tv 1765 Frontier Rebellion Against the British CSPAN January 26, 2019 10:55pm-12:01am EST
business, or an individual? next on american history tv, patrick spiro tells the story of the black boys, 18th-century frontiersman from western pennsylvania rebelled against british army. he argues the frontier rebels played a crucial role in uniting the american revolution. it is a little over an hour. >> good evening. to welcome you
here. sponsoring this presentation. the institute promotes knowledge and appreciation of the achievements of advanced study, exhibitions and public programs. historic preservation. providing resources to classrooms. since 1938, the society has done its work from this house. which was finished in 1905. "night's talk is on a book frontier rebels" which sheds light on a series of events that took place on the prerevolutionary pennsylvania frontier. when british officials launched tradey expedition to open with the indian chief pontiac,
the black boys formed to stop it. native neighbors and suspicious of imperial aims, the black boys led an uprising that threaten the future of britain's empire which would evolve into an organized lyrical movement that resisted the crown and its ideas for years before -- for little that resists the crown and its ideas. political movement that resisted the crown and its ideas. theme tell you about speaker. he received his phd from the never see of pennsylvania and thees as a librarian at oldest learned society in the united states. previously, he taught at williams college. he received recognition for his integration of new technology in the classroom. specializes in the
era of the american revolution and has held long-term fellowships. foundation, the david library of the american revolution. the american philosophical society. book, join me if you would in welcoming dr. spero. [applause] >> thank you all for coming. i want to thank the society for inviting me to come, and the american revolution institute, and cliff for that introduction. i have known him for about a decade. before i had my phd, thanks to the generosity of the society providing me a fellowship to
finish my dissertation which became my first book. it is important support i received from the society at an important moment in my graduate career. i am honored to be here. i thought i would start by talking about where i work. i'm the librarian of the american philosophical society. manyi travel around, people say, what is the american. society? let me take a quick poll. how many have heard of the american philosophical society? all right. i'm in d.c. tougher question, what does the american philosophical society do? you cannot look at that slide. . >> that's a little bit harder to nswer, and i just want to briefly talk about what we dodado
do. it's our desire to promote useful knowledge. 275thars ago, this is our anniversary. it's called philosophy because at the time inquiry, what we might think of science guides the ill mission of the society today so e have a number of different programs, the first is something called membership. the idea is after an extensive career, you may be elected to be american of the rograms, the first american philosophical society. disciplines. pulitzer prize winners. directors. it recognizes those who made to icular contributions american society. he second thing we do are hold
annual meetings of members, cutting edge research across all disciplines showcased. you may see in the morning a immuno-therapy followed certain on the american civil war. the third thing we have is something called publications. be the longest operating scholarly organization in america. million ive out over a dollars of research grants every ear to young scholars who conduct research in all fields. t can be medicine, history, anthropology, and it primarily goes to young scholars who immediate that type of support their very early stages. finally we have what i oversee, library, which has over 13 million pages of manuscripts. of seven llections
laurettes. opened a museum to showcase them. that gets over 20,000 visitors a year. i encourage you to visit the american philosophical society. host a be happy to kurateed tour of the museum. it's not as exciting as seeing it will give ut you a sense of our holdings. you, any some of attorneys in town? there are certainly a lot of attorneys in town. first printing of the united states constitution and it's not just any first printing. right can see in the hand, this is benjamin franklin's copy of the constitution. we are the repose tore of franklin's papers. and, i always like to show this
because this is what you might interpretation of the constitution. the next item here, it was 1743 but it was another founder of the united states who also helped to create philosophical society in the earlier republic and that was thomas jefferson. he served as president of the society for about 17 years. aps as president of the while also vice president and president of the united states america. what we've got here is the document that's in jefferson's and from 1793 while he was in philadelphia. what it is, is a proposal of a to north who had come america to explore the fauna eastern bited the seaboard. by 1793 he had done all the research he thought he could do wanted to explore the interior of north america. he was in philadelphia. approached jefferson with this idea. he said i want to travel all the way to the pacific ocean to be cross the erson to
continent and to observe all of that things that we don't know north n the interior of america. jefferson said this is a great to and i know just how raise funds. let me go to the american philosophical society and get donate money. this was in jefferson's hand and he went to all the members of aps, this is when the capital was in philadelphia, everybody who was anybody was in philadelphia, you can see who some of the donors for this expedition were. n the top left, george a hundred giving dollars. john adams gave $20. you have thomas jefferson in the middle. jefferson is sand with which by enry knox, a member, and alexander hamilton, another member, and james madison. also, believed to be the only document that holds the presidents' signatures on it, and what's even more interesting about the document is, it was rediscovered, i guess you
