State of New York Treaties and Land Transactions with the Oneida, Onondaga, and Cayuga
National Park Service
Less than a year after the 1784 Treaty of Fort Stanwix was concluded the State of New York began negotiating a series of treaties and land transactions with the Oneida, Tuscarora, Onondaga and Cayuga Nations. The state contended that since the people of these four nations lived within the boundaries of the state that the state could negotiate treaties and land transactions with them. The federal government, weak as organized under the Articles of Confederation and early year of the United States Constitution, was either unable or unwilling to stop the State of New York. In the end, the Non-Intercourse Act of 1790 became law and improved relations with American Indians by granting the United States government the sole authority to regulate interactions between Indians and non-Indians, and prohibited the sale of Indian lands to individuals or states, absent formal federal approval.
In the 1794 Treaty of Canandaigua these treaties were acknowledged by the United States and the United States promised to protect the greatly reduced Oneida, Onondaga and Cayuga lands in future years. This promise was not fulfilled. In the 1970s when the nations began to file lawsuits for compensation for lands ceded after this 1794 treaty.