Saturday, May 18, 2013

"There is an element of fair play involved in this question which cannot be entirely overlooked"

   "The project to disarm all the uncivilized Indians is frequently advocated and it seems at first very plausible. But practically all efforts to accomplish this have heretofore proved fruitless. The Indians find ready means of secreting a large portion of their arms and ammunition, and equally ready means for supplying deficiencies by purchase from traders. Besides the free American citizens who roam at will over the plains, and whose right to bear arms is guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States, have no very tender regard for the lives of the Indians, and are not liable to arrest or punishment for any act of war they may commit against them, while the Indian who shoots a white man is liable to be shot in turn by the first soldiers who overtake him. There is an element of fair play involved in this question which cannot be entirely overlooked. Indians who are left comparatively free upon a large reservation, with a view to their civilization and education in the habits of civilized life, must, like other people, be left the means of self-defense against lawless attack. If they are to be disarmed they must be made prisoners and kept under guard, as well for their protection as for their control."--J.M. Schofield, Major-General, Commanding, Report of the Secratary of War, [INDEX TO EXECUTIVE DOCUMENTS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES FOR THE FIRST SESSION OF THE FORTY-NINTH CONGRESS, 1885-'86 IN THIRTY-SEVEN VOLUMES. WASHINGTON: GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE. 1886. Pg. 132] (John McAllister Schofield, (Sept. 29, 1831 – March 4, 1906), was an American soldier who held major commands during the American Civil War. He later served as U.S. Secretary of War, and Commanding General of the United States Army. After the war, Schofield was sent on a special diplomatic mission to France, on account of the presence of French troops in Mexico. During Reconstruction, Schofield was appointed by President Andrew Johnson to serve as military governor of Virginia. 

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