Restoring the Chain of Friendship: British Policy and the Indians of the Great Lakes, 1783-1815

Overview

During the American Revolution, the British enjoyed a unified alliance with their Native allies in the Great Lakes region of North America. By the War of 1812, however, that “chain of friendship” had devolved into smaller, more local alliances. To understand how and why this pivotal shift occurred, Restoring the Chain of Friendship examines British and Native relations in the Great Lakes region between the end of the American Revolution and the end of the War of 1812.

Timothy D....

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Overview

During the American Revolution, the British enjoyed a unified alliance with their Native allies in the Great Lakes region of North America. By the War of 1812, however, that “chain of friendship” had devolved into smaller, more local alliances. To understand how and why this pivotal shift occurred, Restoring the Chain of Friendship examines British and Native relations in the Great Lakes region between the end of the American Revolution and the end of the War of 1812.

Timothy D. Willig traces the developments in British-Native interaction and diplomacy in the three regions served by the agencies of Fort St. Joseph, Fort Amherstburg, and Fort George respectively. During the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the Native peoples in each area developed unique relationships with the British. Relations in these regions were affected by such factors as the local success of the fur trade, Native relations with the United States, geography, the influence of British-Indian agents, intertribal relations, Native acculturation or cultural revitalization, and constitutional issues of Native sovereignty and legal statuses. Assessing the wide variety of factors that influenced relations in each of these areas, Willig determines that it was nearly impossible for Britain to establish a single Indian policy for its North American borderlands, and it was thus forced to adapt to conditions and circumstances particular to each region.

 

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Editorial Reviews

Journal of American History - John P. Bowes

"Restoring the Chain of Friendship does an admirable job of exploring the complications of British policy, and it does an even greater service for the field by explaining how native opinions and actions contributed to those complications."—John P. Bowes, Journal of American History
Northwest Ohio History - Sandy Antal

"Timothy D. Willig has made a major contribution to the field. . . . With the bicentennial of the War of 1812 not far off, it will be of special interest to those seeking to make sense of the varied native responses to that enigmatic conflict."—Sandy Antal, Northwest Ohio History
Michigan Historical Review - Kiara M. Vigil

"Willig's analyses of Indian and British relations "on the ground" are persuasively connected to a history of policy development and implementation because he is able to incorporate a great deal of Native perspective."—Kiara M. Vigil, Michigan Historical Review
Journal of American History
"Restoring the Chain of Friendship does an admirable job of exploring the complications of British policy, and it does an even greater service for the field by explaining how native opinions and actions contributed to those complications."

— John P. Bowes, Journal of American History

Northwest Ohio History
"Timothy D. Willig has made a major contribution to the field. . . . With the bicentennial of the War of 1812 not far off, it will be of special interest to those seeking to make sense of the varied native responses to that enigmatic conflict."

— Sandy Antal, Northwest Ohio History

Michigan Historical Review

"Willig''s analyses of Indian and British relations "on the ground" are persuasively connected to a history of policy development and implementation because he is able to incorporate a great deal of Native perspective."—Kiara M. Vigil, Michigan Historical Review

— Kiara M. Vigil

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803298934
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2014
  • Pages: 390
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Timothy D. Willig is an assistant professor of history at Indiana University South Bend.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations     viii
List of Maps     viii
Acknowledgments     ix
Introduction: The Chain of Friendship in the Colonial Past     1
The Quest for a Just Peace, 1783-95     11
A New Diplomacy at Amherstburg, 1796-1803     59
British-Indian Relations in the North, 1796-1802     91
A New Society on the Grand River, 1784-1801     123
John Norton and the Continuing Struggle at the Grand River, 1801-12     161
Restoring the Chain of Friendship in the West and in the North, 1801-12     197
Epilogue: Reassessing the Chain of Friendship, 1812 and Beyond     243
Notes     273
Bibliography     339
Index     357

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2008

    A Historical Triumph

    Thorough and well-written, Willig approaches areas of the subject matter other authors have yet to address. Exceptional research and unbiased presentation of Native Americans and their British counterparts, essential to any to any Native American History class or collection.

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