Fellows v. Blacksmith, 60 U.S. (19 How.) 366 (1857), is a United
States Supreme Court decision involving Native American law. John
Blacksmith, a Tonawanda Seneca, sued agents of the Ogden Land Company
for common law claims of trespass, assault, and battery after he
was forcibly evicted from his sawmill by the Company's agents. The
Court affirmed a judgement in Blacksmith's favor, notwithstanding the
fact that the Seneca had executed an
1.1 Precedent 1.2 Dispute 1.3 Prior history
2 Opinion of the Court 3 Companion cases
3.1 People ex rel. Blacksmith v. Tracy 3.2 People ex rel. Waldron v. Soper 3.3 New York ex rel. Cutler v. Dibble
4 Subsequent developments
4.1 Enrolled treaty doctrine 4.2 Seneca land claims 4.3 Litigants
5 Footnotes 6 Notes 7 References 8 Further reading 9 External links
A map showing the Phelps and Gorham Purchase
Both the sovereignty over and land title to modern-day western New
York was disputed between the colonies, and then states, of New York
and Massachusetts, both claiming the lands by virtue of their colonial
charters. This dispute was resolved on December 16, 1786 by the
Treaty of Hartford, an interstate compact providing that the lands
would be part of the territory of New York, but Massachusetts would
retain the pre-emption rights, the exclusive right to purchase the
Indian lands. The compact was approved by the Congress of the
Confederation on October 8, 1787.
The Holland Land Office
John Blacksmith was a member of the Tonawanda Band of Seneca Indians
and the sachem of the Wolf Clan. Blacksmith had constructed a
"Indian sawmill and yard" on his enclosed tract within the Tonawanda
Reservation in Pembroke,
Genesee County, New York
Supreme Court (trial court)
The suit was originally brought by John Blacksmith in 1846.
Represented by lawyer John H. Martindale, Blacksmith sued Joseph
Fellows and Robert Kendle, agents of the Land Company, for the torts
of assault and battery and trespass, quare clausum fregit, with the
sawmill as the locus in quo. Blacksmith's wife and Ely S.
Parker (Blacksmith's successor as sachem of the Wolf Clan), together
the administrators of Blacksmith's estate, succeeded Blacksmith as
After a jury trial, the
New York Supreme Court
Supreme Court, General Term
New York Supreme Court
Court of Appeals
Before the New York Court of Appeals, Fellows was represented by J. C. Spencer, who made three arguments. First, he argued that the right to bring an action for trespass based on aboriginal title accrued only to an Indian nation, not an individual Indian. As Spencer noted, the Seneca Nation itself was prohibited by law from bringing an action "by a private attorney." Second, he argued that Fellows' title was valid. Third, he argued that the Seneca's rights under the treaty were only enforceable against the federal government, and did not affect the defendant's title as a condition precedent. The court reporter did not publish Martindale's responses. The Court of Appeals, 6-1, sided with Blacksmith. Judge John Worth Edmonds delivered the majority opinion, joined by Chief Judge Charles H. Ruggles and Judges Addison Gardiner, Freeborn G. Jewett, Alexander S. Johnson, and Watson. Judge Welles dissented and Judge Gridley was absent. The Court of Appeals held that Blacksmith could independently bring the claim for trespass, for which he need only show a right to possession. The Court of Appeals also held that Fellows' title was invalid, because the payment of compensation was a condition precedent. Welles, in dissent, agreed that Blacksmith could individually sue for trespass, but disagreed that the appraisal was a condition precedent; he would have reversed and granted a new trial, with costs. The Court of Appeals remanded back to the Supreme Court, after which a writ of error was granted by the U.S. Supreme Court.
U.S. Supreme Court oral argument
John H. Martindale argued the case for the Tonawanda Senecas before
the Court. Commissioner R.H. Gillet and J.L. Brown of the Ogden Land
Company argued for the defendants. Arguments started on January 15,
1857 and were adjourned until January 17.
One of the plaintiffs,
Ely S. Parker
All who heard their cases argued before the Supreme Court of the United States, a few months since, will recollect seeing this same Indian, and that he was well posted on the points he desired his counsel to press upon the attention of the Court.
Chief Justice Taney skipped the opinion announcement to work on Dred Scott v. Sandford, announced the next day.
