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Treaty of Fort Stanwix (1784)

Following the successful conclusion of peace negotiations at the end of the War of Independence, the United States government addressed pressing concerns with Indians in the Old Northwest. An agreement was reached in 1784 with certain members of The Iroquois, who surrendered claims to lands in western Pennsylvania and Ohio. Other tribal members were critical of the treaty, claiming that it was concluded under duress and that those Indians who signed it did so without proper authorization. The inevitable result was continued warfare in the the area. A final resolution was not reached until the tribes' power was broken during the War of 1812. The motives of the United States in the (second) Treaty of Fort Stanwix included more than simply answering the frontiersmen’s pleas for more land. Thomas Jefferson, who crafted American land policy* during the mid-1780s, was attempting to fashion a revenue-generating procedure to fund pensions for the soldiers of the recently concluded war. If the government were to acquire lands in the Old Northwest, it was hoped that settlers would purchase tracts and provide a means to honor the nation's obligation to the veterans.

*See Ordinances of 1784, 1785 and 1787.
See also Indian Wars Time Table.