Tribal Delegations to the Capital 1860

During the 19th and 20th centuries, Native American leaders traveled to Washington, DC, to defend tribal interests against the pressures of an ever-expanding United States. Delegations arrived at the capital assuming they would negotiate as equals. However the Government, through demonstrations of its wealth and power—such as military displays—hoped to convince them of the futility in resisting its demands. Nonetheless, many tribal leaders traveled to Washington multiple times and became skilled negotiators for their tribes. Tribal delegations continue to be an important part of Federal-tribal relations today.