restricted access 4. Treaty with the Six Nations, October 22, 1784
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4 lines of property should be ascertained and established between the United States and them, which will be convenient to the respective tribes, and commensurate to the public wants, because the faith of the United States stands pledged to grant portions of the uncultivated lands as a bounty to their army, and in reward of their courage and fidelity, and the public finances do not admit of any considerable expenditure to extinguish the Indian claims upon such lands; because it is become necessary, by the increase of domestic population and emigrations from abroad, to make speedy provision for extending the settlement of the territories of the United States; and because the public creditors have been led to believe and have a right to expect that those territories will be speedily improved into a fund towards the security and payment of the national debt. Nor in the opinion of the committee can the Indians themselves have any reasonable objections against the establishment recommended. They were, as some of them acknowledge, aggressors in the war, without even a pretence of provocation; they violated the convention of neutrality made with Congress at Albany, in 1775, and in return for proffered protection, and liberal supplies, and to the utter ruin and impoverishment of thousands of families, they wantonly desolated our villages and settlements ,anddestroyedourcitizens.Tostopthe progress of their outrages, the war, at a vast expence to the United States, was carried into their own country, which they abandoned. Waiving then the right of conquest and the various precedents which might be quoted in similar instances, a bare recollection of the facts is sufficient to manifest the obligation they are under to make atonement for the enormities which they have perpetrated, and a reasonable compensation for the expences which the United States have incurred by their wanton barbarity; and they possess no other means to do this act of justice than by a compliance with the proposed boundaries . The committee are of opinion, that in the negotiation which they recommend, care ought to be taken neither to yield nor require too much; to accommodate the Indians as far as the public good will admit, and if they should appear dissatisfied at the lines which it may be found necessary to establish, rather to give them some compensation for their claims than to hazard a war, which will be much more expensive; but it is supposed that when they shall be informed of the estimates of the damages which our citizens have sustained by their irruptions, and of the expences which the United States have incurred to check their career, it will have a tendency to suppress any extravagant demands. . . . And whereas the trade with the Indians ought to be regulated, and security be given by the traders, for the punctual observance of such regulations, so that violence, fraud and injustice towards the Indians, may be guarded against, and prevented, and the honor of the federal government and the public tranquility thereby promoted. Resolved, That a committee be appointed with instructions to prepare and report an ordinance for regulating the Indian trade, with a clause therein strictly prohibiting all civil and military officers, and particularly all commissioners and agents for Indian affairs, from trading with the Indians, or purchasing, or being directly or indirectly concerned in purchasing lands from Indians, except only by the express license and authority of the United States in Congress assembled. [ Journals of the Continental Congress, 25: 681–83, 693.] 4. Treaty with the Six Nations October 22, 1784 Typical of the treaties of peace signed by the United States with the Indian nations after the Revolutionary War was the treaty with the Six Nations in 1784, negotiated at Fort Stanwix. Articles concluded at Fort Stanwix, on the twenty-second day of October, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-four, between Oliver Wolcott, Richard Butler, and Arthur Lee, Commissioners Plenipotentiary from the United States, in Congress assembled, on the one Part, and the 5 Sachems and Warriors of the Six Nations, on the other. The United States of America give peace to the Senecas, Mohawks, Onondagas and Cayugas, and receive them into their protection upon the following conditions: Article I. Six hostages shall be immediately delivered to the commissioners by the said nations, to remain in possession of the United States, till all the prisoners, white and black, which were taken by the said Senecas, Mohawks, Onondagas and Cayugas, or by any of them, in the late war, from...