Letter from P., 15 August 1842

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To the Editor of the Times and Seasons.
Sir:—It may not be uninteresting to many of your readers, to peruse a sketch of the Red Men of the western wilderness. From a re [p. 890]port of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, to the Executive Departments of the Government of the , many important facts are gleaned, relating to the Indians, both as to numbers and habits, and progress, and expenses. It is generally known, that our government has been engaged for some years, in removing and locating the remnant of the tribes of Indians, left among our citizens in the states and teritories, to, and upon a more congenial, and better adapted space for hunting, and husbandry, where, by degrees, these noble “relics of a once mighty people,” might gradually grow into civilization, arts, science, agriculture, manufactures, virtue, national importance, and religion. The appearance, however, of a very speedy advance, from Indian to English, or American habits, customs, manners, improvements, refinement and intelligence, is not, by far so prominantly perceptible, as their imitation of the pioneer vices. The improvement is hardly equal to the amount of money expended for removing, for agents, mechanics, teachers, preachers, &c. &c. As to numbers the reports will range about as follows:
Tribes. population
Cherokees, 25,000
Choctaws, 15,000
Creeks, 20,000
Senecas & Shawnees, 500
Quapaws, 500
Sacs & Foxes, 7,000
Sioux. 23,000
Osages, 4,300
Chippewas, 4,000
Pawnees, 12,000
Camanches, 20,000
Pagans, 30,000
Appaches, 20,000
Assinboins. 15,000
Grosventures, 17,000
Crows, 7,000
Eutaws, 19,000
Black feet, 30,000
Total, 269,300
Yet remaining East to be removed, 25,000
Making an aggregate of 294,300
The commissioner’s report, however allows the Indian population in the and teritories, to be . . . 333,000.
This, I think does not include those now occupying the space west of the .
Thus you have a glimpse of the lights and shades of the aboriginees of the west, in their low estate, showing that the wilderness does not yet “blosom ast the rose,” although the signs of the times would indicate, that the time is near when the mountains will drop down new wine, and Jacob’s face will not wax pale.
P. [p. 891]