Theodore Roosevelt: ‘The Only Good Indians Are the Dead Indians’

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  1stwarrior  •  2 weeks ago  •  27 comments

Theodore Roosevelt: ‘The Only Good Indians Are the Dead Indians’
Theodore Roosevelt: ‘The Only Good Indians Are the Dead Indians’. Roosevelt: 'I don’t go so far as to think that the only good Indians are the dead Indians, but I believe nine out of every 10 are'.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



When Theodore Roosevelt took office in 1901, he already had a long legacy of animosity toward American Indians.

Seventeen years earlier, Roosevelt, then a young widower, left New York in favor of the Dakotas, where he built a ranch, rode horses and wrote about life on the frontier. When he returned to the east, he   famously asserted   that “the most vicious cowboy has more moral principle than the average Indian.”

“I don’t go so far as to think that the only good Indians are the dead Indians, but I believe nine out of every 10 are,” Roosevelt said during a January 1886 speech in New York. “And I shouldn’t like to inquire too closely into the case of the tenth.”

Born in New York in 1858, Roosevelt dropped out of law school to seek a career in politics, stating he wanted to be part of the “governing class.” He served on the New York State Assembly, as assistant secretary of the Navy and governor of New York. During the Spanish-American War, Roosevelt led a volunteer cavalry nicknamed the Rough Riders, comprising cowboys, ranchers, miners and Native Americans.

A member of the Republican Party, Roosevelt was elected as vice president in 1900. He took office as the 26th president of the United States after William McKinley was assassinated in September 1901. He completed McKinley’s term and was re-elected to a second term, serving from 1901 to 1909.

Roosevelt’s seven and a half years in office were marked by his support of the Indian allotment system, the removal of Indians from their lands and the destruction of their culture. Although he earned a reputation as a conservationist—placing more than 230 million acres of land under public protection—Roosevelt systematically marginalized Indians, uprooting them from their homelands to create national parks and monuments, speaking publicly about his plans to assimilate them and using them as spectacles to build his political empire.

“He was a man of his times,” said Tweed Roosevelt, a great-grandson to Roosevelt and interim director of the Theodore Roosevelt Association. “In his presidency, he wanted the Native Americans to experience the American dream, but to do that by assimilating. The Indian population had been shrinking for a long time, and he believed that if they assimilated, that meant prosperity for everyone.”

In his   first message to Congress , in December 1901, Roosevelt called the   General Allotment Act   “a mighty pulverizing engine to break up the tribal mass.” Under the act, passed in 1887, more than 60,000 Indians had already become citizens, but “the effort should be to steadily make the Indian work like any other man on his own ground,” Roosevelt said.

“In my judgment the time has arrived when we should definitely make up our minds to recognize the Indian as an individual and not as a member of a tribe,” he said. “The Indian should be treated as a individual—like the white man.”

But Indians were not equal to whites, Roosevelt told Congress. Although he viewed education as a vehicle of assimilation, Roosevelt stressed that   Indian education   should be “elementary and largely industrial,” and that the need of higher education was “very, very limited.”

In January 1902, five months into Roosevelt’s presidency, Commissioner of Indian Affairs William Jones issued a   letter to superintendents   of federal agencies and reservations demanding that Native men cut their hair. This famous “haircut order” argued that “the wearing of short hair by the males will be a great step in advance and will certainly hasten their progress towards civilization.”

RELATED:   Native History: The Astonishing 1902 Order to Cut Native Hair!

The male student returning to the reservation too often fell into the “old custom of letting his hair grow long,” the order stated. “He also paints profusely and adopts all the old habits and customs which his education in our industrial schools has tried to eradicate.”

Jones suggested that agents withhold rations from male and female Indians who refused to stop painting or discard “Indian costumes and blankets.” Traditional gatherings also should be prohibited, he said, because “in many cases these dances and feasts are simply subterfuges to cover degrading acts and to disguise immoral purposes.”

In his   second message to Congress , in December 1902, Roosevelt called on Indian schools to teach the young to earn a living, making them “indistinguishable” from their white associates. “In dealing with the Indians, our aim should be their ultimate absorption into the body of our people,” he said.

Two years later,   Roosevelt urged   Indian agents to force their wards to work. A policy that reduced the amount of subsistence available to Indians would force them “out of sheer necessity, to work for a livelihood,” he said. He also called for better cooperation between Washington and Indian agents, claiming that more efficient work would “lift up the savage toward that self-help and self-reliance which constitute the man.”

Roosevelt began his second term in office with a bombastic   inaugural parade , which featured 35,000 participants, including members of his Rough Riders outfit and six Indian chiefs. Geronimo, still a prisoner of war, rode in the parade, along with Quanah Parker, Buckskin Charlie, Little Plume, American Horse and Hollow Horn Bear.

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The chiefs, wearing full regalia, waved as they passed Roosevelt, “uttering whoops as they did so,” the   New York Times   reported on March 5, 1905. When asked why he invited Indians to participate in his parade, Roosevelt answered, “I wanted to give the people a good show.”

