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Buffalo Creek Treaty, 1838

This is a transcribed copy of the 1838 Treaty at Buffalo Creek, New York. This transcription is from a certified copy of the original treaty on file at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

The reason I decided to transribed the treaty is I discovered differences in the printed texts of the treaty and my copy of the original. Most changes I believe are due to transcription errors, however, such errors occur at critical legal points in the treaty which could affect the outcome of any legal decision surrounding this treaty. With this lingering thought in my mind I felt compelled to transcribe the treaty since it may benefit my people to have it correctly transcribed. So I want to make the record straight as possible.

I have used a monospaced font and the <PRE> HTML tag to preserve the line breaks, and I have noted the page breaks to preserve the "look and feel" of the original document as close as possible. Please keep in mind this treaty was obviously hand written in script so lines sizes my vary due to this human element, and I have tried to notate in this italized nature any language I have added to clarify and/or explain any information about the treaty. I will allow anyone to inspect the original ceritifed document if needed for any reason (curious or casual requestees will have to come to Rockville, Maryland), and I encourage you to find any spelling mistakes, there are a few on the original treaty which I will keep to preserve the integrity of this transcription, but I may have made a few of my own too. So let me know if you see any, and I will double check with the original to see if it needs to be corrected.

The transciprtion needs more work, but here is the bulk of the important content. The only items remaining to be transcribed are the signatures of the Sachems, and headmen, the Senate proceedings, the amendments to the treaty and the signatures to those amendments, and the US government ratifications.

Table of Contents


BEGINING OF DOCUMENT
Martin Van Buren President of the United States of America

To all and singular to whom these presents shall come, Greeting:

Whereas, a treaty was made and concluded at Buffalo, in the State of New York, on the fifteenth day of January, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-eight, by Ransom H. Gillet, a Commissioner on the part of the United States, and the chiefs, headmen and warriors of the several tribes of New York Indians, as assembled in council.

And Whereas, the Senate did, by a resolution of the eleventh of June one thousand eight hundred and thirty- eight, advise and consent to the rati fication of said treaty with certain amendments; which treaty so amended, is word for word as follows, to wit:

Treaty with the New York Indians, as amended by the Senate of the United States, June 11th 1838.

Articles of a treaty made and concluded at Buffalo Creek in the State of New York, the fifteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-eight, by Ransom H. Gillett, a commissioner on the part of the United States, and the chiefs, headmen and warriors of the several tribes of the New York Indians assembled in council witnesseth:

Whereas, the Six Nations of New York Indians, not long after the close of the war of the Revolution, became convinced from the rapid increase of the white settlements around, that the time was not far distant when their true interest must lead them to seek a new home among their red brethren in the West; And whereas this subject was agitated in a general council of the Six Nations as early as 1810, and resulted in sending a memorial to the President of the United States, inquiring whether the government would consent to their leaving their habitations and removing into the neighborhood of their western brethren, and if they could procure a home there, by gift or purchase, whether the government would acknowledge their title to the lands so obtained in the same manner it had acknowledged it in those from whom they might receive it; and further, whether the existing treaties would in such a case remain in full force, and their annuities be paid as heretofore: And whereas, with the approbation of the President of the Uni ted States, purchases were made by the New York Indians from the Menoninee and Winebago Indians of certain lands at Green Bay in the Territory of Wisconsin, which after much difficulty and contention with those Indians con cerning the extent of the purchase, the whole subject was finally settled by a treaty be tween the United States and the Menominee Indians, concluded in February, 1831, to which the New York Indians gave their assent on the seventeenth day of October 1832: And whereas, by a provisions of that treaty, five hundred thousand acres of land are secured to the New York Indians of the Six


