tv Victory with No Name CSPAN January 30, 2016 4:35pm-6:01pm EST
american history tv, we hear from native american the 1791rofessor about battle for ohio territory between the u.s. army native americans. the heavy american casualties are -- and resulting in harassment -- embarrassment forced the calculation of territorial interest. the national library for the study of george washington hosted this event. it's about 90 minutes. >> it's a pleasure to welcome to speak ton gordon you tonight. he's an eminent historian at native american history. who know george washington notary significance of native americans in the man and his story. that thereficant
isn't a lot of great books on george washington and native american peoples, particularly one that bring out the full perspective of native american groups as well as they could, particularly reflecting the latest literature, which has been transformed in the last 30 years and more. professor calloway has been one of the people leading the transformation in the way that american historians have come to understand the challenge of incorporating native american history into american history. he is currently professor of history and professor of native american studies at dartmouth. fromceived his ba and phd the university of leeds, which means he is an englishman studying native american history in the 70's in england, an extraordinary story in and of itself. to the united states, he taught high school
for a few years in springfield, vermont. he served for 2 years as associate director of the center for the study for the history of american indians at the newberry library in chicago, which is ground zero for understanding native american history, an extraordinary center. at theht for seven years university of wyoming and has been associated with dartmouth .ince 1990 he is incredibly prolific. he's one of these people who is writing and writing all the time and producing so much that those of us who look enviously on at the production -- he writes brilliantly and very important pieces. treaties and treaty making in american indian history, the american indian -- the indian history of the american
institution, native americans and dartmouth, tribal people and colonial encounters in scotland , the american .evolution in indian country andscratch of a pen, 1763 the transformation of north america, one vast winter count, the native american west before lewis and clarke, and i'm going to steal colin's if he's going to make a joke about this book. count he saidr was one vast book, and it took him a long time. with a name like that, it had to be big. over a few hundred years of .erving new worlds for all, indians,
europeans and the remaking of early america, an extremely important study, and tonight he's here to talk about his latest oak, "the victory with no name, the defeat of the first american army." please welcome colin colloway. [applause] thank you,alloway: everyone. it is a pleasure to be here, my first time at mount vernon. this little book looks like a big book here. it is a side project i have been working on for some years, the indian world of george washington. as i have been doing that, i
wondered why this did not feature so much in the things i was writing about. name" is ay with no book about a battle on a single day, november 4, 1791. is normally called sinclair', was general arthur sinclair defeated by indians in .orthwestern ohio he eventually lost his whole army, which was significant at the time because this was the only army the united states had. imagine if obama lost and army. it's a strange quiet.
that is kind of what got me into that in and the fact the work i had done i had come across a lot of times and i wanted to understand more about it. i could not help but draw comparisons with custer's last stand, the battle of little big horn, where george custer in 250 fourhimself and guys with him killed at the battle of little big horn. everyone knows about that or thinks they know something about it. there have been books and movies, anheuser-busch, all types of things. it's almost an iconic, epic struggle in american history. toe, indians inflicted close 1000 casualties.
at a time when the united states could, to say the least, fought that blow. and yet, not many people have heard about it. it's an interesting thing to think about not only as a struggle involving human but asand human tragedy, an example of what we choose to remember and what we choose to forget as we construct our history. i mean all nations do this. we select the things that come to the fore and events and people that figure permanently in our history.
because it's a war against course it's a war about land, american indian policy is land policy, really. at the end of the american revolution, the treaty of paris in 1783, written not only recognize the independence of the former 13 colonies in the united states, but it also transferred to the new united states everything south of the great lakes and also florida and eastern mississippi. in many ways what the united states had, that was its resource. as england had been at the end of the french and indian war, the united states had fought a long war and it was broke.
and to build a nation, it needed offered theland potential to fill those coffers, build the infrastructure for the nation, and give direction. the united states is a nation land, and that is not pc rhetoric. that's actually just a fact. that fact is an important determinant of many things in native american history and many things in george washington's life. see, i apologize for the quality of some of my images.
i once did quite a fancy bullet point for powerpoint and one of my students stuck up his hands and said, professor, did your daughter do that for you? she's a studio art major, so she can do it. happening.u what is the united states secured independence from britain. it built a nation and build a nation moving westward. i think of george washington as a person looking in two directions, looking across the atlantic, that's the old. and then looking west into indian country. acquiring those lands is something that happens through treaty, war, negotiation, conflict. it is a constant, and it is
something i think of george washington and the secretary of war, henry knox, think about it. henry knox. it would have been redundant showing you a picture of george washington. the -- it is also difficult that he is secretary of war. indian affairs -- affairs remain in the department of war until 1949, when they are transferred to the department of the interior. i have read enough of the writings of henry knox and george washington to appreciate and acknowledge that i think these guys think seriously about how we're going to do this. nation that must and
will take indian land. we want to do that with as much justice and fairness and honor as we can do. one of the essential contradictions, dilemmas of the united states indian policy. there will be expansion, there must be expansion, but we will do that honorably. we will deal fairly with the people whose lands we are proceeding to take. i do not think this is empty hypocrisy, crocodile tears. i think they wrestled with this for a long time. the goal is to treat indians justly and fairly, and to try to develop a land policy that is systematic, orderly, not accompanied by bloodshed and mayhem if possible.
