James Irby Bailiff (1903-1999) is the man in uniform
Courtesy of BailiffFamily.com and provided by Mary Bailiff Crittendon
"We must make the Indian more intelligently selfish before we can make him unselfishly intelligent. We need to awaken in him wants. In his dull savagery he must be touched by the angel of discontent. Then he begins to look forward, to reach out. The desire for property of his own may become an intense educating force. The wish for a home of his own awakens him to new efforts. Discontent with the teepee and the staving rations of the Indian camp in winter is needed to get the Indian out of the blanket and into trousers -- and trousers with a pocket in them, and a packet that aches to be filled with dollars!?So Congress passed what became known as the Dawes Severalty Act of 1887. This Commission was responsible for negotiating agreements with the Five Civilized Tribes – the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole. The stated objective of the Dawes Act was to stimulate assimilation of Indians into American society. Individual ownership of land was seen as an essential step. The act also provided that the government would purchase Indian land "excess" to that needed for allotment and open it up for settlement by non-Indians.
A 1911 ad offering "allotted Indian land" for sale
Senator Dawes went to his grave thinking his legislation was the "Indian Magna Carta."