George Washington's War on Native America

George Washington's War on Native America

George Washington's War on Native America

George Washington's War on Native America

Synopsis

This important work recounts the tragic events on the forgotten Western front of the American Revolution--a war fought against and ultimately won by Native America. The Natives, primarily the Iroquois League and the Ohio Union, are erroneously presented in history texts as allies of the British. However, Native America was working from its own internally generated agenda to prevent settlers from invading the Old Northwest. Native America won the war in the West, holding the land west and north of the Allegheny-Ohio River systems. While the British may have awarded these lands to the colonists in the Treaty of Paris, the Native Americans did not concur.

Excerpt

Genocide is a difficult subject, and one ripe with denial, especially when describing history at home. To stare it honestly in the face is tough business. Very few peoples have abided an honest discussion of their forebears' own atrocities. It has been said that the winners write the histories. To go against that drift, as Barbara Mann does in this volume, is a difficult, demanding, and exacting intellectual errand. The forces of denial will be arrayed against her. Genocide is an even tougher subject when a major actor is George Washington, "father of our country." For this fundamental reason, George Washington's War on Native America is a profoundly and fundamentally disturbing book.

The place name Goschochking, to cite but one telling example, does not roll easily off the tongues of most North American historians—not as easily, certainly, as Sand Creek or Wounded Knee. Nevertheless, on 8 March 1782, on land that would become part of the state of Ohio, the Pennsylvania Third Militia out of Fort Pitt slaughtered ninety-six Mahican and Lenape "praying" Indians there (along with thirty more nearby) in "an act," writes Mann, "of pure genocide." Calls for a congressional inquiry ensued, but the records of the slaughter vanished in official circles. Even today, the firsthand reconstruction of the massacre was some of the toughest scholarly research most historians will ever face. Reassembled, the story is wrenching to read.

We are a society devoted, at least in principle, to open information, debate, and discussion. To know history, however, it must be explored as well as merely available. The historical record that comprises this book is available, but very few people take the time or can withstand the pain implicit in examining it. Mann has read the journals of the soldiers who accosted Iroquois Country in 1779, accounts in which extreme violence against civilians is palatable and evident in their own words. These journals lie in dusty repose scattered among various . . .

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