Blondeau’s Dilemma

  • David Ress


An individual’s place on the land is defined by his or her place in a community, and rights to land are intimately connected with rights to participate in the life (particularly the political and economic life) of a community, especially when economic life is dominated by agriculture, pastoralism or hunting/gathering. The situation of one of the key actors negotiating the first treaty creating a Half Breed Tract, Maurice Blondeau, demonstrates this. The son of a Canadian trapper and a Mesquakie woman who made a living trading furs along the upper Mississippi, lower Missouri and Des Moines rivers, Blondeau had allied himself with the United States as Army officers began exploring the Louisiana Purchase and as they battled the British in the War of 1812. He had thought doing so would earn him a secure place in American society and on a farm in what would become the Iowa Half Breed Tract.


Iowa Half Breed Tract Land tenure Political rights Property rights Sac and Mesquakie nations 


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Ress
    • 1
  1. 1.Newport NewsUSA

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