An Act to Regulate Trade and Intercourse With the Indian Tribes, and to Preserve Peace on the Frontiers (Transcript)
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the following boundary line, established by treaty between the United States and various Indian tribes, shall be clearly ascertained and distinctly marked, in all such places, as the President of the United States shall deem necessary, and in such manner as he shall direct, to wit: Beginning at the mouth of the Cayahoga river on Lake Erie, and running thence up the same, to the portage between that and the Tuscaroras branch of the Muskingum; thence, down that branch, to the crossing place above Fort Laurence; thence, westwardly to a fork of that branch of the Great Miami river running into the Ohio, at or near which fork stood Laromie's store, and where commences the portage, between the Miami of the Ohio and Saint Mary's river, which is a branch of the Miami, which runs into Lake Erie; thence a westwardly course to Fort Recovery, which stands on a branch of the Wabash; thence southwestwardly, in a direct line to the Ohio, so as to intersect that river opposite the mouth of Kentucky or Cuttawa river; thence down the said river Ohio, to the tract of one hundred and fifty thousand acres near the rapids of the Ohio, which has been assigned to General Clarke, for the use of himself and his warriors; thence around the said tract, on the line of the said tract, till it shall again intersect the said river Ohio; thence down the same, to a point opposite the high lands or ridge between the mouth of the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers j thence southeastwardly on the said ridge, to a point, from whence a southwest line will strike the mouth of Duck river; thence still eastwardly on the said ridge, to a point forty miles above Nashville; thence northeast, to Cumberland river; thence up the said river, to where the Kentucky road crosses the same; thence to the Cumberland mountain, at the point of Campbell's line; thence in a southwestwardly direction along the foot of the Cumberland mountains, to Emory's river; thence down the same to its junction with the river Clinch; thence down the river Clinch to Hawkins's line: thence along the same to a white oak, marked one mile tree; thence south fifty-one degrees west, three hundred and twenty-eight chains to a large ash tree on the bank of the river Tennessee, one mile below southwest point; thence up the northeast margin of the river Tennessee (not including islands) to the Wild Cat Rock below Tellico block-house; thence in a direct line to the Militia spring near the Maryville road, leading from Tellico; thence from the said spring to the Chilhowee mountain, by a line so to be run, as will leave all the farms on Nine-mile creek to the northward and eastward of it, and to be continued along the Chilhowee mountain until it strikes Hawkins's line; thence along the said line to the Great Iron mountain; and from the top of which, a line to be continued in a southeastwardly course to where the most southern branch of Little river crosses the divisional line to Tugaloo river; thence along the South Carolina Indian boundary, to and over the Ocunna mountain, in a southwest course to Tugaloo river; thence in a direct line to the top of Currahee mountain, where the Creek line passes it; thence to the head or source of the main south branch of the Oconee river, called the Appalachee; thence down the middle of the said main south branch and river Oconee, to its confluence with Oakmulgee, which forms the river Altamaha; thence down the middle of the said Altamaha, to the old line on the said river; and thence along the said old line to the river Saint Mary's: Provided always, that if the boundary line between the said Indian tribes and the United States, shall, at any time hereafter, be varied by any treaty which shall be made between the said Indian tribes and the United States, then all the provisions contained in this act shall be construed to apply to the said line so to be varied, in the same manner, as said provisions apply by force of this act to the boundary line herein before recited.
And be it further enacted, That if any citizen of, or other person resident in the United States, or either of the territorial districts of the United States, shall cross over, or go within the said boundary line, to hunt, or in anywise destroy the game; or shall drive, or otherwise convey any stock of horses or cattle to range, on any lands allotted or secured by treaty with the United States, to any Indian tribes, he shall forfeit a sum not exceeding one hundred dollars, or be imprisoned not exceeding six months.
And be it further enacted, That if any such citizen, or other person, shall go into any country, which is allotted or secured by treaty, as aforesaid, to any of the Indian tribes south of the river Ohio, without a passport first had and obtained from the governor of some one of the United States, or the officer of the troops of the United States commanding at the nearest post on the frontiers, or such other person as the President of the United States may, from time to time, authorize to grant the same, shall forfeit a sum not exceeding fifty dollars, or be imprisoned not exceeding three months.
