From The Journal, an entry from July 25, 1839, when he was 22:
I confess I have no little sympathy with the Indians and hunter men. They seem to me an distinct and equally respectable people, born to wander and to hunt, and not to be inoculated with the twilight civilization of the white man.
The Indian, perchance, has not made up his mind to some things which the white man has consented to; he has not, in all respect, stooped so low; and hence, though he too loves food and warmth, he draws his tattered blanket about him and follows his fathers, rather than barter his birthright. He dies, and no doubt his Genius judges well for him. But he is not worsted in the fight; he is not destroyed. He only migrates beyond the Pacific to more spacious and happier hunting grounds.