Grover Cleveland

Special Message

January 05, 1888

To the Senate and House of Representatives:

I transmit herewith a communication of the 23d ultimo from the Secretary of the Interior, submitting a draft of a bill "to provide for the reduction of the Round Valley Indian Reservation, in the State of California, and for other purposes," with accompanying papers relating thereto. The documents thus submitted exhibit extensive and entirely unjustifiable encroachments upon lands set apart for Indian occupancy and disclose a disregard of Indian rights so long continued that the Government can not further temporize without positive dishonor. Efforts to dislodge trespassers upon these lands have in some cases been resisted upon the ground that certain moneys due from the Government for improvements have not been paid. So far as this claim is well founded the sum necessary to extinguish the same should be at once appropriated and paid. In other cases the position of these intruders is one of simple and barefaced wrongdoing, plainly questioning the inclination of the Government to protect its dependent Indian wards and its ability to maintain itself in the guaranty of such protection.

These intruders should forthwith feel the weight of the Government's power. I earnestly commend the situation and the wrongs of the Indians occupying the reservation named to the early attention of the Congress, and ask for the bill herewith transmitted careful and prompt attention.


Grover Cleveland, Special Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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