by an , in the 1960s intern who is going through an old vault during renovations and found a scroll rolled up with a red ribbon on it and opened it realized he had a national treasure on his hands. i would also like to point out bipartisan effort. the desire to explore, to support science was a bipartisan effort bringing together both the jeffersonians and the federalists at this moment. of our nother one treasures, another jeffersonian document just like we have the constitution and franklin's copy. we also have thomas jefferson's final draft of the declaration of independence. sent one copy to congress and then he sent a few others to friends. his this was sent to richard henry lee, a virginian. e had proposed the vote for independence and then had to return to virginia, and jefferson sent this to his say this is the result of what your proposal -- what led to.posal i always like to talk about the
changes that happened from jefferson's original draft and the one after congress got their hands on it. efferson always thought that congress ruined it, adulterated, the meaning of his document, all may sympathize with. he original phrase, words, surrounding this very famous phrase, they are endowed by creator with inherent and inalienable rights, that among hese are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. it was changed. and changedinherent it to certain inalienable rights. change, hink about that inherent rights could be interpreted to apply to everybody including the enslaved a chargedas obviously word in that period so instead f having this universal more natural rights concept, congress limited these rights and as certain, only as certain inalienable rights. to bring it out to students how word matter and how
different history may have been enshrined in were the final draft that congress approved. o jefferson eventually does realize that proposal that was rought to him after the louisiana purchase. meriwether tfits ewis and william and clark, they successfully accomplish the expedition. he says there is only one place safekeeping and that's the american philosophical society because at that time, we library only manuscript in north america, so we've been he stewards of these national treasures since that period. the final thing, an unusual part of our collection that also dates to thomas jefferson. it's not really known about largest scholarly project was collecting and doubting american native languages. years of ms. life collecting american native
languages. secretarys offices as of state, as governor, as vice president, as president, to send to diplomats, military officials, and to agents, asking them to collect american languages and then his goal was to compile them for int prosperity. losing munities were their languages and he was able to preserve them this way and he lso subscribed to the idea if he analyzed all of these languages together he could nearth elements of human history before contact. he studied the evolution of languages he could get a sense history that occurred before europeans arrived in north america. was lewis and lark, he said, i have the perfect retirement gig. i'm going to return to correlate all of this material, publish it for pros territory and i'm also he put analyze it, so it in a large trunk and he sent
it up the james river. barge was traveling overnighted in richmond, thieves, and a group of heard that the barge was down by the river. they went down, they picked up the heaviest truck they could assuming it had the most valuable material it in. they carted it up the river, on did they find? paper, which to the thieves had but to history, you cannot put a price on what they destroyed. dumped all the paper into the river, 40 years of jefferson river.e washed down the there were only a few pages that remained. he sent them to the american philosophical society. you can see here the damage that was done but you can also see that jefferson realized how any shard may be for history and he sent every scrap to us.d they tried to rebuild jefferson's -- to take on mission.n's we now have collections of over 650 different native american communities and one of the collections of
endangered languages anywhere in recent d and one of the things has been to digitize the collections including audio, video, and photographs, and native y work with american communities to return them to their communities so they can use them however they would like. many of them are using them in curriculum. it's very interesting to see how this very old collection is life today because of technology. that's the aps in our collection nutshell but i think most of you are here to hear me talk frontier rebels which is my book. talk cited to be here to about this book, and, i guess i could start out with another quiz. night, i f the promise. but at a place like the society of cincinnati, i assume many here are very familiar with the history of the revolution so here's the question. 1765, and the coming of the what event olution,
do you think of? >> stamp act. great. very good response. i think at least half of you knew that. other half probably knew it and just didn't say it but that's right. so the stamp act. act looms large in the history of the american revolution, and there is a historian, an incredible historian, morgan, he recently has this y, and he line in one of his books where bluffs the patriots stood in 1776 on the line they had drawn in 1765. he's saying that 1765 is the origins of the revolution, and everything from there led to independence. and i think this is a well-known story, certainly the story that i knew growing up and it goes this.hing like in 1754, the seven years war, nine years in ly north america, began, and it french and thehe british were competing over
control of the west. a young virginian, george washington, headed out to the confronted the french, and a series of clashes occurred and this brawl in the woods of north america soon mushroomed into a world war. eally what may be the first world war. what was at stake here was the and ae of power in europe question of who was going to be power.minant global super for nine years they fought the seven years war and in february, war drew to a close and it was clear that great britain was victorious. they were now the sole global super power. they extended and strengthened india, they extended their control over north f africa, and in america, the french renounced ll the claims east of the mississippi river so there was this incredible amount of overtaking great
britain and the colonies. sun never phrase, the sets around the british empire. it was this time they started so the in those terms future seems wide open for many. comes to fter the war a close, those trying to manage those in parliament and administrators, start to have a little bit of a reality check. first-off, they now have a large empire, which is exactly what they also but started to think, now we have to make this empire, since we have threats, work for efficiently. we need to make sure it's interconnected. we need to pass laws and egulations to make sure that all parts of the empire are goal, towards a single which is the grandeur and pros erritory of the empire so they start passing a series of legislation. the second thing that happens is this ealize that to win war they have taken on an
enormous amount of debt. $130 million pounds helped the british win war. this accounts for about 40% of budget in 1763-1764, goes to financing the debt. of the british empire is about $11 million pounds at four eriod and about million is going to finance the debt. so those in parliament are by this debt as well. so they then begin to take a that are meant to address the debt and also meant to credit a more integrated empire. stamp act is a key piece of this. the stamp act was passed in 1765. make the as to colonists pay their fair share. we just sh empire said fought this war to get the french out of north america so ou didn't have to worry about the french on your frontiers,
your borders, and now it's time down some help us pay of this debt. they also said, you know what? nd this is rarely noted about the stamp act, all the revenue raised by the stamp act was pay for the military on the frontiers of north america. to as not going to go back parliament into the british covers. it was meant to underwrite the defense of the colonies, so for in parliament, this act was not controversial. in fact, one of the things that said, look, those in great a stamphave been paying reign of william & mary. you'll be act, treated more like the people in great britain, like equals. know, the you colonists didn't see it this way. very different
opinion, and i -- it was about more than taxation. about british liberty. it was about what the british afforded subjects of the crown and ultimately is about representation and taxation, the colonists were saying we're willing to pay taxes but we need representation if you aren't going to gives representation in parliament then ask our local legislators so and s and we'll do that's the way you protect british liberty. parliament is not supreme. it cannot pass direct taxes on us without representation. the story goes from there. the stamp act is rescinded in 1766. parliament passes a declaratory act which basically says we're resending this act but we're not recognizing your argument. we still have the right to tax you. duties.ey passed these duties are taxes on trade goods that are being imported into the colonies. are not direct taxes. these are more like tariffs and ou shouldn't have issues with tariffs. they say, no it's a tax and you
to our ven't respond complaint. in the late 1760s the british army is removed from many of the frontier posts and placed in urban seaports, especially in so this seems to be another betrayal to have a army in boston and not on the frontiers. this is an invasion of their it leads d rights and to a clash between these groups nown as the boston massacre, and then there is the boston tea party, which again, is a anyway clash in which the people n boston dressed as native americans, boarded ships and threw the tea into the boston. afterwards, parliament passed the coercive act which turned the massachusetts civil into a military government, pointing thomas auge as go and that leads the colonists to take more formal action and they form the first congress, second continental congress and finally
independence. this is the well-known story of the american revolution. it's an inspirational story of liberty, of freedom. it's the story of people overthrowing a monarchy and placing the power in their hands. it's about democracy. it's also, i think, an eastern story. one based in the seaports. is hat i want to do tonight ask you to forget about everything that i just said. i want us to shift our west to the frontier of the british empire, to understand he coming of the american revolution there, in what i call in my book the frontier revolution. i want to propose to you tonight that 1765 is just as important for the origins of the american evolution and independence there as it is in the east. though for very different reasons that i'll talk about. and in my book, frontier rebels, t tells this story through
three interwoven lives who collided. pontiac, an ottawa warrior and military chief who years' war he seven alongside the french and then became a political leader after that war. the second is somebody named george crogan, a pennsylvania trader, who became a colonel during this seven years' war and then became afterwards a diplomat. then finally, there is james smith and the black boys. colonists frontier who are opposed to him and his pontiac and his vision for the west. what i want to argue is that in event i'm going to talk about was really a contest west ande vision other north america would reign supreme. this story begins at the close of the seven years' war. in great britain were trying to make sense of too, were taxation, so they trying to make sense of