the preference is to make treaties with indians, just and by which indians would give up their land, and eventually hopefully agree to live like americans. comes, of course, when the indians say no thanks. then what do you do? then your choices are somewhat limited. but this exemplifies it. this map shows the location of the northwest territory. it is the scene for our story. colonies were set up, the
crown charters have enormous grants of land. grantrginia original extends to the pacific. nobody knew where it was. it's an interesting treaty, a treaty of land in 1774 in which the iroquois think they are giving up land on virginia upon shenandoahnt, the valley. are giving up certainly the ohio country. the end ofn becomes the revolution and the new nation formed. what will those former colonies do with those western lands? natural --his be a national resource? eventually the states leave those lands to the federal government.
does not give up on its western lands until 1802. really not the ohio river where that land can be seen as federal land. withhat are we going to do them? i culminate in the northwest ordinance of 1787. i think this is actually a brilliant document. think of what has happened. the former british colonies have revolted against the crown. that was a pretty radical thing to do, they have secured their independence. many of them had justified that, explained that, not as a radical
departure, but as natural. colonies were children of the mother country. and like all children, they grew , moreey became stronger independent, and they moved away. and that is what it happened. well, that's ok. but then what happens if some of citizens moveies, west, pick up new land, and the process begins again? hundreds of people moved to and as they grow in strength and number and become resentful of government from philadelphia or washington, they invoke the same reason. now we will siphon off and become another country.
we might've had a dozen different countries. the northwest ordinance provides the answer to that. as americans move west and create these new communities, they will not be colonies that permanent second-class status in the way the american colonies were. they will be territories. territorial status will be temporary. once the territory has 5000 people, they can form a government. it will be modeled on the state government. once the territory has 60,000 people, the territory competition to enter the union on the same equal status as the and that i think is a smart way of locking
expansion into the national in fact, making nation building and expansion goal. it was also understood or designed that this expansion would be orderly. the lands would be surveyed and measured and bounded. regions would be divided up into townships. it would be settled on a new england model. and so starting with the western border of pennsylvania, that is how they proceeded. it essentially sets up the territorial system of the united states. that through that process most states come into the union with some expansion -- some exceptions. it also explains why if you fly over the united states and you looked down, everything is in squares.
you fly over britain and looked down, and the guys who built the had just come out of the pubs, obviously. it's all over the place. this is a blueprint for national expansion. it also says in the northwest ordinance that we will deal fairly and honorably with the indian people living there. we will not invade their exceptries or wage war in just and lawful wars authorized by congress, which is obviously a phrase to think about. how often do we go to war in just, illegal wars? just about the time the arthwest ordinance is framed, group of land speculators who
call themselves the ohio company are also busy at work. this is one of them. the ohio company were a group of influential new englanders, many of them where brooke left -- revolutionary war veterans. they met in the bunch of grapes tavern in boston. i had a great line in my 6, a bunch ofat 178 new englanders met. [indiscernible] what that intended to do was raise a million dollars by telling the company and using
that money to get from congress a million and a half acres of land, which they would then turn around and sell to the sellers. -- settlers. was a moneymaking scheme, these were men of vision, and the kind of people the federal government wanted to be charge -- in charge of westward expansion. south of ohio, kentucky, that was thought to be murder and mayhem. we wanted this to be much more orderly and civilized and these were the people to do it. membersent to work with of the government. they had friends in high places, friends in government. in some cases they themselves were in government, 18th century
interestut conflict of was somewhat different than what we think there should be today. essentially what happened was that the ohio company brought over to the grant a million and a half acres. the price was to be $1 million, but they actually got more, because another company got in you can get usf 3.5 million acres and we will so that one to foreign investors. we are not talking 5 million acres. the going rate of land was supposed to be a dollar an acre, which does not seem like much. cutler and his company got a better deal and that. first they got congress to agree, surveying this will take time and money, and not all of
this land will be of equal polity. some of this will be poor land. we will make a reduction for that. we will market down to 66 cents an acre. how are the ohio company investors going to pay for this? currency,ontinental the money that congress had printed to try to fight the war that was now not worth the continental. the used government securities used government securities and they use land bounties that had often been given to revolutionary soldiers in lieu of pay. wouldhe war was over, you land in the west. many of those revolutionary soldiers have not the interest or the money they needed to move west, and so they were holding the script that was not much used to them so they turn around a fraction of its
face value, to someone who would buy it. they finished up paying about per cents or nine cents acre for this land. part of what they wanted to do was make sure that they got out there, take their claim to the land, set up their arrangement before the sellers did. they wanted to be ahead of the pioneer curve, because you did not want squatters sitting on that land, staking our own claim to it who will be difficult. tiny american army, the tiny army the united states has, those units on the ohio river in the late 1780's, actually much of what they are doing is peopleng trespassers, who have gone across the ohio river.
