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"Stockbridge Indians" Topic

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Personal logo Der Alte Fritz Sponsoring Member of TMP06 Jan 2013 6:58 p.m. PST

Who were they and in what theatre of the AWI did they fight? I understand that they fought on the side of the Continentals/Americans.

I've also heard that there was a small band of Indians that fought with Washington's army in 1778 when Clinton was marching from Philadelphia back to New York. Is this true?

historygamer06 Jan 2013 8:06 p.m. PST

The Stockbridge Indians are mentioned a couple of times in Ewald's journal. They did fight with the American army, including in all the skirmishing around NYC after Clinton fell back there in 1778. Ewald drew a picture of them in his journal.

"Their costume was a shirt of coarse linen down to their knees, long trousers also of linen down to their feet, on which they wore shoes of deerskin, and the head was covered with a hat made of bast (straw). Their weapons were a rifle or musket, a quiver with some twenty arrows, and a short battle-axe which they know how to throw very skillfully. Through their nose and in their ears they wore rings, and on their heads only the hair of the crown remained standing in a circle the size of a dollar piece, the remainder being shaved off bare."

The drawing shows a sling on the musket, a belt, powder horn and hatchet with a bag in the front. On his back is the quiver, complete with short bow. This skirmish with Armand that included the Indians took place in August of 1779. He said no quarter was offered to the Indians. Kind of ironic.

Man of Few Words06 Jan 2013 8:32 p.m. PST

The Oneida sent a band of warriors to G. Washington while he was at Valley Forge. They accompanied LaFayette on his probe of the British in Philadelphia. They didn't hang around when they saw how poorly fed the Main Army was. It was mostly a politacal gesture to show alliance but, true to form, Congress abandoned them at the conclusion of the war.

zippyfusenet Inactive Member07 Jan 2013 6:00 a.m. PST

Stockbridge was a town of Praying Indians who were strongly allied with the Massachusetts colonists from an early date. The Stockbridges regularly served in the wars as individuals and in small companies on the side of Massachusetts. They had provided companies to Rogers Rangers during the French and Indian War. They continued their service in the Northern theater during the AWI.

A good recent book on the subject is Patrick Frazier The Mohicans of Stockbridge.

Supercilius Maximus Supporting Member of TMP07 Jan 2013 6:14 a.m. PST

More than one historian has noted that the Anglican tribes sided with the British and the non-Conformists with Congress (others, like the Menonites, were pacifist) – does anyone know what type of Christianity the Stockbridge tribe practised?

I have a feeling they were part of McLane's small legionary corps during the 1778 part of the Philadelphia campaign.

RudyNelson07 Jan 2013 8:14 a.m. PST

Super Max comment in regards to releigious preference influencing a side has been expressed in several books on the war and the native Nation tribes.

While most readers know that the Iroquois were not united and the Oneidas supported the patriots. The Tuscarora did as well.

ONEIDAS. Their firm support of the Patriot cause resulted in the breakup of the Iroquois Confederation. They were heavily influenced by Presbyterian ministers from Connecticut. They provided intelligence, scouts and even small warbands in support of the Patriot forces. Their towns became the target of Mohawk raids. After the war, they were forced to make land concessions despite their support of the Patriots.

TUSCARORAS. Originally from the Virginia area, they were forced north in the early 1700s. They were adopted into the Iroquois Confederation but were never viewed as a full member with equal rights. During the war, they supported the Patriot cause. Some warriors accompanied Patriot expeditions as scouts, but most of the warriors remained home to protect against attacks by Tory and Seneca/Mohawk raiding parties.

Other tribes supporting the patriots:
ABENAKI.. At Pennabscot, Maine an entire company was raised under the Massachusetts government for home defense. At Odanak, on the St Lawrence the village was divided with many serving with Patriot forces. The Patriot Cpt John Vincent's Company of Indian Rangers was composed of mainly Abenaki. However, some Abenaki served with the British at St Johns, Quebec and the Saratoga campaigns.

STOCKBRIDGE. By the 1770's several of the coastal tribes had been reduced to living in "reservations" near larger towns. The Stockbridge community included Wappinger, Housatonic and Mahican. They enlisted as a company and were often empoyed as light infantry.

DELAWARE (Aka Lenapes). A small coastal clan was located in New Jersey. The majority of the tribe had migrated earlier to the Ohio Valley. The coastal clan supported the Patriots and supplied scouts to various expeditions. One clan became known as the Moravian Delawares due to their conversion by that Christian sect. The Moravians advocated neutrality until the Gnadenhuetten Massacre in 1782. Chief White Eyes, Netawatwes, maintained a neutral or pro-Patriot position until he was murdered by the Patriots. Killbuck succeeded White eyes as chief of the pro-Patriot clans. The pro-Crown clans often joined warbands dominated by the Wyandots and Shawnee. As with the other Ohio Indians, the Delaware continued to fight the Americans in Kentucky for several years after the war.

POTAWATOMI, KICKAPOOS. The divisions in these Nations reflected a common choice among the Indians. Those tribes near the British base at Detroit were pro-British. Tribes like the Wisconsin and Illinois joined the Patriots and favored the Spanish and French agents after 1779. Though outside the scope of this article, it must be noted that Patriot incursion during the later 1780s caused these tribe to band against the Americans after the war ended.

RudyNelson07 Jan 2013 8:17 a.m. PST

The Southern Tribes were later called the Five Civilized Tribes. A majority in each of these tribes supported the Crown but it was not unanimous.

CREEKS (Aka Muscogee). A divided nation who could have presented a serious threat to the Patriots in Georgia or the British in Florida if they had been united. Their territory included modern Georgia and Alabama. Though not unanimous, the Upper Creeks tended to be pro-Crown and threaten Augusta and other Patriot settlements. On the other hand, the Lower Creeks tended to be pro-Patriot or neutral and would skirmish with pro-Crown forces in Florida. The split continued to plague the confederation until the Creek Civil War of the 1810s.

CHOCTAW. Their loyalties were more divided than other southern Indians. In addition to having pro-patriot and pro-Crown factions, they also had a large pro-Spanish faction (Six Towns District near New Orleans). Many had been converted to Catholicism by the French in the 1600s. Often being at war with the Chickasaws, they appealed to Crown agents to negotiate a peace with their neighbors before they would assist the Crown.

CATAWBAS. It was a large coastal tribe which had been almost destroyed by a ceaseless war with the Cherokee. By the 1770s, they lived on an isolated reservation in Upper South Carolina. They were pro-Patriot and provided scouts to southern forces. They provided numerous scouts for SC forces during the Cherokee War of 1776. When the British controlled South Carolina, they fled into North Carolina until the Patriots reconquered South Carolina.

number4 Inactive Member11 Jan 2013 7:01 p.m. PST

Killbuck succeeded White eyes as chief of the pro-Patriot clans.

Is this the same Killbuck of the Fort Seybert massacre in 1758?

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