Stockbridge-Munsee Timber Rights 1869

In 1843, a congressional act made members of the Stockbridge-Munsee tribe in Wisconsin U.S. citizens and divided the tribally owned lands into allotments for individual tribal members. The act was repealed in 1846, but by then the tribe was deeply divided between those in favor of citizenship and those who wanted tribal sovereignty.

The tribes’ decades-long dispute over citizenship and growing interest in the lumber on the reservation led both tribal members and non-Indians to manipulate the political process to allow for the sale of reservation lands. An 1871 law allowed the sale of three-fourths of the reservation to non-Indian loggers and expelled pro-citizen tribal members from the reservation.