Anglo American Culture, Chapter Five

Chapter Five, William Penn, Andrew Jackson and the Native Americans

(Adapted from an essay by the University of Virginia, American Studies Department)

Pre-reading vocabulary and phrases:
Quaker:
Savage:
In any case:
Shrewd:
Imperialist:
Mutilation:
Bridle Reins:
Atrocity:
Harbor fugitives:

William Penn’s dealings with Native Americans is an example of relatively happy settler Indian relations. Penn was a religious leader from Europe who founded Pennsylvania for the use of Quakers. One of his innovations was to simply buy the land he wanted, rather than conquer it with armies.

 

It is important to realize there were numerous tribes, with complex affiliations, as well as colonists from several different countries all vying for power. There was no “standard” white man or “standard” Indian. By the time Penn met with the Indians at the end of the 17th century, colonists often traded with the Indians as a way to become more wealthy, especially through the fur trade. Most did not think of the Indians as frightening ‘savages.’

When Penn became governor, he realized that much of the land he wanted was owned by the Indians. The tribe he would have to deal with most often was the Delaware (Leni Lenape), who had never been defeated by a European army. Penn didn’t want to fight in any case; he didn’t even fortify Philadelphia. As such, the only practical and legal way to get their land and secure their friendship was treaty.

As such, Penn began buying the land from its Native owners. These people were Delaware (<this “Delaware” is the name of an Indian tribe) chiefs. While the Delaware were not the most powerful Indian tribe in the region, they were the ones in charge of negotiation, a “womanly” role. This caused problems with many Europeans who incorrectly thought this meant the Delaware were weak. Penn got around this problem by assuming that all Indian politics were local and only dealing with the local rulers. This gave him a considerable advantage on other European settlers.

Penn probably made a ‘Great Treaty’ in 1682 at the village of Shackamaxon. This was useful for creating what, in Indian terminology, was called a “chain of friendship.”

 

 

Penn used this chain of friendship to pay a fair price of 1200 pounds to purchase a huge swath of modern Pennsylvania.

Penn took the advice of Dutch and Swedish colonists who had experience negotiating with the Delaware Indians. On the other side of the ‘friendship chain’, the Delaware Indians had many years of negotiating such treaties, and were ready to sell their land to Penn. Disease had killed off much of their population, so they needed less of the land near Philadelphia, and at the time there was plenty of un-occupied space to the North and West of the city. Also, the Indian’s ownership system was very complicated. (Jennings, 201). They had overlapping ‘right’s to use certain areas. As such, Penn may have had to pay several different people for the same piece of land.

Though Penn was generally fair, he also had to be a shrewd businessman, especially as he competed with Lord Baltimore (founder of the city of Baltimore) for territorial rights. He out-maneuvered Maryland agents in his purchases, thus insuring that his city would not be consumed by its southern neighbor. Penn had competitors to the North as well. He had to compete with New York State for land, and perhaps more importantly, the Iroquois Confederacy as well. To gain more trade routes with the Iroquois, Penn tried to purchase a large piece of land on the Susquehanna River. Pennsylvania could then have a trading post closer to the Iroquois. However, New York State merchants beat Penn by using their Iroquois friendships to claim the land before Penn.

Penn ultimately did gain access to the Susquehanna region, though he had to wait until 1700. A key competitor in New York retired and Penn’s fortunes were also helped by the fact that the Iroquois lost a war to the French and rival Indian tribes. By 1701, Penn could purchase the land without difficulty.

The treaty of 1701 capped a major power play: “It conveyed land, controlled trade, and arranged juridical relationships, all at the expense of New York and New York’s partners, the Iroquois” (Jennings 205). Penn then rewarded ‘his’ Indians. His policies helped make Pennsylvania, in the words of the missionary John Heckewelder, “the last, delightful asylum” for Native Americans (Jennings, 207).

In 1701 Penn returned to England for good, working to solve family troubles, until he had a stroke in 1712. His legacy in dealing with the Indians was important, despite the fact that his heirs were much less fair with the Indians. Because of Pennsylvania’s covenant chain of friendship, Pennsylvania got access to valuable trading routes and partners. And even more importantly, Quakers were not attacked during the Indian revolt of the Seven Years war (1755-62). Non-Quaker citizens of Pennsylvania were attacked, however.

