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(5,125 posts)
Thu Feb 23, 2023, 02:11 PM Feb 2023

How many here knew that George Washington ordered slaughter of Indians during Revolutionary War?

Last edited Thu Feb 23, 2023, 02:57 PM - Edit history (1)

I get that he might have had to fight and kill any that sided with the British, because war is war.

BUT what I never knew is that he raised the villages of those tribes that had sided WITH US as well.

Started with a Politics Girl interview with Matthew Cooke.

I objected to him exaggerating about George Washington being a murderer with the teeth of dead slaves in his mouth.

Well, by putting that in one sentence, it implied that George had slaves murdered so he could have dentures. THAT has never, ever been put forth, though slaves having to give over teeth because they didn't have the right to refuse... BAD ENOUGH.

I wrote to MeidasTouch because that is how I was subscribed to Politics Girl. And I found Matthew Cooke on FB and messaged him too.

Props to the guy. He replied within 30 minutes.

So now I know more, thought I'd share.


Secondary Sources confirm it happened.


MY QUESTION is how much of it was Washington's idea/plan/goal and how much of it was the Continental Congress?

Year of the Hangman: George Washington's Campaign Against the Iroquois
By Glenn F. Williams 2005

The Indian World of George Washington: The First President, the First Americans, and the Birth of the Nation
By Colin G. Calloway 2018

35 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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How many here knew that George Washington ordered slaughter of Indians during Revolutionary War? (Original Post) TigressDem Feb 2023 OP
Whether you call the founding fathers "pragmatic" or unbelievably "ruthless" hlthe2b Feb 2023 #1
True. TigressDem Feb 2023 #3
What he said is true. I have known about this wnylib Feb 2023 #30
I had heard about the teeth cruelty, but I didn't know that... brush Feb 2023 #2
CORRECTION: Washington did NOT kill anyone for his dentures. TigressDem Feb 2023 #4
It was made very clear in my elementary school history book that his teeth were made from wood. Earth-shine Feb 2023 #20
They probably looked wooden due to stains. TigressDem Feb 2023 #22
Dentures not acquired by murder, the murder was wiping out entire tribes... brush Feb 2023 #26
YES TigressDem Feb 2023 #28
Excellent. I particularlly like and agree with the graph below. brush Feb 2023 #35
It traces back to the French and Indian War Sympthsical Feb 2023 #5
For some reason, I didn't think of the Indigenous being involved in Revolutionary War. TigressDem Feb 2023 #6
Washington would've been 57 as President Sympthsical Feb 2023 #7
I was reading about French Indian war.... my mistake. I read he was 24 when it was over. TigressDem Feb 2023 #9
Trying to "cliff notes" my lost area of learning, hit the speed bump and lost my place. TigressDem Feb 2023 #10
I think you're just about there with your understanding Sympthsical Feb 2023 #11
What I have read about Indigenous Peoples shows they were allied with each other to a point. TigressDem Feb 2023 #14
I tried to find something short for you that would be encompassing Sympthsical Feb 2023 #17
Some study into reparations led me to Sarah Augustine - and the 1493 Doctrine of Discovery TigressDem Feb 2023 #18
Yours is probably the quicker read. Thanks. TigressDem Feb 2023 #19
Ironically, in High School and part of College I considered career as Cultural Anthropologist TigressDem Feb 2023 #21
There were MANY tribes in the colonies. wnylib Feb 2023 #34
Washington had plans for land investments for himself wnylib Feb 2023 #31
Nt Marcuse Feb 2023 #8
See my #30. wnylib Feb 2023 #32
This country was built on bones, and its framework is white supremacy. WhiskeyGrinder Feb 2023 #12
I think we've always had a duality of thought about the Indigenous. TigressDem Feb 2023 #15
War being war isn't an excuse for ethnic cleansing. Solly Mack Feb 2023 #13
True. TigressDem Feb 2023 #16
Washington did not order attacks on ALL of wnylib Feb 2023 #33
Recommended. H2O Man Feb 2023 #23
Watched Three Pines about the Canadian treatment of Indigenous. TigressDem Feb 2023 #24
Interesting. H2O Man Feb 2023 #25
So question... TigressDem Feb 2023 #27
Great question! H2O Man Feb 2023 #29


(102,187 posts)
1. Whether you call the founding fathers "pragmatic" or unbelievably "ruthless"
Thu Feb 23, 2023, 02:25 PM
Feb 2023

their sins were among so many in our nation's history. None of our nation's heroes were without major controversy. Not even our contemporary ones. We have to look at them in their entirety--without the whitewashing. That is why the efforts of DeSantis and others to rewrite/whitewash history is so disgusting to me.


