Philadelphia 6 mo. 11/71
I write partly to express my sympathy with thee in thy responsibile service
for the Master -- but more especially at this time to encourage to use every
proper effort to secure for Satanta & his companions in crime a punishment
consistent with the precepts of Christianity. I rejoice that there is a
prospect of their trial by civil process, & that these unruly Kiowas
are likely to learn that wrong-doing on their part will bring upon them
the same penalties as like conduct would bring upon the pale faces.
But how earnestly do I desire that their lives may be spared & Christian
influences brought to bear for their conversion & salvation.
Will not the effect upon the tribe be far better for these criminals to
be held in close confinement during their natural lives than for them to
receive the common penalty for murder in the first degree?
I am quite unfamiliar with the law of Texas, but suppose it provides the
death penalty for such crimes. But cannot thou, or cannot we, secure through
the Governor of the State, or otherwise, a commutation to imprisonment for
I am apprehensive that the feeling of the white frontiersmen is such that
they will demand immediate trial, conviction & execution -- but in hope
that I can strengthen thy hands in some little measure to use every exertion
to secure for them a punishment more consistent with our sense of right,
as well as more politic for the nation -- & desiring the Lord's blessing
upon all thy labors for the advancement of the Indian toward a Christian
civilization -- I pen this hasty note.
Very truly thy friend,
John B. Garrett