GERONIMO, CHIEF OF THE APACHES.
HAVE thought that a plain narrative of some of the more striking events in our Indian history might not prove
uninteresting to my young countrymen.
It is the story of the heroic, but hopeless, struggle for self-preservation of a weaker against a stronger
race; and as we read it we cannot help sympathizing in some degree with the Indian in his patriotic effort to
preserve his country and to drive off the intruding white man. Though not inferior to him in bravery,
sagacity, and cunning, the Indian was no match for his cool, steady, well-disciplined white opponent. Indeed,
the great lesson of the struggle is that it shows conclusively the superiority of the civilized man over the
savage, even in those warlike arts in which the latter most excelled.
One other thing must not be forgotten. The deadly perils to which the early settlers were daily and hourly
exposed from the incursions of a savage foe—the ambush and the midnight surprise, their sufferings while
undergoing the horrors of captivity or the agonies of torture; when we think of these things—they were
common occurrences in those early days —we are enabled to realize in some small degree the cost and the
value of the peaceful, happy homes we now enjoy.
With the exception of a few roving bands of Apaches and other wild tribes of the plains, the Indian pictured
in these pages no longer exists. In ceasing to be a hunter and a warrior, he has lost much of his distinctive
character. Civilization has taken hold of him, and one by one his old superstitions and savage customs will
disappear. His children are being educated, he is turning his attention to farming, and, slowly it is true,
but surely, he is acquiring the arts and modes of life of his civilized brother, "learning," as he expresses
it, "to tread the white man's path."
Indian wars of any magnitude are, happily, no longer possible; and at no distant day the native race will be
absorbed in the great mass of our population, clothed with all the rights and privileges, as well as with the
duties, of American citizenship.
Roxbury, August, 1884.
INTRODUCTION TO 1919 EDITION
OR more than three decades Indian History for Young Folks has been considered the standard narrative
of the Indian troubles of our country from the very beginning of the first settlements down to the year 1877,
when the original edition of this book was concluded. Appearing first in 1885, this work was promptly accorded
high rank by readers of Indian history, and in the intervening years its popularity has steadily increased.
Its wealth of illustrations—reproductions of drawings by the famous artists of the day, Howard Pyle,
Frederic Remington, Zogbaum, and others, of portraits of peculiar distinction and of interesting prints,
appealing especially to younger readers and serving as they do as a historical and pictorial commentary to the
narrative—gives to this work an added value to be found hardly anywhere else among books on the subject.
Indian History for Young Folks having been recognized as authority, and having for so many years
held its unique place in the regard of our young readers as the favorite story of the Indian wars of our
country, its very popularity naturally suggests the importance of perpetuating the work and giving to it a new
life by the preparation of an enlarged and revised edition, bringing the story of the Indians down to date.
This purpose, it is hoped, we have accomplished in the present volume. The narrative, in the original edition,
extended only to the year 1877—to the close of the Nez Perce war. In the new edition the story, taken up
at this point and continued through the intervening years, is brought to a conclusion with an account of the
present condition of the Indians, whose progress and development in every direction have been so great that we
may now feel assured that the near future will see the final solution of the "Indian problem"—in the
merging of the race into the body politic of the nation. The new edition, taking up the story from the close
of the Nez Percé war, recounts the series of wars which it unfortunately was necessary to wage against the
Indians from that time until 1890-91 when occurred the outbreak of the ghost-dancing Sioux, the quelling of
which, happily, brought to an end for all time the Indian wars of our country.
Following the Nez Perce campaign, in which occurred the wonderful retreat of Chief Joseph and his band, who
resisted the pursuit of the soldiers under General Howard, retreating from Idaho Territory to Montana, a
distance of more than thirteen hundred miles, until at last reduced in number, they surrendered to the troops
under General Nelson A. Miles, there occurred in 1878 an outbreak among the Bannocks, who, due to the failure
of the Government to supply sufficient rations, left their reservation in Oregon and went on the war-path. In
the same year the Cheyennes, who were forcibly removed to the reservation set apart for them in the Indian
Territory, soon yearned for their native lands and suddenly, under their chiefs, "Dull Knife" and "Little
Wolf," with their women and children, broke loose from the detested Indian Territory, and in the course of
their journey across Kansas committed depredations on the settlements, pillaging, murdering, burning, and
striking terror into the inhabitants of that country before they were subdued and returned. In 1879 the Utes
of Colorado, objecting to the attempts of their agent to force them to take up agriculture or starve, broke
out into rebellion, which resulted in the massacre of Major Thornburgh and his immediate command, the killing
of the Indian agent, and the destruction of the Agency itself.
These troubles were soon followed by the outbreak of the warlike Apaches of New Mexico and Arizona, who,
always considered as wild Indians, under Chiefs Victoria and Geronimo, carried on a series of wars from 1878
down to 1886, in which year they were finally conquered by General Miles. The climax to our Indian wars,
however, came in the winter of 1890–91 when the uprising of the Sioux tribes under the leadership of Kicking
Bear, Big Foot, and Sitting Bull broke out. Threatening for a time to become the most stupendous of all Indian
wars, this rebellion was fortunately "nipped in the bud" by the death of Sitting Bull and the subsequent
terrible chastisement administered to the hostiles at the battle of Wounded Knee, where over three hundred
Indians, including Big Foot himself, were killed. This battle and the subsequent campaign waged against the
hostiles by General Miles put an end to hostilities, and it seems safe to say, ended for all time the Indian
wars of our country. For most of the Indian wars recounted in this volume the whites, shame to say, were
invariably to blame, the majority of our modern Indian wars being caused by the forced removal of Indian
tribes from their native lands to locations on uncongenial and unhealthy reservations, and only too frequently
these removals were dictated by the greed of the white men, who coveted the Indians' land.
These wrongs and bad dealings, however, are now things of the past, a more enlightened policy having been
adopted under which the red man is making rapid progress along the path of civilization. Carrying out this
policy, a wonderful system of education has been developed, and in the various reservation and industrial
schools the Indian boys and girls are fast being reclaimed from their former wild life and fitted to take
their places in the community and to compete successfully with their white brethren in the ways of modern
life. Safeguards of every kind are now thrown about these wards of the nation, by which they are protected
against the old injustices; their health is being carefully conserved by the Indian Department; as a result
the Indian is no longer a vanishing race, but is increasing in number. Provisions have also been made for the
competent Indians to control their own lands and manage their own affairs, with the result that there is a
decided tendency in most of the tribes to engage in settled pursuits and accept citizenship. Never before has
the Indian problem been in a better way of solution than at the present time and the near future is very
likely to see the gradual merging of the Indian race, as has already occurred in many instances, into the body
of the nation.
INDIAN RESERVATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES, 1918.
INDIAN RESERVATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES, 1918.