tv Book Discussion on Independence Lost CSPAN August 16, 2015 9:00am-9:46am EDT
the american revolution and only the officers on the american side comment the american revolution here [laughter] i teach early american history, study early american history and i thought what on earth am i going to tell cincinnati about the american revolution? in the course of the research for my first book, i came across battles of the american revolution, which took place mascot maybe they won't know so much so i decided to give a talk and turns out most of them had not even heard about these titles. i have to admit they have their happy hour before the talks was
possible the enthusiasm about attack came from scratch and bourbon. but a interpreted as excitement about this guy and decided to write a book about this part of the american revolution that very few people in very few historians know about. let me set the stage for you. i'll do a little bit of reading from the buckeye little bit of talking and will have questions than answers at the end. let me set the stage for you in pensacola 1774. pensacola was the capital of the british economy of west florida. that doesn't make any sense. actually you should be thinking. in 1774, west florida governor peter chester opened a letter from an l.a. galaxy of calling themselves in general congress of deputies in the economist of
new hampshire, massachusetts, rhode island, new jersey, pennsylvania, lower counties in the delaware, maryland, virginia, north carolina and south carolina. it asserted them rapidly violent and unjust may conduct of the british administration against the colonies that each colony must resign if valve to loosen the tension constitutional liberty or join the opposition. these men helped west florida and the other british colonies in north america would join. they're not just 13 british american colonies from nova scotia to jamaica at the actual count was twice that. people across the british colonies would decide how to respond to the protest and later to the war and the independence movement it would become. local people decide whether or not sure if they'll come in their adversaries try to recruit others. allegiances complicated thought of tattoo simple national loyalty familial or community
ties trumped more abstract identity and patient depending on who promised that is likely to win. as the spanish and french came to watch europe they hope to an proved disastrous for their british rivals endured reverse gains from the dream of seven years war a few years earlier. most people in the gulf coast remain focused on local matters. governor chester shoved the letter in his pocket and did not tell anyone about it. americans don't know about the war in the gulf coast because it was fought between british on the one side but not columnist on the other good against spanish on the other side. west florida decided not to rebel in part because chester had the ladder and they have for
them to stay in the empire that jeffrey bell and missile benefits for missile benefits from empire, security, prosperity market they seem not worth risking in a war they might lose. joining them were foreign imperial notice most of us know about the french being on the side. even more than a friend this spanish tried to expand their own colonies in north america. the spanish empire was latin america today but also western new mexico and california. the american revolution provided the spanish it's an opportunity to take some british colonies east of the mississippi for themselves.
thousands of spanish soldiers and sailors fought in battles along the gulf coast but i became most interested in the people who lived there before the war who made different choices during the war when it came to their homeland and what happened to them after the war. europeans and native americans and nations and africans both free and slave. within a few decades the place, the gulf coast from new orleans to pensacola would become part of the united states but that is not a feature anyone who lived there during the american revolution imagined. the complicated story has a lot going on. one of the things i decided to do was follow a different people through the whole book from the beginning of the war to what happened to them after the war. let me introduce you to a few of them. one of them was a man named him on restart who was an acadian.