they are planting fields, the army is kicking them out by expelling them and burning their cabin, not so much because they are trespassing on indian land, but because they are jumping the gun. the bigger problem is these guys. the people who live there. fromis poetry of a shawnee the time of the revolution. were indigenous to the ohio region, the ohio and the kentucky region. the origin stories place them in the area. they have been there certainly before the 17th century when escalating war induced by european trade and other factors had created almost a the aspera diaspora.
into theee went down southeast and into georgia and alabama where they often created connections with indian nations like the creeks and others. they kind of reassembled into their homeland certainly by the 1740's and the 1750's. are kind of right where that border is, on the southeastern border of the northwestern territory. that is where the shawnee are. theshawnee chief spoke to british during the american revolution and sometime before that saying, we have always been in the war, we always find yourself on the cutting edge, and in the case, american
expansion. but the ohio country in which they returned was not just shawnee country and it wasn't empty. delaware's who have been pushed west had moved into the ohio country. the iroquois people from new york and the senecas and the as filtered into that area as well, and they took a new name. people from ohio were moving deeper into the territory. the miami people from indiana were moving west to east. takewas largely to advantage of the new tray that was developing in the ohio andtry because the shawnee the delaware's and other people moved west, so pennsylvania
traders followed them, which put pennsylvania trade further west and it attracted these people to the east. this ohio area is a crossroad of different indian groups who are assembling and because of this northwest ordinance, they are being targeted during this american expansion. so it is almost like it is setting it up for this conflict. and the indian people become aware of what is going on. they form confederation -- form a confederation. resistanceited about to these american goals. it is sometimes named after this individual who was a miami war chief named little turtle. and he is sometimes credited
with being the mastermind behind this indian victory. of act, he is one coalition of indian leaders if you know anything about politics and society of this time. indians don't give commands, there is no indian leadership. if they do lead, they lead by persuasion, by oratory, by example, by charisma, by reputation, things like that. when i talk about leadership in indian talk about country, you are not a leader unless you have followers. united of the different indian nations try to bring ofple around to their way
thinking in saying that this is something they have to take a stand against. they do this again across different tribes in different nations. these people don't live in isolation. these people have a long standing of working together and having kinship, but it takes work and we understand in our own time how difficult it is to maintain a coalition. even in our objective, we are perfectys incompletely agreement and in reality a coalition is difficult because different groups have their own agenda, they have their own scores, they have their own suspicions. in ohio do isople quite remarkable in its , and theyt, i think
are doing it at a time when the nature of their society is changing, too. it is a society being bombarded by disease, they are changing their composition as different contact,nto closer there is more intermarriage, the population declines because of war and disease. there is a greater degree of captive-taking where indian tribes go to war to take captives so those people could societyadopted into the through a ritual of adoption. a seneca person could become a shawnee. a british person could become a shawnee. these are very interactive time,ities and by this they are up around of the maumee river.
ever since the revolution, there has been so much warfare and rating and counter -- raiding and counter-raiding. they have pulled back into an area of safety, even though their commitment is to protect the ohio river against invaders. so how are you going to get these people to give up their land? washington says, as he looks at the situation, that hopefully this would happen inevitably. populationrican would increase and settlers would move west and they would kill the game or drive the game away so that the indian territories would be less valuable and less important to theyndian people and so
would be happy to sell off some of that land and move further west. something that doesn't necessarily have truth to it, but this is something that thomas jefferson subscribed to as well. it was a little optimistic. the government tried to implement a process of obtaining land by treating. immediately after the revolution, the united states sent commissioners into indian country who negotiated or rather dictated a string of treaties with the iroquois, the delaware, ,he miami, and with the shawnee and basically the message that they gave was, your people fought with the british and the revolution and you lost. and we undefeated people now own your land, your british allies gave us that land, and now out of the goodness of your hearts, we will allow you to live in certain pockets of that
land, but that land is ours. it was a treaty by right of conquest. there was a treaty where one of speakers said, we can't live like this, you are putting us on tiny ponds where this is not enough land to support our women and our children and we will starve. and he presented the american commissioner with a welcome belt , because that is how they conducted diplomacy. commissioners, who was george rogers clark and richard butler, who would later die in this battle, refused to belt. this one of them picked it up off of the table and threw it into the dirt on the ground.
