Native American Treaties

America requested that the Nation cede certain races of land, beneficial to the US, and with the agreement that the United States could establish garrisons where they desired In order to protect the frontiers. In exchange for the considerations and the permanent relinquishment of those lands and claims, the United States agreed to pay the nation several types of compensation. First was an annual monetary sum of $3000. 00 every year indefinitely to the Creek Nation, with an additional $1000. 00 per year to the chiefs who administer the governmental services to the tribe.
Also provided In the treaty was the sum of $25,000. 00, to be distributed in parts as merchandise and goods, the distraction of debts the Nation owed, and the satisfaction of individual loss of property claims against the tribe by citizens of the united States. In addition, the united States agreed to furnish two sets of Blacksmiths tools and the men to work them for a period of three years. K State Creek 1802 1 felt as though, while I still disagree with the idea that these “treaty agreements” were in any way fair or a true “option” to the tribes on these lands, this particular treaty wasn’t any crueler than other treaties.
The land descriptions of what was to be ceded to the united States Is official for me to comprehend in any Value’ aspect. I am not certain of the acreage, nor would I begin to know the land value. Secondly, only part of that value was direct compensation. I find the breakdown of the larger compensation package suspect, since It virtually “forgives” “debts” that the United States government purports the Creek Indians acquired and/or for acts the government purports the Creek Indians committed against the citizens of America.

If the land, property, or other purported to have been taken was in actuality the Creek Indian’s to begin with, then it would be unfair to use land compensation as “payment of a debt” that never occurred. The second treaty I chose was signed August 9, 1814, (also called the Treaty of Ft. Jackson) following the events surrounding the War of 1812. Andrew Jackson was both the 1 OFF the Creek Indian tribes that culminated with the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in Alabama on March 27, 1814, and killed 800 Indian warriors and imprisoned over 500 women and children in the Ft Aims Massacre. Britannica – Creek Indian War) The agreement was in response to “… Unprovoked, inhuman, and sanguinary war, waged y the hostile Creeks against us” and for basically violating the 1790 treaty, “disregarding the previous genuine spirit of existing treaties”. (K State Creek 1814) This treaty had many more provisions, and heavily favored the United States, while laying blame to the Creek Indians for the events that lead to the massacre, and hence, this “treaty’ which reads more as a list of spoils.
The United States demanded the equivalent to all expenses for seeing out the entirety of the war to its end. Not being specifically written, I can only assume that they “entirety’ included the Creek Indian War AND the majority of the War of 1812. The United States was penalizing the Creek Indians for affording assistance and aid to the British during the War of 1812. This equated to over 23,000,000 acres of land, minus a few “reservations” of 1 mile tracts per person who had remained friendly to the United States during the conflict.
The US also demanded that the Creeks abandon all communications and relations with the British and the Spanish, the rights to establish military posts and trading houses on roads in territories still occupied by the Indian tribe, the right to completely free navigation of all waters, the surrender of al persons or property gained by the Creeks during the conflicts, the capture and surrender of all instigators, and permanent peace between the Creek Indians and the United States, as well as among the Creek Indians and the Cherokee, Chickasaws, and Choctaw Indian tribes.
In “return” for the demands, the Americans guaranteed the integrity of the Northern and North eastern aspects of their territory, as well as a “Humanitarian” gesture of continuing to “furnish the necessaries of life… Until crops are competent to yield; and will establish trading houses in the Nation to enable the Nation to procure clothes… By industry or economy’. (K State Creek 1814) The benefit of this treaty was quite obviously in favor of the United States. There was little concession to the Indians for what amounts to half of the state of Alabama and the entire South portion of Georgia in land mass. Britannica – Creek Indian War) While the wording tends to validate the demands of the US, it does not address that the War of 1812 was an occurrence during the intertribal wars that were going on at the time. Some tribes saw an opportunity to show a loyalty to the US, which further incited the opposing tribes who felt that the intrusion of the US was not permissible to act against the US, but supporting the opposition in the war, or actually attacking American citizens themselves. Encore of Alabama) The actions of the tribes had not started as actions against the United States for the sake of war against America. Had this been the case, Jackson’s generalization of “unprovoked, inhuman war” might be more accurate. However, at a time in history where the United States was systematically striping land, rights, and humanity from the indigenous people who ere in actual possession of it upon the American’s arrival is hypocritical at best.
The drastic change between the style and manner of the treaties of 1802 and 1814 show the turn America took from being a participant in a mutual, albeit selfish, exchange to a punishing political power using treaties and government backed Americans was, ironically, to become President and initiate Indian Removal as formal policy. With the “concession as a gesture of humanity’ America made the Creek Tribe both more dependent on the US government for necessities they could not themselves generate – now for lack of the territory they once had to farm, herd, and ark on – but also began a culture of resentment with the tribe.
I am not convinced this wasn’t the exact objective of the ‘humanitarian help’ written into the agreement. It is clear to see that while in the beginning, there was a more conservative tactic with the treaties to maintain a certain amount of control over the native tribes, there was a more concerted effort as time passed and the United States desired to take more and give less. The power differential is shown most vividly in the sheer volume of land taken in the 1814 treaty as “equivalent to expenses”.

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