his family lived in french canada around the time of the seven years for they were expelled by the british in the british took over their homeland of acadia and renamed nova scotia. ahmad and his family were expelled from acadia common acadian refugees and his family was lucky enough to get to louisiana and get protection from the french who were on their way out because the spanish took over new orleans at the end of the war but the spanish also provided or starts family with land and a place in there and hire. so let me take you to him. he doesn't know yet and others around the french the refinance don't know yet spain has to square war on britain. the sun had not yet risen just
south of the river in spanish louisiana. they can provide child and the cypress trees rose out of the early morning mist. although the air was muggy on september 1779 the temperature was bearable if one stayed out of the sun. students are run by brothers and cousins brigadier general -- it was a big crowd. more than 1300 armed men. 600 militiamen included french-speaking louisiana, both acadian flight were soured and those who settled in earlier decades with louisiana was french. the militia men were british refugees who had left west florida after the lower mississippi have revealed the inability to protect them and 80 members of the new orleans free black galicia where they are serving in segregated units led by their own officers. there were five under regular spanish troops plus 20 like calvary. they were joined by 160
alabamans and other indians that the lower mississippi. seven americans including oliver pollock marched under battle flag probably stars and stripes. they spent the previous week's assembly crowd to recognize the united states as an independent country and britain might retaliate under spanish louisiana. still it seemed strangely large gatherings to make a defensive tour of southern louisiana. once gatherers became his feet to the troops, they listen to a friendship edition of the other interpreters heard to keep up with english, good news was startling. spanish had not simply recognized independence of the united states declared war on britain and expected the people of louisiana to do their part loudest among the other acadians. they could the horrors
imprisoning them and driving them from acadia into exile in louisiana where they build new lives at the probation of french and spanish governors. the slaves, free blacks in refugees that their hopes for independence and prosperity of main spanish rule, not british but like the minutemen have conquered massachusetts to the 90s, they fought not for abstract principles by to protect local political and economic independence which they now saw threatened by the british. these are the spanish or british could or british to come him loyalty when asked to risk their lives into the scarce resources. the war between spain and britain have bought right into the gulf coast to recruit allies to persuade the imperial hierarchy to develop military resources to the new front-end can then colonize that their interest lay in an empire that protect and provided for them.
which side would persuade the people to mississippi gulf coast to best protect local independent and prosperity brought by global economic -- whoever could do that would win the war. there's people who needed to be persuaded. the british and the spanish both began working to pull those people in and the biggest group of potential fighters for either side were american indian. they are canadians greatly outnumbered the spanish and french and slightly outnumbered british columnist and west florida. one of the other people i follows alexander mcgillivray and his father was a scottish merchant that his mother was creek. the creek indians considered him fully creek as well. throughout the creek country as a boy he mounted his father to charleston and learned how to read and write which makes it a
great subject for an historian. in 1776 his father fled georgia. his father rented a e-mail loyalist and his father and sister fled to the mother's home. he found himself wanting to work within the creeks to get involved in this war to be an important person to do is pretty young and learning the ropes as the war began. as the council of fashion and spring 1777 and alexander walked to the public square and entered one of account the cabins were in the standard greek garb of a bright red turban, the white english blue leggings in deerskin boots found a seat amid the growing crowd. two aldermen in ceremonial dress and are slowly singing softly and carrying comp shells and boards. the vessels are filled with black drinks and noxious liquid made by seeking a holly plant in
water. likely to induce nausea and vomiting, black drinks symbolize renewal and the church council participants had their heads clear from alcohol are having meals. when they turn to drink in the lukewarm liquid was better on that song but it would not do to show when he discussed. as the speeches began in his head begins then he took a pass from a sheer pipe and work to follow what the men were saying. there is a lot to talk about in 1777. and it's between appalachian mountains helped that they would put the colonists back in their place literally. the rubble should return to be loyal british subjects and obey their empires proclamation in 1763 which ordered them to stick out of indian country. get hoping for the british empire success in sending wants people to fight and die quite different matters. as alexander mcgillivray they did not agree fighting for the
reddish was their best have very mcgillivray among the chickasaw's hussein himself deep in debate over these questions as the war spread far beyond boston. after spain declared war, the spanish troops attacked baton rouge and mobile and one battles there and defeated the british and in 17 attacked pensacola. let me take you back to pensacola seven years after governor chester but the letter in his pocket. you're a focus on two other characters that i follow. isabella and james burns. they were migrants from scotland who came to seek their fortune in british west florida. they like most westward and suppose the stamp act but didn't follow those protests into war and independence the way the 13 colonies did. this is going to come from the
