Jesse Henry Leavenworth: Indian Agent

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In 1763, the British government attempted to control land hungry colonists by prohibiting settlement west of the Appalachian Mountains. The ambitious attempt failed. Two years later! Great Britain, submitting to the pressure of land speculators, homestead seekers, and fur trappers, initiated the treaty making process with the American Indians. Although the Indians had no concept of private property, they exchanged their mountains and valleys for whiskey, beads, and muskets. Following independence, the American government continued the British policy of treaty making and pushing the red men out of the path of white civilization. After the Louisiana Purchase, many Americans considered ... continued below

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iii, 92 leaves: map

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Davis, Marlene May 1968.

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  • Davis, Marlene

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In 1763, the British government attempted to control land hungry colonists by prohibiting settlement west of the Appalachian Mountains. The ambitious attempt failed. Two years later! Great Britain, submitting to the pressure of land speculators, homestead seekers, and fur trappers, initiated the treaty making process with the American Indians. Although the Indians had no concept of private property, they exchanged their mountains and valleys for whiskey, beads, and muskets. Following independence, the American government continued the British policy of treaty making and pushing the red men out of the path of white civilization. After the Louisiana Purchase, many Americans considered the region lying beyond the Mississippi River a convenient area in which to settle the Indians. A policy of concentration evolved through John C. Calhoun's idea of a permanent Indian country where settlers had no desire to go. The white man's drive for the western lands doomed this policy to failure. During the 1850's the federal government extinguished Indian title to much of the Great Plains and opened the prairies for white settlement. By the 1860's, only two large areas remained in which to concentrate the red men--Indian Territory and the public lands north of Nebraska. Treaty negotiations for moving the Indians had always been carried on as if each small band, village, or tribe were an autonomous and independent nation. Ohio Senator John Sherman, brother of General William Tecumseh Sherman, called the process . . . a ridiculous farce." Although the treaty making policy was attacked, it was not abandoned until 1871. Why Congress dealt with the savages in the same manner as it dealt with the French is perhaps best summed up by one critic who said, "Treaties were made for the accommodation of the whites, and broken when they interfered with the money getter." In fairness to the federal government, however, one should note that the attitude of Indian officials in Washington and the attitude of frontiersmen contrasted markedly. Eastern officialdom favored peaceful relations with the Indians, but the settlers, miners, and soldiers who came into contact with the Indians desired drastic solutions to the Indian problem. With both sides exerting pressure upon the government, procrastination became the accepted solution. Temporary policies, such as peace commissions, were formulated but they usually provided temporary solutions rather than a settlement of the overall racial conflict. Torn by dissension within its own ranks and goaded by its land hungry citizens, the government attempted to pacify the red men or to evade the Indian issue until conditions forced it to take a definite stand,

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iii, 92 leaves: map

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  • May 1968

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  • June 24, 2015, 9:39 a.m.

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Davis, Marlene. Jesse Henry Leavenworth: Indian Agent, thesis, May 1968; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc663586/: accessed October 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .