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 (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/). Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.
Jump to: Sample Articles
- 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:
- "The Indian Reservations,"
The Mitchell Capital (Mitchell, SD), March 11, 1887, image 5, column 3.
- "Indian Land Question,"
The Memphis Appeal (Memphis, TN), June 27, 1887, page 5, image 5, column 3.
- "Sioux in Great Luck,"
St. Paul Daily Globe (St. Paul, MN), February 20, 1890, page 1, image 1, column 6.
- "Washington Letter: Dawes Commission Action Under Discussion,"
The Daily Ardmoreite (Ardmore, OK), November 28, 1899, image 6, column 1.
- "The Claimants View: Why they Mistrust the Dawes Commission,"
The Daily Chieftain (Inita Indian Territory, OK), April 5, 1900, page 1, image 1, column 1.
- "Laws for the Indian,"
The Wichita Daily Eagle (Wichita, KS), April 14, 1900, page 2, image 2, column 1.
- "Something Rotten in Denmark: Trouble Brewing Between Dawes Commission and Hitchcock,"
The Daily Ardmoreite (Ardmore, OK), February 22, 1901, page 1, image 1, column 2.
- "Difficulties of the Five Tribes,"
The St. Louis Republic (St. Louis, MO), March 17, 1901, magazine section, page 10, image 49, column 4.
- "Charged with Fraud: Dawes Commission Accused of Unlawful Acts,"
The Indianapolis Journal (Indianapolis, IN), September 29, 1903, page 8, image 8, column 5.
- "Court Scores the Dawes Commission,"
The Saint Paul Globe (St. Paul, MN), October 12, 1903, page 3, image 3, column 5.
- "Indians Always Prey of Whites,"
Rock Island Argus (Rock Island, IL), January 2, 1911, page 10, image 10, column 1.
- "Chippewas Demand Their Rights,"
The Tomahwak (White Earth, Becker County, MN), May 4, 1922, image 4, column 1.