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Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Revolutionary War and Native Americans

The Revolutionary War and Native Americans

General Lachlan McIntoshDuring the Revolutionary War, the British convinced the tribes in the northern colonies to attack and kill white settlers. The British wore the red uniform; therefore, enemies of that uniform were easily spotted. Some Cherokees warriors, frustrated by losing land to whites, defied the authority of older chiefs and attacked frontier settlements, but were soundly defeated by expeditions of the militia from Virginia, Georgia and the Carolinas. However, in the Northern colonies, the New England Indians volunteered as minutemen for the patriots before the fighting began and joined the Army of George Washington at the siege of Boston, thereafter serving in New York, New Jersey, and Canada. The Mohawk Indians, led by Joseph Brant split the confederacy by fighting for the British troops and were eventually joined by the Cayugas, Onondagas and Senecas. The Presbyterian missionary, Samuel Kirkland, was persuasive in convincing the Oneidas and Tuscaroras to side with the Americans. Ultimately, the American Revolution became a civil war for the Iroquois, as Oneidas clashed with Senecas at the Battle of Oriskany in 1777. Two years later, General John Sullivan burned forty Iroquois towns and crops. I have often wondered about this persuasion of the British having convinced Native Americans to fight. 

The Scots. But like the Scots, who supported the Stuart kings against England and later fled to America, most of them fought on the side of the British. Especially in Moore County, North Carolina where the Scots had acquired large land grants. The settlers in North Carolina and Georgia knew the identify of those who sided with the British. They lived amongst them. The same drama existed in Savannah and Darien where an under-current of disapproval and resentment which existed in the Georgia politics, especially among Button Gwinnett and the Scottish General Lachlan McIntosh. In the end, Gwinnett challenged McIntosh to a duel, and died three days later. But even though the General had earned many accolades, certain of his family members were listed as traitors. 

A list of confiscated estates is available to members of Georgia Pioneers  You will find that certain Scottish names were linked with those of Native Americans. That is because of marriages which resulted in the Scots who became tribal. Meanwhile, the Loyalists (on the traitor's list) evacuated into Florida, Nova Scotia and Barbados where some of them owned plantations. There are records kept in Barbados which can be researched.

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