The Northwest Indian War

The Northwest Indian War

The Northwest Indian War

The Northwest Indian War (1785–1795), also known as the Little Turtle War and other names, was a war between the United States and a confederation of several native tribes, with minor support from the British for control of the Northwest Territory . This followed centuries of conflict over the region, first between Native American tribes, and then with additional shifting alliances between the tribes and European powers: France, Great Britain, and their colonies.

Under the Treaty of Paris (1783), which ended the American Revolutionary War, Great Britain annexed the U.S. territory of the Northwest Territories. Assigned to “control”, which was occupied by several Native American tribes. Despite the treaty, the British kept forts there and policies that supported the natives in the Northwest Territories. President George Washington directed the United States military to cease hostilities between natives and settlers and to enforce American sovereignty over the territory. US The army, which consisted mostly of untrained recruits supported by equally untrained militiamen, suffered several major defeats, including the Harmer Campaign (1790) and the defeat of St. Clair (1791), which the natives were brilliant for victory. About 1,000 soldiers and militia were killed and the United States military suffered many more casualties than its adversaries.

Clair, Washington ordered Revolutionary War hero General “Mad” Anthony Wayne to organize and train a proper combat force. Wayne took command of the new United States Army in late 1793. He led his men to a decisive victory at the Battle of the Fallen Timbers in 1794. The defeated native tribes were forced to cede extensive territory, including present-day Ohio. , in the Treaty of Greenville in 1795.

East of the Mississippi River and south of the Great Lakes were fought for centuries before the United States government was formed.

In 1608, the French explorer Samuel Champlain sided with the Huron people living along the St. Lawrence River against the Haudenosaunee union (“Five Nations”), now living in upper and western New York state. The result was an enduring animosity towards the French by the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, which led them to mingle with Dutch fur traders who arrived on the Hudson River in about 1626. The Dutch offered better prices than the French and traded in firearms, axes, and knives. French Iroquois instead of furs.

With these more sophisticated weapons, the Five Nations nearly destroyed the Hurons and all other Native Americans living to their west in the Ohio Country in the Beaver Wars beginning in the 1640s. Native American nations were competing for hunting grounds for the fur trade. Western tribes were also weakened by epidemics of European infectious diseases, against which they had no immunity. The Five Nations’ use of modern weapons made wars deadly. Historians consider the Beaver Wars to be one of the bloodiest conflicts in North American history.

Around 1664, the Seven Nations became trading partners with the British, who conquered the New Netherlands (renamed New York) from the Dutch.

The five nations expanded their territory by the right of conquest. The number of tribes paying tribute to him shaped the tribal map of eastern North America. Several large confederations were liquidated or relocated, including Huron, Neutral, Erie, Susquehannock, and Shawnee. The Five Nations pushed many other eastern tribes across and even across the Mississippi River. The Ohio Country was nearly deserted, as the defeated tribe fled west to escape the Five Nations warriors. After the defeat of the Warriors of the Five Nations, they left much of the Northwest Territories, Kentucky and Ohio with almost uninhabited and abandoned villages. They claimed the entire Ohio Valley as their exclusive hunting ground.

After about 1700, some remnants of Native American tribes began to return to the Northwest Territory. They were often groups of several tribes that paid tribute to the Five Nations.

The Northwest Indian War

During the 17th and 18th centuries, Britain and France both claimed ownership of the Ohio Country, in competition with the Five Nations (which became the “Six Nations” after the Tuscarora’s accession in 1723), and during the 18th century Until the middle, merchants and fur traders were sent to the area to trade with the local natives. Violence quickly broke out. During the French and Indian War, an extension into North America of the Seven Years’ War in Europe, Native tribes allied with either the French or the British, often depending on trading preferences, and war with each other and colonists. Used to do With its defeat, France renounced all claims to Britain in the 1763 Treaty of Paris.

