HENRY LAURENS DAWES SIGNED CARD, "Yours truly, H. L. Dawes", 3.5 X 2, bold ink signature of the Civil War Congressman, Senator, supporter of the creation of Yellowstone National Park, and his very controversial Native American land legislation (1887 Dawes Act ). In fine condition, with minor age toning and mounting remnants on the reverse with no show through.
Henry L. Dawes (1816-1903), a Republican, represented Massachusetts in the US House of Representatives (1857-1875) and Senate (1875-1891). As a member of the lower house, he pushed for creation of Yellowstone National Park. In the Senate, he chaired the Committee on Indian Affairs, and was the principal sponsor of the Dawes Act (1887), which replaced communal ownership of many Indian lands with private plots. He is notable for the Dawes Act, which was intended to stimulate the assimilation of Native Americans by ending the tribal government and control of communal lands. After leaving the Senate, he continued this effort as head of the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes ("Dawes Commission"). Today, most historians, and certainly the affected Native American peoples, regard the Dawes Act and Commission as instruments for depriving their people of land properly theirs, and leaving many landless.