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The Coming of the Europeans

American History, Volume I: Aboriginal America (New York: Sheldon, 1860)


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278 THE COMING OF THE EUROPEANS

These qualities are innate and permanent: At least they are beyond the reach of any means of change that can be brought into operation in the course of any moderate number of generations. The whole history of the Indian tribes and of the almost fruitless attempts which have been made to civilize them, and induce them to live like white men, proves this quite conclusively. Missions were established among the Indians of New Eng- land for the purpose of instructing them in the arts of European life and in the truths of Christian- ity, and though for a time very remarkable re- sults were produced, no radical or lasting change was usually effected. As soon as the external sup- port to this new state of things, and in a certain sense unnatural, was withdrawn, everything slowly but irresistibly sank back into its former condition, and the hereditary instincts and propensities of the race returned in all their pristine vigor.

In the same manner the experiment has several times been made of educating Indian young men in the New England colleges, but the pupils thus taught have, almost without exception, when their prescribed course was finished, and they were left at liberty, as they arrived at manhood, to follow the impulses and instincts of their own hearts, very soon turned away from the arts and refinemen



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