The British still faced competition from several Native American tribes, including those in the Great Lakes region: the Ottawa, Ojibwa, Pottawatomi, and Huron; Eastern Illinois in the country: Miami, Vee, Kickapoo, Muscotten, and Piancashaw; and in the Ohio Country: Delaware (Lenep), Shawnee, Mingo and Wyandot. The tribes were angry with the British colonies leaving to settle in their territories. They attacked during Pontiac’s Rebellion of 1763–66, when the natives succeeded in burning down several British forts. They killed and drove many settlers from the Northwest region. Britain had to send troops to reinforce Fort Pitt and eventually defeat the natives at the Battle of Bushy Run. The war ended and nothing was resolved.

In an effort to make peace with the tribes west of the Appalachian Mountains, Britain officially closed the Northwest Territories to Colonial Settlement by Proclamation of 1763. On June 22, 1774, the British Parliament passed the Quebec Act, which merged the Northwest Territories into the Province of Quebec. Some colonists, wishing to move to “the new land”, described it as one of the unbearable acts that contributed to the American Revolution.

The Chickamauga, a fact of Cherokee led by Dragging Canoe, and Shawnee were already at war in the Chickamauga Wars with the “Long Knives” beginning in 1776, which merged with the Northwest Indian Wars.

During the American Revolution, four of the now Six Nations of the Iroquois League sided with the British. The Mohawk, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Tuscarora fought against the colonists at the Battle of Oriskany, assisted the British in the Battle of Wyoming in Pennsylvania, and raided the Mohawk Valley in Saratoga, Cherry Valley, and New York, as well as New York. and several other actions on the borders of Pennsylvania. As the British concentrated on the southern United States in 1779, General George Washington took action against the Six Nations.

He instructed General John Sullivan to attack and destroy Six Nation villages in Upper New York. Leading some 5,000 soldiers, Sullivan defeated an army of the Six Nations at the Battle of Newtown, then destroyed 40 Six Nations villages and all their stored crops in the fall of 1779. Due to social disruption and crop loss, some Six Nations men, women, and children died of hunger that winter. Many Six Nations families retreated to Fort Niagara and other parts of Canada, where they spent a cold and hungry winter. His power in the present-day United States territory was reduced, and his claim over the Northwest Territories was challenged.

In 1778, American General George Rogers Clark and 178 men captured British forts on the Ohio River. This gave control of the river to the United States and claimed all land north of Ohio. In the fall of 1779, natives allied with the British attacked a company of men under Colonel David Rogers and Captain Robert Benham near Cincinnati; Only a few soldiers survived the attack. Benham later served as packhorse master under Generals Hermar, St. Clair and Wayne during the Wars of 1790.

The Northwest Indian War

The Battle of the Blue Licks was the last battle of the American Revolutionary War in Kentucky. On a hill next to the Licking River, in what is now Robertson County, Kentucky, an army of about 50 British Rangers and 300 natives ambushed and killed 182 Kentucky militiamen in pursuit.

With the end of the war, the Treaty of Paris (1783) with Great Britain gave the United States independence and control of the Northwest Territories, at least on paper. The Allies of the Six Nations were forced to cede most of their lands in New York State to the United States, and many Six Nations families moved to land reserves in the old southern Quebec province (now Ontario).

The Ohio Territory was subject to overlapping and conflicting claims by the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, and Virginia, and the Shawnee, Mingo, Lenape, and other de facto residents, who were no longer considered tributaries of the Six Nations. While the British suffered a major defeat at the Battle of Yorktown (1781), there was no decisive defeat for their native allies in the Northwest Territories. Native tribes in the Old Northwest were not parties to the treaty. Many politicians, notably the Little Turtle and the Blue Jacket, refused to recognize the United States’ claims to the northwest region of the Ohio River. The British remained in possession of their Great Lakes forts, through which they continued to supply trade goods and weapons to Native American allies in exchange for furs. Some in the British government wanted to maintain a neutral Native territory between Canada and the United States, but most agreed that an immediate withdrawal was not possible without waging a new war with the natives.[2] The 1794 Treaty of Victory. The British presence did not formally end until their withdrawal from the Great Lakes Forts, and it would continue informally until the later War of 1812.

