Thursday, August 22, 2013

"if the Chippewa Indians possess firearms they were legally purchased"


Minnesota Indians Who Are
Thoroughly Loyal.

Special to the Globe.

White Earth, Minn., Jan. 7.—In your issue of Jan. 1, I notice an article relative to the "fighting equipment of the Chippewa Indians." In justice to my race and to one of the most conservatively loyal and peaceful communities of this or any other state, permit we through your columns to assume, the pleasing responsibility of branding that statement as a slanderous and cowardly imputation on the radical fealty and generous loyalty of the Chippewa Indians, a feature which has ever characterized their devotion towards the government and its institutions, especially in its hour of need? and peril, as any person conversant with the history and events of this state during the late War of the Rebellion can testify. What men did more cheerful and patient duty than did the boys of the gallant Ninth, Fourth and Fifth Minnesota and other regiments, many members of whose companies were composed of our Chippewa boys, and who were not compelled, as subjects, to carry arms for one side or the other, either. No, sir, if the Chippewa Indians possess firearms they were legally purchased, and at the instance of honest, honorable and conscientious Christian motives, and to aid in procuring game for subsistence, and not, as pernicious influence would lead the public to believe, for a felonious or "fighting purpose." Furthermore, while we unfeignedly deplore the sad mutation of fortune which has befallen the people of the Sioux nation, and all of its cruel attendant circumstances, we would have it understood that it is not the purpose of the Chippewa Indians to resort to "fighting" with firearms for the settlement of any grievances that may arise, but in the future, as in the past, to submit such matters to due course of arbitration or adjudication in the courts of the country. And it is a matter of congratulation to the Chippewa Indians of this state, who number some 8,000 people, that within the past two decades (twenty years or more), no instance is recorded wherein any of them have willfully used firearms or other weapons to deprive a fellowman of his life! Can any civilized Christian community of a like population produce as clean a record?

   In conclusion, I would ask that the rumors which have been circulated abroad implicating Chippewa Indians as participating in ghost dances, and as being affected with the so-called Messiah craze, are likewise false, and but but the vain, delusive aspersion of disreputable influences.

   The greater portion of the laboring people of the White Earth, Red Lake and Leech Lake reservations are now busily engaged in the different reservation logging camps cutting dead and fallen timber. As a whole, I will venture the prediction that the Chippewa Indians are as well-behaved, peaceable and as zealously industrious in the pursuit of their several vocations, as loyal in their allegiance and as magnanimous; in mind and heart to-day as any community who may boast of an earlier, though not better code of civilized precepts, in this, or any other state of our glorious Union. Yours respectfully, Theodore H. Beaulieu.

[St. Paul Daily Globe, St. Paul, Minn., Thursday Morning, January 08, 1891. Vol. XIII. No. 8. Pg. 8]

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