(5,125 posts)
3. True.
Thu Feb 23, 2023, 02:45 PM
Feb 2023

Honesty is the only way to really understand what we are dealing with.

But, even though this Matthew Cooke "justified" his viewpoint, as I am reading and knowing how complicated politics is, I wonder about if Washington is taking the fall for going with an "all out war" approach though he actually respected many of the Indians who he'd fought with in earlier conflicts.

I'm thinking to dig deeper and provide him with some more facts if that is the case and see if he is capable of seeing things as they are or is still wanting to sensationalize the tale more than be into the truth.

The PROBLEM I see with Faux Noise and the irrational narratives from the REICH is that the TRUTH is BORING.

When Government WORKS, it's boring.

No one dies because of bad regulations when Government puts in common sense policies.
When your tax dollars pay for road repair, you get where you are going, even if there is a lot of roadwork going on.
When people have enough to eat and a roof over their head, they are less likely to resort to crimes.
When the bottom 50% have enough money to pay their bills and buy necessities, the entire economy does better.
But that's BORING because it seems to be NO BIG DEAL when things are going well.
So what would make THAT news?

So if you are a news agency or wanting to promote a movie etc....

BORING PROGRESS is bad for business.

IF Matthew Cooke is really wanting things to change... he may be working himself OUT of a career.

Once things change and we are WOKE and getting along, and everyone KNOWS the actual history, he will have done his job and can step back. IS THAT THE GOAL?

I hope so.


(21,403 posts)
30. What he said is true. I have known about this
Sun Feb 26, 2023, 09:22 PM
Feb 2023

all my life. My grandmother had Seneca, Mohawk, and English ancestry. She was a descendent of Chief Cornplanter's half brother, Handsome Lake.

Washington ordered the Sullivan Campaign, which was responsible for destroying Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) villages and crops. NY students learn about the Sullivan Campaign in their history courses about NY. I grew up in PA, but heard about it from my family, in general terms. I learned the details much later as an adult from reading about it.

The British and Haudenosaunee Confederacy were allies in a "covenant chain" prior to the American Revolution. When war broke out, the Haudenosaunee leaders tried to keep the Confederacy neutral. But Joseph Brandt, a Mohawk who had a British education and a sister married to the British Superintendent of Indian Affairs, took the British side and persuaded several other members of the Confederacy to join the British.

The Sullivan Campaign was utterly ruthless. Every crop and village in the Haudenosaunee territory was burned to the ground, leaving the people with no shelter or food. Thousands died. Clan leaders (women) were lost. The whole structure of their society was destroyed.

After the war, the American government divided up the Haudenosaunee territory in NY into lots to be given to American war vets as compensation in lieu of money owed to them which the new government did not have. The rest of the Haudenosaunee territory was sold to land developers who divided it into lots to sell to New Englanders who wanted to move west of the Appalachian Mountains.

The Haudenosaunee people were pushed onto small territories in "negotiations." Disease, malnutrition, psychological depression, and alcoholism were rampant. There was almost no social organization left.

Then Handsome Lake, an alcoholic himself, went into a trance during a drunken stupor and had a "vision" of what the Haudenosaunee should be and how they should live. He founded the Longhouse religion based on a series of trances. The religion preserved basic traditions of the people, instructed them on how to live in their daily lives, and incorporated some aspects of Euro-Ametican culture, like Euro type farming with livestock instead of total reliance on hunting for meat. It spread throughout the Seneca and on to some of the other Haudenosaunee tribal nations. The people pulled themselves together with new pride and dignity.

Meantime, his brother, Cornplanter, invited some Quaker missionaries to teach the people some Euro-American ways in order to survive in the new nation. The Quakers and Haudenosaunee had always had good relations. The two brothers had some serious disputes over adaptation vs. preservation, but between them, they revitalized the Seneca people. Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to them praising their recovery.