introduction syllable circled back to sum of my books main point with the last piece i will grade. country and read. in the early morning hours of march 917 and 1, sailors at the mouth of pensacola bay spotted a fleet heading straight for them. one sailor straining to see the flag over the lead ship hoping to see the red white and blue and started to look i recognize the red and gold stripes of spanish king carlos the third naval flag. the british buyers have been shot is thunderous sound when the people of pensacola of imminent invasion. sailors are not surprised at the spanish invasion. and suppose the capital of british west florida and the last line of defense the entire colony. sailors only hope spanish would not arrive before we were smitten. by invading west florida, is baden was taken advantage of the
rebellion eastward among the gulf of mexico. for britain not offensive on two fronts the prospect of spanish expansion raised the stakes of the war. when james burstyn number of the majesty council for west florida in west florida and his wife isabella heard the cannon fire and saw the smoke rise from the extinguish fire in the white house to signal the arrival they gathered their children and a few belongings. with pensacola's government officials and several hundred european african women and children they rushed into the towns made forward. their fortunes lay with the british empire at the spanish are rebels prevailed they were likely to capital after and capture them and send them into exile or worse. every july 4th american celebrate independence the revolution created a political separation for the creation of the united states of america. on such occasions they might imagine independence would be universal in uniform the 18th
century. as historian james and his developers who provide the revolutionary or more was not fought solely for the united states. the war did not bring freedom to those who became part of the new republic. some people fought hard against her in the new nation that thomas jefferson called the only monument of human rights and of human rights in a salt deposition of freedom and of government. stories of competing colonial groups, strong native confederacies and nations and overlapping systems of slavery revealed anglo-american nation that rose from the revolution was not inevitable. the most powerful empire in the world and creation of a lasting republic were highly unlikely outcomes. scholarships and popular memories of long pretrip late 18th century spaniards and indians as people out of time. indian living in ways incompatible with agrarianism
sitcom. both were incapable of change destined to be overrun by settlers from united states. they have ambitions reasonable at the time and came close to realizing their goals that if achieved what is find a different nation and more likely multiple sovereignty. despite alexander michaela grey's best efforts, creeks and chickasaw did not come in large numbers to help the british. the result of the battle were quite important for the rest of the war. as soon as the british surrender west florida come the spanish and french fleet that was their failed to the west indies to salem north bend blockade yorktown allowing the continental army to win at yorktown and persuading the british to cut their losses to try not to lose any more colonies with florida they haven't even rebelled and to
grant the united states independence. david is a deliberate or exiled. creeks and chickasaw's and other indians of the southeast assumed that continued their power, continued control over the land with huge numbers of american settlers came onto their land and cotton temptations fred weston created a different future from what the people of the gulf coast had imagined. i will stop there and take questions people have them. i think james is going to go around with a microphone. [applause] >> i don't really have a
question -- [inaudible] i was born and raised in mobile and i went to public schools are they follow alabama history in the history covered in your book was not included. [inaudible] [inaudible] can i ask when alabama history started in 1860? >> they did cover a brief colonial period. they covered 41776. for example, you mentioned the a battle at mobile. >> very big battle. >> they covered the french
settlers. you mentioned alexander mcgillivray. i do believe we talked about 10 and relation -- >> after he was dead. his nephews were involved here. >> i don't remember there being revolutionary war battles. >> it doesn't seem like conspiracy is not a terrible history that has to be hidden. it is really just forgotten. [inaudible] >> surely you didn't go through the man's claiming.
he loves this. the dry cleaner saying there's something in your pocket. it's best to work with historical record when we find someone that intrigued us [inaudible] [inaudible] >> the particular question was about how do i know he put that letter in his pocket. the latter is written by congress as they have in the congressional record area easy to find are the contemporary copies, not photocopies, but some of, but someone there wrote down what it was. the tax i have from that. i know he put it in his pocket
because he was accused later of having hidden it. historians has a fine line between fiction and the pocket is a bit of embroidery. but he definitely kept it a secret. >> is just a matter of how you find people when you're doing the research. i'm sure there are other characters that would have love to have covered -- [inaudible] >> the question is what struck me about the particular eight carrots russo used beard one of them i knew from the beginning. standing in 18 century american indian who wrote letters, it's possible there's only one in the southeast. there are many, many speeches written down in conversations between american indians and people writing them down.
