a century before the United States declared the end of the Indian
Wars, the fate of Native Americans was revealed in the battle of
Fallen Timbers. In 1794, General Anthony Wayne led the American
army— the Legion of the United States—against a unified Indian force
in the Ohio country. The Indians were routed and forced to vacate
their lands. It was the last of a series of Indian attempts in the
East to retain their sovereignty and foreshadowed what would occur
across the rest of the continent.
In Guyasuta and the Fall of Indian America, historian Brady J.
Crytzer traces how American Indians were affected by the wars leading
to American Independence through the life of one of the period’s
most influential figures. Born in 1724, Guyasuta is perfectly positioned
to understand the emerging political landscape of America in the
tumultuous eighteenth century. As a sachem of the vaunted Iroquois
Confederacy, for nearly fifty years Guyasuta dedicated his life
to the preservation and survival of Indian order in a rapidly changing
world, whether it was on the battlefield, in the face of powerful
imperial armies, or around a campfire negotiating with his French,
British, and American counterparts. Guyasuta was present at many
significant events in the century, including George Washington’s
expedition to Fort Le Boeuf, the Braddock disaster of 1755, Pontiac’s
Rebellion and the Battle of Bushy Run in 1763, and the Battle of
Oriskany during the American Revolution. Guyasuta’s involvement
in the French and British wars and the American War for Independence
were all motivated by a desire to retain relevance for Indian society.
It was only upon the birth of the United States of America that
Guyasuta finally laid his rifle down and watched as his Indian world
crumbled beneath his feet. A broken man, debilitated by alcoholism,
he died near Pittsburgh in 1794.
Supported by extensive research and full of compelling drama, Guyasuta
and the Fall of Indian America unravels the tangled web of alliances,
both white and native, and explains how the world of the American
Indians could not survive alongside the emergent United States.
Author Brady Crytzer teaches history at Robert Morris University.
A recipient of both the Donald S. Kelly and Donna J. McKee Awards
for outstanding scholarship, he is the author of Major
Washington’s Pittsburgh and the Mission to Fort Le Boeuf and
Fort Pitt: A Frontier History.
Paperback, 286 pages, 2013, 6” x 9”, 20 b/w illus., maps, index,
notes, biblio., $24.00