- Treaty of Traverse des Sioux
The Treaty of Traverse des Sioux was a treaty, signed on
July 23, 1851, between the United Statesgovernment and the SiouxIndians who lived in Minnesotaat the time. The treaty was instigated by Alexander Ramsey, the first governor of Minnesota Territory, and Luke Lea, Commissioner of Indian Affairs in Washington, D.C.The desire for a treaty was fueled by the promise of rich agricultural lands in Minnesota.
Wahpetonand Sissetonbands of the Upper Sioux were hesitant to sign away so much land, but older members of the tribes realized that the results of the 1825 Treaty of Prairie du Chienand the outcome of the Black Hawk Wardid not bode well for a refusal to negotiate. Realizing their situation, the Wahpeton and Sisseton bands ceded their lands in southern and western Minnesota Territory, along with some lands in Iowaand Dakota Territory. In exchange, the United States promised payment of $1,665,000 in cash and annuities. Between the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux and the Treaty of Mendota, where the Mdewakantonand Wahpekutebands of the Lower Sioux ceded their territory, nearly 24 million acres (97,000 km²) of land was opened for white settlement. The Indians were given two reservations, each about convert|20|mi|km|-1 wide and convert|70|mi|km|-1 long, along the Minnesota River. The Upper Sioux Agencywas established near Granite Falls, Minnesota, while the Lower Sioux Agencywas established about thirty miles downstream near Redwood Falls, Minnesota.
The Upper Sioux were satisfied with their reservation, since it included several of their old villages. The Lower Sioux, on the other hand, were displaced from the woodlands where they used to live, and were dissatisfied with this choice. Moreover, the treaty contained a separate "trader's paper" that paid $400,000 of the promised treaty amount to fur traders and mixed-bloods who had claims against the Indians. The crush of settlers moving into the area and the promise of increased annuity payments brought the Sioux back to Washington, D.C. in 1858 to sign another pair of treaties ceding the reservation north of the Minnesota River.
The intent of the treaties was to encourage the Sioux to convert from their nomadic hunting lifestyle into a more sedentary farming lifestyle. Between the forced change in lifestyle and the much lower than expected payments from the federal government, tensions within the tribes increased. This tension was one of the causes that fueled the
Dakota War of 1862.
List of treaties
* [http://digital.library.okstate.edu/kappler/Vol2/treaties/sio0588.htm Treaty with the Sioux-Sisseton and Wahpeton Bands, 1851]
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