Tuesday, December 22, 2015

On This Date in Minnesota History: December 22

December 22, 1910 – Judge Amidon handed down a decision in the U. S. Court in Fergus Falls, Minn., late today discharging P. J. Sullivan of Browns Valley, charged with being a blind pig proprietor (an unlicensed or illegal saloon), from custody and declaring the Indian treaty of 1851 abrogated and annulled.

Sullivan was charged with introducing 900 pints of liquor in Browns Valley contrary to the provisions of this treaty. He was sentenced to jail but later discovered the act of congress passed in 1863 annulling the land rights and cutting of the annuities of the Sioux in retaliation for the massacre of 1862.

After an extended review of the case, Judge Amiden summed it up as follows:

“In the present case it is conceded that the Indian reservation that was intended to be protected by article 5 of the treaty, ceased to be an Indian reservation by the act of February 16, 1863 and since that time, none of the Indians have dwelt upon that reservation or claimed title thereto, the whole basis therefore of federal authority over the commerce of intoxicating liquors in this territory is wanting. There are no Indians there with whom commerce can be carried on; therefore, the national government has no power to regulate commerce in the territory covered by the treaty. When congress annulled all rights of the Indians in these lands, it, by necessary implication, abrogated section 5 of the treaty whose only object was the protection of the Indians.”

Under this decision the federal officers have no further power to interfere with the liquor traffic in the wide extent of territory covered by the Sioux treaties. The territory affected by the decision includes the city of Moorhead and almost the entire southern part of the state lying south of the Mississippi, including part of Minneapolis.

The Minneapolis Morning Tribune; “Indian Treaty of 1851 Now Declared Annulled. Man, Accused of Introducing Liquor Into Browns Valley, Is Released. Decision of Judge Amidon at Fergus Falls Believed to Affect Wide Area.”; Dec. 23, 1910, p. 1.



If you are interested in finding out more about your family history in Minnesota, I specialize in researching  genealogical and historical records in Minn. and western Wis., including:
census records,  birth records,  death certificates, obits, grave site photos, ship passenger lists, marriage records and declarations of intent/naturalization records.  I will visit locations to research local history and county records, as well as take photos. Quick turnaround on MHS records.  Both short searches and family history reports.

TheMemoryQuilt.com ®  click on Family History

Contact me at:


No comments:

Post a Comment