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The first permanent Euro-American settlements began a pattern of Indian displacement and land appropriation that continued until the twentieth century. The agreements and treaties which resulted in the progressive extinguishing of Indian title and the cession and surrender of Indian lands were often accompanied, or soon followed, by surveys of the boundaries of the ceded lands. The Geography and Map Division has only a few surveys of individual cessions in the United States. As the records of official governmental decisions and actions, most boundary and cession maps will be found in the Cartographic Branch of the National Archives and Records Administration. In addition to the surveys of Individual cessions, there have been a number of maps that depict the history of the cession of tribal lands. As documentation of tribal land use and occupancy, cession and treaty boundary maps have been important legal sources for Indians for land claims.
The maps in this section have been digitized by the Library and are available for viewing and download online. Select the link on the map or in the caption to view a copy of the map that can be enlarge to view the detail.
This manuscript map by surveyor David Taitt was compiled from various surveys on behalf of Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Southern District, John Stuart, to delineate one of the boundaries agreed upon between the Creeks and the British at congresses in 1765 and 1771. The boundary confines the British of Georgia and West Florida essentially to coastal areas, thereby ensuring the Creek principle that their nation held the entire southeast interior. The boundary's western terminus at a branch of the Coosa (Alabama) River recognizes the tracts occupied by British colonists north of Mobile Bay. The map also shows two paths to the Creek Nation, one from from Old Spanish Fort and the other from Pensacola, and includes various notes.
Shows the lands ceded to the states of South Carolina and Georgia by the Cherokee following their defeat during the American Revolutionary War.
Covering Alabama and Georgia from the Tombigbee River in the west to the southern Great Smoky Mountains and the Savannah River in the east, this map essentially depicts the Creek lands in Alabama and Georgia. It apparently was drawn by Major John Coffee, one of the commissioners appointed in 1816 to survey the boundary for the lands ceded by the Creek following their defeat in 1814 at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. As an indication of a transfer of authority from the Creek Nation to the United States, it depicts American Army forts in the region. Before beginning this survey, Coffee interviewed some of the Creek headmen regarding the boundaries of the Creek Nation, as indicated by a note on the verso of the map reading "Spokehajo's [spelling unclear] Statement" of the extent of Creek lands.
This map shows the lands assigned to the Potawatomi, Sauk and Fox, and Winnebago peoples in Iowa a year prior to statehood in 1846. Map depicts territorial and county boundaries, Native American lands, several treaty lines devised at the Treaty of Prairie du Chien in 1830, an Indian agency and mission, and Anglo-American settlements.
Map includes portions of Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky to depict lands originally in Cherokee possession. Also shows Indian place names, paths, and villages.
Portrays the results of cases before the U.S. Indian Claims Commission or U.S. Court of Claims, in which an American Indian tribe proved their original tribal land occupancy.
This online resource includes the "Schedule of Indian Land Cessions" and the "Schedule of Treaties and Acts of Congress Authorizing Allotments of Land in Severalty," as well as sixty-seven maps outlining those land cessions as the second part of the two-part Eighteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1896-1897.
The "Schedule of Indian Land Cessions," which comprises 709 entries with links to the related maps, notes in its subtitle that it "indicates the number and location of each cession by or reservation for the Indian tribes from the organization of the Federal Government to and including 1894, together with descriptions of the tracts so ceded or reserved, the date of the treaty, law or executive order governing the same, the name of the tribe or tribes affected thereby, and historical data and references bearing thereon."
The following maps are only available at the Library of Congress in the Geography and Map Reading Room in the James Madison Building of the Library of Congress.