1826 - Establishing Indian Territory

A map from 1885 depicting territories of various tribes 'removed' to the Indian Territory of Oklahoma.

           Upon establishing an Indian Territory in the West, Secretary of War James Barbour stated: "the future residence of these people will forever be undisturbed; there, at least, they will find a home and a resting place; and being exclusively under the control of the United States, and, consequently, free from the rival claims of any of the States, the former may plight its most solemn faith that it shall be theirs forever; and this guaranty is therefore given."

          By now, all pretentions to assimilation of the Indians into mainstream society had been cast aside in favor of segregation and exile.  When that failed and resulted in Indian Wars later in the 19th century, the federal government would once again champion the idea of assimilation, and use that failed concept as a justification for illegally throwing open Indian lands to white settlement during the Allotment Era.