The Treaty of Traverse de Sioux was signed by
the Sisseton and Wahpeton bands in July of 1851. The Treaty of
and Mdewakanton in August of 1851.
In these treaties, the bands "sold" vast
portions of land in what was to become Minnesota. The Dakota thought
they agreed that the government would pay for
the land with money, food and supplies over time. But the Dakota
were tricked into signing another document, called the Trader's
Paper. This document said that the money the Dakota would receive
from the government would actually go to pay their debts to the
traders who had "loaned" them supplies. In the end, very
little money went to the Dakota. (But Alexander
The creation and consequences of the treaties
were the result of the racist and prejudicial attitudes of some
leaders toward the Dakota and other Indian tribes.
Indian Affairs Council and Minnesota
State University, Mankato provide
more on-line information and teaching resources for discussing
Minnesota land treaties.
The texts of the Treaty
of Traverse de Sioux
and the treaty at Mendota,
both witnessed by Alexander Faribault, can be found
online at the Oklahoma State University Edmon Low Library.
Painting in the Governor's Reception
Room, State Capitol: 'The Signing of the Treaty of Traverse des
Sioux.' What papers do you think
are being signed on the barrel on the left? Painted by Francis
Davis Millet, ca. 1905. Courtesy
of the Minnesota Historical Society.