To my fellow Bourbon Democrats and interested Mugwumps,

I write to you this day from the Governor's Mansion in Tallahassee. Governor William "Osceola" Powell has welcomed me with open arms into his home. He and I have shared in tobacco, as well as the black drink and its ritual vomitting. What an extraordinary tradition! I confess that I do indeed feel blessed and utterly cleansed this evening.

Tomorrow, the governor and I will be indulging in an exchange of technological ideas. I, of course, will be introducing him to Professor Campbell and his dirigible. In return, Governor Powell will show me one of Charles Babbage's Analytical Engines, a device he acquired on a recent goodwill trip to the Hopi peoples of the New Mexico territory. Gov. Powell has a quicksilver mind and a spring in his step. I can only hope that I will be as lively when I am 86!

Governor Powell (he insists I call him "Billy"!) is a living reminder of the importance of a sensible and sensitive Indian policy. In Billy's younger years, a few U.S. military officers invited him to Ft. Moultrie, ostensibly for peace talks. The rogues had, in fact, planned a trap to murder Osceola as an enemy combatant and agitator. He escaped with his life only because the commanding U.S. officer on post caught wind of the plot and court-martialed the schemers. The actions of that commanding officer convinced Billy of the sincerity of our federal government's desire to live together in harmony with the various Indian peoples of this continent. That experience prodded him to find common ground between the aims of our government and those of his Seminole brethren. Gov. Powell's leadership then and now have allowed the state of Florida to become a leading light for racial assimilation in our time.

As commander-in-chief, I dedicated myself to the ongoing, faithful guardianship of our nation's Indians and Indian policies. In the intervening years, President Harrison has reversed much of our good work, to the consternation of the diverse Indian nations. Today, I stand firmer than ever by my inaugural remarks, that we are entrusted with improving the Indians' condition and that we must enforce their rights!

Senator H.L. Dawes of Massachusetts has an interesting proposal in the works regarding this matter. I encourage you to review his writings and inform me of your opinion, as his bill may well come to my desk soon after the election.

Grover Cleveland