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Fort Stanwix Treaties

Two different treaties with the Indians, of special significance to Western Virginia, were negotiated 16 years apart at Fort Stanwix, near the present site of Rome, New York. The first was in the fall of 1768, when Sir William Johnson, the British superintendent of Indian affairs for the northern district in North America, met with 3,500 Indians representing the Six Nations of the Iroquois, with representatives present from the governments of Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. By this treaty, the Iroquois surrendered title to vast territories, including the part of Western Virginia between the Little Kanawha and Ohio rivers, but excluding the present Northern Panhandle, for money and goods amounting to 10,460 pounds, seven shillings, and three pence.

The second treaty at Fort Stanwix, this one generally referred to as the ‘‘Treaty of Fort Stanwix,’’ was made October 22, 1784, negotiated with the Iroquois by three United States commissioners. It provided for the further cession of western lands held by the Iroquois.

Fort Stanwix, built 1756–58, was named for Gen. John Stanwix. In 1776, it was renamed Fort Schuyler for Gen. Philip Schuyler of Revolutionary War fame. In 1781, the fort was destroyed by flood and fire. Rebuilt, the fort was again named Fort Stanwix.

Written by R. F. Hendricks


  1. Lewis, Virgil A. History and Government of West Virginia. New York: American Book, 1912.

  2. The Encyclopedia Americana vol. 11. New York: Americana Corp., 1955.