As already noted, the scrip handed out to mixed-blood Sioux was exchangeable for land claims both inside the Sioux Half Breed Tract – which land reverted to the public domain with the July 17, 1854 act – or elsewhere in Minnesota and the United States.
As it happened, during the two dozen years between 1830, when the 4th Treaty of Prairie du Chien was inked, and 1854, when the scrip act passed into law, more than a few white settlers had taken lands and made their residence in the Half Breed Tract’s rich farmlands. Then, in 1857 and thereafter, Sioux half-breed scrip filtered into the hands of land speculators who in turn sold it to prospective settlers wishing to secure lands for themselves. Some of these prospective settlers sought land claims within the Half Breed Tract. Thus did conflicts arise between these prospective settlers and the actual settlers already there. Continue reading