Yet Roosevelt did very little to assist Indians who sought help from him individually. Because the allotment program transitioned Indians into private citizens, Roosevelt largely ignored them when they journeyed to Washington.

In March 1905, a group of Sioux Indians from Yankton, South Dakota, traveled to Washington to seek redress from settlers who had taken their lands and homes. Because they were private citizens instead of representatives of a tribe, neither Roosevelt nor his commissioner of Indian Affairs would see them.

During his second term, Roosevelt expanded the Navy, started construction on the Panama Canal and earned the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in mediating the Russo-Japanese War. He also supervised the completion of the   Dawes Rolls , which collected membership information from the Five Civilized Tribes, and dissolved the Indian Territory in Oklahoma, opening the region for statehood. Oklahoma became a state in 1907.

In his   final message to Congress , in December 1908, Roosevelt called for the transition of the Indian Service from a political organization to a civil one. Such a shift would clear the ground for “larger constructive work on behalf of the Indians, preparatory to their induction into the full measure of responsible citizenship,” he said.

Roosevelt left office in 1909 and was succeeded by William Taft. He died in 1919 at age 60, and his face was later carved into Mount Rushmore.


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1stwarrior
1  seeder  1stwarrior    2 weeks ago

In his    second message to Congress  , in December 1902, Roosevelt called on Indian schools to teach the young to earn a living, making them “indistinguishable” from their white associates. “In dealing with the Indians, our aim should be their ultimate absorption into the body of our people,” he said.

Yup - Roosevelt had the "equalization" of the races down pat - make everyone to be like white people.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
1.1  Vic Eldred  replied to  1stwarrior @1    2 weeks ago

I'm voting this up because I have to give you credit for finding the most compelling argument for the American Museum of Natural History requesting that the beautiful statue of Teddy Roosevelt outside the Museum be removed. His worst side was his treatment of native Americans. To be fair every historical figure must be viewed in their totality. The above article touches on some of the many things TR accomplished. In his time he was one of the most popular presidents in American history.

 
 
 
Krishna
1.1.1  Krishna  replied to  Vic Eldred @1.1    2 weeks ago
His worst side was his treatment of native Americans. To be fair every historical figure must be viewed in their totality. The above article touches on some of the many things TR accomplished. In his time he was one of the most popular presidents in American history.

Likewise, Adolf Hitler's treatment of Jews. A bit rude, don't you think?

But to be fair, Hitler must be viewed in his totality. We need more articles on the many wonderful things Hitler accomplished! After all, In his time, Hitler was one of the most popular leaders in Europe!

(In his time .. .  although apparently their are still many who overlook some of his minor flaws . .  to  focus on some of the many wonderful things he accomplished).

 
 
 
Krishna
1.1.2  Krishna  replied to  Krishna @1.1.1    2 weeks ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
1stwarrior
1.1.3  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  Krishna @1.1.1    2 weeks ago

Try discussing the topic - your lack of sarcasm is overflowing.

 
 
 
1stwarrior
1.1.4  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  Vic Eldred @1.1    2 weeks ago

Little picky thing - it's "Native American", not "native".

Thanks.

 
 
 
1stwarrior
1.1.5  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  Vic Eldred @1.1    2 weeks ago

One of the "many" accomplishments of his was the taking of 372.9 million acres of Native American land and turning them into "National" monuments/treasures/parks.

Yup - sure helped the tribes/nations out with that one - quite an accomplishment.

 
 
 
Krishna
1.2  Krishna  replied to  1stwarrior @1    2 weeks ago

Yup - Roosevelt had the "equalization" of the races down pat - make everyone to be like white people.

1stwarrior:I'd be curious to hear what you think of the lengths apologists for TR go to defend him?

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
2  FLYNAVY1    2 weeks ago

It's not unusual for those that we make into statues today, are viewed in a different light at a latter point in history.

 
 
 
1stwarrior
2.1  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @2    2 weeks ago

Hmmmm - curious - Rome - Berlin - Paris - Copenhagen - Madrid - just a few cities with tons of cities and tons of statues.  Wonder why theirs are still standing?

Roosevelt did some good things - but, to, specifically the Native Americans, he did some really piss poor things.  For that alone, no statue is needed.  Waiting for the Mr. Rushmore decision 'cause all four of them need to come down.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
2.1.1  FLYNAVY1  replied to  1stwarrior @2.1    2 weeks ago

Wonder why theirs are still standing?

Poseidon at the Trevi Fountain.... The Great Sphinx at Giza...  The statue of Liberty... Do they need to all come down 1ST?  I guess we have to understand why they were put up in the first place.  It would seem that time and the times determines what stands and what doesn't.  Stalin and Lenin didn't fair so well a few short decades ago.

 
 
 
1stwarrior
2.1.2  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @2.1.1    2 weeks ago

It would seem that time and the times determines what stands and what doesn't.