Cornplanter, whose mother was Seneca but father was Dutch, preserved peace between the US and Native nations farther west who were organizing an allied war against the new US, using negotiations and threats. As a reward, Washington awarded a large plot of land in northwestern PA for Cornplanter, his band of followers, and their descendants "in perpetuity, as long as the grass shall grow." In 1962, the Army Corps of Engineers built Kinzua Dam which flooded all of that land and parts of Seneca territory up into NY State. The Cornplanter village and his grave site are now at the bottom of Kinzua Lake. The remains of Cornplanter and others buried there were removed before the flooding.

Johnny Cash sang a song about Kinzua. (The people pictured in the visual are from various Native nations, not just Seneca.)


(53,758 posts)
2. I had heard about the teeth cruelty, but I didn't know that...
Thu Feb 23, 2023, 02:42 PM
Feb 2023

had the enslaved killed to get their teeth. The massacre of the Native Americans is new to me, but it's not surprising. The early history of the nation is not pretty, and it only got worse on thru enslavement, Jackson's horrendous treatment of Native Americans also, the Civil War and on and on and on.


(5,125 posts)
4. CORRECTION: Washington did NOT kill anyone for his dentures.
Thu Feb 23, 2023, 02:51 PM
Feb 2023

BECAUSE Matthew Cooke put those two thoughts in one sentence, that is what I believed he was saying.


He called George Washington a murder based on the fact that Washington ordered ALL THE TRIBES slaughtered in the Revolutionary War.... even AFTER several of them had been our allies.

SOME tribes were battling with the British against US and some were on OUR side, but Washington went along with the Continental Congress and had ALL Native Americans killed when the majority of the group sided with the British.

THAT is what he did that was murderous.

Turned against our allies and had entire villages burned to the ground including women and children.

His dentures were not acquired by murder.


(3,964 posts)
20. It was made very clear in my elementary school history book that his teeth were made from wood.
Sat Feb 25, 2023, 12:58 PM
Feb 2023

I believed everything they taught to me back then.

(I only recently read that the dentures were made from slave teeth. No mention that people were murdered for them.)

The history book did not mention the controversial cherry tree issue.


(5,125 posts)
22. They probably looked wooden due to stains.
Sat Feb 25, 2023, 01:31 PM
Feb 2023

Visitors to the George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate and museum in Mount Vernon, Virginia, can see George Washington’s only remaining full denture among the collection. They include his own pulled and saved teeth, other human teeth, teeth from cows and horses that were filed to fit, and teeth carved from elephant ivory.

The dentures included some of his own pulled teeth as well as teeth from other humans and "probably cow and horse teeth" that were filed down to fit his size, according to Susan Schoelwer, the museum's senior curator.

George Washington suffered oral troubles throughout his life and was “fastidious” about his oral care, carrying a dental hygiene travel set with him on his travels. The set can be seen at the George Washington Mount Vernon estate and museum in Mount Vernon, Virginia. (Courtesy of Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association)

Washington also had teeth made of ivory and metal alloys to include lead-tin, copper, and silver.

Concerned with his poor dental health and hoping that his original teeth would be fit into his new dentures, the Army general kept many of his pulled teeth in a locked desk drawer at Mount Vernon, according to museum records.

WASHINGTON didn't have anyone killed for his teeth. He PAID his slaves for 9 teeth.
In 1784, Washington paid unnamed “Negroes” for nine teeth. We don’t know the precise circumstances, says Van Horn: “The president’s decision to pay his slaves for their teeth may have been a recognition on his part that teeth were something sacrosanct and personal.” On the other hand, being enslaved meant that any economic exchange was inherently not fair.

BUT IT PROBABLY HAD A BLACK MARKET because as with any item that can be sold but must be taken from a human, there were probably those that either robbed graves or made people dead to get teeth to sell. In America in 1700's I don't see much mention of it, so probably better to keep slaves alive, but pressure them to sell would have made more economic sense and appease English/Christian sensibilities that is was some sort of fair trade.



