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Monday, July 04, 2011

The Revolutionary War and Native Americans

I hate the 4th ... it's the fireworks. I know that's abnormal -- even Gandalf did fireworks -- but still I think they're stinky and noisy. For those who love the 4th, though, National Geographic has an interesting page on some misconceptions about the 4th. Here's one of them ....

9. Native Americans Sided With the British

"(He) has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes, and conditions."

The Declaration of Independence made this claim against King George III, and many Native Americans did eventually fight with the British. But many others sided with people in the colonies or simply tried to stay out of the European conflict altogether, according to Dartmouth College historian Colin Galloway, author of The American Revolution in Indian Country: Crisis and Diversity in Native American Communities.

Most New England Indians supported the Continentals, and the powerful Iroquois Confederacy was split by the conflict. Native "redcoats" fought not for love of King George but in hopes of saving their own homelands—which they thought would to be the spoils of the War for Independence.

Those who allied themselves with the British saw their lands lost in the Peace of Paris treaty, but Native Americans who supported Americans fared little better in the long run.

Here's a little more about this from Wikipedia ....

During the American Revolution, many Tuscarora and the Oneida sided with the colonists, while the Mohawk, Seneca, Onondaga and Cayuga remained loyal to Great Britain, thereby marking the first major split among the Six Nations. Joseph Louis Cook offered his services to the United States and received a Congressional commission as a Lieutenant Colonel- the highest rank held by any Native American during the war. However, after a series of successful operations against frontier settlements – led by the Mohawk war chief Joseph Brant, other war chiefs, and British allies – the future United States reacted with vengeance. In 1779, George Washington ordered the Sullivan Campaign led by Col. Daniel Brodhead and General John Sullivan against the Iroquois nations to "not merely overrun, but destroy," the British-Indian alliance.


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