CHAPTER 34
INDIAN WORK AND OTHER ACTIVITIES OF FRIENDS

THE two decades after 1850 were critical in the relationship of the United States government to the Indians. Most of the tribes had been moved west of the Mississippi. "Then came the movement to the Oregon country, the mad rush of the 'forty-niners' to the gold fields of California, and the building of the first trans-continental railway. The Indian saw the buffalo and other game everywhere recklessly slain or driven from the prairies; and everywhere encroachments were being made on his hunting grounds. At last, thousands of the tribesmen of the plains arose in a desperate and final attempt to stay the advance of the white men."1

The Indian wars proved extremely costly in men and money and many officers and military leaders despaired of settling the Indian question in this fashion. By 1867 some statesmen were suggesting that milder methods might be more effective; and in that year a joint committee of Iowa, Indiana, Western and Ohio yearly meetings was formed to consider means of dealing with the Indian problems. It secured the active assistance of Baltimore, New York and New England yearly meetings. The next year this committee urged upon the government "that in the appointment of officers and agents to have charge of their interests care should be taken to select men of unquestioned integrity

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1
Jones, Quakers of Iowa, p. 205.

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