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This morning an Indian came in from Cochiti, a pueblo on the west side of the Rio Grande, a few miles north of Santa Domingo, and informed Governor Washington in my presence that he and his friends had killed three Apaches the preceding day, overtaken in "the manner" of driving off Sheep belonging to their village. He further said there were a number of Apaches in the mountains beyond Cochiti, who gave them much trouble by driving off their stock, killing their men, and making captives of their women and children.
❖This Indian, in behalf of the people of Cochiti, asked for munitions of war.
The governor, the grand captain, and the captain of war, from Zunia, an Indian pueblo, which you will remember is 201.07 miles west of Santa Fe, have been with me to-day. These are intelligent, active, and athletic Indians, and stated their grievances with great energy, and were especially vehement and vindictive in their denunciations of the faithlessness of all Navajoes. They represented they had been greatly harassed since we left their village on the 16th of September last; that wheresoever they went, they were under the necessity of going guarded and armed, and that they had to watch their horses, mules, and sheep during every hour of the twenty-four.
These people asked for arms and ammunition, and permission to make a war of extermination against the Navajoes.
The deputation from Zunia also stated there were five hundred and fifty-five able-bodied men in their village, and only thirty-two firearmis, and less than twenty rounds each for said arms. They spoke confidently of their ability to protect and defend themselves against the ag gressions of the Navajoes and Apaches; and if permitted to form a combination of Pueblos, they could and would exterminate these tribes, especially every Navajo who should be so unfortunate as to be caught south of the high mountains north of the San Juan, a supposed tributary to the western Colorado, provided the government of the United States would furnish the necessary fire-arms, ammunition, and subsistence. That a combination as suggested above could accomplish the end so desired by them, admits not of the slightest doubt, notwithstanding the ties existing between the Navajoes, Utahs, and Apaches, backed as they might be by the Comanches, provided the Mexicans from either side of the line between the United States and Mexico, and all others, were effectually prevented from the indiscriminate and vicious commerce now open to them, and against which there seems to be at this time not the slightest impedi
While at Zunia I saw several Mexican traders, who hailed from various places; all, however, on our side of the supposed boundary line between the United States and Mexico. They informed me they had travelled hrough the Apache country from the Rio Grande, west, a great distance on the Gila river, in the direction of the Colorado. They spoke of the Apaches as good people, who have treated them kindly, which fact is not to be doubted; and although it was true that these Indians had a number of Mexican captives, they were nevertheless friendly with and peaceably disposed towards the people of the United States, and guiltless of outrages generally.
*Mr. F. Brown, an American, assisted in taking this census, and says there are 597 men, and 42 muskets and rifles, and 555 men without fire-arms.
So long as these wandering merchants are permitted a free and unrestrained access to the wild and roving Indians of this country, just so long are we to be harassed by them and their allies, the various bands of robbers and other disturbers of the peace, to be found east, west, north, and south, and whose agents these merchants may be. It is through the medium of these traders that arms and ammunition are supplied to the Indians who refuse submission to our authority. These traders go where they please without being subjected to the slightest risk; but one not of the fraternity dare not advance an inch abroad, without risking life and property. Why is it that these traders have no fears, no apprehensions, and pass in every direction through the country roamed over by the Comanches, Apaches, Navajoes, and Utahs, unharmed in person or property, when these same Indians show by their conduct a determined and eternal hostility to all Mexicans and others who remain quietly at home, and whose wives and children, and property of every kind, are unsafe beyond the shadow of their own domicils?
The question cannot be answered in such a way as to justify a further toleration of these travelling merchants, who are daily creating much anxiety among, and bewildering many of the Indians of the various pueblos, by attempting the impression that the government of the United States are unable to hold possession of this country; that the Mexican government, at this time, has twenty-five thousand troops marching, or ready to march, into New Mexico, for the purpose of reconquering and repossessing the ceded domain; and that extermination will be the fate of all Indians who are found in alliance with, or claiming the protection of the United States; and further, if it were possible (and none but a very wild imagination can think it possible) that the Americans should continue to hold the country, the fate of all Indians is fixed, as, nothing will satisfy the American people short of the entire possession of their whole country and their utter extermination. To this may be added, the crafty misrepresentations of wicked priests, aided by the robbing and thieving instincts of others, have also continued to give circulation to falsehoods of every hue, for the purpose of alienating these people, and causing them to believe the Americans were more heartless and untruthful than their former oppressors, and more insatiable in their purposes upon their property than the banded robbers of the mountains.
