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Wampum Belts,
Peace Trees

George Morgan, Native Americans, and Revolutionary Diplomacy

Wampum Belts, Peace Trees
George Morgan, Native Americans, and Revolutionary Diplomacy
By Gregory Schaaf
Publisher - Fulcrum Publishing
350 Indiana Street; #350
Boulder, Colorado
Web: http://www.fulcrum-books.com/
ISBN: 1-55591-064-5
Copyright 1990

This book is a detailed examination of several of the geopolitical events behind the Declaration of Independence in 1776 when the struggling American colonies were facing a military confrontation with England and the Native Americans who already occupied the continent were a military power that could swing the American struggle for Independence toward a victory or a disaster.

It is an account of the Continental Congress appointing an Indian Agent, George Morgan, on a mission to make contact with, and hopefully secure peaceful relations with many of the tribes, such as the Iroquois Confederacy and the Delaware Peoples to the west.

The aspirations of the local Native American leaders, such as wanting liberty, justice and equal rights for their people is also brought out in extensive detail.

This book brings out the contribution that the traditional Indian philosophy of natural law, or called the "Path to the Trail of Spirits" by the Lenni Lenape or Delaware peoples, or "The Great Law of Peace" by the Iroquois Confederacy made to the political organization of America. This contribution was finally recognized in 1998 when Congress passed a resolution that officially admitted that several provisions in the U. S. Constitution were directly influenced by this Native American philosophy and were "explicitly modeled after the Iroquois Confederacy."

There are accounts of the roles many of our founding fathers, such as Benedict Arnold, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, John Hancock, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington, played in accepting much of this Native American philosophy and working toward getting it officially accepted as a part of the American nation.

The main thrust of the book is a detailed account of the actions of George Morgan who was charged by the Continental Congress to make contact with and try to win the trust and friendship of the various tribes and factions among the native American peoples who occupied all of Eastern America to the Mississippi river. His orders were to develop friendship with these people and persuade them to remain neutral in the conflict with the British. Very definitely to prevent them from siding with the British. And there are accounts of several less than helpful actions by Congress and various national leaders behind his back that were contrary to his orders and understandings.

It has detailed accounts of the very formal and respectful intricacies of the various Native American tribes in their interrelationships and the elaborate and lengthy negotiations that led to the gathering of several hundred tribal leaders from nations all the way back to the Mississippi river meeting at Fort Pitt in the fall of 1776 to negotiate the first U.S.-Indian peace treaty.

Overall, this book presents a very illuminating chapter of the history of early America plus a glimpse of the intricacies of the original Native American culture.

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