And be it further enacted, That if any such citizen, or other person, shall go into any town, settlement or territory, belonging, or secured by treaty with the United States, to any nation or tribe of Indians, and shall there commit robbery, larceny, trespass or other crime, against the person or property of any friendly Indian or Indians, which would be punishable if committed within the jurisdiction of any state, against a citizen of the United States; or, unauthorized by law, and with a host tile intention, shall be found on any Indian land, such offender shall forfeit a sum not exceeding one hundred dollars, and be imprisoned not exceeding twelve months; and shall also, when property is taken or destroyed, forfeit and pay to such Indian or Indians, to whom the property taken and destroyed belongs, a sum equal to twice the just value of the property so taken or destroyed. And if such offender shall be unable to pay a sum at least equal to the said just value, whatever such payment shall fall short of the said just value, shall be paid out of the treasury of the United States: Provided nevertheless, that no such Indian shall be entitled to any payment out of the treasury of the United States, for any such property taken or destroyed, if he, or any of the nation to which he belongs, shall have sought private revenge, or attempted to obtain satisfaction by any force or violence.
And be it further enacted, That if any such citizen, or other person, shall make a settlement on any lands belonging, or secured, or granted by treaty with the United States, to any Indian tribe, or shall survey, or attempt to survey, such lands, or designate any of the boundaries, by marking trees, or otherwise, such offender shall forfeit all his right, title and claim, if any he has, of whatsoever nature or kind the same shall or may be, to the lands aforesaid, whereupon he shall make a settlement, or which he shall survey, or attempt to survey, or designate any of the boundaries thereof, by marking trees or otherwise, and shall also forfeit a sum not exceeding one thousand dollars, and suffer imprisonment, not exceeding twelve months. And it shall, moreover, be lawful for the President of the United States to take such measures and to employ such military force, as he may judge necessary, to remove from lands belonging, or secured by treaty, as aforesaid, to any Indian tribe, any such citizen or other person, who has made or shall hereafter make, or attempt to make a settlement thereon. And every right, title, or claim forfeited under this act, shall be taken and deemed to be vested in the United States, upon conviction of the offender, without any other or further proceeding.
And be it further enacted, That if any such citizen, or other person, shall go into any town, settlement or territory belonging to any nation or tribe of Indians, and shall there commit murder, by killing any , Indian or Indians belonging to any nation or tribe of Indians in amity with the United States, such offender, on being thereof convicted, shall suffer death.
And be it further enacted, That no such citizen, or other person, shall be permitted to reside at any of the towns, or hunting camps, of any of the Indian tribes as a trader, without a license under the hand and seal of the superintendent of the department, or of such other person as the President of the United States shall authorize to grant licenses for that purpose: which superintendent, or person authorized, shall, on application, issue such license, for a term not exceeding two years, who shall enter into bond with one or more sureties, approved of by the superintendent, or person issuing such license, or by the President of the United States, in the penal sum of one thousand dollars, conditioned for the true and faithful observance of such regulations and restrictions, as are, or shall be made for the government of trade and intercourse with the Indian tribes. And the superintendent, or person issuing such license, shall have full power and authority to recall the same, if the person so licensed shall transgress any of the regulations, or restrictions, provided for the government of trade and intercourse with the Indian tribes; and shall put in suit such bonds as he may have taken, on the breach of any condition therein contained.
And be it further enacted, That any such citizen or other person, who shall attempt to reside in any town, or hunting camp, of any of the Indian tribes, as a trader, without such license, shall forfeit all the merchandise offered for sale, to the Indians, or found in his possession, and shall, moreover, be liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars, and to imprisonment not exceeding thirty days.
And be it further enacted, That if any such citizen, or other person, shall purchase, or receive of any Indian, in the way of trade or barter, a gun, or other article commonly used in hunting, any instrument of husbandry, or cooking utensil, of the kind usually obtained by the Indians, in their intercourse with white people, or any article of clothing, excepting skins or furs, he shall forfeit a sum not exceeding fifty dollars, and be imprisoned not exceeding thirty days.
And be it further enacted, That no such citizen, or other person, shall be permitted to purchase any horse of an Indian, or of any white man in the Indian territory, without special license for that purpose; which license, the superintendent, or such other person, as the President shall appoint, is hereby authorized to grant on the same terms, conditions and restrictions, as other licenses are to be granted under this act: and any such person, who shall purchase a horse or horses, under such license, before he exposes such horse or horses for sale, and within fifteen days after they have been brought out of the Indian country, shall make a particular return to the superintendent, or other person, from whom he obtained his license, of every horse purchased by him, as aforesaid; describing such horses, by their colour, height, and other natural or artificial marks, under the penalty contained in their respective bonds. And every such person, purchasing a horse or horses, as aforesaid, in the Indian country, without a special license, shall, for every horse thus purchased, and brought into any settlement of citizens of the United States, forfeit a sum not exceeding one hundred dollars, and be imprisoned not exceeding thirty days. And every person, who shall purchase a horse, knowing him to be brought out of the Indian territory, by any person or persons, not licensed, as above, to purchase the same, shall forfeit the value of such horse.