The whole object of these people is, to keep American settlers out of the country as long as possible; for their presence 'might lessen the power of some, and throw impediments in the way of others, so as to check their present impositions and frauds upon the Indians, and put an earlier end to their designs upon the lands of this country, in covering the most desirable spots with fictitious grants. I do not assert that all these mischievous people are under preconcerted arrangements; but the tendency of their efforts points to a common end.
There is scarcely a day passes, that a deputation from some one or more of the pueblos does not come to me with statements confirmatory of what is herein stated, and the facts noted in my previous communications; and the question comes up, ought not some effective remedial measures to be adopted at once? Before I conclude this letter I will show, what to me is very plain, the measures that should be adopted for the government of the Indian tribes in this far-off region.
First, then, the Pueblos. You are already apprized of the fact, if we include the Mochies, only, beyond Zunia, these people of various tongues, each unknown to the tribes of their respective origins, are to be found in villages (pueblos) at uncertain distances from each other, in an extent of country near four hundred miles square. Their pueblos are built with di. rect reference to defence, and their houses are froin one to six stories high, and not one is reached in the ordinary way, except by ladders. These and all other Indians of this couniry send out mounted warriors only; foot, soldiers remain at home, and fight on foot only when their pueblos are assaulted.
The rapidity of the movements of all Indian warriors or robbers shows the utter worthlessness of infantry, except to take care of localities and property.
To remove and consolidate the Indians of the various pueblos at a common point, is out of the question. The general character of their houses is superior to those of Santa Fe. They have rich valleys to cultivate, grow quantities of corn and wheat, and raise vast herds of horses, mules, sheep, and goats, all of which may be immensely increased, by properly stimulating their industry, and instructing them in the agricultural arts. For the reasons, in an economical point of view, heretofore given, the government of the United States should instruct these people in their agricultural pursuits. They are a valuable and available people, and as firmly fixed in their homes as any one can be in the United States. Their lands are held by Spanish and Mexican grants--to what extent is unknown; and in their religion they are Catholics, with a certain admixture of an early superstition, with its ceremonials; all of which attaches them to the soil of their fathers—the soil upon which they came into existence, and the soil upon which they have been reared; and their concentration is not ad. visable.
But, in considering this subject, it must not be forgotten there are a few old Spanish villages to be found in the vicinity of, perhaps, all the pueblos; and the extent of their grants and privileges is not yet known, and judicial proceedings only can reveal the truth in relation to these matters. In this way is the Indian country of the pueblos chequered, and the difficul. ties in relation to a disposition of them suggested.
Santa Anna, as Major Weightman, a gentleman and a very intelligent lawyer, informs me, decreed in 1843 that one born in Mexico was a Mex. ican citizen, and, as such, is a voter; and therefore, all the pueblo Indians are voters. But still the exercise of this privilege was not known prior to what is termed an election, the last one in this Territory. I understand this was a hurried affair, and manageable voters picked up at whatever place found; and this arose from their extreme anxiety to secure the services of an exceedingly clever man, the Hon. Hugh N. Smith, as the delegate of certain influential citizens of this Territory. Under this view of the subject, what will you do with them?
They must become citizens, sooner or later, of the United States; and, if there was a State or Territory to be formed immediately west of the Rio Graude, I should not hesitate to say these Pueblo Indians are entitled to all the rights and privileges of citizens of the United States as mere voters. As to the rights which it may have been designed to confer upon them under the 9th article of the late treaty, I venture not an opinion. If Congress must give to this country a territorial government, they must, of ne. cessity, include the Spanish; and if there be such, Mexican viliages too,
that are found in the neighborhood of the pueblos. If the Pueblo Indians are to be taxed, they are, from their general intelligence and probity, as much entitled to select their agents as the mass of New Mexico. But, for the present, unless a Territory or State is to be organized on the western. side of the Rio Grande, these people should be subjected only to the laws passed by the Congress of the United States. The Mexicans and the Pueblo Indians have not one feeling in common.
It is a subject, of great delicacy; yet I apprehend it is easier to dispose of the tribes of roving Indians than the better and more civilized Pueblo Indians.
In disposing of the "savage" Indians, the most vexatious, troublesome, and delicate questions will arise from our obligations as recorded in the 11th article of the before referred-to treaty. At all hazards, and without reference to cost, the government of the United States will, to the letter and to the spirit, comply with our every pledge, and redeem our every undertaking.