he then crushed it with his boot. indian people were still talking about this five or six years later. this was such a sign of disrespect where a ritual where human beings reach out to one another to make peace and it was a clear message that this was a different, more aggressive power than which of the indian people were used to dealing. the indian people quickly got wise and they formed a coalition and they said it to congress and they said, we are not going to put up with that, we are not going to have the united states make treaties with individual indian tribes. if you want to have indian lands, you have to communicate with all of the indian tribes that are going to be affected by it. that is not something where any power wants to hear. i come from a nation where we have that divide and rule thing going pretty well, and you try
to divide the opposition. in trying to secure the land in the northwest territory, what the united states then does is to try to negotiate a treaty to get those multiple tribes to secessions innd the earlier treaties and they hold a meeting at a place called fort harmer which was named after a guy named josiah harmer from the american revolution, and a bunch of the indian leaders turn up and agree. but as in so many of these treaties, these are not the people speaking for the people, these are people who may be making a goal for themselves with this new power. which of course was an option, but theyategy,
were disavowed by most indian people who said they were not going to have anything to do with this. and so now the government can reconcile what it has to do with what the northwest ordinance , that it wouldo always deal honorably and fairly neverndian people and without fair and reasonable treaties. now they can say they had a fair and reasonable treaty with the indian people. the indians would have to give up the land that they are committed to defending. so now the united states has to go into war mode and they sent josiah harmer with an exposition -- expedition into indian country to make them see the errors of their ways.
and indian wars in colonial america and an early national america tend to fall into the same pattern. the french had done this, the british had done this, george , thengton had did this campaign against the iroquois in the revolution, when you launch and send an army into indian country, the objective is not usually to find indian warriors and meet them in battle. the objective is to find indian villages and indian cornfields and burn them because that was how you defeated the indians. in the 19th century on the great where people were not growing corn but hunting buffalo, you do the same thing, by destroying indian villages in winter, killing their pony herds if you can and also systematically virtually exterminating the buffalo herds because by doing that, you
render women and children hungry , and if you kill the ponies, you put the indian warriors on foot, and when winter comes, they have no choice what to come into the reservation. so that was a thinking in the 18th century, destroy the cornfields preferably in late summer or fall's of there is not another time to plant a new crop, and that is how you defeat the indians. and that is what harmer essentially does. he goes into ohio indian country, burns some villages and destroys some crops and then his army then turns around and heads home and the indian feet -- bute people have suffered he suffered at least 200 casualties. he still claims he has a victory. george washington says, i never
expected much from the moment i found out that he was a drunk. in fact, the correspondence between henry not and josiah harmar was that it had come to the president's attention that bit tooipped a little much, and they said, we trust you won't engage in any of that. was not it seems that the problem. what he was merging into was that indian coalitions led by little turtle and blue jacket were mounting a sustained resistance to this american endeavor. so then the charge falls to officer clark, a scotsman, he fought in the revolution and he married well. had been appointed to general
but he was also appointed governor of the northwest territories. he was also a shareholder in the ohio country and he owned 1000 acres or so of ohio company land. so did secretary knox after the war. men appointed to ,e in charge of this expedition who was the assistant secretary to alexander hamilton, the secretary of the treasury, he was also a friend of henry knox and they were both speculating maine,esting in lands in which was not yet maine, it was part of massachusetts. so there were a lot of developments going on here. sinclair had been the person who had negotiated the treaty at and had tried to
divide the indians against themselves and had not really been successful, and now he is given the job of getting the job done. we had one failed attempt with harmar's expedition and now the companiesny need -- need to get this done. to settleot going this when indian war parties are ready south of the ohio river, so we have to defeat them. henry knox almost consistently, i think, underestimates what he is up against. he underestimates indian resistance, thinking about 200 renegade, and he keeps thinking the right indians will come to our way of thinking. but he is underestimating not only the capacity of the indian people to mount a resistance but also the numbers against him. beginning, the -- campaignmp lane
is something of a debacle. he got an army in washington in what is now cincinnati and they went down to pittsburgh to float down the ohio river. at pittsburgh they arrived late. saddles had been transported over the mountains on the wrong side and they were in poor quality, the shoes have been falling apart after the soldiers had only been wearing them for a few days. tens don't keep the rain -- tents don't keep the rain out and the gunpowder was wet. clearly, being as american as apple pie is not new. pushing for the investment of this campaign are also to blame.
