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Date -- 1800-1820 (Remove)
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Title | Creator | Date Made Visible | None

Thomas L. McKenney to James Barbour

McKenney, Thomas Loraine, 1785-1859

Thomas McKenney, the current Superintendent of Indian Affairs, wrote this letter to James Barbour, Secretary of War, explaining the perceived success of the government?s attempts to ?civilize? Indian tribes. As part of this process of ?civilization,? the government believed that it was necessary for native groups to become assimilated into white American society by adopting white agricultural methods, Christianity, and other elements of European American culture. Thomas McKenney was a passionate proponent of this system, and so he included a transcription of a letter written by a Cherokee man named David Brown who describes how his people had adopted Christianity, a republican form of government, and other elements of white culture. According to McKenney, as well as many other white Americans during this time period, the ?civilization? process had a positive effect on Native Americans. McKenney also advocated Indian removal, writing that ?should they retain their present location [within the United States] they will, in the course of a few years, be lost as a race.?

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