A letter to the editor of the New York Times—which criticizes a previous article for creating the "impression that the Indians at Tonawanda are very nearly the equal in agriculture, general intelligence, and in the customs of civilized life, of their white neighbors"—concurs with this assessment of Parker's role:
I have not a word to say in the disparagement of the intellectual ability of Ely S. Parker, their head chief, and cheerfully unite with "W.H.P." in awarding him the credit for making valuable suggestions to his counsel on the argument of the case in the Supreme Court of the United States[.] Indeed, I am inclined to the belief, that to him is due the credit of originating and suggesting to his counsel the only available point in the case, and the one on which it was there decided, for the case had been ten years in the Courts of this State, and this point was never before made, nor was it made in the Supreme Court of the United States, in the original brief of counsel for the Indians, filed pursuant to the rules of the Court. It was first made in a supplementary brief printed after the opening argument of counsel on the other side had been commenced, and not handed in until the second day, just previous to its conclusion.
The situation of [blacks] was altogether unlike that of the Indian race. The latter . . . were situated in territories to which the white race claimed the ultimate right of dominion. But that claim was acknowledged to be subject to the right of the Indians to occupy it as long as they thought proper, and neither the English nor colonial Governments claimed or exercised any dominion over the tribe or nation by whom it was occupied, nor claimed the right to the possession of the territory, until the tribe or nation consented to cede it.
Justice John Catron, concurring in Dred Scott, also noted in dicta that:
[B]ecause Congress has express power to regulate commerce among the Indian tribes and to prohibit intercourse with the Indians, that therefore Dr. Emerson's title might be defeated within the country ceded by the Indians to the United States as early as 1805 . . . .
Opinion of the Court
Effect of the Treaty
The Court observed:
Neither treaty made any provision as to the mode or manner in which the removal of the Indians or surrender of the reservations was to take place. The grantees have assumed that they were authorized to take forcible possession of the two reservations, or of the four, as the case would have been under the first treaty. The plaintiff in this case was expelled by force; and unless this mode of removal can be sustained, the recovery against the defendants for the trespass was right, and must be affirmed.
The Court noted that previous removals of Indians had been undertaken by the federal government "according to the usage and practice of the Government, by its authority and under its care and superintendence." "[A]ny other mode of a forcible removal," the Court argued, would not "be consistent with the peace of the country, or with the duty of the Government to these dependent people, who have been influenced by its counsel and authority to change their habitations." Because the treaty had been negotiated "with them as a quasi nation, possessing some of the attributes of an independent people, and to be dealt with accordingly," the Court held that "unless otherwise expressly stipulated" only the federal government had the "authority or power" to execute the agreement. The Court remarked that the Senecas were "in a state of pupilage, and hold the relation to the Government as a ward to his guardian." The nature of that relationship between the Seneca and the federal government was incompatible with the Seneca being expelled by "irregular force and violence," or even "through the intervention of the courts of justice." Thus, the court held that the private beneficiaries of Native American treaties could neither expel tribes by force or by a cause of action for ejectment. The court observed that "this interpretation is in accordance with the usages and practice of the Government in providing for the removal of Indian tribes from their ancient possessions, with the fitness and propriety of the thing itself," and with the text of the treaty. The Court concluded: "We hold that the performance was not a duty that belonged to the grantees, but for the Government under the treaty."
Validity of the Treaty
The Court did not accept the plaintiffs' arguments that the treaty was invalid because it was not signed by tribal leaders with the authority to cede the relevant lands or because the signatories were fraudulently induced to sign. Analogizing to the enrolled bill rule (the only citation of case law in the opinion), the Court held that "the treaty, after executed and ratified by the proper authorities of the Government, becomes the supreme law of the land, and the courts can no more go behind it for the purpose of annulling its effect and operation."
Because its aforementioned holdings required affirmance, the Court did
not reach the alternate ground for decision of the trial court that
the appraisal and the payments were conditions precedent.
The Seneca's lawyer John H. Martindale, brought four suits against the Land Company and its grantees.
Lawyer John H. Martindale, of Verplank & Martindale, also
represented Tonawanda Seneca plaintiffs in three other contemporary
suits against the Land Company and its grantees: People ex rel.
