Our history will be but a shadow, and the names of Ripley, Hall, Whitney, DeCoster, Campbell, Fitzgerald, Weymer, Salisbury, Dougherty, Atkinson, VanNess, Mitchell, Dorman, Taylor, Evans, Skinner, Jewett, Kennedy, Stevens, Harvey, Piper, Caswell, Angier, Willis, Dart, Whitcomb, King, Greenleaf, Branham. Fitch, Ball, Hoyt, Griswold, Grayson, Stanton, Robson, Richards, Gorton, Wakefield, Heath, Warren, Willie, Kruger, Ralston, Schultz and a score of others will soon be enveloped in doubt and fiction, like those of “Romulus and Remus of Charlemagne.”
Prior to 1855 the country now embraced within the boundaries of Meeker and Kandiyohi counties, in the State of Minnesota, was occupied by those denizens of the forest known as the Sioux Indians.
This is their old stamping ground. The Mississippi River was the dividing line between the Sioux and Chippewa, and for centuries they are said to have nursed a deadly feud. The former heroes of this territory, the Sioux, were and still are, perhaps among the most powerful of the Indian tribes in the northwest. These, like all other tribes are gradually losing their prestige and compelled to leave their reservations granted at some prior period, in apparent good faith. Their fate is inevitable. The only practical law of what we call civilization is, that the inferior in prowess, yield to the superior race. The doctrine is cruel and inhuman, not to say “savage,” but unavoidable and imperative. Crowd the Indian to the wall wait a time for further decimation, then drive them into still narrower limits and soon, till the Indian canoe with its solitary occupant, disappears toward the setting sun, and is finally lost to sight and sense, and the life of one race, whose glory was to hunt and fish, gives place to another more powerful but with as little regard to moral and intellectual attainment except so far as it is enforced by law falsely denominated the law of civilization. Statistics of the Indian war in Meeker county alone will justify what we say. The course and policy of the United States toward the Indian tribes, has ever resulted in peculation to the operators and death to the Indian, with no more prospect of civilization or christianization to-day, than one hundred years ago. Government might quite as well enforce the practice of the” Oneida Institute” on the American people, as to drive christianity or civilization into the Indian in the manner it has sought to do for more than a century past.
Smith, A. C., A random historical sketch of Meeker County, Minnesota: from its first settlement to July 4th, 1876,;Litchfield, Minn.: Belfoy & Joubert, 1877.