this enlarged empire so they passing a number of policies that are aimed at the west. organizing the west. aimed at better facilitating the paydown of their debt. and so, the first and most notable act they took was the hing called proclamation of 1763. what the proclamation of 1763 thing it said was we want native americans to be partners.s trading they should receive the rights of british subjects, so the a native american should be treated the same as a british subject. the should receive protections of the british empire. ma dea was they wanted to relations because they couldn't take on any more debt he second thing was the proclamation lines along the appalachian mountains. they said the colonial move past could not this line and you can even see
n this map, you can come up afterwards that middle area, this is a british map from 1768. reserved for the indians, and so they were trying to create something, the british increasingly called indian country. and their idea was that they maintain stable relations with indian groups living in the ohio country, they with to open up trade native americans, so that they could acquire the raw materials, to great them back britain where they could be refined and reexported back to colonies and europe. and so this was their vision of the west. now, there is a second piece to their policy and that had to do with the debt. until the seven years' war, indian diplomacy had depended on treaty making, and the fundamental -- one of the undamental elements of treaty making was gift-giving. and the idea behind the gifts was displays of that these gifts represented the
relationship between the two parties. was that if great britain provided guns and ammunition to native american roups, it showed that they trusted them as friends, and in exchange for that native merican communities were provided first and other goods that the british wanted and this of olized the open road trade and alliance. french-canadian war the british empire, especially amherst said, we have expenses so we're going to reduce the amount of gift-giving that we give, and is, we don't have to worry about the french anymore, to worry e don't have about the french we can ignore diplomacy with native americans really created a problem because native americans as reciprocal and ongoing. o you couldn't hold a treaty one year and just wait five years. you were supposed to renew these regularly, annually,
or every two years. and so, what would happen is holding ded to stop these treatise and these gift giveings, and so the response to policies in the west were just like those in the east. here was opposition among colonists who said, how could you restrain us? just fought this war. we were on the front lines of this war and now you're trying restrain us to the seaboard? we thought this was going to be our land. saw the e americans diplomatic cutbacks as the french ion of what the had warned them. they said the british are aiming to subjugate you and to steal and by cutting back their diplomatic gift giving it worst fears about the british. nativeboth colonists and americans were opposed to many of the policies of the british empire. at the same time, those in the seaports were organizing their opposition efforts. in 1763, pontiac leads a
uprising, and this begins in detroit. he lay siege to detroit and soon there are other indian allies with rking in concert pontiac, launching raids throughout the frontiers, into and having , incredible success. fort, and y british their goal openly is to negotiate with the british the goal of like the sons of liberty were to reate protests in order to negotiate with those in london. a meanswas using war as to bring the british to the negotiating table. winter ofally, in the 1764, after a successful british the ohio country both sides seem to be ready to peace.ate a great britain really does not want to be fighting this war. it.y can't afford and so they are willing to
realize many of the claims of native americans. the native americans want their sovereignty respected. trade, and they want more frequent diplomacy and gift giving. ultimately wanted the same thing. they wanted stability and they an open road between indian country and the british colonies. so, to enact this peace the y sir william johnson, head of indian diplomacy in america, approaches one of his deputies, on one of the most missions. he was asked to travel from philadelphia and then to fort down the ohio river into what was enemy territory, ecause peace had not yet been affected, in search of pontiac. he was to find pontiac and pontiac that the peace.h truly wanted now, crogan, how many of you
crogan rd of george before? it's one of the most fascinating parts of the story. 1765, if you were anybody, you would know the name george crogan. in pennsylvania in 1741 from ireland. he had no formal education, but quickly set out on the frontier and became probably the trader inerous indian pennsylvania. most maps of colonial crogan's home ote in it. it was one of the central places anybody traveling west would visit. and then he became a colonel during the french and indian war because the british realized would be very effective in trying to maintain alliances with native americans. and then afterwards he's appointed diplomat. crogan, he ng about never lost his instincts as a trader so part of this mission a little bit of self-interest in it as well, and crogan got himself into a little trouble.
what the british is they gave crogan $2,000 pounds worth of goods. hey said, we recognize we need to disciplinary our sincerity to native americans through gift-giving. pounds.2,000 o buy some goods and what he pounded is that the 2,000 was a paltry sum. he formed a shell company, partnered with one of the trading firms in philadelphia, and he, on his own accord spent 20,000 pounds acquiring goods, so 10 times he had been allotted. 44 tons of over trade goods. e acquired over 5,700 white linen shirts. to give you a sense of the scale, one historian has that would have been sufficient to clothe half the male indian population in ohio country.
