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Pennsylvania Indian History

posted Apr 20, 2010, 1:53 PM by James Wise   [ updated Sep 2, 2010, 10:18 AM by Travis Wise ]

Indian wars in Pennsylvania had been unknown before the middle of the 18th century. It is fair to presume that the one great cause of Indian hostility everywhere was the extension of white settlements. The French in the Ohio Valley and the Revolutionary War incited the Indians to aggression.

Indians allied themselves with the French after 1750, largely because they hoped to repress the tide of English occupation beyond the Alleghenies. What contributed most to the growing discontent after the French were defeated in America, was the belief that the English would cut them off entirely and possess themselves of their country.

The main cause was the influx of settlers upon the hunting grounds of the Indians. General Gage, in 1772, had issued a proclamation against settlements beyond the boundaries fixed by treaties made with the Indian Nations, to avoid "causing infinite disturbances." The Indians regarded the settlements in Southwestern Pennsylvania as the jumping off point for forrays into Kentucky. In 1774, the Indians directed their operations at this part of the frontier, which carried on almost continously up to the treaty of Fort Greenville in 1795. The Indians had their own cause during the Revolution. They were not an ally of the English. On the other hand, the Americans fought two wars at the same time - a war for independence and a war for territory. 

Whether the Revolution had come later or not at all, the Indians would have attacked and ravished the frontier before relinquishing the hunting grounds set apart by the King of Great Britain.

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