President Thomas Jefferson, author of the phrase “Separation of Church and State,” asked Congress to ratify a treaty with the Kaskaskia Indians, which they did DECEMBER 3, 1803.
Negotiated shortly after the Louisiana Purchase by future President William Henry Harrison, the Kaskaskia Indian Treaty stated:
And whereas the greater part of the said tribe have been baptized and received into the Catholic Church, to which they are much attached, the United States will give annually, for seven years, one hundred dollars toward the support of a priest of that religion, who will engage to perform for said tribe the duties of his office, and also to instruct as many of their children as possible, in the rudiments of literature, and the United States will further give the sum of three hundred dollars, to assist the said tribe in the erection of a church.
Later in 1806 and 1807, two similar treaties were made with the Wyandotte and Cherokee tribes.
On April 26, 1802, Thomas Jefferson extended a 1787 act of Congress in which special lands were designated:
For the sole use of Christian Indians and the Moravian Brethren missionaries for civilizing the Indians and promoting Christianity.
Self-Educated American contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.