Treaty of Fort McIntosh

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The Treaty of Fort McIntosh was a treaty between the United States government and representatives of the Wyandotte, Delaware, Chippewa and Ottawa nations of Native Americans. The treaty was signed at Fort McIntosh (present Beaver, Pennsylvania) on January 21, 1785.

In a follow up to the 1784 Treaty of Fort Stanwix, where the Seneca nation had given up claims to the Ohio Country, the American government sought a treaty with the remaining tribes having claims in the Ohio Country. The United States sent a team of diplomats including George Rogers Clark, Richard Butler, and Arthur Lee to negotiate a new treaty.

In January 1785, the representatives of the two sides met at Fort McIntosh at the confluence of the Ohio and Beaver Rivers. The tribes ceded all claims to land in the Ohio Country east of the Cuyahoga and Muskingum rivers. The tribes also ceded the areas surrounding Fort Detroit and Fort Michilimackinac to the American government and gave back captives taken in raids along the frontier.

Problems with the new treaty soon arose. Connecticut's Western Reserve extended west of the Cuyahoga River into the reservation lands. Connecticut had already granted large tracts of land, later to be nicknamed the "Firelands", in the region to Revolutionary War veterans and Patriots who had lost their homes in the war.

Conflict between the tribes and the new settlers soon broke out. Further complicating the matter was that Great Britain also continued to claim part of the region and would do so until the Jay Treaty was signed in 1794. Some British agents in the region, still stinging from their defeat in the Revolution, encouraged tribes to attack American settlements.

The American government sent General Arthur St. Clair into the Ohio Country to reestablish peace. He had been instructed to offer back to the tribes some lands north of the Ohio River and east of the Muskingum River in exchange for the disputed territory. St. Clair however defied orders and instead threatened and bribed several pliable chiefs into a one sided agreement. St. Clair and the chiefs of several tribes signed the Treaty of Fort Harmar on January 9, 1789.

Several nations, most notably the Shawnee who had been excluded from the negotiations, refused to abide by the new treaty and conflict continued. The raids continued until the tribal alliance was defeated at the Battle of Fallen Timbers and the 1795 signing of the Treaty of Greenville.

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References[edit]

  • Laurence M. Hauptman, Conspiracy of Interests: Iroquois Dispossession and the Rise of New York State (2001).

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