Jefferson applied Doctrine of Discovery principles, which allowed explorers to claim land by simply spotting it or by planting a flag in the ground to stake ownership, even if indigenous people lived on it. The Oregon law professor said he would exercise discovery principles while in Montana.
“I’m coming to your house this afternoon and I’m planting my flag,” he told his law school audience. “You’ll probably call the cops or shoot me.”
How did Natives react when they didn’t agree to sign a land-cession treaty?
“Indians fought,” Miller said.