Research

New York State Dept. of State Original Indian Treaties and Deeds

Held by the New York State Archives


Overview of the Records

Repository:

New York State Archives

New York State Education Department

Cultural Education Center

Albany, NY 12230

Summary:
This series contains Indian treaties or deeds of cession and related documents filed by the secretary of state. The native groups involved in the treaties filed in this series were the Oneida, Brothertown, Stockbridge, Cayuga, Mohawk, Seneca, and Onondaga Indians, and the Seven Nations of Canada. The "treaties" generally take the form of a deed of cession from the sachems, chiefs, and warriors of a particular nation or group to the people of the state of New York.
Creator:
Title:
Quantity:
1.1 cubic feet (2 volumes) (787 items); Copies: 1 microfilm reel; 35mm.
Inclusive Dates:
1703-1847
Bulk Dates:
(bulk 1802-1847)
Series Number:
A4609

Scope and Content Note

This series contains Indian treaties or deeds of cession and related documents filed by the secretary of state. The native groups involved in the treaties filed in this series were the Oneida, Brothertown, Stockbridge, Cayuga, Mohawk, Seneca, and Onondaga Indians, and the Seven Nations of Canada. All the documents date from 1781 or later, with one exception: an agreement between the Montauk Indians and the inhabitants of the town of Easthampton, Suffolk County, regarding rights to fenced fields and pastures and to use of timber, dated 1703 (a transcription of that document was filed in 1818).

The "treaties" generally take the form of a deed of cession from the sachems, chiefs, and warriors of a particular nation or group to the people of the state of New York. The location and date of the treaty, and the parties to the treaty are stated at the beginning of the instrument. The lands ceded are described, and the consideration is stated. The names of the parties, including the governor or his representatives (commissioners of the land office), and of the sachems, chiefs, and warriors are stated at the end of the document, along with names of the witnesses and the representative (if any) of the United States government. The date of recording is stated.

The series also contains numerous documents relating to land cessions to the state of New York, particularly by the Oneida, Brothertown, Stockbridge, Cayuga, and St. Regis Mohawk Indians. The documents include powers of attorney, agreements, releases, contracts, and a few petitions or memorials and letters. There are also surveys and maps of tracts ceded by the Oneidas in 1840 and 1842; and several lists of Oneida and Brothertown Indians from the same time period. Some of the documents refer to Oneida Indians who had migrated to Wisconsin and Ontario, Canada. Many of the original documents in this series are recorded in series A0448 Recorded Indian treaties and deeds, 1703-1871. An undetermined number of original Indian treaties, mostly dating between the 1790s and the 1820s, were destroyed in the Capitol fire of 1911.

Use of Records

Access Restrictions

Restricted due to severe fragility. Microfilm is first use copy.

Alternate Formats Available

Microfilm is available at the New York State Archives through interlibrary loan.

Scanned images of a small sample of maps, treaties, and land use records are available at the New York State Archives.

Related Information

Related Materials

Series A0448 Recorded Indian treaties and deeds, 1703-1871, contains related documents

Series A0272 Applications for land grants ("Land Papers"), 1642-1803, contains numerous original Indian deeds and related documents from the colonial period

Other finding aids

Each volume contains an index.

Related Publications

Texts of treaties with the state of New York are published in New York (State) Special Committee to Investigate the Indian Problem of the State of New York, Report Transmitted to the Legislature February 1, 1889 (Assembly Document no. 51) (Albany: 1889).

Processing Information

This series was formerly known as #448a and accessioned as A4609 in 1997. At the time of accessioning the series was bound in two volumes and subsequently disbound.

Access Terms

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