It is not necessary to repeat to you that the Apaches, although frequently roving east of the Rio Grande, their conceded localities, the great mass of them, when at home, are to be found on the west side of the aforesaid river, and on both sides of the boundary line between the United States and Mexico, as indicated by the maps, running west, several hundred miles to or near the Pimo villages. Here are to be found a majority of the captives to be delivered up under the before mentioned treaty. Here are a people who feed on game, the spontaneous products of the soil, and the fruit of other people's labor. Here it is the boundary line will present a barrier to the castigations which these Indians should receive. Here you will find about an equal number upon each side of the boundary line, all alike committing depredations; and it may be we shall be called upon to pay millions on account of the doings of Mexican Apaches, whose bad deeds will be charged to those on our side of the line the one not being better than the other.
Here, too, the most delicate questions will arise. How are these people to subsist, if you effectually check and stop their depredations? How are you to comply with your obligations under the aforesaid 11th article, with-, out invading foreign territory?
To establish a proper state of affairs in this country, with the economy which the government of the United States should and will ever observe, requires a strong arm, and a prompt arm, guided by an enlightened patriotism and a generous spirit of humanity.
Expend your million now, if necessary, that you may avoid the expenditure of millions hereafter.
The Comanches and Apaches, with all the adjacent fragments of other tribes, must be penned up; and this should be done at the earliest possible day.
If the Navajoes comply with the treaty as entered into with Governor Washington and myself, it is believed the Utahs will ask for a similar treaty. There are strong indications of a disposition to yield upon their part, independently of the course which the Navajoes may pursue. But suppose these tribes continue to withhold their submission to our authority, and to war upon our interest: it will be absolutely necessary to remove and concentrate these people.
To what localities should these wild tribes be confined?
Can the foregoing question be discreetly answered without a thorough knowledge of this country? And can such thorough knowledge be obtained without a thorough exploration? I affirm that it cannot be done; and without an additional number of mounted troops, such an exploration cannot be made at an early day.
If I had authority to do so, I could make treaties with all these tribes; and they would comply with every stipulation, just so long as you have an arm raised to strike them, and no longer-provided they are permitted to roam as heretofore. But confine them to certain limits, restrict intercourse with them, and instruct them, and compel them to cultivate the soil: when you have thus subjugated them, and caused them to feel and appreciate your power, then the proper time will have arrived when presents, to a hmited extent, will have a salutary intluence, in awakening their pride of person, and creating a love, a desire, for some of the luxuries of life; for, until a man has reached that point, he has made but a slight advance in civilization.
Let it be remembered, the Navajoes have all the necessaries of life, and grow large quantities of corn and wheat, raise immense flocks of sheep and goats, and a great number of fine horses and mules; and rob and murder, and seize captives, because it is a business of life in which they delight.
In reference to the number of Pueblo Indians east of the Mochies, which includes the Pueblos named in No. 5, I have come to the conclusion it cannot be put down at less than twelve thousand, and it would not surprise me if it should reach fifteen thousand. We ventured to guess, while at Zunia, at the number of its people; and no one supposed it to exceed six hundred, all told. It now appears they have five hundred and fiftyfive warriors, which does not include boys under sixteen years of age, or old men. If this be true-and I do not question the fact-the aggregate: number of inhabitants in Zunia will reach two thousand; aud I have no reason to believe the estimates as to other pueblos are more correct than was the estimate for Zunia.
i do not feel at liberty, at present, to disturb the estimates as forwarded to your office by the late Governor Bent. I will remark, however, it is advisable to reduce the number of tribes, in any general classification which may be made by authority of the government of the United States; for there are a number of fragments of tribes, being the product of ainalgamations, who are not entitled to the consideration of distinct tribes, and ihey should be compelled to an association with one or the other of the amalgamating parties, and located and considered accordingly. Without alluding to the Indians of the Arkansas, I would reduce all the roving tribes of New Mexico to four—the Comanches, Apaches, Navajoes, and Utahs.
It would ill become me to venture an opinion as to the proper disposition of the United States military force now in this country: that duty is confided to an abler head. Bui, as preventive measures, and as measures, too, of a defensive character, allow me to submit, with all due respect, the following sliggestions and recommendations:
I repeat the suggestions to be found in my previous letters:
1st. The presence of agents in various places in the Indian country is indispensably necessary. Their presence is demanded by every principle of humanity, by every generous obligation of kindness, of protection, and