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074 Middle British Colonies 1771

074 Middle British Colonies 1771

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This map depicts the middle British colonies surrounding parts of the US and Canada, as they stood in 1771. It is very detailed, colorful, and contains a lot of written information. It should be noted that the legend does not correspond to the coloring found on the map in all instances. This was probably a mistake that was missed during the time of production.

However, the real intriguing part of this map is the treaty reached between the British and the Indian Nations of Seneca, Cayuga, and Onondaga. The embellished badge in the upper left corner gives a summary of what occurred. Essentially, it explains that the Indian Nations surrendered their beaver hunting country to the British as far as the boundary of New York. At first glance, it appears that this is typical historical rhetoric involving stories of conquest and surrender. However, there is a completely different viewpoint from the Indians.

To understand this, you have to backtrack a bit from the 1726 date of the treaty. In fact, you have to go back about 100 years. It seems that the beginning of the 1700s was the end of a 92 year long war between the Native Americans and the French. The French ultimately lost. At the conclusion of the war, a peace treaty was signed with the French in 1701, along with their remaining allies. That very year, the Indians agreed to divide the land they had conquered with the British. The chiefs of the various tribes were invited to come to London as a guest of the queen. They were given the title, "The Romans of the New World" and promoted among all of the courts in Europe. They were revered.

In fact, the Indians still have the silver given to them by Queen Anne to this very day. All of that to say, the British did not arrive in Canada until after the Native Americans had cleared the way. So from their perspective, rather than surrendering land to the British, they gifted land to the British, as part of the treaty established post war. It's amazing how maps can offer interesting historical tidbits if you do a bit of digging.


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