Bear Spring treaty, Nov. 21, 1846
Memorandum of a treaty entered into between Colonel A. W. Doniphan, commanding the United States’ forces in the Navajo country, and the chiefs of the Navajo Nation of Indians, viz. Sarcilla Largo, Caballa de Mucho, Alexandro, Sandoval , Kiatanito, José Largo, Narbona, Sagundo, Pedro José, Manuelito, Tapio, and Archuletté, at the Ojo Oso, Navajo Country, November 22d, 1846.
ARTICLE I. A firm and lasting peace and amity shall henceforth exist between the American people and the Navajo tribe of Indians.
ARTICLE 2. The people of New Mexico and the Pueblo Indians are included in the term American people.
ARTICLE 3. A mutual trade, as between people of the same nation, shall be carried on between these several parties; the Americans, Mexicans, and Pueblos being free to visit all portions of the Navajo country and the Navajos all portions of the American country without molestation, and full protection shall be mutually given.
ARTICLE 4. There shall be mutual restoration of all prisoners, the several parties being pledged to redeem by purchase such as may not be exchanged each for each.
ARTICLE 5. All property taken by either party from the other, since the 18th day of August, last, shall be restored.
The undersigned, fully empowered to represent and pledge to the above articles their respective nations, have accordingly hereunto signed their names and affixed their seals.
Alexander W. Doniphan
Signatures of the Navajo Chiefs
Excerpts transcribed from: Hughes, John T.: Doniphan’s Expedition: an Account of the U.S. Army Operations in the Great American Southwest. Chicago, Rio Grande Press, 1962. This is a reprint of the 1848 edition published by J.A. and U.P James of Cincinnati.
Hughes was a private in Col. Alexander Doniphan's command. His account may be the only existing eye-witness description of the 1846 meeting between Doniphan and Navajo leaders at Ojo Oso (Bear Spring) to negotiate a treaty between the United States and the Navajos. It is also the only place where we have been able to find the text of the treaty.