President Chester Arthur set aside lands for the Hopi and the Navajo and raised the ire of white citizens in the Southwest
Against type (and public opinion),
President Chester Arthur set aside 4,000 square miles of land in
northern Arizona - all held in public domain - for the
exclusive use of the Hopi. The purpose of this order was to
prevent Mormons from claiming the land under the Homestead laws
(Desert Lands Act).
And for good
reason. When General Sherman was asked by reporters in
Washington D.C. to describe Indian reservations, Sherman replied:
"An Indian reservation is a parcel of land set aside for the
exclusive use of Indians, and is surrounded by thieves."