Blacksmith v. Tracy (N.Y. Sup. 1845); People ex rel. Waldron v. Soper
(N.Y. 1852); and
New York ex rel. Cutler v. Dibble
[I]t shall be unlawful for any person or persons, other than Indians, to settle or reside upon any lands belonging to or occupied by any nation or tribe of Indians within this state; and that all leases, contracts and agreements made by any Indians, whereby any person or persons, other than Indians, shall be permitted to reside upon such lands, shall be absolutely void; and if any person or persons shall settle or reside on any such lands, contrary to this act, it shall be the duty of any judge of any court of Common Pleas of the county within which such lands shall be situated, on complaint made to him, and on due proof of the fact of such settlement or residence, to issue his warrant, under his hand and seal, directed to the sheriff of such county, commanding him, within ten days after the receipt thereof, to remove such person or persons so settling or residing, with his, her or their families, from such lands.
The statute further provided:
that it shall be the duty of the district attorneys respectively of the several counties in this state in which any lands belonging to any Indian tribe shall be situated, (among other things) to make complaint of all intrusions upon Indian lands, forbidden by the act; and from time to time to make inquiries whether any persons other than Indians are settled upon such lands, and to cause them to be removed in the manner therein prescribed.
From 1821–1846, the district attorney would have been appointed;
thereafter, the office was elected. Martindale was the district
attorney of Genesee County from 1842–1844 and again from
1847–1849. Thus, Martindale himself filed the complaints in
People ex rel. Blacksmith v. Tracy and People ex rel. Waldron v.
Soper, and his successor,
The Genesee County Courthouse, a structure built by the Holland Land Company
People ex rel. Blacksmith v. Tracy
Martindale (in his final days as district attorney) filed the
complaint on January 8, 1845. Evidence, including the testimony of
Ely S. Parker, was presented on January 11. Judge Phineas L.
Tracy, of the Genesee County Court (1841–1845), declined to
issue a warrant to the Genesee County Sheriff to remove the Ogden
Still in January, Martindale applied to the Supreme Court for
mandamus, and the court issued an alternative mandamus (essentially,
an order to show cause why peremptory mandamus should not issue) on
March 6, 1845, which was served March 25. On April 19, the
deadline was extended to the first Tuesday in June. Before the
Supreme Court, Martindale was joined by
New York Attorney General
I am of opinion that by the terms and spirit of the statute under which this proceeding has been had, no other than the district attorney of the county of Genesee (in which the lands intruded upon are situated) could regularly be a relator. The remedy for the act complained of is provided by the statute, as well as the officers to carry it into execution. It is made the duty of the district attorney to make complaint of all intrusions upon Indian lands forbidden by the act, and from time to time to make inquiries whether any persons other than Indians are settled upon such lands, and to cause them to be removed in the manner therein prescribed. Without the act, John Blacksmith or any other person could not claim such summary proceedings to remove intruders upon Indian lands; and with the act, no other person is authorized by its provisions to make complaint of such intrusions, or to cause the intruders to be removed, but the district attorney of the county in which the lands are situated.
The court also found the affidavit of Parker to be insufficient as a
factual matter to comply with the terms of the statute. However,
even if the district attorney had brought the action and the affidavit
had been sufficient, the Supreme Court still would have denied
mandamus as a matter of law.
People ex rel. Waldron v. Soper
In the second suit, Martindale—in a second term, this time as an
elected district attorney—filed the complaint under the same statute
on January 3, 1849. Judge Horace U. Soper, of the Genesee County
Court (1847–1850), granted the writ of removal on January 9,
New York Supreme Court
Ely S. Parker, one of the plaintiffs
Enrolled treaty doctrine The key claim advanced by lawyer John H. Martindale in all four cases had been that the Treaty of Buffalo Creek (1838) was invalid because it was not signed by the Seneca leaders with the authority to cede the Tonawanda Reservation, and the signatures it did contain were obtained by coercion or fraud. This argument had not prevailed before the New York Courts or the Supreme Court. As Brown notes:
The principal point, however, on which the counsel relied, and which he hoped to establish, was that the Tonawandas were not bound by the Treaties, because the chiefs there protested against and refused to sign them. To this point his main argument has always, in all stages of the litigation been addressed, and he has pressed it upon the consideration of the Courts, with the utmost pertinacity. It was, however, decided against him in the Blacksmith case, argued last Winter at Washington and has never been decided in his favor by any Court.
