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Page:Harvard Law Review Volume 2.djvu/193

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States Senate, — a bill deservedly known as the Thayer Bill, from the fact that its original suggestion and its outline and the matur- ing of its provisions in detail are chiefly due to the labors of Pro- fessor James B. Thayer, of the Harvard Law School.

In the present situation to which the course of events just described in outline has led, there are immense areas of land within the United States, belonging to us as a nation, and in- habited by a considerable population, which are now in a condi- tion of lawlessness, mitigated only by arbitrary power. The act of 1885, already referred to, and several other recent statutes, have begun to create exceptions to this statement ; but with very slight qualifications in view of such exceptions, it remains true that the most thorough-going anarchist may find the state of society which he desires to establish already in existence upon the reservations. If justice to the Indians would allow it, banishment to a reserva- tion might be the most fitting punishment for a convicted anarchist.

If the numbers or the property of Indians were decreasing, it might be well to consider whether time might not be trusted to put an end to the shameful condition of lawlessness which the gov- ernment is now maintaining, and, for the lack of proper legislation, is compelled to maintain. But the most careful investigations re- cently made show that the Indians are increasing in numbers ; and a very slight familiarity with the subject will satisfy any one that the property rights of Indians and the pecuniary value of those rights are increasing very rapidly. So far from being " a vanish- ing subject," the necessity of law for the Indians is one steadily growing, in a geometrical ratio, and it is growing in importance for the whites as well as for the Indians.

Difficulties inherent in the subject will \indoubtedly embarrass any attempt to supply this imperative want. The extent of terri- tory and the comparative ' sparseness of population make the ad- ministration of civil or criminal justice expensive; the ignorance of civilized usages and forms of procedure, under which such a people must labor when first subjected to civilized justice, and the antipathies of race and the animosities of warfare, must deprive trial by jury of much of the effectiveness and the confidence necessary to its usefulness ; and, perhaps still more serious than these difficulties, the exemption from taxation for many years to come accorded to lands owned by Indians in severalty, while intended to protect