(53,758 posts)
26. Dentures not acquired by murder, the murder was wiping out entire tribes...
Sun Feb 26, 2023, 12:10 AM
Feb 2023

including women and children. OK, I got it. Those murders are better than the denture story.


(5,125 posts)
28. YES
Sun Feb 26, 2023, 02:00 PM
Feb 2023

Truth is truth and there WAS a reason Matt Cooke said what he did, but it confused me as it could confuse others to think Washington killed slaves to get his dentures.

As to the actual murders of indigenous....

People are capable of terrible things, even if they are trying to do good. (The good being creating a Democratic country.)

Sometimes there are NO CHOICES that don't include some horrible mistakes being made.

However, I want to view history with a truth lens and accept what is and move on to make OUR time have better choices made...
at least any that I can influence.

Just because Washington wasn't some spotless angel doesn't mean his actual contributions to this nation were completely in error.

Maybe his statue should go in a museum as well. He owned slaves and killed allies. Not great stuff.

But NONE of US on Earth is perfect. We can only do our best to learn from the past and even our own mistakes and do better.


(53,758 posts)
35. Excellent. I particularlly like and agree with the graph below.
Sun Feb 26, 2023, 10:37 PM
Feb 2023
"However, I want to view history with a truth lens and accept what is and move on to make OUR time have better choices made..."


(9,054 posts)
5. It traces back to the French and Indian War
Thu Feb 23, 2023, 03:01 PM
Feb 2023

Kind of the entire point of that war was that the English and French were fighting over land claims west of the Appalachians. Then, after all that, Parliament drew the Proclamation Line of 1763 - "Hey, don't settle west of the Appalachians."

For many colonists - particularly those in the back country - it was like, "Well, wtf did we just fight that war for?" And Washington was all up in that war at the time. Fort Necessity, etc. He lost plenty of men and friends during it. I would not be surprised if he shared the resentful sentiments of western settlers. And the settlers were pissed. Read the Remonstrance of the Pennsylvania Frontiersman from a year after the war ended to see how the people living close to the proclamation line were all about treating Natives as one common group - and, more pointedly, one common enemy. I mean, it's totally crazy shit.

So what Washington was doing wasn't too unusual a sentiment at the time and grew directly from a war he fought.

The colonists were not great in many ways. They were humans, capable of wonders and atrocities.


(5,125 posts)
6. For some reason, I didn't think of the Indigenous being involved in Revolutionary War.
Thu Feb 23, 2023, 03:07 PM
Feb 2023

I think they "tried" to stay out of it initially, but kept getting prodded to pick a side.

IF they thought the British would limit the land grab, then I can see some point to fighting in their own self interest.

What bothered me is WHY would Washington order ALL tribes be decimated?

WHY NOT exclude those who cooperated because they were our allies?

BUT by killing their people at all, I guess that would be an act of war against the group in general anyway.

Plus he was what, 24 when he became President? Not even old enough to get an insurance discount these days.


(9,054 posts)
7. Washington would've been 57 as President
Thu Feb 23, 2023, 03:23 PM
Feb 2023

He was born in 1732 and became President in 1789.

I think if you're looking for a firm rationale, the Proclamation Line is about as close as you'll find (outside of general racism, etc). Because American settlers were violating that thing left and right. No Parliament across the ocean was going to tell them where they could and could not settle. This disobedience towards Parliament and resentment at being denied what they felt were the spoils of fighting the French and Indian War is considered one of the many root causes in the ramping up to the Revolution. Mix in that they were getting taxed to pay for that war, because Britain's budget at that point was about 60% paying off the debt incurred by the war.

They won the war, they get the land. That didn't happen, and they weren't having it.

If I have to give a decently probably accurate answer to your question, Washington was probably clearing the deck for eventual American expansion. He knew (and may have shared) the expansionist sentiments of the settlers and their antipathy towards the Natives. Hey, beat Britain and get the Natives removed from the land we fought a war to obtain? It's win-win all around.

And they may have also reach a kind of final straw moment. Until that time, various Native nations were allying or warring with European powers and each other in a delicate balance of power for going on over a century at that point. Washington fought in many of those conflicts. His views were no doubt colored by his experiences, and once in power, he pulled a kind of, "Enough already. It's ours, the end." He figured he'd resolve that pesky Native question once and for all.

