Border Troubles and Indian-Anglo Conflict in the War of 1812

March 17, 2012

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This symposium is made possible in part by generous support from the Consulate General of Canada, Chicago. There will be a discussion with the audience following the talks.

Rick Hill presents "The Great Whirlwind: The Impact of the War of 1812 on the Haudenosaunee (Six Nations)." Hill is Tuscarora, an oral historian, and chairperson of the Six Nations Legacy Consortium, Six Nations Grand River Territory, Ontario. In his talk, Hill will examine the involvement of the Grand River, Buffalo Creek and Tuscarora communities on both sides of the border, as they were torn by conflicting Covenant Chain loyalties to the Crown and the President. He will tell the story through a series of wampum belts associated with the war and the written accounts of council meetings where these divided loyalties were played out. In the end, the Haudenosaunee used their ancient protocols to heal the wounds of war and become one people.

Gregory Dowd, a professor of history and American culture at the University of Michigan, presents "Earthshaking History: Tecumseh, the Red Stick Creeks, and the South." Several legends concerning Tecumseh have found their way into our histories of the War of 1812, which cast doubt upon aspects of events that occurred during and immediately after his tour of the South in 1811. These include the role of eclipses, comets, and earthquakes in history, his anger at Tenskwatawa for the battle of Tippecanoe, and the decline of the Shawnee prophet’s influence following that battle.

Frances L. Hagemann presents "War of 1812: Indian Perspectives in the Old Northwest." Hagemann is Ojibwe/Mettis, a Newberry Scholar in Residence, and contributor to the National Council for the Social Studies. In the Old Northwest Territory this war was primarily an Indian war. After European arrival in the Great Lakes area, a complex set of relationships arose among the French, the English, and indigenous tribes. The dynamics of the relationships were shaped by confrontation and/or confederation, and the roots of this war can be seen as early as the 1750s. As pressure for greater land cessions grew, the tribes did not acquiesce without a struggle.

The panelists are joined by Scott Stevens, director of the Darcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies at the Newberry Library, for the discussion following the talks.

Recorded Saturday, March 17, 2012 at The Newberry Library.