but i have actual letters that he was an easy choice. others came over the course of digging in the archives. one of my characters is a man named for keyshawn who was enslaved in mobile and he first appeared to me in almost a civilian archive and course on its back and forth between spanish officers because it was working at the courier and a spy for them on the gulf coast. i started reading this reference is keeping track in one of them refers to them as being enslaved. i'll keep my eye out for him because that would be amazing. they played people appear mostly with many exceptions, but most appear in the archives as numbers come in baby, maybe ages, but very little about who they were as human beings. i managed to find another record later in his life.
one character i wanted to have and couldn't find was a woman in pensacola or they are holed up in a talk about the indians. choctaw men are there fighting. they are talking about women and children in the ford and because i'm in a burger in historian all they really needed was the name. if i could find the name of one shot how woman i could make a story using things i know about choctaw history and women at the time. but i couldn't even find the name of a male relative of a woman, a man fighting their who i knew had a wife or daughter or sister there. i had to give that one up. >> publicly not an easy answer
to this question. [inaudible] >> they were all forced last, not the trail of tears, but their version all in the 1820s and 30s. some remain small tribes that are left in the choctaws and creeks where they came from. most of them moved to oklahoma and their descendents are everywhere in the united states today. when i was deciding where to add the spoken top building, i purposely stopped before all that happened and chickasaw's and creeks and choctaws still think the 19 centuries when they live out in the same place. what happens is to the great surprise of almost everyone, the
united states survived and thrived and spread lies and take over the land. in a way that is different if you look on a map, french colonies in spanish colonies aren't colonized on the ground. that usually meant it posed in a few soldiers and maybe plantations around the pose that the huge lands were claimed as colonies in indian country. [inaudible] >> there are. there are many, many individual counterexamples. the white americans developed a
pretty different view of race basically for one other europeans had. first the spanish were mighty hierarchical. it was in no way an egalitarian but intermarriage among the lower source of europeans and american indians wasn't as big a deal. quite a bit of intermarriage between the french and native americans. indian people are almost all matrilineal. children we may consider today could be half white and half choctaw. some of them just don't appear in historical record as being european or white american because they were indian and part of their tribe. >> you mentioned at the end of the spanish on the french were
white. [inaudible] were they working to gather as a unit and how far up the coast -- [inaudible] >> so the french and spanish actually work for a brief time working loosely together. even attempted an invasion of britain itself during the war. [laughter] but it could've happened and things would've gone differently. the french are involved all the way up to rhode island mostly i see. the spanish almost all of their actions aside from the gulf coast and north america were in the west indies said the spanish and the french took quite a few different islands that in fact were on the verge of an aging
jamaica when britain agreed to peace. losing massachusetts not that big of a deal, but jamaica is a big deal. actually a moneymaking colony. there's also battles in india and central america. the revolution was a global war sparked by the rebellion. [inaudible] >> i do have two women i wrote about here one once and for both brewster was a scottish woman and one of the things i find about her and both the female characters i followed were both european. they make very few choices about war, independents, where they live. their choices are shaped by the
men in their lives and whatever the daily livestock, the big choices are not there. margaret o'brien who is an irish immigrant who married oliver pollock a protestant irish emigrant in louisiana. talking about sources and how i came across carrots yours has she particularly came to my view because after oliver pollock both went huge amounts of money to the american cause at one point he had to go to philadelphia to get his money paid back because they had no way of raising money and paid him back. he took off in a ship for philadelphia and left her in new orleans and she died in two in letterwriting spy with the governor of new orleans and have this letter she wrote to him
asking i guess her house had been because they apply so much money, oliver pollock ended up selling their house. they had lived there at the time by the man who bought the house. this kind of an elite new orleans woman. and she writes in about this. i'm sorry i can't do anything about it. and tell something about race and class. his slaves are being insolent to me and my slaves. and he writes back and says women are not supposed to write to governors and you must not raid me anymore. she writes one more time. no more back and forth after
that. i'm a mac >> that's a good question. my dad is an english professor so i knew it wasn't going to be god. i guess stories have always had really interesting to me. i work in politics for a little bit after college and it just seemed so scary and horrible that i went running back to the archive. i have to come up with a better answer for that. i'm not completely. i do love it. >> i hated history most of my life. [inaudible]
>> the good manners the first day of classes i'm not going to make you memorize dates. guess he needs another stamp act happens before the battle of lexington and concorde. i want you to know that. but it's about stories. it's about why people did the things they do but let us where we are today. >> i think i can speak loudly enough. you tell the stories that these indians who presumably raised in the height of the spanish are subject to the spanish empire. i [inaudible] and what kind of sovereignty they have.