Fellows is among the earliest cases where the Supreme Court applied treaties, including treaties between the United States and Native American tribes, as binding law. Fellows has been cited as authority for the enrolled treaty doctrine; analogous to the enrolled bill rule for statutes, the enrolled treaty doctrine prevents inquiry into the legitimacy of the formation of treaties once ratified by the Senate. This doctrine was later used to deny relief (or, to deny more relief) to Native American tribes who claimed that treaties were entered into fraudulently or signed by persons without authority to bind the tribe. Fellows was also decided before the Supreme Court began distinguishing between self-executing and non-self executing treaties. Regardless, treaties between the United States and Native Americans continued to be regarded as self-executing. Seneca land claims A contemporary New York Times article opined that: "The questions involved are of great magnitude, and affect more or less the title to a large portion of the State of New York." Although the Seneca prevailed in the lawsuit, title to a large portion of the state was not called into question due to the court's refusal to entertain the Seneca's claims regarding the invalidity of the treaty. According to Armstrong, the result of the decision was mixed:
The decision was not all that the Indians had hoped for—it was a victory on narrow legal grounds rather than a vindication of their cause—but it was a victory. The Court's ruling meant that as long as the federal government was determined to take no action to remove them from Tonawanda, the Ogden Company was powerless to do so.
Fellows was "decided at a time when the government was still dealing
with Indian tribes as if they were semi-sovereign nations." The
Tonawanda Seneca were never relocated to Kansas, and a new 1857 treaty
confirmed their title to a 7,549-acre reservation. This treaty ended
15 years of litigation between the Tonawanda Band and the Ogden Land
The Seneca, again represented by Martindale, prevailed in New York ex
rel. Cutler v. Dibble (1858). Seneca Nation of Indians v. Christy
(1896) also involved a Seneca plaintiff represented by a Civil War
general. There, the plaintiffs challenged the Phelps and Gorham
Purchase under the Nonintercourse Act. Fellows was not cited. In 1899,
the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a $1,967,056 judgment of the Court of
Claims (pursuant to an enabling statute) against the federal
government based on the 1838 treaty. Fellows was cited by Oneida
Indian Nation of New York v. County of Oneida (1974) for the
proposition that "the possessory right claimed is a federal right to
the lands at issue in this case."
Ely S. Parker
Until the Indians have sold their lands, and removed from them in pursuance of the treaty stipulations, they are to be regarded as still in their ancient possession, and are in under their original rights, and entitled to the undisturbed enjoyment of them. This was the effect of the decision in the case of Fellows v. Blacksmith. The time for the surrender of the possession, according to their consent given in the treaty, had not expired when these taxes were levied. The period within which the removal was to take place, under the treaty of 1838, was five years from the time it went into effect. It was not proclaimed till 1840, and under that of 1842 the time did not expire till 1846. The taxation of the lands was premature and illegal.
^ These suits are designated ex rel because they are brought in the
name of the People of New York, on behalf of the party in interest.
^ According to the New York Times,
John H. Martindale was the
"principal attorney" for the Senecas, having "for the last fifteen
years devoted his best powers, in the meridian of life, to defending
them, in the numerous suits brought against them, and also to
protecting their interest from the aggressions of settlements under
the Ogden titles. In all the cases he has been uniformly successful in
all the Courts of this State, and in the Supreme Court of the United
States." A letter to the editor disagreed, stating: "There have
been no suits brought against them. There have been in all only four
suits, involving in various forms the relative rights of the Indians
and the Ogden Company and its grantees, which have gone through the
Courts of this State.
^ Without mandamus, decisions of the County Court could only be
appealed to the
New York Supreme Court
^ John Edward Barry, Oneida Indian Nation v. County of Oneida: Tribal
Rights of Action and the Indian Trade and Intercourse Act, 84 Colum.
