Following its independence from Britain, the rapidly increasing population of the United States demanded access to new lands for settlement. To meet these demands, the United States Government negotiated numerous treaties by which Indian tribes would “cede” or sell large portions of their territory to the United States while “reserving” (withholding from sale) certain areas (referred to as “reservations”). Tribes, including the Huron Potawatomi, would usually also “reserve” rights to continue hunting on lands they sold to the United States

In Michigan alone, the Huron Potawatomi were involved in 11 different land treaties, of which the Treaty of Detroit resulted in the greatest reduction of land for the Band. Signed November 17, 1807, in Detroit, Michigan, the Potawatomi, Chippewa, Ottawa, and Wyandots ceded eight million acres to the U.S. Government for roughly 1.2 cents per acre (equivalent to 21 cents per acre in 2018).

For cession of these lands in southeastern Michigan, the Huron Potawatomi received a direct payment of $1,666.66 6/10  and future annual payments (annuities) to be paid in perpetuity. Paid in Detroit, the annuity was to be “four hundred dollars to such of the Pottawatamies, as now reside on the river Huron of Lake Erie, the River Raisin, and in the vicinity of the said rivers.”

The Potawatomi chiefs who signed this Treaty were: Toquish, Noname, Nawme, Ninnewa, and Skush. The Huron Potawatomi received annuity payments from this Treaty until they were eventually compounded for a lump sum in 1889.

The Huron Potawatomi also reserved land reservations in most of these treaties – first, retaining the lands upon which their villages were located at the time of the 1807 Treaty of Detroit and later reserving lands in Northern Indiana and Southwest Michigan to which individual Chiefs would re-locate their villages.

Ottowa Treaty_001

Ottowa Treaty_002.tif

References:

“$0.01 in 1807 → 2018 | Inflation Calculator.” FinanceRef Inflation Calculator, Alioth Finance, 28 Feb. 2018, http://www.in2013dollars.com/1807-dollars-in-2018?amount=0.01.

Treaty between the Ottawa, Chippewa, Wyandot, and Potawatomi Indians; 11/17/1807; General Records of the United States Government, Record Group 11. [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/treaty-between-the-ottawa-chippewa-wyandot-and-potawatomi-indians, February 28, 2018]

United States, Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs Branch of Acknowledgement and Research, et al. “Summary Under the Criteria and Evidence for Proposed Finding Huron Potawatomi, Inc.” HPI-V001-D004, https://www.bia.gov/sites/bia.gov/files/assets/as-ia/ofa/petition/009_hurpot_MI/009_pf.pdf.