>> i wish i had it behind me. many come in many maps of this. if you look at the biggest letters on the map, it's louisiana and west florida and virginia. they are colony names. if you look a little further, get on the microphone, one font smaller, even little tribes. i call it layered sovereignty. it actually is perfectly fine with the spanish are british and higher to claim a place announced that other europeans recognize belonging to the empire. it is on the ground. indians are who live there and they are your allies and everything can be fine.
they hope eventually to populate places of europeans or the french sometimes get the idea everyone will intermarry and allow the everybody should be french. [laughter] when the trouble comes is in your allies is supposed to be fighting for you and you are subject to the spanish crowd. we have our foreign policy is. we rented out to you this bothers you can just go home if you don't like the way we run things here. often that is the way things work they europeans are having to funnel a lot of good to keep them sane yeah, sure, this belongs to the spanish empire.
there's a big effort not that many people know about that the creeks particularly but also other indian tribes and spanish work together an award in georgia. they weren't sure they are really supposed to be at war with the united states. >> i was just curious -- [inaudible] >> west florida they didn't want to. it's not covered on the news
that another random law. they sent a couple other letters. but it takes forever and it's kind of amazing they got south carolina to join. if you're listening closely to what didn't include georgia but georgia had decided they were going to join or not. [inaudible] >> said they did. they sent emissaries. ben franklin, john jay volunteered to go to europe. the volunteers they got to go to west florida for top-tier dip the mats. one guy comes then instead of being a negotiator who's supposed to be he starts raiding plantations. he is there to talk to the
[inaudible] >> so what you have on your side and asking that question is the numbers of americans. the american population, the united states population was going to double every revolution and at some point in the 19th century does numbers may be the single biggest answer for why things go the way they go. the second reason was napoleon and napoleon really takes europe's eye off of north america. if napoleon had come to power, the french revolution had done differently, things would've been different in terms of power and who is interested in north america. and the louisiana purchase was a
strange thing because it leapfrogs over all the places i'm talking about as new orleans and also the crazy path last without the florida is in between. at the end of the revolution is a map of what's being thought of one of the american revolution. it's not everything west of the mississippi which authority claimed that everything between the mississippi river in the appalachian in the panhandle of florida and the coast of florida up to the great lakes. some of these lands are land the british and french fought over that pontiac thought about. it is unlikely part of the empire. the spanish and indian were not
foolish and thinking they would continue to be powers on the continent. you have what actually happened on your side. anybody else? >> you see any parallels between this area and what happens later in the same area? >> i am the war of 1812 and another attack on pensacola which energex that and by 1812 there's two sides of that back to the previous question. i'm the one hand the british and spanish are very much they are. after it's to build a stronger
>> and now, former chief is to have trained six discusses george w. bush president in his cloak "the quiet man: the indispensable presidency of george h.w. "the quiet man" both foreign and domestic pilots including leadership during collapse of the soviet union and fall of the berlin wall and passing the native americans with disabilities act. [inaudible] >> good afternoon ladies and gentlemen and welcome to houston's bookstore. it's a beautiful afternoon. thank you for coming endorsed a span of a fast. today we are pleased to welcome back to new hampshire surfer subtle terms