Indian Land Tenure Foundation (ILTF)

Research Guide
AboutSearchDownload FileTreaties​​Signers


In 90 years, the US property system spread across North America from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The US-Indian treaties were essential events in this remarkable growth. What motivated such agressive expansion, and who benefitted from it most directly?

The US Treaty Signer Project, funded by the Indian Land Tenure Foundation, opens a surprising new window on the complicated history of US-Indian relations. The men who represented the federal government at treaties were not there by accident. They personified the powerful interests that directly drove the US acquisition of Indigenous resources. 

This website presents information on hundreds of US treaty signers and on the business, family and social networks that connected them. It also provides basic information on each of nearly 400 treaties, plus stories that show why knowing who signed the treaties is important.

About ProjectClick here for background on the US Treaty Signers
Project and the Indian Land Tenure Foundation

Signatures of U.S. commissioners on "Treaty with the Six Nations"

Signatures on "Treaty with the Six Nations"
1784 - the 
first Indigenous land cession to the U.S.

US Signers
Over 2,300 men represented the federal government at treaties​ with Indigenous nations. They negotiated, witnessed -- and benefitted from -- these agreements. Biographical information on more than 1,600 ​signers is available in a downloadable database; simply select a name and learn about a signer. ​

The networks that connected signers are described here, too. They challenge the notion that pioneers were the heroes of westward expansion. Learn how land speculation, trade, transportation, and other networks drove the US across the continent.


Clark, WilliamCass, Lewis
William Clark and Lewis Cass, who signed 59 treaties​

Click here for the signer database and network descriptions ​

US - Indian Treaties

Treaty of Prairie du Chien

     View of the Treaty of Prairie du Chien, J. O. Lewis​


Basic information on each of 386 agreements between the US and Indigenous nations is available here in a downloadable database. Find out where and when each treaty was signed; read the text of the treaty; and find a link to the biographies of US signers of that treaty.  

For added context, the 90 year history of treaty making is broken into 6 historical eras. See how economic interests in treaty making changed over time and how the agreements were shaped by the identities of US signers.



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This site is funded by the Indian Land Tenure Foundation. Click to visit site.
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For scholars and educators:  Download the database and stories from the website for free
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