History for the Rest of Us

Nanfan Treaty

Nanfan Treaty

Jul 13, 2013

The Nanfan Treaty or The Deed from the Five Nations to the King, of their Beaver Hunting Ground, was an agreement reached in Albany, New York on July 19, 1701, between John Nanfan and representatives of the Iroquois Confederacy. Nanfan was acting on behalf of the The Crown as colonial governor of New York. The Five Nations, which would subsequently became the ‘Six Nations’, granted the English crown title to land that the Five Nations had claimed as a hunting ground by right of conquest during the later Beaver Wars of the 17th century. The land extended from the present-day Midwestern United States into southern Ontario. The treaty was not recognized by the French, since the majority of the Beaver Hunting Grounds were also claimed by New France or its Algonquian Indian allies. Consequently, the English did not attempt, during this time period, to settle the region. The treaty was amended September 14, 1726 to reserve a 60 mile wide strip of land adjoining Lakes Erie and Ontario for occupation and use by the ‘Six Nations’. This permission was granted by the King of Great Britain, who was the landowner based on the 1701 agreement. The Nanfan Treaty: A “Deed from the Five Nations to the King, of their Beaver Hunting Ground,” made at Albany, New York, July 19, 1701. This, which is somewhat peculiar, is as follows: To all Christian & Indian people in this parte of the world and in Europe over the great salt waters, to whom the presents shall come—Wee the Sachims Chief men, Captns and representatives of the Five nations or Cantons of Indians called the Maquase Oneydes Onnandages and Sinnekes living in the Government of New York in America, to the north west of Albany on this side the Lake Cadarachqui sendeth greeting—Bee it known unto you that our ancestors to our certain knowledge have had, time out of mind a fierce and bloody warr with seaven nations of Indians called the Aragaritkas whose Chief cômand was called successively Chohahise—The land is scituate lyeing and being northwest and by west from Albany beginning on the south west side of Cadarachqui lake and includes all that waste Tract of...