Jun 16, 2022 - Sale 2609

Sale 2609 - Lot 163

Price Realized: $ 2,125
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 800 - $ 1,200
"THE INDIAN IS A GREAT GAMBLER AND THE POSSESSION OF MONEY WOULD PROMOTE THAT" HARRISON, BENJAMIN. Letter Signed, "BenjHarrison," as President, to Mrs. Elizabeth E. Coolidge, responding to the recommendations she conveys from Bishop [William Hobart] Hare, suggesting that annuities paid to Indians would tend be used to buy whisky, generalizing that Indians are by nature gamblers, acknowledging that the present system impoverishes Indians, and proposing that U.S. laws give more discretion to Indian executive officers. 2 pages, 4to, "Executive Mansion" stationery, written on a folded sheet, ruled paper; horizontal folds. With the original envelope. Washington, 16 February 1891

Additional Details

"I . . . notice what you say about Bishop Hare's suggestions as to the management of the Indians. I . . . do not doubt his sincere and intelligent interest in the Indians; and, yet, I do very much doubt the wisdom of the suggestions that the annuities to the Indians should be paid in money. I think the first effect would certainly be quite unfavorable, if not disastrous. There would be more whisky and fewer blankets. The Indian is a great gambler and the possession of money would promote that vice among them. In all the patents for allotments it has been thought necessary to deprive the Indian of the right of alienation for twenty-five years, upon the theory, no doubt generally correct, that the white man would have the lands and the Indians nothing in a short time if he was allowed to deal with him freely. I fully appreciate the fact that there is much in the present Indian system that tends to pauperize. Perhaps the trouble is that our laws deal with all Indians on the same plane and do not give the Executive officers discretion to deal with each Indian according to his intelligence and capabilities."