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Nations and the St. Regis tribe, as a future home, on condition that they all remove to the same, within three years, or such reasonable time as the President shall prescribe: And, whereas, The President is satisfied that various considerations have prevented those still residing in New York from removing to Green Bay, and among other reasons, that ma ny who were in favor of imigration preferred to remove at once to the Indian Territory, which they were fully persuaded was the only perma nent and peaceful home for all the Indians. And they therefore applied to the President to take their Green Bay lands and provide them a new home among their brethren in the Indian Territory: And whereas, the President being anxious to promote the peace, pros perity and happiness of his red children, and being determined to carry out the humane policy of the government in removing the Indians from the East to the west of the Mississippi, within the Indian Territory, by bringing them to see and feel, by his justice and liberality, that it is their true policy and for their interest to do so without delay:

Therefore, taking into consideration


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the foregoing premises, the following Articles of a treaty are entered into between the United States of America and the several tribes of the New York Indians, the names of whose chiefs, head- men and warriors are hereto subscribed and those who may hereafter give their assent to this treaty in writing within such time as the President shall appoint.

General Provision

Article 1. The several tribes of New York Indians, the names of whose chiefs, head- men, warriors and representatives are hereunto annexed, in consideration of the premises above recited, and the covenants hereinafter contained, to be performed on the part of the United States, hereby cede and relinquish to the United States all their right, title and interest to the lands secured to whem at Green Bay by the Menomonie treaty of 1831, excepting the following tract, on which a part of the New York Indians now reside: Beginning at the Southwesterly corner of the French grants at Green Bay, and running thence Southwardly to a point on a line to be run from the little Cocaclin, parallel to a line of the French grants and six miles from Fox river; from thence on said parallel line, northwardly six miles; from thence Eastwardly to a point on the north East line of the Indian lands, and being at right angles to the same.

Article 2. In consideration of the above cession and relinquishment, on the part of the tribes of the New York Indians, and in order to manifest the deep interest of the United States in the future peace and prosperity of the New York Indians, the United States agree to set apart the following tract of country, situated directly west of the State of Missouri, as a permanent home for all the New York Indians, now residing in the State of New York, or in Wisconsin, or elsewhere in the United States, who have no permanent homes, which said country is described as follows, to wit: Beginning on the west line of the State of Missouri, at the northeast corner of the Cherokee tract, and running thence north along the west line of the State of Mis souri twenty seven miles to the Southerly line of the Miami Lands; thence west so far as shall be necessary, by running


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a line at right angles, and parallel to the west line aforesaid, to the Osage lands; and thence Easterly along the Osage and Cher okee lands to the place of beginning; to in clude one million eight hundred and twenty four thousand acres of land, being three hundred and twenty acres for each soul of said Indians, as their numbers are at present computed: To have and hold the same, in fee simple, to the said tribes or nations of Indians, by patent from the President of the United States, issued in conformity with the provisions of the third section of the act, entitled "An act to provide for an exchange of lands, with the Indians residing in any of the States or Territories, and for their re moval west of the Missisippi," approved on the 28th day of May, 1830, with full power and authority in the said Indians to divide said lands among the different tribes, nations, or bands, in severalty, with the right to sell and convey to and from each other, under such laws and regulations as may be adopted by the respective tribes, acting by themselves, or by a general council of the said New York Indians,
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acting for all the tribes collectively. It is understood and agreed that the above described country is intended as a future home for the following tribes, to wit: The Senecas, Onondagas, Cayugas, Tuscaroras, Oneidas, St. Regis, Stockbridges, Munsees, and Broth ertowns residing in the State of New York, and the same is to be divided equally among them, according to their respective num bers, as mentioned in a schedule hereunto annexed.

Article 3. It is further agreed that such of the tribes of the New York Indians as do not accept and agree to remove to the country set apart for their new homes within five years, or such other time as the President may from time to time, appoint, shall forfeit all interest in the lands so set apart, to the United States.

