Brothertown Indians

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Brief Timeline

18th Century: Algonquian Tribes living in the region east of New York State, commenced to relocate to north central New York State where they sought refugee among the Algonquin's and Iroquois of that region. Historians claim they were primarily Mohegan and Pequot but also included Algonquian's from the Narragansett, Montauk, Niantic, and Tunxis. Many of them were converts to Christianity which made them alien to the more powerful Algonquin's. Their willingness to accept Christianity was not welcomed by the Algonquin's of New York State. From the late 18th century to the beginning of the 19th century, two groups emerged. One were traditional, while the other were more open to contact with the whites. Many of the more open Indians were mixed bloods. The whites often negotiated with them instead of the traditional group. The traditional group merged with the Algonquin's of New York State.

Early 19th Century: A period of great unrest corrupted the Brothertown Indians as the whites were forcing their way ever to the west. The two groups of Brothertown Indians became unwilling to cooperate. The traditionalist wanted to follow the Seven Fires Prophecy and migrate to the west away from the whites, while the more open group wanted to remain. Another group emerged from the more open Brothertown Indians. They were largely mixed bloods who favored joining the whites. The Brothertown Indians settled down to live on the New York Iroquois Reservations. Among the Iroquois were many who were also traditionalists as well as of predominantly Algonquin blood.

Brief History

1785: The traditionalists commenced to relocate to north central New York State. Among them were many from the more open group. Their presence among the New York State Algonquin's was a bit uneasy. The New York State Algonquin's lived from Niagara Falls, on over to Oneida Lake, and to the north. The region was very dangerous at the time and remained that way until after the War of 1812. During the Revolutionary War on up to the War of 1812, the whites made alliances with the Iroquois and the more open Brothertown Indians. It caused much trouble with the Algonquin's and their Iroquois allies. Many of the Algonquin's, Brothertown Indians, and Iroquois commenced to flee mainly to the north, as well as to the west.

1815: The War of 1812 ended. Leaders from the traditionalists merged with the Algonquin's, while the more open group became neutral. Many from the more open group settle down to live on the New York State Iroquois Reservations with the Algonquin's and Iroquois. During the Revolutionary War, many of the New York State Algonquin's, Iroquois, and Brothertown Indians were allowed to relocate to Algonquin land in southern Ontario, by the Algonquin's of that region who are also known as the Chippewa's, Mississauga's, Ojibwa's, Ottawa's, Potawatomi's, Saginaw's, and Swan Creek and Black River Chippewa's. The Algonquin's and Brothertown Indians who remained to live on the New York State Iroquois Reservation's, were forced to assimilate among the Iroquois.

1821: An 860,000 acre Reservation was set aside for the Brothertown Indians and Iroquois, on Algonquin (Menominee) land in Wisconsin.

1822: Another tract of Algonquin land in eastern Wisconsin, was set aside for the Brothertown and other  Indians. It covered 6,720,000 acres. The land was located almost along the entire western shore of Lake Michigan. The Algonquin's set aside 153,000 acres for the Brothertown Indians.

1830: Migrated from New York settling near Lake Winnebago in Wisconsin

1838: On January 15, 1838 many of the Brothertown traditionalists and their Iroquois allies, signed a treaty with the United States in which many of the New York Reservations which had been set aside years earlier, were eradicated. Several of the Reservations were located within Algonquin (Chippewa) territory. That be in the Niagara Falls region. One is known as the Buffalo Creek Reservation. The Niagara County Reservation was also eradicated, as was the Tuscarora Reservation. Another was the Cattaraugus Reservation. And also the Allegany Reservation and Tonawanda Reservation, to the south, were eradicated. However, the strong Chippewa presence kept the Reservations in place with, however, much of the Reservations lands being lost to the whites. The United States did not want anymore Indians migrating to the west. They knew future trouble would occur. Only the Buffalo Creek Reservation was lost except 9 acres. The 1838 treaty also included the Brothertown Indians and Iroquois of Wisconsin. Many of the New York State and Wisconsin Brothertown Indians, joined with the Chippewa's and Iroquois and migrated to Kansas and Oklahoma, in 1838-1839. Their descendants still live in Kansas and Oklahoma.

