Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations

September 21, 2014–Spring 2020 | Washington, DC

Unratified California Treaty K, 1852  |  VIEW TRANSCRIPT »

United States troops occupied California in 1846, during the Mexican War. They immediately issued orders restricting Indian movement, denying Indians the vote, and banning them from testifying in court against any white person. The treaties Native Californians signed in 1851−52 provided eighteen reservations (about 11,700 square miles, one-seventh of California) as homelands for indigenous people. U. S. commissioner O. M. Wozencraft and people associated with the San Luis Rey (Luiseño), Cahuilla, and Serrano Indians signed this treaty. Article 3, “To promote the settlement and improvement of said Nations,” gives the United States all their land but a reservation.

Image: National Archives, Washington, D.C. | Transcript: Originally published in Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties, compiled and edited by Charles J. Kappler, 1904; digitized by Oklahoma State University.