L. Rev. 1852, 1873 (1984); Shelby D. Green, Specific Relief for
Ancient Depravations of Property, 36 Akron L. Rev. 245, 280 n.193
(2003); Allan Kanner, Ryan Casey & Barrett Ristroph, New
Opportunities for Native American Tribes to Pursue Environmental and
Natural Resource Claims, 14 Duke Envtl. L. & Pol'y F. 155, 175
^ a b c d Francis J. O'Toole & Thomas N. Tureen, State Power and
the Passamaquoddy Tribe: A Gross National Hypocrisy, 23 Me. L. Rev. 1,
^ G. William Rice, Teaching Decolonization: Reacquisition of Indian
Lands Within and Without the Box—An Essay, 82 N.D. L. Rev. 811, 833
^ Bethany R. Berger, "Power over This Unfortunate Race": Race,
Politics, and Indian Law in United States v. Rogers, 45 Wm. & Mary
L. Rev. 1957, 2006 (2004); Reid Peyton Chambers, Judicial Enforcement
of the Federal Trust Responsibility to Indians, 27 Stan. L. Rev. 1213,
1213 n.1 (1975); Matthew L.M. Fletcher, The Supreme Court and Federal
Indian Policy, 85 Neb. L. Rev. 121, 141 n.111 (2006); Ford, 1995, at
147 n.42; Robert B. Porter, The Jurisdictional Relationship Between
the Iroquois and New York State: An Analysis of 25 U.S.C. ss 232, 233,
27 Harv. J. on Legis. 497, 503 n.32, 514 n.100 (1990).
^ Jay Donald Jerde, Learning to Sell Grandmother: Why City of
Sherrill, New York v. Oneida Indian Nation of New York Should be
Upheld to Preserve Tax-Free Status of Tribal Real Estate Acquisitions,
28 Hamline L. Rev. 341, 366 (2005).
^ Robert N. Clinton, Isolated in Their Own Country: A Defense of
Federal Protection of Indian Autonomy and Self-Government, 33 Stan. L.
Rev. 979, 1042 n.321; Michael L. Ferch, Indian Land Rights: An
International Approach to Just Compensation, 2 Transnat'l L. &
Contemp. Probs. 301, 310 n.55 (1992).
^ Richard B. Collins & Karla D. Miller, A People Without Law, 5
Indigenous L.J. 83, 87 & n.24 (2006).
^ a b c d e f Supreme Court of the United States, N.Y. Times, Jan. 19,
1857 (correspondence of the N.Y. Daily News).
^ Stuart Banner, How the Indians Lost Their Land: Law and Power on the
Frontier 153–188, 214–24 (2005).
^ Howard R. Berman, The Concept of Aboriginal Rights in the Early
Legal History of the United States, 27 Buff. L. Rev. 637, 637–666
^ Eric Kades, History and Interpretation of the Great Case of Johnson
v. M'Intosh, 19 L. & Hist. Rev. 67 (2001).
^ Fletcher v. Peck, 10 U.S. (6 Cranch) 87, 142-43 (1810).
^ Marsh v. Brooks, 49 U.S. (8 How.) 223, 233 (1850).
^ Marsh, 49 U.S. at 229 (oral argument).
^ See Stuart Banner, How the Indians Lost Their Land: Law and Power on
the Frontier 237, 328 (2005).
^ The Seneca Lands, 1 U.S. Op. Atty. Gen. 465, 465 (Apr. 26, 1821).
^ Blacksmith v Fellows, 7 N.Y. (3 Seld.) 401, 411 (1852) ("There was
originally a dispute between the states of New York and Massachusetts
as to a large tract of land of which the locus in quo was a part. In
1786 that dispute was settled by a cession from Massachusetts to New
York of the government, sovereignty and jurisdiction of the lands in
controversy, and by a cession from New York to Massachusetts of 'the
right of preemption of the soil from the native Indians and all other
right or title of New York' to the same.").
^ See Massachusetts v. New York, 271 U.S. 65 (1926).
^ 33 Journals of the Continental Congress 617 (1787). Text See also
Francis G. Hutchins, Tribes and the American Constitution 52 (2000).
^ a b c d e f J. H. French, Gazetteer of the State of New York
^ Treaty with the New York Indians, Jan. 15, 1838., 7 Stat. 550.
^ Fellows v. Blacksmith, 60 U.S. (19 How.) 366, 368 (1857).
^ Treaty with the Seneca, May 20, 1842, 7 Stat. 586.
^ Fellows v. Blacksmith, 60 U.S. at 369 ("Some difficulty occurred in
carrying this treaty into execution, which it is not important to
refer to. These difficulties raised by the Indians resulted in a
modification of it by a second treaty . . . .").
