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Shadows of Shasta   By: (1837-1913)

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First Page:

SHADOWS OF SHASTA.

BY

JOAQUIN MILLER,

AUTHOR OF "SONGS OF THE SIERRAS," "THE DANITES IN THE SIERRAS," ETC.

CHICAGO: JANSEN, McCLURG & COMPANY. 1881.

COPYRIGHT.

JANSEN, McCLURG & COMPANY. A. D. 1881.

All rights of Dramatization reserved to the Author.

TO

WHITELAW REID.

CONTENTS.

PAGE

INTRODUCTORY 7

MOUNT SHASTA 17

TWENTY CARATS FINE 49

MAN HUNTERS 81

THE OLD GOLD HUNTER 108

THE CAPTURE 122

THE ESCAPE 150

SHADOWS OF SHASTA.

INTRODUCTORY.

With vast foundations seamed and knit, And wrought and bound by golden bars, Sierra's peaks serenely sit And challenge heaven's sentry stars.

Why this book? Because last year, in the heart of the Sierras, I saw women and children chained together and marched down from their cool, healthy homes to degradation and death on the Reservation. At the side of this long, chained line, urged on and kept in order by bayonets, rode a young officer, splendid in gold and brass, and newly burnished, from that now famous charity school on the Hudson. These women and children were guilty of no crime; they were not even accused of wrong. But their fathers and brothers lay dead in battle harness, on the mountain heights and in the lava beds; and these few silent survivors, like Israel of old, were being led into captivity but, unlike the chosen children, never to return to the beloved heart of their mountains.

Do you doubt these statements about the treatment of the Indians? Then read this, from the man the fiend in the form of man who for years, and until recently, had charge of all the Indians in the United States:

"From reports and testimony before me, I find that Indians removed to the Reservation or Indian Territory, die off so rapidly that the race must soon become extinct if they are so removed. In this connection, I recommend the early removal of all the Indians to the Indian Territory. "

The above coarse attempt at second hand wit is quoted from memory. But if the exact words are not given, the substance is there; and, indeed, the idea and expression is not at all new.

I know if you contemplate the Indian from the railroad platform, as you cross the plains, you will almost conclude, from the dreadful specimens there seen, that the Indian Commissioner was not so widely out of the way in that brutal desire. But the real Indian is not there. The Special Correspondent will not find him, though he travel ten thousand miles. He is in the mountains, a free man yet; not a beggar, not a thief, but the brightest, bravest, truest man alive. Every few years, the soldiers find him; and they do not despise him when found. Think of Captain Jack, with his sixty braves, holding the whole army at bay for half a year! Think of Chief Joseph, to whose valor and virtues the brave and brilliant soldiers sent to fight him bear immortal testimony. Seamed with scars of battle, and bloody from the fight of the deadly day and the night preceding; his wife dying from a bullet; his boy lying dead at his feet; his command decimated; bullets flying thick as hail; this Indian walked right into the camp of his enemy, gun in hand, and then not like a beaten man, not like a captive, but like a king demanded to know the terms upon which his few remaining people could be allowed to live. When a brave man beats a brave man in battle, he likes to treat him well as witness Grant and Lee; and so Generals Howard and Miles made fair terms with the conquered chief. The action of the Government which followed makes one sick at heart. Let us in charity call it imbecility . But before whose door shall we lay the dead? Months after the surrender, this brave but now heart broken chief, cried out:

"Give my people water, or they will die. This is mud and slime that we have to drink here on this Reservation... Continue reading book >>




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