixed bloods have said the same. We will not ask more nor will we ask less. We have given our price. There are three men who look after the affairs of this reservation and they will attend to it. I think it is right to take what we buy along with us. There is some man who would like to see me have a good time in the future but now he thinks I should go back. God put the right of purchase on earth, that is the reason we are here. We all say that we want Three-Million dollars. Now you are going to decide what you will do. That is all.”

John Miller (Three Bulls)
: “The Great Father always gets more money from the land than he pays for it. In this treaty he will get more money than he did from the land in the last treaty. I have nothing more to say. We will not change from what we have said. You have been in the mountains and know the value of them. I have been here ten years and have not been through the mountains.”

Mountain Chief:
“I would like to have you pity me. The land is very good. These people are very kind, they are very good. They are whole-souled. When I see anyone coming to represent the Great Father, I recognize him as my benefactor. I had it in my mind when this Commission came here to give them no cause for regret; to give them the object of their visit. To sell you a large portion of what you wanted. I was thinking that when these people came here to buy land they would give a good price. If this Commission pays a large price we will laugh out loud with joy. We will know that it is enough to provide for our children. I don’t think to take a step further than to provide for them. We will not change from the price set. The different tribes have one Great Father, but the Great Father has one tribe that he thinks more of than the rest. He loves the Piegans. I know that the Great Father is providing for us, so I will not say no when he comes here to buy land, but will give him what he asks for. In two years the Great Father will get more than Three-Million Dollars from these mountains.”

Curly Bear:
“We promised to meet here at two o’clock so we could conclude this treaty. I thought we had really started in when we shook hands. When we were at the Old Agency, we received word from the government asking us if we would consider favorably a proposition to buy the mountains north from the railroad. We answered that we would. It is a great matter selling land to the government. The reason we ask a good price for it is that we have seen the mountains and know that they contain great wealth. There is no end to the Great Father. There is no end to the mountains. The mountains will stand longer than the Great Father. Our children and our children’s children will get money from them. You know that the Great Father will get great wealth. Two of you have been up there and seen it. You have taken some of it away with you. It is true that when we don’t see an article we will not give so much for it. I honestly believe those mountains are rich. The reason that I ask a large sum is that the Great Father will get great benefit from them. I don’t think we should sell this mountain strip for a small sum, or a larger strip than we have agreed upon. All the young people who are now growing up are in our minds. You will agree with me that the Great Father should give them enough for the future so you should give us enough now. That is the reason we sell, to provide for our children. You are trying to get this land for a small sum. The Great Father will have to provide for the Indians after a while. I know that this land belongs to us. We will not sell any grazing land, as our cattle feed upon it. We will not sell the timber as we use it. The people who are in this house and all the others are glad this treaty is to be made. We have set the price at Three-Million Dollars and will stick to it. What the judges have said I now say. The mixed bloods and the whites married to the Indian women are all glad we have asked Three Million Dollars. We have come to a conclusion in the matter, and now it rests with you. You are making trouble for yourselves. You will be the means of our having a long debate on the subject. If you find that you are not able to come to a conclusion you may go home. We are glad that you are here and will be glad if you can come to a conclusion on this treaty. If you say that you are in a hurry, we will say that we did not send for you. Try to change your minds before morning. Come to a conclusion among yourselves. When you go home you will change your minds and be sorry. I will be glad if you will conclude. It made me very lonesome to hear that you wanted to give us only One-Million Dollars. That is all.”

Little Bear Chief:
“When I heard that there was to be a treaty I thought I would not come. These men urged me to come. They did everything -- begged me to come -- I will say but little. Before I came I could see that there would be trouble ahead. I don’t think you are the cause of it. It is because a snake has crawled into our council, and I saw that it would take a long time to make out a treaty. When the majority decided to sell the land north from Cut Bank, it sat very heavy. Tomorrow I will go home and if the Great Father wants to know how the majority came to the conclusion first in regard to the land north from Cut Bank and how they changed, let them come to me and find out. The way they talk today makes me think of a lot of hounds tearing at one another.”

Tearing Lodge:
“I have a very good opinion of you as men who have been sent here to make a treaty. You have come a long way to visit these people and the object of your visit is now before you. All the Commissioners who have come before have got poor land but this land that you came to get is good land. Ever since I was a little boy I have had good judgement and I know this land is valuable. It looks as if the trouble is with you. I thought the land was very valuable. I thought the conclusion you would come to would not be disgraceful to both parties. If a person wants a piece of land and don’t pay the price for it he don’t get it. If you would offer me your coat for fifty cents I would not take it for I know that it is worth more. For a long time the Great Father had the advantage of us in buying lands but now we know the value of it. I know you will be to blame for your trouble. You have brought it on yourselves. It would be a good thing to make a treaty so we can all go home. I don’t see why you don’t take more interest in these proceedings. It does not look as if you came here to buy land. We have given you what you asked for and you ought to pay us your price. If you owned a fine horse and set a good price on him I would buy him. If it was more than he was worth I would pay if I wanted him. Of all the land the government has bought this that you have come to buy is the most valuable. You had better buy it and go away happy. Every Indian and mixed-blood and white man knows of your coming and will laugh at you if you go away without buying. You can say that you went hunting and saw a lot of mines. My relations will think that it will be a bad thing for you to go away without buying. The people will consider if you are crazy or not. Last fall the government sent a paper asking if we would sell the land north of the railroad to the boundary line. Here is one little bunch of hills the government bought, and the people have done well upon it. Three-Million Dollars is the price we ought to agree upon and be satisfied. Every Indian, mixed blood, woman and child would like to sell the land if they can get a good price for it. The papers that these men are now writing will be read by everyone and I wonder how they will feel about it if you do not conclude a treaty. I think there are some words in it that the white man will think are very good. But the worst is the One-Million Dollars you offer and that they will see. The land is rich and you want to set a small price upon it. I am done talking now.”

