Treaty of Fort Niagara

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The Treaty of Fort Niagara is one of several treaties signed between the British Crown and various indigenous peoples of North America.

Treaty of Fort Niagara (1764)[edit]

The 1764 Treaty of Fort Niagara was signed by Sir William Johnson for the Crown and 24 Nations from the Six Nations, Seneca, Wyandot of Detroit, Menominee, Algonquin, Nipissing, Ojibwa, Mississaugas, and others who were part of the Seven Nations of Canada and the Western Lakes Confederacy. The Treaty was concluded on August 1, 1764. The treaty transferred possession of a narrow four mile strip of land along the Niagara River's western shore. This treaty also detached some of them from Pontiac's Rebellion.

The Royal Proclamation of 1763 established the British definition of Indian Country. On these lands the Crown claimed sovereignty but it also decreed that Indian Country were to be considered the possession of the Aboriginal peoples who lived on these lands. Consequently, in order to transfer ownership of the land to the Crown through the surrendering of the land from the indigenous peoples, Great Britain began formalizing the Treaty of Fort Niagara with the First Nations on July 8, 1764, through this Treaty Council. In protest, the Ottawa of Detroit, the Wyandot of Sandusky, and the Lenape and Shawnee of the Ohio failed to come to the Treaty Council. This treaty created a new Covenant Chain between Britain and the First Nations of the western Great Lakes. During the War of 1812, Nations involved with this treaty allied themselves with the British, as the Nations believed the treaty bound them to the British cause.

Treaty of Fort Niagara (1781)[edit]

The 1781 Treaty of Fort Niagara, also known as Niagara Purchase, was signed by Colonel Guy Johnson for The Crown and representatives of the Ojibwa and Mississaugas Nations concluded on May 9, 1781. The treaty transferred additional lands surrounding Fort Niagara to The Crown.

The 1781 treaty was signed because of the constraints imposed by the 1764 Treaty of Niagara posed several problems due to influx of loyalists into British territory around Fort Niagara during and after the American Revolution. Due to the increased population, Frederick Haldimand, Governor of Quebec proposed the establishment of agricultural settlements around major military forts, but the first treaty did not accommodate for the land needed to sustain agricultural settlements about Fort Niagara. Consequently, the second treaty was negotiated. In this treaty, among the distributed goods were 12 thousand blankets, 23,500 yards of cloth; 5,000 silver ear bobs; 75 dozen razors and 20 gross of jaw harps. The Mississaugas accepted a payment of "300 suits of clothing as payment for a four-mile strip along the Niagara River from Lake Ontario to Lake Erie."

Treaty of Fort Niagara (1787)[edit]

The 1787 Treaty of Fort Niagara was signed in 1787. The treaty area ceded in the second treaty was expanded to include Niagara Township, and portions of Stamford, Willoughby and Bertie Townships.

Further reading[edit]

  • New York Colonial Documents, Volume 7, pp. 648–658
  • Collections of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Volume 18.

External links[edit]