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Ladies of the Association, and friends:

This meeting is at once the result and the evidence of a deep and abiding interest in the American Indians. Of these, there are now, within the limits of the United States, exclusive of Alaska, about 260,000, a quarter of a million, enough to make seven or eight cities of the size of Portland. They are mainly in our western interior, driven very far back from the Atlantic coast, and being also pressed back from the Pacific coast. Almost infinitesimal are the living fragments that have been broken off from the tribes, and have a place among the whites. Asked to speak of these people, this evening, I consented gladly, but timidly, gladly because of my sympathy with the cause, timidly, because of my lack of any special and intimate knowledge of Indian affairs, and of the Indian question. And when I considered what to say, my mind at once put to me this question, Why, with your merely general knowledge of this matter, do you feel such keen interest, and such readiness to assert it? I began to look around for the reasons and seemed to myself to have found some of them. I have written them out, and decided to bring them here this evening, as my contribution to this feast.

Rev. Dr. George D.B. Pepper

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B. Thurston & Company


Portland, Maine


Women's National Indian Association, Portland Maine, Indians of North America


Reverend Dr. George D.B. (Dana Boardman) Pepper served as the 9th President of Colby College from 1882-1889.

Address at the Annual Meeting of the Maine Branch of the Women's National Indian Association: Portland, Maine, January 24, 1887



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