Article 4. Perpetual peace and friendship shall exist between the United States and the New York Indians; and the United States hereby guar anty to protect and defend them in the peaceable possession and enjoyment


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of their new home, and hereby secure to them, in said country, the right to estab lish their own form of government, appoint their own officers, and administer their own laws; subject, however, to the legislation of the congress of the United States, regulating trade and in tercourse with the Indians. The lands secured to thim by patent under this treaty shall never be included in any State or Terr itory of this Union. The said Indians shall also be entitled in all respects to the same polit ical and civil rights and privileges that are granted and secured by the United States to any of the several tribes of emigrant Ind ians settled in the Indian Territory.

Article 5. The Oneidas are to have their lands in the Indian Territory, in the tract set apart for the New York Indians, adjoining the Osage tract, and that hereinafter set apart for the Senecas; and the same shall be laid off as to secure thim a sufficient quantity of timber for their use. Those tribes, whose lands are not specially designated in this treaty are to have such as shall be set apart by the President.


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Article 6. It is further agreed that the United States will pay to those who remove west, at their new homes, all such annuities, as shall properly belong to them. The schedules hereunto annexed shall be deemed and taken as a part of this treaty.

Article 7. It is expressly understood and agreed that this treaty must be approved by the President and ratified and confirmed by the Senate of the United States, before it shall be binding upon the parties to it. It is further expressly understood and agreed, that the rejection, by the President and Senate, of the provisions thereof, applicable to one tribe, or distinct branch of a tribe, shall not be con strued to invalidate as to others, but as to them, it shall be binding, and remain in full force and effect.

Article 8. It is stipulated and agreed that the accounts of the Commissioner, and expenses incurred by him in holding a council with the New York Indians, and concluding treaties at Green Bay and Duk Creek, in Wisconsin, and in the State of New York, in 1836, and those


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for the exploring party of the New York Ind ians, in 1837, and also the expenses of the present treaty, shall be allowed and settled according to former precedents.

Special provisions for the St. Regis

Article 9. It is agreed with the Ameri can party of the St. Regis Indians, that the United States will pay to the said tribe, on their removal west, or at such time as the President shall appoint, the sum of five thousand Dollars, as a remuneration for monies laid out by the said tribe and for services rendered by their chiefs and agents in securing the title to the Green Bay lands, and in removal to the same, the same to be apportioned out to the sev eral claimants by the chiefs of the said party and a United States Commissioner, as may be deem ed by them equitable and just. It is further agreed, that the following reservation of land shall be made to the Rev. Eleazor Williams, of said tribe, which he claims in his own right, and in that of his wife, which he is to hold in fee simple, by patent from the President, with full power and authority to sell and dispose of the same, to wit: Beginning at a point in the west bank of Fox River,


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thirteen chains above the old mill-dam at the rapids of the little Kockalin; thence north fifty two degrees and thirty minutes west, two hundred and forty chains; thence North thirty seven degrees and thirty minutes East, two hundred chains; thence South fifty two degrees and ("fifty" struck out) thirty minutes east, two hundred and forty chains to the bank of Fox River; thence up along the bank of Fox River to the place of beginning.(An X mark after this last word)

Special provisions for the Senecas

Article 10. It is agreed with the Senecas that they shall have for themselves and their friends, the Cayugas and Onondagas, residing among them, the Easterly part of the tract set apart for the New York Indians, and to extend so far west, as to include one half section (three hundred and twenty acres) of land for each soul of the Senecas, Cayugas and Onondagas, residing among them; and if, on removing west, they find there is not suffi cient timber on this tract for their use, then the President shall add thereto timber

and they agree to remove to remove from the State of New York ( squeezed between these lines.)

land sufficient for their accommodations
to their new homes within five years, and to continue to reside there. ( squeezed between these lines.)