Double Runner:
“Little Dog has set a price of Three-Million Dollars on this land I will not take less.”

Yellow Wolf: “I am glad of the price of Three-Million Dollars and will stick by it.”

Wolf Tail:
“We have heard that Commissioners were coming from the Great Father and thought that they would be smart men. They have come. They made a proposition and I thought it was fair. You wanted to see if there was mineral in the mountains. If there was you wanted to buy the land. If there was not you did not want to buy it. I had been there before and seen it and could not believe it. I went up with you. You looked at it and said it was money. I could hardly believe it. You picked it up with your hand and said, “It is a good thing.” I thought to myself the Great Father is looking at it. When I looked at it I thought the men, women and children would get great benefit from it for it was gold. When I saw it I did not believe it was money but when you picked it up you said it is money. I knew at the same time the Great Father was looking at it. You should be well pleased with your trip. You got bear skins and goat skins -- You did not -- (referring to Mr. Clements) but you got a skin sent to you. I guess the Great Father has got the skins you sent him by this time. These things you got are as good as money. I thought we would not have to talk long. If we possess anything we set a good price on it and are stingy about selling it. When we want to buy we ought to do so without haggling about it. If we do we will ridicule one another. I don’t think we should hang out so long. We are very poor and you should not wait upon paying Three-Million Dollars. If a person agrees to a price it is satisfactory to both parties. That is my opinion upon it! The Great Father will be glad to have it and will know if you refuse to take it. When I was with you I felt like a brother to you. We are poor. You have come to buy land. We give you want you wanted. It will not break the Great Father to pay what we ask for it. It is not right if we offer it to you and you refuse to take it! The Great Father will know about it. That is my opinion. Open your ears and give us the Three-Million Dollars and we will all be happy.”

Bull Calf:
“I think you men are going to shake your heads about this land and say no. Not long ago we offered you land for Two-Million Dollars. Now we offer more land and ask more money. I would like to know what kind of land you want. I thought when we offered the mountains from the railroad north you would be glad to take it at once. The offer of One-Million dollars seems to me no more than five cents. If I get Three-Million dollars for it I shall be happy. You should be glad of the opportunity to buy the land. You have seen but little of it. You have not seen all of the land. It makes me glad when I can pull trout out of the mountain streams. I think you should not argue about the land, but take it and pay us the Three-Million Dollars.”

Mr. Grinnell:
“It is getting late and I wish to say a few words before we adjourn. It has been a long time since I first saw the Piegans. My hair is getting gray like Running Crane’s and White Calf’s. I am getting old like you. In all this time I have never told you anything but the truth. If I should tell you that I believed Congress would allow Three-Million Dollars for the land I would begin to tell lies to you. I don’t believe they will agree to One-and One-half Million, let alone Three Million dollars. I don’t believe they will agree to more than One-Million Dollars from the railroad north to the boundary line. Now in the last treaty, you sold not only the Sweet Grass Hills, but a very large tract of land besides. Almost all your old men were at the treaty and you know that you got One-and-One-half millions. Now in this treaty we will give you One-Million dollars and leave you all the wood you need and take only the rocky ridges. You told of the revenue the government will get from this purchase. If you think the government will make money by selling this land you can let the government take the land and sell it for you and give you the money. The Secretary of the Interior wrote to me some time ago and asked me to to try to get you to let the government to sell the land for you. I wrote back that I did not think it would be good for the Indians. I said I do not think it best. If it were all good land the white man would buy it and settle upon it, but it is not all good land, and when they look it over and learn that it is mostly poor land, they will go away and the Indians will get nothing. You had better pay them the money. The Indian will then know what he has got. If you people would rather have the government sell the land for you, you may say so, but I don’t think it would be as good for you as the other way. I wish to arrange things so it will be the best for the people. However, if you desire this, I think we can make the arrangement. I think you will do better to take the One-Million Dollars. Think this over and see how you feel. I want to arrange it and the Commissioners want to arrange it so everything will be satisfactory. We are here to do the best thing.”

1 comment:

JDM said...

They sound just like the Bushco DOI!