Re: Washington, Montcalm and the bigger picture

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Posted by Elaine on May 01, 2000 at 09:00:50:

In Reply to: Washington, Montcalm and the bigger picture posted by Victoria on April 28, 2000 at 13:54:26:

: One of the reasons that Mann's LOTM and his Magua(and of course Studi's) was so great was that for once you had a sense that there was more going on than just the events depicted on screen. It's about time that the bigger picture was presented, or at least more than has been.

: I have not seen the film that shows Washington at Fort Necessity/The Meadows but will take a guess that it focuses, as usual, on virile, patriotic men in colorful uniforms and frontier attire (oh, yeah). It leaves out more than it includes. It leaves out the multi-cultural make up of their party. Alequippa was there. ("Just because they’ve got something extra in their pants SURE doesn’t mean their brains work any better.") Tanachrisson was there. ("These white guys are stupider than I thought.") A Jewish trader was there. ("Now I KNOW I’ll never get my trade goods back that the French stole.") Washington probably brought one of his African servants along. ("What am I doing HERE?") {All prior quotes are my feeble attempt at interjecting humor.} We don’t find out Washington had learned to lie by then. "A Mingo had heard the English would destroy all the Indians who did not join them." Washington told them "The only motive of our conduct," ‘he assured the Indians was’ "to put you again in possession of your lands , and to take care of your wives and children, to dispossess the French, to maintain your rights and to secure the whole country for you; for these very ends are the English arms now employed.’" F. Jennings, Empire of Fortune (p. 66) quoting from the Diaries of George Washington, J.C. Fitzpatrick, ed. Yeah, right. We don’t see the complete reason Washington and Gist were there. What were Virginians doing in Pennsylvania’s future back yard anyway? Besides intercolonial machinations they were also using their uniforms as a front for their interest in the Ohio Company (see Darlington’s bio of Gist) because the Indians would catch on to their real purposes.

: I have a quote for a reply to the discussion about Montcalm and Magua, but I have to get to the library for it’s attribution. Suffice it, for now, to say both sides were using economic blackmail on the Indians by threatening to cut off trade goods, and taking certain ritualistic traditions of war and inflating them for their own uses. Each side sang the "War Song", promising that their side would be the one to ensure possession of the Indian’s lands, and used scalps as practically the only way for the Indians could receive payment for fighting. Washington, Croghan, Johnson and most of the English players at the Easton conferences had vested interests in those very lands they denied being interested in. Bouquet also told the Indians they would leave the minute those mean old French were driven out.

: There’s a lot more to it than this, but I’m getting ready to plant my tomatos and don’t really wish to lock The Board up, or chase away Many Flags and amigos, or anybody else.

: Carry on, PLEASE,
: Victoria
:

Dear Victoria,

Thank you VERY much for this post! My apologies for not having had the time to take this up for proper discussion. It warrants quite a bit of attention as you've raised pertinent questions in regards to the 'bigger picture.'

[Lock the Board up or chase away amigos??? The day a post such as this, filled with such provocative historical tidbits that touches upon the true nature of the F & I war, is seen as anomolalous is the day we'd have to consider the Board as having run its course.]

Okay ...

"Washington, Croghan, Johnson and most of the English players at the Easton conferences
had vested interests in those very lands they denied being interested in. Bouquet also told the
Indians they would leave the minute those mean old French were driven out."

"What were Virginians doing in
Pennsylvania’s future back yard anyway? Besides intercolonial machinations they were also
using their uniforms as a front for their interest in the Ohio Company (see Darlington’s bio of
Gist) because the Indians would catch on to their real purposes."

These two quotes in particular, Victoria, contain the seeds for some excellent discussions! The Ohio Company & its interested parties was a great contributor to the unfolding of events within the interior & subsequently, in the eastern theatres.
Yes, both the French & the English were playing economic manipulation to gain favor, service, and alliances. No doubt. However, there was a third player in the art of political shrewdness; the Iroquois. I realize the first argument most are ready to put forth is that the Iroquois were protecting 'Indian land.'
Okay ... to be as much the devil's advocate as I can be, I ask, which Indians' land? There was no unity or shareholding & the Iroquois successfully struck agreements that served their own interests while causing loss to others, the Algonquians generally speaking.

So ... would it be accurate or not to say the Iroquois were somewhat imperialistic?

I would like very much to hear thoughts on this from as many as possible!

Thank you, Victoria ... as always!

E

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