And whereas at the making of this treaty, Thomas L. Ogden and Joseph Fellows
END OF PAGE
the assignees of the State of Massachu setts, have purchased of the Seneca (the word "Indians" struck out) nation of Indians, in the presence and with the approbation of the United States Commissioner, appointed by the United States to hold said treaty or convention, all the rights, title, interest and claim of the said Seneca Nation, to certain lands, by a deed of conveyance a duplicate of which is here unto annexed; and whereas the consideration money mentioned in said Deed, amount ing to two hundred and two thousand Dollars, belonging to the Seneca Nation, and the said nation agrees that the said sum of money shall be paid to the United States, and the United States agree to receive the same, to be disposed of as follows: The sum of one hundred thousand Dollars to be inves ted by the President of the United States in safe stocks, for their use, the income of which is to be paid to them at their new homes, annually, and the balance, being the sum of one hundred and two thousand Dollars, is to be paid to the owners of the improve ments on the lands so deeded, according to an appraisement of said improvements,
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and a distribution and award of said sum of money among the owners of said improve ments, to be made by appraisers, hereafter to be appointed by the Seneca nation, in the presence of a United States' Commis sioner, hereafter to be appointed, to be paid by the United States to the individuals who are entitled to the same, according to said ap praisal and award; on their severally relin quishing their respective possessions to the said Ogden and Fellows.

Special provisions for the Cayugas

Article 11. The United States will set apart for the Cayugas, on their removing to their new homes at the west, two thousand Dollars, and will invest the same in some safe stocks, the income of which shall be paid them annually, at their new homes. The United States further agree to pay to the said nation, on their removal west, two thousand five hundred Dollars, to be disposed as the chiefs shall deem just and equitable.

Special provisions for the Onondagas residing on the Seneca Reservations.

Article 12. The United States agree to


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set apart for the Onondagas residing on the Seneca reservations, two thousand five hundred Dollars, on their removing west, and to invest the same in safe stocks, the income of which shall be paid to them annually, at their new homes. And the United States further agree to pay to the said Onondagas, on their removal to their new homes in the west, two thousand Dollars, to be disposed of as the chiefs shall deem equitable and just.

Special provisions for the Oneidas residing in the State of New York.

Article 13. The United States will pay the sum of four thousand Dollars, to be paid to Baptista Powlis, and the chiefs of the first Christian party residing at Oneida, and the sum of two thousand Dollars shall be paid to William Day, and the chiefs of the Orchard party residing there, for expenses incurred and services rendered in securing the Green Bay country, and the settlement of a portion thereof, and they hereby agree to remove to their new homes in the Indian Territory as soon as they can make satisfactory


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arrangements with the Governor of the State of New York for the purchase of their lands at Oneida.

Special provisions for the Tuscaroras

Article 14. The Tuscarora nation agree to accept the country set apart for them in the Indian Territory, and to remove there within five years, and continue to reside there. It is further agreed that the Tus caroras shall have their lands in the Indian country, at the forks of the Neasha river, which shall be so laid off as to se cure a sufficient quantity of timber for the accommodation of the nation. But if on examination, they are not satisfied with this location, they are to have their lands at such place as the President of the United States shall designate. The United States will pay to the Tuscarora nation, on their settling at the west, three thousand Dollars, to be disposed of as the chiefs shall deem most equitable and just. Whereas the said nation owns, in fee simple, five thou sand acres of land, lying in Niagara County, in the State of New York which was conveyed to the said nation


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by Henry Dearborn and they wish to sell and convey the same before they remove west. Now therefore, in order to have the same done in a legal and proper way, they hereby convey the same to the United States and to be held in trust for them, and they au thorize the President to sell and convey the same, and the money which shall be received for the said lands, exclusive of the im provements, the President shall invest in safe stocks for their benefit, the income from which shall be paid to the nation, at their new homes annually; and the money which shall be received for improvements on said lands shall be paid to the owners of the improvements when the lands are sold. The President shall cause the said lands to be sur veyed, and the improvements shall be appraised by such persons as the nation shall appoint; and said lands shall also be appraised, and shall not be sold at a less price than the appraisal, without the consent of James Cusick, William Mountpleasant and William Chew, or the survivor, or survivors of
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them; And the expenses incurred by the United States in relation to this trust, are to be deducted from the moneys received before investment.

