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Iowa History Daily: August 4 - The First Treaty

Iowa History Daily: On August 4, 1824, Mahaska (MaxúThka) of the Ioway (Báxoje), Keokuk of the Sauk, and Wapello of the Meskwaki, as well as at least eight other Indigenous Iowans visited Washington D.C. During the visit the leaders agreed to treaties including the first cession of lands in Iowa.

The first of nine treaties taking place over the middle of the 19th century, the 1824 only partially dispossessed the tribal groups. While the treaty focused on the United States gaining large portions of modern-day Missouri, the Sauk and Meskwaki formally ceded 119,000 acres including lands in modern-day Lee County commonly known as the “Half-Breed Tract.”

The government set aside the 119,000 acres for Sauk and Meskwaki tribal members of mixed-heritage, a result of intermarriage between the tribes and French, British, and Americans over the fur trade era in Iowa. Extending northward from Keokuk to today’s city-limits of Fort Madison, eligible individuals could live in, but not buy or sell, the lands.

The area stood as constructed in the 1824 treaty for a decade. In 1834, the US Congress repealed the portion of the treaty providing for the “Half-Breed Tract” in the aftermath of the conflict commonly known as the “Black Hawk War” and subsequent “Black Hawk Purchase.” #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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