And be it further enacted, That no agent, superintendent, or other person authorized to grant a license to trade, or purchase horses, shall have any interest or concern in any trade with the Indians, or in the purchase or sale of any horse, to or from any Indian, excepting for, and on account of the United States. And any person offending herein, shall forfeit a sum not exceeding one thousand dollars, and be imprisoned not exceeding twelve months.
And be it further enacted, That no purchase, grant, lease, or other conveyance of lands, or of any title or claim thereto, from any Indian, or nation or tribe of Indians, within the bounds of the United States, shall be of any validity, in law or equity, unless the same be made by treaty or convention, entered into, pursuant to the constitution: and it shall be a misdemeanor in any person, not employed under the authority of the United States, to negotiate such treaty or convention, directly or indirectly, to treat with any such Indian nation, or tribe of Indians, for the title or purchase of any lands by them held, or claimed, punishable by fine not exceeding one thousand dollars, and imprisonment not exceeding twelve months: Provided, nevertheless, that it shall be lawful for the agent or agents of any state, who may be present at any treaty held with Indians under the authority of the United States, in the presence, and with the approbation of the commissioner or commissioners of the United States, appointed to hold the same, to propose to, and adjust with the Indians, the compensation to be made, for their claims to lands within such state, which shall be extinguished by the treaty.
And be it further enacted, That in order to promote civilization among the friendly Indian tribes, and to secure the continuance of their friendship, it shall be lawful for the President of the United States, to cause them to be furnished with useful domestic animals, and implements of husbandry, and with goods or money, as he shall judge proper, and to appoint such persons, Tom to time, as temporary agents, to reside among the Indians, as he shall think fit: Provided, that the whole amount of such presents, and allowance to such agents, shall not exceed fifteen thousand dollars per annum.
And be it further enacted, That if any Indian or Indians, belonging to any tribe in amity with the United States, shall come over or cross the said boundary line, into any state or territory inhabited by citizens of the United States, and there take, steal or destroy any horse, horses, or other property, belonging to any citizen or inhabitant of the United States, or of either of the territorial districts of the United States, or shall commit any murder, violence or outrage, upon any such citizen or inhabitant, it shall be the duty of such citizen or inhabitant, his representative, attorney or agent, to make application to the superintendent, or such other person as the President of the United States shall authorize for that purpose; who, upon being furnished with the necessary documents and proofs, shall, under the direction or instruction of the President of the United States, make application to the nation or tribe, to which such Indian or Indians shall belong, for satisfaction; and if such nation or tribe shall neglect or refuse to make satisfaction, in a reasonable time, not exceeding eighteen months, then it shad be the duty of such superintendent or other person authorized as aforesaid, to make return of his doings to the President of the United States, and forward to him all the documents and proofs in the case, that such further steps may be taken, as shall be proper to obtain satisfaction for the injury: and in the mean time, in respect to the property so taken, stolen, or destroyed, the United States guaranty to the party injured, an eventual indemnification: Provided always, that if such injured party, his representative, attorney, or agent, shall, in any way, violate any of the provisions of this act, by seeking, or attempting to obtain private satisfaction or revenge, by crossing over the line, on any of the Indian lands, he shall forfeit all claim upon the United States, for such indemnification: And provided also, that nothing herein contained shall prevent the legal apprehension or arresting, within the limits of any state or district, of any Indian having so offended: And provided further, that it shall be lawful for the President of the United States, to deduct such sum or sums, as shall be paid for the property taken, stolen or destroyed by any such Indian, out of the annual stipend, which the United States are bound to pay to the tribe, to which such Indian shall belong.
And be it further enacted, That the superior courts in each of the said territorial districts, and the circuit courts, and other courts of the United States of similar jurisdiction in criminal causes, in each district of the United States, in which any offender against this act shall be apprehended, or, agreeably to the provisions of this act, shall be brought for trial, shall have, and are hereby invested with full power and authority to hear and determine all crimes, offences and misdemeanors, against this act; such courts proceeding therein, in the same manner, as if such crimes, offenses and misdemeanors had been committed within the bounds of their respective districts. And in all cases, where the punishment shall not be death, the county courts of quarter sessions in the said territorial districts, and the district courts of the United States in their respective districts, shall have, and are hereby invested with like power to hear and determine the same, any law to the contrary notwithstanding. And in all cases, where the punishment shall be death, it shall be lawful for the governor of either of the territorial districts, where the offender shall be apprehended, or into which he shall be brought for trial, to issue a commission of oyer and terminer to the superior judges of such district, shall have full power and authority to hear and determine all such capital cases, in the same manner as the superior courts of such district have in their ordinary sessions. And when the offender shall be apprehended, or brought for trial, into any of the United States, except Kentucky, it shall be lawful for the President of the United States to issue a like commission to any one or more judges of the supreme court of the United States, and the judge of the district in which such offender may have been apprehended or shall have been brought for trial; which judges, or any two of them, shall have the same jurisdiction in such capital cases, as the circuit court of such district, and shall proceed to trial and judgment, in the same manner, as such circuit court might or could do. And the district courts of Kentucky and Maine shall have jurisdiction of all crimes, offenses and misdemeanors committed against this act, and shall proceed to trial and judgment, in the same manner, as the circuit courts of the United States.