he ordered so many white shirts that they ran out of white linen in philadelphia. they had to hire a group of shirts for tom make this trading mission. this is one of the most massive rading missions i think ever undertaken in colonial america. and, of course, crogan said i to do this because if we can't show the sincerity that native americans suspect they to think they are going to be duped. that we're trying to dupe them into an alliance when we're trying to subjugate them. he also had a plan that, he said, look, trade is currently suspended because of the war. if i'm able to affect peace, open and i'll be able to flood the market and reap an enormous profit. those instances where self-interests and good on the ns intermingled frontiers. becameblem with his plan apparent as soon as that huge
pack train started to head west. began k train leaders confronting colonial resistance crossed the ey susquehanna river. this resistance really reflects is the third perspective on the future of the west.h empire in the what they were encountering were a people who had experienced a decade of war and had come to form a far different vision not only of the west but lso of how politics should function in the aempire. so first-off, they believed deeply that the british empire expanding empire, not a restrained empire like great britain had envisioned. they also had fought over a to de of war and had come what i call in the book a racialized view of native americans. every d come to suspect native american as being an inherent enemy who could not be of an openo the idea tod in trade was an anathema them.
and finally they had developed through this war a fear of the elite, especially traders. they said that traders serve their own interests. did not care about the pron tear people who faced warfare. assembly for not representing them. in fact, the colonial 36 slature had representatives in it. whom came from philadelphia in the two outlying counties around philadelphia. bucks and chester. remaining 10 came from the frontier, and so historical and raphers have gone back tried to figure out what the population was really like and it turns out the population was between frontier counties and those in the east. their complaints and the one underlying everything is that we're not represented in assembly. because of that, you were not willing to provide with us the defense and the military support that we expected during the war. years' adding to all this fear was the
oute that the traders decided to take. now, the route that would have made logical sense was along called forbes road. forbes road had been cut during the seven years' war. road. an official kings it was lined with fort and anybody traveling west would ant to go on that for protection. see that road it it direct ve been the most and easiest route they could have taken. for some reason they decided to forbes road and take a more southerly route on these old back roads. so this raise suspicion. there must be something they are carrying they don't want anybody to know about. issue became whether or not they were carrying arms or ammunition. think, gets at the
incompatibility of the vision parliament, who wanted an open road with indians in the frontier. the british saw arms and trade ion as legitimate items because they wanted to be allies with native americans and them ere willing to show that through the ceremonial exchange of goods. frontier said this is only the means of our future destruction and war. so, the arms and ammunition ecame a key friction point as that pack train headed west. came to a head at he great cove also known as the -- the pack train settled at cunningham's tavern. they stopped for a moment and a who had frontiersmen spent the vast majority of the day at the tavern doing what do and also, vern,
talking about this pack train, they confronted the traders, and they pull their guns on them and they said, if any further we're going to "blow your brains out." says what can in we do to move on? they say, we want you to go to lawton, the local fort, and commandant to say you have official passes. we think what you're doing is the group travels to fort lawton. the commandant looks at the says, yes, they are on an official diplomattition mission. commandant denies realize crogman had d exceeded his orders. everything looked okay. they continued to a hill and they stopped there that night, neck morning they wake up
and travel pass mcconnell's soon after passing a frontiersmen dressed, destroyed the pack train of goods. this is a massive destruction of property here. o give you a sense on scale, the boston tea party destroyed about 9,000 british pounds worth goods. we don't know how much was destroyed but this is within range. after the destruction of goods, the traders head back to fort awton and they tell the commandant what's happened and e says, this is an act of rebellion. he tells a regiment of red coats communitiesinto the and start searching to find who was responsible for this. this is a major, major change in the role of the army in these communities. living on the front tee, they assume the british army is there to protect them. that's the idea behind why have to be around
