Indian Stream Republic: Settling a New England Frontier, 1785-1842

Overview

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, while governments, politicians, and entrepreneurs argued about the boundary between northern New England and British Canada, a group of hardy individuals were otherwise occupied, carving a life in the wooded frontier that would come to be known as Indian Stream. The Treaty of Paris ending the American Revolution set the US boundary at "the northwesternmost head of the Connecticut River," but with three streams feeding into that head, ...

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1997 Hardcover Very Good No dust jacket. Prev. owner's bookplate inside book. Pages remain clean and unmarked (no underlining or highlighting); binding, square and tight.

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Overview

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, while governments, politicians, and entrepreneurs argued about the boundary between northern New England and British Canada, a group of hardy individuals were otherwise occupied, carving a life in the wooded frontier that would come to be known as Indian Stream. The Treaty of Paris ending the American Revolution set the US boundary at "the northwesternmost head of the Connecticut River," but with three streams feeding into that head, conflict was inevitable.

For nearly 60 years residents of this wild northern outpost were caught in a dispute that ren-dered both land titles and international boundaries uncertain. As squabbling increased among the US, Canada, New Hampshire legislators, and two companies claiming land rights, the settlers decided to take matters into their own hands. In 1832, they declared themselves the independent Indian Stream Republic, establishing a constitution, a bicameral legislature, courts, laws, and a militia. But New Hampshire and Canada were not impressed. The state tried to enforce its laws, the jurisdictional battle escalated, the Indian Stream militia "invaded" Canada, and blood"though only a trickle — was shed.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Doan, who died in 1993, wrote 50 Hikes in New Hampshire's White Mountains and 50 More Hikes in New Hampshire (1973 and 1978, both still in print), plus two novels published in the 1950s. This study of a backwoods community on the Canadian border, written from 1965 to 1967, depicts an era of uncertain international boundaries, loose law enforcement, rampant land speculation and public and private events lubricated with whiskey and rum. In 1796, the Native American chief, King Phillip, placed his mark on a paper deeding his land to three New Hampshire wheeler-dealers. Debtors, adventurers, farmers and woodsmen moved in, and in 1832, the inhabitants proclaimed their settlement the Indian Stream Republic, with a constitution guaranteeing the right to religious freedom, life, liberty, property and happiness. Cruel and unusual punishment was banned, and the "necessities of life" (including books) were exempt from attachment for nonpayment of taxes. The republic's golden age ended in 1835, when the state of New Hampshire sent in the militia, and in 1840 the territory was incorporated as the town of Pittsburg, N.H. Scholars will appreciate the abundant specifics about laws, taxation, land use, terrain and material conditions of life, but a stronger theoretical framework would have made the narrative more compelling. For the casual reader, the sheer density of proper names per square inch makes this hike an uphill slog. (Jan.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780874517675
  • Publisher: University Press of New England
  • Publication date: 1/1/1997
  • Series: Library of New England
  • Pages: 287
  • Product dimensions: 6.21 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 1.08 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel Doan, whose books about the White Mountains are premier guides, combines a woodsman's perceptions, a naturalist's eye, and a novelist's craft into a lyrical tale of settlers whose attempt at an impossible independence comes dangerously close to precipitating war between two nations.

Jere R. Daniell is Professor of History at Dartmouth College and author of Colonial New Hampshire (1981) and Experiment in Republicanism: New Hampshire Politics and the American Revolution, 1741 - 1794 (1970).

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Chronology
1 Fair Free Land Nearby, 1785 1
2 The Moose, 1789 6
3 King Philip, Indian Chief, 1796 8
4 Two Land Companies, 1798 12
5 Proprietors of Philip's Grant: The Eastman Company, 1799 15
6 The Face of the Land, 1797-1803 19
7 The Shape of Things to Come, 1804-1811 25
8 Enter John Haynes, 1811 30
9 Ebenezer Fletcher Finds a Mill Privilege, 1811 37
10 Captain Bedel Goes to War, 1812 42
11 Postwar Pursuits and Events, 1815-1819 49
12 Boundary Conftision, 1783-1817 58
13 The Eastman Company Comes to Life, 1819 66
14 Rum and Tea at Fletcher's Mills, 1819 74
15 Colonel Bedel Looks North, 1820 79
16 Jonathan Eastman's Serious Task, 1820 84
17 Moody Bedel in the Lake Settlement, 1820 91
18 New Hampshire Jurisdiction at Indian Stream, 1820 95
19 Moody Bedel, 1820-1823 101
20 Enter Luther Parker, 1819-1828 110
21 The Committee of Safety Petitions the Legislature, 1829 123
22 The Claims of 1829 131
23 Jonathan Listman Learns about the Committee of Safety, 1829 135
24 The Legislature Hesitates, 1819-1830 140
25 John Haynes: Register of Deeds, 1831 148
26 Luther Parker Writes to the Secretary of the Treasury, 1832 154
27 A Constitution for Indian Stream, 1832 163
28 A Brief Golden Age, 1832-1834 172
29 New Hampshire Moves on Indian Stream, 1834-1835 185
30 New Hampshire Defines Its Claim, 1835 194
31 Luther Parker Arrested, June 1835 197
32 Invasion Threatens Indian Stream, July 1835 203
33 Canadian Jurisdiction? August through October 1835 208
34 Canadians Arrest a New Hampshire Sheriff, October 1835 215
35 Bloodshed in Hereford, October 1835 222
36 Canadian Magistrate a Prisoner in Vermont, October 1835 230
37 The Occupation of Indian Stream, November 1835 234
38 Solutions, May 1836 through June 1850 248
Afterword 257
Bibliography 261
Supplementary Bibliography 267
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