Treaty with The Navaho
June 1, 1868
Articles of a treaty and agreement made and entered into
at Fort Sumner, New Mexico, on the first day of June, one
thousand eight hundred and sixty-eight, by and between the
United States, represented by its commissioners, Lieutenant-General
W. T. Sherman and Colonel Samuel F. Tappan, of the one part,
and the Navajo Nation or tribe of Indians, represented by
their chiefs and head-men, duly authorized and empowered to
act for the whole people of said nation or tribe, (the names
of said chiefs and head-men being hereto subscribed,) of the
other part, witness:
From this day forward all war between the parties to this
agreement shall forever cease. The Government of the United
States desires peace, and its honor is hereby pledged to keep
it. The Indians desire peace, and they now pledge their honor
to keep it.
If bad men among the whites, or among other people subject
to the authority of the United States, shall commit any wrong
upon the person or property of the Indians, the United States
will, upon proof made to the agent and forwarded to the Commissioner
of Indian Affairs at Washington City, proceed at once to cause
the offender to be arrested and punished according to the
laws of the United States, and also to reimburse the injured
persons for the loss sustained.
If the bad men among the Indians shall commit a wrong or
depredation upon the person or property of any one, white,
black, or Indian, subject to the authority of the United States
and at peace therewith, the Navajo tribe agree that they will,
on proof made to their agent, and on notice by him, deliver
up the wrongdoer to the United States, to be tried and punished
according to its laws; and in case they wilfully refuse so
to do, the person injured shall be reimbursed for his loss
from the annuities or other moneys due or to become due to
them under this treaty, or any others that may be made with
the United States. And the President may prescribe such rules
and regulations for ascertaining damages under this article
as in his judgment may be proper; but no such damage shall
be adjusted and paid until examined and passed upon by the
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and no one sustaining loss
whilst violating, or because of his violating, the provisions
of this treaty or the laws of the United States, shall be
The United States agrees that the following district of country,
to wit: bounded on the north by the 37th degree of north latitude,
south by an east and west line passing through the site of
old Fort Defiance, in Cañon Bonito, east by the parallel
of longitude which, if prolonged south, would pass through
old Fort Lyon, or the Ojo-de-oso, Bear Spring, and west by
a parallel of longitude about 109° 30´ west of Greenwich,
provided it embraces the outlet of the Cañon-de-Chilly,
which cañon is to be all included in this reservation,
shall be, and the same is hereby, set apart for the use and
occupation of the Navajo tribe of Indians, and for such other
friendly tribes or individual Indians as from time to time
they may be willing, with the consent of the United States,
to admit among them; and the United States agrees that no
persons except those herein so authorized to do, and except
such officers, soldiers, agents, and employées of the
Government, or of the Indians, as may be authorized to enter
upon Indian reservations in discharge of duties imposed by
law, or the orders of the President, shall ever be permitted
to pass over, settle upon, or reside in, the territory described
in this article.
The United States agrees to cause to be built, at some point
within said reservation, where timber and water may be convenient,
the following buildings: a warehouse, to cost not exceeding
twenty-five hundred dollars; an agency building for the residence
of the agent, not to cost exceeding three thousand dollars;
a carpenter-shop and blacksmith-shop, not to cost exceeding
one thousand dollars each; and a schoolhouse and chapel, so
soon as a sufficient number of children can be induced to
attend school, which shall not cost to exceed five thousand
The United States agrees that the agent for the Navajos shall
make his home at the agency building; that he shall reside
among them, and shall keep an office open at all times for
the purpose of prompt and diligent inquiry into such matters
of complaint by or against the Indians as may be presented
for investigation, as also for the faithful discharge of other
duties enjoined by law. In all cases of depredation on person
or property he shall cause the evidence to be taken in writing
and forwarded, together with his finding, to the Commissioner
of Indian Affairs, whose decision shall be binding on the
parties to this treaty.
If any individual belonging to said tribe, or legally incorporated
with it, being the head of a family, shall desire to commence
farming, he shall have the privilege to select, in the presence
and with the assistance of the agent then in charge, a tract
of land within said reservation, not exceeding one hundred
and sixty acres in extent, which tract, when so selected,
certified, and recorded in the "land-book" as herein described,
shall cease to be held in common, but the same may be occupied
and held in the exclusive possession of the person selecting
it, and of his family, so long as he or they may continue
to cultivate it.
Any person over eighteen years of age, not being the head
of a family, may in like manner select, and cause to be certified
to him or her for purposes of cultivation, a quantity of land,
not exceeding eighty acres in extent, and thereupon be entitled
to the exclusive possession of the same as above directed.
