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Topics in Chronicling America - Dawes Act and Commission

As United States government policy concerning Native Americans shifted away from warfare and towards peaceful assimilation, privatization and land allotment were seen as solutions to the so-called “Indian problem.” Privatization of communal reservation land was considered a way to make Native Americans more “American” by giving them a path to American citizenship through land ownership. The Dawes Act and Commission established a system for land allotment, but the initially praised policy became riddled with internal government conflict and accusations of corruption. Read more about it!

The information and sample article links below provide access to a sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection ( Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.

Picture of  native american participants.

Jump to: Sample Articles

Important Dates:

  • February 8, 1887. The General Allotment Act (or the Dawes Act) is passed.
  • 1893 The Dawes Commission is appointed and begins negotiations with the Five Civilized Tribes.
  • 1901. Internal US government conflict over who has the ultimate authority in dealing with the Five Civilized Tribes.
  • 1903. Dawes Commission is accused of fraud.
  • 1920. Chippewa Nation sues for losses incurred due to the Dawes Act and Commission.

Suggested Search Strategies:

  • [Try the following terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases using Search Pages in Chronicling America.] Dawes act, Dawes Commission, General Allotment Act
  • It is important to use a specific date range if looking for articles for a particular event in order to narrow your results.

Sample Articles from Chronicling America:

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  August 3, 2016
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