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paper - Nick Barone From the perspective of the Shawnee...

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Nick Barone From the perspective of the Shawnee tribe facing East, the treaty between the Shawnee and the United States at Fort Finney in 1786 was much more detrimental to the tribe than the American Commissioners described it to be. The account by Commissioner General Richard Butler of the treaty only takes one viewpoint into account, as the Indians saw the treaty’s implications in a much different light. The approach by the Shawnee to the treaty meeting was done according to custom. It was the second part of the nine part treaty protocol (Richter 135). The chiefs led the procession, followed by the warriors, who were followed by the women and children. They beat drums and danced in accordance with their traditions. When they arrived at the courthouse, they ran and fired three times, followed by the Americans returning the salute. Finally, the Indians were able to enter the meetinghouse. This was done before each treaty as a greeting and salute. In approaching the meeting for the treaty, the Shawnees anticipated being treated as equals, as brethren with the American people (Richter 138), but were instead treated as conquered people subject to the whim of the new government, as outlined in the treaty under the second term: “The Shawnese acknowledge the United States have the sole and absolute sovereignty of the whole country ceded by the King of Great Britain” (189). In this clause, rather than being seen as equals, the Shawnees see themselves being treated as subjects, and any land granted to them is because of the ‘mercy’ of the United States. Despite their previous presence in the Americas, because the United States had broken
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free of British rule, the Natives were at the mercy of a new government for any and all land.
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