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Mortality Among The Indians — The Scourge Of 1837

The smallpox scourge of 1837, which was variously estimated by the writers of that period to have destroyed from 60,000 to 150,000 Indians—the true figures from later information being about 17,000 — originated from a case on the steamer St. Peter, the annual boat of the American Fur Company, on its way up the Missouri to Fort Union in June of that year. Every possible means was adopted to keep the Indians away from the boat, but knowing that it was loaded with supplies for them, they were certain that these efforts were part of a plan to defraud. At Fort Clark, then in charge of Francois A. Chardon, a Mandan chief stole a blanket from a watchman on the boat who was dying with the disease, and though offered a new blanket and pardon for his offense, the infected blanket could not be recovered and the contagion was spread by this means.

Jacob Halsey, an extremely dissipated man, who was in charge of Fort Union, and was returning from a temporary absence, was a passenger on the boat, and although he had been vaccinated, was sick with the disease on his arrival at Fort Union. One of his clerks, Edwin T. Denig, and an Indian also had the disease, whereupon it was determined to adopt heroic measures for defense, “and have it all over with in time for the fall trade.” Accordingly, 30 squaws stopping at Fort Union were vaccinated with the real smallpox virus from the person of Halsey, and a few days later 27 of them were stricken with smallpox.

Entire Indian villages had been exposed while crowding around the boat, and Indians from the boat, or who had visited it, went to the Blackfeet, Assiniboine, and other tribes, and when the epidemic was at its height, the Indians came in from the chase for the fall trade, crowding about the fort in spite of every effort to keep them away.

The contagion began to spread about the middle of June, and raged as long as there were Indians who were not immune to attack. The victims were seized with severe pains in the head and back, and death resulted generally in a few hours, the disease taking its most malignant form. In the words of an eye-witness of the scenes: “In whatever direction we go, we see nothing but melancholy wrecks of human life. The tents are still standing on every hill, but no rising smoke announces the presence of human beings, and no sounds but the croaking of the raven, and the howling of the wolf, interrupt the fearful silence.”

Henry Boller, who was eight years engaged in trade on the Missouri River, in his book entitled “Among the Indians,” states that in one family all had died save one babe, and as there was no one to care for that it was placed alive in the arms of its dead mother, and wrapped with her in her burial robes, laid on the scaffold, the Indian method of burying the dead.

Prince Maximilian is quoted as writing at the time of the scourge: “The destroying angel has visited the unfortunate sons of the wilderness with terrors never before known, and has converted the extensive hunting-grounds, as well as the peaceful settlements of these tribes, into desolate and boundless cemeteries… The warlike spirit which but lately animated the several tribes, and but a few months ago gave reason to apprehend the breaking out of a raging war, is broken. The mighty warriors are now the prey of the greedy wolves, and the few survivors, in utter dispair, throw themselves upon the whites, who, however, can do little for them. The vast preparations for the protection of the frontier are superfluous; another hand has undertaken the defense of the white inhabitants of the frontier, and the funeral torch that lights the red man to his dreary grave, has become the auspicious star of the advancing settler and the roving trader of the white race.”

In the translator’s preface to Maximilian’s “Travels in the Interior of North America,” may be found a letter from the prince, dated New Orleans, June 6, 1838, in which he bears corroborative testimony to the efforts of the company’s officers to retard the progress of the plague. He says that the smallpox was communicated to the Indians by a person who was on board the steamboat which ran up the previous summer to the mouth of the Yellowstone River, to carry both the Government presents and the goods for the barter trade of the fur dealers: and the translator, Hannibal E. Lloyd, adds that it was the American Fur Company’s steamboat St. Peter which carried the annual outfit and supplied the Missouri River forts, and that Larpenteur, in charge of Fort Union, says the vessel arrived June 24, 1837: that the officers could not prevent intercourse between the Indians and the vessel, although they exerted themselves to the utmost.

The smallpox epidemic was the direct result of the demoralizing influence of the use of intoxicating liquors. There was neglect on the boat which was making its way into the heart of the Indian country, and criminal disregard of danger, and neglect on the part of the authorities at Fort Union. There was not a deliberate purpose to murder the Indian families vaccinated with the smallpox virus, and “have it over,” but the result would have been the same had that been the case. Alfred Cummings, United States superintendent of Indian affairs, in reporting the result of investigations on his trip to the Upper Missouri tribes in 1855, said of the smallpox scourge of 1837: “Every Indian camp from the Big Bend of the Missouri to the headwaters of the Columbia and Puget Sound was the scene of utter despair. To save families from the torture of the loathsome disease, fathers slew their children, and in many instances inflicted death upon themselves with the same bloody knife. Maddened by their fears, they rushed into the waters for relief, and many perished by their own hands, gibbeted on the trees which surrounded their lodges.” (Lounsberry, History of North Dakota, 1917, Volume 1, pp. 179–180)

Testimony of Jefferson Smith - Hidatsa, Against the Injustice of the Garrison Dam

(April 30, 1949—Washington, D.C.)

Mr. Chairman, my name is Jefferson B. Smith, a member of the Gros Ventre (Hidatsa) Tribe, an official delegate of the Tribal Business Council of the Three Affiliated Tribes, compromising the Arickaree, the Gros Ventres, and the Mandan and the individual members thereof. The United States of America, before its advent as a Nation, was a haven for the oppressed of other lands. Political, religious, and economic oppression in Europe caused the Pilgrim Fathers to seek homes, freedom and greater opportunity in the New World. These Pilgrims, upon their arrival in 1620, were welcomed by the native Americans. They were given land and all that was within. In a short period of time, greed for gain became evident. The white man, motivated by a great desire to acquire additional territory, compelled the Indians to move thither and yon. Thus began the racial discrimination, plundering, stripping, despoiling him of his property; a delimitation of Indian tribal boundaries.

The Three Affiliated Tribes of North Dakota have always maintained utmost good faith and friendship with the United States. Many years ago, upon meeting his first white man, who aroused his admiration to a high degree, one of our chiefs decreed to his people that the white man was their friend and that there should ever exist a mutual and friendly relationship. When Lewis and Clark were designated to explore the land which comprised the Louisiana Purchase of 1804, they found a very friendly people in the three tribes. They were afforded food and protection. The famed Indian woman known as Bird Woman guided the expedition westward. Many of our Indians joined the United States troops as scouts in the pioneer days and have rendered valuable services. The Commissioner of Indian Affairs in his report dated November 1, 1873, said of the Three Affiliated Tribes, pages 158 and 159:

The Indians of these agencies deserve more from the Government than any other tribes in Dakota on account of their fidelity to the Government and the faithful services rendered by them as scouts in compelling other Indians to keep the peace.

Another report dated August 31, 1874, pages 159 to 160, contains the following:

The military have found them the most brave and reliable of all Indian scouts. But notwithstanding their established friendliness, I found them in an intensively dissatisfied state of mind. They complained that while they had steadily kept the “straight path,” the Government had not done so; the whites had lied to them, cheated them, and actually allowed them to starve, instead of feeding them and caring for them as promised in all their treaty councils. Unfortunately, and to our shame, their declarations are too true.

The proposal of the United States to negotiate treaties with the Arickaree, Gros Ventre, and Mandan Indians was gladly accepted as a kindly gesture.

