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Page:Harvard Law Review Volume 2.djvu/196

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dents' estates, trustees, and guardians. These provisions are founded on the obvious expectation that the creation of property rights in Indians and the right of contract will necessarily lead, on a considerable scale, as it has already begun to do, to the same questions and differences requiring judicial adjustment which, civilized life always involves.

It is an axiom in our free government that the existence of remedies is essential to the enjoyment of rights ; and nothing is clearer in the problem of the future of the Indians than that ade- quate means, accessible and comparatively inexpensive to them, for the peaceable adjustment of questions of property, contract, and domestic relations, are absolutely essential in order to foster and promote their civilization and good citizenship. Any sug- gestions which can render such a system of tribunals more simple, more easily accessible, more efficacious, and more inexpensive will doubtless be welcome ; but the complexity or expensiveness of a system of tribunals for such sparse and ignorant communities of people of hitherto lawless habits is not to be measured by comparing it with the inexpensive justices' courts which a New England town maintains by self-imposed taxes. It is to be meas- ured by comparing it with the standing army now necessary, every man of which, in the Indian country, costs, by official com- putation, $1,000 a year.

Section 8 provides for the appointment of committing magis- trates for each reservation, exercising powers in aid of the juris- diction of the courts mentioned in the previous clauses.

Inasmuch as the powers of courts of special and limited juris- diction are strictly construed, and do not, without express author- ity, include the inherent powers of courts of general jurisdiction, it seems wise to provide expressly that these courts may exercise the power which a court of equity has always had, to allow a person, from any cause incompetent to protect his own rights, to appear by next friend ; and in view of the great proportion of cases in which incompetency of Indians would render a similar safeguard necessary to secure justice, and the expense of providing for sep- arate appointments in every case, provision is made by section 9 for a standing next friend, to be paid by the government, and to act as a next friend in a court of equity does, on behalf of any In- dian needing such assistance.