We are asking that you give us your land. We will give you annuities for it.
We have heard of your poor condition and would like to help you.
July 19, 1851
I don't like this.
If you don't respond... we WILL end negotiations!
We will take a one day break before returning.
Alexander Ramsey and Henry Sibley are on a steamboat to Traverse des Sioux to make a treaty. They would like to sign a treaty with the Dakota to get their land. This is part of the westward expansion. They hope to turn the land into a US territory. Some of the settlers hope to assimilate the Native Americans.
July 21, 1851
We request that you write down your treaty.
Alexander Ramsey leads the negotiations, telling the Dakota that they will let them live on a reservation if they hand over the land. They are told that they are in debt, and could use the treaty money to pay it off. The Dakota did not respond to the men, not all of their elders are there.
July 22, 1851
We will sign if you make changes.
Will you sign?
Star Face and Sleepy Eye are hesitant to sign the treaty, they do not like European-Americans asking for their land. Alexander Ramsey does not like that they will not respond and threatens to end all negotiations. They agree to take a one day break.
July 23, 1851
Extended Tail Feathers asks for the Americans to make their offer in writing, Ramsey agrees and the council leaves.
We will make sure that happens.
Stephen Riggs and other translators walk around the camps, translating the written treaty for them. Sibley and other fur traders walk around, trying to get more Dakota to sign. A group of Dakota go up to Ramsey and tell him that they will sign if he makes some changes.
Treaty of Traverse des Sioux
The Dakota elders are still unsure about signing the treaty. They insist upon being given a copy of the treaty, to make sure the government doesn't cheat. They give in and are led to a table with two copies of the treaty. They sign the treaty and are led to a third table. They think they are signing a third copy, but really they are signing to have all their treaty money paid back to the fur traders, to pay off debt.