Treaty with The Kaskaskia
August 13, 1803
A treaty between the United States of America and the
Kaskaskia Tribe of Indians.
ARTICLES of a treaty made at Vincennes in the Indiana territory,
between William Henry Harrison, governor of the said territory,
superintendent of Indian affairs and commissioner plenipotentiary
of the United States for concluding any treaty or treaties
which may be found necessary with any of the Indian tribes
north west of the river Ohio of the one part, and the head
chiefs and warriors of the Kaskaskia tribe of Indians so called,
but which tribe is the remains and rightfully represent all
the tribes of the Illinois Indians, originally called the
Kaskaskia, Mitchigamia, Cahokia and Tamaroi of the other part:
Whereas from a variety of unfortunate circumstances the several
tribes of Illinois Indians are reduced to a very small number,
the remains of which have been long consolidated and known
by the name of the Kaskaskia tribe, and finding themselves
unable to occupy the extensive tract of country which of right
belongs to them and which was possessed by their ancestors
for many generations, the chiefs and warriors of the said
tribe being also desirous of procuring the means of improvement
in the arts of civilized life, and a more certain and effectual
support for their women and children, have, for the considerations
hereinafter mentioned, relinquished and by these presents
do relinquish and cede to the United States all the lands
in the Illinois country, which the said tribe has heretofore
possessed, or which they may rightfully claim, reserving to
themselves however the tract of about three hundred and fifty
acres near the town of Kaskaskia, which they have always held
and which was secured to them by the act of Congress of the
third day of March, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-one,
and also the right of locating one other tract of twelve hundred
and eighty acres within the bounds of that now ceded, which
two tracts of land shall remain to them forever.
The United States will take the Kaskaskia tribe under their
immediate care and patronage, and will afford them a protection
as effectual against the other Indian tribes and against all
other persons whatever as is enjoyed by their own citizens.
And the said Kaskaskia tribe do hereby engage to refrain from
making war or giving any insult or offence to any other Indian
tribe or to any foreign nation, without having first obtained
the approbation and consent of the United States.
The annuity heretofore given by the United States to the
said tribe shall be increased to one thousand dollars, which
is to be paid to them either in money, merchandise, provisions
or domestic animals, at the option of the said tribe: and
when the said annuity or any part thereof is paid in merchandise,
it is to be delivered to them either at Vincennes, Fort Massac
or Kaskaskia, and the first cost of the goods in the sea-port
where they may be procured is alone to be charged to the said
tribe free from the cost of transportation, or any other contingent
expense. Whenever the said tribe may choose to receive money,
provisions or domestic animals for the whole or in part of
the said annuity, the same shall be delivered at the town
of Kaskaskia. The United States will also cause to be built
a house suitable for the accommodation of the chief of the
said tribe, and will enclose for their use a field not exceeding
one hundred acres with a good and sufficient fence. And whereas,
The greater part of the said tribe have been baptised and
received into the Catholic church to which they are much attached,
the United States will give annually for seven years one hundred
dollars towards the support of a priest of that religion,
who will engage to perform for the said tribe the duties of
his office and also to instruct as many of their children
as possible in the rudiments of literature. And the United
States will further give the sum of three hundred dollars
to assist the said tribe in the erection of a church. The
stipulations made in this and the preceding article, together
with the sum of five hundred and eighty dollars, which is
now paid or assured to be paid for the said tribe for the
purpose of procuring some necessary articles, and to relieve
them from debts which they have heretofore contracted, is
considered as a full and ample compensation for the relinquishment
made to the United States in the first article.
The United States reserve to themselves the right at any
future period of dividing the annuity now promised to the
said tribe amongst the several families thereof, reserving
always a suitable sum for the great chief and his family.
And to the end that the United States may be enabled to fix
with the other Indian tribes a boundary between their respective
claims, the chiefs and head warriors of the said Kaskaskia
tribe do hereby declare that their rightful claim is as follows,
viz: Beginning at the confluence of the Ohio and the Mississippi,
thence up the Ohio to the mouth of the Saline creek, about
twelve miles below the mouth of the Wabash, thence along the
dividing ridge between the said creek and the Wabash until
it comes to the general dividing ridge between the waters
which fall into the Wabash, and those which fall into the
Kaskaskia river; and thence along the said ridge until it
reaches the waters which fall into the Illinois river, thence
in a direct course to the mouth of the Illinois river, and
thence down the Mississippi to the beginning.
As long as the lands which have been ceded by this treaty
shall continue to be the property of the United States, the
said tribe shall have the privilege of living and hunting
upon them in the same manner that they have hitherto done.
This treaty is to be in force and binding upon the said parties,
as soon as it shall be ratified by the President and Senate
of the United States.
In witness whereof, the said commissioner plenipotentiary,
and the head chiefs and warriors of the said Kaskaskia tribe
of Indians, have hereunto set their hands and affixed their
seals, the thirteenth day of August, in the year of our Lord
one thousand eight hundred and three, and of the Independence
of the United States the twenty-eighth.
- William Henry Harrison, [L. S.]
- The mark x of Jean Baptiste Ducoigne, [L. S.]
- The mark x of Pedagogue, [L. S.]
- The mark x of Micolas or Nicholas, [L. S.]
- The mark x of Ocksinga, a Mitchigamian, [L. S.]
- The mark x of Keetinsa, a Cahokian, [L. S.]
- Louis Decoucigne, [L. S.]
Sealed and delivered in the presence of -
- J. R. Jones, secretary to commission.
- H. Vanderburgh, judge of Indiana Territory.
- T. F. Rivet, Indian Miss.
- Vigo, colonel Knox County Militia.
- Cor. Lyman, Captain First Infantry Regiment.
- Jas. Johnson, of Indiana Territory.
- B. Parke, of the Indiana Territory.
- Joseph Barron, interpreter.
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