Washington was remarkable in some ways. In others, he was very much an asshole.


(5,125 posts)
9. I was reading about French Indian war.... my mistake. I read he was 24 when it was over.
Thu Feb 23, 2023, 03:43 PM
Feb 2023

Guess my timeline was crazy. Did not realize how much time passed between that war and Revolution.


The thing is, much I read about Washington says he inspired loyalty and was impressed by the Native Americans he fought with and against. That tracks with military people I have known in my own life.

What brings me pause is that usually people don't dump their allies in with others unless not given a choice.

IF the Congress basically said that was the only way they would support the war, I can understand as a General following orders or as a President acknowledging limited powers and still being held accountable for his actions.

It's hard to know someone's intent when they are dead for so long.

I tend to think everyone is good in some way and does stupid things as well.

No one is perfect.


(5,125 posts)
10. Trying to "cliff notes" my lost area of learning, hit the speed bump and lost my place.
Thu Feb 23, 2023, 03:57 PM
Feb 2023

Verifying Matthew Cooke's information with general history, by looking at multiple sources, but I didn't dig deep enough to get all my information in the correct order.

I can see that Washington DID what he did.

It's harder to be certain to someone's intent.

My sense of him historically is one of a pragmatist. He does what he must to get the job done.

SO for some reason, he did not see any way to exclude those tribes that WERE supportive if he had to deal with the rest of their coalition. Figuring that he couldn't leave "allies" at his back who might change sides.

Because more of the Iroquois WERE siding with the British and had to be dealt with to even win the Revolutionary war at all.

That may have damaged relations enough that there wasn't any going back to cordial relations.


(9,054 posts)
11. I think you're just about there with your understanding
Thu Feb 23, 2023, 04:07 PM
Feb 2023

There was a sentiment among many Americans who had lived and fought in the French and Indian War that Native alliances could be mercurial. There were even tribes who allied with different sides in the war but still considered themselves friends with each other.

There was suspicion of what we might term "race loyalty", that they could ally with others to turn against the colonists on a dime. I really do recommend reading the Remonstrance from 1764:


It's a very short document, and you can see how colonists were interacting with a lot of different tribes of varying alliances and loyalties, and a sentiment of, "Just group them all together and be rid of them," was spreading a decade before the Revolution started. Note this:

"Had these Indians disapproved of the perfidy of their tribe, and been willing to cultivate and preserve friendship with us, why did they not give notice of the war before it happened, as it is known to be the result of long deliberations, and a pre-concerted combination among them?"

There's this idea that had taken hold. "Sure, this tribe says they are friends with us now, but the Natives are all secretly in it together!"

It does make no sense on the macro level of reading history, because you're left with the obvious question you've asked, "Why would Washington do that to allies?" But when you get down to the granular level, what was happening in the west, how people along the frontiers interacted with and experienced many different Native tribes, their psychology isn't too, too different from some of the shittery we witness today.

Replace Natives with how people today refer to "the Jews" and it might give insight into what kind of thinking was going around at the time.


(5,125 posts)
14. What I have read about Indigenous Peoples shows they were allied with each other to a point.
Thu Feb 23, 2023, 08:35 PM
Feb 2023

I guess kind of like our states. Each tribe really respected its own leadership. But they often had their own skirmishes over hunting lands etc...

Each tribe had its own autonomy but might come together for trade etc... and against an outside force, like US.

The persistence of both the British and the Colonists in wanting their support and the ability of the British to promise to limit the advancement of the whites into their territory made most tribes side with what seemed to be the actual leaders of the whites.

I do remember reading many accounts that most regarded the Indians as savages and felt some sort of right to take the land.

Part of that must have been the language barrier and the clothing.


(9,054 posts)
17. I tried to find something short for you that would be encompassing
Fri Feb 24, 2023, 10:51 AM
Feb 2023

And I think these two essays (about nine pages each) are a really good primer for what Natives were dealing with when Europeans arrived and what happened after. If you read only one of them, I highly recommend James Merrell's on the "Indian's New World".

This link is to a pdf file of a textbook excerpt, just so you're not surprised.


