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1 The Collision Of Cultures
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22 Gilded-age Politics And Agrarian Revolt
23 An American Empire
24 The Progressive Era
25 America And The Great War
26 The Modern Temper
27 Republican Resurgence And Decline
28 New Deal America
29 From Isolation To Global War
30 The Second World War
31 The Fair Deal And Containment
32 Through The Picture Window: Society And Culture, 19451960
33 Conflict And Deadlock: The Eisenhower Years
34 New Frontiers: Politics And Social Change In The 1960s
35 Rebellion And Reaction In The 1960s And 1970s
36 A Conservative Insurgency
37 Triumph And Tragedy: America At The Turn Of The Century

Clark from Indian Hostilities (1812)

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As the United States government, through such representatives as Lewis and Clark, attempted to establish cordial relations with Native American tribes in the far northwest territories, it faced increasing hostility from tribes resisting the encroachment of settlers from the Ohio country to the Mississippi territory. Many of these tribes, such as the Delawares, Miamis, Kickapoos, and Ottawas, had relinquished substantial portions of their lands to the United States via treaties such as the 1809 Fort Wayne Treaty. That particular agreement, concluded by William Henry Harrison, governor of the Indiana territory, with the Miamis, Delawares, and Potawatomis, was a high point for the nation but a low point for the Indians in this era. Even though the United States had acquired title to millions of acres of land upon which they could plant and build, many settlers invaded lands that their government acknowledged as still belonging to the Indians. Ultimately Native Americans all along the frontier responded violently to this encroachment on their tribal lands.


The following is an extract of a letter from a gentleman at St. Charles, Louisiana Territory, dated Jan. 10, 1812.

"In answer to your enquiry, respecting Indian hostilities in this quarter, I have to inform you, that some of the reports that have found their way into the public prints are much exaggerated, but are generally true. The depredations committed by them have been principally in Indiana and Illinois territories; some horses have been taken in this territory, but I believe no murders have been committed by them for the last ten or twelve months. I had flattered myself that the drubbing given them by the troops under the command of Gov. Harrison would have disposed them to return to order. In this it appears I was mistaken, for this day, by an express from Fort Madison, we are informed of cruel murders committed on some traders, about 100 miles above that Fort, by a party of the Pecant nation. A Mr. Hunt, son of the late Col. Hunt, of the United States' army, and a Mr. Prior, were trading in that quarter—their houses about 3 miles distance from each other. The party of Indians came to Hunt's house, and appeared friendly until they obtained admittance into the house—they then shot down two men that Mr. Hunt had with him, seized him and a boy, who was his interpreter, tied them, and packed up the goods that were in the house, and carried them off. Mr. Hunt discovered that they believed him to be an Englishman, and on that account saved his life. They told him that they had sent another party to kill Prior, and carry off his goods, and that they intended in a short time to take the Fort—after which they would come on and kill every American they could find. They took Mr. Hunt and his boy with them some distance,but night came on, and proved extremely dark, which fortunately gave them an opportunity of escaping, and they arrived safe at Fort Madison on the sixth day.

"The hostilities that have taken place, together with the mysterious conduct of the few Indians that are passing amongst us, lead me to believe they are determined for war, and that they are set on by British agents. If we go to war with England, I calculate on some very warm work in this quarter."


[From "Indian Hostilities," The Pennsylvania Gazette, 4 March 1812.]

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