This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V22", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
A friend who has in past times been the traveling companion of the Editor through wild Western regions, thus writes:
"I have just returned from south-eastern Kansas, and thought of you when I picked up this little (enclosed) arrow head, which I am sorry is not a better specimen. Ever since you took such an interest in our friend B's Indian stories, I never see an Indian but I think of you. The traces of Indians in the locality I have been lately, are nearly as completely obliterated, as where I now reside. The last Indian trail has about disappeared from the north bank of my ravine: and the only signs I saw twenty miles south of Fort Scott, were about a dozen trails parallel with each other, where mounted Indians had been in the habit of riding to Fort Scott to draw blankets, and rifles, powder and bullets from the government to shoot the settlers, and hunting knives to scalp the poor women and children. You and I judge Indians from different standpoints, just as florists judge roses from different standpoints: some for their form and color, others from their odor, and others from the description in the catalogue. I confess that their odor may have prejudiced me against them, for I know I do not admire them as you do. I think you admire them for their color and description, and that you have taken the description from Cooper (in his novels) and the coloring from Catlin in his pictures.
Really this is too serious a matter for jest, and I do not know what is to be done with them. All sentimentality must be laid aside, sometime, and then they will be treated like other people. The government, when they want any white man's land for the public convenience condemns the land and pays the owner what it is worth, and it seems to me they could do the same with the Indians, and make them obey the laws just as white men are compelled to obey the laws or abide the consequences. If a lot of tramps should band together and murder a few such men as Gen. Canby and our friend Meeker, I do not think the government would send a few well meaning gentlemen to parley and have a month's talk with them.
[Perhaps the nation began wrong, and we are suffering for our own errors. No man has a natural right to the soil. There is as much truth as poetry in the song of the ancient: "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof." Mankind start on the earth all alike: but some make two blades of grass grow where the Lord only made one, and society regards it as its interest to give that man a title to that which he improves: and it is then his to sell, to give or to deed to others.
But we started to recognize a right and title to land which was never improved. There was nothing in nature, or in any society law of right which gave a man who merely ran wild over a piece of land a title to it. But we pretended to believe there was: and we gave beads, red rags and other little things, to cover up our sham belief.
If the Indians do anything to make the land of any more value than when it came fresh from the hand of nature, that value should be just the measure in which they should be paid. They have no other rights, or ought to have. But the trouble is we have taught them differently, and it requires superior statemanship to deal with the question, and do justice to all. - Ed. G. M].