Piqua Shawnee: History of Sixty Years of War

Piqua Shawnee: History of Sixty Years of War

After the Battle of the Monongahela, in 1755, many Shawnees fought with the French during the early years of the French and Indian War until they signed the Treaty of Easton in 1758. When the French were defeated, in 1763, many Shawnees joined Pontiac's Rebellion against the British, which failed a year later.

The Royal Proclamation of 1763, which was issued during Pontiac's Rebellion, drew a boundary line between the British colonies in the east and the Ohio Country, which was west of the Appalachian Mountains. The Treaty of Fort Stanwix in 1768, however, extended that line westwards, giving the British a claim to what is now West Virginia and Kentucky. Shawnees did not agree to this treaty: it was negotiated between British officials and the Iroquois, who claimed sovereignty over the land although Shawnees and other Native Americans hunted there.

After the Stanwix treaty, Anglo-Americans began pouring into the Ohio River Valley. Violent incidents between settlers and Indians escalated into Dunmore's War in 1774. British diplomats managed to isolate the Shawnees during the conflict: the Iroquois and the Delawares stayed neutral, while the Shawnees faced the British colony of Virginia with only a few Mingo allies. Lord Dunmore, royal governor of Virginia, launched a two-prong invasion into the Ohio Country. Shawnee Chief Cornstalk attacked one wing, but was defeated in the only major battle of the war, the Battle of Point Pleasant. In the Treaty of Camp Charlotte, Cornstalk and the Shawnees were compelled to recognize the Ohio River boundary established by the 1768 Stanwix treaty.

Many other Shawnee leaders refused to recognize this boundary, however, and when the American Revolutionary War broke out in 1775, a number of Shawnees advocated joining the war as British allies in an effort to drive the colonists back across the mountains. The Shawnees were divided: Cornstalk led those who wished to remain neutral, while war leaders such as Chief Blackfish and Blue Jacket fought as British allies.

Piqua Shawnee has approximately 300 members, and is a recognized tribe by the State of Alabama. We are also a member of the Alabama Indian Affairs Commission. Piqua refers to one of the five septs of the Shawnee.

People of Piqua Shawnee Tribe are dedicated to the Shawnee language, culture and traditions. In order to retain these values, we hold numerous events each year, including cultural and educational programs for our elders, youth and members of our tribal community.