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Treaty with the Six Nations (1784)


Native Americans of the St. Lawrence, Ohio, Mississippi, and Mohawk River valleys played an important role during the century of warfare from the 1680s to the 1780s, when the French, English, and Americans fought for control of North America. During the last great contest, the War for American Independence (1775–1783), most Indian tribes allied with the English. This opposition to the American patriots was true of the Six Nations of the Iroquois. The Treaty of Paris of 1783 ending the war gave the new United States control of the region from the Appalachian Mountains to the Mississippi River, which included countless Indian villages and thousands of warriors. The new government of the United States organized under the Articles of Confederation gave Congress the power to make treaties with Indian nations. In 1784, Congress appointed Oliver Wolcott, Richard Butler, and Arthur Lee to negotiate a treaty with the defeated Cayuga, Seneca, Mohawk, Oneida, Tuscarora, and Onondaga tribes of upstate New York. The resulting treaty, signed by the American commissioners and representatives of the tribes, set forth the boundaries of the Indian nations, demanded Indian hostages be turned over to American authorities, and agreed to bring supplies to the beleaguered natives. This treaty, like many treaties before and after signed by the United States and North American Indian tribes, would be short-lived. War would again occur during the next ten years until the Indians were soundly defeated at Fallen Timbers in 1794.

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See also Indian Treaties ; Iroquois .

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 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 among the people of the United States, shall be delivered up.

Article II.

The Oneida and Tuscarora nations shall be secured in the possession of the lands on which they are settled.

Article III.

A line shall be drawn, beginning at the mouth of a creek about four miles east of Niagara, called Oyonwayea, or Johnston's Landing-Place, upon the lake named by the Indians Oswego, and by us Ontario; from thence southerly in a direction always four miles east of the carrying-path, between Lake Erie and Ontario, to the mouth of Tehoseroron or Buffaloe Creek on Lake Erie; thence south to the north boundary of the state of Pennsylvania; thence west to the end of the said north boundary; thence south along the west boundary of the said state, to the river Ohio; the said line from the mouth of the Oyonwayea to the Ohio, shall be the western boundary of the lands of the Six Nations, so that the Six Nations shall and do yield to the United States, all claims to the country west of the said boundary, and then they shall be secured in the peaceful possession of the lands they inhabit east and north of the same, reserving only six miles square round the fort of Oswego, to the United States, for the support of the same.

Article IV.

The Commissioners of the United States, in consideration of the present circumstances of the Six Nations, and in execution of the humane and liberal views of the United States upon the signing of the above articles, will order goods to be delivered to the said Six Nations for their use and comfort.

Oliver Wolcott, [L.S.]
Richard Butler, [L.S.]
Arthur Lee, [L.S.]
Onogwendahonji, his x mark, [L.S.]
Touighnatogon, his x mark, [L.S.]
Oheadarighton, his x mark, [L.S.]
Kendarindgon, his x mark, [L.S.]
Tayagonendagighti, his x mark, [L.S.]
Tehonwaeaghrigagi, his x mark, [L.S.]
Otyadonenghti, his x mark, [L.S.]
Dagaheari, his x mark, [L.S.]
Oraghgoanendagen, his x mark, [L.S.]
Ononghsawenghti, his x mark, [L.S.]
Tharondawagon, his x mark, [L.S.]
Seneka Abeal:
Kayenthoghke, his x mark, [L.S.]
Sam. Jo. Atlee,
Wm. Maclay,
Fras. Johnston,
Pennsylvania Commissioners.
Aaron Hill,
Alexander Campbell,
Saml. Kirkland, missionary,
James Dean,
Saml. Montgomery,
Derick Lane, captain,
John Mercer, lieutenant,
William Pennington, lieutenant,
Mahlon Hord, ensign,
Hugh Peebles.

SOURCE: "Treaty with the Six Nations, 1784." In Indian Treaties, 1778–1883. Edited by Charles J. Kappler. Washington, DC: 1904.

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