The three tribes inhabited the Dakotas and eastern Montana. They were once populous tribes. It is a common knowledge among our older people that on or about the year 1837 a boat drifted down the river bearing some white men, one of which was allowed to remain at an Indian village. He had smallpox. Ravages of the disease nearly exterminated the tribes.

The United States entered into a solemn treaty with Arickaree, Gros Ventre, and Mandan Indians on or about September 17, 1851. The treaty lands as claimed by the three tribes were as follows: Commencing at the mouth of the Heart River, up the Missouri, Yellowstone, and Powder Rivers, to the headwaters of the Little Missouri River, to the foothills of the Black Hills, to the Heart River and place of beginning, containing about 13 million acres.

Across the span of our national history, it is inconceivable that treaties with Indians which have been sacredly solemnized and duly ratified have been violated by its author—the United States Government. The construction of the Garrison Dam which will inundate a large portion of our treaty land is a more recent violation of treaty. The Three Affiliated Tribes now deem that their faith and friendship with the Federal Government has worked largely to their undoing. It is quite evident that the Indians have done most of the giving and the United States Government most of the taking.

The native Americans, who in the remote past reigned supreme in all they possessed by immemorial right of occupancy, are an underprivileged minority group against whom many illegal forms of oppression and discrimination are practiced. Belonging to a minority group whose skin is pigmented seems to be a disqualification which serves as a bar in preventing participation in the benefits of American justice.

At one time in the past, the United States Government recognized the importance of fair treatment for the Indians and on July 13, 1787, it adopted the Northwest Ordinance, section 3 of which reads as follows:

The uttermost good faith shall always be observed toward the Indians; their lands and property shall never be taken from them without their consent; and in their property, rights, and liberty they shall never be invaded or disturbed, unless in just and lawful ways authorized by Congress, but laws founded in justice and humanity shall, from time to time be made for preventing wrongs being done to them, and for preserving peace and friendship with them.

In 1944 Congress authorized five dams to be constructed on the main stem of the Missouri River, one of which was the Garrison Dam.

This reservoir, when completed, will destroy the homes, the lands and the economy of the Fort Berthold Indians. The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 was violated when the matter was not referred to the Indians for consideration. Preliminary work on the dam was well begun when a Colonel Freeman furnished us information that the Garrison Dam would flood some of the best land the Indian possessed, but that they would be given other land of equal value. The land offered included for the most part, the area known as the Little Missouri River Badlands. Much of the land offered is devoid of any vegetation. We refused the disgraceful offer. We have rejected other offers because we feel that our rights were not protected.

In July of 1947, Councilmen Packineau, Mahto, and I were present at the hearings before the Subcommittee on War Department Civil Appropriation Act, Public Law 296, to prevent, if possible, the flooding of our lands. The pleas we made to save our land, homes, and our economy was given a deaf ear. Our offer of an alternate plan and location of a dam was not considered. An offer of $5,105,625 was made.

We requested a compensation of a larger amount. There was disagreement and no further offer was made. We returned home to learn to our dismay that it was reported on the floor of the Senate Chamber that the Indians agreed to the offer. We did not agree to the offer and, hence, we charge that the offer was false and illegal. We protest the wrong being done to us by the illegal action and methods. The Indian has become inferior to the white man, he is forced to serve him and is subject to his master’s orders. Because the Indian is weak and docile, he is wronged and imposed upon.

It has been a requirement of law that a contract be entered into by the United States Government and the Three Affiliated Tribes in the apportionment of the funds which was supposed to have been agreed upon by the Indians. The contract has been completed in compliance with the law. It is awaiting the ratification by Congress.

A grave situation confronts the Three Affiliated Tribes. The United States Government has entered into solemn treaties with the Indians. The treaties were made, composed, and devised by a commission authorized by the United States Government (Indians being illiterate and belong to a lesser social and economic caste), for the sole benefit and strictly in accordance with the desire of the Government. It has defaulted and broken the treaties. Will the present contract or treaty meet the same fate? The abuse and misuse of its ward Indians has created an atmosphere of suspicion and mistrust that no future time can repair.

The Tribal Business Council of the Three Affiliated Tribes has signed the contract with tears in their eyes and heavy hearts. Being compelled to surrender about 155,000 acres of our best lands to the United States Government, thereby disrupting our homes and economy, the future looks dark and dismal to the Fort Berthold Indians. We are being punished for being Indians by a Christian nation.

The United States Government is the strongest, the wealthiest, and the freest nation in the world. It has furnished billions of dollars to Europe, Asia, and Latin America, much of which will never be reimbursed. The Government owes its wards a moral obligation. It is the guardian and bound by every moral and equitable consideration to discharge its trust with good faith.

Treaty with the Arikara Tribe, 1825

(July 18, 1825, 7 Stat., 3rd, Proclamation, February 6, 1820)

To put an end to an unprovoked hostility on the part of the Rikara Tribe of Indians against the United States, and to restore harmony between the parties, the President of the United States, by Brigadier-general Henry Atkinson, of the United States’ Army, and Major Benjamin O’Fallon, Indian Agent, Commissioners duly appointed and commissioned to treat with the Indian tribes beyond the Mississippi River, give peace to the said Rikara Tribe; the Chiefs and Warriors thereof having first made suitable concessions for the offence. And, for the purpose of removing all further or future cause of misunderstanding as respects trade and friendly intercourse between the parties, the above named Commissioners on the part of the United States, and the undersigned Chiefs and Warriors of the Rikara Tribe of Indians on the part of said Tribe, have made and entered into the following articles and conditions, which, when ratified by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall be binding on both parties, to wit:

Article 1.
Henceforth there shall be a firm and lasting peace between the United States and the Rikara tribe of Indians; and a friendly intercourse shall immediately take place between the parties. Peace and friendship.
Article 2.
It is admitted by the Rikara tribe of Indians, that they reside within the territorial limits of the United States, acknowledge their supremacy, and claim their protection. The said tribe also admit the right of the United States to regulate all trade and intercourse with them. Supremacy of United States acknowledged.
Article 3.
The United States agree to receive the Rikara tribe of Indians into their friendship, and under their protection, and to extend to them, from time to time, such benefits and acts of kindness as may be convenient and seem just and proper to the President of the United States. United Sates will take the Ricaras under their protection.
Article 4.
All trade and intercourse with the Ricara tribe shall be transacted at such place or places as may be designated and pointed out by the President of the United States, through his agents; and none by American citizens, duly authorized by the United States, shall be admittted to trade or hold intercourse with said tribe of Indians. Regulation of trade among the Indians.
Article 5.
That the Ricara tribe may be accommodated with such articles of merchandise, etc. as their necessities may demand, the United States agree to admit and license traders to hold intercourse with said tribe, under mild and equitable regulations: in consideration of which, the Ricara tribe bind themselves to extend protection to the persons and the property of the traders, and the persons legally employed under them, while they remain within the limits of their district of country. And the said Ricara tribe further agree, that if any foreigner or other person, not legally authorized by the United States, shall come into their district of country for the purposes of trade or other views, they will apprehend such person or persons, and deliver him or them to some United States’ superintendent or agent of Indian Affairs, or to the commandant of the nearest military post, to be dealt with according to law. And they further agree to give safe conduct to all persons who may be legally authorized by the United States to pass through their country, and to protect in their persons and property all agents or other persons sent by the United States to reside temporarily among them. Trade, et., to be transacted at such places as the President may designate.
Article 6.
That the friendship which is now established between the United States and the Ricara tribe, shall not be interrupted by the misconduct of individuals, it is hereby agreed, that for injuries done by individuals, no private revenge or retaliation shall take place, but instead thereof, complaints shall be made, by the party injured, to the superintendent or agent of Indian affairs or other person appointed by the President; and it shall be the duty of the said Chiefs, upon complaint being made as aforesaid, to deliver up the person or persons against whom the complaint is made, to the end that he or they may be punished, agreeably to the laws of the United States. And, in like manner, if any robbery, violence, or murder, shall be committed on any Indian or Indians belonging to said tribe, the person or persons so offending shall be tried, and, if found guilty, shall be punished in like manner as if the injury had been done to a white man. And it is agreed, that the Chiefs of the said Ricara tribe shall, to the utmost of their power, exert themselves to recover horses or other property, which may be stolen or taken from any citizen or citizens of the United States, by any individual or individuals of said tribe; and the property so recovered shall be forthwith delivered to the agents or other person authorized to receive it, that it may be restored to the proper owner. And the United States hereby guaranty to any Indian or Indians of said tribe, a full indemnification for any horses or other property which may be stolen from them by any of their citizens: Provided, that the property so stolen cannot be recovered, and that sufficient proof is produced that it was actually stolen by a citizen of the United States. And the said Ricara tribe engage, on the requisition or demand of the President of the United States, or of the agents, to deliver up any white man resident among them. Source to be pursued in order to prevent injuries by individuals.
Chiefs to exert themselves to recover stolen property.
Proviso.
Article 7.
And the Chiefs and Warriors, as aforesaid, promise and engage that their tribe will never, by sale, exchange, or as presents, supply any nation, tribe, or bands of Indians, not in amity with the United States, with guns, ammunition, or other implements of war. Done at the Ricara village, this eighteenth day of July, A.D. 1825, and of the independence of the United States the fiftieth. In testimony whereof, the said commissioners, Henry Atkinson and Benjamin O’ Fallon, and the chiefs, head men, and warriors of the Ricara tribe of Indians, have hereunto set their hands and affixed their seals. No guns, etc., to be furnished by them to any nation, etc., hostile to the United States.
  • H. Atkinson, brigadier-general U.S. Army, [L. S.]
  • Benj. O’Fallon, United States agent Indian affairs, [L. S.]
  • Chiefs:
  • Stan-au-pat, the bloody hand, his x mark [L. S.]
  • Ca-car-we-ta, the little bear, his x mark [L. S.]
  • Scar-e-naus, the skunk, his x mark [L. S.]
  • Chan-son-nah, the fool chief, his x mark [L. S.]
  • Chan-no-te-ne-na, the chief that is afraid, his x mark, [L. S.]
  • Coon-ca-ne-nos-see, the bad bear, his x mark, [L. S.]
  • Warriors:
  • En-hah-pe-tar, the two nights, his x mark [L. S.]
  • Ca-ca-ne-show, the crow chief, his x mark [L. S.]
  • Pah-can-wah, the old head, his x mark [L. S.]
  • Wah-ta-an, the light in the night, his x mark [L. S.]
  • Hon-eh-cooh, the buffalo that urinates and smells it, his x mark [L. S.]
  • Ta-hah-son, the lip of the old buffalo, his x mark [L. S.]
  • Coo-wooh-war-e-scoon-hoon, the long haired bear, his x mark, [L. S.]
  • Ne-sha-non-nack, the chief by himself, his x mark [L. S.]
  • Ah-ree-squish, the buffalo that has horns, his x mark [L. S.]
  • Ou-cous-non-hair, the good buffalo, his x mark [L. S.]
  • Nack-sa-nou-wees, the dead heart, his x-mark [L. S.]
  • Pah-too-car-rah, the man that strikes, his x mark [L. S.]
  • Toon-high-ouh, the man that runs, his x mark [L. S.]
  • Car-car-wee-as, the heart of the crow, his x mark [L. S.]
  • In the presence of -
  • A. L. Langham, secretary to the commission,
  • H. Leavenworth, colonel U.S. Army
  • S. W. Kearny, brevet major First Infantry
  • D. Ketchum, major U.S. Army
  • Wm. Armstrong, captain Sixth Regiment Infantry
  • B. Riley, captain Sixth Infantry
  • John Gantt, captain Sixth Infantry
  • G. C. Spencer, captain First Infantry,
  • R. B. Mason, captain First Infantry
  • W. S. Harney, lieutenant First Infantry
  • John Gale, surgeon U. S. Army,
  • R. M. Coleman, U. S. Army,
  • S. Wragg, adjutant First Regiment Infantry
  • S. Mac Ree, lieutenant aid de camp,
  • R. Holmes, lieutenant Sixth Infantry
  • R. H. Stuart, lieutenant First Infantry
  • Jas. W. Kingsbury, lieutenant First Regiment Infantry,
  • Levi Nute, lieutenant U.S. Army
  • W. L. Harris, lieutenant First Infantry,
  • G. H. Kennerly, U. S. special Indian agent,
  • P. Wilson, U. S. Special Indian agent,
  • Antoine Garreau, his x mark, interpreter,
  • Joseph Garreau, his x mark, interpreter,
  • Pierre Garreau, his x mark.

Treaty with the Belantse-Etoa or Minitaree Tribe, 1825

(July 18, 1825, 7 Stat., 261, Proclamation, Feb. 6, 1820)

Whereas acts of hostility have been committed, by some restless men of the Belantse-etea or Minnetaree tribe of Indians, upon some of the citizens of the United States: therefore, to put a stop to any further outrages of the sort, and to establish a more friendly understanding between the United States and the said Belantse-etea or Minnetaree tribe, the President of the United States, by Henry Atkinson, Brigadier-general of the United States’ army, and Major Benjamin O’Fallon, Indian Agent, commissioners duly appointed and commissioned to treat with the Indian tribes beyond the Mississippi River, forgive the offences which have been committed, the Chiefs and Warriors having first made satisfactory explanations touching the same. And, for the purpose of removing all future cause of misunderstanding, as respects trade and friendly intercourse, between the parties, the above-named Commissioners, on the part of the United States, and the undersigned chiefs and Warriors of the Belantse-etea or Minnetaree tribe of Indians, on the part of said tribe, have made and entered into the following Articles and Conditions; which, when ratified by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall be binding on both parties—to wit:

Article 1.
Henceforth there shall be a firm and lasting peace between the United States and the Belantse-etea or Minnetaree tribe of Indians; and a friendly intercourse shall immediately take place been the parties.

