Treaty with The Arapaho and Cheyenne
February 15, 1861
Articles of agreement and convention made and concluded
at Fort Wise, in the Territory of Kansas, on the eighteenth
day of February, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight
hundred and sixty-one, by and between Albert G. Boone and
F. B. Culver, commissioners on the part of the United States,
and the following named chiefs and delegates, representing
the confederated tribes of Arapahoe and Cheyenne Indians of
the Upper Arkansas River, viz: Little Raven, Storm, Shave-Head,
and Big-Mouth, (on the part of the Arapahoes), and Black Kettle,
White Antelope, Lean Bear, Little Wolf, and Left Hand, or
Namos (on the part of the Cheyennes), they being thereto duly
authorized by said confederated tribes of Indians.
The said chiefs and delegates of said Arapahoe and Cheyenne
tribes of Indians do hereby cede and relinquish to the United
States all lands now owned, possessed, or claimed by them,
wherever situated, except a tract to be reserved for the use
of said tribes located within the following described boundaries,
to wit: Beginning at the mouth of the Sandy Fork of the Arkansas
River and extending westwardly along the said river to the
mouth of Purgatory River; thence along up the west bank of
the Purgatory River to the northern boundary of the Territory
of New Mexico; thence west along said boundary to a point
where a line drawn due south from a point on the Arkansas
River, five miles east of the mouth of the Huerfano River,
would intersect said northern boundary of New Mexico; thence
due north from that point on said boundary of the Sandy Fork
to the place of the beginning.
The Arapahoe and Cheyennes, being desirous of promoting settled
habits of industry and enterprise among themselves, by abolishing
the tenure in common by which they now hold their lands, and
by assigning limited quantities thereof in severalty to the
individual members of the respective tribes, to be cultivated
and improved for their individual use and benefit, it is hereby
agreed and stipulated that the tract of country contained
within the boundary above described shall be set apart and
retained by them for the purposes aforesaid.
According to the understanding among themselves, it is hereby
agreed between the United States and the said tribes that
the said reservation shall be surveyed and divided by a line
to be run due north from a point on the northern boundary
of New Mexico, fifteen miles west of Purgatory River, and
extending to the Sandy Fork of the Arkansas River, which said
line shall establish the eastern boundary of that portion
of the reservation, to be hereafter occupied by the Cheyennes,
and the western boundary of portion of said reservation to
be hereafter occupied by the Arapahoes.
Out of the lands so set apart and retained there shall be
assigned to each member of said tribes, without distinction
of age or sex, a tract of forty acres, to include in every
case, as far as practicable, a reasonable portion of timber
and water; one hundred and sixty acres of said retained lands
shall also be set apart and appropriated to the use and occupancy
of the agent, for the time being, of said tribes; and one
hundred and sixty acres shall also be reserved out of each
division of the retained tract for the establishment and support
of schools for the education of the youth of the tribe. The
location of the tracts, the assignment of which is provided
for in this article, shall be made in as regular and compact
a manner 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.
All such intermediate parcels of land and water shall be owned
in common by the tribe occupying that portion of the reservation
within the limits of which said parcels of land and water
may be included; but in case of increase in the tribe, or
other causes rendering it necessary or expedient, the said
intermediate parcels of land shall be subject to distribution
and assignment in such manner as the Secretary of the Interior
may prescribe and direct. The whole of the lands, assigned
and unassigned, embraced within the exterior boundary herein
designated, shall constitute and be known as the Reservation
of the Arapahoes and Cheyennes of the Upper Arkansas; and
all laws which have been or may be passed by the Congress
of the United States regulating trade and intercourse with
Indian tribes, shall have full force and effect over the same,
and no white person, except 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 the central superintendency, or of
the agent of the tribes.
The division and assignment in severalty among the Arapahoes
and Cheyennes of the land hereinbefore reserved for that purpose,
shall be made under the direction of the Secretary of the
Interior, and his decision of all questions arising thereupon
shall be final and conclusive. Certificates shall be issued
by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs for the tracts assigned
in severalty, specifying the names of the individuals to whom
they have been assigned respectively, and that the said tracts
are set apart for the exclusive use and benefit of the assignees
and their heirs. And said tracts shall not be alienated in
fee, leased, or otherwise disposed of, except to the United
States, or to members of the respective bands of Arapahoes
and Cheyennes, and under such rules and regulations as may
be prescribed by the Secretary of the Interior. And said tracts
shall be exempt from taxation, levy, sale, or forfeiture,
until otherwise provided by Congress. Prior to the issue of
the certificates aforesaid, the Secretary of the Interior
shall make such rules and regulations as he may deem necessary
or expedient respecting the disposition of any of said tracts,
in the 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
In consideration of the foregoing cession, relinquishment,
and agreements, and for the purpose of establishing the Arapahoes
and Cheyennes comfortably 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 United States do hereby
agree and stipulate as follows, to wit: 1st. To protect the
said Arapahoes and Cheyennes in the quiet and peaceful possession
of the said tract of land so reserved for their future home,
and also their persons and property thereon, during good behavior
on their part. 2d. To pay to them, or expend for their benefit
the sum of thirty thousand dollars per annum for fifteen years;
that is to say, fifteen thousand dollars per annum for each
tribe for that number of years, commencing with the year in
which they shall remove to and settte and reside upon their
said reservation; making four hundred and fifty thousand dollars
in annuities in the period of fifteen years, of which sum
the Secretary of the Interior shall, from time to time, determine
what proportion shall be expended for their benefit, and for
what object such expenditure shall be made, due regard being
had, in making such determination, to the best interests of
said Indians. He shall likewise exercise the power to make
such provision out of said sums as he may deem to be necessary
and proper for the support and comfort of the aged or infirm
and helpless orphans of the said Indians. Their annuities
may, at the discretion of the President of the United States,
be discontinued entirely, should said Indians fail to make
reasonable and satisfactory efforts to advance and improve
their condition; in which case such other provision shall
be made for them as the President and Congress may judge to
be suitable and proper. 3d. It is hereby agreed that the expenses
to be incurred in the purchase of agricultural implements,
stock animals, etc., referred to in this article, as also
the cost and expenses of breaking up and fencing land, building
houses, store-houses, and other needful buildings, or in making
such other improvements as may be necessary for their comfort
and welfare, shall be defrayed out of the aforesaid sum of
four hundred and fifty thousand dollars, to be paid to or
expended for the benefit of the Arapahoes and Cheyennes as
To provide the said Indians with a mill suitable for sawing
timber and grinding grain, one or more mechanic shops, with
necessary tools for the same, and dwelling-houses for an interpreter,
miller engineer for the mill, (if one be necessary), farmers,
and the mechanics that may be employed for their benefit,
the United States agree to expend therefor a sum not exceeding
five thousand dollars per annum for five years; and it is
agreed that all articles of goods and provisions, stock, implements,
lumber, machinery, &c., referred to in this treaty, shall
be transported to the respective tribes of Arapahoes and Cheyennes,
at the cost and expense of the United States.