the quality of the troops is lamentable. complainedington regularly about the quality of the militia and the troops that he had in the french and indian wars and during the revolution and he had not recognized the need for a national army to do national things. there was still resistance to that so most of the people who are turning out for this , people onilitia short-term enlistment, people getting paid three dollars per month in which one dollar was the ducted for uniform and for peopleot necessarily going to face what is coming to the same level of commitment and determination as the indian people who are resisting. and in just about every way you look at it, the indians who are
going to find these guys are better prepared, better supplied, and in a better frame of mind. indian warrior so loosely you might think it was one word or even synonymous terms, and that is a stereotype that we have assigned to indian people, that they were a warrior society. by this timely they were. if you had lived through the 18th century and you were , you had lived through nothing but war. the american commissioner had tried to decide what to do with these people because they had seen nothing but war, that even so, war in indian society was not a natural state of affairs, it was regarded as an unnatural state of affairs, and abnormal thing. went to war,n young men got status, they got d's and on her, but it was
something that you prepared yourself, you prepared yourself -- the violence through young men got status, they got prepared, but it was something that you prepared yourself, you prepared yourself for the violence through ritual. they had ritual through sexual myths ofe. one of the the american frontier was to not let white women fall into the hands of the indians because they would be rate. probably not. if you had gone through a ritual to prepareabstinence yourself for war, i don't think you are going to blow that with the first white woman that falls ifo your hands, especially you take a captive and you are
going to take her home for adoption, in which case she becomes a family member and then that goes against powerful incensed taboos. indian people and white people in the indian army talk about when they were marching to meet praying,, they are they are singing, they are chanting, they are preparing themselves for the ritual of combat, and these are young men with lots of experiences as warriors. they are coming to meet an army that is not prepared why any means as far as i can see. st. clair is aware of the fact that he is hopelessly behind schedule. he is not going to make it to northwest ohio in time --, you know, by the time to burn the crops. by the time he is on his way, it is october, it is raining, it is snowing. sometimes they only make it a mile or two a day. sometimes they have fell trees to make wagons to help with supplies. he has women and children with him, camp followers, which
doesn't just mean they were prostitutes, sometimes they were wives, sometimes the officers had their sons with him. this is like a town on the move. and through it all, st. clair think the indians don't know he is coming. they can hear them bellowing in the woods even though these men are all fighting for the indians, even though horses start to disappear, even though people are killed. of coarse the indians are watching, they are monitoring his movement. on the evening of november 3, st. clair makes in the cap meant maumee he thinks is the river, but it exactly the wabash river, he doesn't know where he is. that the indians will scatter and run before he gets there to find them and kill them.
when he is talking to his officers on the evening of the third, they are standing around a campfire warming their hands and the plan is the next a, we will get up early and we will march the next however many miles it is, it was actually 44 miles from where he thinks he was going to burn indian villages, and he thinks it is much closer, we will march, we will get things done. the indian army has come to meet him and they are lying in wait waitd a half miles away -- two point five miles away for the battle that they know is going to happen in the morning. men getorning when the up, suddenly all hell breaks loose. these people are sibley engulfed by an indian attack and they run across the river and run into the american encampment. eatingare still
breakfast and wiping sleep from their eyes. the indians were doing what they were not supposed to be able to be doing. the leaders have formulated an effective that'll plan and they have got their warriors to execute that plan efficiently and effectively. they do it -- essentially what they do is an old stander, it was used against the british, au advance in the presence of crescent moon or a foreign formation and as you approach the enemy, you completely enveloped the enemy and tell it is surrounded. it happened so quickly that american officers describing it think that they were surrounded when the battle started. and then what happened is that the ill trained troops whose officers are being picked off by indians deliberately who are also picking off the gunners so that the artillery is silenced, the ill trained troops sort of a huddle together for apparent
safety and they are really just caught in a killing field, a killing pen. and when they try to dislodge indians who are firing from what thenfrom cover, happens is that it is realized it is not a european conf lict where you play by the same rules, you don't just stand ,here with a bayonet and charge where you move up and you charge for the ban at and then you go back into the ranks. this was different. on a cloak so he is not recognized as an officer and it rapidly just becomes something where people are running for their lives with the indians in pursuit. as we know, that is when in war, that is when the casualties happen. in the napoleonic wars, that is when the heavy casualties happen. ranks break and they
run, and when instinct takes over and trump the discipline that has held them in check, the natural instinct is to run to safety, but that is of course when they are most vulnerable as that is when the cavalry comes. people are not cavalry but you have the same effect. people are just hacked down, they are taken captive, and what 's armieof st. clair limps back down the route that he has come. army is that it limps back down the route that he comes. st. clair had left with an army of about 2000. desertions, sickness, that had reduced that number and the day before the battle, he has had to
send his first regiment back down the path to protect the supply train, the wagons, that were coming up from behind, not from indians, but from deserters from his own army. by the time the battle happened, he had about 1400 defected men. they were virtually obliterated. when that news reaches philadelphia, of course, there huge not only for the shocking tragedy involved, but this is the united states's own the at the time when united states is a baby. the united states is trying to establish itself as an independent nation. you have people in the western frontier who are thinking of into spanish orbit
because the spaniards controlled mississippi, and you know, if the united states can't get that sorted out, then western farmers might think they are better off with the spaniards. a man was talking to the british about joining quebec. republic whose future is anything but certain, and i think it is difficult sometimes looking back at these to recognize just how precarious it was because this is the beginning of our story. this is the beginning of the united states as we know it. but there is a certain inevitability about it. x andngton and kno jefferson, they didn't know that. jefferson said, people are talking about nothing else here in philadelphia when the news arrived. the newspapers picked it up.
