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Treaties in Wisconsin

Excerpt from interview with Loretta Metoxen, Oneida Historian

The Treaty of 1821 was between the Menominee and HoChunk Nations and the Six Nations of New York. At the time, Eleazor Williams had brought a small delegation of people representing the Six Nations but he brought mostly warriors and people who did not represent their Nations and they signed the treaty. It was a treaty for lands along the Fox River. I believe the HoChunk were not satisfied with the treaty and the treaty was eventually re-done in 1822 for use of rectory rights for use of Menominee lands. We had paid for the land under the treaty of 1821 and 1822. This treaty included lands from Milwaukee, east of the Winnebago Lake over to Wausau, then north to Michigan and east to Bay de Noc, Michigan and Door County. It included use and occupation, which at the time was referred to Indian Title. The HoChunk did not participate with the treaty. When the treaty was signed, there were days of celebrating and when the celebrating was over the HoChunk gathered up their people and things and left.

For the Treaty of 1827, the Oneidas had no say in the details, even though it was detrimental to our land mass because we purchased that right. The decedents of the fur traders who had married Menominee women were living in Green Bay.  They were very involved with politics and influence the leadership to move the NY Indians out of their territory. So, the Menominee Chiefs went to Washington to protest the NY Indians being present in Wisconsin. The result was that the US government had reduced our use of 8 million acres down to 500,000 acres.

With the Treaty of 1831, the Menominee were still not satisfied with the land mass of the Oneidas and again asked to have those lands reduced from 500,000 to 65,432 acres based on the population. There were also 2 townships of land created on the east side of the Winnebago Lake for the Stockbridge and Brotherton tribes. The Brotherton has 23,000 acres and the Stockbridge had double that amount.

In 1832, there was an amendment made to the treaty because there was a need for the Senate and President’s approval. It didn’t change the land mass but the Indians were required to move their improvements with in 3 years or President could renege on the deal.

The Treaty of Buffalo Creek was named after where the treaty was signed, just south of Buffalo, New York. The treaty basically stated that all of the tribes of the 6 Nations and their friends (ie.Brotherton and Stockbridge, etc) would be moved to Kansas on 1.7 million acres that were set aside for them. The treaty was detrimental to the Senecas and the treaty was eventually amended. We had an additional treaty that stated that we could stay in Wisconsin on the 8 X 12 mile tract. (65,432 acres) Some money was given for the signing of the treaty. I believe one Oneida group (1st Christian Party, and Orchard Party based on where you were located on the reservation) got $35,000 and the other group got $3,500. However, in 1967; the New York Immigrant Claim eventually paid the Oneidas for that loss because the value that had been paid was not the true value at the time.

 1827 Map