By Helen Hunt Jackson
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Extra info for A Century of Dishonor: A Sketch of the United States Government’s Dealings with Some of the Indian Tribes
In vain would Nature give us a right to refuse submitting to injustice, in vain would she oblige others to be just in their dealings with us, if we could not lawfully make use of force when they refused to discharge this duty. The just would lie at the mercy of avarice and injustice, and all their rights would soon become useless. From the foregoing right arise, as two distinct branches, first, the right of a just defence, which be- 22 A CENTURY OF DISHONOR. longs to every nation, or the right of making war against whoever attacks her and her rights; and this is the foundation of defensive war.
There is among some of the later writers on jurisprudence a certain fashion of condescending speech in their quotations from Vattel. As years have gone on, and States have grown more powerful, and their relations more complicated by reason of selfishness and riches, less and less has been said about the law of nature as a component and unalterable part of the law of nations. Fine subtleties of definition, of limitation have been attempted. Hundreds of pages are full of apparently learned discriminations between the parts of that law which are based on the law of nature and the parts which are based on the consent and usage of nations.
We have told you before we wished to pursue just steps, and we are determined they shall appear just and reasonable in the eyes of the world. This is the determination of all the chiefs of our confederacy now assembled here, notwithstanding the accidents that have happened in our villages, even when in THE DELAWARES. ” Beyond that river even the wildest dream of greed did not at that time look. ” I have not yet seen, in any accounts of the Indian hostilities on the North-western frontier during this period, any reference to those repeated permissions given by the United States to the Indians, to defend their lands as they saw fit.