By Maurice Winternitz
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Many of the stories will be new to the reader. The Indian owns no telegraph, employs no press reporter, and his side of the story is unknown to the people. Nations, like individuals, reap exactly what they sow; they who sow robbery reap robbery. The seed-sowing of iniquity replies in a harvest of blood. The American people have accepted as truth the teaching that the Indians were a degraded, brutal race of savages, whom it was the will of God should perish at the approach of civilization. If they do not say with our Puritan fathers that these are the Hittites who are to be driven out before the saints of the Lord, they do accept the teaching that manifest destiny will drive the Indians from the earth.
Whipple, the Episcopal bishop of Minnesota, had agreed to write the preface, and President Julius H. Seelye of Amherst College had agreed to provide an introduction. , in 1862 to plead the cause of the Santee Sioux, whose raids had devastated his home state. He completed the preface in New York on November 11, 1880, while Seelye, writing from the college, finished his contribution on December 10. In early January 1881, Jackson received a "wet copy" of A Century of Dishonor from Harper and Brothers, who had guaranteed her ten percent of the royalties in the May 21, 1880, contract.
JULIUS H. SEELYE. AMHERST COLLEGE, DECEMBER 10, 1880. Page 7 Author's Note. All the quotations in this book, where the name of the authority is not cited, are from Official Reports of the War Department or the Department of the Interior. The book gives, as its title indicates, only a sketch, and not a history. To write in full the history of any one of these Indian communities, of its forced migrations, wars, and miseries, would fill a volume by itself. The history of the missionary labors of the different churches among the Indians would make another volume.
A History of Indian Literature. Vol. I. by Maurice Winternitz