Search/Browse Primary MaterialsAllInteractive ResourceSoundVideoImageText

Search/Browse Interpretive Materials Historical Themes Lincoln's Biography Cultural Tourism Teacher's Parlor About this Site

Teacher's Parlor

Primary Document Packet

Print this Page

1804 Treaty

Excerpted from:
United States. "Treaty with the Sauk and Foxes, Nov. 3, 1804, 7 Stat., 84." Indian Treaties, 1778-1883. Ed. Charles J. Kappler. New York: Interland Publishing, Inc., 1972. 74-77.

[p. 74]
And the said tribes…do hereby cede and relinquish forever to the United States, all the lands included within the above-described boundary.

[p. 76]
ART. 7. As long as the lands which are now ceded to the United States remain their property, the Indians belonging to the said tribes, shall enjoy the privilege of living and hunting upon them.

Felix St. Vrain's Letter to General William Clark

St. Vrain, Felix. "Letter to General William Clark." Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library. Volume IV. Executive Series, Vol. I. The Governors' Letter-Books, 1818-1834. Eds. Evarts Boutell Greene and Clarence Walworth Alvord. Springfield, IL: Illinois State Historical Library, 1909. 178.

[p. 178]
ROCK ISLAND, May 15th, 1831

GENRL. WILLIAM CLARK, Superintendant Indian Affairs S. Louis

Respected Sir -- I have again to mention to you that the Black Hawk (a Sac Chief) and his party, are now at their old Village on Rock River they have commenced planting corn and say, that they will keep possession. I have been informed that they have pulled down a House, and some fences, which they burned, they have also turned their Horses in wheat fields & say that they will destroy the Wheat, so that the White People shall not remain amongst them. This is what I expected from their manner of acting last fall, and which I mentioned to you in my Letter of the 8th of October last. I would be glad to have some instructions how to act with this band of Indians. I would not be at a loss were it not for the 7th article of the Treaty with the Sacs & the Foxes of 3d November 1804.

I respectfully ask; would it not be better to hold a Treaty with those Indians, and get them to remove peaceably, than to call on the Military to force them off: none of this band have as yet called on me for information, a few have been at my agency to have some work done at the Smith's Shop.

I have the Honor to by Yr. Obdt. Servt.


Black Hawk's Account of the 1804 Treaty

Excerpted from:
Black Hawk, and Antoine LeClair. Autobiography of Ma-Ka-Tai-Me-She-Kia-Kiak, or Black Hawk, Embracing the Traditions of his Nation, Various Wars In Which He Has Been Engaged, and His Account of the Cause and General History of the Black Hawk War of 1832, His Surrender, and Travels Through the United States. Also Life, Death and Burial of the Old Chief, Together with a History of the Black Hawk War. Ed. J. B. Patterson. Oquawka, IL: J. B Patterson, 1882.

[p. 22]
Some moons after this young chief had descended the Mississippi, one of our people killed an American, was taken prisoner and was confined in the prison at St. Louis for the offence. We held a council at our village to see what could be done for him, and determined that Quashquame, Pashepaho, Ouchequaka and Hashequarhiqua should go down to St. Louis, see our American father and do all they could to have our friend released by paying for the person killed, thus covering the blood and satisfying the relations of the murdered man. This being the only means with us for saving a person who had killed another, and we then thought it was the same way with the whites.

[p. 23]

Quashquame and party remained a long time absent. They at length returned and encamped near the village, a short distance below it, and did not come up that day, nor did any one approach their camp. They appeared to be dressed in fine coats and had medals. From these circumstances we were in hopes that they had brought good news. Early the next morning the Council Lodge was crowded, Quashquame and party came up and gave us the following account of their mission:

"On our arrival at St. Louis we met our American father and explained to him our business, urging the release of our friend. The American chief told us he wanted land. We agreed to give him some on the west side of the Mississippi, likewise more on the Illinois side opposite Jeffreon. When the business was all arranged we expected to have our friend released to come home with us. About the time we were ready to start our brother was let out of the prison. He started and ran a short distance when he was SHOT DEAD!"

This was all they could remember of what had been said and done. It subsequently appeared that they had been drunk the greater part of the time while at St. Louis.

This was all myself and nation knew of the treaty of 1804. It has since been explained to me. I found by that treaty, that all of the country east of the Mississippi, and south of Jeffreon was ceded to the United States for one thousand dollars a year; I will leave it to the people
[p. 24]
of the United States to say whether our nation was properly represented in this treaty? Or whether we received a fair compensation for the extent of country ceded by these four individuals?

I could say much more respecting this treaty, but I will not at this time. It has been the origin of all our serious difficulties with the whites.

Benjamin Drake's Account of the 1804 Treaty

Excerpted from:
Drake, Benjamin. The Great Indian Chief of the West: or, Life and Adventures of Black Hawk. United States Book Company, 1848. 59-61.

