Indians in Major Douglas’ area had declared they held adequate amounts of weapons to protect their families and tribes when whites began attacking them in the spring. Douglas expressed his strong disdain for Indians who had the ability to protect themselves, and great impatience with various traders who so enabled the Indians.
In his view, Indians’ self-protection was irrelevant in comparison to the more important need to prevent non-Indians from being imperiled. Douglas’ report to Sherman and Hancock reiterated the same view held by the two Generals and their peers. Douglas summed up that view as follows:
“The Interior Department does not seem to appreciate the danger of this arming of the Indians. The evil of presenting a revolver to each of the chiefs of bands would hardly be appreciable, but when the whole rank and file are thus armed, it not only gives them greater courage to murder and plunder, but renders them formidable enemies.”
One hundred forty-seven years later, history is about to repeat itself in the Republic of the United States of America – but in an expanded fashion. Today, resentment of those who possess weapons necessary for self- and family-protection is not directed solely toward Native American Indians. Rather, it is directed toward all people (law abiding, or not).
To what degree will history be permitted to repeat itself?
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Source: Major H. Douglas, 3rd Infantry, Commanding Post, Ft. Dodge, KS, Report to Lt. Gen. William T. Sherman (St. Louis, MO) and Maj. Gen. Winfield S. Hancock (Ft. Leavenworth, KS), in Exec. Documents, House of Representatives, 2nd session of 41st Congress 1869-1870, vol. 3, Ser. Set 1425, pp 46-48, Wash. D.C.: Govt. Printing Office, 1870.