For each tract of land so selected a certificate containing
a description thereof, and the name of the person selecting
it, with a certificate endorsed thereon, that the same has
been recorded, shall be delivered to the party entitled to
it by the agent, after the same shall have been recorded by
him in a book to be kept in his office, subject to inspection,
which said book shall be known as the "Navajo land-book."
The President may at any time order a survey of the reservation,
and when so surveyed, Congress shall provide for protecting
the rights of said settlers in their improvements, and may
fix the character of the title held by each.
The United States may pass such laws on the subject of alienation
and descent of property between the Indians and their descendants
as may be thought proper.
In order to insure the civilization of the Indians entering
into this treaty, the necessity of education is admitted,
especially of such of them as may be settled on said agricultural
parts of this reservation, and they therefore pledge themselves
to compel their children, male and female, between the ages
of six and sixteen years, to attend school; and it is hereby
made the duty of the agent for said Indians to see that this
stipulation is strictly complied with; and the United States
agrees that, for every thirty children between said ages who
can be induced or compelled to attend school, a house shall
be provided, and a teacher competent to teach the elementary
branches of an English education shall be furnished, who will
reside among said Indians, and faithfully discharge his or
her duties as a teacher.
The provisions of this article to continue for not less than
When the head of a family shall have selected lands and received
his certificate as above directed, and the agent shall be
satisfied that he intends in good faith to commence cultivating
the soil for a living, he shall be entitled to receive seeds
and agricultural implements for the first year, not exceeding
in value one hundred dollars, and for each succeeding year
he shall continue to farm, for a period of two years, he shall
be entitled to receive seeds and implements to the value of
In lieu of all sums of money or other annuities provided
to be paid to the Indians herein named under any treaty or
treaties heretofore made, the United States agrees to deliver
at the agency-house on the reservation herein named, on the
first day of September of each year for ten years, the following
articles, to wit:
Such articles of clothing, goods, or raw materials in lieu
thereof, as the agent may make his estimate for, not exceeding
in value five dollars per Indian - each Indian being encouraged
to manufacture their own clothing, blankets, to be furnished
with no article which they can manufacture themselves. And,
in order that the Commissioner of Indian Affairs may be able
to estimate properly for the articles herein named, it shall
be the duty of the agent each year to forward to him a full
and exact census of the Indians, on which the estimate from
year to year can be based.
And in addition to the articles herein named, the sum of
ten dollars for each person entitled to the beneficial effects
of this treaty shall be annually appropriated for a period
of ten years, for each person who engages in farming or mechanical
pursuits, to be used by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs
in the purchase of such articles as from time to time the
condition and necessities of the Indians may indicate to be
proper; and if within the ten years at any time it shall appear
that the amount of money needed for clothing, under the article,
can be appropriated to better uses for the Indians named herein,
the Commissioner of Indian Affairs may change the appropriation
to other purposes, but in no event shall the amount of this
appropriation be withdrawn or discontinued for the period
named, provided they remain at peace. And the President shall
annually detail an officer of the Army to be present and attest
the delivery of all the goods herein named to the Indians,
and he shall inspect and report on the quantity and quality
of the goods and the manner of their delivery.
In consideration of the advantages and benefits conferred
by this treaty, and the many pledges of friendship by the
United States, the tribes who are parties to this agreement
hereby stipulate that they will relinquish all right to occupy
any territory outside their reservation, as herein defined,
but retain the right to hunt on any unoccupied lands contiguous
to their reservation, so long as the large game may range
thereon in such numbers as to justify the chase; and they,
the said Indians, further expressly agree:
1st. That they will make no opposition to the construction
of railroads now being built or hereafter to be built across
2d. That they will not interfere with the peaceful construction
of any railroad not passing over their reservation as herein
3d. That they will not attack any persons at home or travelling,
nor molest or disturb any wagon-trains, coaches, mules, or
cattle belonging to the people of the United States, or to
persons friendly therewith.
4th. That they will never capture or carry off from the settlements
women or children.
5th. They will never kill or scalp white men, nor attempt
to do them harm.
6th. They will not in future oppose the construction of railroads,
wagon-roads, mail stations, or other works of utility or necessity
which may be ordered or permitted by the laws of the United
States; but should such roads or other works be constructed
on the lands of their reservation, the Government will pay
the tribe whatever amount of damage may be assessed by three
disinterested commissioners to be appointed by the President
for that purpose, one of said commissioners to be a chief
or head-men of the tribe.
