Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution

Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution

by Kathleen DuVal

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Overview

Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution by Kathleen DuVal

A rising-star historian offers a significant new global perspective on the Revolutionary War with the story of the conflict as seen through the eyes of the outsiders of colonial society

Winner of the Journal of the American Revolution Book of the Year Award • Winner of the Society of the Cincinnati in the State of New Jersey History Prize • Finalist for the George Washington Book Prize


Over the last decade, award-winning historian Kathleen DuVal has revitalized the study of early America’s marginalized voices. Now, in Independence Lost, she recounts an untold story as rich and significant as that of the Founding Fathers: the history of the Revolutionary Era as experienced by slaves, American Indians, women, and British loyalists living on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

While citizens of the thirteen rebelling colonies came to blows with the British Empire over tariffs and parliamentary representation, the situation on the rest of the continent was even more fraught. In the Gulf of Mexico, Spanish forces clashed with Britain’s strained army to carve up the Gulf Coast, as both sides competed for allegiances with the powerful Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Creek nations who inhabited the region. Meanwhile, African American slaves had little control over their own lives, but some individuals found opportunities to expand their freedoms during the war.

Independence Lost reveals that individual motives counted as much as the ideals of liberty and freedom the Founders espoused: Independence had a personal as well as national meaning, and the choices made by people living outside the colonies were of critical importance to the war’s outcome. DuVal introduces us to the Mobile slave Petit Jean, who organized militias to fight the British at sea; the Chickasaw diplomat Payamataha, who worked to keep his people out of war; New Orleans merchant Oliver Pollock and his wife, Margaret O’Brien Pollock, who risked their own wealth to organize funds and garner Spanish support for the American Revolution; the half-Scottish-Creek leader Alexander McGillivray, who fought to protect indigenous interests from European imperial encroachment; the Cajun refugee Amand Broussard, who spent a lifetime in conflict with the British; and Scottish loyalists James and Isabella Bruce, whose work on behalf of the British Empire placed them in grave danger. Their lives illuminate the fateful events that took place along the Gulf of Mexico and, in the process, changed the history of North America itself.

Adding new depth and moral complexity, Kathleen DuVal reinvigorates the story of the American Revolution. Independence Lost is a bold work that fully establishes the reputation of a historian who is already regarded as one of her generation’s best.

Praise for Independence Lost

“[An] astonishing story . . . Independence Lost will knock your socks off. To read [this book] is to see that the task of recovering the entire American Revolution has barely begun.”The New York Times Book Review
 
“A richly documented and compelling account.”The Wall Street Journal
 
“A remarkable, necessary—and entirely new—book about the American Revolution.”The Daily Beast
 
“A completely new take on the American Revolution, rife with pathos, double-dealing, and intrigue.”—Elizabeth A. Fenn, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Encounters at the Heart of the World


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780812981209
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/12/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 373,020
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Kathleen DuVal teaches Early American history and American Indian history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her previous books include The Native Ground: Indians and Colonists in the Heart of the Continent, winner of the J. G. Ragsdale Book Award from the Arkansas Historical Association. She is also co-editor of Interpreting a Continent: Voices from Colonial America.


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Chapter One
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Excerpted from "Independence Lost"
by .
Copyright © 2016 Kathleen DuVal.
Excerpted by permission of Random House Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations and Maps xi

Introduction xiii

Part I The Place and Its People

Chapter 1 The Gulf Coast 5

Chapter 2 Payamataha 11

Chapter 3 Alexander McGillivray 24

Chapter 4 Oliver Pollock and Margaret O'Brien 35

Chapter 5 James Bruce and Isabella Chrystie 44

Chapter 6 Petit Jean 57

Chapter 7 Amand Broussard 65

Part II What to Do About This War?

Chapter 8 Independence in Creek and Chickasaw Countries 75

Chapter 9 To Fight for Britain? 100

Chapter 10 To Fight for Spain? 116

Part III The Revolutionary War

Chapter 11 Inspiring Loyalty 135

Chapter 12 A Wartime Borderland 160

Chapter 13 The Spanish Siege of Pensacola 188

Part IV The Paradox of Independence

Chapter 14 Nations, Colonies, Towns, and States 223

Chapter 15 Independence Gained or Lost? 270

Chapter 16 Confederacies 292

Conclusion: Republican Empires and Sovereign Dependencies 340

Acknowledgments 353

Notes 357

Index 425

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