The Cayuga Indians Case

Nielsen Reports 203, 207 (1926)

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The Cayuga Indians Case

American and British Arbitration
Nielsen Reports 203, 207 (1926)

SC

Facts

In 1789, New York signed a treaty with the Cayuga Indians who lived in New York. The majority of the Cayugas had moved to Canada. The state agreed to pay the New York Cayugas an annuity of $500. The Cayugas were unhappy with this treaty and believed that they were underrepresented in negotiations because most of the tribe was in Canada and not involved in the negotiations. With greater representation on the part of the Cayugas, including representation of its members that had moved to Canada, the parties made subsequent treaties in 1790 and 1795, with the state agreeing to pay the “Cayuga Nation” $1,800 per year. From this point until 1811, the state made the required payments to Cayugas in Canada. In 1811, the Cayuga tribe split due to the War of 1812. The Cayugas in Canada took the side of Great Britain; the Cayugas in the United States took the side of the United States. The state began making the payments only to the Cayugas in the United States. In the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the War of 1812, the United States agreed to restore all Indians the rights they had been entitled to prior to the war. Great Britain invoked this clause to claim that the Cayugas in Canada were entitled to the $1,800 annual payment.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning ()

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