Envisaging the West: Thomas Jefferson and the Roots of Lewis and Clark



Treaty of Fort Stanwix
Source copy consulted: Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, XIII (1906): 23-27
After expressing their "apprehension" regarding the failure of colonists to strictly observe the 1765 boundary line between Indian Territory and the British colonies, continued negotiations produced this treaty. It describes in detail the line between the Six Nations, tribes of the Ohio, various dependent tribes, and the thirteen seaboard colonies. The agreement effectively closed off legitimate settlement of the Ohio Valley. However, it was ignored by many colonists who migrated west and squatted illegally on Indian lands. The inability of colonial authorities to effectively prevent these illegal settlements west of the boundary aggravated the situation between the various tribes of the region and white settlers along the frontier.

To all to whom these presents shall come or may concern, we, the Sachems and Chiefs of the Six United Nations, and of the Shawanese, Delawares, Mingoes of Ohio, and other dependant Tribes on behalf of Ourselves and the rest of our several Nations, the Chiefs and Warriors of whom are now here convened by Sir William Johnson, Baronet His Majesty's Superintendant of our affairs, send Greeting.

Whereas, His Majesty was graciously pleased to propose to us in the year 1765 that a Boundary Line should be fixed between the English and us, to ascertain and establish our limits, and prevent those intrusions and incroachments of which we had so long and loudly complained, and to put a stop to the many fraudulent advantages which had been so often taken of us in land affairs, which boundary appearing to us as a wise and good measure, we did then agree to a part of a Line and promised to settle the whole finally, whensoever Sir William Johnson should be fully empowered to treat with us for that purpose. And whereas, his said Majesty has at length given Sir William Johnson orders, Sir William Johnson has convened the Chiefs and Warriors of our respective nations, who are the true and absolute Proprietors of the lands in question, and who are here now to a very considerable number, and whereas many uneasinesses and doubts have arisen amongst us which have given rise to an apprehension that the Line may not be strictly observed on the part of the English, in which case matters may be worse than before, which apprehension, together with the dependant state of some of our tribes and other circumstances, which retarded the settlement and became the subject of some debate, Sir William Johnson has at length so far satisfied us upon, as to induce us to come to an agreement concerning the Line, which is now brought to conclusion, the whole being full explained to us in a large Assembly of our people before Sir William Johnson and in the presence of His Excellency the Governor of New Jersey, the Commissioners for the Provinces of Virginia and Pennsylvania, and sundry other gentlemen, by which line, so agreed upon, a considerable tract of country along several provinces is by us ceeded to His said Majesty, which we are induced to, and do hereby ratify and confirm to His said Majesty from the expectation and confidence we place in his royal goodness, that he will graciously comply with our humble requests as the same is expressed in the speech of the several Nations addressed to His Majesty thro' Sir William Johnson on Tuesday, the first day of the present month of November, wherein we have declared our expectations of the continuance of His Majesty's favor, and our desire that our ancient engagements be observed and our affairs attended to, by the officer who has the management thereof, enabling him to discharge all these matters properly for our interest. That the lands occupied by the Mohocks around their villages, as well as by any other Nation affected by this our cession, may effectually remain to them and to their posterity, and that any engagements regarding Property which they may now be under may be prosecuted and our present grants deemed valid on our parts, with the several other humble requests contained in our said speech. And whereas at the settling of the said line it appeared that the Line described by His Majesty's order was not extended to the Northward of Oswegy, or the Southward of Great Kanawha River. We have agreed to and continued the line to the Northward, on a supposition that it was omitted by reason of our not having come to any determination concerning its course, at the Congress held in 1765 and in as much as the line to the Northward became the most necessary of any for preventing encroachments