Treaties between the United States government and various Indian tribes were an important diplomatic tool.


An Appraisal of Royce Areas 205, 205A, and 113 in the State of Michigan Ceded to the United States by the Ottawa and Chippewa Nations of Indians, Valuation Dates: March 28, 1836 and July 6, 1820. Cases nos. 18E and 58 Before the Indian Claims Commission. Prepared for the United States Department of Justice by Leonard P. Reaume Co., 1958.

Background of the treaty, and sales data on these areas.

Wentworth, Thomas P.  Early Life Among the Indians: Reminscences from the Life of Benjamin G. Armstrong: Treaties of 1835, 1837, 1842 and 1854: Habits and Customs of the Red Men of the Forest. Ashland, WI: Press of A.W. Bowron, 1892.

Armstrong was in the Great Lakes area during the years these treaties were negotiated and signed.

A Chronological List of Treaties and Agreements Made By Indian Tribes with the United States. Washington, DC: Institute for the Development of Indian Law, 1973.

A listing of the treaties in the order they were made.

Comfort, Benjamin F. Lewis Cass and the Indian Treaties: A Monograph on the Indian Relations of the Northwest Territory from 1813 to 1831. Detroit, MI: Chas. F. May, 1923.

Comfort's purpose is to dwell at some length upon the treaties which Cass negotiated with the Indians during the eighteen years of his occupancy of the position of Governor of the Territory of Michigan. These treaties were in a very real sense the source of his political greatness and they alone would have entitled him to the plaudits of his country men.

A Compilation of all the Treaties Between the United States and the Indian Tribes Now in Force as Laws. Washington, DC: GPO, 1873.

A compilation as of 1873.

Dustin, Fred. The Saginaw Treaty of 1819 Between General Lewis Cass and the Chippewa Indians written for the Centennial Celebration of the Treaty September 19th, 1919. n.p.: 1919.

A copy of the treaty and the history of its negotiation.

Indian Treaties, and Laws and Regulations Relating to Indian Affairs: To Which is Added an Appendix, Containing the Proceedings of the Old Congress, and Other Important State Papers, In Relation to Indian Affairs. Washington City: Way and Gideon, 1826.

Includes: Statement of Indian Annuities; Future Relocation of Indians as well as treaties and laws then in force.

Kappler, Charles J. Compiler and Editor. United States Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties. Washington, DC: GPO, 1904-1941. 5 volumes. And 1903 edition. 2 volumes. 

Compilation of all United States laws and treaties affecting Native Americans. The later edition includes the names of all signers of the treaties, the earlier edition does not.

McIntosh, John. The Origin of the North American Indians. NY: Nafis and Cornish, 1844.

Includes the speech of Keewatgoushkun, a chief of the Ottawa nation, at the time of the Chicago Treaty and several other Native American orations.

Recommending the Payment of a Balance Due under the Treaty Between the United States and the Ottawa and Chippewa Nations of Indians, Concluded at Washington on the 28th of March, 1836. Joint Resolution, January 15, 1852. Michigan. Legislature. 

Peters, Richard. Editor. Treaties Between the United States and Indian Tribes. Boston, MA: Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1848.

Text of treaties and signers.

Royce, Charles C. Indian Land Cessions in the United States. Smithsonian Institution Annual Report, 1896-1897. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1899: 527-997.

"Reviewing the history of America's acquisition of land from the Indians in light of the fundamental differences in view between the two peoples, it becomes evident that despite the pitiable frequent cases of personal and temporary injustice to the weaker race, the general policy has been guided by a deep grounded recognition of the principles of justice and right on the part of both peoples."

J.O. Lewis Lithographs

A View of the Butte Des Morts Treaty Ground with the Arrival of the Commissioners Gov. Lewis Cass and Col. McKenney in 1827. Painted on the Spot by J. O. Lewis.

View of the Great Treaty Held at Prairie du Chien, Sept 1825 at which upwards of 5000 Indian Warriors of the Chippeways, Sioux, Sacs and Foxes, Winnebagoes, Pottawattomies, Menomonies, Ioways, and Ottowas tribes were present. Gov. Lewis Cass of Michigan and Wm Clark of Missouri Commissioners on the part of the United States. Painted on the spot by J.O. Lewis.


Arneson, Winfield. "Treaty of Detroit – 1807." Dearborn Historian 12 (Winter 1972): 3-10.

Background and text of this treaty, including signers.

Baer, M. Teresa. "William Henry Harrison and the Indian Land Treaties." Traces 11 (Fall 1999): 12-19+.

Harrison can be viewed as either a hero or a villain.

"A Canadian Treaty." Totem Pole 26 (October 2, 1950): 1-4.

