1804 - Sac and Fox Treaties in the Ohio

A Sauk family, photographed by Frank Reinhart

         In 1804, the United States consisted of sixteen states, all more or less arranged along the Atlantic coastline.  The nation's land base was still untracked wilderness, particularly the new state of Ohio, which was still home to many tribes.

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         The 1804 cession by the Sac and Fox tribes in Ohio exemplified the process by which the new government obtained land from tribes in 19th century treaty negotiations. 

         The government often turned a blind eye while white settlers encroached on Indian lands, sparking an inevitable confrontation.  Once provoked, the government would offer to sit down at a peace council with the tribes and demand a cession of land in exchange for peace.  Once peace was restored, more settlers would encroach on the now-diminished lands until yet another violent episode brought the government in to mediate.  It was in this fashion that Indians lost most of their land between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River.