They're both incredibly good reading. I read Merrell's work on the topic some time ago, and he really helped give a perspective adjustment. Yes, the Europeans called it the New World, but for Native populations, it was a new world for them, too, and upended everything they had known before.

One of my, "I never thought of that" things while reading him was the idea that disease wiped out collective cultural memory, because so many elders died to it before they could pass their knowledge on. That whole era is a mess.


(5,125 posts)
18. Some study into reparations led me to Sarah Augustine - and the 1493 Doctrine of Discovery
Sat Feb 25, 2023, 12:37 PM
Feb 2023

The Land Is Not Empty: Following Jesus in Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery

White settlers saw land for the taking. They failed to consider the perspective of the people already here.

In The Land Is Not Empty, author Sarah Augustine unpacks the harm of the Doctrine of Discovery--a set of laws rooted in the fifteenth century that gave Christian governments the moral and legal right to seize lands they "discovered" despite those lands already being populated by indigenous peoples. Legitimized by the church and justified by a misreading of Scripture, the Doctrine of Discovery says a land can be considered "empty" and therefore free for the taking if inhabited by "heathens, pagans, and infidels."


The Papal Bull "Inter Caetera," issued by Pope Alexander VI on May 4, 1493, played a central role in the Spanish conquest of the New World. The document supported Spain’s strategy to ensure its exclusive right to the lands discovered by Columbus the previous year. It established a demarcation line one hundred leagues west of the Azores and Cape Verde Islands and assigned Spain the exclusive right to acquire territorial possessions and to trade in all lands west of that line. All others were forbidden to approach the lands west of the line without special license from the rulers of Spain. This effectively gave Spain a monopoly on the lands in the New World.


Our Coalition emerged from the Anabaptist faith tradition, and we invite anyone to join us who seeks to support Indigenous self-determination and efforts to protect the earth from ongoing colonization.

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(5,125 posts)
19. Yours is probably the quicker read. Thanks.
Sat Feb 25, 2023, 12:41 PM
Feb 2023


When I'm retired I will have more time.... gotta make it there, though.

When I was young I could read a 500 page book in a weekend. Still read fast, but stuff like this requires truly taking in the horror and it isn't fiction, it's real, so that is a factor in picking up more knowledge. Have to pace myself.

Part of why I balance the heavy stuff with solution based ideas.

When I think of the harm done in isolation of addressing the problems still here today because of it, I get a bit overwhelmed.

That and my idiot MAGA son and Grandson and their ManSplaining to me about REAL FACTS from TikTok. God, wish I were making that up. It is giving me PTSD to be in the same room with them or even on the same driveway.


(5,125 posts)
21. Ironically, in High School and part of College I considered career as Cultural Anthropologist
Sat Feb 25, 2023, 01:07 PM
Feb 2023

I found the history of societies and their interactions and similarities fascinating.

Then I wanted to teach or write because the desire to just keep learning and pass that on got to me.

Then I married an abusive alcoholic and life got jackknifed and school took backseat to surviving.

Got a few books in rough draft/revision status and a play somewhere.

Some women know how to do great things AND be there for others.

Other women achieve great things in old age because that is when they finally give themselves permission to do what they really wanted to do and tell everyone else to get their own whatever while they stay focused on the end result.

I am somewhere in the middle of those two I think.


(21,403 posts)
34. There were MANY tribes in the colonies.
Sun Feb 26, 2023, 09:54 PM
Feb 2023

Washinton's orders were ONLY against the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) Confederacy in NY State, not against all the other tribes.

Prior to the Revolution, the Iroquois were the most powerful of the Native people. Their land and influence over other tribes were considered an empire. They were a union of 6 culturally related tribal nations with an oral constitution. They had subdued and absorbed other tribal nations into their Confederacy.

In fact, it was Iroquois delegates at the Lancaster (PA) Conference in the 1760s that advised the colonial delegates to unite because the Iroquois delegates were frustrated with having to deal with so many colonial delegates during negotiations.

Ben Franklin was not at that conference, but was hired to print the minutes. He liked the Iroquois suggestion of unity and tried to promote it, without success until 10 years later.


