Native Americans in the American Revolution

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Ted Kupper
Primary Analysis 2
History 195
November 16th, 2012

While most think of the American Revolution only as a battle between the American colonists and the British Empire, Native Americans were a major factor in the war. The British and Americans clamored for war alliances from various Native American tribes and in most cases, the British came out victorious. This presented the rebellious Americans with the dilemma of how to confront hostile Native American tribes as American settlers moved steadily westward into Indian country. In order to weaken their new enemies as effectively as possible, the Americans used extreme violence to extinguish any Indian resistance they came across. While they maintained alliances with a small number of Indian tribes, the Americans were unflinching in their resolve to wipe out any Native American settlements that stood in the way of westward expansion or posed any sort of military threat.

Hostilities between American forces and Indian tribes broke out even before the war started. Logan, a chief of the Mingo tribe, had long been friendly in his frequent relations with whites. He himself was quoted as saying, “such was my love for the whites, that my countrymen pointed as they passed, and said, ‘Logan is the friend of white men.’”[1] However, he was steadfast in his decision not to choose sides between the British and American forces before the Revolutionary War broke out. As a result, an American war party led by Colonel Cresap attacked the Mingos, massacring Logan’s entire family and much of his tribe. Logan described it as such: “Col. Cresap…in cold blood, and unprovoked, murdered all the relations of Logan, not even sparing my women and children.”[2] His emotional speech exemplifies the harshness with which his tribe and various others were treated. In fact, the attack even caused Logan to back down from his previous position of neutrality and ally himself and his, albeit weakened, Mingo troops with the British...
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