 

Peace and friendship.
Article 2.
It is admitted by the Belantse-etea or Minnetaree tribe of Indians, that they reside with the territorial limits of the United States, acknowledge their supremacy, and claim their protection. The said tribe also admit the right of the United States to regulate all trade and intercourse with them. Supremacy of United States acknowledged.
Article 3.
The United States agree to receive the Belantse-etea or Minnetaree tribe of Indians into their friendship, and under their protection, and to extend to them, from time to time, such benefits and acts of kindness as may be convenient, and seem just and proper to the President of the United States. United States to receive them into their friendship.
Article 4.
All trade and intercourse with the Belantse-eta or Minnetaree tribe shall be transacted at such place or places as may be designated and pointed out, by the President of the United States, through his agents; and none but American citizens, duly authorized by the United States, shall be admitted to trade or hold intercourse with said tribe of Indians. Places of trade to be designated by the President.
Article 5.
That the Belantse-eta or Minnetaree tribe may be accommodated with such articles of merchandise, etc., as their necessities may demand, the United States agree to admit and license traders to hold intercourse with said tribe, under mild and equitable regulations: in consideration of which, the Belantse-eta or Minnetaree tribe bind themselves to extend protection to the persons and the property of the traders, and the persons legally employed under them, whilst they remain within the limits of their district of country. And the said Belantse-eta or Minnetaree tribe further agree, that if any foreigner or other person, not legally authorized by the United States, shall come into their district of country, for the purposes of trade or other views, they will apprehend such person or persons, and delivery him or them to some United States’ superintendent or agent of Indian affairs, or to the commandant of the nearest military post, to be dealt with according to law. And they further agree to give safe conduct to all persons who may be legally authorized by the United States to reside temporarily among them. Regulation of trade.
Article 6.
That the friendship which is now established between the United States and the Belantse-eta or Minnetaree tribe shall not be interrupted by the misconduct of individuals, it is hereby agreed, that for injuries done by individuals, no private revenge or retaliation shall take place, but instead thereof complains shall be made, by the party injured, to the superintendent or agent of Indian affairs or other person appointed by the President; and it shall be the duty of the said Chiefs, upon complaint being made as aforesaid, to deliver up the person or persons against whom the complain is made, to the end that he or they may be punished, agreeably to the laws of the United States. And, in like manner, if any robbery, violence, or murder, shall be committed on any Indian or Indians belonging to said tribe, the person or persons so offending shall be tried, and if found guilty, shall be punished in like manner as if the injury had been done to a white man. And it is agreed that the Chiefs of the said Belantseeta or Minnetaree tribe shall, to the utmost of their power, exert themselves to recover horses or other property, which may be stolen or taken from any citizen or citizens of the United States, by any individual or individuals of said tribe; and the property so recovered shall be forthwith delivered to the agents or other person authorized to receive it, that it may be restored to the proper owner. And the United States hereby guarantee to any Indian or Indians of said tribe, a full indemnification for any horses or other property which may be stolen from them by any of their citizens: Provided, That the property so stolen cannot be recovered, and that sufficient proof is produced that it was actually stolen by a citizen of the United States. And the said Belantse-eta or Minnetaree tribe engage, on the requisition or demand of the President of the United States, or of the agents, to deliver up any white man resident among them.
Course to be pursued in order to prevent injuries by individuals etc.
Chiefs to exert themselves to recover stolen property.
Proviso.
Article 7.
And the Chiefs and Warriors, as aforesaid, promise and engage that their tribe will never, by sale, exchange, or as presents, supply any nation, tribe, or band of Indians, not in amity with the United States, with guns, ammunition, or implements of war. Done at the Lower Mandan Village, this thirtieth day of July, A. D. 1825, and of the independence of the United States the fiftieth. In testimony whereof, the commissioners, Henry Atkinson and Benjamin O’Fallon, and the chiefs and warriors of the said Belantse-etea or Minnetaree tribe of Indians, have hereunto set their hands and affixed their seals. No guns, etc., to be furnished by them to those hostile to United States.
  • H. Atkinson, brigadier-general U.S. Army, [L. S.]
  • Benj. O’Fallon, United States agent, Indian affairs [L. S.]
  • Chiefs:
  • Shan-sa-bat-say-e-see, the wolf chief, his x mark [L. S.]
  • E-re-ah-ree, the one that make the road, his x mark [L. S.]
  • Pas-ca-ma-e-ke-ree, the crow that looks, his x mark [L. S.]
  • E-tah-me-nah-ga-e-she, the guard of the red arrows, his x mark [L. S.]
  • Mah-shu-ca-lah-pah-see, the dog bear, his x mark [L. S.]
  • Oh-sha-lah-ska-a-tee, his x mark [L. S.]
  • Kah-re-pe-shu-pe-sha, the black buffalo, his x mark, [L. S.]
  • Ah-too-pah-she-pe-sha, the black mocasins, his x mark, [L. S.]
  • Mah-buk-sho-ok-oe-ah, the one that carries the snake,
  • Warriors:
  • At-ca-chis, the black lodges, his x mark, [L. S.]
  • Nah-rah-ah-a-pa, the color of the hair, his x mark, [L. S.]
  • Pa-ta-e-she-as, the wicked cow, his x mark, [L. S.]
  • Kee-re-pee-ah-too, the buffalo head, his x mark, [L. S.]
  • Lah-pa-ta-see-e-ta, the bear’s tail, his x mark [L. S.]
  • Pa-ta-lah-kee, the white cow, his x mark, [L. S.]
  • Ah-sha-re-te-ah, the big thief, his x mark [L. S.]
  • Bo-sah-nah-a-me, the three wolves, his x mark [L. S.]
  • San-jah-oe-tee, the wolf that has no tail, his x mark [L. S.]
  • Sa-ga-e-ree-shus, the finger that stinks, his x mark, [L. S.]
  • Me-a-cah-ho-ka, the woman that lies, his x mark [L. S.]
  • Ah-mah-a-ta, the missouri, his x mark, [L. S.]
  • E-sha-kee-te-ah, the big fingers, his x mark, [L. S.]
  • Mah-shu-kah-e-te-ah, the big dog, his x mark, [L. S.]
  • Be-ra-ka-ra-ah, the rotten wood, his x mark, [L. S.]
  • E-ta-ro-sha-pa, the big brother, his x mark. [L. S.]
  • In the presence of—
  • A. L. Langham, secretary to the commission,
  • H. Leavenworth, colonel, U. S. Army
  • G. H. Kennerly, United States sub-Indian agent,
  • John Gale, surgeon, U. S. Army,
  • D. Ketchum, major, U. S. Army,
  • John Gantt, captain, Sixth Infantry,
  • Wm. Day, lieutenant, First Infantry,
  • R. B. Mason, captain, First Infantry,
  • Jas. W. Kingbury, lieutenant, First Regiment Infantry,
  • R. Holmes, lieutenant, Sixth Infantry,
  • J. Rogers, lieutenant, Sixth Infantry,
  • W. S. Harney, lieutenant, First Infantry,
  • Levi Nute, lieutenant, Sixth Infantry,
  • B. Riley, captain, Sixth Infantry,
  • R. M. Coleman, assistant surgeon, U. S. Army,
  • George C. Hutter, lieutenant, Sixth Infantry,
  • Colin Campbell,
  • P. Wilson, United States sub-Indian agent,
  • Touissant Chaboneau, interpreter, his x mark,
  • S. W. Kearny, brevet major, First Infantry.
  • Wm. Armstrong, captain, Sixth Regiment Infantry.