(21,403 posts)
31. Washington had plans for land investments for himself
Sun Feb 26, 2023, 09:32 PM
Feb 2023

west of the Appalachian. So did several land developers and some other people among the nation's founders.


(5,125 posts)
15. I think we've always had a duality of thought about the Indigenous.
Thu Feb 23, 2023, 08:43 PM
Feb 2023

Washington was said to have gained respect for the Indians when he fought them in the French Indian War.

Alliances are a complicated thing anyway and can dissolve under trying circumstances.

So that is one issue.

There was also a duality of thought about slavery. There were those among the founders that did not support slavery and those that did. It was too complex to get a full resolution of the issue at that time of the Revolution.

But some were definitely opposed.


Solly Mack

(90,758 posts)
13. War being war isn't an excuse for ethnic cleansing.
Thu Feb 23, 2023, 06:53 PM
Feb 2023

and I'm not saying you're saying it is, just wanted to make that point is all.

They wanted to defeat the British and drive them back to England.

They sought to completely wipe out the First Peoples root and stem.


(5,125 posts)
16. True.
Thu Feb 23, 2023, 08:46 PM
Feb 2023

Yet if some of the people marching on you with the British are Indigenous or Huns, they are all attempting to kill you. Fighting back in that case is self defense.

BUT when you have made agreements with people and they are fighting by your side, to betray them is completely odd.

What I think is that Washington probably succumbed to pressure to include those allies and make it all go away.

Bad choice, wrong choice. I just think he started out thinking differently.

In the end what really matters is he did order the attacks on all the tribes and that was wrong.


(21,403 posts)
33. Washington did not order attacks on ALL of
Sun Feb 26, 2023, 09:42 PM
Feb 2023

the Native people in the Revolution.

His orders were specifically for the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy in what is now NY. The Confederacy split between those who supported the British and those who supported the Americans. The Sullivan Campaign that Washington ordered made no distinction between which tribes were allies to the British and which were allies to the Americans. The 6 nations of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy had similar customs, languages, and appearance in clothing. Most non Native people would not have distinguished between them. Prior to the Revolution, they were considered as one nation of united tribes. That view remained in the war.

Most Euro-Americans considered the Native population as obstacles to their own goals and had no qualms about genocidal destruction of them.

H2O Man

(73,523 posts)
23. Recommended.
Sat Feb 25, 2023, 02:18 PM
Feb 2023

I knew. I'm doing a presentation next month for a historical society on this very topic. The title of the presentation is "Red, White, and Black." It is based upon my studies since 1965. My focus is on the events that led to the "border wars" of the Revolutionary War, and includes information -- including artifacts -- on the numerous people involved.

Mohawk leader Joseph Brant is the central figure, and his focus on maintaining the Ft. Stanwix Treaty Line is important. Brant was helping people who were escaping from slavery flee to Canada, and many of the black men opted to join Brant's forces in the war. I have substantial records of communications between General Washington and those he commanded, concerning the Brant camp in what became the village I am presenting at. The result was the infamous Clinton-Sullivan Campaign.

As a kid, the neighborhood Elder told of soldiers bayoneting infants in the Indian's gardens here. It was only decades later, in records kept in a basement of a tiny PA historical society, that a soldier's hournal documented how it was a "sport" to see how long the infants would "wiggle."

I could go on and on. And I will next month.


(5,125 posts)
24. Watched Three Pines about the Canadian treatment of Indigenous.
Sat Feb 25, 2023, 02:49 PM
Feb 2023

Lot more research to do there as well..


I remember going to the American Indian Smithsonian Museum many years ago in DC during a trip to protest W Bush and Iraq War.


I was happy that we'd at least gotten to the place of having a Smithsonian dedicated to the first peoples of this land. I fell in love with squash soup at their restaurant.

Some of the other reading about Spanish invasions help me understand why there were so many tribes "together" under the Taos Pueblo Indians who got kind of run out of New Mexico. The high walled protection helped some, but eventually social workers just took the children and put them in non-Indigenous homes and destroyed the lineage/learning path.

It left a complicated mess to untangle. I wanted to track down the Tribe that sheltered my Mom during her young life when she'd run away from home to the Reservation and stay with them for a bit until things cooled down. She lived in Taos and went to the Catholic School there.