people wrote poems about it. people wrote songs about it. i am usually pretty bad, i -- they are usually pretty bad, i wouldn't recommend reading them. washingtoning that wanted to avoid happened, there was a congressional investigation, the first congressional investigation in american history which -- excuse rise toich also gave the first use of executive privilege because the congressional committee investigating it began to follow the money. they recognize a problem with the supplies and the contractor fraud and of course many of them that they were tracing it up the line to alexander hamilton, who was nobody's favorite, and to knox, and the congressional
committee demand did documentation. washington huddled with his cabinet and said, what do we do? we have to hand over the documents, but the president has the right to withhold the disclosure of those documents problematicould be to the american interest. we all know what that is, but that is where it came from. the indians did it, right? cannot reversees this defeat immediately. it has to rebuild its army. but it also has to rethink how it organizes, pays for, and structures its army. it's sense about rebuilding a national army, much more professional army, under the command of general anthony
wayne, a revolutionary war again, is the person it gathered to get the job done, but in the meantime, the united states has to buy time for itself, as a washington and knox goes back to plan a, which is making treaties with indians. they sent out emissaries to other indian people saying, can we come to some kind of an agreement? how about a compromise? if not the ohio river, what about another river? but the indian militants, shall we say, who had resisted and rejected such offers before st. likely to now not say, yeah, we just destroyed your army, now we will compromise. so what the united states actually does is uses its and the indians go
to washington, they are going to go to philadelphia. dinnerve a pretty hectic with the indian delegates because the iroquois and the delaware act as the intermediaries. they are buying time so that wayne can build his army and designing to fight the indian coalition. this, coalition like having a way to defeat their objective, they have to hold together now. so there are different agendas and different ambitions coming in to play. say, well,m begin to maybe a compromise wouldn't be so bad? we are going to have to learn to live with these people somehow anyway, so maybe now is the time to do it. and so by the time anthony wayne leaves with his army to indian 1794, the 1793,
indian opposition is a fragment of what it was. it certainly doesn't have the same unity. little turtle is no longer in the same position of authority. he has kind of shifted his position. he is going to be, what the united states calls a piece chief,- a peace following the white down the road for the best route of surviving with his people. indians are preparing to meet this new american army. what are they doing in preparation for that? what they usually do is they ritually fast. and then the battle doesn't happen. and so they disperse to go hunting to feed themselves. and then the battle happens. that's when wayne advances.
that is how he timed it, not deliberately, that is how it happened. so it was a quick battle and the indians are defeated and they withlly are not defeated any kind of heavy casualties that wayne and his officers claim, by some counts, the indians actually inflict more casualties than that they suffered, but the real blow to the indians is they have been led to believe by the british that the british would be there for them. the british would supply them. the british would provide protection when they needed it. and the indians leaving the battlefield ran to a british fort that was being built and asked for shelter. is 1794.em is, this there is a worrying thing called the french revolution happening in europe and the last thing the british want to do now is get involved in another shooting war with the united states.
so the gates remained closed. the indian people, veterans of that battle, said that is what really dispirited them. what had happened on the battlefield, they could revisit that, but the betrayal by the british, again, was what really cost them. see you later. later's meet at the treaty of greenfield and a whole leaders meet at the treaty of greenfield at a whole generation of new people are there including little turtle and blue jacket and a of indian leaders from before the revolution, during the revolution, and after. they signed this treaty and give up about two thirds of what is ohio and then they keep the treaty. they keep the treaty. of them, to live
according to this new american way of life. they don't go to war again. joiner indians who don't this treaty, people like tecumseh, they will go to war at another time. the leaders of the coalition keep the treating. another thing is this interesting picture which the picks little turtle talking to in thisup of officers negotiation and here is an american officer taking notes. little turtle is speaking in miami. his language, his words, are being translated by one interpreter, right? and somebody else is taking notes on his name -- on his knee. and we will write that up and that will be the treaty and that will be the record of the meeting and we will have an authentic record of what went on there.
that is why i did a book on indian treaties once because we wanted to see the back story behind those formal documents that you've got and the way to interpret those terms must have been pretty incredible. and that opens up that territory. 5000 morehere are american people living in ohio. 1800, 45,000. 1803, 60,000 people. 1830, 938,000 people. tsunami,s up a literally, which engulfs the indian people who are living there. many people are going to be removed. those who have survived have of course found new ways of surviving and they will not be
standing toe to toe with american power. they will be developing new strategies. i want to show you the sky. this is an interesting fellow. the st. clair defeat. he fought at the victory with no name. his name is william wells. he was captured by indians as a was adopted as a miami indian. he later married little turtle's daughter. he used to work as a decoy on the ohio river. he would go to the banks of the ohio river and would yell, help. the boat would pull in to help him and then the miami warriors would jump out and chill the people and plunder the boat. -- and killed the people and plunder the boat.
