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Karen Palumbo

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On This Day 7/1/1775
6/30/2011 7:13:08 PM


Congress resolves to forge Indian alliances


The Continental Congress resolves to recruit Indian nations to the American side in their dispute with the British should the British take native allies of their own. The motion read:

"That in case any Agent of the ministry,
shall induce the Indian tribes, or any
of them to commit actual hostilities
against these colonies, or to enter into
an offensive Alliance with the British
troops, thereupon the colonists ought to
avail themselves of an Alliance with
such Indian Nations as will enter into
the same, to oppose such British troops
and their Indian Allies."

Few "such Indian Nations," saw any advantage to joining the Patriot cause. Rather, they saw Great Britain as their last defense against the encroaching land-hungry European settlers into their ancestral territory. Racist settlers managed to undermine any residual trust remaining in the Native American population during the "American Revolution" by committing atrocities such as the massacre of neutral Christian Indian women and children at prayer in Gnaddenhutten, Pennsylvania in 1778.

In another example, a Continental Officer undermined his own cause with the murder of Cornplanter, a Shawnee leader and Patriot ally, in 1777. At the close of the "American Revolution", the Patriots few Indian allies received worse treatment at the hands of their supposed allies than natives who had sided with Great Britain. Having promised Continental troops land in return for their service, Congress seized land from its Indian allies in order to cede it to Officers on the verge of mutiny in 1783.



(K) (HST)

Cornplanter Shawnee Native Leader
American Patriot Ally


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