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View Diary: US to 1865: The ACTIVE Second Session of the 37th Congress, 1861-1862 - A Teaser (20 comments)

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  •  Some Native American notes (13+ / 0-)

    The Homestead Act really sets the stage for the breakup of the reservations toward the end of the century. Indians were not eligible to acquire homesteads as they were not citizens nor was there any way that they could obtain citizenship.

    In 1862 Congress amended the Intercourse Act to prohibit the sale or trading of intoxicants to any Indian under the charge of an Indian agent or superintendent regardless of whether or not the transaction takes place inside or outside of Indian country.

    Senator J.W. Nesmith, in a Senate debate regarding appropriations for the Nez Perce in Idaho, said:

    “Treaties are written out conveying away millions of acres, not one word of  which the Indians understand; and complicated articles involving the most abstruse legal provisions, furnishing subjects for interminable litigation, are fully explained and elucidated by some ignorant half-breed interpreter, who does not know one letter from another, but who acts under the direction of some politician, who desires to win his way to public favor by perpetrating a huge swindle upon those who have neither power or intelligence adequate to their own protection.”
    As usual, thanks for posting this. I hope that my additional comments do not diminish what you have written.

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