American Revolution Podcast

Episode 019: Suppressing the Indians

November 19, 2017

In 1764, in response to the Native American attacks known as Pontiac's War, the colonists strike back at the Indians, killing the guilty and innocent alike.  Gen. Amherst approves use of smallpox against the Indians. He proposes a campaign of terror and slaughter against the tribes.  At the insistence of Indian agent Sir William Johnson, London recalls Amherst, leaving Gen. Thomas Gage in charge.  Gage follows through on Amherst's attack plan, sending out two expeditions to destroy Indian villages and kill anyone they find, taking no prisoners.

By the time the expeditions leave in the summer of 1764, the leaders find almost all tribes ready to settle.  Indian attempts to bring the French back into the fight have failed.  Most Chiefs realize they cannot continue the war.  The Treaty of Niagara returns the Seneca to peace.  Other tribes request diplomatic negotiations, eventually resulting in the Treaty of Fort Ontario in 1766.  This Treaty recognizes British rule as far west as the Mississippi River.

Meanwhile, King George III issues the Royal Proclamation of 1763, requiring all British colonial settlements to remain east of the Allegheny mountains, thus forbidding westward colonial expansion.  The colonists strongly oppose this restriction.

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