Treaty with The Winnebago
April 15, 1859
Articles of agreement and convention made and concluded
at Washington City on the fifteenth day of April, eighteen
hundred and fifty-nine, by and between Charles E. Mix, commissioner
on the part of the United States, and the following-named
chiefs and delegates, representing the Winnebago tribes of
Indians, viz: Baptiste Lassalleur Little Hill, Little De-Corie,
Prophet, Wakon, Conohutta-kau, Big Bear, Rogue, Young Frenchman,
One Horn, Yellow Banks, and O-o-kau, they being thereto duly
authorized by said tribe.
The Winnebago Indians having now more lands than are necessary
for their occupancy and use, and being desirous of promoting
settled habits of industry and enterprise amongst themselves
by abolishing the tenure in common by which they now hold
their lands, and by assigning limited quantities thereof,
in severalty, to the members of the tribe, including their
half or mixed blood relatives now residing with them, to be
cultivated and improved for their own individual use and benefit,
it is hereby agreed and stipulated that the eastern portion
of their present reservation, embracing townships one hundred
and six, (106) and one hundred and seven, (107) range twenty-four
(24) and one hundred and six (106) and one hundred and seven,
(107) range twenty-five (25) and the two strips of land immediately
adjoining them on the east and north, shall be set apart and
retained by them for said purposes; and that out of the same
there shall be assigned to each head of a family not exceeding
eighty acres, and to each male person eighteen years of age
and upwards, without family, not exceeding forty acres of
land, to include, in every case, as far as practicable, a
reasonable proportion of timber; one hundred and sixty acres
of said retained lands in a suitable locality shall also be
set apart and appropriated to the occupancy and use of the
agency for said Indians. The lands to be so assigned, including
those for the use of the agency, shall be in as regular and
compact a body as possible, and so as to admit of a distinct
and well-defined exterior boundary, embracing the whole of
them and any intermediate portions or parcels of land or water
not included in or made part of the tracts assigned in severalty.
Any such intermediate parcels of land and water shall be owned
by the Winnebagoes in common; but in case of increase in the
tribe, or other cause, rendering it necessary or expedient,
the said intermediate parcels of land shall be subject to
distribution and assignment, in severalty, in such manner
as the Secretary of the Interior shall prescribe and direct.
The whole of the lands assigned or unassigned in severalty,
embraced within the said exterior boundary. Shall constitute
and be known as the Winnebago reservation, within and over
which all laws passed or which may be passed by Congress regulating
trade and intercourse with the Indian tribes shall have full
force and effect. And no white person, except such as shall
be in the employment of the United States, shall be allowed
to reside or go upon any portion of said reservation, without
the written permission of the superintendent of Indian affairs,
or of the agent for the tribe. Said division and assignment
of lands to the Winnebagoes in severalty shall be made under
the direction of the Secretary of the Interior, and when approved
by him shall be final and conclusive. Certificates shall be
issued by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs for the tracts
so assigned, specifying the names of the individuals to whom
they have been assigned, respectively, and that they are for
the exclusive use and benefit of themselves, their heirs,
and descendants. And said tracts shall not be alienated in
fee, leased, or otherwise disposed of, except to the United
States, or to other members of the tribe, under such rules
and regulations as may be prescribed by the Secretary of the
Interior; and they shall be exempt from taxation, levy, sale,
or forfeiture until otherwise provided for by Congress. Prior
to the issue of said certificates, the Secretary of the Interior
shall make such rules and regulations as he may deem necessary
and expedient respecting the disposition of any of said tracts,
in case of the death of the person, or persons to whom they
may be assigned, so that the same shall be secured to the
families of such deceased persons; and should any of the Indians
to whom tracts shall be assigned abandon them, the said Secretary
may take such action in relation to the proper disposition
thereof as in his judgment may be necessary and proper.
For the purpose of procuring the means of comfortably establishing
the Winnebagoes upon the lands to be assigned to them in severalty,
by building them houses, and by furnishing them with agricultural
implements, stock-animals, and other necessary aid and facilities
for commencing agricultural pursuits under favorable circumstances,
the lands embraced in that portion of their reservation not
stipulated to be retained and divided, as aforesaid, shall
be sold, under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior,
in parcels not exceeding one hundred and sixty acres each,
to the highest bidder, for cash; the sales to be made upon
sealed proposals to be duly invited by public advertisement.
