- This extract comes from a long report written by Sir Francis Head.
He was a senior British official in North America. Like all Europeans
of the time, he describes the Native Americans as 'Indians'. When the
first Europeans discovered America they were looking for India, which
is why Native Americans were called Indians.
- Sir Francis had been asked by the British government to see if he
could find ways to cut the amount of money the government was spending
in North America. One of the areas he was asked to cut was the amount
spent on 'Presents' to Native Americans. The presents were usually guns
and ammunition. In return, Native Americans generally kept the peace
with British troops and settlers and behaved as loyal subjects of the
- Large numbers of Native Americans lived in the border areas between
the USA and Canada. They did not recognise these borders and often travelled
across them as they hunted and moved.
- This extract gives some of Sir Francis's views. He is opposed to cutting
spending. He sets out the arguments in favour of cutting spending and
then the points against.
- One feature that comes out from this source is the sympathy of Sir
Francis towards the Native Americans. His attitude towards them is probably
kinder than that of many other Britons. However, the Native Americans
of British North America were loyal to Queen Victoria throughout her
- Another feature is that relations between the British and the Native Americans seem to be much better than relations between the USA and the Native Americans. Throughout the 19th century there was a steady stream of native Americans out of the USA and into British ruled Canada.