Re: Indian Trouble
- From: "Paul W. Schulz" <pwschulz@...>
Certainly I would not infer that Tecumseh was in anyway the pawn of the
Crown. Indeed I consider him to be one of the most remarkable men of the
time and his actions were self motivated. However the British were involved
in the Indian Confederation Politics of the 1790's and 1811. The presence of
a company of Canadian Militia at Fallen Timbers and the presence of "white
men in red coats" at prophets town (per Indian accounts) tends to support
this. Based on these accounts the presence of Indian agents and/or private
Canadian Citizens was instrumental in the Indians decision to seek battle.
The Fort Miami incident was in 1794 so my cut off date is correct if not a
little generous based on Shabonee's account of Tippacanoe.
Jim replies: I guess I can agree with this. Personally, I don't think the british involvement was "instrumental" in the Indians' decisions, but there is no way of proving this one way or the other. It's obviously going to bolster one's inclination to resist pressure from a hostile power if you think you might be supported by a friendly power. Of course, there is the argument to be made that Indian perceptions of British betrayals of the indians, particularly after the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794 (the "Fort Miami incident") in fact made it harder for the British to manipulate the now-distrustful natives.
To quote Sugden (hey, maybe I should ask this guy for a kickback of some sort for mentioning him so much - but I just happen to have his book right here & I can't resist this quote :>))
"Tecumseh had helped save Canada, but one thing is certain. The Shawnee chief didn't really care a spent pistol ball for the King and his colonies. It was the plight of the Indian peoples, and his own ambition, that drove him forward, and the British, those shifty, untrustworthy beings who so often failed their native allies, were tools to be used...." pg. 310