Treaty with the Six Nations (1789) (Fort Harmar)

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In 1789, representatives of the Tuscaroras, the Onondagas, the Oneidas, the Senecas, and the Cayugas met with Arthur St. Clair, governor of the Northwest Territory, at Fort Harmar near present-day Marietta, Ohio. The Mohawk natives chose not to participate in this gathering. The purpose of this meeting was to confirm the willingness of all parties to abide by the Treaty of Fort Stanwix (1784).

Following the American Revolution, the Confederation Congress needed money. The Articles of Confederation did not permit the federal 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 to 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.

On January 9, 1789, a new treaty, the Treaty with the Six Nations was signed. This new agreement reaffirmed the Treaty of Fort Stanwix (1784).

See Also


  1. Hurt, R. Douglas. The Ohio Frontier: Crucible of the Old Northwest, 1720-1830. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1996.
  2. 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.