Treaties, or agreements of peace, between settlers and Indians began in colonial days. The Continental Congress appointed men to negotiate treaties on behalf of the colonies. These men were called “commissioners.” Early commissioners included Benjamin Franklin and Patrick Henry.
An Office of Indian Affairs was established in 1824 under the War Department. In 1832 the head of that office was designated the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. Men appointed to negotiate treaties with Indians were still called “commissioners.”
These men negotiated treaties as commissioners and later became President of the United States:
Photo countesy Denver Public Library, Western History Collection