The Selkirk Treaty
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This indenture, made on the eighteenth day of July, in the fifty-seventh year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King George the Third, and in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and seventeen, between the undersigned Chiefs and warriors of the Chippeway or Saulteaux Nation and of the Killistine or Cree Nation, on the one part, and the Right Honorable Thomas Earl of Selkirk, on the other part:
Witnesseth, that for and in consideration of the annual present or quit rent hereinafter mentioned, the said Chiefs have given, granted and confirmed, and do, by these presents, give, grant and confirm unto our Sovereign Lord the King all that tract of land adjacent to Red River and Ossiniboyne River, beginning at the mouth of Red River and extending along same as far as Great Forks at the mouth of Red Lake River, and along Ossiniboyne River, otherwise called Riviere des Champignons, and extending to the distance of six miles from Fort Douglas on every side, and likewise from Fort Doer, and also from the Great Forks and in other parts extending in breadth to the distance of two English statute miles back from the banks of the said rivers, on each side, together with all the appurtenances whatsoever of the said tract of land, to have and to hold forever the said tract of land and appurtenances to the use of the said Earl of Selkirk, and of the settlers being established thereon, with the consent and permission of our Sovereign Lord the King, or of the said Earl of Selkirk. Provided always, and these presents are under the express condition that the said Earl, his heirs and successors, or their agents, shall annually pay to the Chiefs and warriors of the Chippeway or Saulteaux Nation, the present or quit rent consisting of one hundred pounds weight of good and merchantable tobacco, to be delivered on or before the tenth day of October at the forks of Ossiniboyne River–and to the Chiefs and warriors of the Killistine or Cree Nation, a like present or quit rent of one hundred pounds of tobacco, to be delivered to them on or before the said tenth day of October, at Portage de la Prairie, on the banks of Ossiniboyne River. Provided always that the traders hitherto established upon any part of the above-mentioned tract of land shall not be molested in the possession of the lands which they have already cultivated and improved, till His Majesty’s pleasure shall be known.
In witness whereof the Chiefs aforesaid have set their marks, at the Forks of Red River on the day aforesaid.
Mache Wheseab, His X Mark.
Le Sonnant. Mechkaddewikonaie, ” X ”
La Robe Noire. Kayajieskebinoa, ” X ”
L’homme Noir. Pegowis.” X ”
Ouckidoat, ” X ”
Signed In Presence Of :
Captain. P. D. Orsonnens,
Captain. Miles Macdonell. J. Bte.
Charles De Lorimier.
Louis Nolin, Interpreter
The Selkirk Treaty, Land Description
In the year 1811, the Earl of Selkirk purchased from the Governor and Company of Adventurers trading into Hudson’s Bay, in consideration of ten shillings and certain agreements and understandings contained in the Indenture, a large tract of territory within Rupert’s Land described in the Indenture as follows:
“All that tract of land or territory being within and forming part of the aforesaid lands and territories of the said Governor and Company, bounded by an imaginary line running as follows, that is to say, beginning on the western shore of the Lake Winnipic, otherwise Winnipeg, at a point in fifty-two degrees and thirty north latitude and thence running due west to the Lake Winnipegoos, otherwise called Little Winnipeg, then in a southerly direction through the said Lake so as to strike its western shore in latitude fifty-two degrees, then due west to the place where the parallel of fifty-two degrees north latitude intersects the western branch of Red River, otherwise called Assiniboine River, then due south from that point of intersection to the height of land which separates the waters running into Hudson’s Bay from those of the Missouri and Mississippi, then in an easterly direction along the said height of land to the source of the River Winnipic, or Winnipeg (meaning by such last named river the principal branch of the waters which unite in Lake Sagenagos), thence along the main stream of these waters and the middle of the several lakes through which they flow to the mouth of the Winnipic River and thence in a northerly direction through the middle of Lake Winnipic to the place of beginning.” The deed is accompanied by a map intended to show the tract of country, and there is an endorsement on the map that as the surveys were not sufficient to ascertain with precision whether, latitude 52 degrees does intersect the river called Red or Assiniboine River, it was agreed, that in case the waters of Red River, shall on more accurate survey be found, not to extend so far north as latitude 52 degrees, then the west boundary of the tract of land intended to be within the grant, should be a line drawn due north and south, through the post upon the Red River, marked on the plan is “Carlton House.”
The Company reserved the right to call upon the Earl to set off one-tenth, however, of the tract for the use of the servants of the Company–and the Earl covenanted, within ten years, to settle within the tract one thousand families, each of them consisting of one married couple at the least, on pain of revocation of the grant, if on receipt of notice to that effect from the Company he did not, within three years after the receipt of the notice, complete the settlement of the one thousand families.
In pursuance of his obligations, Lord Selkirk, in the autumn of the year 1811, sent out a number of families from the County of Sutherland, in Scotland, who spent the winter at Fort Churchill on the western shore of Hudson’s Bay. On the arrival of spring, they traveled thence to the confluence of the Assiniboine and Red Rivers, and thus was commenced the interesting settlement of the Red River, which is now included in the Province of Manitoba. It is not my purpose to notice here the eventful history of the Selkirk colonists, and I will only note the fact that in 1836, the Company bought back the whole tract, from the heirs of Lord Selkirk, for the sum of £84,000, the rights of colonists who had purchased land between 1811 and 1836, being respected.
