Richard White, THE MIDDLE GROUND: INDIANS, EMPIRES, AND REPUBLICS IN THE GREAT LAKES REGION, 1650-1815 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991)

1991

Richard White, THE MIDDLE GROUND: INDIANS, EMPIRES, AND REPUBLICS IN THE GREAT LAKES REGION, 1650-1815 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991)

Keywords
None.
People
None.
The most meaningful political unit was the village. Indian villages usually contained more than one ethnic group, just as American villages did.

The region was a hodgepodge of peoples. The mixing of peoples was the primary distinctive element of the region.

Political glue was needed to hold the fragments together.

It was a village world.

For the Indians, nothing resembling a state existed. Little political coherence beyond the village.

Many intertribal marriages helped to creat a larger community of interest.

They shared language, culture, ethnic identity; but the various villages of a "tribe" or "nation" did not necessarily share a common homeland. The diaspora caused by the Beaver Wars ended homelands.

Europeans and Indians created an elaborate network of economic, cultural, social, and political ties to meet the demands of the historical situation.

Clan chiefs were responsible for the ceremonies particular to each clan. Villages were often composed of people from the same clan, and village chiefs were often clan chiefs, but this was not always true, especially when villages became mixed with different clans and even different ethnic groups.
Chiefs had obligations to give to all who asked. No one was obligated to listen to him or obey him.
Factionalism divided village council.
Few European woman came to the region. In the 1690s the appearance of a Frenchwoman at Fort Saint Louis in the Illinois country created such an uproar that she had to consent to a public display so that the curious could see her. WHITE:60

File: WHITE.NT1



    Created: 8/4/2017 9:51:36 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20416-25981
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20416-25981


1991

Richard White, THE MIDDLE GROUND: INDIANS, EMPIRES, AND REPUBLICS IN THE GREAT LAKES REGION, 1650-1815 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991)

Keywords
None.
People
None.
European goods remained relatively scarce over much of the region well into the 18th century. More became available during the period of English and French competition that began about 1720. There was an increase in Indian consumption of cloth and woolen goods. Indians came to wear a mixture of European clothing and native garments. Yet the consumption of trade goods remained relatively low. Not all had blankets, although nearly everyone had knives.

Population through the 17th century declined, but it was still sizeable in the early 18th, and soon grew by the return of many dispersed peoples.

The great destination of 18th century Indian migrations into the region was the upper Ohio Valley. Shawnees came during the 1720s, pulled by game, pushed by the rum trade and British pressure on their village sites in Pennsylvania. This was a migration of small social units: fragments of villages, families, even individuals. It created no single dominant tribal or ethnic grop, but a mixture of Mingos, Delawares, Shawnees, Munsees, and other fragments. The typical village in the Ohio country was multiethnic and without clear territorial claims. These multiethnic villages were "republics." They were outside the control of any empire, French, British, or Iroquois.

Peter Chartier, son of a Shawnee mother and a French father, was the prototype of the political brokers of these republican Indian villages. There was a conscious creation of the republics as independent entities.

18th century Shawnees were a confederation rather than a single tribe. 5 more or less autonomous political units: Chillicothe, Hathawekela, Kispoko, Mequachake, Piqua. Each of these further divided into bands, which often acted independently. Titular political leaders, or "kings" of the entire confederation were drawn from the Chillicothe and Hathawekela.

Along the Ohio, the deerskin trade was more important than the beaver trade; and this favored the British, who had a better system for these, while the French were the masters of the beaver. Logstown: Mingos, Shawnees, Delawares, scattering of mission Indians, Abenakis, Ottawas, and others. Lower Shawnee town was a jumble of Mingos, Shawnees, mission Indians, delawares, Miamis.
The Indian republics fought for a country free of European domination. Thus the Shawnees and Delawares refused to join the French in the defense of Fort Duquesne against Braddock. But they waged their own parallel war against the British. They also renounced Iroquois overlordship.
The American villages of the backcountry were often as independent of the empires as were the Indians. They were also heterogeneous mixtures of different peoples loosely linked by intermarriage and common loyalties. They were, however, aggressively expansionist. Remained beyond the control either of the governors and the legislatures or the British soldiers.
Backcountry: "the very dregs": a British official in 1767, quoted in WHITE:317.

