Monday, February 16, 2009

Ellis Describes More Negotiations

New York Indian Removal, Part IX:
Ellis Describes More Negotiations

Let's back up a little ways. Remember the treaties of 1821 and 1822? Remember how they were sloppily done and appear to have aimed to set up conflict between the New York Indians and the Wisconsin Natives? Remember how the summer council of 1830 didn't resolve anything? (See this post if you don't remember.)

To take us further, I think the best source is Albert G. Ellis' "Advent of the New York Indians Into Wisconsin," (originally printed in Wisconsin Historical Collections, Volume II, pages 415-449). (Ellis is pictured on the left.)

The new Indian agent in the Green Bay region, Colonel Samuel C. Stambaugh, was denied permission to take ten Menominee Chiefs to negotiate a new treaty in Washington, D.C. Instead, Stambaugh left Green Bay with fourteen Menominees on November 8, 1830. Three weeks later they arrived at Detroit where they picked up Eleazar Williams and Daniel Bread who would represent the Oneidas. The party of sixteen Indians and a few federal officials finally made it to Washington on December 11th, and were joined by John W. Quinney of the Stockbridge Mohicans (Ellis, page 433).

John W. Quinney -->

As Ellis tells it (433-434), the officials of Andrew Jackson's administration worked with the Menominees and essentially ignored the New York Indians. The first treaty that was written up (he refers to it as "the Stambaugh treaty") didn't allow the New York Indians the quality nor the quantity of land they wanted. Senators from New York opposed that treaty. They wanted enough land set aside not only for the New York Indians that were already in Wisconsin, but also for the Senecas and other Indians that had stayed put up to that point.

So the Senate never bothered to vote on whether to ratify the Stambaugh treaty. In the next session of Congress, however, a treaty was passed with more favorable terms for the New York Indians. On page 440 Ellis reveals the terms of that treaty relevant to the Stockbridge, Munsee, and Brothertown Indians.

Sure the Stockbridge and Brothertown Indians would have to move again, but instead of the swampy land on the west bank of the Fox River that Andrew Jackson's administration wanted them to go to, they were moving to good land on the east shore of Lake Winnebago. John W. Quinney's negotiations had paid off!

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