Re: Indian Genocide



There is absolutely no evidence that the American Government had an official (or as some claim unofficial )policy of exterminating all Indians…>>>

While there was probably no “written” policy on the matter, the treatment of Indians at the time of Andrew Jackson certainly shows a consistent and persistent effort to remove the native peoples from areas desired by whites.

As for the policy after the War of Secession, I think the sentiments of Gen. William Sherman settle the matter most succinctly. Sherman, as general-in-chief of the army, had much to do with post-war Indian campaigns. This is covered in Michael Fellman’s book, CITIZEN SHERMAN (Random House, 1995). Sherman wrote in 1866, "It is one of those irreconcilable conflicts that will end only in one way, one or the other must be exterminated …" And again, "We must act with vindictive earnestness against the Sioux, even to the extermination, men, women and children."

[p. 264] Sherman became Sheridan’s superior, and biographer Fellman has this to say [p. 271]: "Although Sherman had not ordered an extermination campaign in so many words, he had given Sheridan prior authorization to slaughter as many women and children as well as men Sheridan or his subordinates felt was necessary when they attacked Indian villages. However many they killed, Sherman would cover the political and media front. They were freed to do anything. At the same time, Sherman maintained personal deniability—he could assert in any public forum that he had not ordered any atrocities that might occur." Sherman also declared: "The more Indians we can kill this year, the less will have to be killed next year, for the more I see of these Indians, the more convinced I am that they all have to be killed or be maintained as a species of paupers."

Valerie Protopapas