In colonial America, there was one resource that settlers were thirsty for and only Native Americans could provide: land. Europeans were interested in gaining possession of Native land via whatever methods would place the fertile soil into their greedy palms the fastest. As a result, they turned to a familiar practice to establish ownership – the written word, more specifically treaties. Unfortunately, the Europeans had fundamentally different thoughts concerning land than the Natives and it resulted in great forfeitures for tribes. While Native Americans were often tricked into land cessions, this was not always the case. Some of the reasons behind the losses of land can be traced back to misconceptions of land ownership between the conflicting cultures and to pre-revolutionary treaties themselves. This paper explores the lasting effects – positive or negative – of pre-revolutionary treaties on Native Americans from the colonial period to present. It also analyzes how Native customs and European predispositions influenced initial encounters in ways that may have defined treaty agreements.
Wilkinson, Katie. "Parchment As Power: The Effects of Pre-Revolutionary Treaties on Native Americans from the Colonial Period to Present." The Purdue Historian 8, 1 (2017). https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/puhistorian/vol8/iss1/3