Saturday, March 8, 2008

Considerant’s Prejudice for and Ignorance of the Native Populations

Considerant met Brisbane in Batavia, Ohio, near Cincinnati. On April 30, 1854, they began their tour of possible settlement sites in Texas, traveling by boat down the Ohio to the Mississippi, then up the Arkansas to Fort. Smith. Considerant described Fort Smith as the “complete civilization, young, alert, and flourishing.” By horseback, he and Brisbane rode through Oklahoma Indian territory, which he described as “rude and savage. Entering northern Texas, the beauty of the geography waxed Considerant ecstatic:

Nature has done all. All is prepared, all is arranged; we have only to raise those buildings which the eye is astonished at not finding; and nothing is appropriated nor separated by the selfish exclusiveness of civilized man; nothing is cramped. What fields of action! What a theatre of manoeuvres for a great colonization operating in the combined and collective mode! What reserves for the cradle of Harmony, and how powerful and prompt would be its development, if the living and willing elements of the World of the Future were transported there! A horizon of new ideas, new sentiments and hopes, suddenly opened before me, and I felt myself baptized in an American faith.

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