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The United States entered into nearly 400 treaties with over one hundred tribal nations from 1778-1871. This timeline highlights five major treaties between the United States and Tribal Nations living within Michigan.  There are many more treaties than the ones highlighted here.

Treaties with Michigan’s Tribal Nations

1807

Treaty of Detroit

The Treaty of Detroit was a treaty between the United States and the Odawa (Ottawa), Ojibwe (Chippewa), Wyandot and Potawatomi nations. The United States and tribal nations signed the treaty in Detroit, Michigan on November 17, 1807. William Hull signed for the United States government.  He was the governor of the Michigan Territory and Superintendent of Indian affairs.

Tribes ceded, or gave up a large portion of land in what is now southeast Michigan and northwest Ohio in this treaty. The Odawa (Ottawa), Ojibwe (Chippewa), Wyandot and Potawatomi were allowed to have hunting and fishing rights. The United States government paid these nations a little bit of money, but they had to move off the land.  The Treaty of Detroit also set up reservations, or pieces of land where indigenous people were allowed to live.

Dig Deeper

into primary sources

Don't just take our word for it. You can read through the original treaty, online at the National Archives. Here is just a snippet of the treaty showing three signatures.

1819

Treaty of Saginaw

Lewis Cass, territorial governor of Michigan, and Chiefs and members of the Ojibwe (Chippewa), Odawa (Ottawa), and Potawatomi tribes made an agreement in the Treaty of Saginaw (also known as the Treaty with the Chippewa).  These tribes ceded six million acres of land. On this land, the United States government  started to build roads.  As part of the agreement, the United States government promised up to $1,000 a year forever, and hunting and fishing rights on the land. The United States government also promised a blacksmith and tools to help the tribes farm.

Dig Deeper

into primary sources

Don't just take our word for it. You can read through the original treaty, online at the National Archives. Here is just a snippet of the treaty.

1821

Treaty of Chicago 

In the summer of 1821, territorial governor of Michigan Lewis Cass went to Chicago to try and get more land from tribal nations. Lewis Cass met with approximately 3,000 members of the Potawatomi, Ojibwe (Chippewa), and Odawa (Ottawa) tribes.  In the Treaty of Chicago, these tribes ceded nearly five million acres of the lower peninsula of Michigan. In return, the United States government promised tribes about $10,000 in trade goods, $6,500 in coins and a 20-year payment valued at about $150,000.

 

Dig Deeper

into primary sources

Don't just take our word for it. You can read through the original treaty, online at the National Archives. Here is just a snippet of the treaty.

1836

Treaty of Washington D.C.

The United States government and the Odawa (Ottawa) and Ojibwe (Chippewa) tribes entered the Treaty of Washington D.C. The Odawa (Ottawa) and Ojibwe (Chippewa) tribes ceded about 13 million acres. This was the largest amount of land ceded by the tribes. Five Odawa (Ottawa) bands and one band with both  Odawa(Ottawa) and Ojibwe (Chippewa) signed this treaty. Just like the other treaties, tribes had to leave the land given to the United States government. The tribes received money, services and rights to hunt, fish and harvest.  This treaty also created reservations.

1842

Treaty of La Pointe

Ojibwe (Chippewa) bands of Lake Superior and Mississippi ceded the western half of the upper peninsula of Michigan to the United States government.  These bands also ceded all rights to iron and copper.  As part of the treaty, the Ojibwe (Chippewa) were forced to leave the land. The United States government promised money, a blacksmith and a school.  In addition, the United States government allowed the bands to hunt and fish on ceded land.

 

 

Dig Deeper

into primary sources

Don't just take our word for it. You can read through the original treaty, online at the National Archives. Here is just a snippet of the treaty showing three signatures.

By 1855, the last of the treaties between the tribal nations of Michigan and state and federal government are signed.

Watch this video.

This video chronicles how the United States seized over 1.5 billion acres from America's indigenous people. You can interact with this map on eHistory (https://ehistory.org/).

This video is a production of eHistory, founded by the University of Georgia in 2011.

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