Treaty with The Potawatomi Nation
November 15, 1861
Articles of a treaty made and concluded at the agency
on the Kansas River, on the fifteenth day of November, in
the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one,
by and between Wm. W. Ross, commissioner on the part of the
United States, and the undersigned chiefs, braves, and head-men
of the Pottawatomie Nation, on behalf of said nation.
The Pottawatomie tribe of Indians believing that it will
contribute to the civilization of their people to dispose
of a portion of their present reservation in Kansas, consisting
of five hundred and seventy-six thousand acres, which was
acquired by them for the sum of $87,000, by the fourth article
of the treaty between the United States and the said Pottawatomies,
proclaimed by the President of the United States on the 23d
day of July, 1846, and to allot lands in severalty to those
of said tribe who have adopted the customs of the whites and
desire to have separate tracts assigned to them, and to assign
a portion of said reserve to those of the tribe who prefer
to hold their lands in common: it is therefore agreed by the
parties hereto that the Commissioner of Indian Affairs shall
cause the whole of said reservation to be surveyed in the
same manner as the public lands are surveyed, the expense
whereof shall be paid out of the sales of lands hereinafter
provided for, and the quantity of land hereinafter provided
to be set apart to those of the tribe who desire to take their
lands in severalty, and the quantity hereinafter provided
to be set apart for the rest of the tribe in common; and the
remainder of the land, after the special reservations hereinafter
provided for shall have been made, to be sold for the benefit
of said tribe.
It shall be the duty of the agent of the United States for
said tribe to take an accurate census of all the members of
the tribe, and to classify them in separate lists, showing
the names, ages, and numbers of those desiring lands in severalty,
and of those desiring lands in common, designating chiefs
and head-men, respectively; each adult choosing for himself
or herself, and each head of a family for the minor children
of such family, and the agent for orphans and persons of an
unsound mind. And thereupon there shall be assigned, under
the direction of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, to each
chief at the signing of the treaty, one section; to each head-man,
one half section; to each other head of a family, one quarter
section; and to each other person eighty acres of land, to
include, in every case, as far as practicable, to each family,
their improvements and a reasonable portion of timber, to
be selected according to the legal subdivision of survey.
When such assignments shall have been completed, 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 said tracts are set apart for the perpetual and exclusive
use and benefit of such assignees and their heirs. Until otherwise
provided by law, such tracts shall be exempt from levy, taxation,
or sale, and shall be alienable in fee or leased or otherwise
disposed of only to the United States, or to persons then
being members of the Pottawatomie tribe and of Indian blood,
with the permission of the President, and under such regulations
as the Secretary of the Interior shall provide, except as
may be hereinafter provided. And on receipt of such certificates,
the person to whom they are issued shall be deemed to have
relinquished all right to any portion of the lands assigned
to others in severalty, or to a portion of the tribe in common,
and to the proceeds of sale of the same whensoever made.
