They [Indians] were destined to melt and vanish before the advancing waves of Anglo-American power, which now rolled westward unchecked and unopposed.
Some races of men seem molded in wax, soft and melting, at once plastic
and feeble. Some races, like some metals, combine the greatest
flexibility with the greatest
strength. But the Indian is hewn out of a rock. You cannot
change the form
without destruction of the substance. Such, at least'
has too often proved the case.
Races of inferior energy have possessed a power of expansion
and assimilation to which he is a stranger; and it is this fixed
and rigid quality which
has proved his ruin. He will not learn the arts of civilization,
and he and his
perish together. The stern, unchanging features of his
mind excite our admiration, from their very immutability; and we look
with deep interest on the fate
of this irreclaimable son of the wilderness, the child
will not be
weaned from the
breast of his rugged mother. And our interest increases
when we discern in the unhappy wanderer, mingled among his vices, the
germs of heroic
bountiful to bestow, as it is rapacious to seize, and,
in extremes" famine,
imparting its last morsel to a fellow-sufferer; a heart which, strong in friendship
as in hate, thinks it not too much to lay down life for its chosen comrade;
a soul true to its own idea of honor, and burning with an unquenchable thirst
greatness and renown.