Christianization of the Indian

"Spare the rod and spoil the child," is a proverb of holy writ, and generally accepted as sound in most christian churches. Nothing is more rigidly inculcated by all divine teachers than the necessity of severe discipline. According to inspired writings, God in his just wrath destroyed whole nations of wicked people, and we do not find that any of his meek and humble adorers have ever entered a single protest against the policy, or even censured it as harsh or barbarous. Possibly if a nation of Indians had been divinely annihilated, the christian people of to-day would have been denouncing the act as ungodly. In order to maintain the supremacy of law and the unity of our nation, nearly a million of lives were sacrificed and about as many people impoverished, and these act are justified and blessed by millions of christian people, and on bended knees they affirm that the christian sentiment of the nation has thereby been vastly elevated and purified.

While President Grant and millions of sincere but, in some instance at least, misguided philanthropists declare that the Indian must be christianized by kindness, moral suasion, food, and clothing, given him in idleness in everything but the labor of murdering, scalping and robbing law abiding citizens, we respectfully suggest, if his christanization be the chief object of these good people, that there are different and well established methods of attaining this noble end, and these methods have never been held barbarous by the christian church. The most prominent teaching of all christian sects is that punishment will and ought to be inflicted upon wrongdoers--in this world if it can be, and certainly in the next. We believe it is generally admitted that murder is the highest crime a person can commit on earth, and that assassination is the most aggravated and least excusable form of that crime, and the Indian prefers the latter style of it; yet a christian people, backed by a philanthropic administration say this horrifying method of murder when committed by an Indian deserves to be rewarded with milk and honey, lands and beeves, raiment and idleness, and that other treatment of it is barbarous and ineffectual for good. Let us cite a few cases to the contrary:

Prior to 1863, the Indians in northern Utah were busy in theft, murder and torture. General Connor vigorously hunted them in mid-winter, forced them into a fight, and killed nearly 400 on Bear River. Since that time, the remaining Indians up there have been harmless if not pious.

Prior to late in 1867, the Indians in that section of country covering portions of California, Oregon, Idaho and Nevada were brutally outraging and murdering quiet, lawfully disposed citizens every week, by one, twos, and fours. In that year, Gen. Geo. Crook was put in command of the sub-district of Boise and he reorganized and revitalized the forces under him, pursued the savages day and night in good and bad weather, over rocks, mountains and deserts, and killed some hundreds, and since that the remaining braves have ceased to murder if they have not professed christianity.

In 1863-4-5, the troops and citizens of Nevada met with the murderous foe, killed them by twenties and sixties, with like pacific results.

We can but think that the work of christianizing the Apaches would be greatly facilitated and rendered lasting, by prefacing it with a temporary stoppage of food, raiment, arms and ammunition, and giving them generous doses of cold lead from well directed Sharp's carbines and needle guns. We feel certain that indisputable christian authority is ample to not only justify but recommend this process.

[The Arizona Citizen, April 22, 1871, p.4]