Minnesota Territory 1849-1858
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The Treaty Story

The Treaty Story

In 1805 the Dakota ceded 100,000 acres of land at the intersection of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers. Lieutenant Zebulon Pike negotiated the agreement so that the U.S. government could build a military fort there. Of the seven Indian leaders present at the negotiations, only two signed the treaty.

Pike valued the land at $200,000, but no specific dollar amount was written in the treaty. At the signing, he gave the Indian leaders gifts whose total value was $200. The U.S. Senate approved the treaty, agreeing to pay only $2,000 for the land.

Generally, the Indians who signed treaties did not read English. They had to rely on interpreters who were paid by the U.S. government. It is uncertain whether they were aware of the exact terms of the treaties they signed.

Minneapolis and St. Paul are located on the land that was ceded in 1805.

On the map, click on this area of land.