Sunday, September 13, 2015

This Week: 200th Anniversary of the 1815 Treaty Between the Ioway and the U.S.

Know Your Treaties. This week, on Wednesday Sept. 16, is the 200th Anniversary of our 1815 Treaty with the United States. This Treaty signed at Portage des Sioux, Missouri, established peace and friendship between the Iowa Tribe and the U.S. after the War of 1812, in which the Iowa fought with the majority of the Sauk (such as Black Hawk) and others like Tecumseh of the Shawnee on the side of Great Britain against the Americans. They knew the ultimate goal of the Long Knives (Mahi-Xanye: Knife-Big, the Indian name for the cavalry swords), the Americans, was their lands. The British had tried to stop the American settler advance at the Appalachians. This is why we chose the British side, and how we came to lose everything.

A few Iowas had remained loyal to the U.S. by joining the pro-American Otoe in Nebraska during the war. In 1809, the President of the U.S. had recognized Hard Heart (an alias of White Cloud I, father of White Cloud II) as the Ioway's head chief, because of his loyalty to the U.S.  Hard Heart (not No Heart, his brother) was father of White Cloud II. The U.S. rewarded this loyalty by appointing/recognizing White Cloud as Head Chief of the Iowas, although the Iowa were traditionally led by a council of many clan chiefs/elders who held various offices to promote equality and a balance of power.

IMPORTANT: This treaty effectively put the Ioway under the power of the U.S. through creating a head chief loyal to the U.S. and this was the beginning of the head chief idea.

Full text of the Treaty of 1815:

TREATY WITH THE IOWA, 1815 (Treaty of Portage des Sioux (Missouri))

A treaty of peace and friendship, made and concluded at Portage des Sioux, between William Clark, Ninian Edwards, and Auguste Chouteau, Commissioners Plenipotentiary of the United States of America, on the part and behalf of the said States, of the one part; and the undersigned, King, Chiefs, and Warriors, of the Iaway Tribe or Nation, on the part and behalf of the said Tribe or Nation, of the other part.

The parties being desirous of re-establishing peace and friendship between the United States and the said tribe or nation, and of being placed in all things, and in every respect, on the same footing upon which they stood before the war, have agreed to the following articles:


Every injury, or act of hostility, by one or either of the contracting parties against the other shall be mutually forgiven and forgot.


There shall be perpetual peace and friendship between all the citizens of the United States and all the individuals composing the said Iaway tribe or nation.


The contracting parties do hereby agree, promise, and oblige themselves, reciprocally to deliver up all the prisoners now in their hands, (by what means soever the same may have come into their possession,) to the officer commanding at St. Louis, to be by him restored to their respective nations, as soon as it may be practicable.


The contracting parties, in the sincerity of mutual friendship, recognize, re-establish, and confirm, all and every treaty, contract, and agreement, hereto fore concluded between the United States and the said Iaway tribe or nation.

In witness whereof, the said William Clark, Ninian Edwards, and Auguste Choteau, commissioners as aforesaid, and the aforesaid king, chiefs, and warriors, have hereunto subscribed their names and affixed their seals, this sixteenth day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifteen, and of the independence of the United States the fortieth.

William Clark
Ninian Edwards
Auguste Choteau

Ranoingga, the little pipe, his x mark
Wohomppee, the broth, his x mark
Wyingwaha, or hard heart, his x mark
Shongatong, the horse jockey, his x mark
Wongehehronyne, or big chief, his x mark
Nahocheininugga, without ears, his x mark
Wonehee, or the slave, his x mark
Conja, the plumb, his x mark,
Hahraga, the forked horn, his x mark
Chahowhrowpa, the dew-lap, his x mark
Eniswahanee, the big axe, his x mark
Manuhanu, the great walker, his x mark
Washcommanee, the great marcher, his x mark
Chapee, the pine buffaloe, his x mark
Wyimppishcoonee, the ill-humoured man, his x mark
Okugwata, the roller, his x mark
Ishtagrasa, grey eyes, his x mark

Done at Portage des Sioux, in the presence of--

R. Wash, secretary to the commission
Samuel Solomon, interpreter
Dl. Bissel, brigadier-general
Maurice Blondeaux
R. Paul, C. C. T.
Louis Dorion
Samuel Brady, lieutenant
Dennis Julien
Geo. Fisher, surgeon, Illinois regiment
Jas. McCulloch, captain
P. Choteau, agent.
Jno. W. Johnson, United States factor and Indian agent