communities. but now they are taking on policing functions. homes, and rching this, they see, as an invasion of their civil rights. the military does not have the right to search civilian homes. rests with the civil authorities. frontier s makes the animis worse, so they lay siege to fort lawton for two days, so are a group of colonists who are now trying to attack a british fort. eventually, commandant of the flag of truce and allows the black boys to come into the fort and negotiate what call a peace settlement. now, the black boys return to their homes. in the days and weeks to follow. says this l governor is an act that's beyond any legal justification. we need to go out there and we the civil authority to arrest people and try them
and convict them for this goods, so they hold an inquest and a number of people who are suspected of being black boys are involved in it, are essentially acquitted. cannot indict them. they return a not guilty verdict emboldens the black boys more. now it seems like they have legal cover to continue their for the in the ensuing months, there is a regime, hundreds of men line forbes road and inspect west.s heading what i want to say, this is a massive organization. of ou think about the sons liberty that operated in urban seaports you now have on the rural population in which people are spread far out, lining the road working in suspect traders handing out official passports. politicalmajor, major movement that is happening. now the black boys eventually november 1765, when they
lay siege to a british fort a time.d they lay siege to fort lawton a second time in order to acquire british army the had seized from some of the frontiersmen, and they belief illegally.ld after the second siege, james and then rns the guns himself evacuates back to fort boys appear tock to reign supreme so the black boys rebellion happening at the same time as the stamp act. 1765. an event we haven't often heard about. least if not at more audacious than anything that happened in the seaports. of howed a level sophistication that certainly surpassed what the sons of liberty were then doing at that at least comparable to that. and i think it is important for of the coming ng of the american revolution, because just like the sons of liberty and others in the seaports, who had to marshal
legal arguments to justify their the black , too, did boys. the black boys began to marshal for why they were acting this way. what their legal justifications ere, and in that, something revolutionary begins to bubble up. so what do they say? first-off, they said that local control is the most important. that only those in these communities, are the best to regulate themselves. what should be happening, not those distant in even further in london. illiam smith, a justice of the peace in the area, argues with james grant, and i talk about in which he ok, offers a fairly sophisticated legal argument on why he has the inspect anybody traveling on the road, and he ven says, you know, forbes road, it's not really the kings road, it's our road. the kings -- justice of the peace, i get to oversee it.
i get to regulate it so they are away from the east and placing it in their hand. re-imagining y authority in the british empire and there is this remarkable quote that really captures happening on the frontier and this comes from the american philosophical society. ross, letter that john who is in philadelphia, wrote to his friend benjamin franklin, london.hen in and this is how he describes the black boys rebellion. seem at present to have two kinds of governments. one on the east side and one on west side of the province. absolutely aest is republic. the settlement on the frontiers and claim a nors intent over the whole. he'll realizes in the frontier they are a republic. exactly what the revolutionaries wanted to year. they are claiming to be the territory, notis
british officials, not those and they by parliament indentcy.per very d argue that this is revolutionary the movement. the key piece, to makes sense of this all, is representation, because it all is lack of representation, that they are at their this case, assembly. so what happens to all of these people? what happens to pontiac, to boys?an and the black pontiac himself begins to face a contest over control in native america, in what's called indian country, and it's a contest between what we might think of as the cock dominationist ing which pontiac represents and a wing that wants to
maintain hostile relations. be ng the british can never named , led by somebody charlotte casssky. does eventually leave for the pitt and he ravels down the ohio river and he gets caught up in this contest over control and he's a group y ambushed by of native americans. some of his traveling with him are killed. he himself is not. he's tomahawked in the head. writes a s and he letter to his boss and he says, this is the first time my thick has ever been of service to the empire. know what happens to pontiac and croghan, i don't have time. to read the book. i talk about it in there. but the black boys, do i want to about. and this is james smith. want to talk about smith and the frontier revolution.
