Thursday, January 10, 2013


- Western Theater which was part of the American Revolutionary War -- occurred west of the Appalachian Mountains, 1775 to 1783.  This area of the war was mainly fought by the British Allies in Detroit and the American Indians against the settlers south and east of the Ohio River.  The British Crown Proclamation of 1763 forbid British Colonists from settling west of the Appalachians.  It was meant to keep conflicts from occurring with the Indians and colonists. 
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However, two treaties, The Treaty of Fort Stanwix and the Treaty of Hard Labour, were negotiated by British officials and the American Indians in 1768.  This meant that land could be settled on south of the Ohio River.  But, there were tribes that were not part of the consultation and these tribes were not happy with the Iroquois for selling lands without permission.  The Shawnees tried to organize the Wyandots, Delawares and Mingos  against the treaties.

From 1775 to 1776, settlers and hunters in Kentucky were attacked by these disgruntled tribes, forcing them to head back East.  In 1777, The British used this tension and began recruiting and arming Indian war parties to raid American settlements, launching the plan from Canada, via Detroit.  Settlers in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky were killed, the amounts of loss never accounted.

In 1778- 1778, American Militiamen knew they had to initiate offensive tactics to secure the western border as the Indians forces were too strong along the Ohio River.

1780 to 1781 The British and Indian continued raiding settlements, killing hundreds  in Kentucky alone.  Thomas Jefferson, then governor of Virgina, planned for George Rogers Clark to head 2,000 men to capture Detroit.  Clark was a Virginia soldier who was the highest ranking military officer on the northwestern frontier during the Revolutionary War.  However, he never was able to amass the number of men he needed and left Fort Pitt August 1781 with only 400 men. But one hundred of his men were attacked by Indians as they closed in on the Ohio River.  The plan was defeated.

Joseph Brant's attack on Col. Lochry (1781) ended George Rogers Clark's plans to attack Detroit.

March of 1782 began the 'Year of Blood.'  Pennsylvania militiamen were led by Lieutenant Colonel David Williamson into the Ohio Country.  Their intent was to find the Indians who were attacking Pennsylvania settlers.  They killed 100 Christian Indians, most of whom were women and children, after Indians had murdered a white woman and her baby.  Then Colonel William Crawford led Pennsylvania militiamen into American Indian territory.They were forced to retreat back to Pennsylvania.  However, during the retreat, Colonel Crawford and some of his men were captured and executed in retaliation for the earlier murder of the 100 Christian Indian women and children.

Oil on canvas painting depicting the Wyoming Massacre, July 3, 1778

 More raids would occur, but neither side could maintain the territory it raided.  The Shawnees lost their main hunting ground as the settlements grew in Kentucky.  The Indians would continue without the British in the Northwest Indian War, despite the final treaty when Great Britain signed over the Ohio Country to the United States.  However, due to continual threats of Indian Raids, Americans did not settle north of the Ohio River.  In the end, the Indians were not consulted in the treaty, nor were they mentioned.

Note to my readers:  I will be placing ads on my blog that I feel will help beginning researchers in their quest.  For example, cameras are a very important piece of equipment for anyone researching their family tree.  Therefore, I will place ads that I feel are appropriate to the content of my site and offers possible venues to aid you in your research.

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