S. Doc. 319, 58-2, vol 2–16

Treaty With The Mandan Tribe, 1825

(July 18, 1825, 7 Stat., 204, Proclamation, February 6, 1820)

Whereas acts of hostility have been committed by some restless men of the Mandan Tribe of Indians, upon some of the citizens of the United States: Therefore, to put a stop to any further outrages of the sort; and to establish a more friendly understanding between the United States and the said Mandan Tribe, the President of the United States, by Henry Atkinson, Brigadier General of the United States, Army, and Major Benjamin O’Fallon, Indian Agent, Commissioners duly appointed and commissioned to treat with the Indian Tribes beyond the Mississippi river, forgive the offences which have been committed; the Chiefs and Warriors having first made satisfactory explanations touching the same. And, for the purpose of removing all future cause of misunderstanding as respects trade and friendly intercourse between the parties, the above named Commissioners on the part of the United States, and the undersigned Chiefs and Warriors of the Mandan Tribe of Indians on the part of said Tribe, have made and entered into the following articles and conditions, which, when ratified by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall be binding on both parties—to wit:

Article 1.
Henceforth there shall be a firm and lasting peace between the United States and the Mandan tribe of Indians; and a friendly intercourse shall immediately take place between the parties.

 

Peace and friendship.
Article 2.
It is admitted by the Mandan tribe of Indians, that they reside within the territorial limits of the United States, acknowledge their supremacy, and claim their protection.—The said tribe also admit the right of the United States to regulate all trade and intercourse with them. Supremacy of United States acknowledged.
Article 3.
The United States agree to receive the Mandan tribe of Indians into their friendship, and under their protection, and to extend to them, from time to time, such benefits and acts of kindness as may be convenient, and seem just and proper to the President of the United States. United States agree to receive Indians into their friendship, etc.
Article 4.
All trade and intercourse with the Mandan tribe shall be transacted at such place or places as may be designated and pointed out by the President of the United States, through his agents; and none but American citizens, duly authorized by the United States, shall be admitted to trade or hold intercourse with such tribe of Indians. Places for trade to be designated by the President.
Article 5.
That the Mandan tribe may be accommodated with such articles of merchandise, &c., as their necessities may demand, the United States agree to admit and license traders to hold intercourse with said tribe, under mild and equitable regulations: in consideration of which, the Mandan tribe bind themselves to extend protection to the persons and the property of the traders, and the persons legally employed under them, whilst they remain within the limits of their district of country. And the said Mandan tribe further agree, that if any foreigner or other person, not legally authorized by the united States, shall come into their district of country, for the purposes of trade or other views, they will apprehend such person or persons, and deliver him or them to some United States’’ superintendent or agent of Indian Affairs, or to the commandant of the nearest military post, to be dealt with according to law. And they further agree to give safe conduct to all persons who may be legally authorized by the United States to pass through their country, and to protect in their persons and property all agents or other persons sent by the United States to reside temporarily among them. Regulation of trade.
Article 6.
That the friendship which is now established between the United States and the Mandan tribe, shall be interrupted by the misconduct of individuals, it is hereby agreed, that for injuries done by individuals, no private revenge or retaliation shall take place, but instead there, complaints shall be made, by the party injured, to the superintendent or agent of Indian affairs, or other person appointed by the President; and it shall be the duty of the said Chiefs, upon complaint being made as aforesaid, to deliver up the person or persons against whom the complain is made, to the end that he or they may be punished, agreeably to the laws of the United States. And, in like manner, if any robbery, violence, or murder, shall be committed on any Indian or Indians belonging to said tribe, the person or persons so offending shall be tried, and if found guilty, shall be punished in like manner as if the injury had been done to a white man. And it is agreed that the Chiefs of the said Mandan tribe shall, to the utmost of their power, exert themselves to recover horses or other property, which may be stolen or taken from any citizen or citizens of the United States, by any individual or individuals of said tribe; and the property so recovered shall be forthwith delivered to the agents or other person authorized to receive it, that it may be restored to the proper owner. And the United States hereby guarantee to any Indian or Indians of said tribe, a full indemnification for any horses or other property which may be stolen from them by any of their citizens: Provided, That the property so stolen cannot be recovered, and that sufficient proof is produced that it was actually stolen by a citizen of the United States. And the said Mandan tribe engage, on the requisition or demand of the President of the United States, or of the agents, to deliver up any white man resident among them.
Course to be pursued in order to prevent injuries by individuals, etc.
Chiefs to exert themselves to recover stolen property.
Article 7.
And the Chiefs and Warriors, as aforesaid, promise and engage that their tribe will never, by sale, exchange, or as presents, supply any nation, tribe, or band of Indians, not in amity with the United States, with guns, ammunition, or other implements of war. Done at the Mandan Village, this thirtieth day of July, A. D. 1825, and of the independence of the United States the fiftieth. In testimony whereof, the commissioners, Henry Atkinson and Benjamin O’Fallon, and the chiefs and warriors of the said Mandan tribe of Indians, have hereunto set their hands and affixed their seals. No ammunition, etc., to be furnished by them to enemies of United States.
  • H. Atkinson, brigadier-general U.S. Army, [L. S.]
  • Benj. O’Fallon, United States agent, Indian affairs [L. S.]
  • Chiefs:
  • Mat-sa-to-pas-lah-hah-pah, the chiefs of four men, his x mark, [L. S.]
  • San-jah-mat-sa-eta, the wolf chiefs, his x mark, [L. S.]
  • Ah-ra-na-shis, the one that has no arm, his x mark, [L. S.]
  • Bot-sa-a-pa, the color of the wolf, his x mark, [L. S.]
  • Con-ke-sheesse, the good child, his x mark, [L. S.]
  • Lah-pa-see-ta-re-tah, the bear that does not walk, his x mark, [L. S.]
  • Par-res-kah-cah-rush-ta, the little crow, his x mark, [L. S.]
  • Warriors—First village:
  • Obah-chash, the broken leg, his x mark, [L. S.]
  • La-pet-see-to-a-pus, the four bears, his x mark, [L. S.]
  • Sah-cou-ga-rah-lah-pet-see, the bird of the bears, his x mark, [L. S.]
  • She-ca-aga-mat-sa-et-see, the little young man this is a chief, his x mark, [L. S.]
  • Kee-re-pee-ah-pa-rush, the neck of the buffalo, his x mark, [L. S.]
  • Bo-si-e-ree-bees, the little wolf that sleeps, his x mark, [L. S.]
  • Second village:
  • San-jah-ca-ho-ka, the wolf that lies, his x mark, [L. S.]
  • Ede-shu-bee, the fat of the paunch, his x mark, [L. S.]
  • Pa-res-ca-a-huss, the band of crows, his x mark, [L. S.]
  • Ba-rah-rah-ca-tah, the broken pot, his x mark, [L. S.]
  • Me-ra-pa-sha-po, the five beavers, his x mark, [L. S.]
  • Bout-sa-ca-ho-ka, the crouching prairie wolf, his x mark [L. S.]
  • In the presence of—
  • H. Leavenworth, colonel, U. S. Army
  • S. W. Kearney, brevet major First Infantry,
  • D. Ketchum, major, U. S. Army,
  • B. Riley, captain, Sixth Infantry,
  • P. Wilson, United States S. Indian agent,
  • S. Mac Ree, lieutenant, aid-de-camp,
  • R. B. Mason, captain, First Infantry,
  • G. C. Spencer, captain, First Infantry,
  • John Gantt, captain, Sixth Infantry,
  • Thomas Noel, lieutenant, Sixth Infantry,
  • R. Holmes, lieutenant, Sixth Infantry,
  • J. Rogers, lieutenant, Sixth Infantry,
  • Jas. W. Kingsbury, lieutenant, First Regiment Infantry,
  • Levi Nute, lieutenant, Sixth Infantry,
  • S. Wragg, adjutant First Regiment Infantry,
  • M. W. Batman, lieutenant, Sixth Infantry,
  • Thomas P. Gwynne, lieutenant, First Infantry,
  • George C. Hutter, lieutenant, Sixth Infantry,
  • William Day, lieutenant, First Infantry,
  • John Gale, surgeon, U. S. Army,
  • R. M. Coleman, assistant surgeon, U. S. Army,
  • W. S. Harney, lieutenant, First Infantry,
  • J. C. Culbertson,
  • G. H. Kennerly, United States S. Indian agent,
  • A. S. Miller, lieutenant, First Infantry,
  • Colin Campbell,
  • Touissant Chaboneau, his x mark, interpreter

