Texas 175: A Dozen Documents That Made a Difference

Indian relations were crucial to the Texans who wanted independence from Mexico. If the Indians joined the Mexican cause, the result for the Texas revolt could be disastrous. To try to ensure Indian neutrality, the provisional government of Texas promised to respect the land rights of the Indians in East Texas and establish clear boundaries with the tribes. The government also appointed three commissioners to deal with the Indians, including Sam Houston, an adopted member of the Cherokee nation.

In February 1836, Houston negotiated a treaty with the Cherokees and other East Texas bands. This treaty reserved the land between the Angelina, Neches, and Sabine rivers and the Old San Antonio Road for Indian use. However, the Convention of 1836 failed to ratify the treaty. Not surprisingly, the Indians viewed the failure of the treaty as a betrayal, and the threat of war between Indians and Texans hung over Texas through most of 1836.

Treaty Between Texas Commissioners and the Cherokee Indians, 1836

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Texas Cherokee Treaty, 1836

This Treaty made and established between
Sam Houston, and John Forbes, Com=
=missioners, on the part of the Provisional
Government of Texas, of the one part, and
the Cherokees, and their associate Bands
now residing in Texas of the other part-towit Shawanee
Delawares, Kickapoos, Quapaws, Choctaws,
Boluxies, Iawanies, Alabamas, Cochatties,
Caddos of the Naches, Tahoocattakes, and
Unataquous, -- By the Head Chiefs, Head
men and Warriors, of the Cherokees, as Elder
Brother and Representative of all the other
Bands, agreeably to their last General
Council. This Treaty is made
conformably to a declaration made by
the last General Consultation, at St.
Felipe, and dated 13th November AD 1835.

Article First.

The Parties declare,
that there shall be a firm and lasting
peace forever, and that a friendly intercourse

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Treaty Between Texas Commissioners and the Cherokee Indians, 1836. Texas Indian Papers, Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Page last modified: August 25, 2011