In the year 1817 the Earl of Selkirk, visited his wide domain, and entered into negotiations with the Indian tribes, for the extinction of their title, to a tract of land described as follows:
“All that tract of land adjacent to Red River and Assiniboine River, beginning at the mouth of Red River and extending along the same as far as Great Forks at the mouth of Red Lake River and along Assiniboine River as far as the Musk Rat River, otherwise called Riviere des Champignons, and extending to the distance of six miles from Fort Douglas on every side, and likewise from Fort Doer, and also from the Great Forks and in other posts extending in breadth to the distance of two English statute miles back from the banks of the river.”
The Indians then inhabiting the region were described as being of the Chippawa or Saulteaux and Killistine or Cree nations. They were made to comprehend, the depth of the land they were surrendering, by being told, that it was the greatest distance, at which a horse on the level prairie could be seen, or daylight seen under his belly between his legs. The consideration for the surrender, was, the payment of one hundred pounds of good merchantable tobacco, to each nation annually.
The treaty was signed by Lord Selkirk and by five Indian chiefs, who affixed thereto drawings of the animals after which they were named, by way of signature. The surrender was to the Sovereign Lord, King George the Third. The treaty was accompanied by a map which shows that the tract surrendered extended to Grand Forks in what is now United States territory.
A large portion of the ceded territory is now comprehended in the Territory of Dakota, United States
The Selkirk Treaty – Indenture Of Sale
Indenture Of Sale From The Hudson’s Bay Company To The Earl Of Selkirk
This indenture, made the twelfth day of June, in the fifty-first year of the reign of Our Sovereign Lord George the Third, by the grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, and in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eleven, between the Governor and Company of Adventurers of England, trading into Hudson’s Bay, of the one part, and the Right Honorable Thomas Earl of Selkirk, of the other part:
Whereas the said Governor and Company are seized to them and their successors in fee simple, as absolute lords and proprietors of all the lands and territories situate upon the coasts and confines of the seas, streights, bays, lakes, rivers, creeks, and sounds, within the entrance of the streights commonly called Hudson’s Streights, in the north-west part of America, and which lands and territories are reputed as one of the plantations or colonies belonging or annexed to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and are called Rupert’s Land.
And whereas the said Governor and Company have, for divers good and valuable causes and considerations them thereunto moving, agreed to convey and assure a certain tract or parcel of the said lands and territories hereinafter described, unto and to the use of the said Earl of Selkirk, his heirs and assigns, under and subject to certain conditions hereinafter expressed and contained. Now, therefore, this indenture witnesseth, that in pursuance of such agreement, and in consideration of the sum of ten shillings of lawful money of Great Britain to the said Governor and Company, well and truly paid by the said Earl of Selkirk, at or before the execution of these presents (the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged), and for divers good and other valuable causes and considerations, them, the said Governor and Company hereunto moving, the said Governor and Company have given, granted, aliened, enfeoffed and confirmed, and by these presents do give, grant, alien, enfeoff, and confirm unto the said Earl of Selkirk, his heirs and assigns, all that tract of land or territory, being within and forming part of the aforesaid lands and territories of the said Governor and Company, bounded by an imaginary line running as follows, that is to say: beginning on the western shore of the Lake Winnipie, otherwise Winnipey, at a point in fifty-two degrees, and thirty north latitude, and thence running due west to the Lake Winnipegoos, otherwise called Little Winnipey, then in a southerly direction through the said lake so as to strike its western shore in latitude fifty-two degrees, then due west to the place where the parallel of fifty-two degrees north latitude intersects the western branch of Red River, otherwise called Assiniboyne River, then due south from that point of intersection to the height of land which separates the waters running into Hudson’s Bay, from those of the Missouri and Mississippi, then in an easterly direction along the said height of land to the source of the River Winnipie, or Winnipey (meaning by such last named river, the principal branch of the waters which unite in Lake Saginagus), thence along the main stream of these waters and the middle of the several lakes through which they flow to the mouth of the Winnipie River, and thence in a northerly direction through the middle of Lake Winnipie to the place of beginning.
In witness whereof the said parties to these presents have hereunto set their hands and seals the day and year first above written.
(Signed) Selkirk. [L. S.] Alexander Lean, [L. S.] Secretary of the Hudson’s Bay Company.
Indorsed.–Sealed under the common seal of the within mentioned Governor and Company, and signed and delivered by Alexander Lean, their Secretary, pursuant to their order and appointment, and signed, sealed and delivered by the within mentioned Thomas, Earl of Selkirk (being first duly stamped), in the presence of
Alexander Mundell, Parliament Street, Westminster. Edward Roberts, Hudson’s Bay House.
Suit l’attestation ecrite et assermentie du premier de ces deux temoins, Alex. Mundell, en presence du Maire de Londres.
Sworn at the Mansion House, London, this twenty-third day (Signed) Alexander Mundell of April, 1819, before me, John Aikins, [L. S.] Mayor.
Puis, Attestation notariee, in testimonium veritatis.
(Signed) William Dufff, Notary Public.
Be it remembered that on the fourth day of September, in the year 1812, at the Forks of Red River, peaceable possession of the land and hereditaments by the within written indenture, granted and enfeoffed, or otherwise assured or expressed, and intended so to be, was taken, had and delivered, by the within named William Hillier, one of the attorneys for that purpose appointed, unto the within named Miles Macdonell, Esquire, who was duly authorized to receive the same, to and for the use of the within named Earl of Selkirk, his heirs and assigns according to the form and effect of the within written indenture in the presence of
(Signed) John Mcleod, Roderick Mckenzie.