Treaty of Fort Stanwix (1784)
In 1784, the government of the newly independent United States entered into a treaty with the Six Nations of the Iroquois.
Following the American Revolution, the Confederation Congress needed money. The Articles of Confederation did not permit the government to easily tax its citizens. To raise funds to operate the government, the Confederation Congress hoped to sell land in the Ohio Country to the American people. Government officials realized that Native Americans controlled the land. Before any sales could take place, the United States would have to convince the natives to give up their claims on the land.
The first step in this process was the Treaty of Fort Stanwix (1784). In this treaty, the Six Nations of the Iroquois agreed to relinquish all claims to the Ohio Country. The Six Nations included the Tuscaroras, the Mohawks, the Onondagas, the Oneidas, the Senecas, and the Cayugas. Few of these groups actually lived in the Ohio Country, although they all did claim land there. The Ohio Country natives, including the Shawnees, the Seneca-Cayuga, the Delawares, and several other tribes rejected the treaty. The Ohio Country became a violent place as U.S. settlers began to arrive in the region in the mid-1780s.
- Hurt, R. Douglas. The Ohio Frontier: Crucible of the Old Northwest, 1720-1830. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1996.
- Richter, Daniel K. The Ordeal of the Longhouse: The Peoples of the Iroquois League in the Era of European Colonization. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1992.