And whereas, at the making of this treaty, Thomas L. Ogden and Joseph Fellows, the assign ees of the State of Massachusetts, have purchased of the Tuscarora Nation of Indians, in the presence and with the appro bation of the commissioner appointed on the part of the United States to hold said treaty or convention, all the right, title, interest, and claim of the Tuscarora nation to certain lands, by a deed of conveyance, a duplicate of which is hereunto annexed: And where as, the consideration money for said lands has been secured to the said nation to their satisfaction, by Thomas L. Ogden and Joseph Fellows; Therefore the United hereby ("consent" struckout) assent to the said sale and conveyance, and sanction the same.

Article 15. The United States hereby agree that they will appropriate the sum of four hundred thou sand Dollars, to be applied from time to time, under the direction of the President of the United States, in such proportions, as may be best for the interest of the said Indians, parties to this treaty, for the following purposes, to wit: To aid, them in removing to their new homes, and supporting themselves the first year after their removal; to encourage and assist them in education, and in being taught to cultivate their lands; in erecting mills and other necessary houses; in purchasing domestic animals and farming utensils, and acquiring a knowledge of the mechanic arts.

(The following language is not in the original document. I believe it was left off the microfilm when the actual treaty was photographed by the National Archives, so I have provided the language from the printed version for clarity.)

In testimony whereof, the commissioner and the chiefs, headmen and people, whose names are here to annexed, being duly authorized, have hereunto set their hands, and affixed their respective


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seals, or the time and place above mentioned Signature "R H Gillet- LS" Commissioner

Senecas

Dao-nepho gah, or Little Johnson, his x mark L.S. Da ga o geas, or Daniel Twoguns, L.S.


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Scehdule A CENSUS OF THE NEW YORK INDIANS AS TAKEN IN 1837. Number residing on the Seneca Reservations: Seneca ......................................2,309 Onondagas ................................... 194 Cayugas ..................................... 130 _______ 2,633 ======= Onondagas at Onondaga ....................... 300 Tuscaroras .................................. 273 St. Regis in New York ....................... 350 Oneidas at Green Bay ........................ 600 Oneidas in New York ......................... 620
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Stockbridges ................................ 217 Munsees ..................................... 132 Brothertowns ................................ 360

The above was made before the execution of the treaty.

R.H. GILLET Commissioner.

SCHEDULE B. The following is the disposition agreed to be made of the sum of three thousand dollars provided in the treaty for the Tuscaroras by the chiefs, and assented to by the Commissioner, and is to form a part of the treaty:

To Jonathan Printess, ninety three Dollars. To William Chew, one hundred and fifteen Dollars. To John Patterson, forty-six Dollars. To Wm. Mountpleasant, one hundred and seventy one Dollars. To James Cusick, one hundred and twenty-five Dollars. To David Peter, fifty Dollars. The rest and residue thereof is to be paid to the Nation. The above was agreed to before the execution of the treaty.

R.H.GILLET, Commissioner.

Schedule C. Schedule applicable to the Onondagas and Cayugas residing on the Seneca reserva tions. It is agree that the following disposition shall be made of the amount set apart to be divided by the Chiefs of those nations, in the preceding parts of this treaty, any thing therein to the contrary notwithstanding:

To William King, one thousand five

To Joseph Isaacs, seven hundred Dollars; (<- squeezed between these two lines.)
hundred Dollars; Jack Wheelbarrow, three hundred Dollars; Silversmith one thou sand Dollars; William Jacket, five hundred Dollars; Buton George, five hundred Dollars. The above was agreed to before the treaty was finally executed.

R.H. GILLET, Commissioner.

In testimony whereof, the commissioner and the chiefs, head men, and people, whose names are hereto annexed, being duly authorized, have hereunto set their hands, and affixed their respective seals, at the time and place above mentioned.


File Created: 25 September 2001
Last Modified: Wed, July 23, 2014 at 02:59 PM

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