And be it further enacted, That it shall be lawful for the military force of the United States, to apprehend every person who shall or may be found in the Indian country over and beyond the said boundary line between the United States and the said Indian tribes, in violation of any of the provisions or regulations of this act, and him or them immediately to convey, in the nearest convenient and safe route, to the civil authority of the United States, in some one of the three next adjoining states or districts, to be proceeded against in due course of law: Provided, that no person, apprehended by military force, as aforesaid, shall be detained longer than five days after the arrest, and before removal. And all officers and soldiers, who may have any such person or persons in custody, shall treat them with all the humanity which the circumstances will possibly permit; and every officer and soldier who shall be guilty of maltreating any such person, while in custody, shall suffer such punishment as a court-martial shall direct. Provided, that the officer having custody of such person or persons shall, if required by such person or persons, conduct him or them to the nearest judge of the supreme or superior court of any state, who, if the offense is bailable, shall take proper bail if offered, returnable to the district court next to be holden in said district, which bail the said judge is hereby authorized to take, and which shall be liable to be estreated as any other recognizance for bail in any court of the United States; and if said judge shall refuse to act, or the person or persons fail to procure satisfactory bail, then the said person or persons are to be proceeded with according to the directions of this act.
And be it further enacted, That if any person, who shall be charged with a violation of any of the provisions or regulations of this act, shall be found within any of the United States, or either of the territorial districts of the United States, such offender may be there apprehended and brought to trial, in the same manner, as if such crime or offence had been committed within such state or district; and it shall be the duty of the military force of the United States, when called ups on by the civil magistrate, or any proper officer, or other person duly authorized for that purpose, and having a lawful warrant, to aid and assist such magistrate, officer, or other person authorized, as aforesaid, in arresting such offender, and him committing to safe custody, for trial according to law.
And be it further enacted, That the amount of fines, and duration of imprisonment, directed by this act as a punishment for the violation of any of the provisions thereof, shall be ascertained and fixed, not exceeding the limits prescribed, in the discretion of the court, before whom the trial shall be had, and that all fines and forfeitures, which shall accrue under this act, shall be one half to the use of the informant, and the other half to the use of the United States: except where the prosecution shall be first instituted on behalf of the United States; in which case, the whole shall be to their use.
And be it further enacted, That nothing in this act shall be construed to prevent any trade or intercourse with Indians living on lands surrounded by settlements of the citizens of the United States, and being within the ordinary jurisdiction of any of the individual states; or the unmolested use of a road from Washington district, to Mero district, and of the navigation of the Tennessee river, as reserved and secured by treaty; nor shall this act be construed to prevent any person or persons travailing from Knoxville to Price's settlement (so called) provided they shall travel in the trace or path which is usually travelled, and provided the Indians make no objection; but if the Indians object, the President of the United States is hereby authorized to issue a proclamation, prohibiting all travelling on said trace, after which, the penalties of this act shall be incurred by every person travelling or being found on said trace, within the Indian boundary without a passport. SEC. 20. And be it further enacted, That the President of the United States be, and he is hereby authorized to cause to be clearly ascertained, and distinctly marked, in all such places as he shall deem necessary, and in such manner as he shall direct, any other boundary lines between the United States and any Indian tribe, which now are, or hereafter may be established by treaty. SEC. 21. And be it further enacted, That this act shall be in force from and after the third day of March, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-nine, and shall continue in force the term of three years; and so far as respects the proceedings under this act, it is to be understood, that the act, intituled " An act to amend an act, intituled An act giving effect to the laws of the United States within the district of Tennessee," is not to operate. And all disabilities which have taken place shall continue and remain; and all penalties and forfeitures, that have been incurred, may be recovered, and all prosecutions and suits which may have been commenced, may be prosecuted to final judgment, under the act, to regulate trade and intercouse with the Indian tribes, and to preserve peace on the frontiers; which act expires, by its own limitation, on the third day of March, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-nine, in the same manner, as if the said act was continued in force.
APPROVED, March 3. 1799.
- Hurt, R. Douglas. The Ohio Frontier: Crucible of the Old Northwest, 1720-1830. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1996.