The Kiowa Indian affair, 1871-1875



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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the underlying and directing motives of the Indian Policy of the federal and states governments in the case of the Kiowa Indians during the years 1871-1875. Three major areas concerning the Indian problem were investigated: (1) treaties and laws, (2) the “Peace Policy,” and (3) public opinion and action concerning the Indian problem. Methods: The historical method of investigation was used in collecting information for this study. Primary sources were examined at the States Archives in Austin. Secondary works were obtained at the Sam Houston State Teachers College and the University of Texas. Newspapers of the period were referred to at the State Archives and at the Houston Public Library. Findings: The facts presented in this study indicate that the following conclusions appear to be in order: 1. An effort was made to care for the Indians when the white men encroached upon the land that had been their home land, but this did not satisfy the Indians. 2. The Indians were not to executed for their wrong deeds, but some white men must be made to bear part of the blame. 3. Laws were made to protect the white settlers, but many of the provisions were not enforced until public opinion demanded their enforcement. 4. Advocates of the “Peace Policy” did much to encourage the Indians to live peacefully on the reservation, but they had to agree that some of the Indians could not be changed by kind treatment and that severe punishment which could not best be administered by military forces was needed. 5. The Salt Creek Raid marked a turning point in the philosophy of dealing with the Indians, for the leaders of this raid were the first Indians to be tried and convicted in a civil court. At this time a precedent was established by which future marauders were punished. 6. Public opinion was the directing force in the formation and application of policies dealing with the Indians.



Kiowa Indians--History, Kiowa Indians--Government relations, Native American History