Apache Treaties


Last Updated: 3 years

The Apache Indians signed six different treaties with the United States between 1852 and 1867. The Apache tribes were also affected by fourteen Executive Orders.

Under the first of the three Medicine Lodge treaties, the Kiowa and Comanche were compelled to give up more than 60,000 square miles (16,000,000 ha) of traditional tribal territories in exchange for a 3-million-acre (1,200,000 ha) reservation in the southwest corner of Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma), most of it lying between the North Fork of the Red River and the North Canadian River.

The tribes would also be provided houses, barns, and schools worth $30,000, which the tribes had not requested.

By a second treaty, the Plains or Kiowa-Apache were incorporated into the first treaty; this treaty was signed by all the Kiowa and Comanche signatories of the first treaty, along with several Plains Apache chiefs. The treaties with the Kiowa, Comanche, and Plains Apache tribes were concluded on October 21, 1867.

Forced removal of the Apache tribes

In 1875, United States military forced the removal of an estimated 1500 Yavapai and Dilzhe’e Apache (better known as Tonto Apache) from the Rio Verde Indian Reserve and its several thousand acres of treaty lands promised to them by the United States government.

At the orders of the Indian Commissioner, L.E. Dudley, U.S. Army troops made the people, young and old, walk through winter-flooded rivers, mountain passes and narrow canyon trails to get to the Indian Agency at San Carlos, 180 miles (290 km) away.

The trek resulted in the loss of several hundred lives. The people were held there in internment for 25 years while white settlers took over their land. Only a few hundred ever returned to their lands.

Most United States’ histories of this era report that the final defeat of an Apache band took place when 5,000 US troops forced Geronimo’s group of 30 to 50 men, women and children to surrender on September 4, 1886 at Skeleton Canyon, Arizona. The Army sent this band and the Chiricahua scouts who had tracked them to military confinement in Florida at Fort Pickens and, subsequently, Ft. Sill, Oklahoma.

Many books were written on the stories of hunting and trapping during the late 19th century. Many of these stories involve Apache raids and the failure of agreements with Americans and Mexicans.

In the post-war era, the US government arranged for Apache children to be taken from their families for adoption by white Americans in assimilation programs.

Apache Treaties

Treaty With The Comanche, Aionai, Anadarko, Caddo, Etc., 1846 (Lipan Apache)

Apache Treaty of 1852

Treaty With The Comanche, Kiowa, And Apache, 1853 (at Fort Atkinson on the Santa Fe Trail)
Treaty With The Apache, Cheyenne, And Arapaho, 1865

Treaty With The Cheyenne And Arapaho, 1865
1867 Treaty with the Kiowa, Comanche, and Plains Apache

Apache Executive Orders

The United States made the last treaty with native American tribes in 1871. After that, new laws were passed via Executive Orders passed by the US Congress.

Executive Orders of November 9, 1871 (531, 541, 573, 582, 603)

Executive Orders of December 14, 1872 (541, 600)

Executive Order of May 29, 1873 (643, 644) Mescalero Apache

Executive Order of August 5, 1873 (546)

Executive Order of December 10, 1873 (563) Jicarilla Apache

Executive Order of February 2, 1874 (643) Mescalero Apache

Executive Order of March 25, 1874 (563) Jicarilla Bands

Executive Order of April 9, 1874 (588)

Executive Order of July 21, 1874 (573)

Executive Order of November 24, 1874 () Southern Apache

Executive Order of April 23, 1875 (582)

Executive Order of October 20, 1875 () Mescalero Apache

Executive Order of December 21, 1875 (587, 588) Southern Apache

Executive Order of September 21, 1880 (624) Jicarilla Apache

Modern Day Apache Tribes

Famous Apache

Apache Legends

Apachean Languages

More articles about Apache Indians