Washington’s Dilemma

  • David Ress


A new treaty, meant to secure peace with and among the Native peoples of the upper Mississippi river valley, and to secure the land of what is now Iowa as a commons open to several Native nations, created two more Half Breed Tracts, in Minnesota and Nebraska, in 1830. There, too, individuals’ land rights were left undefined, although the treaty suggested that the Tracts might be apportioned at some point in the future. While Indian Affairs officials dawdled over a survey of the Iowa Half Breed Tract for its possible, but still unpromised, division into individual holdings, Congress decided to relinquish any US government rights to land in the Iowa Half Breed Tract, opening the way for others to step in and claim land for themselves.


Property rights Commons Severalty Land tenure Native Americans 


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Ress
    • 1
  1. 1.Newport NewsUSA

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