Agreement at Fort Berthold, 1866

Articles of agreement and convention made and concluded at Fort Berthold in the Territory of Dakota, on the twenty-seventh day of July, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-six, by and between Newton Edmunds, governor and ex-officio superintendent of Indian affairs of Dakota Territory; Major General S. R. Curtis, Orrin Guernsey and Henry W. Reed, commissioners appointed on the part of the United States to make treaties with the Indians of the Upper Missouri; and the chiefs and headmen of the Arickaree tribe of Indians, Witnesseth as follows:

Article 1.

Perpetual peace, friendship, and amity shall hereafter exist between the United States and the said Arickaree Indians.

Article 2.

The said Arickaree tribe of Indians promise and agree that they will maintain peaceful and friendly relations toward the whites; that they will in future, abstain from all hostilities against each other, and cultivate mutual good will and friendship, not only among themselves, but toward all other friendly tribes of Indians.

Article 3.

The chiefs and headmen aforesaid acting as the representatives of the tribe aforesaid and being duly authorized and hereunto directed, in consideration of the payments and privileges hereinafter stated, do hereby grant and convey to the United States the right to lay out and construct roads, highways, and telegraphs through their country, and to use their efforts to prevent them from annoyance of interruption by their own or other tribes of Indians.

Article 4.

No white person, unless in the employ of the United States, or duly licensed to trade with said Indians, or members of the families of such persons shall be permitted to reside or make settlement upon any part of the country belonging to said Indians, not included or described herein; nor shall said Indians sell, alienate, or in any manner dispose of any portion thereof, except to the United States.

Article 5.

The said Aricara tribe of Indians hereby acknowledge their dependence on the United States and their obligation to obey the laws thereof; and they further agree and obligate themselves to submit to and obey such laws as may be made by Congress for their government and the punishment of offenders; and they agree to exert themselves to the utmost of their ability in enforcing all the laws under the superintendent of Indian affairs, or agent; and they pledge and bind themselves to preserve friendly relations with the citizens of the United States, and commit no injuries to, or depredations upon, their persons or property. They also agree to deliver to the proper officer or officers of the United States, all offenders against the treaties, laws, or regulations of the United States, and to assist in discovering, pursuing and capturing all such offenders who may be within the limits of the country claimed by them, whenever required so to do by such officer or officers. And the said Aricara tribe of Indians further agree that they will not make war upon any other tribe or band of Indians, except in self-defence, but will submit all matters of difference between themselves and other Indians to the Government of the United States for adjustment, and will abide thereby; and if any of the Indians, party to this treaty, commit depredations upon any other Indians within the jurisdiction of the United States, the same rule shall prevail with regard to compensation and punishment as in case of depredations against citizens of the United States.

Article 6.

In consideration of the great evil of intemperance among some of the Indian tribes, and in order to prevent such consequences among ourselves, we, the said Aricara tribe of Indians agree to do all in our power to prevent the introduction or use of spirituous liquors among our people, and to this end we agree that should any of the members of our tribe encourage the use of spirituous liquors, either by using it themselves, or buying and selling it, whosoever shall do so shall forfeit his claim to any annuities paid by the Government for the current year; or should they be aware of such use or sale or introduction of liquor into their country, either by whites or by persons of Indian blood and not aid by all proper means to effect its extermination and the prosecution of offenders, shall be liable to the forfeiture above mentioned.

Article 7.

In consideration of the foregoing agreements, stipulations, cessions, and undertakings and of their faithful observance by the said Aricara tribe of Indians, the United States agree to expend for the said Indians, in addition to the goods and provisions distributed at the time of signing this treaty, the sum of ten thousand dollars annually for twenty years, after the ratification of this treaty by the President and Senate of the United States, to be expended in such goods, provisions, and other articles as the President may in his discretion, from time to time determine; provided, and it is hereby agreed that the President may, at his discretion, annually expend so much of the sum of three thousand dollars as he shall deem proper, in the purchase of stock, animals, agricultural implements, in establishing and instructing in agricultural and mechanical pursuits, such of said Indians as shall be disposed thereto; and in the employment of mechanics for them, in educating their children, in providing necessary and proper medicines, medical attendance, care for and support of the aged, sick, and infirm of their number, for the helpless orphans of said Indians, and in any other respect promoting their civilization, comfort, and improvement; provided further, that the President of the United States may, at his discretion determine in what proportion the said annuities shall be distributed among said Indians; and the United States further agree that out of the sum above stipulated to be paid to said Indians, there shall be set apart and paid to the head-chief, the sum of two hundred dollars annually, and to the soldier chiefs, fifty dollars annually in money or supplies, so long as they and their bands remain faithful to their treaty obligations; and for and in consideration of the long continued and faithful services of Pierre Garreau to the Indians of the aforesaid tribe, and his efforts for their benefit, the United States agree to give him, out of the annuities to said tribe, the sum of two hundred dollars annually, being the same amount as is paid the head chiefs as aforesaid; and also to the eight leading men, presented by the said tribe as the headmen and advisers of the principal chiefs, and to their successors in office, the sum of fifty dollars per annum, so long as they remain faithful to their treaty obligations; and provided that the President may, at his discretion, vary the amount paid to the chiefs, if in his judgment there may be either by the fidelity or efficiency of any of said chiefs sufficient cause; yet not so as to change the aggregate amount.

Article 8.

It is understood and agreed by the parties to this treaty, that if any of the bands of Indians, parties hereto, shall violate any of the agreements, stipulations, or obligations herein contained, the United States may withhold, for such length of time as the President may determine, any portion or all the annuities agreed to be paid to said Indians under the provisions of this treaty.

Article 9.

The annuities of the aforesaid Indians shall not be taken to pay the debts of individuals, but satisfaction for depredations committed by them shall be made in such manner as the President may direct.

Article 10.

This treaty shall be obligatory upon the aforesaid tribe of Indians from the date hereof, and upon the United States so soon as the same shall be ratified by the President and Senate.

Article 11.

Any amendment or modification of this treaty by the Senate of the United States, not materially changing the nature or obligation of the same, shall be considered final and binding on said bands the same as if it has been subsequently presented and agreed to by the said chiefs and headmen, in open council.

In testimony whereof the aforesaid commissioners on the part of the United States, and the chiefs and headmen of the aforementioned tribe of Indians, have hereunto set their hands this twenty-seventh day of July, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-six, after the contents thereof had been previously read, interpreted, and explained.