^ a b c Fellows v. Blacksmith, 60 U.S. at 367.
^ Blacksmith v Fellows, 7 N.Y. at 411–12 ("It is enough for the
purposes of the question now before us to know that in May 1842 . . .
was agreed that the Indian title to four different tracts of land
known as the Buffalo, the Cattaraugus, the Allegany and the Tonawanda
reservations was valued at $202,000, that the Indians should retain
the occupation and enjoyment of the Allegany and Cattaraugus
reservations, and they thereby conveyed to Ogden and Fellows the whole
of the Buffalo and Tonawanda reservations; that the Indians should be
paid the consideration for that grant as follows: $100,000 should be
regarded as the value of their title to the whole four tracts, and
$102,000 as the value of their improvements on the same four tracts,
and so much of those sums should be paid by Ogden and Fellows as the
value of the title and improvements on the Buffalo and Tonawanda
tracts should bear to the value of the title and improvements on all
the tracts; such amount to be determined by arbitrators to be chosen
as therein mentioned.").
^ Blacksmith v Fellows, 7 N.Y. at 413 ("[The arbitrators] were unable
to award as to the amount to be paid to each individual for his
improvements on the Tonawanda tract, for the reason that that portion
of the nation which was in possession of that tract refused to let
them perform their duty in this respect, and removed them by force
from the tract when they went there, as they did twice, for the
purpose of making their examinations and award.").
^ Fellows v. Blacksmith, 60 U.S. at 367; Blacksmith v. Fellows, 7 N.Y.
at 411 ("This right was duly vested in Ogden and Fellows by proper
conveyances from the state of Massachusetts, and they thus became
seized of all the white man's right over these lands, except that of
sovereignty which still remains in the state of New York. The Indian
title, however, was not yet extinguished and the Indians were in the
actual possession of the land, and before Ogden and Fellows could
enjoy any benefit from this grant from the state of Massachusetts, it
was necessary for them to acquire the Indian right.").
^ Fellows v. Blacksmith, 60 U.S. at 367 ("John Blacksmith [sued]
Joseph Fellows and Robert Kendle, for entering, with force and arms,
into the close of the plaintiff, commonly known as an Indian sawmill
and yard, at the town of Pembroke, county of Genesee, and then and
there having expelled and dispossessed the said plaintiff.").
^ Fellows v. Blacksmith, 60 U.S. at 367; Blacksmith v. Fellows, 7 N.Y.
at 413 ("Upon this state of facts the jury under the charge of the
court found a verdict for the plaintiff. On the trial below the court
ruled that the defendants had failed to make out any title or right of
possession and refused to charge that Fellows had made out a title to
the close in question: that Fellows at the end of the two years was
entitled to the possession notwithstanding the omission of the
arbitrators to award as to the amount to be paid to the plaintiff as
the value of his improvements: that such failure of the arbitrators
could not prejudice Fellows unless it had been caused by him; and that
the plaintiff as an individual Indian could not maintain the
^ Blacksmith v. Fellows, 7 N.Y. at 413 ("The supreme court at general
term denied the motion for a new trial on the ground that the award of
the arbitrators in full, as required by the indenture of conveyance
and the treaty, was a condition precedent to the grantee's right of
possession."); id. at 420 (Welles, J., dissenting) ("The circuit court
decided and ruled generally without passing upon the objections
separately, that the defendants had failed to establish any right or
title to the close in question in the defendant Fellows.").
^ a b c Blacksmith v. Fellows oral arguments, 7 N.Y. at 409–11.
^ Blacksmith v. Fellows oral arguments, 7 N.Y. at 401 (citing Laws
1841, ch. 234, § 8; 2 R. S. 3d ed. 432; Laws 1845, p. 147).
^ Blacksmith v. Fellows oral arguments, 7 N.Y. at 410 ("The defendant
Fellows had the legal title in fee in the premises; Ogden and Fellows
were the owners of the preemptive right granted to Massachusetts, and
by virtue of the treaty and grant of 1842 they acquired a perfect
title to the Tonawanda reservation. It was 'released and confirmed' to
^ Blacksmith v. Fellows oral arguments, 7 N.Y. at 410 ("The
distribution of the moneys awarded for individual improvements was an
arrangement between the government of the United States and the Seneca
nation with which Ogden and Fellows had no concern. Their obligation
was discharged by payment of the gross sum into the treasury. Nothing
in the treaty required the appraisement of the individual improvements
to be made at the same time with the other, nor that the report of it
should be made in the same instrument.").
