A Simplified History- Part 2
Native Americans had to choose sides in international European conflicts that bled over into the colonies. Native American leaders were like any men of the time. They had aptly maneuvered European Politics throughout the 18th century. The Native American Nations continually struggled against colonial expansion, and found new ways to survive despite the world powers that slowly and callously took from them.
Leading up to the Revolution, Western Pennsylvania was a borderlands and hunting grounds for the Iroquois Confederacy, the Shawnee, the Delaware and Mingos among others. In the states to the south there were the Cherokee and Creeks, who took the side of the British. To the North were the homelands of the Iroquois Nation a very powerful alliance of 6 Nations . During the War for Independence, the Mohawk (Kanienkehaka) Chief known as Joseph Brandt (Thayendanegea) convinced 4 of the 6 nations to take the side of the English. For the first time ever the Iroquois Nations were split and fought against themselves. The 4 Nations played a vital role for the British in the war in western NY and western PA. British leaders planned strategic Tory and Native raids throughout the region. Many other alliances with Native Americans were made by the British.
Washington, having fought along side the Iroquois in the French and Indian War, knew the power of a Native alliance. He wanted to weaken them as much as possible. He showed no mercy to the Native American Nations who had sided with the British, ordering the Army in any region the natives were in to not only engage the warriors in battle but to invade their ancestral homelands and burn all villages and crops. This was compounded by economic based land speculation issues that had been plaguing the region. The western war was a brutal, setting. They were a glimpse at the atrocities to come that plague Native American History in the United States.