Michigan Transportation History

Treaty of Brownstown (1808)

Public TreatyTerritorialMichiganNative AmericanLegislationEventThing

Treaty of Brownstown, November 25, 1808, Senate, S. Doc. No. 125, 10th Congress, 2nd Session, American State Papers, Indian Affairs, 1:757.

This treaty was negotiated by Governor Hull and representatives of the Ojibwe, Odawa, Pottawatomie, Wyandot, and Shawanee nation. The meeting place for negotiations was the American settlement at Brownstown, Michigan (thus its name).

The principal rationale for this treaty was the construction of a road from Indian territory ceded under the Treaty of Greenville (after 1803, the state of Ohio), across the Maumee River (identified as the "River Miami" in the treaty) and up to Detroit. As the treaty states, both parties wanted to "open and maintain a convenient road from the settlements in the State of Ohio to the settlements in the territory of Michigan." The treaty's second article describes the characteristics of the cession and of the road, which was subject to variation at the pleasure of the President (article three). The fourth article granted the Indians the right to continue to hunt on the land ceded provided that they recognize U.S. ownership. And the fifth article had the Indians recognize no other sovereign nation above them other than the United States, which was an attempt, obviously, to cease or at least undermine their relations with Great Britain.

Little construction was done on this road because of the intervention of the War of 1812. Afterwards, by the Treaty of Fort Meigs (1817), Indians ceded what was left of their land in Ohio. For the construction of a road in Ohio, Congress granted land in 1823 which was subsequently identified as the "Maumee Road Lands." This road between Fremont and Toledo is now US Route 20.

Citation: When referencing this page please use the following citation:

R. D. Jones, "Treaty of Brownstown (1808)," Michigan Transportation History (Ypsilanti, MI: 2020), www.michtranshist.info/.

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Page last modified on January 03, 2020, at 06:35 PM EST

Page last modified on January 03, 2020, at 06:35 PM EST