7th. They will make no opposition to the military posts or
roads now established, or that may be established, not in
violation of treaties heretofore made or hereafter to be made
with any of the Indian tribes.
No future treaty for the cession of any portion or part of
the reservation herein described, which may be held in common,
shall be of any validity or force against said Indians unless
agreed to and executed by at least three-fourths of all the
adult male Indians occupying or interested in the same; and
no cession by the tribe shall be understood or construed in
such manner as to deprive, without his consent, any individual
member of the tribe of his rights to any tract of land selected
by him as provided in article  of this treaty.
The Navajos also hereby agree that at any time after the
signing of these presents they will proceed in such manner
as may be required of them by the agent, or by the officer
charged with their removal, to the reservation herein provided
for, the United States paying for their subsistence en route,
and providing a reasonable amount of transportation for the
sick and feeble.
It is further agreed by and between the parties to this agreement
that the sum of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars appropriated
or to be appropriated shall be disbursed as follows, subject
to any condition provided in the law, to wit:
1st. The actual cost of the removal of the tribe from the
Bosque Redondo reservation to the reservation, say fifty thousand
2d. The purchase of fifteen thousand sheep and goats, at
a cost not to exceed thirty thousand dollars.
3d. The purchase of five hundred beef cattle and a million
pounds of corn, to be collected and held at the military post
nearest the reservation, subject to the orders of the agent,
for the relief of the needy during the coming winter.
4th. The balance, if any, of the appropriation to be invested
for the maintenance of the Indians pending their removal,
in such manner as the agent who is with them may determine.
5th. The removal of this tribe to be made under the supreme
control and direction of the military commander of the Territory
of New Mexico, and when completed, the management of the tribe
to revert to the proper agent.
The tribe herein named, by their representatives, parties
to this treaty, agree to make the reservation herein described
their permanent home, and they will not as a tribe make any
permanent settlement elsewhere, reserving the right to hunt
on the lands adjoining the said reservation formerly called
theirs, subject to the modifications named in this treaty
and the orders of the commander of the department in which
said reservation may be for the time being; and it is further
agreed and understood by the parties to this treaty, that
if any Navajo Indian or Indians shall leave the reservation
herein described to settle elsewhere, he or they shall forfeit
all the rights, privileges, and annuities conferred by the
terms of this treaty; and it is further agreed by the parties
to this treaty, that they will do all they can to induce Indians
now away from reservations set apart for the exclusive use
and occupation of the Indians, leading a nomadic life, or
engaged in war against the people of the United States, to
abandon such a life and settle permanently in one of the territorial
reservations set apart for the exclusive use and occupation
of the Indians.
In testimony of all which the said parties have hereunto,
on this the first day of June, one thousand eight hundred
and sixty-eight, at Fort Sumner, in the Territory of New Mexico,
set their hands and seals.
- W. T. Sherman, Lieutenant-General, Indian Peace Commissioner.
- S. F. Tappan, Indian Peace Commissioner.
- Barboncito, chief, his x mark.
- Armijo, his x mark.
- Manuelito, his x mark.
- Largo, his x mark.
- Herrero, his x mark.
- Chiqueto, his x mark.
- Muerto de Hombre, his x mark.
- Hombro, his x mark.
- Narbono, his x mark.
- Narbono Segundo, his x mark.
- Gañado Mucho, his x mark.
- Riquo, his x mark.
- Juan Martin, his x mark.
- Serginto, his x mark.
- Grande, his x mark.
- Inoetenito, his x mark.
- Muchachos Mucho, his x mark.
- Chiqueto Segundo, his x mark.
- Cabello Amarillo, his x mark.
- Francisco, his x mark.
- Torivio, his x mark.
- Desdendado, his x mark.
- Juan, his x mark.
- Guero, his x mark.
- Gugadore, his x mark.
- Cabason, his x mark.
- Barbon Segundo, his x mark.
- Cabares Colorados, his x mark.
- Geo. W. G. Getty, colonel Thirty-seventh Infantry, brevet major-general U. S. Army.
- B. S. Roberts, brevet brigadier-general U. S. Army, lieutenant-colonel Third Cavalry.
- J. Cooper McKee, brevet lieutenant-colonel, surgeon U. S. Army.
- Theo. H. Dodd, United States Indian agent for Navajos.
- Chas. McClure, brevet major and commissary of subsistence, U. S. Army.
- James F. Weeds, brevet major and assistant surgeon, U. S. Army.
- J. C. Sutherland, interpreter.
- William Vaux, chaplain U. S. Army.
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