Furthermore, Penn’s relationship with the Natives ties in with his overall concept of his colony. He had a just and fair plan, though a plan which made him “king” of Pennsylvania. While he had the same goals as most imperialists, he was kinder and gentler than his competitors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andrew Jackson and his Role in the Genocide of the Native Americans

(Adapted from an article by Rebecca Palmer)

Former President Andrew Jackson is seen everywhere: represented by statues, paintings, history books and even on money. Although he is gloriously represented in American culture for his defense of democracy and freedom for citizens, he has a much darker and more shameful history, as well.

During his administration, Jackson oversaw the removal of 46,000 Native Americans from their ancestral lands. This was the largest systematic removal of Indians in American history.

Born in Waxhaw, South Carolina in 1767, Jackson never had a formal education. Despite this, he read law books in his late teens in order to become an “outstanding young lawyer” in Tennessee.

During the War of 1812, he was a major general and defeated the British at New Orleans in 1815. Armed with only 5000 tired troops, he destroyed both the British and the remaining Creek Indians that fought with them.

The newspapers called it as an “Almost Incredible Victory!” that “eloquently rounded off the war.” The public loved him. He was handsome, young and fighting to protect the American Republic.

Three years earlier, in the Battle at Horseshoe Bend, Jackson took on the renegade Creek Indians. The Creek had been harassing the local settlers and helping the British. Armed with his Tennessee troops and other Indian alliances (the Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Cherokee), he invaded Creek territory in Northern Alabama. Although the Creeks anticipated victory, Jackson and his troops crushed them (35). Stannard writes in his book, “The American Holocaust,” that after the defeat, Andrew Jackson “supervised the mutilation of 800 or so Creek Indian corpses […] cutting off their noses to count and preserve a record of the dead, slicing long strips of flesh from their bodies to tan and turn into bridle reins.”

The atrocities did not stop there. Jackson burned Creek homes with people still trapped inside. In his book, “Stolen Continents,” Wright describes how the troops burned a house with forty-six people still inside. Once the fire stopped, the troops ate potatoes from a cellar basted in human fat. After the Creeks were defeated and mutilated, Jackson took more than two million acres of their land in Alabama.

An ambush by the Seminoles in 1817 brought calls for military action in Florida. Not only were the Seminoles known for harboring fugitive slaves (Seminoles also owned slaves), but also for fighting with neighboring settlements. The US government wanted Florida and suggested that the Seminoles join the Creeks as one tribe. The Seminoles did not favor this plan, and stood firm. Jackson, without approval from the government, gathered up his old officers (from the War of 1812) and invaded Seminole territory.

Jackson crushed the natives. In a similar fashion to the Battle at Horseshoe Bend, he set fire to more than 100 houses and their neighboring villages. He also kidnapped 300 Seminole women and children to use as slaves. In Ward’s book, “Andrew Jackson: Symbol for an Age,” he describes how Jackson “seemed to violate nearly every standard of justice.”

Jackson was elected by the popular vote in 1828. Giddings writes in his book, “Florida Exiles,” that “Andrew Jackson was a warrior, and had more faith in the bayonet than in moral truths. He trusted much to physical power but had little confidence in kindness or in justice.” He believed that the new white settlements would be weakened by the Indian presence, and that could not be tolerated.

Under the Jackson administration in 1828, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee formed laws that destroyed Indian governments. In “The American Indian Experience,” Weeks writes how the laws threatened to arrest or imprison any chief that attempted to govern his tribe. The laws said that the only legal purpose for Indian chiefs to meet was to sell their land to white settlers.

As president, Jackson continued persecuting American Indians. In total, he killed and displaced more Native Americans than any other president.

Study Questions:

Why do you think Penn decided to negotiate with the Indians rather than simply kill them?

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

 

In the first article, it notes that many Indians had died from disease. Diseases actually killed far more Native Americans than wars. How do you think this affected Penn?

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

How do you think it affected Jackson?

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

 

Whose approach was more Roman, Jackson or Penn?

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: