May 7, 1868

15 Stat 649

Treaty between the United States of America and the Crow Tribe of Indians; Concluded May 7, 1868; Ratification advised July 25, 1868; Proclaimed August 14, 1868.




Whereas, a treaty was made and concluded at Fort Laramie, in the Territory of Dakota, on the seventh day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-eight, by and between General William T. Sherman, Brevet Major-General William S. Harney, Brevet Major-General Alfred H. Terry, Brevet Major- General C. C. Augur, John B. Sanborn, and S. F. Tappan, commissioners, on the part of the United States, and Che-Ra-Pee- Ish-Ka-Te, Chat-Sta-He, and other chiefs and headmen of the Crow tribe of Indians, on the part of said Indians, and duly authorized thereto by them, which treaty in the words and figures following, to wit;

Articles of a treaty made and conducted at Fort Laramie, Dakota Territory, on the seventh day of May, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-eight, by and between the undersigned commissioners on the part of the United States, and the undersigned chiefs and head-men of and representing the Crow Indians, they being duly authorized to act in the premises.

[Peace between the Parties]

From this day forward peace between the parties to this agreement shall forever continue. The Government of the United States desires peace, and its honor is hereby pledged to keep it. The Indians desire peace, and they now pledge their honor to maintain it. If bad men among the whites, or among other people subject to the authority of the United States shall commit any wrong upon the person or property of the Indians, the United States will, upon proof made to the agent and forwarded to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs at Washington City, proceed at once to cause the offender to be arrested and punished according to the laws of the United States, and also re-imburse the injured person for the loss sustained.

If bad men or other moneys due or to become due to them under this or other treaties made with the United States. And the President, on advising with the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, shall prescribe such rules and regulations for ascertaining damages under the provisions of this article as in his judgment may be proper. But no such damages shall be adjusted and paid until thoroughly examined and passed upon by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and no one sustaining loss while violating, or because of his violating, the provisions of this treaty or the laws of the United States shall be re-imbursed therefor.

[Crow Reservation Defined]

The United States agrees that the following district of country, to wit, viz: commencing where the 107th degree of longitude west of Greenwich crosses the south boundary of Montana Territory; thence north along said 107th meridian to the mid- channel of the Yellowstone River; thence up said mid-channel of the Yellowstone to the point where it crosses the said southern boundary of Montana, being the 45th degree of north latitude; and thence east along said parallel of latitude to the place of beginning; shall be and the same is, set apart for the absolute and undisturbed use and occupation of the Indians herein named, and for such other friendly tribes or individual Indians as from time to time they may be willing, with the consent of the United States, to admit amongst them; and the United States now solemnly agrees that no persons except those herein designated and authorized so to do, and except such officers, agents, and employees of the Government as may be authorized to enter upon the Indian reservations in discharge of duties enjoined by law, shall ever be permitted to pass over, settle upon, or reside in the territory described in this article, or in such territory, as may be added to this reservation for the use of said Indians, and henceforth, they will and do hereby relinquish all claims or right in and to any portion of the United States or Territories, except such as is embraced within the limits aforesaid.

[Otter Creek Agency]

The United States agrees, at its own proper expense, to construct on the south side of the Yellowstone, near Otter Creek, a warehouse or a store-room for the use of the agent in storing goods belonging to the Indians, to cost not less than twenty-five hundred dollars; an agency-building for the residence of the agent, to cost not exceeding three thousand dollars; a residence for the physician, to cost not more than three thousand dollars; and five other building, for a carpenter, farmer, blacksmith, miller, and engineer, each to cost not exceeding two thousand dollars; also a schoolhouse or mission-building, so soon as a sufficient number of children can be induced by the agent to attend school which shall not cost exceeding five thousand dollars.

The United States agrees further to cause to be erected on said reservation, near the other buildings herein authorized, a good steam circular saw mill, with a grist mill and shingle- machine attached to the same, to cost not exceeding eight thousand dollars.

[Hunting Rights on Ceded Land]

The Indians herein named agree, when the agency-house and other buildings shall be constructed on the reservation named, they will make said reservation their permanent home, and they will make no permanent settlement elsewhere, but they shall have the right to hunt on unoccupied lands or the United States so long as game may be found thereon, and as long as peace subsists among the whites and Indians on the borders of the hunting districts.

[Duties of the Agent]

The United States agrees that the agent for said Indians shall in the future make his home at the agency-building; that he shall reside among them, and keep an office open at all times for the purpose of prompt and diligent inquiry into such matters of complaint by and against the Indians as may be presented for investigation under the provisions of their treaty stipulations, as also for the faithful discharge of other duties enjoined on him by law. In all cases of depredation on person or property he shall cause the evidence to be taken in writing and forwarded, together with his findings, to the Commissioner of Indians Affairs, whose decision shall be binding on the parties to this treaty.

[Allotment of Farmland]

If any individual belonging to said tribes of Indians or legally incorporated with them, being the head of a family, shall desire to commence farming, he shall have the privilege to select, in the presence and with the assistance of the agent then in charge, a track of land within said reservation, not exceeding three hundred and twenty acres in extent, which tract, when so selected, certified, and recorded in the "land-book," as herein directed, shall cease to be held in common, but the same may be occupied and held in the exclusive possession of the person selecting it, and of his family, so long as he or they may continue to cultivate it.

Any person over eighteen years of age, not being the head of a family, may in like manner select and cause to be certified to him or her, for purposes of cultivation, a quantity of land not exceeding eighty acres in extent, and thereupon be entitled to the exclusive possession of the same as above directed.

For each tract of land so selected a certificate, containing a description thereof and the name of the person selecting it, with a certificate endorsed thereon that the same has been recorded, shall be delivered to the party entitled to it, by the agent, after the same shall have been recorded by him in a book to be kept in his office, subject to inspection, which said book shall be known as the "Crow Land-Book."

The President may, at any time, order a survey of the reservation, and, when so surveyed, Congress shall provide for protecting the rights of said settlers in their improvements, and may fix the character of the title held by each. The United States may pass such laws on the subject of alienation and descent of property as between the Indians, and on all subjects connected with the government of Indians on said reservations and the internal police thereof, as may be thought proper.

[Education of Indian Children]

In order to insure the civilization of the Indians entering into this treaty, the necessity of education is admitted, especially of such of them as are or may be settled on said agricultural reservations, and they therefore plede themselves to compel their children, male and female, between the ages of six and sixteen years, to attend school; and it is hereby made the duty of the agent for said Indians to see that this stipulation is strictly complied with; and the United States agrees that for every thirty children between said ages who can be induced or compelled to attend school, a house shall be provided and a teacher competent to teach the elementary branches of English education shall be furnished, who will reside among said Indians, and faithfully discharge his or her duties as a teacher. The provisions of this article to continue for not less than twenty years.

[Agricultural Provisions]

When the head of a family or lodge shall have selected lands and received his certificate as above directed, and the agent shall be satisfied that he intends in good faith to commence cultivating the soil for a living, he shall be entitled to receive seeds and agricultural implements for the first year, not exceeding in value one hundred dollars, and for each succeeding year he shall continue to farm, for a period of three years more, he shall be entitled to receive seeds and implements as aforesaid, not exceeding in value twenty-five dollars.

And it is further stipulated that such persons as commence farming shall receive instruction from the farmer herein provided for, and whenever more than one hundred persons shall enter upon the cultivation of the soil, a second blacksmith shall be provided, with such iron, steel, and other material as may be required.

[Delivery and allotment of Goods]

In lieu of all sums of money or other annuities provided to be paid to said Indians herein named, under any and all treaties heretofore made with them, the United States agrees to deliver at the agency house, or the reservations herein provided for, on the first day of September of each year, for thiry years, suit as aforesaid, together with a pair of woolen hose for each.

And in order that the Commissioner of Indian Affairs may be able to estimate properly for the articles herin named, it shall be the duty of the agent each year to forward to him a full and exact census of the Indians, on which the estimates from year to year can be based.

And, in addition to the clothing herein named, the sum of ten dollars shall be annually appropriated for each Indian roaming, and twenty dollars for each Indian engaged in agriculture, for a period of ten years, to be used by the Secretary of Interior in the purchase of such articles as from time to time the condition and necessities of the Indians may indicate to be proper. And if, at any time within the ten years, it shall appear that the amount of money needed for clothing under this article can be appropriated to better uses for the tribes herein named, Congress may by law change the appropriation to other purposes; but in no event shall the amount of this appropriation be withdrawn or discontinued for the period named. And the President shall annually detail an officer of the army to be present and attest the delivery of all the goods, herein named, to the Indians, and he shall inspect and report on the quantity and quality of the goods and the manner of their delivery; and it is expressly stipultated that each Indian over the age of four years, who shall have removed to and settled permanently upon said reservation and complied with the stipulations of this treaty, shall be entitled to receive from the United States, for the period of four years after he shall have settled upon said reservation one pound of meat and one poound of flour per day, provided the Indians cannot furnish their own subsistence at an earlier date; and it is further stipulated that the United States will furnish and deliver to each lodge of Indians, or family of persons legally incorporated with them, who shall remove to the reservation herein described and commence farming, one good American cow and one well-broken pair of American oxen, within sixty days after such lodge or family shall have so settled upon said reservation.

And whereas, the said treaty having been submitted to the Senate of the United States for its constitutional action thereon, the Senate did, on the twenty-fifth day of July, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-eight, advise and consent to the ratification of the same, by a resolution in the words and figures following, to wit:

Article X
[Personnel for Reservation]

The United States hereby agrees to furnish annually to the Indians who settle upon the reservation a physician, teachers, carpenter, miller, engineer, farmer, and blacksmiths, as herein contemplated, and that such appropriations shall be made from time to time on the estimates of the Secretary of the Interior as will be sufficient to employ such persons.

Article XI
[Majority Requirement for Future Cessatins]

No treaty for the cession of any portion of the reservations herein described, which may be held in common, shall be of any force or validity as against the said Indians, unless executed and signed by at least a majority of all the adult male Indians, occupying or interested in the same; and no cession by the tribe shall be understood or construed in such a manner as to deprive, without his consent, any individual member of the tribe of his right to any tract of land selected by him, as provided in Article VI. of this treaty.

Article XII
[Bonuses for Most Valuable Crops]

It is agreed that the sum of five hundred dollars annually for three years, from the date when they commenced to cultivate a farm, shall be expended in presents to the ten persons of said tribe, who, in the judgment of the agent, may grow the most valuable crops for the respective year.

W. T. SHERMAN, Lt. Gen'l
WM. S. HARNEY, Bvt. M. Gen. and Peace Commissioner
C. C. AUGUR, Bvt. M. Genl,

Ashton S. H. White, Secretary

SHE-RA-PEE-ISH-KA-TE, Pretty Bull, his x mark
CHAT-STA-HE, Wolf Bow, his x mark
AH-BE-CHE-SE, Mountain Tail, his x mark
KAM-NE-BUT-SA, Black Foot, his x mark
DE-SAI-ZE-CHO-SE, White Horse, his x mark
CHIN-KA-SHE-ARACHE, Poor Elk, his x mark
E-SA-WOOR, Shot in the Jaw, his x mark
________ ROO-KA, Pounded Meat, his x mark
DE-KA-KE-UP-SE, Bird in the Neck, his x mark
ME-NA-CHE, The Swan, his x mark

George B. Willis, Phonographer

John D. Howland
Alex. Gardner
David Knox
Chas. Freeman
Jas. C. O'Connor

And whereas, the said treaty having been submitted to the Senate of the United States for its constitutional action thereon, the Senate did, on the twenty-fifth day of July, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-eight, advise and consent to the ratification of the same, by a resolution in the words and figures following, to wit:


July 25, 1868

RESOLVED (two thirds of the senators present concurring), That the Senate advise and consent to the ratification of the treaty between the United States and the Crow Indians of Montana, made seventh day of May, eighteen hundred sixty-eight.


GEO. C. GORHAM, Secretary

By W. J. McDONALD, Chief Clerk,

Now, therefore, be it known that I, ANDREW JOHNSON, President of the United States of America, do, in pursuance of the advice and consent of the Senate, as expressed in its resolution of the twenty-fifth day of July, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-eight, accept, ratify, and confirm the said treaty.

In testimony whereof, I have hereto signed my name, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this twelfth day of August, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-eight, and of the Independence of the United States, the ninety-third.


By the President,

W. Hunter, Acting Secretary of State.