The struggle to defend Indian authority in the Ohio Valley-Great Lakes region, 1763-1794
Fierst, John Timothy
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From the Seven Years' War in North America to the Battle of Fallen Timbers, 1754 to 1794, Native Americans fought to retain control of the Ohio Valley-Great Lakes region. They fought to keep--first the British and after the Revolution the Americans--east of the Appalachians and out of the Ohio Country. White Americans looked upon the Seven Years' War, the Revolution, and the Indian Wars of the early 1790s as separate events, but for Native Americans of the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes region they were all part of a forty-year-long struggle to protect their homelands. This forty year struggle is not well understood. The problem is that most historians have treated Native Americans as Britain's Indian allies. Indians involved in the struggle are not usually recognized as having authority in and of themselves. The purpose of this thesis is to review this prolonged struggle from the perspective of Indian authority. It is not written from an insider's point of view but from the point of view of what, from a reading of the literature, were clearly Native American interests. This point of view allows not only a clearer perspective on the actions and decisions of the Indians themselves but also a clearer perspective on the actions and decisions of British and American officials. Native Americans were not weak, dependent, and doomed. They were not pawns of the British or simply the victims of trans-Atlantic market forces. They held power in the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes region, and that power was wrested from them by acts of war.