Half-Breed Tract [RG0726.AM]


RG0726.AM: Half-Breed Tract (Nemaha and Richardson Counties, Nebraska)

Records and correspondence: 1830-1943, mostly 1934-1943
Nemaha and Richardson Counties, Nebraska: Indian reservation
Size: 0.25 cu.ft.; 1 box


On July 15, 1830, at Prarie du Chien in Michigan Territory, the United States concluded a treaty with several Indian tribes including the Oto and Missouri. Article ten of this treaty provided for the establishment of what was called the “Nemaha Half-Breed Reservation,” also known as the “Half-Breed Tract.” (The term “half-breed” is considered pejorative today, but was common at the time, including in official documents.)

The reservation extended from the Missouri River westward between the Great Nemaha and Little Nemaha Rivers, and comprised some 138,000 acres in what is now southeastern Nebraska. It was set aside for mixed-race people of the Oto, Missouri, Iowa, and Omaha tribes, and the Santee and Yankton Sioux. The reservation included portions of present day Nemaha and Richardson counties.

Congress, by an act of July 1, 1854, authorized the President to cause the reserve to be surveyed and allotted to persons so entitled. By 1860, the claims had been reviewed, and on September 10 of that year, 389 patents were issued for a total of 122,240 acres. Patent recipients had no obligation to live on their lands, and many soon sold them, often for less than they were worth. By 1870, very few still remained on their allotted land.


This collection consists of material relating to the selection and allotment of lands for the mixed-race people of the Oto, Missouri, and other tribes from the reserve known as the “Half-Breed Tract.” Included in the collection are descriptions of these allotments and a list of “half-breeds and mixed breeds” of the various tribes and maps of the reserve. The bulk of the correspondence and research material relates to research on the history of the reserve by C. O. Snow of Auburn, Nebraska.

Note:  See “History of Half-Breed Tract” by C.O. Snow, published in Nebraska History, 16:36-48, 1935.


Box 1

    1. Correspondence, 1857 (Photostats of letters from the Office of Commissioner of Indian Affairs)
    2. Correspondence, 1934-1935
    3. Correspondence, 1942-1943
    4. Description of the selections and allotments of half-breeds, including a list of half-breeds and mixed bloods
    5. Photostat of the Treaty of Prarie du Chien, 1830
    6. Photocopies of maps of Half-Breed Tract and adjacent land, 1860
    7. Plat of Half-Breed Land surveyed under instructions from Isaac McCoy in 1837-1838. J.C. McCoy Surveyor (see oversize)
    8. Louis Neal’s file


    Subject headings:

    Half-Breed Tract (Nemaha and Richardson Counties, Nebraska)
    Indians — Government relations
    Indians — History
    Indians — Land
    Indians — Nebraska
    Indians — Reservations
    Indians — Treaties
    Missouri Indians
    Nemaha County (Nebraska) — History
    Oto Indians
    Richardson County (Nebraska) — History
    Snow, Charles Otis, 1858-1937

    JEP/ab 10-15-1968
    kfk/dco 09-02-2003
    Revised TMM 03-31-2009
    Revised DLB 07-24-2020

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