1839: March 3, Brothertown Indians became citizens of the United States


Allegany Reservation of New York.

Buffalo Creek Reservation of New York.

Cattaraugus Reservation of New York.

St. Regis Reservation of New York.

Tonawanda Reservation of New York.

Tuscarora Reservation of New York.

Additional References to the History of the Tribe

History of the Brothertown Indians from the Milwaukee Public Museum

Additional History from Earthlink site.

Tribal Headquarters

Brothertown Indian Nation

PO Box 2206
Fond du Lac WI 54936-2206

82 S Macy Street
Fond du Lac WI 54936-2206

Phone: (920) 929-9964
Fax: (920) 929-9965



Tribe Agency Location of Original Records

Pre-1880 Correspondence

M234 RG 75  Rolls

Roll Number




Brothertown Green Bay (Menominee) Agency, 1824-1961 Washington D.C. and Chicago 315-36 -
Brothertown Six Nations Agency, 1824-34 Washington D.C. 832 -


  • 1838 January 15, at Buffalo Creek,with the New York Indians   

Important Websites

Constitution of the Brothertown Indians; approved 1939, amended 2007

Tribal Website of the Brothertown Indian Nation

Wikipedia article on the Brothertown Indians Full Text of Samson Occom and the Christian Indians of New England



  • Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives; Record Group 75, Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
  • Hodge, Frederick Webb. Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1906 Available online.
  • Klein, Barry T., ed. Reference Encyclopedia of the American Indian. Nyack, New York: Todd Publications, 2009. 10th ed. WorldCat 317923332; FHL book 970.1 R259e.
  • Malinowski, Sharon and Sheets, Anna, eds. The Gale Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes. Detroit: Gale Publishing, 1998. 4 volumes. Includes: Lists of Federally Recognized Tribes for U.S., Alaska, and Canada – pp. 513-529 Alphabetical Listing of Tribes, with reference to volume and page in this series Map of “Historic Locations of U.S. Native Groups” Map of “Historic Locations of Canadian Native Groups” Map of “Historic Locations of Mexican, Hawaiian and Caribbean Native Groups” Maps of “State and Federally Recognized U.S. Indian Reservations. WorldCat 37475188; FHL book 970.1 G131g.
Vol. 1 -- Northeast, Southeast, Caribbean
Vol. 2 -- Great Basin, Southwest, Middle America
Vol. 3 -- Arctic, Subarctic, Great Plains, Plateau
Vol. 4 -- California, Pacific Northwest, Pacific Islands
  • Sturtevant, William C. Handbook of North American Indians. 20 vols., some not yet published. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1978– .
Volume 1 -- Not yet published
Volume 2 -- Indians in Contemporary Society (pub. 2008) -- WorldCat 234303751
Volume 3 -- Environment, Origins, and Population (pub. 2006) -- WorldCat 255572371
Volume 4 -- History of Indian-White Relations (pub. 1988) -- WorldCat 19331914; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.4.
Volume 5 -- Arctic (pub. 1984) -- WorldCat 299653808; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.5.
Volume 6 -- Subarctic (pub. 1981) -- WorldCat 247493742; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.6.
Volume 7 -- Northwest Coast (pub. 1990) -- WorldCat 247493311
Volume 8 -- California (pub. 1978) -- WorldCat 13240086; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.8.
Volume 9 -- Southwest (pub. 1979) -- WorldCat 26140053; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.9.
Volume 10 -- Southwest (pub. 1983) -- WorldCat 301504096; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.10.
Volume 11 -- Great Basin (pub. 1986) -- WorldCat 256516416; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.11.
Volume 12 -- Plateau (pub. 1998) -- WorldCat 39401371; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.12.
Volume 13 -- Plains, 2 vols. (pub. 2001) -- WorldCat 48209643
Volume 14 -- Southeast (pub. 2004) -- WorldCat 254277176
Volume 15 -- Northwest (pub. 1978) -- WorldCat 356517503; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.15.
Volume 16 -- Not yet published
Volume 17 -- Languages (pub. 1996) -- WorldCat 43957746
Volume 18 -- Not yet published
Volume 19 -- Not yet published
Volume 20 -- Not yet published