Fort Stanwix



The Treaty of Fort Stanwix was a treaty finalized on October 22, 1784, between the United States and Native Americans from the six nations of the Iroquois League. It was signed at Fort Stanwix, in present-day Rome, New York, and the first of several treaties between Native Americans and the United States after the American victory in the Revolutionary War.

Since the status of Indian lands had been ignored in the Treaty of Paris, the treaty was intended to serve as a peace treaty between the Americans and the Iroquois, as well as for other Indian lands farther west, which the Iroquois had gained by conquest during the Beaver Wars of a century earlier. Joseph Brant was the leading Indian at the start of negotiations. He said “But we must observe to you, that we are sent in order to make peace, and that we are not authorized, to stipulate any particular cession of lands.” Brant had to leave early for a planned trip to England. The leading Indian representatives who signed the treaty were Cornplanter and Captain Aaron Hill. In this treaty the Iroquois Confederacy ceded all claims to the Ohio territory, a strip of land along the Niagara river and all land west of mouth of Buffalo creek. In Pennsylvania the land acquired in this treaty is known as the “Last Purchase”.

The Six Nations council at Buffalo Creek refused to ratify the treaty, denying that their delegates had the power to give away such large tracts of land. They asked the Americans for return of the deeds and promised to indemnify them for any presents they had given. The general Indian confederacy also disavowed the treaty because most of the Six Nations did not live in the Ohio territory. The Ohio Country natives, including the Shawnee Indians, the Mingo Indians, the Delaware Indians and several other tribes rejected the treaty.