At any time hereafter when the President of the United States
shall have become satisfied that any adults, being males and
heads of families, who may be allottees under the provisions
of the foregoing article, are sufficiently intelligent and
prudent to control their affairs and interests, he may, at
the request of such persons, cause the lands severally held
by them to be conveyed to them by patent in fee-simple, with
power of alienation; and may, at the same time, cause to be
paid to them, in cash or in the bonds of the United States,
their proportion of the cash value of the credits of the tribe,
principal and interest, then held in trust by the United States,
and also, as the same may be received, their proportion of
the proceeds of the sale of lands under the provisions of
this treaty. And on such patents being issued and such payments
ordered to be made by the President, such competent persons
shall cease to be members of said tribe, and shall become
citizens of the United States; and thereafter the lands so
patented to them shall be subject to levy, taxation, and sale,
in like manner with the property of other citizens: Provided,
That, before making any such application to the President,
they shall appear in open court in the district court of the
United States for the district of Kansas, and make the same
proof and take the same oath of allegiance as is provided
by law for the naturalization of aliens, and shall also make
proof to the satisfaction of said court that they are sufficiently
intelligent and prudent to control their affairs and interests,
that they have adopted the habits of civilized life, and have
been able to support, for at least five years, themselves
To those members of said tribe who desire to hold their lands
in common there shall be set apart an undivided quantity sufficient
to allow one section to each chief, one half section to each
head-man, and one hundred and sixty acres to each other head
of a family, and eighty acres of land to each other person,
and said land shall be held by that portion of the tribe for
whom it is set apart by the same tenure as the whole reserve
has been held by all of said tribe under the treaty of one
thousand eight hundred and forty-six. And upon such land being
assigned in common, the persons to whom it is assigned shall
be held to have relinquished all title to the lands assigned
in severalty and in the proceeds of sales thereof whenever
The Pottawatomies believing that the construction of the
Leavenworth, Pawnee, and Western Railroad from Leavenworth
City to the western boundary of the former reserve of the
Delawares, is now rendered reasonably certain, and being desirous
to have said railroad extended through their reserve in the
direction of Fort Riley, so that the value of the lands retained
by them may be enhanced, and the means afforded them of getting
the surplus product of their farms to market, it is provided
that the Leavenworth, Pawnee, and Western Railroad Company
shall have the privilege of buying the remainder of their
lands within six months after the tracts herein otherwise
disposed of shall have been selected and set apart, provided
they purchase the whole of said surplus lands at the rate
of one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre.
And if said company make such purchase it shall be subject
to the considerations following, to wit: They shall construct
and fully equip a good and efficient railroad from Leavenworth
City to a point half way between the western boundary of the
said former Delaware reserve and the western boundary of the
said Pottawatomie reserve, (being the first section of said
road,) within six years from the date of such purchase, and
shall construct and fully equip such road from said last-named
point to the western boundary of said Pottawatomie reserve,
(being the second section of said road,) within three years
from the date fixed for the completion of said first section;
and no patent or patents shall issue to said company or its
assigns for any of said lands purchased until the first section
of said railroad shall have been completed and equipped, and
then for not more than half of said lands, and no patent or
patents shall issue to said company or its assigns for any
of the remaining portion of said lands until said second section
of said railroad shall have been completed and equipped as
aforesaid; and before any patents shall issue for any part
of said lands payment shall be made for the lands to be patented
at the rate of one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre;
and said company shall pay the whole amount of the purchase-money
for said lands in gold or silver coin, to the Secretary of
the Interior of the United States, in trust for said Pottawatomie
Indians, within nine years from the date of such purchase,
and shall also in like manner pay to the Secretary of the
Interior of the United States, in trust as aforesaid, each
and every year, until the whole purchase-money shall have
been paid, interest from date of purchase, at six per cent.
per annum, on all the purchase-money remaining unpaid.
And if said company shall fail to complete either section
of such rail-road in a good and efficient manner, or shall
fail to pay the whole of the purchase-money for said land
within the times above prescribed, or shall fail to pay all
or any part of the interest upon said purchase-money each
year as aforesaid within thirty days from the date when such
payment of interest shall fall due, then the contract or purchase
shall be deemed and held absolutely null and void, and shall
cease to be binding on either of the parties thereto, and
said company and its assigns shall forfeit all payments of
principal and interest made on such purchase, and all right
and title, legal and equitable, of any kind whatsoever, in
and to all and every part of said lands which shall not have
been before the date of such forfeiture earned and patented
pursuant to the provisions of this treaty.
And whenever any patent shall issue to said railroad company
for any part of said lands, it shall contain the condition
that the said company shall sell the land described in such
patent, except so much as shall be necessary for the working
of the road, within five years from the issuing of such patent.
