Interim Content

Half-Breed Tract, Lee County, Iowa Territory


Tract consisted of 119,000 acres located in southeastern Iowa between Des Moines and Mississippi rivers. In 1824, U.S. Congress set aside tract for offspring of American Indian mothers and white fathers. Subsequent act passed, 1834, relinquishing Congress’ revisionary interest and allowing “half-breeds” to sell involved land. New York Land Company, with Isaac Galland as one of five trustees, purchased much of reservation, 1836. Galland also privately acquired half-breed land and offered to sell portion to Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1838. JS and others visited Half-Breed Tract, 25 Apr. 1839, to select settlement location for Saints. Church agents Oliver Granger and Vinson Knight purchased about 18,000 acres from Galland, 1839. Land partitioned, 1841. Church made some payments to Galland by exchanging title to lands in Caldwell County, Missouri. Because of legal complications, JS advised Saints to abandon Half-Breed Tract purchases and move to Nauvoo, Apr. 1843.


Lee County
Iowa Territory (now state)
United States of America