Wednesday, November 27, 2013

"Every American . . . too poor to purchase arms for self-defense should be supplied with the means to defend him self..."

   The settlers in exposed localities in Oregon, it is reported, have been supplied with improved arms and ammunition to protect themselves against Capt. Jack and his eighteen warriors. We are glad to hear this. Every American who is exposed to Indian barbarity and is too poor to purchase arms for self-defense should be supplied with the means to defend him self, and although there are at least 500 regular troops, with 100 friendly lndians now operating against Jack and his eighteen warriors, and one hundred and fifty Oregon volunteers and probably by this time a company of California volunteers, still we believe it is equally necessary that every settler who is exposed to danger shall be armed for self-protection, because with all the soldiers and volunteers that can be placed in the field, it is an impossibility to give ample protection to each man's house. We cannot help but contrast the difference between the action of the government in this Modoc war and its action in the Apache war. By begging and entreating we have succeeded in obtaining from the government 744 stand of arms for the use of the settlers, the most of them and perhaps all by this time, were due the Territory from a fund that is annually set apart to purchase arms for the several States and Territories to arm the militia with. Of the arms we have drawn, about one third or more are now in the hands of the Indians on reservations, having been taken by them from murdered citizens, and when treaties have been made with them they have been allowed to retain these arms as their own property. At least one half of the remainder have become unserviceable by reason of four years of usage in the open field, so that it will be seen that without any negligence or blame on our part, but a remnant of the guns that were drawn and given to the settlers is left. One third of them has gone into the hands of the enemy, but the owners sold their lives dearly trying to hold them. Far be it from our thoughts to complain of the efforts the government may put forth to protect its citizens, be the foe great or small, and no matter where the citizens may be assailed, but we think the security of every section should be alike considered. Now for this vast Territory with more or less hostile Indians roaming everywhere, with the Indians on the reservation in a constant foment, General Crook cannot to save his life put 500 soldiers in the field, and every effort we have made for volunteer assistance has been promptly negatived. The last Legislature asked for 500 improved guns to arm our poor people with, but no attention has been paid to the request, and we have hundreds of citizens who have labored industriously for years and have had all their earnings taken from them by the Apaches and are now too poor to pay for a gun to defend themselves with. We hope the same influences that have caused such ample preparations to be made for the defence of the people in the Modoc country will, when that war is ended, be brought to bear and aid in giving as ample protection to the poor settlers who are exposed to Apache barbarity.

[Arizona Citizen, Tucson, Pima County, A.T., Saturday, June 7, 1873. Vol. III. No. 35. Pg. 1]

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