File: WHITE.NT1



    Created: 8/4/2017 9:52:46 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20416-25982
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20416-25982


1991

Richard White, THE MIDDLE GROUND: INDIANS, EMPIRES, AND REPUBLICS IN THE GREAT LAKES REGION, 1650-1815 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991)

Keywords
None.
People
None.
Backcountry settlers usually hated and feared Indians.

The Anglo-American middle ground: Alexander McKee, child of Thomas McKee and a Shawnee woman, who may have been a white captive raised from childhood among the Shawnees. He served as British Indian commissary, but the Shawnees considered him "as one of thire own people, his Mother being one of thiere Nation." Quoting George Croghan in WHITE:324

Among the Indians, there was a good deal of assimilation to European and American ways. Christianization, or at least influence; English-speaking; the role of captives important here.

Likewise, among the backcountry settlers, the importance of omens, dreams, many customs, came from Indian influence.

Indians thought whites were different "because they use so much salt in their victuals." Moravian missionary David Zeisberger, quoted in WHITE:332.

By 1774 there may have been 50,000 whites west of the Applachians. The British military could not control them. Gage: "too Numerous, too Lawless and Licentious ever to be restrained." "They are already almost out of the Reach of Law and Government; Neither the Endeavors of Government, or Fear of Indians has kept them properly within Bounds." 1770, quoted in WHITE:340.

Many were refugees from hierarchical society who in the 1760s and '70s had escaped controls (they would be reasserted). The young warriors were out of control.

"On both sides of the Ohio unruly young men, white and Indian, stole horses, got drunk, and fought." WHITE:340.

File: WHITE.NT1



    Created: 8/4/2017 9:53:09 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20416-25983
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20416-25983


1991

Richard White, THE MIDDLE GROUND: INDIANS, EMPIRES, AND REPUBLICS IN THE GREAT LAKES REGION, 1650-1815 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991)

Keywords
None.
People
None.
The difficulty in controlling young men was one of a series of similarities: both survivied on the basis of a mixed agricultural, grazing, hunting economy. Their economies grew steadily more similar as the backcountry settlers moved further west, and as Indians added horses, pigs, and even cattle to their village complexs as the game animals declined. "Conflict between the two groups was thus chronic, not just because each group understood the world and their place in it in very different terms but also because the economic basis and political organization of the two worlds were so close." WHITE:341

File: WHITE.NT1



    Created: 8/4/2017 9:53:35 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20416-25984
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20416-25984


1991

Richard White, THE MIDDLE GROUND: INDIANS, EMPIRES, AND REPUBLICS IN THE GREAT LAKES REGION, 1650-1815 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991)

Keywords
None.
People
None.
David McClure, missionary: "generally white Savages, and subsist by hunting, and live like the Indians." 1770s, quoted in WHITE:341

File: WHITE.NT1



    Created: 8/4/2017 9:54:00 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20416-25985
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20416-25985


1991

Richard White, THE MIDDLE GROUND: INDIANS, EMPIRES, AND REPUBLICS IN THE GREAT LAKES REGION, 1650-1815 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991)

Keywords
None.
People
None.
By the mid 1760s, a decade of sustained terror and brutality had given the backcountry settlers reason enough to hate. The desire for revenge burned deeply in their hearts, and peace for many represented an opportunity to kill Indians.

Treaty of Fort Stanwix (1768): the most tangled agreement reached by Indians and whites in the 18th century. A cynical cpompact born out of the mutual weakness of two major parties: the Iroquois and the British, both of whom spoke for frontier peoples -- the settlers and the Algonquians -- whom they could not control. The Iroquois, by ceding lands they neither controlled nor occupied, lost nothing and gained whatever the British were willing to pay. The British accepted the Iroquois cession because it served the interests of land speculators. The Shawnees tried and failed to create a league to oppose the Fort Stanwix treaty.

The division of the Shawnees: village chiefs were increasinly losing control. By 1774 they openly acknowledged that the lower towns contained no chiefs and they could not be responsible for their actions. And even in the upper towns, it was warriors who exerted real control. Growing division between chiefs and warriors. A second division: of the component groups. Fall of 1773 170 warriors and their families (most of the Kispoko and Piqua), left the towns along the Sciotoa nd moved west after failing to persuade the Shawnees of Wakatawicks on the Miskingum to accompany them. These clans anticipated that they would "soon be hemmed in on all Side by the White people, and then be at their mercy." Only migration offered a solution. They eventually settled among the Spanish in Missouri. By 1774 the Ohio Shawnees were weak, isolated, and fragmented. They sought to make up their losses by inviting the Mingos, then living at Logstown and Big Beaver Creek, to join them. The Shawnees who remained in Ohio were, ironically, those who thought that it was possible to reach an accommodation with the whites.

