A Country Between: The Upper Ohio Valley and Its Peoples, 1724-1774

A Country Between: The Upper Ohio Valley and Its Peoples, 1724-1774

A Country Between: The Upper Ohio Valley and Its Peoples, 1724-1774

A Country Between: The Upper Ohio Valley and Its Peoples, 1724-1774

Synopsis

"McConnell shows admirable sensitivity to the plight of the Ohio refugees but not only as they were victims of circumstance. He portrays their changing but constant struggles to preserve a boundary between themselves and advancing Europeans. . . . McConnell eschews romanticism. This is history as it happened."-Journal of American History."An excellent account of Indian diplomacy in the late Colonial period."-Choice."McConnell makes a significant contribution to ethnohistory by chronicling with unprecedented precision the history of frontier interactions in the Upper Ohio Valley."-Ethnohistory. "A well-written, judicious and thoughtful study supplying an essential perspective to our understanding of the colonial period . . . obligatory reading for all interested in the early history of Ohio and Pennsylvania."-Ohio History. "Solid history, recommended to all who wish to learn more about Ohio's Indian heritage."-Northwest Ohio Quarterly.The Ohio Country in the eighteenth century was a zone of international strife, and the Delawares, Shawnees, Iroquois, and other natives who had taken refuge there were caught between the territorial ambitions of the French and British. A Country Between is unique in assuming the perspective of the Indians who struggled to maintain their autonomy in a geographical tinderbox.Michael N. McConnell is an associate professor of history at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Excerpt

In the middle decades of the eighteenth century a new period of conflict and uncertainty began for Indians living beyond the limits of colonial settlement. From the Green Mountains of Vermont to the foothills of the Carolinas and Georgia, by the 1740s native societies found themselves confronting once more the threats that came with European imperial warfare, after the relative calm that had prevailed since the end of Queen Anne's War a generation earlier. Moreover, in the aftermath of the Seven Years War many Indian societies would find themselves under relentless pressure from British American settlements pushing westward, unimpeded now that the French had been driven from Canada. And by 1775, fratricidal conflict within the British Empire threatened to engulf nearby Indians as well.

Among the leading actors in this drama were the Iroquois, Delawares, Shawnees, and other natives known collectively to the British as the "Ohio Indians." As the name implies, they occupied the upper Ohio Valley, their settlements stretching from the Allegheny River westward to the Muskingum and Scioto valleys. This ill-defined region was itself of central importance in the events that unfolded beginning in the mid- 1740s. Identified by Lawrence Henry Gipson as a "zone of international friction," the Ohio Country provided the spark that ignited the last of the Anglo-French wars for empire, and the situation there defined British frontier policies and intercolonial affairs long beyond the surrender of New France. It was a particularly volatile land, punctuated by wars and less organized forms of violence, a place where reputations could be made, as happened to George Washington . . .

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