smith was the leader of the rebellion and his croghan.etails smith was born in 1741, in hester county but aslan was getting tight in pennsylvania he moves to what was then the frontier, right where the black rebellion happened. he's captured during the seven years' war. cut forbes road. he's a teenager and he's aptured during a american native attack and adopted into an american native community and war ends the seven years' as a member of a mohawk family ohio ing throughout the country and in 1760 he's returned in exchange, and his home in pennsylvania, where he finds his he had died assumed and married somebody else. and he himself comes back way that he's e changed, he says that he's now and he indian culture, wants to take what he's learned
society, and onial in particular, he argues that is british style of warfare ineffective for the frontiers, and the ead, colonists british army themselves need to learn native american tactics them themselves. so during pontiac's war he organizes his own militia that native american tactics of warfare. they dress as native americans, there is an account in which there are the highlanders are marching out. british troops are marching out note hio country and they there is an indian regiment well.ing alongside them as meaning smith's group. black rds he leads the boys rebellion. the black boys continue to persist. he reforms his group and lays siege to another fort. fort bed for. again, attacks the fort and is
able to capture a few men who prisoner. smith himself, these actions, don't harm him in his community. in fact, they embolden him and he serves in a number of ifferent political positions culminating in the revolutionary government of pennsylvania in 1776. smith is integral in writing the constitution of pennsylvania. it's considered one of the most constitutions written in that period. and one of the things that it does, is it gives the frontier equal representation for the first time and so what his means is that the frontier now outnumbers eastern representatives 2-1. nd because of that, the frontier people for the first time feel represented and are that theyact a policy wanted. smith continues during the revolution. his group of black boys join the continental army. come through philadelphia
and he says, if my boys are fighting i have to join them, too. he joins, and he approaches george washington, and he he oaches washington and said, george, you got it all wrong. our tactics are too much conforming to the traditional styles of warfare. you need to adopt my indian of warfare. ashington dismisses him completely, and smith is then returns rustrated and to pittsburgh where he leads military offenses out in pittsburgh. so he continues to fight. and he continues, after the revolution, he moves to kentucky where he serves in the first legislature of kentucky. what i want to point out, this is what i argue is the realization of the frontier revolution. if the british empire was trying to restrain settlement, kentucky realization of what the frontier people had been advocating. indian land into
american land, and smith is, of course, part of that. so i want to end now with three the frontier on revolution. the first is something that i get asked a lot when i give this talk, which is why don't we know about the black boys? number ink there are a of different reasons for that. with rst reason has to do the sources. the sources for the black boys in de almost entirely archives and are in manuscript format. the incrediblend amount of documentation that emerge from the eastern seaports printing presses did not exist on the frontier so most of the accounts of the in letters that people are writing back and forth describing what is appening on the frontier in depositions. so for people who are writing the first history of the for those writing in boston, or philadelphia, or new york, they are relying on the that they have closest
at hand so these frontier stories don't get integrated the first histories of the american revolution and i think that pattern has somewhat it's ued although certainly been changing in the last several decades. think, has tory, i to do with the issues that it raised. hopeful story t of liberation that we know so well. that's tead a story driven by fear and hatred and colonists.ion among those in the west really fear nd dislike the elite in the east. it's also a hard story to tell. it was hard for me to write about. the n't intend to write book that i did. i just let the, sos guide me but hat's what the sources ultimately revealed. that it's not a story around which you can build really a myth, or founding story itself. thing i get asked often is how does this frontier revolution relate to the eastern so well?n that we know
and here i think it's important differences between the east and the west. hose in the east focused on issues of taxation and representation, in parliament. a they also advocated for free trade. they opposed the tariffs and the tax. but most of their animas was at the empire. hose on the frontier feared native americans and they wanted ore support and they also wanted a more regulated trade, not a freer trade, and their wasn't aimed at parliament. talking m very rarely about parliament. it's aimed at their open local legislature. they do share one common thing and that is a and e for local control greater representation. both the east and west advocating for
democracy and representation, -- what i document in my book is they merge for a moment. in 1776. how they merge is something i talk more about in the book. i want to hing the legacy of the rebellion. it captures the revolution. was it really that radical like eorge washington and john adams, the elite, were still in control afterwards. radical n't seem very or revolutionary. i think if you look west the frontier revolution, it shows complete this revolution is. if you think about that policy i was talking about before the which the british empire was trying to restrain settlement, to open up trade native americans, to maintain peace and stability in the frontier, and then look at even istory afterwards, just briefly after the revolution, you can see just how revolution was in
the west. the second legacy, i think is of this culture that the black boys embodied. there is this great quote, and i in the book by a frontier lawyer, in which he are the north and south surely going to divide so he anticipates, he's writing in the the so he anticipates civil war but he also says east and west are surely divided as so he realizes there is a division in america between the east and the west. civil war, but i think those tensions that was feeling in the 1790s continued to persist and i think andrew jackson in some item body. of this culture and the way it continued into the early period.l jackson, of course is the first frontier president and what are he does as gs president? does?wo chief things he first,te destroys the bank of the united states. he says these eastern elites are ot paying attention to the
frontier. they don't understand us. they are serving their own needs just like the black boys said of merchants then heading west. and the seg thing he advocates removal and rican in one of his speeches to congress he said there is the the tability of war with indians and therefore the only them.policy is to remove this is, of course, also what the black boys, many of them, envisioned. and so what i -- these patterns, i think, are still present. they have been present as part of the united states and to understand their origins, we need to go back to the country's founding and the revolution to patterns first. thank you. [applause] questions?re any
picture of ve the andrew jackson there. ould you talk a little bit about how he connects to this boys he rebellion, black and all of that stuff that was going on, andrew jackson. yeah, no, i think -- >> and i have a follow-up question. >> sure. what jackson represents, if you think about the movement f people after the revolution as, i think it's documented in this image in the left, but really, the movement of people from western pennsylvania, from estern virginia, along the appalachian, into kentucky and tennessee, these are the areas the ich the black boys, groups, were affiliated with them, were moving. these were, james smith is kentucky.o so in many ways, this pattern embodiment n is now of this pattern on the
national stage. >> so in a way jackson was onnecting with what the black boys had done 50 years before? point? your >> yes. yes. are there any other questions? questions? frenchman ioned that early on, that all of these people were contributing money. what happened to him? out into the interior? >> yeah, great question. what happened to him. 1800society ends up raising dollars to support the expedition. to put it into perspective. i think lewis and clark received $2,500 from congress so this is a significant amount of money that has been raised. then he gets caught up in behind of the early party system. a frenchected of being agent, who may be trying to interests in ican the west.