he fought with the indian people and then afterwards he changes his mind and he changes his identity and he changed his allegiance. he goes back to american society and he works as an interpreter and as a scout for general anthony wayne. he is at the treaty of greenville as an interpreter and then he works as an indian agent working with his father-in-law, little turtle, who is now on board with this plan, to help the miami and other indians to live a life like white men. his story ends when the war of 1812 breakout. -- breaks out. he found himself at the garrison of fort dearborn, which is what becomes chicago. out, a smallbreaks american garrison was there and they are besieged by the local indians, pottawatomie indians
who were aligning with the british. the garrison knows that they are in an untenable position, so they are leaving the fort and trying to make their way through the indian line. william wells leads them out and he leads them out with his face traditional sort of miami indian way of preparing for death. he knows he is going to die. attack,pottawatomies they enter the garrison, they kill a lot of people, and they kill william wells and they cut out his heart and the eat it as a gesture of respect for a great enemy. his life story and a lot of what i have been talking about here is about boundary, indian and the -- indians and americans fighting over a boundary,
indians lying down their lives to protect the ohio river, and idea that the an frontier is about that. there is a sort of hard line of separating the whites and the indians, but in fact, and this is the deeper tragedy of it, the front tier is not a hard line, it is like a sponge. get people with very complicated and sometimes conflicted identities. is wells and american? american?ells an is he an indian? isis born american, and he adopted as an indian, mary's as an indian, is back to american, but when he dies, it seems like he chooses almost to die as an indian. story not this because of graphic detail but
because it is one of a story that we know well but i think represents hundreds and maybe even thousands of other stories that we don't know well. this was the kind of thing that was going on for a long time. these wars not only divided people like races with one against each other, but they divided communities and families because of generations of cultural contact where people have been making love to each each if not 10 o -- other more often than killing each other. this.ing to close with here i am a native american historian and i'm talking about war. perpetuating the stereotype of native american warriors that i always complain about. actually, this battle is something of an anomaly in that
most indian people who have fought in america's wars have fought for the united states, not against it. that might seem like a surprise because we are on such a steady diet of westerns. but on wars that are fought, indians are on both sides. had some chick walk scouts with him, but they didn't do much -- jahad some chicawah scouts with him, but they didn't do much good. the custer battle is very interesting. see crow scouts coming from custer and they go and gather the news. to first news about custer's feet is the crow indians get off of their horses and they weep and they walked back we being.
that is because they loved george custer. if you knew anything about george custer, you would be skeptical, but if you is at the battle of little bighorn site, now, it is on the crow reservation which is where it took place. this was not only an indian-white battle, this was an indian-indian battle. cheyenne had invaded crow territory and this required some to a lie with the united states. that happened all the time and in every war that the united states has fought from the revolution, indian people have been present in all parts of their population. i was giving a talk at shawnee state of your ago and this question came up, why would
indians fight for the united whens, even to this day, they are so ambivalent about the treatment that the united states has met it out to them -- has metted out to them? you will see somebody draped in an american flag on a reservation, but the question was asked by someone in the audience and it was answered by a shawnee person. it was quite simple, they said. it is still our country. it's just that the government changed. [laughter] prof. calloway: thank you. [applause] prof. calloway: i will be happy to take questions. felt, i it is being think you'll have to wait for a microphone that we will give you. >> who wants to kick it off? theld colin that we have
best audience in america in this room every month, so somebody has got to give him a hard question here. prof. calloway: or an easy question would be fine, you know. [laughter] prof. calloway: i'm sorry. >> i would like to follow up on the comments you made about the soldier who, when he died, i guess it was the indians, they ate part of his heart. and i have run into various references to a certain amount of cannibalism that existed within the indian community of my research on the war of 1812 in that area. i was wondering if you could talk about if it was prevalent in multiple indian tribes or just certain ones or what degree did it exist? yeah, yeah, it is a difficult one because you read these accounts and it is jarring. i am not sure what
dictionary definition is of cannibalism, but it is eating people, then i don't think that exist. i think what we're looking at is a ritual. this is not the donner party, right? this is ritual eating. but it is also complicated. there are well-documented cases, thei think sometimes, too, impression that we get lies in the document, so i have seen instances where indian people talk about eating, eating people. instance, in the early 18th century, it happened in two occasions. when the french go to war indians in present-day wisconsin, we usually give the french pretty good press for their relations with the indian people, what not all of them. they wanted to get rid of this
tribe because they stood in the way of extending their trade out to the sioux. and i think by definition this was a genocidal war. they were out to destroy the hawks. trappedoint, they had hundreds of these people in a village, men, women, and children. they tried to surrender and a message from on high comes down and says, no. at which point, and i remember the first time i was reading people, mothers and fathers, were handing their children over the stockade to the indians on the other side who were fighting with the french were going to be killing them. and the indians on the other side were taking their children and they would eat them. and thet meaning it was
reason why they were sending them over was his they were giving them protection and by eating them, they meant that they were taking them in as their own. so those children would be adopted and would become them and the french new enough not to mess with that. sometimes, i think it is the language that betrays a greater relevance, but i think there are clearly cases throughout wars where officers describe this in horror. my best take on this is what is happening here is that this is a ritual form of ingesting part of an enemy. with what meanings that has, i think it is beyond me. this lady here had a question. did you say what percentage of wayne's armie were regulars
-- army were regulars? prof. calloway: no, i didn't, but it was very much a regular army. he called it a legion. you had regular troops and you had men trained in indian warfare, and it is a very different kind of army. andindians recognized that they talked about that and they recognize that it was a different opposition and one of the things that comes out of this is that the idea in the united states that you could simply summon the militia when a problem happened. that gives way to the fact that we need to have a professional and i forgottance the date where congress is talking about, ok, if we are going to have an army, there has , we have to limit it to 3000 men.
