The West Virginia. Cyclopedia

Treaty of Fort Stanwix

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On November 5, 1768, Sir William Johnson, British Superintendent of Indian Affairs (1755-1774) and also a land speculator, signed the Treaty of Fort Stanwix with the Six Nations of the Iroquois, relinquishing all Iroquois claims to the property west of the Allegheny Mountains and east of the Ohio River, comprising all of present-day West Virginia except for the extreme southwestern part of the state.

As part of the terms of the treaty the Iroquois received land in western New York. The Delaware, Mingo, and Shawnee tribes of Ohio, who lived on the land conceded by the treaty, did not accept the treaty as being valid. These groups contended the Iroquois did not have the authority to concede lands upon which they did not live.

Some of the land conceded under the terms of the Treaty of Fort Stanwix involved lands also claimed by the Cherokee. Soon after that treaty was signed, the Shawnee began making overtures of alliance to the Cherokee and other powerful tribes of the area, seeking their aid in defending the disputed lands. As an apparent effort to circumvent the efforts of the Shawnee, the Engish began negotiations with the Cherokee.

On Oct. 18, 1770, British representative John Stuart signed the Treaty of Lochaber in which Cherokee relinquished their claims to lands south of the Kanawha River and New River, surrendering rights to the remaining land in present-day southern West Virginia not included in the Treaty of Hard Labour of 1768.

The completion of the these treaties effectively repealed the Royal Proclamation of 1763, which had prohibited settlement west of the Alleghenies.

External Links

1764 - 1836: Pre-Confederation Treaties - See: Fort Stanwix Treaty, 1768, just below top of page.

The Seneca People - History - Provides addition insight into the objections by the Shawnee and other tribes to the land concession of the Fort Stanwix Treaty.

Delaware Tribe History - Provides a good deal of information regarding the disputed lands and the Ohio tribes, which begins after halfway on down this page.