[p. 59]
The power among the Indian tribes of this country to sell their lands, has always been considered as vested in the chiefs. They, however, are accustomed to consult the whole nation, and, possibly, it may be necessary, in all cases, that its assent should be obtained. It has not been the practice of our government, it is believed, in its negociations with the Indians, to institute particular enquiries for the purpose of ascertaining, how far the chiefs were authorized to act by their people.…
[p. 60]
…there was every reason, especially on the part of the Commissioner, for believing, that the chiefs who signed the treaty, were fully authorized to act. In the first place, Government, in its instructions to the Commissioner, to make a purchase of lands, of the Sacs and Foxes, had given as a reason for it, that it was a matter of complaint, on the part of these two tribes, that they were not, like their neighbors, receiving an annuity from the United States. They owned a very large extent of territory, and had, comparatively, but a limited population. It was natural that they should wish to dispose of some portion of it, for the purpose of receiving an annual supply of goods and money. In the second place, five chiefs of the Sacs and Foxes, united in the treaty, one of them, Pah-she-pa-ho, being at the time the great head-chief of the Sac nation. It is admitted by Black Hawk that a council had been held by these two tribes, and that Pah-she-pa-ho and his associates had been authorized to visit St. Louis to purchase the release of a prisoner. It is probable that the sale of a part of their territory may have been agreed upon by this council. In the third place, there must have been a prevailing opinion in St. Louis, that these chiefs were authorized to act in the case. The treaty was publicly made, and a number of high-minded and honorable men, are parties to it, in the character of commissioner,
[p. 61]
secretary, and witnesses. Among them are several officers of the army; the first governor of the territory of Louisiana; and Pierre Chouteau, at that time Agent for the Sac and Fox Indians, and well acquainted with them. These circumstances forbid the idea of the treaty having been formed under circumstances in which there were not satisfactory reasons for believing, that the Indians, parties to it were fully authorized to act.

…But admitting that the deputation of chiefs transcended their authority in the sale of the lands, made at that time, it would seem that the Sacs and Foxes acquiesced in it. They never disavowed the treaty, but have regularly received their annuity, and, on more than one occasion, have recognized it, as binding. Even Black Hawk and his band, made this recognition, in the treaty of peace which they signed with the United States, at Portage des Sioux, in 1816.

1816 Treaty

Excerpted from: United States [1816], "Treaty with the Sauk, May 13, 1816, 7 Stat., 141" (From Indian Treaties, 1778-1883. Ed. Charles J. Kappler. New York: Interland Publishing, Inc., 1972. 126-128.) Permission: Northern Illinois University [1816:Sauk].

[p. 127]

ART. 1. The Sacs of Rock river, and the adjacent country, do hereby unconditionally assent to recognize, re-establish, and confirm the treaty between the United States of America and the United tribes of Sacs and Foxes, which was concluded at St. Louis, on the third day of November, one thousand eight hundred and four; as well as all other contracts and agreements, heretofore made between the Sac tribe or nation, and the United States.

In testimony whereof, the said William Clark, Ninian Edwards, and Auguste Chouteau, commissioners as aforesaid, and the undersigned chiefs and warriors as aforesaid, have hereunto set their hands and affixed their seals, this thirteenth day of May, one thousand eight hundred and sixteen.

Wm. Clark, [L. S.]
Ninian Edwards, [L. S.]
Auguste Chouteau, [L. S.]
Anowart, or the One who speaks, his x mark, [L. S.]
Namawenanu, or Sturgeon Man, his x mark, [L. S.]
Nasawarku, or the Forks, his x mark, [L. S.]
Namatchesa, or the Jumping Sturgeon, his x mark, [L. S.]
Matchequawa, the Bad Axe, his x mark, [L. S.]
Mascho, or Young Eagle, his x mark, [L. S.]
Aquaosa, or a Lion coming out of the Water, his x mark, [L. S.]
Mucketamachekaka, or Black Sparrow Hawk, his x mark, [L. S.]
Poinaketa, or the Cloud that don't stop, his x mark, [L. S.]
Mealeseta, or Bad Weather, his x mark, [L. S.]
Anawashqueth, the Bad Root, his x mark, [L. S.]
Wassekenequa, or Sharp-faced Bear, his x mark, [L. S.]
Sakeetoo, or the Thunder that Frightens, his x mark, [L. S.]
Warpaloka, or the Rumbling Thunder, his x mark, [L. S.]
Kemealosha, or the Swan that flies in the rain, his x mark, [L. S.]
Pashekomack, or the Swan that flies low, his x mark, [L. S.]
Keotasheka, or the Running Partridge, his x mark, [L. S.]
Wapalamo, or the White Wolf, his x mark, [L. S.]
Caskupwa, or the Swan whose wings crack when he flies, his x mark, [L. S.]
Napetaka, or he who has a Swan's throat around his neck, his x mark, [L. S.]
Mashashe, or the Fox, his x mark, [L. S.]
Wapamukqua, or the White Bear, his x mark, [L. S.]

Black Hawk's Account of the 1816 Treaty

Excerpted from:
Black Hawk, and Antoine LeClair. Autobiography of Ma-Ka-Tai-Me-She-Kia-Kiak, or Black Hawk, Embracing the Traditions of his Nation, Various Wars In Which He Has Been Engaged, and His Account of the Cause and General History of the Black Hawk War of 1832, His Surrender, and Travels Through the United States. Also Life, Death and Burial of the Old Chief, Together with a History of the Black Hawk War. Ed. J. B. Patterson. Oquawka, IL: J. B Patterson, 1882.

[p. 55]
The great chief at St. Louis having sent word for us to come down and confirm the treaty, we did not hesitate, but started immediately that we might smoke the peace pipe with him. …

The council then proceeded and the pipe of peace was smoked.

Here for the first time, I touched the goose quill to the treaty, not knowing, however, that, by the act I consented to give away my village. Had that been explained to me I should have opposed it and never would have signed their treaty, as my recent conduct will clearly prove.

What do we know of the manners, the laws, and the customs of the white people? They might buy our bodies for dissection, and we would touch the goose quill to confirm it and not know what we were doing. This was the case with me and my people in touching the goose quill the first time.

©Copyright 2005 Abraham Lincoln Historical Digitization Project