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214. UNITED STATES. SENATE. SELECT COMMITTEE TO EXAMINE INTO THE CONDITON OF THE SIOUX AND CROW INDIANS. In the Senate...March 7, 1884...Mr. Dawes, from the Select Committee...Report [To Accompany Bill S. 1755.] The Select Committee of the Senate Appointed under Resolution of March 2, 1883, to Examine into the Condition of the Sioux Indians upon Their Reservation, the Character of the Same, and the Feasibility and Property of the Proposed Reduction of Such Reservation, and Such Other Matters Concerning the Welfare of Said Sioux Indians as They May Think Necessary, and also Examine into the Grievances of the Indian Tribes in the Territory of Montana. [Washington]: Senate Report 283, 1884. 48th Congress, 1st Session.  xlv, 404 pp., 2 folded chromolithograph maps:  Territory of Dakota 1882. Compiled from the Official Records of the General Land Office and Other Sources by C. Roeser...Photo lit & print by Julius Bien & Co.... (neat line to neat line: 74 x 60.5 cm); (2) Copy of So Much of Map of Dakota Accompanying Hon. Newton Edmunds’ Letter Dated Yankton D.T., Jany. 6. 1883 As Relates to Sioux Indian Cessions in Dakota and Nebraska and Boundaries of Reservations Proposed under Agreement in Course of Negotiation at that Date. Paul BrodieDraughtsman (neat line to neat line 46 x 40.5 cm). 8vo, unbound, laid in later green cloth binding. A few splits to one map, otherwise fine.

     First edition. One of the major reports concerning the dilemma of Native Americans in the West, reflecting the conflicting desires to both help them and “civilize” them.  Interestingly, the Chair of the Select Committee who presented the report was Henry L. Dawes, who in 1887 proposed the General Allotment Act, which gave almost all Native Americans a tract of land that had been surveyed in their reservation.  The results of this plan were utterly disastrous and did much to break up Native American communal living.  This report is an important background piece on what proved to be a Native American tragedy written by one of the main architects of that fateful decision.

     Included in the present report is extensive testimony before the Committee from prominent Native Americans, such as Sitting Bull and Red Cloud. Sitting Bull’s preoration to the Committee (pp. 79-82) is a classic condemnation of the way his people have been treated and a defense of their virtue.  The Chairman of the Commission, however, dismisses Sitting Bull’s authority in his own tribe with the words: “We do not care to have any further conversation with you in regard to your authority... You have no more authority here than any other Indian...  You must obey the authorities here or you must suffer punishment for disobedience.”

     Of interest for stock raising by Native Americans are reports on the condition of the cattle on various reservations and the proposal to give cattle to the tribes in exchange for promises of peace.  The emphasis is Dakota Territory, but included are "the grievances of the Indian tribes in the Territory of Montana." The maps by Julius Bien are excellent, locating tribal lands and with much detail. ($150-300)

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