Fort Stanwix Treaty

Manuscript copy of the Fort Stanwix Treaty of 1784.

The Treaty of Fort Stanwix, signed in 1784, one year after the end of the Revolutionary War, was one of the earliest treaties between the new federal government and representatives of the Six Nations. Its four brief articles set out to reward the Oneida and Tuscarora nations, which had fought alongside the Continentals, and to punish the other four — Mohawk, Cayuga, Onondaga, and Seneca — who had allied themselves with the British. The full Six Nations council refused to ratify the treaty, however, and its provisions were overridden by later federal treaties, particularly the 1794 Treaty of Canandaigua. It might be said that, ultimately, these U.S. treaties were worth little more than the parchment they were written on, as the New York government and private interests routinely ignored federal law in their drive to push the Haudenosaunee off of their land and, if possible, entirely out of the state. (National Archives)

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