^ Blacksmith v. Fellows, 7 N.Y. at 414 ("This might be true if the
action was founded only upon title. So it might be true if it was
founded upon the occupancy in common which we know is usual with the
Indian tribes. But this action is not founded upon either basis, but
upon the separate possession of the plaintiff. The bill of exceptions
shows that he was alone and separately from all others, in possession
of the locus in quo when the trespass was committed, and that was
enough to enable him to maintain an action for a wrong done to that
^ Blacksmith v. Fellows, 7 N.Y. at 414–15 ("There is no particular
form of words necessary to constitute a condition precedent. The true
test is the intention of the parties. And it is very evident to me
that it was the intention of the parties that the occupiers of the
land should not be compelled to give up the possession of them until
two conditions had been complied with; one that such an award should
be obtained and filed in the war office; and the other that the value
of the improvements should be paid to the president, and the
consideration for the conveyance be paid or secured to the
satisfaction of the secretary of war.").
^ Blacksmith v. Fellows, 7 N.Y. at 418–19 (Welles, J., dissenting).
^ Fellows v. Blacksmith, 60 U.S. at 366–67.
^ United States Supreme Court, N.Y. Times, Feb. 16, 1857.
^ a b c "W.H.P.", New Treaty with the Seneca Indians at Tonawanda,
N.Y. Times, Jan. 30, 1858 (reprinted from Friends' Rev.).
^ a b c d e Joshua L. Brown, The Tonawanda Indians, N.Y. Times, Feb.
4, 1858 (letter to the editor).
^ Armstrong, 1990, at 60.
^ Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. (19 How.) 393, 403-04 (1856).
^ Dred Scott, 60 U.S. at 528 (Catron, J., concurring).
^ Fellows v. Blacksmith, 60 U.S. at 370.
^ Fellows v. Blacksmith, 60 U.S. at 370–71.
^ a b c d Fellows v. Blacksmith, 60 U.S. at 371.
^ a b c d e f Fellows v. Blacksmith, 60 U.S. at 372.
^ Vose, 1890, at 60.
^ People ex rel. Cutler v Dibble, 16 N.Y. (2 E.P. Smith) 203, 204
(1857) (citing Laws of 1821, 183, §§ 1, 5).
^ People ex rel. Blacksmith v. Tracy, 1
William H. Armstrong, Warrior in Two Camps: Ely S. Parker, Union General and Seneca Chief (First Paperback Edition 1989) (1978). ISBN 978-0-8156-2495-0 Christopher A. Ford, Executive Prerogatives in Federal Indian Jurisprudence: The Constitutional Law of Tribal Recognition, 73 Denv. U. L. Rev. 141 (1995) J.W. Vose, Gazetteer and Biographical Record of Genesee County, N.Y., 1788-1890 (F.W. Beers ed., Syracuse, N.Y., J.W. Vose & Co. 1890).
Laurence M. Hauptman, Conspiracy of Interests: Iroquois Dispossession and the Rise of New York State (First Paperback Edition 2001) (1999). ISBN 978-0-8156-0547-8
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Rights of Native Americans in the United States
Johnson v. M'Intosh
Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act American Indian Religious Freedom Act Burke Act Civilization Act Curtis Act Dawes Act Diminishment Indian Arts and Crafts Act Indian Child Welfare Act Indian Citizenship Act Indian Civil Rights Act Indian Gaming Regulatory Act Indian Removal Act Indian Reorganization Act Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act Nationality Act Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act Native American Languages Act Nonintercourse Act Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act
Aboriginal title Bureau of Indian Affairs Cherokee Commission Dawes Rolls Eagle feather law
Federal recognition of Native Hawaiians
Legal status of Hawaii
Hunting license In the Courts of the Conqueror National Indian Gaming Commission Native American gaming Native American Rights Fund Public Law 280 Recognition of sacred sites State recognized tribes Treaty rights Tribal sovereignty
Federally recognized tribes