A 1790 treaty with the British signed by Ottawa, Chippeway, Pottawattomy and Huron chiefs.

Carsley, Mark K. "Jeffersonian Indian Policy in Practice: William Hull and the Treaty of Detroit, 1807." Detroit in Perspective 5 (Fall 1980): 20-39.

There were no doubts as to Governor Hull's aims as the Indian Superintendent of Michigan Territory. First, he hoped to extinguish the Indians' title to their land in Michigan. Second, he hoped to bring the way of the white man to the Indians.

Danziger, Edmund J. Jr. "They Would Not be Moved: The Chippewa Treaty of 1854." Minnesota History 43 (Spring 1973): 175-185.

This treaty played a vital role in the economic development of western Lake Superior.

Dustin, Fred. "The Treaty of Saginaw, 1819." Michigan History 4 (January 1920): 243-278.

Dustin presents a history of the treaty.

Edmunds, R. David. " 'Nothing has been Affected': The Vincennes Treaty of 1792." Indiana Magazine of History, LXXIV (March 1978): 23-35.

Vincennes Treaty negotiations have been said to have been designed to give Wayne time to rebuild the western army.

"General Cass at St. Marie- 1820." Wisconsin Historical Collections 5 (1867-1869): 410-416.

Story of Cass's behavior at the treaty negotiation.

Gerwing, Anselm J. "The Chicago Indian Treaty of 1833." Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society LVII (Summer 1964): 117-142.

It was power, and power alone, that ultimately decided who should have the land.

Handa, Karrie K. "Treaties Affecting the Montrose (Saginaw Valley) Area." Memory Lane Gazette 41 (Fall 1989): 3.

Between 1807 and 1838 there were five treaties which affected the Chippewa of the Montrose area.

Kent, Charles A. "The Treaty of Greenville August 3, 1795: The Story of a Great Treaty Whereby the Site of Chicago was Secured From the Indians by the U.S. Government, and the Great Indian Menace of the Northwest Shattered." Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society 10 (December 1917): 568-577.

Background and text of the Treaty.

Naegely, Henry E. "Lewis Cass and the Saginaw Treaty of 1819." Michigan History 3 (October 1919): 610-616.

An address delivered at the Centennial Celebration of the Saginaw Indian Treaty of 1819, praising Cass.

"The Saginaw Treaty." Totem Pole 9 (May 4, 1942): 2-5.

Includes the speech of O-Ge-Ma-Ge-Ga-To who was opposed to the Treaty.

Schenck, Theresa. "Who Owns Sault Ste. Marie?" Michigan Historical Review 28 (Spring 2002): 109-128.

On June 16, 1820, over the strenuous objections of most of the native inhabitants and under the threat of military retaliation, the Chippewa of Sault Ste. Marie ceded an area to the United States in exchange for 'a quantity of goods'.

Silliman, Sue I. "The Chicago Indian Treaty of 1821." Michigan History 6 (1922): 194-197.

A brief history of this treaty and its effect in Michigan.

"Treaty with the Chippewas November 25, 1808." American Indian (June 1939) 14.

Text of the Treaty.

Wrone, David R. "Indian Treaties and the Democratic Idea." Wisconsin Magazine of History 70 (Winter 1986/1987): 82-106.

The history of Indian treaties is the history of the democratic idea.‚Äč


Felch, Alpheus. “The Indians of Michigan and The Cession of Their Lands to the United States by Indian Treaties.” With Map. A Paper Read Before the Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society, 1894. (Fitting Mss Box 4)

A history of the treaties.

Obermiller, Louise. "Authority Agreement with the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, 1891."

1 folder.

Authority agreement with the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians of Emmet County, Michigan to present a claim to the United States government concerning sums due the Indians from the United States under the Treaty of 1855. Agreement dated August 27, 1891.

United States. Office of Indian Affairs. Ratified Indian Treaties 1722-1869, with Related Papers; A Chronological List of the Treaties; and Indexes by Place and Tribe, Including a few Entries Dated as Late as 1883. Washington, DC: National Archives. 16 reels of microfilm.

Indexed by place and tribe on Roll 1.

Treaty provisions relate to many subjects, the most important of which is the extinction of Indian title to land.

United States. Office of Indian Affairs. Documents Relating to the Negotiation of Ratified and Unratified Treaties with Various Tribes of Indians, 1801-1869. Washington, DC: National Archives. 10 reels of microfilm.

Included are the instructions to the treaty commissioners, records of treaty council proceedings, with speeches of both Indians and commissioners, narrative journals of the negotiations, and correspondence concerning the treaties from the beginning of the negotiations through their transmittal to the Senate for ratification. The arrangement is in chronological order by the date the treaty was signed.