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Snow Owl-August 2004


      Fraudulent Treaty of 1797 allowed New York State to defraud the Iroquois of 6,000,000 acres 1998 by Jerod Rosman

     On April 27, 1797 the State of New York, with full knowledge they were conducting a fraudulent treaty negotiation and signing, usurped 6,000,000 acres of land which is now called the "Adirondack Park". The following is the text of the Treaty with annotations showing the errors which should have declared the Treaty null and void.

The Fifth Falls [Sacandaga, West Branch] - redhawk -

{1797, Mar. 29} 7 Stat., 61. Proclamation, Apr. 27,1798


Note: The constitution of the United States was approved by New York State on July 29, 1789, eight years before the subject Treaty. The Constitution specifically forbids treaties by states with independent nations. The Mohawks were then considered a sovereign nation. Also, if it were a valid Treaty, the lands should revert to the United States, and not to the State of New York).

     Relinquishment to New York, by the Mohawk Nation of Indians, under the sanction of the United States of America, of all claim to lands in that state.

     At a treaty held under the authority of the United States, with the Mohawk Nation of Indians, residing in the province of Upper Canada, within the dominions of the king of Great Britain, present, the honorable Isaac Smith, commissioner appointed(1) by the United States to hold this treaty; Abraham Ten Broeck(2), Egbert Benson, and Ezra L'Hommedieu(3), agents for the state of New York; captain Joseph Brandt(4), and captain John Deserontyon(5), two of the said Indians and deputies, to represent the said nation at this treaty.

     The said agents having, in the presence, and with the approbation of the said commissioner, proposed to and adjusted with the said deputies, the compensation as hereinafter mentioned to be made to the said nation, for their claim, to be extinguished by this treaty, to all lands within the said state: it is thereupon finally agreed and done, between the said agents, and the said deputies, as follows, that is to say: the said agents do agree to pay to the said deputies, the sum of one thousand dollars for the use of the said nation, to be by the said deputies paid over to, and distributed among, the persons and families of the said nation, according to their usages. The sum of five hundred dollars, for the expenses of the said deputies, during the time they have attended this treaty: and the sum of one hundred dollars, for their expenses in returning, and for conveying the said sum of one thousand dollars, to where the said nation resides. And the said agents do accordingly, for and in the name of the people of the state of New York, pay the said three several sums to the said deputies, in the presence of the said commissioner. And the said deputies do agree to cede and release, and these presents witness, that they accordingly do, for and in the name of the said nation, in consideration of the said compensation, cede and release to the people of the state of New York(6), forever, all the right or title of the said nation to lands within the said state: and the claim of the said nation to lands within the said state. is hereby wholly and finally extinguished.

     In testimony whereof, the said commissioner, the said agents. and the said deputies, have hereunto, and to two other acts of the same tenor and date, one to remain with the United States, one to remain with the said State, and one delivered to the said deputies, to remain with the said nation, set their hands and seals, at the city of Albany, in the said State, the twenty-ninth day of March, in the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety-seven.(7)


Isaac Smith, (1) (There is no record of Isaac Smith being appointed as a commissioner of the United States to negotiate this treaty.)
Abm. Ten Broeck, (2) (A large, influential landowner in the Albany area.)
Egbert Benson,
Ezra L'Hommedieu, (3) (Owner of 4000 acres bought in 1786 in the Herkimer plot)
Jos. Brandt, (4)(A war-chief of the Mohawk nation - with no authority to sign a treaty)
John Deserontyon, (5)(A sub-chief, a friend of Joseph Brant, with no authority to sign a treaty)

The Rockwell Falls area in Hadley, NY http://www.timberandtwigs.

(Four of these witnesses were large landholders at the time of this treaty, and owned considerably more after this so-called treaty was signed.)

Robert Yates,
John Tayler,
Chas. Williamson,
Thomas Morris,
The mark of x John Abeel, alias the Cornplanter, a chief of the Senekas.
(Cornplanter was to split the
$1000 with Joseph. No record exists that either received a penny.)

(6) As mentioned, any lands should have reverted to the Federal government - not NY State.
(7) As mentioned, the Constitution forbids a State to negotiate a treaty with an Independent nation.


     Some time after the Treaty was signed, in a letter allegedly to Isaac Smith, Joseph Brant complained that he never received the $500 he was due as a deputy to the Treaty. He was also given a horse, which he complained had died soon after the signing.

     According to Iroquois tradition, the sale of any lands, particularly of this magnitude, required the agreement of the principal chiefs of all Six Nations. Neither Brant nor Deserontyon were principal chiefs, and had no authority, whatsoever, to be signatories to the document - even if the transfer of such a large amount of land was valid.

     In the early 1970's, Mohawks took over a deserted Boy Scout property of 600 acres near Old Forge, NY, naming it Kanienhekaka (Ganiengeh) or, "Place of the Flint" citing the 1797 Treaty as invalid. In NY State refused jurisdiction. They said it was a federal treaty. The Feds refused jurisdiction, saying it was the role of the State to settle. Eventually the property was exchanged for a smaller section elsewhere.

A Small Island on Saranac Lake, NY
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