Indian Intercourse Act
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The Indian Intercourse Acts were several acts passed by the United States Congress regulating commerce between American Indians and non-Indians and restricting travel by non-Indians onto Indian land. The first of these acts, An Act to Regulate Trade and Intercourse With the Indian Tribes, was passed July 22, 1790. The acts generally expired and were renewed every two years until March 30, 1802, when a permanent act was passed. On June 30, 1834, Congress passed the final Indian Intercourse Act. In addition to regulating relations between Indians living on Indian land and non-Indians, this final act identified an area known as "Indian country". This land was described as being "…all that part of the United States west of the Mississippi and not within the states of Missouri and Louisiana, or the territory of Arkansas…" This is the land that became known as Indian Territory.
One of the most defining aspects of the acts was the establishment of a series of "factories" which were officially licensed trading posts where Native Americans were to sell their merchandise (particularly furs). The factories, which officially were set up to protect the tribes from unscrupulous private traders, were to be used as leverage to cause the tribes to cede substantial territory in exchange for access to the "factory" as happened with the Treaty of Fort Clark in which the Osage Nation exchanged most of Missouri in order to access Fort Clark.
Sections of Act
The act begins with "An Act to regulate trade and intercourse with the Indian tribes, and to preserve peace on the frontiers."
- Sec. 1. Parts of territory of United States to be deemed Indian country.
- Sec. 2. Persons trading with Indians to be licensed.
- Sec. 3. License may be refused, or, if granted, may be revoked.
- Sec. 4. Forfeiture of goods and fine for trading with out license.
- Sec. 5. Citizens only to be licensed.
- Sec. 6. Foreigners to obtain passports to go into the Indian country.
- Sec. 7. Indians only to barter with Indians.
- Sec. 8. No other persons than Indians to trap in their limits.
- Sec. 9. Cattle not to be driven for forage on Indian lands.
- Sec. 10. Intruders may be removed.
- Sec. 11. Settlers may be driven off by military force.
- Sec. 12. Purchases or grants from Indians invalid.
- Sec. 13. Fine for sending any communications that disturb the peace.
- Sec. 14. Persons carrying such communications fined.
- Sec. 15. Fine for corresponding with foreign powers to disturb the peace.
- Sec. 16. Property of friendly Indians damaged to be paid for twice its value.
- Sec. 17. Indemnification to be made for property destroyed or taken.
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