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Native Americans in the Revolutionary War

At the commencement of the American struggle for independence, the Native Americans in the Revolutionary War stood in a peculiar position. Their friendship became a matter of importance to both parties. To secure this, the English took particular care, and had many advantages, of which the colonists were deprived. The expulsion of the French from Canada had given the Indians a high opinion of the valor and power of British forces. They also had the means of supplying the wants of the Indians by presents of articles, which could only be obtained from Europe, and which the American Congress had prohibited the colonists from importing. They had still another and a more important advantage. Since the peace of 1763 nearly all the transactions of the English with the Indians had been conducted by agents who were attached to the home government, and who, of course, secured the Indians as far as possible, to the interest of that government, when the colonies rebelled. Cherokee Indians and the Revolutionary War In the meantime, the Americans were not unmindful of their interests in this quarter. They appointed commissioners to explain the nature of the struggle, and to gain their good will by treaties and presents. Congress, also resolved to distribute goods to the amount of two thousand dollars among them; but the wise resolution was never executed. In almost every period of the war, the Indians took part with the English. South Carolina was one of the first states that felt the force of British influence. All intercourse with the Creeks and Cherokees, the tribes nearest the frontier settlements of that state,...

Shawnee Indian Chiefs and Leaders

Big Jim Big Jim. The popular name of a noted full-blood Shawnee leader, known among his people as Wapameepto, “Gives light as he walks”. His English name was originally Dick Jim, corrupted into Big Jim. He was born on the Sabine Reservation, Texas, in 1834, and in 1872 became chief of the Kispicotha band, commonly known as Big Jim’s band of Absentee Shawnee. Big Jim was of illustrious lineage, his grandfather being Tecumseh and his father one of the signers of the “Sam Houston treaty” between the Cherokee and affiliated tribes and the Republic of Texas, February 23, 1836. He was probably the most conservative member of his tribe. In the full aboriginal belief that the earth was his mother and that she must not be wounded by tilling of the soil, he refused until the last to receive the allotments of land that had been forced upon his band in Oklahoma, and used every means to overcome the encroachments of civilization. For the purpose of finding a place where his people would be free from molestation, he went to Mexico in 1900, and while there was stricken with smallpox in August, and died. He was succeeded by his only son, Tonomo, who is now (1905) about 30 years of age. Chief Black Bob Black Bob. The chief of a Shawnee band, originally a part of the Hatha­wekela division of the Shawnee. About the year 1826 they separated from their kindred, then living in eastern Missouri on land granted to them about 1793 by Baron Carondelet, near Cape Girardeau, then in Spanish territory, and removed to Kansas, where, by treaty...

Mahican Tribe

Mahican Indians (‘wolf’). An Algonquian tribe that occupied both banks of upper Hudson River, in New York, extending north almost to Lake Champlain. To the Dutch they were known as River Indians, while the French grouped them and the closely connected Munsee and Delawares under the name of Loups (‘wolves’). The same tribes were called Akochakaneñ (‘stammerers’ ) by the Iroquois. On the west bank they joined the Munsee at Catskill creek, and on the east bank they joined the Wappinger near Poughkeepsie. They extended north into Massachusetts and held the upper part of Housatonic valley. Their council fire was at Schodac, on an island near Albany, and it is probable that they had 40 villages within their territory. The name, in a variety of forms, has been applied to all the Indians from Hudson river to Narragansett bay, but in practical use has been limited to two bodies, one on lower Connecticut river, Connecticut, known dialectically as Mohegan, the other, on Hudson river, known as Mahican. They were engaged in a war with the Mohawk, their nearest neighbors on the west, when the Dutch appeared on the scene, which lasted until 1673. In 1664 the inroads of the Mohawk compelled them to remove their council fire from Schodac to Westenhuck, the modern Stockbridge, Massachusetts. As the settlements crowded upon them the Mahican sold their territory piece meal, and about 1730 a large body of them emigrated to Susquehanna river and settled near Wyoming, Pennyslvania, in the vicinity of the Delawares and Munsee, with whom they afterward removed to the Ohio region, finally losing their identity. A previous emigration...

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