Meskwaki History

Relations with United States Government

As with other North American Indian tribes, the federal government engaged in a series of negotiations aimed at driving the Meskwaki from lands white settlers wanted to occupy. Tribes were forced to cede lands and to sign treaties with government representatives in order to avoid further warfare. The Americans grouped the Meskwaki (or Fox) with the Sauk (or Sac) which eventually led to three separate distinctions for these tribes as explained under tribal names.

The color lithograph, from the 1835 Aboriginal Port-Folio of J.O. Lewis, commemorates the grand council held at Prairie Du Chein, Wisconsin, in August 1825. Here representatives of the Chippewa, Sac and Fox, Menominee, Iowa, Sioux, Winnebago, Ottawa, and Pottawatomi agreed with government representatives to define the boundaries of their respective land claims. Source: Library of Congress.

Indian agents and traders were the primary contact between the Meskwaki and the government. Click here to see a list of the agents assigned to the Meskwaki.

1804 treaty with the Sauk and Foxes

1815 treaty with Fox Nation

1822 treaty with the Sauk and Foxes

1824 treaty with the Sauk and Foxes

1830 treaty with the Sauk and Foxes, Etc.

1832 treaty with the Sauk and Foxes

1836 treaty with the Sauk and Foxes

1837 treaty with Sac and Fox

1842 treaty with the Sauk and Foxes

Read about this pivotal period in Meskwaki history including the 1842 treaty, the U.S. Dragoons, the 1845 Indian Removal Act (when the government attempted to remove the tribe to Kansas), the hardships in Kansas, and the Kansas reservation in 1854.

1859 treaty with Sauk and Foxes

1867 treaty with the Sauk and Foxes

Several of these treaties came from: Indian Treaties, 1778-1883, compiled and edited by Charles J. Kappler (New York: Interlude Publishing, 1975).

Map of Sauk and Fox Land Cessions, 1804-1842, from Atlas of North American Indian Affairs.