at our very towns and residences, and we have given this Line more favourably to Pennsylvania for the reasons and considerations mentioned in the Treaty. We have likewise continued it South to Cherokee River, because the same is and we do declare it to be our true bounds with the Southern Indians, and that we have an undoubted right to the country as far South as that River; which makes our cession to His Majesty much more advantageous than that proposed. Now, therefore, know ye that we, the Sachems and Chiefs afore mentioned, native Indians and Proprietors of the Lands herein after described, for and in behalf of ourselves and the whole of our confederacy for the consideration herein before mentioned, and also for and in consideration of a valuable present of the several articles in use and among Indians, which, together with a large sum of money, amount in the whole to the sum of Ten thousand four hundred and sixty pounds seven shillings and three pence sterling to us now delivered and paid by Sir William Johnson Baronet, His Majesty's sole agent and Superintendant of Indian affairs for the Northern Department of America, in the name and on behalf of Our Sovereign Lord George the third by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France and Ireland King, defender of the Faith, the receipt whereof we do hereby acknowledge. We, the said Indians, have for us our heirs and successors granted, bargained, sold, released and confirmed, and by these presents do grant, bargain, sell, release and confirm unto our said Sovereign Lord, King George the Third, All that Tract of Land situate in North America at the Back of the British Settlements, bounded by a Line which we have now agreed upon, and we do hereby establish as the Boundary between us and the British Colonies in America Beginning at the mouth of the Cherokee or Hogohege River, where it emptys into the River Ohio and running from thence upwards along the South side of the said River to Kittanning Maps: , which is above Fort Pitt Maps: ; from thence, by a direct line, to the nearest Fork of the West Branch of Susquehannah Maps: , thence thro' the Alegany Mountains Maps: along the South side of the said West Branch Maps: till it comes opposite to the Mouth of a creek called Tiadgton Maps: , thence across the West Branch and along the South side of that creek, and along the North side of Burnett's hills to a creek called Awandae, thence down the same to the East Branch of Susquehannah Maps: . And across the same, and up the east side of that River to Oswegy, from thence east to Delaware River Maps: , and up that River Maps: to opposite where Tianadhera falls into Susquehannah. Thence to Tianadhera and up the west side thereof and the west side of its West Branch to the head thereof; and thence by a direct line to Canada Creek where it emptys into the Wood Creek at the West end of the carrying place beyond Fort Stanwix, and extended Eastward from every part of the said Line as far as the Lands formerly purchased, so as to comprehend the whole of the lands between the said Line and the purchased lands or Settlements, except what is within the Province of Pennsylvania, together with the hereditaments and appurtenances to the same belonging or appurtaining, in the fullest and most ample manner, and all the Estate, Right, Title, Interest, Property, Possession, Benefit, claim and Demand, either in Law or Equity of each and every of us, of, in or to the same or any part thereof. To have and to hold the whole Lands and Premisses hereby granted, bargained, sold, released and confirmed as aforesaid with the hereditaments and appurtenances thereunto belonging under the reservations made in the Treaty, unto our said Sovereign Lord, King George the Third, his heirs and successors, to and for his and their own proper use and behoof for ever.

In witness weherof, we, the chiefs of the Confederacy, have hereunto set our Marks and seals at Fort Stanwix the 5th day of November, 1768, in the 9th year of His Majesty's reign.

Signed, sealed and delivered in presence of TEYANHASIRE, or Abraham, [L.S.] Mohock. CONAQUIESO, [L.S.] Onida. SESQUARESSURA, [L.S.] Tuscarora. BLUNT, or Chenughiata, [L.S.] Onandago. TEGAYA, [L.S.] Cayuga. GOSTRAX, [L.S.] Seneca. WILLIAM FRANKIN, Govr. N. Jersey. FREDERICK SMITH, Chief Justice N. Jersey. Thomas Walker Commissioner for Virginia RICHARD PETERS, JAMES TILGHMAN, Of the Council of Pennsylva. Treaty at Fort Stanwix In Lord Botetourt's Dup. (No. 6) of 24 December, 1768. I hereby certify that this a true Copy of the Original deposited in Her Majesty's State Paper Office, London. ROBT. LEMON, Chief Clerk. L.S.: State Paper Office, 20th July, 1841.