Treaty of Lancaster
The Treaty of Lancaster was a treaty
A treaty is an express agreement under international law entered into by actors in international law, namely sovereign states and international organizations. A treaty may also be known as an agreement, protocol, covenant, convention or exchange of letters, among other terms...

 concluded between the Six Nations (Iroquois
The Iroquois , also known as the Haudenosaunee or the "People of the Longhouse", are an association of several tribes of indigenous people of North America...

) and the colonies of Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

 and Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

. Deliberations began at Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Lancaster is a city in the south-central part of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It is the county seat of Lancaster County and one of the older inland cities in the United States, . With a population of 59,322, it ranks eighth in population among Pennsylvania's cities...

 on June 28, and ended on July 4, 1744.

The negotiations were conducted in the old courthouse, which stood in the center of Lancaster at the time. The Soldiers and Sailors Monument
Soldiers and Sailors Monument (Lancaster, Pennsylvania)
The Soldiers and Sailors Monument is a tall Gothic Revival memorial which stands in Penn Square in downtown Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It was dedicated on July 4, 1874, at its present site on the Northeast intersection of King and Queen Streets. The monument's original intention was to pay tribute...

, built in 1874 to commemorate the U.S. Civil War, now stands on the exact site of the Treaty in Penn Square.

Lt. Governor Alexander Spotswood
Alexander Spotswood
Alexander Spotswood was a Lieutenant-Colonel in the British Army and a noted Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. He is noted in Virginia and American history for a number of his projects as Governor, including his exploring beyond the Blue Ridge Mountains, his establishing what was perhaps the first...

 had arranged the Treaty of Albany with the Six Nations in 1722. It renewed the Covenant Chain
Covenant Chain
The Covenant Chain was a series of alliances and treaties involving the Iroquois Confederacy , the British colonies of North America, and a number of other Indian tribes...

 and agreed to recognize the Blue Ridge Mountains
Blue Ridge Mountains
The Blue Ridge Mountains are a physiographic province of the larger Appalachian Mountains range. This province consists of northern and southern physiographic regions, which divide near the Roanoke River gap. The mountain range is located in the eastern United States, starting at its southern-most...

 as the demarcation between the Virginia Colony and the Iroquois. At the same time, it was an attempt to make peace between the Iroquois and the southern Catawba.

Colonial governments were unable to prevent white settlers from moving beyond the Blue Ridge and into the Shenandoah Valley
Shenandoah Valley
The Shenandoah Valley is both a geographic valley and cultural region of western Virginia and West Virginia in the United States. The valley is bounded to the east by the Blue Ridge Mountains, to the west by the eastern front of the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians , to the north by the Potomac River...

 in the 1730s. When the Iroquois objected, they were told that the agreed demarcation was to prevent their trespassing east of the Blue Ridge, but not to prevent the English from expanding west of them. In 1743 the Iroquois skirmished with some Valley settlers. The Iroquois were on the verge of declaring total war on the Virginia Colony when Governor Gooch paid them the sum of 100 pounds sterling for any settled land in the Valley which they claimed. The following year at the Treaty of Lancaster, the Iroquois sold all their remaining claim to the Shenandoah Valley for 200 pounds in gold.

Even so, a difference in interpretation remained. The Virginians believed that the Iroquois had relinquished to the Crown any claim they had on all the lands within the 1609 Chartered boundaries of Virginia. They considered these to extend to the Pacific, or at least up to the Ohio River
Ohio River
The Ohio River is the largest tributary, by volume, of the Mississippi River. At the confluence, the Ohio is even bigger than the Mississippi and, thus, is hydrologically the main stream of the whole river system, including the Allegheny River further upstream...

. The Iroquois understood that they had ceded only their lands up to the Ohio watershed; in other words, only the Shenandoah Valley east of the Allegheny Mountains
Allegheny Mountains
The Allegheny Mountain Range , also spelled Alleghany, Allegany and, informally, the Alleghenies, is part of the vast Appalachian Mountain Range of the eastern United States and Canada...


This difference was partly resolved at the 1752 Treaty of Logstown
The riverside village of Logstown was a significant Native American settlement in Western Pennsylvania and the site of the 1752 signing of the treaty of friendship between the Ohio Company and the Amerindians occupying the region in the years leading up to the...

, where the Iroquois recognised English rights southeast of the Ohio. Nevertheless, the Cherokee
The Cherokee are a Native American people historically settled in the Southeastern United States . Linguistically, they are part of the Iroquoian language family...

, Shawnee
The Shawnee, Shaawanwaki, Shaawanooki and Shaawanowi lenaweeki, are an Algonquian-speaking people native to North America. Historically they inhabited the areas of Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, Western Maryland, Kentucky, Indiana, and Pennsylvania...

 and other nations continued to claim by possession large portions of the area beyond the Allegheny. The Royal Proclamation of 1763
Royal Proclamation of 1763
The Royal Proclamation of 1763 was issued October 7, 1763, by King George III following Great Britain's acquisition of French territory in North America after the end of the French and Indian War/Seven Years' War...

 recognized this territory as Indian land.

By the Treaty of Fort Stanwix
Treaty of Fort Stanwix
The Treaty of Fort Stanwix was an important treaty between North American Indians and the British Empire. It was signed in 1768 at Fort Stanwix, located in present-day Rome, New York...

 in 1768, the Iroquois finally sold all their remaining claims between the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers. The Shawnee relinquished their claim on the area only following their defeat in Dunmore's War
Dunmore's War
Dunmore's War was a war in 1774 between the Colony of Virginia and the Shawnee and Mingo American Indian nations....

 in 1774. About the same time, the Cherokee also began ceding their claims to this region (encompassing most of present-day Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

 and part of West Virginia
West Virginia
West Virginia is a state in the Appalachian and Southeastern regions of the United States, bordered by Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest, Pennsylvania to the northeast and Maryland to the east...



  • For Governor of Pennsylvania Colony (called "Brother Onas" by the Iroquois):
Lt. Governor George Thomas
  • For Governor of Virginia Colony (called "Brother Assaragoa
    Long Knives
    Long Knives or Big Knives was a term used by the Iroquois and later by American Indians of the Ohio Country to designate British colonists of Virginia, in contradistinction to those of New York and Pennsylvania...

    " by the Iroquois):
Thomas Lee
Thomas Lee (Virginia colonist)
Thomas Lee was a leading political figure of colonial Virginia. He was a member of the Lee family, a political dynasty which included many figures from the pre-American Revolutionary War era until the late 20th century. Lee became involved in politics in 1710 and he became the resident manager of...

William Beverly, Commissioners
  • For Governor of Maryland Colony (who received the name "Brother Tocarry-hogan" at this treaty):
Edmund Jennings,
Philip Thomas,
Robert King,
Thomas Colville, Commissioners

  • Six Nations deputies speaking at this Treaty:
Canassatego, Tachanoontia, Gachradodow

  • English-Iroquois interpreter: Conrad Weiser
    Conrad Weiser
    Weiser's colonial service began in 1731. The Iroquois sent Shikellamy, an Oneida chief, as an emissary to other tribes and the British. Shikellamy lived on the Susquehanna River at Shamokin village, near present-day Sunbury, Pennsylvania. An oral tradition holds that Weiser met Shikellamy while...

    (called Tacharawagon by the Iroquois)

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