washington said, ok, we will send out a message to invading nations that they can only send 3000 men. [laughter] prof. calloway: it seems almost laughable but we were at a time when the united states was also establishing its post office, it's a road systems, everything else, it is still on its training wheels as a nation pretty much. time,are running short on but i would like to ask one final question. as a founding director, i have my prerogative and -- [laughter] prof. calloway: it's totally your prerogative. [laughter] >> in this case, i would like you to give us a preview of that next, the book, that study of george washington's indian world . tell us right now about this man who cut his teeth in indian war and diplomacy and failed miserably in many places -- many
cases. sure, andoway: yeah, my reason for doing this is for getting into george washington and this is really a vehicle of most of my life and that is to get the indian story -- >> [indiscernible] [laughter] prof. calloway: is that it? indian storyt my out in a meaningful way, and george washington, if you can take an american icon and show the indian expeditions and the their life and stories, i think it is a fundamental part of it. mean, washington lives a long time. he lives for most of the 18th getury, and through him you
not only this land policy that i have been talking about, but this civilization policy for the indian people. when i first got the idea for ead a lot ofi r george washington biographies. most of what i read about george washington and the indians in ohio country when he was the young man, he followed this that was kind of it in many cases. that everyrealized time and those biographers talked about land or western land, you can just put out western and put in indian, and then the whole book was about indians. a was a surveyor, he was speculator, you know, he cut his
teeth in indian country, but he was there for a reason. and theon of the west indian land was that it would become american real estate, whether it is owned by george washington or if it is the nation's territory. that is a fundamental story. but i also think that he is obviously a complex character. he wrestles with a lot of issues and dilemmas that plague american indian policy and plague american indian people he -- what ime and have enjoyed about doing this is how much time he spends with indian people. now so far, i haven't found any byat sources written washington that are insightful and informed about indian culture and indian languages and
kinship culture or anything like that. at indianngton looks country, he sees a land, and when he looks at the people, he sees either enemies or allies. president, he had this constant stream of indian people coming to visit him in philadelphia. and i think just that, a snapshot of philadelphia in the 1790's where on almost any given day, you have an indian delegation trucking down market street or wherever it is, that is a vision we don't often have in american history, and the idea that this man sat down and smoked a cala met -- smoked a calumet pipe is not an image that we have. ofon't really have an idea an aloof washington being able to carry that off.
so i hope what i will be able to is add another ,imension to washington's life but the subversive purpose of it is to really emphasize how important indians were not just in washington's life, but also in american history, where i actually and genuinely believe that a lot of american history doesn't make sense. so many things in washington's life would not have happened the way they did had it not be for the presence of indian people or washington's presence in indian country. so that is where i am right now. that will be on my mind for a bit. douglas: we are very much looking forward to that. let's give him a ground of applause. [applause] prof. calloway: thank you. there are books for sale right outside the door and
we will make colin sign them all before he is allowed to leave, right over at this table, so look forward to that. and i look forward to seeing you all in the new year. so thank you very much for coming out and talking. prof. calloway: thank you. [applause] announcer: you are watching "american history tv." all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. to join the conversation, like us on facebook. >> des moines iowa is
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>> i want to thank the voters of iowa. >> iowa is the first. >> if i lose iowa, i will never speak to you people again. dean: yay!! on "american next a discussion on the process of reconstruction on both the national and local government. they talk about the impact of the reconstruction amendments. >>nk