In its various purchases from the Indians, the Government of the United States, in seeking to quiet these conflicting territorial claims, have not unfrequently been compelled to accept from two, and even three, different tribes separate relinquishments of their respective rights, titles, and claims to the same section of country. Under such circumstances it can readily be seen, what difficulties would attend a clear exhibition upon a single map of these various coincident and overlapping strips of territory. The State of Illinois affords an excellent illustration. The conflicting cessions in that State may be briefly enumerated as follows:
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- The cession at the mouth of Chicago River, by treaty of August 3, 1795, was also included within the limits of a subsequent cession made by treaty of August 24, 1816, with the Ottawas, Chippewas, and Pottawatomies.
- The cession at the mouth of the Illinois River, by treaty of 1795, was overlapped by the Kaskaskia cession of 1803, again by the Sac and Fox cession of 1804, and a third time by the Kickapoo cession of 1819.
- The cession at “Old Peoria Fort, or village,” by treaty of 1795, was also overlapped in like manner with the last preceding one.
- The cessions of 1795 at Fort Massac and at Great Salt Spring are within the subsequent cession by the Kaskaskias of 1803.
- The cession of August 13, 1803, by the Kaskaskias, as ratified and enlarged by the Kaskaskias and Peorias September 25, 1818, overlaps the several sessions by previous treaty of 1795 at the mouth of the Illinois River, at Great Salt Spring, at Fort Massac, and at Old Peoria Fort, and is in turn overlapped by subsequent cessions of July 30, and August 30, 1819, by the Kickapoos and by the Pottawatomie cession of October 20, 1832.
- The Sac and Fox cession of November 3, 1804 (partly in Missouri and Wisconsin) overlaps the cessions of 1795 at the mouth of the Illinois River and at Old Peoria Fort. It is overlapped by two Chippewa, Ottawa, and Pottawatomie cessions of July 29, 1829, the Winnebago cessions of August 1, 1829, and September 1, 1832, and by the Chippewa, Ottawa, and Pottawatomie cession of September 26, 1833.
- The Piankeshaw cession of December 30, 1805, is overlapped by the Kickapoo cession of 1819.
- The Ottawa, Chippewa, and Pottawatomie cession of August 24, 1816, overlaps the cession of 1795 around Chicago.
- The cession of October 2, 1818, by the Pottawatomies (partly in Indiana), is overlapped by the subsequent cession of 1819, by the Kickapoos.
- The combined cessions of July 30, and August 30, 1819, by the Kickapoos (partly in Indiana), overlap the cessions of 1795 at the mouth of the Illinois River and at Old Fort Peoria; also the Kaskaskia and Peoria cessions of 1803 and 1818, the Piankeshaw cession of 1805, and the Pottawatomie cession of October 2, 1818, and are overlapped by the subsequent Pottawatomie cession of October 20, 1832.
- Two cessions were made by the Chippewas, Ottawas and Pottawatomies by treaty of July 29, 1829 (partly located in Wisconsin), one of which is entirely and the other largely within the limits of the country previously ceded by the Sacs and Foxes, November 3, 1804.
- The Winnebago cession of August 1, 1829 (which is partly in Wisconsin), is also wholly within the limits of the aforesaid Sac and Fox cession of 1804.
- Cession by the Winnebagoes September 15, 1832, which is mostly in the State of Wisconsin and which was also within the limits of the Sac and Fox cession of 1804.
- Pottawatomie cession of October 20, 1832, which overlaps the Kaskaskia and Peoria cession of August 13, 1803, as confirmed and enlarged September 25, 1818, and also the Kickapoo cession by treaties of July 30 and August 30, 1819.
From this it will be seen that almost the entire country comprising the present State of Illinois was the subject of controversy in the matter of original ownership, and that the United States, in order fully to extinguish the Indian claim thereto, actually bought it twice, and some portions of it three times. It is proper, however, to add in this connection that where the government at the date of a purchase from one tribe was aware of an existing claim to the same region by another tribe, it had the effect of diminishing the price paid.