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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
|Publisher:||Random House Publishing Group|
|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.
Read an Excerpt
Excerpted from "Independence Lost"
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
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