Petition to Relinquish Land

Petition to Relinquish Land/tiles/non-collection/p/pm_006imgtile1.xml
Image courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration
Petition to Relinquish Land/tiles/non-collection/p/pm_006imgtile2.xml
Image courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration
Petition to Relinquish Land/tiles/non-collection/p/pm_006imgtile3.xml
Image courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration
Petition to Relinquish Land/tiles/non-collection/p/pm_006imgtile4.xml
Image courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration

Description

The Wyandot or Huron, as they were also known, migrated to the Ohio Territory in 1749 after a series of attacks by other native tribes drove them from their original home in Canada. Many made their home near the Bay of Sandusky, at the mouth of the Sandusky River.

During the Revolutionary War, the Wyandot sided with the British, in an attempt to preserve their land from the colonists who had arrived to settle the Ohio Territory. According to the terms of the Treaty of Paris, which marked the diplomatic end to the war, the territory was transferred to the United States. This set the stage for a tug of war between Native Americans, including the Wyandot, and settlers over control of the land. After two unsuccessful peace treaties and the bloody Battle of Fallen Timbers, at which the Wyandot were overwhelmingly defeated, the Greenville Treaty was signed on August 3, 1795. It divided the Ohio Territory along strict boundaries, giving one third of the land in the northwestern section to several Native-American tribes, including the Wyandot, and the remaining two thirds were ceded to the settlers. When the territory became a state in 1803, the portion afforded to the tribes began to shrink and continued to do so through subsequent treaties between the Native Americans and the federal government.

This plaintive request from Wyandot warriors pleads with the government to allow them to retain their land: “It is our most ardent wish, to live the remainder of our days in this place; and to have our Graves here with our ancestors and Relations.” It was referred to the Committee on Public Lands, but neither the committee nor the House took further action.

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