Through the public sale of western lands, the Confederate Congress sought to stabilize the dollar and pay off some of its war debt. The Land Ordinance of 1785 encouraged land speculators, surveyors, and settlers, who sought to acquire new land from Native Americans, who may or may not have a claim to it. To acquire most of the eastern part of Ohio Country, Congress negotiated the Treaty of Fort Mackintosh with several native tribes in 1785. Settlers from Connecticut were already streaming into the Western Reserve, which expanded into the portion of the reservation reserved for certain tribes.

The Northwest Ordinance of 1787, which was passed by the U.S. Congress under the Articles of Confederation, gave Native American titles under American law to enjoy whatever land they lived on. It also encouraged the influx of American settlers north of the Ohio River. Localized ambushes and engagements continued between those settlers and the natives. The failure of the 1789 Treaty of Fort Harmar to address the underlying grievances between the two sides compounded the problems.

Cooperation between the native nations that made up the Western Union goes back to the French colonial era. It was refurbished during the American Revolutionary War. The Confederacy first came together in the autumn of 1785 at Fort Detroit, declaring that the parties to the Confederacy would settle jointly with the United States. This determination was renewed in 1786 in the village of Wyandot (Huron) in Upper Sandusky. The Union declared the Ohio River as the boundary between its land and the American settlers. The Wyandots were nominally the “fathers” or senior guaranteed nations of the Union, but Shawnee and Miami provided the largest portion of the fighting forces.

The Northwest Indian War

The Confederacy included warriors from a wide variety of peoples:

Wyandot (Huron)
Council of the Three Fires
Wabash Confederacy (Wea, Piankashaw, and others)
Chickamauga Cherokee

In most cases, an entire “tribe” or “nation” was not involved in the war; Native societies were generally not centralized. Villages and individual warriors and chiefs decided to take part in the war.

About 200 Cherokee warriors from two bands of the Upper Towns group known as the Chickamauga had lived and fought alongside Shawnee from the time of the Revolution during the years of the Indian Union. In addition, Cherokee leader Dragging Canoe dispatched a contingent of warriors for a specific action.

Some warriors from the Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes, who were traditional enemies of the Northwest tribes, served as scouts for the United States during these years.

Still opposed to the US, some British agents in the region sold arms and ammunition to the natives and encouraged attacks on American settlers. In the mid-1780s war parties conducted separate raids, resulting in increased bloodshed and mistrust. In the fall of 1786, General Benjamin Logan led a force of Confederate troops and mounted Kentucky militia against several Shawnee towns along the Mad River. These were primarily guarded by non-combatants while warriors were raiding forts in Kentucky. Logan burned native cities and food supplies, and killed or captured many of the natives, including their chief Moluntha, who was murdered by one of Logan’s men. Logan’s raid and the chief’s execution angered Shawnee, who retaliated by increasing his attacks on American settlers.

Native raids on both sides of the Ohio River resulted in an increase in casualties. During the mid and late 1780s, American settlers south of the Ohio River in Kentucky and travelers further north and east of the Ohio River suffered approximately 1,500 casualties. The settlers retaliated with attacks on the natives.

In 1790, President George Washington and Secretary of War Henry Knox ordered General Josiah Harmer to launch the Harmer Campaign, a major western offensive in Shawnee and Miami Country. In October 1790, a force of 1,453 men led by Brigadier General Josiah Hermar gathered near present-day Fort Wayne, Indiana. Harmer, under Colonel John Hardin, committed only 400 of his men to attack a native force of 1100 warriors, and Hardin was easily defeated in Hardin’s defeat. He lost at least 129 soldiers.