My cousin who lives in Sante Fe (I've never been to New Mexico myself) thinks they were the Towah people, but only the Jemez Pueblo still has that language and I am confused on how to approach what I want to do, which is to somehow express my gratitude for those people helping my Mom gain strength to go on during that time, keeping her safe, teaching her good things about animals and nature. I guess if I just go to every Tribe in New Mexico and express thanks, I will not be over doing it as much as telling the tale of good people who helped my Mom.

I don't even know what is considered appropriate show of thanks in such a situation from any tribal perspective. I guess it doesn't happen much that people want to show gratitude to tribes that are more used to abuse from US. Maybe there isn't one.


H2O Man

(73,523 posts)
25. Interesting.
Sat Feb 25, 2023, 03:12 PM
Feb 2023

Besides being employed in social work, I served as Onondaga Chief Paul Waterman's top assistant for decades. Our work focused on burial protection & repatriation, environmental issues, and public education.


(5,125 posts)
27. So question...
Sun Feb 26, 2023, 01:27 PM
Feb 2023

Is there any respectful way to thank tribes in the area?

I've been in Minnesota for so long, it's like I want to take food and my Mother's story to anyone who MIGHT have been involved because they kept her from a bad situation and gave her strength to survive many of her challenges that came later.

It needs to be kind of one on one vs just putting up a YouTube because part of my Mother's story includes the incest she was running away from and though I could be open verbally with trusted elders or people who work with that issue among indigenous and trust they won't make it public information, I don't want to dishonor her memory by blasting it on the internet. It isn't my story to tell. But the tribe who took her in (many times) may have saved her life or at least her sanity in that situation.

I don't know if there are any particular protocols about approaching this and who would be the best to ask?

Why I feel compelled about it:

One thing that Indigenous Spirituality teaches about being part of the natural world along with the animals and feeling kinship with them has always made sense to me. Whether I think it is "The Great Spirit" or "God" giving me comfort through nature, it's still a force for good in this world when we love and respect nature.

AND I've been lovingly targeted by Eagles more in the last several years than in the ENTIRE of the rest of my life. When I am down and trying to make decisions all of the sudden somewhere an eagle pops up. Once on the telephone pole opposite my driveway at home. My Hubby saw it too. I took a picture, even.

I've gone to zoos and raptor centers, ridden on the Mississippi where the object of the tour was to see eagles, so when I sought THEM out, it makes sense. So 3-5 times in my life VS sometimes 2 times in one week once and 1 or more times in several months is a HUGE standout in my mind. I would say at least 2 dozen times now. Could be more. I also had a job that passed through Shakopee Minnesota and that has more wooded areas.

AND Minnesota has done a lot to try and help the eagles gain habitat, so it could be there are just more around now to be able to see them, but the times it's happened in an urban setting; it's like seeing deer. It happens, especially since Covid has a lot more people home, but it's still a surprise to a city girl.

I hope it's simply a good trend of them being allowed better environment and gaining population here, but I still feel blessed by it.

H2O Man

(73,523 posts)
29. Great question!
Sun Feb 26, 2023, 08:15 PM
Feb 2023

One of the tasks the Grand Council of Chiefs gave Paul, that expanded our work together, was to teach about environmental issues. The federal Burial Protection & Repatriation Act had helped resolve most future cases of grave robbing. But there is still an issue with construction projects that destroy Savred Sites. The Confederacy sued the state on one, for failure to follow their own laws, but the site was destroyed in a rush to get gravel to cover a toxic industrial waste site that destroyed a community's water reservoir.

Paul used the Two Row Wampum Belt treaty -- their first with Euro-Americans -- to illustrate that we travel along side each other in the river of life. And that the Susquehanna is sacred, it is an essential part of life here. He spoke of how the decisions to destroy Sacred Sites almost always was related to things like toxic dumps. How we need to be conscious of the fact we are part of the living environment.

I'm not really familiar with your area's environmental issues, though they must be very similar, even exact, as what we face here. A lot of environmental groups have connections with the traditionals, and I think that is the best way. Heck, at the Jamesville re-burial ceremony, Paul invited the area's environmentalists. It was the first time non-Indians were allowed to watch (with very rare individual exceptions).

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