Accumulation by Conquest

“General Mitchell insisted, as he did before, that the earth belonged to the people on it per capita, and no Indian had any more right to increased acreage than the white brother had. And he also pointed out to Mr. Indian that here the Indian had no primary right to the soil, but that it belonged originally to those from whom the Sioux had taken it when the Chippewas, their ancient enemy, had driven them west. And that rights to land, if accumulated by conquest by the Indians, could be accumulated by the whites. Mitchell had his speech well in hand, as he had before, and he argued with the Indian at every point. The council was entirely uneventful. The pipe of peace was passed around, and we all smoked it with a stoic and reverential silence. The Indian being told that he had no right to the Platte valley unless he wanted to use or cultivate it, appeared to see the propriety of letting those have it who could use it. At any rate, he preferred molasses, hard-bread and bacon to the occupation of the river valley. He knew there was no game along the river-bed where the wagons were constantly going, and it was of no value to him whatever; therefore three-point Mackinaw blankets that were nice and red, appealed to him strongly.”