The influence of civilization on the North American Indian

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MacPherson, Robert James
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The question is not a new one. Indeed, so much has been said and written on the subject that one might be tempted to think the literature treating of it altogether out of proportion to its importance. Certainly this literature has been so long in accumulating that we are at least led to suppose that nothing new can be said, and that any importance there is in the question was realized long ago. This, however, is not true, for much that is in print on the Indians might, just so far as their well-being is concerned, have been left unwritten. The one thing that gave it birth was the fascination of a subject so congenial to minds fond of real and rarest incident. The history of no other people can afford so much delightful romance, or startling adventure, or courageous enterprise, compressed in so short a period, as can that of the Indians of North America. Hence it is only to comparatively few of the legion of authors that the material importance of the subject has at all appealed, and therefore by even a lesser number that it has been treated in a judicious and interested manner.