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TO HIS EXCELLENCY
LIEUT.-GENERAL THE EARL DALHOUSIE, G.C.B.
GOVERNOR-GENERAL AND COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF ALL AIS MAJESTY'S
POSSESSIONS IN NORTH AMERICA, &c. &c. &c.
Well aware, my Lord, of the effects produced by splendid talents, great personal worth, and hereditary rank, in promoting any work of benevolence, I solicited and obtained permission to dedicate the following pages to your Excellency.
It is quite unnecessary to speak here of your Lordship's deeds; they are too recent, too illustrious, too intimately connected with the history and the glory of the British Empire.
Wishing your Excellency long to enjoy a reputation thus acquired and merited,
I have the honour to remain,
Most obedient, humble servant,
Naw-York, 1st May, 1821.
In attempting to lay before the Publica sketch of the History of the Red Indians of North America, with a view to excite a general sympathy in behalf of an oppressed and suffering people, I am aware of the great importance of my undertaking, and sensibly feel my inability to stand forward as an advocate, in any degree equal to the task I have thus imposed on myself,
With but few exceptions, the American Indians have been abandoned by the Christian world, as a cruel, blood-thirsty, and treacherous race, incapable of civilization, and therefore, unworthy of that attention which the inhabitants of other barbarous climes have received from the zeal and devotion of many learned and pious members of society. Thousands have raised their voices against the wrongs of our black brethren of Africa. From one end of Europe to the other, the humane have been aroused to a sense of their injuries,
now actively engaged in the prosecution of every measure calculated to alleviate their sufferings , while but few have been stimulated to similar exertions in behalf of the Red American Indians, from whose native soil the wealth of a great portion of the civilized world has been derived. The African is submissive; his patient endurance of labour renders his servile and debased state important to us; he is therefore, preserved. The North American Indian, on the contrary, prefers banishment, and even death, to slavery ; but his lands are serviceable to us, therefore his extinction
seems to be desired. The one submits to the yoke, -we oppress and pity him; the other disdains to become the servant of man—and his whole race is devoted to gradual extermination ; for such must be the inevitable consequence of all those measures which have been, and still are in operation against him, though their infliction is marked by different shades of guilt. In a few ages, perhaps a few years, these sons of Edom will be so far removed from the reach or eye of any but those engaged in the work of destruction, that no trace will be left to posterity of the wrongs which have been perpetrated, upon the Aborigines of the great American Continent.
ๆ I confess that I had no other idea of an American Indian, than that he was the most ferocious of human beings. Whenever he became named, his scalping-knife, tomahawk, warwhoop, and thirst of blood, were at once associated in my mind; and hence I was led to concur in the almost universal opinion, that he was totally incapable of being rendered subservient to the arts of çivilized life. In the course of my travels through the United States and Upper Canada, į met with several Indians, whose external wretchedness induced me to make inquiries as to their present condition; and although many persons to whom I addressed myself appeared to be perfectly indifferent on the subject, and spoke of them in the most degrading terms, I was led to seek for further information respecting their character, in the pursuit of which I have been engaged for three years, i noque;
Little did L imagine, that one of the most interesting subjects that can present itself to the human mind, would open upon me; the full developement of which would require the united and extended labours of inen of talent and research, the absolute devotion of their time and energies, to place before the world an impartial view of the Indians of North America, whose virtues, independence of mind, and nobleness of character, have procured from their oppressors, as a justification