The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 74, July 1970 - April, 1971 Page: 203
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The Steck-Carleton Controversy
success of the general's experiment. Yet all were noticeably absent.
Likewise troublesome was the ambiguity of the Indian Office's role
in relation to the military. To some extent this was the Indian serv-
ice's fault; it refused to assume responsibility for the army's captives
though it wished a voice in their management. Burdened with the
cost of provisioning the Navajo and Mescalero at Bosque Redondo,
the military determined to keep Indian Office interference to a min-
imum. Carleton's affronts to the Indian Office in the Labadi affair,
the dispute over the Interior Department's expenditures of the con-
gressional appropriation and the disagreement concerning Carleton's
Comanche campaign, led to a serious quarrel with Superintendent
Steck, who had appeared content at first to play a limited role re-
garding the Navajo and Mescalero. The Steck-Carleton duel, con-
cerned outwardly with the nonjurisdictional matter of the suitability
of the Bosque Redondo, added another dimension to interdepart-
mental discord and further disrupted the effective administration of
Indian policy. Both men claimed to promote the territory's welfare,
but the thrust and parry and counterthrust of their correspondence sug-
gest more subjective motives. Not until these antagonists passed from
the scene and the Interior Department assumed complete control of
Bosque Redondo was the Indian Office's function in New Mexico
If one must know of Fort Sumner to understand Navajo attitudes,
as Clyde Kluckhohn and Dorothea Leighton suggest,"' one must
comprehend as well the crucial part played in the Bosque Redondo
story by the Steck-Carlton controversy in Civil War New Mexico.
"Kluckhohn and Leighton, The Navajo, 41.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 74, July 1970 - April, 1971, periodical, 1971; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101200/m1/215/: accessed November 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.