And said company shall have the perpetual right of way over
the lands of the Pottawatomies not sold to it for the construction
and operation of said railroad, not exceeding one hundred
feet in width, and the right to enter on said lands and take
and use such gravel, stone, earth, water, and other material,
except timber, as may be necessary for the construction and
operation of said road, making compensation for any damages
to improvements done in obtaining such material, and for any
damages arising from the location or running of said road
to improvements made before the road is located. Such damages
and compensation, in cases where said company and the persons
whose improvements are injured or property taken cannot agree,
to be ascertained and adjusted under the direction of the
Commissioner of Indian Affairs. And in case said company shall
not promptly pay the amount of such damages and compensation,
the Secretary of the Interior may withhold patents for any
part of the lands purchased by them until payment be made
of the amount of such damages, with six per cent. interest
thereon from the date when the same shall have been ascertained
And in case said company shall not purchase said surplus
lands, or, having purchased, shall forfeit the whole or any
part thereof, the Secretary of the Interior shall thereupon
cause the same to be appraised at not less than the one dollar
and twenty-five cents per acre, and shall sell the same, in
quantities not exceeding one hundred and sixty acres, at auction
to the highest bidder for cash, at not less than such appraised
There shall be selected by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs
three hundred and twenty acres of land, including the church,
school-houses, and fields of the St. Mary's Catholic
Mission, but not including the buildings and enclosures occupied
and used by persons other than those connected with the mission,
without the consent of such persons, which shall be conveyed
by the Secretary of the Interior to John F. Diel, John Summaker,
and M. Gerillain, as trustees for the use of the society under
whose patronage and control the church and school have been
conducted within the last fourteen years; on condition, however,
that, so long as the Pottawatomie Nation shall continue to
occupy its present reservation, or any portion thereof, the
said land shall be used and its products devoted exclusively
to the maintenance of a school and church for their benefit.
And there shall be reserved and conveyed in like manner, and
upon like conditions, three hundred and twenty acres of land,
including the Baptist Mission buildings and enclosures, such
conveyances to be made to such persons as may be designated
by the Baptist Board of Missions.
By article eight of the treaty of June 5th, 1846, between
the United States and the Pottawatomie Indians, it is stipulated
"that the annual interest of their improvement fund shall
be paid out promptly and fully for their benefit at their
new homes. If, however, at any time thereafter, the President
of the United States shall be of opinion that it would be
advantageous to the Pottawatomie Nation, and they should request
the same to be done, to pay them the interest of said money
in lieu of the employment of persons, or the purchase of implements
or machines, he is hereby authorized to pay the same, or any
part thereof, in money, as their annuities are paid, at the
time of the general payment of annuities."
It is hereby agreed that the interest arising from said improvement-fund
shall, in all cases hereafter, be paid in such machines and
implements as will be useful to the people in their agricultural
pursuits, as long as the nation shall desire it to be done,
except that the shops and mechanics and physicians, now sustained
by the funds of the nation, shall continue to be maintained,
as at this time, for one year after this treaty shall have
If at any time hereafter any band or bands of the Pottawatomie
Nation shall desire to remove from the homes provided for
them in this treaty, it shall be the duty of the Secretary
of the Interior to have their proportionate part of the lands
which may be assigned to the tribe appraised and sold, and
invest such portion of the proceeds thereof as may be necessary
in the purchase of a new home for such band or bands, leaving
the remainder, should any remain after paying the expense
of their removal, to be invested in six per cent. bonds of
the United States, for the benefit of such band or bands.
Such band or bands so removed shall continue to receive their
proportion of the annuities of the tribe.
No provision of this treaty shall be so construed as to invalidate
any claim heretofore preferred by the Pottawatomies against
the United States arising out of previous treaties.
It is hereby agreed that the Commissioner of Indian Affairs
shall set apart, for the benefit of said allottees, their
equal pro rata share of the improvement-fund of the tribe,
which sum so set apart may be expended, in whole or in part,
by the said Commissioner. and under his direction, for agricultural
purposes, as he shall from time to time deem expedient and
for the welfare of the said Indians.
