THE RELATIONS OF THE NORTH AMERICAN INDIANS TO THE LIQUOR PROBLEM.
FOR more than two centuries and a half, legislative powers in this country have been invoked to prevent the Indians from obtaining the white man's fire-water. At the very inception of the weary struggle with the Indian problem which still continues, the colonists of the New World saw that a first precautionary measure to be taken was to forbid the sale of intoxicants to the savages; public safety demanded such a step. The Massachusetts Bay Colony legislated accordingly, in 1657, the other New England colonies following her example in turn. Not long afterwards the New York Colony and its dependencies took action to the same effect, but with a curious exception: By way of charity, the quantity of two drams of strong water might be sold or given to an Indian "in case of sudden sickness, faintness, or weariness." Further, the earliest liquor legislation of the settlements in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and both the Carolinas, whatever may have been its shortcomings, provided penalties for supplying liquor to the natives. On the other hand, the "disorderly little republics," as the first small settlements in New Hampshire have been called, for a long time, when not fighting the Indians, drove a brisk rum