Washington ordered Major General Arthur St. Clair, who served as governor of the Northwest Territory, to make a more vigorous effort by the summer of 1791. After much trouble finding men and supplies, St. Clair was somewhat prepared, but the soldiers had received little training. At dawn on November 4, 1791, St. Clair’s army, with about 200 camp followers, was encamped near what is now Fort Recovery, Ohio, with weak defenses established on the perimeter. A Native American force of about 2,000 warriors, led by Little Turtle, Blue Jacket, and Tecumseh, launched a swift attack. To the surprise of the Americans, they soon crossed the poorly prepared perimeter. The barely trained recruit panicked and died in the St. Clair’s defeat, along with many of his officers, who tried to restore order and block the passage. The American casualty rate was 69%, based on the casualties of 632 of the 920 soldiers and officers with 264 wounded. Nearly all of the 200 unarmed camp followers were slaughtered, for about 832 deaths—the United States’ greatest defeat in any battle with the natives. Washington envoys Colonel John Hardin and Major Alexander Truman were assassinated in 1792 during peacekeeping missions in Shelby County and Ottawa, Ohio.

Clair, Washington ordered General “Mad” Anthony Wayne to form a well-trained force and put an end to the situation. Wayne took command of the new United States Army in late 1793. After extensive training, his troops advanced into the native area and built Fort Recovery on the site of St. In June 1794, Little Turtle led an unsuccessful attack on Fort Recovery. Wayne’s well-trained army advanced deep into the territory of the Wabash Union. The Blue Jackets replaced Little Turtle in command, but the original forces were defeated at the Battle of the Fallen Timbers in August 1794.

Blue Jacket warriors flee the battlefield to regroup at British-held Fort Miami. However, he found himself locked outside the fort. Britain and the United States had close ties to counter Jacobin France during the French Revolution.

In 1795 the United States signed two treaties that recognized the change in power. By the Treaty of Greenville, Northwest Native American tribes were forced to cede a piece of Ohio and Indiana; The U.S. instead of Britain as the ruling power in the Old Northwest. to recognize; and to surrender ten chiefs as hostages until all American prisoners were returned. Also that year, the United States negotiated the Treaty of Jay with Great Britain, which required the British withdrawal from western forts while opening up some British territory to American trade in the Caribbean.

The Northwest Indian War

The war has no widely accepted name; Other names include “Old Northwest Indian War”, “Ohio War”, “Ohio Indian War” and “War for the Ohio River Boundary”. In US Army records, this is referred to as the “Miami Campaign”. One historian has recently suggested naming it the “Miami Union War”, but other scholars have opposed naming the battle after Miami (or Little Turtle, as was once common), arguing that That it ignores the centrality of the Blue Jackets and the natives of Ohio Country. in war. [citation needed] Many books avoid this problem by describing the war without naming it, or ignoring what to call the war. Similarly, battles and campaigns of the war do not have “standard” names in American history books, except as the Battle of the Fallen Timbers.

Although the war was the first major military effort of the revolutionary United States, and a major crisis of President George Washington’s administration, historians have sometimes overlooked it. Although the Indian Wars of the 19th century became more well-known in American popular culture (being somewhat more recent), the Northwest Indian War resulted in more United States military and non-military forces than the combined Battle of Geronimo, Crazy Horse, Sitting. – There were more casualties of fighters. Bull, Cochise and Red Cloud. The Natives suffered the highest rate of casualties against American forces at the Battle of Wabash (Defeat of St. Clair).

The Northwest Indian War was part of a longer border conflict in the Ohio Country, which included the French and Indian War (1754–1763), Pontiac’s Rebellion (1763–1764), Lord Dunmore’s War (1774) and the American Revolutionary War (1775). Were. ) -1783). Many Native American communities regarded the wars as a kind of endemic warfare with European and American settlers spanning several generations. For example, historian Francis Jennings suggested that the Northwest Indian War was, for the Lenape people, the end of a “Forty Years’ War”, which had begun shortly after the Braddock Campaign in 1755. For some natives, the conflict resumed a generation later. Tecumseh’s War (1811) and the War of 1812 (hence his term the Sixty Years’ War). Conflict with the US continued until the 1830s after the Indian expulsion from east of the Mississippi.

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