(Oxford, OH.)-- Miami University in Oxford is working to preserve eight land grants that were found in storage in Indiana at The Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.
The University says the 19th century documents represent an important time in history, when the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma transitioned from collectively holding the land, to individual ownership, in an effort to avoid federal relocation.
The land grant documents include one that was signed in 1823 by President James Monroe and seven that were signed in 1843 by President John Tyler. During that time the Tribe was attempting to secure land for their families, under intense and sometimes violent pressure, felt from government officials and others who wanted their land. In 1846 the tribe was forced to relocate to land that later became Kansas and Oklahoma.
The University says the original grants are written on vellum or parchment. The 1823 grant has gilt edging, was tied with a ribbon and gold paper seal.
The original name of the tribe Myaamia later evolved into Miami. The Tribe had lived on land that is now parts of Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan.
The Tribe is working to revitalize much of the Miami culture and language for future generations.