Just as the Shawnees split, so too did the British on the other side of the Ohio. There was armed conflict between Virginians and Pennsylvanians (and later between Virginians and North Carolinians). Pennsylvanians were alarmed (as were the Shawnees) by the VA surveyors in Kentucky.

Michael Cresap was the equivalent of a war leader like Logan.

In April, 1774, the Shawnees were seizing and robbing surveyors, said Floyd to Preston (4/26/1774).

Cornstalk and the other chiefs still hoped to control the warriors in the spring of 1774.

Logan found recruits among the warriors whom the chiefs said were beyond restraint. But there were only a dozen or so warriors in Logan's party. But under their threat, hundreds fled and thousands forted up.

The Shawnee loss at the Battle of Point Pleasant meant that Kentucky could be settled, and that Dunmore and the Virginia elite could become rich. The Shawnees lost their Kentucky hunting grounds. The battle also signified that the anger of young men were stronger than the efforts of chiefs for peace. Under Dunmore's terms, the Shawnees agreed not to hunt south of the Ohio, essentially recognizing the Fort Stanwix concessions.

But Point Pleasant signaled that the war had begun, not ended.

Both backcountry settlers and Indians were independent of empire. Frederick Haldimand complained about both: Backcountry settlers "upon the Pretense of separating themselves from Rebellion are encroaching upon the most valuable Hunting grounds of the Indians and securing themselves rich settlements." As for Indians, "there is no dependence upon even those Indians who are declared in our favor, and there are a number in that country our avowed enemies. There has not been a single Instance where the Indians have fulfilled their engagements but influenced by Caprice, a dream or a desire of protracting the war, to obtain presents, have dispersed and deserted the Troops." 1781, quoted in WHITE:367

File: WHITE.NT1



    Created: 8/4/2017 9:55:45 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20416-25986
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20416-25986


1991

Richard White, THE MIDDLE GROUND: INDIANS, EMPIRES, AND REPUBLICS IN THE GREAT LAKES REGION, 1650-1815 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991)

Keywords
None.
People
None.
The Indians who fought the most effectively did so to deny Kentucky to the Americans rather than from loyalty to their British father. These were Indians who had lost hunting grounds, or relatives to the Big Knives.

Indian raiders, equipped by the British, took a heavy toll on the backcountry, particularly on the new settlements in Kentucky. And to gain relief, the Americans launced a series of expeditions north of the Ohio.

Backcountry settlers were mostly Indian haters. The desire for revenge was understandable, but haters killed Indian friends as well.

Warriors: fought when they chose, were brave in defense of their homes and families, cruel in search of revenge, lacked discipline, and attempting to control them drove officers to distraction. They were shrewd but with limited vision. They represented local interests.

1777 and 1778 it became apparent that American officials could not control backcountry settlers either within or outside the militia. Hand's squaw campaign of 1777.

Whites killed their Indian captives, and failed to adopt any.

Clark's retaliatory attack on the Shawnee towns of Chillicothe and Piqua took 5 or 6 male prisoners, killed them; and one woman, who was killed by "ripping up her Belly & otherwise mangling her." Quoted in WHITE:388.

File: WHITE.NT1



    Created: 8/4/2017 9:57:02 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20416-25987
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20416-25987


1991

Richard White, THE MIDDLE GROUND: INDIANS, EMPIRES, AND REPUBLICS IN THE GREAT LAKES REGION, 1650-1815 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991)

Keywords
None.
People
None.
The Americans were backed by a treasury, an army, and a centralized state (if a weak and faltering one) and the Indians were not.

