Re: Indian Troubles
- From: "Paul W. Schulz" <pwschulz@...>
Paul: The base source of much of the US belief that the British were actively
stirring the Indians to fight come from the period of the 1790's and the
English use of the Indian in the ARW.
Jim: [I would agree with the ARW comment up to a point, but I'm not so sure about the British stirring the Indians up in the 1790's... The problem I have here is the underlying premise that the Indians would have been happy campers except for the nefarious Brits stirring them up. I think the indian tribes had a lot more savvy than that. Tecumseh could recite every treaty between the Brit/colonists and indian nations from the landing of the Mayflower to the War of 1812, and catalogue how each and every one of them was eventually broken by the whites. Is this the kind of guy who could be easily manipulated? I believe the Indians were fighting for their land and their way of life against white invasion of what they perceived to be their homelands. A doomed resistance, but they were brave men with little choice but to fight or cross the Mississippi... ]
Paul: Memories of those days were still
fresh in the minds of many US citizens. Not that he is the best example, but
undoubtedly the most extreme, Hull's fear of Indian massacre was a learned
one and no one can dispute the active involvement of the Crown up until at
least 1794. When rumors that British agents were leading the Indians from
the west it simply reinforced the standing belief of British Indian policy,
factual or not. It is an understandable error considering the past actions
of the British Forces in US/Indian affairs. Certainly the US was in no
position to put much stock in English reassurances that this was not the
case. After all it was the lack of trust and communication that started the
war in the first place.
Jim: I totally agree with every word of this paragraph, with the possible exception of the 1794 cut-off date.
I think the Brits left their Indian allies hanging in the wind at the end of the AWI - a fact they certainly resented, along with the Fort Miami incident.
From what I've read, the Indian resistance in the early 1790's, being Harmer's & St.Clair's defeats, followed by Anthony Wayne's campaign culminating at Fallen Timbers, was Indian-led & Indian-inspired.
Some British traders certainly actively supported the Indian confederacy because they believed
a) the Indians were in the right,
B) there was money to be made by supporting the Indians, in terms of the fur trade etc.
The building of Fort Miami was certainly the administration of Upper Canada's signal of some intentions to support the Indian confederacy (though disavowed by the home government). The question of the retention of the Western Posts (Niagara, Detroit, Mackinac, etc) by the Brits after the Treaty ending the AWI drew a border that put these places in the U.S. was more complicated than merely being designed to stir up Indian trouble for the U.S. The official reason was, I believe, because the U.S. did not honour its treaty obligations to compensate United Empire Loyalists, etc. But I stand to be corrected on all of the above.