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Richard Irving Dodge. The Hunting Grounds of the Great West A Description of the Plains, Game, and Indians of the Great North American Desert. London: Chatto & Windus, 1877. First Edition. A very good plus first separate edition. Scarce. Parisian binding by Brentano’s is solid, tight, and square. 3/4 leather over marbled boards. Five raised bands and gilt title stamping on spine. Scuffs to leather on spine. Minor wear to edge of boards. Gilt top edge. Modest foxing on fore edge and bottom. Marbled endpapers. Previous owner’s bookplate. Protected frontis of the author with lithographic author inscription. Numerous illustrations by Ernest Griset. Complete with foldout map, map showing a 3/4 in tear at gutter. Some spotting to pages. 440 pages plus 32 page catalog from March of 1877. Octavo 6 x 9 inches tall. Very good +. Three quarter leather.
“Lieutenant Colonel Dodge displays a great knowledge of the lands inhabited , by the remaining Indian tribes, of the game and hunting yet left in these regions in spite of the recklessness of modern sportsmen and of skin-traders, and, what is more interesting to intelligent per sons, of the manner of life and customs of the Indians themselves; although, as an ofﬁcial, he certainly is disposed to do them scant justice. He has asked Mr. Blackmore to write a preface to the book ; and it is curious to see how far the colleagues differ as to facts and principles, and yet agree as to conclusions. It is to be feared that almost all Americans look upon the extinction of the Indians as an immutable decree of nature. Mr. Blackmore says that three great mistakes have been made in the relations between the United States Government and the Indians : that the Government has not fulﬁlled its treaty engagements; that the “Indian agents” perpetrate frauds which constantly enable them to retire quickly with good fortunes; and that the whites make encroachments on the Indians. Mr. Dodge says that three mistakes are: that the Government has failed to enforce its treaty obligations ; that it has dealt with the Indians through two departments; and that it has yielded too much to the sentimental humanitarian element of the country. Mr. Blackmore appeals to the happy experience of the Canadian Government, which reconciles and civilises the Indians of the Dominion by fair treaties fairly adhered to. Mr. Dodge says that the treaty system is entirely a wrong one, and is not adopted in Canada. Mr. Dodge also admits the frauds committed on the Indians,’ and wishes the tribes to be as rapidly as possible sub jected to the ordinary laws of the United States; to punish “cohabitation, miscalled marriage (of white men) with Indian women ;” to discourage most distinctly the introduction of “liquors, arms, ammunition, and property of any kind taken without authority into the Indian country for trafﬁc with Indians;” to reform the Indian agencies, and severely to restrict Indians to “reservations.” Then he thinks the Indians may be civilised. Mr. Blackmore looks upon their disappearance as certain, but that may only be because he despairs of their receiving justice, much more kindness. The volume is a valuable book of reference for all whose hearts are stirred by the pressing question whether these aboriginal tribes are or are not to be driven off the face of the earth by the only too frequently unscrupulous white man. It may not be ﬁt for a guide, but it is certainly the exponent of a large mass of opinion.” — The Westminster Review