Immigration down the Ohio: 10/10/1786 to 5/12/1787: 177 boats with 2689 persons 6/1/1787 to 12/9/1787: 146 boats with 3196 persons 12/9/1787 to 6/17/1788: 308 boats with 6320 persons. WHITE:418

File: WHITE.NT1



    Created: 8/4/2017 9:57:37 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20416-25988
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20416-25988


1991

Richard White, THE MIDDLE GROUND: INDIANS, EMPIRES, AND REPUBLICS IN THE GREAT LAKES REGION, 1650-1815 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991)

Keywords
None.
People
None.
"Though we hear much of the Injuries and depredations that are committed by the Indians upon the Whites, there is too much reason to believe that at least equal if not greater Injuries are done to the Indians by the frontier settlers of which we hear very little." St. Clair to Secretary of War, 1/27/1788, quoted by WHITE:418.

File: WHITE.NT1



    Created: 8/4/2017 9:58:00 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20416-25989
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20416-25989


1991

Richard White, THE MIDDLE GROUND: INDIANS, EMPIRES, AND REPUBLICS IN THE GREAT LAKES REGION, 1650-1815 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991)

Keywords
None.
People
None.
Some villagers migrated across the Mississippi to Spanish territory where they could obtain land on better terms than in Kentucky. Others sought an independent republic, or an alliance with the Spanish or French.

More than 2200 American families north of the Ohio (closed to settlement) by the spring of 1788.

Logan destroyed the Shawnee village of Wakatomica in 1786

Moluntha was a leading Shawnee chief who counseled accomodation with the Americans, and signed the Great Miami River treaty (1786). He was hated by other Shawnees, who said he had "sold their lands and themselves with them." "Old Counsillors and Kings have given up the lands to the Big Knife. But the Chiefs of the Warriors have not given our consdnt & if the surveyors come to survey the land or if any of the white people come to set down on it we will putt our old men and chiefs behind us." The warriors prevented chiefs from even holding councils. Most of the Indians rejected this and other treaties with the Americans as invalid. Moluntha tried to shift sides to gain favor with his own people. Quoted in WHITE:436,439.

File: WHITE.NT1



    Created: 8/4/2017 9:58:31 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20416-25990
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20416-25990


1991

Richard White, THE MIDDLE GROUND: INDIANS, EMPIRES, AND REPUBLICS IN THE GREAT LAKES REGION, 1650-1815 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991)

Keywords
None.
People
None.
1786: Cherokees at Wakatomica tortured a captured white women and her daughter: scalped them alive, cut their ears and arms off, hamstrung them, and threw them into a fire. Logan's attack was in part retaliation for this. [perhaps Big Jim, who was killed after Boone identified him at the battle, was one of these Cherokees?]

At St. Clair's defeat, the Indians stuffed the mouths of many of the dead Americans with soil: here was the land they lusted for.

Blue Jacket: erratic and often drunk.

Vast cornfields, herds of cattle, horses, and pigs surrounded many Indian villages.

Indian dress: vermilion paint, jewelry, clothing: all European in manufacture. Made only the mocassins on their feet, and for these they used European awls. Weapons, household utensils, tools, all European. But it does not follow that they could not live without these. They were not yet "dependent," for they maintained themselves as "independent actors."

1782: famine in the Ohio Valley 1784: famine again when the harvest failed, followed by a bad winter that depleted game populations 1787: general famine in Indian country. 1788: widespread hunger following a winter the worst in living memory. 1789: severe famine.

Horses were acquired during the wars of the late 18th century. Resorted to other animals with the decline in game populations. Pigs adopted quickly. Cattle needed tending in the winter, interefered with the hunt, and required fencing fields.
Adoption too, which supposedly erased the social identity of captive and replaced it with the preexisting social identity of a dead person.

Captives: their status among the Indians varied widely. Some were slaves, harshly treated and poorly fed. Others were fully adoped to replace dead villagers, and were regarded as kin. Others, mostly women, intermarried and had Indian offspring. Children usually became fully assimilated Indians, but there is danger of overemphasizing, as Axtell does, the success of the assimiliation of white adults. After the Seven Years War, the Shawnees had several hundred captives living among them.

Women often controlled the fate of captives: whether he was condemned to death, spared but made a slave, or adopted to take on the social identity of a lost relative. Among the Shawnees there were two sets of female chiefs, war and peace, who made this decision.

The complete assimiliation of adult captives rarely took place. They failed to be fully woven into the social fabric of the villages.

