Skip to main content

The Revolution on the Frontier

The Revolution on the Frontier

Sources

Difficult Choices . With the outbreak of war between the colonists and the British, Indians once again had to choose sides or maintain a precarious neutrality. Many Indians took the British side in the Revolution, hoping to curtail rapacious settlers. A few tribes, living in close daily contact with frontier whites, cast their lot with the Patriot cause. But despite their affiliation in the Revolution, most Indian tribes retained a strong sense of physical and political boundaries and jealously guarded their independence. Indians and colonists burned each others villages in a war of attrition, and with the Patriot victory pro-British tribes were driven out of their villages into defensive settlements under the protection of the Crown. The American victory brought further encroachments on Indian sovereignty. Indians could no longer play warring whites against one another to obtain concessions. They also could not restrain the western advance of colonists although the British retained their forts in the West. In the South the Creeks and Cherokees, after having fought long and hard for the British, were left surrounded by settlers of the new United States. The Iroquois, who had for the most part fought with the British, were driven to a defensive position at Fort Niagara, New York. At wars end some returned to their villages and resumed trading activities with whites. Many, however, went into exile in Canada, along with tribal leaders such as Joseph and Molly Brant.

Stockbridge . The Stockbridge Indians of western Massachusetts were a mixed tribal group made up of Mahicans (Mohicans), Housatonics, and others. In 1740 Protestant missionaries gathered this mixed group on the Stockbridge grant, hoping that by adopting Christianity the Indians would become valuable allies against the Iroquois to the west. Their settlement was one of the praying towns, where displaced Native Americans tried to live and worship according to European customs. Dozens of young Stockbridge warriors served in the American army, some of them joining as minutemen even before the war began. They distinguished themselves at the Battle of White Plains (1776) and in campaigns against the Iroquois. They acted as negotiators with tribes such as the Oneidas, keeping them on the Patriot side when they wavered. But back home their townsmen were sinking into debt and alcoholism, selling off bit by bit their original landholdings. The town of Stockbridge, which had been but part of a large grant of Indian land, gradually fell entirely into white hands: the last Indian plot was sold in 1783. Indians remained in the town as laborers and derelicts or moved off to other settlements.

Sources

Colin G. Calloway, The American Revolution in Indian Country: Crisis and Diversity in Native American Communities (Cambridge & New York: Cambridge University Press, 1995);

Journal of Nicholas Cresswell, 1774-1777 (Port Washington, N.Y.: Kennikat Press, 1968);

Thomas P. Slaughter, The Whiskey Rebellion: Frontier Epilogue to the American Revolution (Oxford &, New York: Oxford University Press, 1986).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"The Revolution on the Frontier." American Eras. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"The Revolution on the Frontier." American Eras. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 18, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/revolution-frontier

"The Revolution on the Frontier." American Eras. . Retrieved November 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/revolution-frontier

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.