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make the productions of nature spring up like magic.
"The system of irrigation is no new experiment; it existed in Egypt before the Pyramids were born; it was practiced in Asia before Confucius wrote; it was brought to great perfection by the Aztecs of America, when our ancestors were dressed in skins and furs, and lived by the booty of the chase; it is scientific agriculture, and the only insurance against the uncertainties of a crop. With a proper system of irrigation, you shall surely reap where you sow; yea, even twice or thrice per annum. The sediment of the Colorado will plaster the walls of a canal and make them impermeable to water; such is the beautiful arcana of nature. On this river a lively commerce is already springing up, and some half dozen steamboats plow its turbid waters. It is navigable five hundred miles from its mouth, and
its sources drain the great American Basin. The Indians will have a ready market for the surplus productions at their very doors, and the friendly current of the Colorado will bear it, untaxed, to market.
“It will be necessary for the Government to furnish the Indians with some intelligent superintendence in opening their irrigating canal, and the necessary implements of husbandry and seeds to enable them to raise a crop. Then let them work or starve; but do not force them to starve or steal without first giving them a chance to labor. It is a cruel thing to force men into a new civilization without preparing them for its duties. As the Americans come into the country the wants of the Indians increase; but without aid the means of satisfying these artificial wants are not commensurate. Without tools a man is helpless indeed. What would a man do without a knife, an ax, a hoe, a spade, or a shovel? He could make very little progress in agriculture; but tenfold is his power of production increased with these simple implements of husbandry. Among these Indians as well as all primitive people the women are the 'hewers of wood and drawers of water,' the very slaves of the lords of creation. It is only where the light of Christianity and the spread of civilization illuminate the pathway of a people that woman assumes a position ‘a little lower than the angels.' The Indian women have to work out their salvation in sweat and blood or, lacking food and clothing, flock around a military post like moths around a candle. The dusky maidens of the Colorado are fast disappearing under the influences of these debasing establishments of military power, and soon their graceful forms and melodious voices will be only remembered in tradition and song. The disappearance of a people is a melancholy spectacle and bodes no good to us. The tide of civilization is bearing them to eternity with the same certainty that their native Colorado bears its sands to the sea. On what distant shore they will be stranded or saved is a mystery which they do not attempt to penetrate. The smoke of incineration floats away on the breeze and a few charred bones and smoldering ashes are all that remain of the 'human form divine.'
“Iretaba, the great chief of these Indians, was in Washington a year ago, on a visit to the President and the Army. He returned to his own country much pleased with his visit to the Americans. He told his tribe that it would be of no use to go to war against the Americans; that they were a great people, against whom the Indians could never war successfully. He made an effective speech to them; and he and they agreed that if the Americans would deal with them fairly and justly, and provide them with the means of existence, they would bury the scalps that they had taken from one another; they would bury the tomahawk, and would never strike an American again. The responsibility now rests upon you. The Great Spirit, which deals alike with the destinies of the red man and the white man, will judge between you. In the long muster-roll of nations, which will be called after the echoes of Gabriel's trumpet shall have died away, if it shall be found that you have dealt fairly with your red brethren on this continent, you will stand before the Dispenser of universal justice acquitted of crime. If, on the other hand, it shall be decided that your track across the continent has been a succession of wrong, without an honorable effort at reparation, what terrible judgments may be meted out to you! We have always time to do justice, and to delay it is a crime. It is especially a duty to render justice to the weak and the helpless. Be merciful to the degenerate, for in the cycle of time our own doom may come.
“It is not alone for the Indians that I ask your generosity, however, much may be their due; but looking far beyond the present moment, it must be apparent to every man who lifts his mind from the struggle of the hour and indulges in a contemplation of the grand future of our country, that the settlement of the aborigines
of the mineral Territories in reservations must precede the active and full development of the great treasures of the nation. It is to these great mineral fields that the financiers of the Government and the world are now looking for relief from the financial embarrassments consequent upon a civil war unprecedented in the history of nations. The idea of discounting or repudiating the national debt can never be indulged in for a moment while the mountains west of the Sierra Madre are teeming with mineral wealth. In order to allow scope and verge enough for our hardy and enterprising frontiersmen to prospect the mines of Arizona, it becomes necessary to have the Indians colonized in a reservation, so that a miner may know when he meets an Indian in a lonely gorge in the mountains whether he is a friend or a foe.
“It scarcely becomes me to allude to the subject; but justice to the brave and hardy pioneers who have risked their lives a thousand times to carry the institutions of the American people into Arizona deserve a tribute at the hands of their first Representative. No people have ever endured the hardships, dangers, and privations of those brave and adventurous men who left the homes of their ancestors a thousand miles behind and penetrated the wilderness sending its golden sands into the Gulf of California.
“In the year 1824, Sylvester Pattie and his son James, from Bardstown, Kentucky, with a party of about one hundred hardy and adventurous frontiersmen, set out upon a trapping expedition to the head waters of the Arkansas River. After many romantic adventures in New Mexico, the party dispersed, and a few of
the boldest spirits undertook to reach the Pacific Ocean. They spent one winter at the celebrated mines of Santa Rita del Cobre, on the head waters of the Gila River, and the next spring trapped down that river to its confluence with the Colorado. Here they embarked their canoes on the turbid waters of the Colorado, and drifted down to the Gulf of California, whence they crossed the peninsula to the Pacific Ocean. Here they were imprisoned by the Spanish commandant at San Diego, and after a long and cruel confinement the elder Pattie died in a prison.
“The oldest living trapper in Arizona at this day is old Pauline Weaver, from White County, Tennessee. His name is carved in the Casa Grande, near the Pima villages, on the Gila River, under date of 1832. This old man has been a peacemaker among the Indians for many years, and is now spending the evening of his life in cultivating a little patch of land on the public domain in the northern part of the Territory of Arizona, on a beautiful little stream called the Hasiamp.
“In the early settlement of our western country the pioneers formed the advancing wave of civilization, and were generously sustained by the friends and relatives they had left behind; but the pioneers of Arizona leaped beyond the reach of succor and led the forlorn hope of civilization. Self-reliant and full of manhood, they went forth to battle alone. And manfully they bore themselves in the struggle, until overborne by the misfortunes which have nearly enveloped the nation in ruin. Many of them had seen the glorious banner of our country carried to the