1778: The first U.S. treaty with an American Indian tribe is ratified
The Continental Congress, a governing body formed during the American Revolution, made up of delegates from 13 states, makes a treaty with the Lenape (Delaware). It is the first treaty between the newly formed United States and an American Indian tribe.
“One of the most significant acts by those colonies was the decision to negotiate an agreement with militarily powerful Indian tribes, either to gain the tribes’ alliance or, at least to ensure the tribes’ neutrality in the imminent revolutionary war. That act set the stage for dealing with the tribes through formal government-to-government agreements such as treaties. Between 1789 and 1871, the primary instrument for relations between the United States and Indian nations was the treaty.” —Richard Monette, “Treaties,” Encyclopedia of North American Indians: Native American History, Culture and Life from Paleo-Indians to the Present, 1996
Read about the hundreds of treaties that were ratified between 1778 and 1868 in American Indian Treaties: The History of a Political Anomaly by Francis Paul Prucha, 1994.
- Federal-Tribal Relations
- Northeast, Southeast