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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained

Meeting of the Indian Rights and Massachusetts Indian Association.


The meeting of the Indian Rights Association of the women of Cambridge in Sanders Theatre last evening was opened by an address from Prof. James B. Thayer, the presiding officer of the evening. Prof. Thayer called attention to the prohibitory legislation over the Indian.

The mere fact that no one can sell intoxicating liquors to any tribal Indian is not an evidence of the Indians' protection, but is simply an outgrowth of the policy of the United States government to restrict commercial intercourse with the Indian.

The Indian is penned in his reservation with none of the rights of the United States Constitution except the riuht of childish appeal. He has no courts; no law except that administered through the despotic Indian Agent. Prof. Thayer suggested as a remedy the extension of the civil service rights and advantages to the Indian, and said that the great cause of the evil was a lack of thorough investigation by the department of Indian affairs at Washington, which seems impossible with the four years office system.

Dr. Lyman Abbott was then introduced. Dr. Abbott said that six or seven years had been spent in expounding principles which had more or less all been conceded to by the United States government, and that now was the time when immediate action was necessary. The reservations will ultimately all go. The thing then and now to do is, treat the Indian like any other man. The Supreme Court decided within a few days that the Indian was the ward of the nation, and their lands open to its legislation, which is simply acknowledging him a citizen. The thing to be feared now is inertia on the part of those who have been striving for these changes.

Prof. Painter of Washington followed Dr. Abbott with an account of the present state of the Indian in different quarters of the country, and the state of their legislation at Washington.

After a few closing remarks by the presiding officer the society went into private session.

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