Ya hit it on the head.

 
 
 
Krishna
3  Krishna    2 weeks ago

Theodore Roosevelt: ‘The Only Good Indians Are The Dead Indians’

[Deleted]

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
3.1  Vic Eldred  replied to  Krishna @3    2 weeks ago

It was originally said by Gen. Philip Sheridan

The Story behind It: In January, 1869, General Sheridan held a conference with 50 Indian chiefs at Fort Cobb in the so-called Indian Territory (later part of Oklahoma). At that time, Sheridan, who had gained recognition as a Union officer in the Civil War, was in charge of the Dept. of the Missouri. One of his duties was to oversee the Indian Territory, making sure that the Indians remained on their reservations and did not harass the white settlers. When Comanche chief Toch-a-way was introduced to Sheridan at the conference, the Indian said, "Me Toch-a-way, me good Indian." Sheridan reportedly smirked and replied, "The only good Indians I ever saw were dead." Later on, the remark became "The only good Indian is a dead Indian."

https://www.trivia-library.com/b/origins-of-sayings-the-only-good-indian-is-a-dead-indian.htm

TR was apparently weighing in on that sentiment. He wasn't the man who made it.

 
 
 
Krishna
3.1.1  Krishna  replied to  Vic Eldred @3.1    2 weeks ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
Krishna
3.1.2  Krishna  replied to  Krishna @3.1.1    2 weeks ago

And don't get me started on the bullsh*t that  the apologists for Stalin...or Mao attempt to  get us to believe.

(Genocide is genocide.... no matter how anyone attempts to rationalize it!)

 
 
 
1stwarrior
3.1.3  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  Vic Eldred @3.1    2 weeks ago

TR said, in 1886, “I don’t go so far as to think that the only good Indians are the dead Indians, but I believe nine out of every 10 are,” Roosevelt said during a January 1886 speech in New York. “And I shouldn’t like to inquire too closely into the case of the tenth.”

Sheridan, in 1869, said "The only good Indians I ever saw were dead."

Close, but no cigar.

 
 
 
1stwarrior
3.2  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  Krishna @3    2 weeks ago

Trump's not the topic.

 
 
 
Krishna
4  Krishna    2 weeks ago

Theodore Roosevelt: ‘The Only Good Indians Are The Dead Indians’

[Deleted]

 
 
 
1stwarrior
4.1  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  Krishna @4    2 weeks ago

Try discussing the topic - your lack of sarcasm is overflowing.

 
 
 
Kavika
5  Kavika     2 weeks ago

Most Indians are well aware of how Roosevelt and many other Presidents felt about us and they were not shy in voicing it or instituting policies that devastated us and in many instances killed us. 

Hell, just read the ''Declaration of Independence''. 

A couple of more statues that should be toppled. Jackson and Columbus.

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
5.1  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  Kavika @5    2 weeks ago

My maternal grandmother, who was half Mescalero Apache and grew up in Cananea, Mexico on the AZ/Mexico border at the turn of the 20th century would literally spit every time she  heard TR's name mentioned and would refer to him as "El presidente gringo pendejo!" For those that do not speak Spanish, let me just assure you it was not a nice thing.

 
 
 
Kavika
5.1.1  Kavika   replied to  Ed-NavDoc @5.1    2 weeks ago

LOL, nookomis (grandma) didn't much care for the ''asshole'' did she.

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
5.1.2  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  Kavika @5.1.1    2 weeks ago

Nope, but she thought Pancho Villa was a standup kind of guy whom she admired! She was fond of recounting how he came to her family's small ranch and asked for some water for his men. He even paid for the water. She was not even a teenager, but she remembered that her whole life.

 
 
 
1stwarrior
5.1.3  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @5.1    2 weeks ago

Remember when we arrived in NM from Tyndall AFB, FL, was driving to the NMSU golf course.  The car next to me had four Hispanic males.  My lane turned left to the university and theirs continued straight.  Don't know why, but the driver yelled out the window "Madre Dios - Florida Pendejo".

Got home, told my wife, who's from Venezuela, and she laughed her butt off.  Now, whenever we need a bit of laughter, she'll call me her "Florida Pendejo" :-)

 
 
 
Kavika
5.1.4  Kavika   replied to  1stwarrior @5.1.3    2 weeks ago
Don't know why, but the driver yelled out the window "Madre Dios - Florida Pendejo".

Could it be that he saw your Florida license plate, also that gator hanging out of your trunk could have possibly been the reason? 

You could have baffled them by yelling back, Aaaiiii moosh koosh. (dumb ass) 

 
 
 
1stwarrior
5.1.5  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  Kavika @5.1.4    2 weeks ago

Well, I found out that I can only give a one handed, one finger salute while trying to make a turn.

Coulda been the gator tail hanging outta the trunk :-)

I'll try that saying next time - thanks :-)

 
 
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