And should any of the tracts so to be sold have upon them
improvements of any kind which were made by or for the Indians,
or for Government purposes, the proposals therefor must state
the price for both the land and improvements. And if, after
assigning to all the members of the tribe entitled thereto
their proportions of land in severalty, there shall remain
a surplus of that portion of the reservation retained for
that purpose, outside of the exterior boundary-line of the
lands assigned in sevralty, the Secretary of the Interior
shall be authorized and empowered, whenever he shall think
proper, to cause such surplus to be sold in the same manner
as the other lands to be so disposed of, and the proceeds
thereof to be paid over to the Winnebagoes, or used and applied
for their benefit in such manner as he shall deem to be best
The Winnebagoes being anxious to relieve themselves from
the burden of their present liabilities, and it being essential
to their welfare and best interests that they shall be enabled
to commence their new mode of life and pursuits free from
the annoyance and embarrassment thereof, or which may be occasioned
thereby, it is agreed that the same shall be liquidated and
paid out of the fund arising from the sale of their surplus
lands, so far as found valid and just on an examination thereof,
to be made by their agent and the superintendent of Indian
affairs for the northern superintendency, subject to revision
and confirmation by the Secretary of the Interior.
Should the proceeds of the surplus lands of the Winnebagoes
not prove to be sufficient to carry out the purposes and stipulations
of this agreement, and some further aid be, from time to time,
requisite, to enable said Indians to sustain themselves successfully
in agricultural and other industrial pursuits, such additional
means as may be necessary therefor shall be taken from the
moneys due and belonging to them under the provisions of former
treaties; and so much thereof as may be required to furnish
them further aid, as aforesaid, shall be applied in such manner,
under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior, as he
shall consider best calculated to promote and advance their
improvement and welfare; and, in order to render unnecessary
any further treaty engagements or arrangements hereafter with
the United States, it is hereby agreed and stipulated that
the President, with the assent of Congress, shall have full
power to modify or change any of the provisions of former
treaties with the Winnebagoes in such manner and to whatever
extent he may judge to be necessary and expedient for their
welfare and best interest.
The Winnebagoes, parties to this agreement, are anxious that
all the members of their tribe shall participate in the advantages
herein provided for respecting their permanent settlement
and their improvement and civilization, and to that end, to
induce all that are now separated from, to rejoin and unite
with them. It is therefore agreed that, as soon as practicable,
the Commissioner of Indian Affairs shall cause the necessary
proceeding to be adopted to have them notified of this agreement
and its advantages, and to induce them to come in and unite
with their brethren; and, to enable them to do so and to sustain
themselves for a reasonable time thereafter, such assistance
shall be provided for them, at the expense of the tribe, as
may be actually necessary for those purposes: Provided, however,
That those who do not rejoin and permanently re-unite themselves
with the tribe within one year from the date of the ratification
of this agreement shall not be entitled to the benefit of
any of its stipulations.
All the expenses connected with, and incident to, the making
of this agreement, and the carrying out of its provisions,
shall be defrayed out of the funds of the Winnebagoes.
In testimony whereof, the said Charles E. Mix, commissioner
as aforesaid, and the said chiefs and delegates of the Winnebago
tribe of Indians, have hereunto set their hands and seals
at the place and on the day and year hereinbefore written.
- Charles E. Mix, Commissioner. [L. S.]
- Baptiste Lassalleur, his x mark. [L. S.]
- Little Hill, his x mark. [L. S.]
- Little De-Corrie, his x mark. [L. S.]
- Prophet, (being sick, by his representative, Big Bear,) his x mark. [L. S.]
- Wakon, his x mark. [L. S.]
- Cono-hutta-kau, his x mark. [L. S.]
- Big Bear, his x mark. [L. S.]
- Rogue, his x mark. [L. S.]
- Young Frenchman, his x mark. [L. S.]
- One Horn, his x mark. [L. S.]
- Yellow Banks, his x mark. [L. S.]
- O-o-kau, his x mark. [L. S.]
In presence of -
- W. J. Cullen, superintendent Indian affairs.
- Charles H. Mix. United States Indian agent for the Winnebagoes.
- Peter Manaize, United States interpreter.
- John Dowling.
- S. B. Loury, interpreter.
- D. Crawford.
- Joseph R. Brown, Sioux agent.
- George H. Holtzman.
- George L. Otis.
- George Culver.
- Nathan Myrick.
- Harry H. Young.
- Henry Foster.
- Asa White.
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