  • Newton Edmunds,
  • S. R. Curtis,
  • Orrin Guernsey,
  • Henry W. Reed
  • White Shield, his x mark.
  • Iron Bear, his x mark.
  • The Son of the Star, or Rushing Bear, his x mark.
  • The Black Trail, his x mark.
  • The Wolf Necklace, his x mark.
  • The one that comes out first, his x mark.
  • The Whistling Bear, his x mark.
  • The Yellow Knife, his x mark.
  • The Bear of the Woods, his x mark.
  • The Dog Chief, his x mark.
  • Headmen:
  • White Cow Chief, his x mark.
  • The Walking Wolf, his x mark.
  • The White Bear, his x mark.
  • The Bully Head, his x mark.
  • The Young Wolf, his x mark.
  • The Short Tail Bull, his x mark.
  • The Lone Horse, his x mark.
  • The War Eagle Cap, his x mark.
  • The Sitting Night, his x mark.
  • The Yellow Wolf, his x mark.
  • The Old Bear, his x mark.
  • The Brave, his x mark.
  • The Big Head, his x mark.
  • The Elk River, his x mark.
  • Mahlon Wilkinson, agent.
  • Reuben S. Pike.
  • Jos. La Burg, jr.
  • Charles Reader.
  • Chas. F. Picotte.
  • U. S. Interpreters:
  • Pierre Garreau, his x mark.
  • Charles Papin.
  • Charles Larpenteur.

Signed by the commissioners on the part of the United States, and by the chiefs and headmen, after the treaty had been fully read, interpreted, and explained in our presence.

  • Chas. A. Reed, Secy. Of Commission.
  • M. K. Armstrong, Assist. Secty.

ADDENDA.

The chiefs and headmen of the Gros Ventres and Mandan tribes, heretofore long associated with the Arickarees named in the foregoing treaty, and anxious to continue their residence in the same community and perpetuate their friendly relations with the Arickarees and the United States, do concur in, and become parties and participants in and to all the stipulations of the foregoing treaty. And it being made known to all the tribes thus associated that the United States may desire to connect a line of stages with the river, at the salient angle thereof about thirty miles below this point, and may desire to establish settlements and convenient supplies and mechanical structures to accommodate the growing commerce and travel, by land and river, the chiefs and headmen of the Arickarees, Gros Ventres, and Mandans, acting and uniting also with the commissioners of the United States aforesaid, do hereby convey to the United States all their right and title to the following lands, situated on the northeast side of the Missouri River, to wit: Beginning on the Missouri River at the mouth of Snake River, about thirty miles below Ft. Berthold: thence up Snake River and in a northeast direction twenty-five miles; thence southwardly parallel to the Missouri River to a point opposite and twenty-five miles east of old Ft. Clarke; thence west to a point on the Missouri River opposite to old Ft. Clarke; thence up the Missouri River to the place of beginning: Provided, That the premises here named shall not be a harbor for Sioux or other Indians when they are hostile to the tribes, parties to this treaty; but it shall be the duty of the United States to protect and defend these tribes in the lawful occupation of their homes, and in the enjoyment of their civil rights, as the white people are protected in theirs.

Article 2.

It is also agreed by the three tribes aforesaid, now united in this treaty as aforesaid, that in consideration of the premises named in the aforesaid treaty, and the further consideration of the cession of lands at Snake River, in addition to the payments by the United States of annuities there named to the Arickarees, there shall be paid five thousand dollars to the Gros Ventres, and five thousand dollars to the Mandans, annually, in goods, at the discretion of the President. And for the Gros Ventres and Mandan tribes twenty per cent of their annuity may be expended for agricultural, mechanical, and other purposes as specified in the latter clause of Article Seven of the aforesaid treaty. And also out of the aforesaid annuity to the Gros Ventres there shall be paid to the first, or principal chief, the sum of two hundred dollars each, annually, and to the six soldier chiefs the sum of fifty dollars each, annually. There shall also be paid to the head, or principal chief, of the Mandans, out of the annuities of said tribe, the sum of two hundred dollars, annually, and to each of the nine solder chiefs the sum of fifty dollars, annually. In testimony whereof the aforesaid commissioners on the part of the United States, and the chiefs and headmen of the aforementioned tribe of Indians, have hereunto set their hands this twenty-seventh day of July, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-six, after the contents thereof had been previously read, interpreted, and explained.

  • Newton Edmunds. [Seal.]
  • S. R. Curtis. [Seal.]
  • Orrin Guernsey. [Seal.]
  • Henry W. Reed. [Seal.]
  • Signatures of Arickarees:
  • White Shield, Head Chief, his x mark.
  • Rushing Bear, Second Chief, his x mark.
  • Wolf Necklace, Chief, his x mark.
  • Bear of the woods, Chief, his x mark.
  • Whistling Bear, Chief, his x mark.
  • Iron Bear, Solder C., his x mark.
  • Black trail, Second Chief, his x mark.
  • The Two Bears, Chief, his x mark.
  • The Yellow Knife, Chief, his x mark.
  • The Crow Chief, Chief, his x mark.
  • Gros Ventres Chiefs:
  • Crow Breast, Head Chief, his x mark.
  • Poor Wolf, Second Chief, his x mark.
  • Red Tail, his x mark.
  • The War Chief, his x mark.
  • Short Tail Bull, his x mark.
  • One whose mouth rubbed with cherries, his x mark.
  • The Yellow Shirt, his x mark.
  • Chief Soldiers:
  • The Flying Crow, his x mark.
  • The Many Antelope, his x mark.
  • One who eats no marrow, his x mark.
  • Mandan Chiefs:
  • The Red Cow, his x mark.
  • The Running Eagle, his x mark.
  • The Big Turtle, his x mark.
  • The Scabby Wolf, his x mark.
  • The Crazy Chief, his x mark.
  • The Crow Chief, his x mark.
  • Chief Soldiers:
  • One who strikes in the back, his x mark.

Signed by the commissioners on the part of the United States, and by the chiefs and headmen, after the treaty had been fully read, interpreted, and explained in our presence.

  • Witnesses to the above signatures:
  • Chas. A. Reed, Secty. Of Commission.
  • Mahlon Wilkinson, Agent.
  • M. K. Armstrong, Asst. Secy.
  • Reuben S. Pike.
  • U. S. Interpreters:
  • Charles Reader.
  • C. F. Picotte.
  • Charles Larpenteur.
  • Pierre Garreau, his x mark.
  • Charles Papin.

