My dear Sir,
I have been thinking a little today on what you mentioned to me --- viz. --- The adoption of some plan by which the Nat. Chief would be satisfied and allow the Settlers' Stock to graze on their lands; --- and, as it may be several days ere I may see you, and as I wish you to know early my thoughts on the subject (if of any service), lest you should, in talking with the Chief, hold out to them any prospect of gain, etc. --- I now write to give you a few of them for your consideration.
Of course, I know very well that they wish some arrangement to be made by which they may gain by the grass, etc. on their waste lands; --- I, however, would (for the benefit of all) strenuously oppose it. --- For,
1/ Such would keep back (perhaps altogether) the Sale to Govt. of these Plains:---
2. Enhance their price considerably when sold. ---
3. Open wide door to their taking-in Cattle (from Settlers) to graze.---
4. Retard their Civilization.
5. Perhaps cause difficulties elsewhere --- as precedents of such a nature (gain!) fly among the Natives: --- such as --- Their making reserves of grassy (Baiting) places. ---
---Their making reserves of grassy belts around proposed site of township.---
---Their making demands for grass eaten by Travellers' Horses, Stock in driving, etc. etc.
6. All "Runs" adjoining Natives' Ground and all Natives Waste Land adjoining Runs should be on the "give --- and-take" system: as all Natives now have stock, which is largely increasing: Such has been, all along, done by Mr. Alexander.---
7. No impounding should be allowed for trespass on open waste unimproved ground --- for, from the fact of half of them being idle, they would give settlers terrible annoyance.
8. They themselves in travelling (often in large parties) over Govt. grounds, or even Private property --- would never pay for their Horses, etc. grazing.---
9. Impounding (of course) proper, in case of trespass on enclosed Lands, and Cultivations --- but here proper fences should be imperatively required:--- For such would
---Cause them to fence well:---
---Cause them to cease wandering from spot to spot.
---Cause them to sell their surplus land---
---Cause them to abandon some of their rapacious desires.---
10. Besides, a small sum (not even ten times the
amount per head, or per acre, now paid to the Govt.) would not satisfy them:--- and, if a large sum were paid, it would in all probability, be seized by the Principal Chief;--- which would (I fear) go to encourage his idleness and rapacity --- cause him to encourage such stock coming about his Land; which would serve to annoy the tribe (they not gaining any of the profits) and they would, perhaps, privately injure the stock, etc.
11. Further there would be no manner of justice in so acting; such being the common custom with Govt. Lands --- which moreover have been paid for --- while theirs cost them nothing.---
12. I verily believe that the sooner they are dealt with, as if they were really and truly British subjects, the better for them, and for their children, and for us.
--- One Law, one Rule, one manner of acting for all: at least for all in this District --- seeing how few they are, how well provided they are (or may be), and how far they are advanced --- some, even beyond some of our own countrymen.---
Pray excuse, my dear Sir, the freedom of these few remarks --- written, too, roughly.---
And believe me
Every very truly Yours
To:--D. McLean Esq.