From Across the Continent:
A Summer's Journey to the Rocky Mountains, the Mormons and the Pacific States
By Samuel Bowles [Editor of the Springfield (Mass.) Republican]
New York: Hurd & Houghton, 1866

From Letter VIII.


The government is ready to assist in their support, to grant them reservations, to give them food and make them presents; but it must and will, with sharp hand, enforce their respect to travel, their respect to lives and property, and their respect to trade throughout all this region.

And if this cannot be secured, short of their utter extermination, why extermination it must be. Else, we may as well abandon this whole region; give up its settlement, its subjugation to civilization, its development to wealth and Christianity. It is the old eternal contest between barbarism and civilization, between things as they have been and are, and material and moral progress; and barbarism and barbarity must go to the wall, somewhat too roughly perhaps, as is always the case with new, earnest, material communities, but yet certainly. The Mormons have exhausted the Quaker policy towards the Indians; have fed and clothed them for years, paying them in all ways heavy subsidies, in consideration of being let alone; but they are growing tired of it, both because it is expensive, and is not sure of success. Only a few days ago, some Indians attacked the Mormons at a settlement about eighty miles south of here, and killed eighteen or twenty persons. Brigham Young and other officials of Church and State went down to investigate the matter and restore peace; they have just come back, reporting success, and laying part of the blame on the whites, but still with less of the old disposition to subsidize the barbarians.

Montana is disturbed with reports of Indian outrages; this whole region of mountains and plains is sensitive and suffering with the apprehensions or the realities of their general recurrence; commerce suffers; prices go up; emigration stops; and all the development of the great West is clogged. No wonder is it, then, that the entire white population of the Territories clamors for positive measures of restraint and punishment. The red man of reality is not the red man of poetry, romance, or philanthropy. He is false and barbaric, cunning and cowardly, attacking only when all advantage is with him, horrible in cruelty, the terror of women and children, impenetrable to nearly every motive but fear, impossible to regenerate and civilize. The whites may often be unjust and cruel in turn; but the balance is far against the Indian; and the country must sustain the government and General Connor in pursuing a vigorous offensive and defensive policy towards him. [pages 69-70]

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