Articles of a treaty made and concluded at Fort Laramie, in the Indian Territory, between D.D. Mitchell, superintendent of Indian affairs and Thomas Fitzpatrick, Indian agent, commissioners specially appointed and authorized by the President of the United States, of the first part, and the chiefs, headmen, and braves of the following Indian nations, residing south of the Missouri River, east of the Rocky Mountains, and north of the lines of Texas and New Mexico, viz, the Sioux or Dahcotahs, Cheyennes, Arrapahoes, Crows, Assinaboines, Gros-Ventre Mandans, and Arrickaras, parties of the second part, on the seventeenth day of September, A.D. one thousand eight hundred and fifty-one.
Sept. 17, 1851.
11 Stats., p. 749.
Article 1
The aforesaid nations, parties to this treaty, having assembled for the purpose of establishing and confirming peaceful relations amongst themselves, do hereby covenant and agree to abstain in future from all hostilities whatever against each other, to maintain good faith and friendship in all their mutual intercourse, and to make an effective and lasting peace. Peace to be observed.
Article 2
The aforesaid nations do hereby recognize the right of the United States Government to establish roads, military and other posts, within their respective territories. Roads may be established.
Article 3
In consideration of the rights and privileges acknowledged in the preceding article, the United States bind themselves to protect the aforesaid Indian nations against the commission of all depredations by the people of the said United States, after the ratification of the treaty. Indians to be protected.
Article 4
The aforesaid Indian nations do hereby agree and bind themselves to make restitution or satisfaction for any wrongs committed, after the ratification of this treaty, by any band satisfied or individual of their people, on the people of the Unites States, whilst lawfully residing in or passing through their respective territories. Depredations on whites to be satisfied.
Article 5
The aforesaid Indian nations do hereby recognize and acknowledge the following tracts of country, included within the metes and boundaries hereinafter designated, as their respective territories, viz: Boundaries of lands.
The territory of the Sioux or Dahcotah Nation, commencing the mouth of the White Earth River, on the Missouri River; thence in a southwesterly direction to the forks of the Platte River; thence up the north fork of the Platte River to a point known as the Red Butte, or where the road leaves the river; thence along the range of mountains known as the Black Hills, to the head-waters of Heart River; thence down Heart River to its mouth; and thence down the Missouri River to the place of beginning. Sioux.
The territory of the Gros Ventre, Mandans, and Arrickaras Nations, commencing at the mouth of Heart River; thence up the Missouri River to the mouth of the Yellowstone River; thence up the Yellowstone River to the mouth of Powder River in a southeasterly direction, to the head-waters of the Little Missouri River; thence along the Black Hills to the head of Heart River, and thence down Heart River to the place of beginning. Gros Ventre, Mandan, Arrickaras.
The territory of the Assiniboin Nation, commencing at the mouth of Yellowstone River; thence up the Missouri River to the mouth of the Muscle-shell River; thence from the mouth of the Muscle-shell River in a southeasterly direction until it strikes the head-waters of Big Dry Creek; thence down that creek to where it empties into the Yellowstone River, nearly opposite the mouth of Powder River, and thence down the Yellowstone River to the place of beginning. Assiniboin.
The territory of the Blackfoot Nation, commencing at the mouth of Muscle-shell River; thence up the Missouri River to its source; thence along the main range of the Rocky Mountains, in a southerly direction, to the head-waters of the northern source of the Yellowstone River; thence down the Yellowstone River to the mouth of Twenty-five Yard Creek; thence across to the head-waters of the Muscle-shell River, and thence down the Muscle-shell River to the place of beginning. Blackfoot.
The territory of the Crow nation, commencing at the mouth of Powder River on the Yellowstone; thence up the Powder River to its source; thence along the main range of the Black Hills and Wind River Mountains to the head-waters of the Yellowstone River; thence down the Yellowstone River to the mouth of Twenty-five Yard Creek; thence to the head waters of the Muscle-shell River; thence down the Muscle-shell River to its mouth; thence to the head-waters of Big Dry Creek, and thence to its mouth. Crow.
The territory of the Cheyennes and Arrapahoes, commencing at the Red Butte, or the place where the road leaves the north fork of the source; thence along the main range of the Rocky Mountains to the head-waters of the Arkansas River; thence down the Arkansas River to the crossing of the Santa Fe road, thence in a northwesterly direction to the forks of the Platte River, and thence up the Platte River to the place of beginning. Cheyenne & Arapaho.
It is, however, understood that, in making this recognition and acknowledgment, the aforesaid Indian nations do not hereby abandon or prejudice any rights or claims they may have to other lands; and further, that they do not surrender the privilege of hunting, fishing, or passing over any of the tracts of country heretofore described. Rights to other lands.
Article 6
The parties to the second part of this treaty having selected principals or head-chiefs for their respective nations, through whom all national business will hereafter be conducted, do hereby bind themselves to sustain said chiefs and their successors during good behavior. Head chiefs of said tribes.
Article 7
In consideration of the treaty stipulations, and for the damages which have or may occur by reason thereof to the Indian nations, parties hereto, and for their maintenance and the improvement of their moral and social customs, the United States bind themselves to deliver to the said Indian nations the sum of fifty thousand dollars per annum for the term of ten years, with the right to continue the same at the discretion of the President of the United States for a period not exceeding five years thereafter, in provisions, merchandise, domestic animals, and agricultural implements, in such proportions as may be deemed best adapted to their condition by the President of the United States, to be distributed in proportion to the population of the aforesaid Indian nations. Annuities.
Article 8
It is understood and agreed that should any of the Indian nations, parties to this treaty, violated any of the provisions thereof, the United States may withhold the whole or a portion of the annuities mentioned in the preceding article from the nation so offending, until, in the opinion of the President of the United States, proper satisfaction shall have been made. Annuities suspended by violation of treaty.

In testimony whereof the said D.D. Mitchell and Thomas Fitzpatrick commissioners as aforesaid, and the chiefs, headmen, and braves, parties hereto, have set their hands and affixed their marks on the day and at the place first above written.

  • D.D. Mitchell
  • Thomas Fitzpatrick
  • Commissioners.
  • SIOUX:
  • Mah-toe-wha-you-whey, his x mark
  • Mah-kah-toe-zah, his x mark
  • Bel-o-ton-kah-tan-ga, his x mark
  • Nah-ka-pah-gi-gi, his x mark
  • Mak-toe-sah-bi-chis, his x mark
  • Meh-wha-tah-ni-hans-kah, his x mark
  • CHEYENNES:
  • Wah-ha-nis-satta, his x mark
  • Nahk-ko-me-ien, his x mark
  • Voist-ti-toe-vetz, his x mark
  • Koh-kah-y-wh-cum-est, his x mark
  • ARRAPAHOES:
  • Be-ah-té-a-qui-sah, his x mark
  • Neb-ni-bah-she-it, his x mark
  • Beh-kah-jay-beth-sah-es, his x mark
  • CROWS:
  • Arra-tu-r-sash, his x mark
  • Doh-chepit-seh-chi-es, his x mark
  • ASSINIBOINES:
  • Mah-toe-it-ko, his x mark
  • Toe-tah-ki-eh-nan, his x mark
  • MANDANS AND GROS VENTRES:
  • Nochk-pit-shi-toe-pish, his x mark
  • She-oh-mant-ho, his x mark
  • ACRICKAREES:
  • Koun-hei-ti-shan, his x mark
  • Bi-atch-tah-wetch, his x mark
  • In the presence of:
  • A.B. Chambers, secretary
  • S. Cooper, colonel, U.S. Army
  • R.H. Chilton, captain, First Drags
  • Thomas Duncan, captain, Mounted Riflemen
  • Thos. G. Rhett, brevet captain R.M.R.
  • W.L. Elliot, first lieutenant R.M.R.
  • C. Campbell, interpreter for Sioux
  • John S. Smith, interpreter for Cheyennes
  • Robert Meldrum, interpreter for the Crows
  • H. Culbertson, interpreter for Assiniboines and Gros Ventres
  • Francois L. ’Etalie, interpreter for Arickarees
  • John Pizelle, interpreter for the Arrapohoes
  • B. Gratz Brown
  • Robert Campbell
  • Edmond F. Chouteau

This treaty as signed was ratified by the U.S. Senate with an amendment changing the annuity in Article 7 from fifty to ten years, subject to acceptance by the tribes. Assent of all tribes except the Crows was procured (See Upper Platte C., 570, 1853, Indian Office.) and in subsequent agreements this treaty has been recognized as in force. (See post p. 776.)