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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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.
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