Treaty of Canandaigua

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The Treaty of Canandaigua (or Konondaigua, as spelled in the treaty itself) is a treaty signed after the American Revolutionary War between the Grand Council of the Six Nations and President George Washington representing the United States of America.

It was signed at Canandaigua, New York on November 11, 1794, by fifty sachems and war chiefs representing the Grand Council of the Six Nations of the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) Confederacy (including the Cayuga, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Seneca and Tuscarora tribes), and by Timothy Pickering, official agent of President George Washington.

Background of the Treaty[edit]

In the late 1780s and early 1790s New York State had sought the land of the Six Nations and began to pursue deceptive and illegal land transactions with the Native Americans. Treaty making and outright land purchaes by states were illegal first under Article 9 of the Articles of Confederation and then under the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution. Despite this, NY secured 26 leases many for 999 years taking all almost all native territory. Becoming worried that these maneuvers might push the Six Nations to join Tecumseh's pan-indian military alliance to defend the Ohio Valley, the United States government sent a delegation to Canandaigua in the Seneca Territory.[1]

Contents of the Treaty[edit]

The treaty established peace and friendship between the United States of America and the Six Nations, and affirmed Haudenosaunee land rights in the state of New York, and the boundaries established by the Phelps and Gorham Purchase of 1788.[2]

It was the second[citation needed] diplomatic agreement entered into by the United States of America under its current Constitution (the first was the Treaty of New York, made with the Creek Indians in 1790).

The treaty, also known as the Pickering Treaty[3] and the Calico Treaty,[3] is still actively recognized by the United States and the nations of the Haudenosaunee confederacy. However, 10,000 acres of the Allegheny Reservation were legally condemned for eminent domain during construction of Kinzua Dam, causing relocation of 600 Seneca.

The Six Nations in New York were still receiving calico cloth as payment under the treaty,[4] while the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin were still receiving an annuity check of $1,800, as late as 1941, almost 150 years after the treaty took effect.[3][4]


The treaty was signed by fifty Sachems and War Chiefs.[2][5]

Notable signatories include:



Israel Chapin, Wm. Shepard Jun'r, James Smedley, John Wickham, Augustus Porter, James H. Garnsey, Wm. Ewing, Israel Chapin, Jun'r


Horatio Jones, Joseph Smith, Jasper Parrish, Henry Abeele,

Treaty of Canandaigua

To us it is more than a contract, more than a symbol;
to us the 1794 Treaty is a way of life.[6]

George Heron

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Churchill, Ward. Struggle for the Land: Native North American Resistance to Genocide, Ecocide. The Rosen Publishing Group. p. 96. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Treaty of Canandaigua". Cayuga Nation ("People of the Great Swamp"). Retrieved 2009-08-17. 
  3. ^ a b c Houghton, Gillian. The Oneida of Wisconsin. The Rosen Publishing Group. pp. 25–26. ISBN 0-8239-6432-9. Retrieved 17 August 2009. 
  4. ^ a b "Calico payments to Indians are less this year". The Evening Independent. 8 November 1941. Retrieved 2009-08-17. 
  5. ^ "Text of the Treaty". Retrieved 2015-10-01. 
  6. ^ Brown, Edgar A.; edited by Jeanette Miller. "1794 Canandaigua Treaty". Ganondagan. Retrieved December 5, 2012. 


  • Laurence M. Hauptman, Conspiracy of Interests: Iroquois Dispossession and the Rise of New York State (2001).
  • Jemison, G. Peter (ed.), Schein, Anna M. (ed.) and Powless Jr., Irving (ed.). Treaty of Canandaigua 1794: 200 Years of Treaty Relations Between the Iroquois Confederacy and the United States. Clear Light Publishing, 2000. ISBN 1-57416-052-4

External links[edit]