Restoring the Chain of Friendship: British Policy and the Indians of the Great Lakes, 1783-1815

By Timothy D. Willig | Go to book overview

Notes

Introduction

1. Spain and the Netherlands were also drawn into the war against Great Britain in 1779 and 1780, respectively, but unlike France, neither of those nations immediately recognized American independence. The Netherlands formally recognized American sovereignty in 1782, but the Spanish only did so after the British officially acknowledged an independent United States in the general Peace of Paris in 1783. France had recognized American independence and sovereign status upon entering the war in 1778.

2. Linda Colley illuminates the national character of the British people during this period, emphasizing Protestantism, commercial interests, internal free trade, and anti-French patriotism as the key factors binding them together. Colley, Britons, 3–6, 85–100, 177–93, 368–72.

3. The best brief overview of the early development and original meanings of the Covenant Chain is found in Jennings, “Covenant Chain.”

4. Proceedings of an Indian Conference, Detroit, December 3, 1760, in Sullivan, Flick, and Hamilton, Papers of Sir William Johnson (hereafter cited as Johnson Papers), 10:200.

5. Proceedings of an Indian Conference, Detroit, September 10, 1761, in Johnson Papers, 3 :84.

6. The expression “Pontiac's Conspiracy” originated with early students and scholars of this war, among them Francis Parkman, renowned frontier author of the nineteenth century. Modern scholars have since shown that the Ottawa leader Pontiac was but a single, local participant in a much broader movement that was years in the making prior to 1763. Furthermore, while the preparation for the conflict did entail a vast and intricate “conspiracy,” the end result was a full-scale war that ravaged the entire northern frontier eastward to the Appalachians and may have cost the lives of more than two thousand people. Dowd, War Under Heaven, 5–6; White, Middle Ground, 271–77.

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