The Arapahoes and Cheyennes of the Upper Arkansas, parties
to this Agreement, are anxious that all the members of their
tribe shall participate in the advantages herein provided
for respecting their improvements and civilization, and, to
that end, to induce all that are now separated to rejoin and
reunite with them. It is therefore agreed that, as soon as
practicable, the Commissioner of Indian affairs shall cause
the necessary proceedings 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
that purpose: Provided, however, That those who did not rejoin
and permanently reunite themselves with the tribe within one
year from the date of the ratification of this treaty, shall
not be entitled to the benefit of any of its stipulations.
Should any further aid from time to time be necessary to
enable the Arapahoes and Cheyennes of the Upper Arkansas to
sustain themselves successfully in agricultural or other industrial
pursuits, such additional means as may be required therefor
shall be taken from the moneys due and belonging to them under
the provisions of former treaties or articles of agreement
and convention, and so much of said moneys 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 improve
and promote their 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 Arapahoes and Cheyennes of the Upper Arkansas,
in such manner and to whatever extent he may judge to be necessary
and expedient for their best interests.
All the expenses connected with and incident to the making
of this agreement and carrying out its provisions shall be
defrayed by the United States, except as otherwise herein
It is agreed that all roads and highways, laid out by authority
of law, shall have right of way through the lands within the
reservation hereinbefore specified, on the same terms as are
provided by law when roads and highways are made through lands
of citizens of the United States.
It is also agreed by the United States that the annuities
now paid to the Arapahoes and Cheyennes, under existing treaties
or articles of agreement and convention, shall be continued
to them until the stipulations of said treaties or articles
of agreement and convention relating to such annuities shall
This instrument shall be obligatory on the contracting parties
whenever the same shall be ratified by the President and the
Senate of the United States.
In testimony whereof, the said Commissioner[s] as aforesaid,
and the said Chiefs and Delegates of the Arapahoes and Cheyennes
of the Upper Arkansas, have hereunto set their hands and seals,
at the place and on the day and year hereinbefore written.
A. G. Boone,
United States Indian Agent and Commissioner.
F. B. Culver.
Commissioner and Special Agent.
On the part of the Arapahoes:
- Ho-ha-ca-che, his x mark, or Little Raven.
- Ac-ker-ba-the, his x mark, or Storm.
- Che-ne-na-e-te, his x mark, Shave-Head.
- Ma-na-sa-te, his x mark, Big Mouth.
On the part of the Cheyennes:
- Mo-ta-va-to, his x mark, Black Kettle.
- Vo-ki-vokamast, his x mark, White Antelope.
- Avo-na-co, his x mark, Lean Bear.
- O-ne-a-ha-ket, his x mark. Little Wolf.
- Na-ko-hais-tah, his x mark, Tall Bear.
- A-am-a-na-co, his x mark, Left Hand, or Namos.
- John S. Smith, United States interpreter.
- Robert Bent, United States interpreter.
Witnesses to the signatures:
- John Sedgwick, major of Cavalry.
- R.Ransom, jr., lieutenant of Cavalry.
- J.E.B.Stuart, first lieutenant First Cavalry.
- John White, clerk to the Indian signatures.
P.S. - And it is further understood, before signing the
above treaty, that it was the particular request and wish
of the Chiefs and Councillors in general convention, in consideration
of Robert Bent being one of their half-breed tribe, that he
should have, as a gift from the nation, six hundred and forty
acres of land, covering the valley and what is called the
Sulphur Spring, lying on the north side of the Arkansas River
and about five miles below the Pawnee Hills, and they wish
the general government to recognize and confirm the same;
and that Jack Smith, son of John S.Smith, who is also a half-breed
of said nation, shall have six hundred and forty acres of
land, lying seven miles above Bent's Old Fort, on the
north side of the Arkansas River, including the valley and
point of rock, and respectfully recommend the general government
to confirm and recognize the same.
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