Unsucessful But Not Unimportant : Analyzing the Story of the 1825 Treaty of Prairie du Chien
MetadataShow full item record
This 1825 treaty was unique because it was one of very few treaties that did not ask the nations who signed it to give up anything to the United States in terms of land cessions or land access. Its purpose, at the most basic level, was purely to establish peace in the western Great Lakes by definitively determining the borders of the nations in the area. This was a failed experiment, as violence never really ceased plaguing the region. The events surrounding 1825 Treaty of Prairie du Chien exemplifies the complex interactions of U.S.-Native American relations, along with providing a window into diplomatic interactions between different native nations. Not even two years had passed from the signing of the 1825 treaty of Prairie du Chien and it was evident that its attempt to make peace among the American Indian nations of the Upper Midwest was a failure. Because of this the treaty is given little time in most comprehensive studies of the Native American treaties, and when it is mentioned it is often very briefly and with little further thought. However, at the time of its creation, this treaty was very important. Two of the leading government officials of U.S.-Native American relations, Clark and Cass, met with most of the nations from the Upper Midwest with the goal of establishing peace among nations who had been at war for generations. This treaty represented a part of the United States' continuing misunderstanding of Native American culture, and their attempts to change that culture by pushing more western ideas onto it. Although the 1825 Treaty of Prairie du Chien never successfully achieved any of its purposes, both explicitly and implicitly stated, the interactions between its parties remain an important part of the longer narrative of U.S. and Native American interactions. This event also provides an additional layer by addressing relations between different Native American nations, a facet not often seen in treaties made between the U.S. and only one other nation.