Having given the subject of conspiracy a great deal of thought, it recently occurred to me that the history of U.S. Indian policy provides a great deal of evidence about white men conspiring (planning) to eliminate American Indians. Take the example of Thomas Jefferson’s plan, expressed in a private letter to Northwest Territory Governor William Henry Harrison, regarding the use of trading posts. What did Jefferson propose? Simple: “…we shall push our trading houses, and be glad to see the good and influential individuals among them run in debt, because we observe that when these debts get beyond what the individuals can pay, they become willing to lop them off by a cession of lands.”
What long term goal did Jefferson have in mind? “In this way our settlements will gradually circumscribe and approach the Indians, and they will in time either incorporate with us as citizens of the United States, or remove beyond the Mississippi.” Jefferson saw the first idea (to “incorporate with us as citizens”) as resulting “certainly the termination of their history most happy for themselves…”
In other words, in the event that the Indians became merged “as citizens” into the body politic of the United States, Jefferson envisioned a time when our nations and peoples would no longer exist. How curious that Jefferson saw the prospect of Indians no longer existing as a “happy for themselves.”
When we consider Jefferson’s well thought out plan to run influential Indians into debt and then getting them to part with large amounts of Indian lands to resolve or settle that debt, does this constitute a conspiracy? After all, Jefferson’s envisioning, and a great deal else, was ultimately carried out by white men in the U.S. government. Did they “conspire” to take over hundreds of millions of acres of Indian lands, or did they just “plan” to do so?
How about what was once known as “the Indian System”? Was that system conspiratorial? In 1978, historian David A. Nichols published Lincoln and the Indians, a book that recounts the hanging of 38 Dakota Indians in Mankato, Minnesota in 1862. To set the context for that heinous event, Nichols explained the Indian System as follows:
“The Indian System revolved around the efforts of rapacious white men to commandeer these [[treaty annuity] monies. Again and again, tribes were moved to barren country where they could not sustain themselves, either by hunting or farming. That opened the monetary floodgates, creating a demand for contractors and traders to provide provisions, with payment overseen by the Indian agent. The system featured every conceivable kind of financial corruption—kickbacks, inflated prices, false claims, and payments for goods and services never actually delivered.”
Nichols continued: “most of this money never trickled down to the Natives. Starving Indians became commonplace in the West; such starvation was precisely what touched off the Indian war in Minnesota in 1862” which resulted in the hanging of the 38.”
Was that starvation the result of what we now know as “conspiracy”?
The Winnebagos as well as the Dakotas were removed from Minnesota as a result of the 1862 war, which had resulted from the iniquities of the Indian System. The Winnebagos were removed west to the Dakota Territory. As Nichols points out: “There were thirteen hundred Indians, only one hundred and sixteen of whom were males fifteen years or older.” Camped around the Winnebagos were nearly six hundred white people. And what were they doing there? “They all live one way or another from the Governmental appointments.”
Were the 600 white people “conspiring” to feed off the misery of the Winnebagos, or just planning to do so?
READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: On Conspiracy, Part 1 – ICTMN.com.