Captives: many resisted adoption successfully. But Boone became "temporarily and partially Algonquian, the adopted son of Black Fish of Chillicothe. Adoption tainted him; the great Boone eventually found himself on trial as a traitor when he returned from his captivity." WHITE:392

File: WHITE.NT1



    Created: 8/4/2017 9:59:31 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20416-25991
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20416-25991


1991

Richard White, THE MIDDLE GROUND: INDIANS, EMPIRES, AND REPUBLICS IN THE GREAT LAKES REGION, 1650-1815 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991)

Keywords
None.
People
None.
The Shawnee war against Kentucky was waged by a group of warriors towns stretching from Pluggy's on the Oletagny, to Half King's village on the Upper Sandusky, and from the Shawnee villagers who withdrew to the Mad River and vicinity.

In Alexander McKee, Matthew Elliott, Simon Girty and his brothers, the British had a number of skilled Tory chiefs. They proved invaluable in the Ohio valley.

In 1780 the Indians refused to obey Captain Bird. They followed their own "wild schemes," Bird said. They destroyed two Kentucky settlements, and captured their inhabitants, and caused the abandonment of two other forts, but Bird was furious because they had refused to attack the American post at the falls of the Ohio, and by slaughtering cattle, had eliminated the provisions necessary for a march through Kentucky to empty it of all settlements. The Indians retained their own methods of warfare and their own aims. These yielded victories but did not throw the Americans out. They were warriors, not soldiers. Their victories proved their courage, their fighting ability, and the strength of their manitous, but they would not submit to discipline. They fought to kill their enemies and defend their homes, but not to take and hold territory. It was a war of small parties in which each side's settlements were vulnerable to attack but in which neither side gained lasting advantage.

At the end of the Revolution, the Americans in Kentucky had by no means defeated the Indians, who were, if any thing, even stronger than they had been earlier. The British sold them out.

Chronic murders, attacks, thefts, raids, continued after the Revolution, and although violence had diminished in 1783, it picked up again in 1784.

Refers to the position of Daniel Boone that stealing horses from the Indians was not justified. Diary of General Samuel Butler, Jan. 1-2, 1786; this is also referred to in a letter of Butler's. See 15S4,7-8. Contrast this with Butler's ref to Samuel Hindman, who took part in the massacre of the Moravian Delawares: "he thinks robbing the Indians of their horses justifiable." Quoted by WHITE:411n.

File: WHITE.NT1



    Created: 8/4/2017 10:04:06 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20416-25992
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20416-25992


1991

Richard White, THE MIDDLE GROUND: INDIANS, EMPIRES, AND REPUBLICS IN THE GREAT LAKES REGION, 1650-1815 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991)

Keywords
None.
People
None.
The adoption of captives showed that the Indians had no exact equivalent for Indian hating. They continued to try to integrate adult males into their society.


File: WHITE.NT1



    Created: 8/4/2017 10:04:42 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20416-25993
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20416-25993


1991

Richard White, THE MIDDLE GROUND: INDIANS, EMPIRES, AND REPUBLICS IN THE GREAT LAKES REGION, 1650-1815 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991)

Keywords
None.
People
None.
Gage: "Many of these people" were "half naked . . . and they differe little from Indians in their Manner of Life. They have no means to purchase Clothing but by skins, and that induces them to hunt, and consequently to intrude on the Indian hunting grounds." 1772, quoted in WHITE:341

File: WHITE.NT1



    Created: 8/4/2017 10:05:25 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20416-25994
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20416-25994


1991

Richard White, THE MIDDLE GROUND: INDIANS, EMPIRES, AND REPUBLICS IN THE GREAT LAKES REGION, 1650-1815 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991)

Keywords
None.
People
None.
Delawares: "The Elks are our horses, the buffaloes are our cows, the deer are our sheep, and the whites shan't have them." Circa 1770, quoted in WHITE:341

As Clark approched, the Shawnees killed the captives they held whom they could not trust. This in 1780.

Thwaites says Blackfish wept over Boone's ingratitude at the siege. THWAITES:161.

File: WHITE.NT1



    Created: 8/4/2017 10:05:50 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20416-25995
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20416-25995


1991

Richard White, THE MIDDLE GROUND: INDIANS, EMPIRES, AND REPUBLICS IN THE GREAT LAKES REGION, 1650-1815 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991)

Keywords
None.
People
None.
Thwaites says Blackfish wept over Boone's ingratitude at the siege. THWAITES:161.



    Created: 8/4/2017 10:08:30 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20416-25996
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20416-25996














    

SourceNotes
sourcenotes.miamioh.edu