and so he gets, i think he gets s far as kentucky where he's forced to return back east so it's a failed expedition. it does get under way but it any further than that. >> are there any further questions? don't want to cut it off but any other questions? rivalry that the occurred was -- were there a lot of scotts irish on the frontier, german, not english? >> so pennsylvania is a very and cally diverse colony out in that very area, there are a lot of germans and there is a lot of scotts irish and also english as well. and one of the things that becomes clear during the black rebellion is that ethnic exist.ns really don't it appears that there are germans who are part of various arts of the black boys rebellion. this rebellion lasts several months. there are all of these different claiming to be
black boys and some of whom speak with a german accent. what's interesting is james smith himself, just to give you sense on how poly got -- he poke english but he also spoke german some and he also had acquired american native ability so that's the way the frontier has a number of ifferent groups living, cohabiting with each other and the black boys rebellion was united ethnic divisions. are there any other questions? questions? >> how did they come to be boys?d the black >> how did they come to be called the black boys? actually, this was something of an issue writing the book. had discussions, because some may think it's about something else. omething to do with african-american history.
boys ere call black because they disguised themselves with charcoal in the initial raid. i think they probably did that part of who they were, continuing to black their faces to strike fear in others. the other thing, we suspect is that this image of james smith, scarf there, d it's believed that the black boys have red bandannas so this of smith, which is done much later in life, is really interesting to think about, ecause here's smith trying to reflect back on his life and so know, a ring, you eather jacket as a frontiersmen. he's also wearing a black suit might expect a george washington or john adams to wear o there is a lot of different imagery that he has built into the portrait. they blacken their faces to disguise themselves. wore red bandannas.
>> when you speak, got it close to your mouth. sensitive.ery >> this will be our last question. the collection of lection of franklin papers compare to yale's? >> we have 70% of his correspondence. depository of record for the vast majority of franklin's papers. there is not another institution that has as much of his correspondence as us. ale has an incredible collection and the fact that thd american philosophical society and yale have been partnering on franklin papers for almost 50, maybe more than 50 years now o the franklin papers are a partnership between aps and yale because we have these incredible collections of franklin materials. would like to thank you again for coming out this evening. we have books available for sale on the back table and dr. spero
well.e signing copies as thank you again. [applause] cable satellite corp. 2019] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> interesting in american history tv? website, cspan.org/history. you can view our tv schedule, and ew upcoming programs watch college lectures, museum more., archival films and american history tv at cspan.org/history. c-span, where history unfolds daily. created as aan was public service by america's cable television company. bring ay, we continue to you unfiltered coverage of congress.
white house, the supreme court and public policy events in washington, d.c. and around country. yourn is brought to you by cable or satellite provider. >> the legend grew up that he this bad kid. he never lived on the waterfront in baltimore. i think he internalized -- you don't want psycho babble but i think he internalized the idea that he must be bad because why would neither of his parents have wanted him? and nday, on q&a, author journalist james levy, with her book the big fellow, on the lie legendary baseball player babe ruth. what's the called shot? >> 1932 world series. this back ets into and forth with charlie root, pitcher for the chicago cubs and you comes a legend that,
know, he's standing at home plate and the cubs in their them.t are yelling at the yankees are yelling back at the cubs and he raises one for two r one strike, strikes, and then he points the myth, he point out to the bleachers and the grand stands, jane levy. sunday night eastern on cue and and a.q next, a class on the state of the union address. explains that many presidents chose to send a written statement. he explains how the speeches have evolved and have been