(1799 - 1854)
The Indians will perish before the land thrives. Indeed, examples of all their race who have preceded them on the continent, would point to a condition of poverty, of humiliation, of extinction, as the natural result of the foster policy of the government...But must it always be thus? Must the same system, which has resulted so unfortunately heretofore, be pursued remorselessly to the end? Must the course of removals from place to place, and successive contractions of territory, and perpetual isolation, which has thus far been fraught with such enormous expense, be likewise applied to the nations of the interior? This must be called by its name: the legalized murder of a whole nation. It is expensive, vicious, inhumane, and producing these consequences, and these alone. The leaders of this nation must realized that humanity will judge its policies by its fruits, not by the gloss of its high-tone words.
immigrant Thomas Fitzpatrick played a singularly important and
unheralded role in the settlement of the American West.
He arrived in the frontier town of St. Louis in 1822, and a few
months later joined the famed Ashley expedition to the Rocky
Mountains. A natural leader, Fitzpatrick eventually teamed up
with the legendary mountain man and fur trader, Jim Bridger, to
found the Rocky Mountain Fur Company.
1824, Fitzpatrick discovered South Pass in the Wyoming country, the
geographic landmark on the continental divide that made it possible
for him to lead the first expedition of settlers and missionaries
over the Oregon Trail in 1836. Later, he guided the
expeditions of John C. Fremont and General Stephen Watts Kearney to
California, Oregon, and New Mexico territories. Other than
his friend Pierre DeSmet, no white man enjoyed greater respect
among the tribes of the high plains and the Mountain West than
Fitzpatrick. He became the Indian agent for the Platte River
region in 1846, and was named co-commissioner, with David D.
Mitchell, for the unprecedented gathering of western tribes at the
Horse Creek treaty council in 1851. Clidk here for more on Thomas Fitzpatrick