Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Date of this Version



Copyright © 2009 Charles D. Bernholz.


Before statehood, the Territorial courts—empowered by the legislation that created each Territory—had the responsibility of adjudicating many questions, including those arising over the interpretation of American Indian treaties. This article identifies 150 citations, to 79 ratified Indian treaties or supplemental articles, in 55 opinions between the years 1846 and 1909 before 12 Territorial court systems. The cases listed here mark the significance of these documents before these and later courts; many of these proceedings foreshadowed some of today’s dilemmas between the tribes and others.