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Constitution of the Indian Mind

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


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OF THE INDIAN MIND. 257

exists, imposes upon us a special obligation to be just toward them, and to protect them in the en- joyment of all their rights, instead of giving us any authority to tyrannize over them or oppress them in any way. We may rightfully recognize and act upon our superiority to them in the social arrangements which we make, but we are bound in doing so to consider them as under our protection, and to guard their rights and provide for their welfare and happiness faithfully, honestly, and with feelings of sincere good will.

MENTAL AND PHYSICAL CONSTITUTION OF THE AMERICAN ABORIGINES.

The American Aborigines have been generally considered by mankind as a stern, taciturn, im- movable, unfeeling, and yet shrewd and cunning; people. Some travelers, like the celebrated Catlin, among others, who spent a great deal of time among the western tribes, maintain that the degree in which they possess these qualities has been ex- aggerated. Catlin found the Indians at their own homes, in the villages which they had built on the banks of the Missouri and upon the western prairies, as jovial, as talkative, and as full of life and animation as other men. But the prevailing testimony, especially in respect to those tribes that



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