Should the Senate reject or amend any of the above articles,
such rejection or amendment shall not affect the other provisions
of this treaty, but the same shall go into effect when ratified
by the Senate and approved by the President.
- Wm. W. Ross, Commissioner on behalf of United States.
- Shaw-guee, (chief,) his x mark.
- We-we-say, (chief,) his x mark.
- Jos. Lafromboise, (chief,) his x mark.
- Mu-zhe, (chief,) his x mark.
- Mkome-da, (chief,) his x mark.
- Myean-ko, (speaker,) his x mark.
- A. B. Burnett.
- N-wa-kto, (brave,) his x mark.
- Wah-bea-shkuk, his x mark.
- Sho-nim, (brave,) his x mark.
- Pauce-je-yah, (chief,) his x mark.
- Ka-pshkuh-wid, (brave,) his x mark.
- Muis-no-ogih-mah, his x mark.
- Ka-me-gas, his x mark.
- Mo-zo-ba-net, his x mark.
- Wah-sah-to, (chief,) his x mark.
- Shaw-we, (chief,) his x mark.
- Bourie, his x mark.
- Nah-neam-nuk-shkuk, his x mark.
- Pa-mah-me, his x mark.
- Kah-dot, his x mark.
- Mink, his x mark.
- Peter The Great, his x mark.
- M-tom-ma, (brave,) his x mark.
- Za-kto, his x mark.
- Ain-na-by-ah, his x mark.
- Wah-sha, his x mark.
- White, his x mark.
- Wah-nuk-ke, his x mark.
- Bah-be-jmah, his x mark.
- Onak-sa, (second,) his x mark.
- Nom-mah-kshkuk, his x mark.
- Thomas Evans.
- Peter Moose, his x mark.
- Jas. Levia, his x mark.
- Tquah-ket, his x mark.
- Wahs-meg-guea, his x mark.
- Pame-bo-go, his x mark.
- A-yea-nah-be, his x mark.
- Nah-duea, his x mark.
- Nau-wah-ga, his x mark.
- Pahs-kah-we, his x mark.
- Wahb-na-mid, his x mark.
- Moz-wa-nwah, his x mark.
- Thos. L. McKenney.
- Za-gah-knuk, his x mark.
- Che-gueah-mkuh-go, (brave,) his x mark.
- Ain-waish-ke, his x mark.
- Msquah-mke, his x mark.
- Mko-nuih, his x mark.
- Oketch-gum-me, his x mark.
- We-zos, his x mark.
- A-sah-sahng-gah, his x mark.
- Buck, his x mark.
- M. B. Beaubien.
- L. H. Ogee.
- Lewis View, his x mark.
- B. H. Bertrand.
- Shop-kuk, (speaker,) his x mark.
- George Fortier, his x mark.
- Odah-wahs, his x mark.
- Little American, his x mark.
- Puk-ke, his x mark.
- Nah-ge-zhick, his x mark.
- Oketch-gum-me, his x mark.
- Je-gueah-kyah, his x mark.
- Bapt. LeClere, his x mark.
- Leon Bertrand, his x mark.
- Bzug-nah, his x mark.
- Beau-mo, his x mark.
- Ke-yo-kum, his x mark.
- Muk-kose, his x mark.
- Wa-me-go, his x mark.
- Ka-beame-sa, his x mark.
- Onak-sa, his x mark.
- Frank Bourbonnie, his x mark.
- Bescue Bourbonnie, his x mark.
- Eli G. Nadeau.
- Charles Viean.
- To-to-qua, her his x mark.
- Messah, her his x mark.
- Otter-woman, her his x mark.
- Mary Jutions, her his x mark.
- Pnah-zuea, her his x mark.
- Louis Blackbird, his x mark.
- Jos. N. Bourassa, United States Interpreter.
Signed in presence of -
- L. R. Palmer.
- S. M. Ferguson.
- C. N. Gray.
- John D. Lusby.
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