Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xiv

My earliest memory of writing is of having strived to complete a story of a few sentences and wondering how anyone ever managed to come up with enough things to say to write an entire book! What I have learned in the thirty years since then is that no one does it alone. This book, like all others, is a collaborative product, born of casual chats over coffee or gin and the far more formal process of peer review. I am profoundly grateful to all those who have helped to make this book possible....

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Introduction

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pp. 1-14

The London newspapers revealed the long-awaited peace preliminaries between Great Britain and the United States of America to the British public on the morning of January 29, 1783. Londoners awoke to learn that their former countrymen across the Atlantic Ocean were now foreigners. After eight years of war, George III’s formal recognition that thirteen of Britain’s former American colonies were “free Sovereign and independent States” came as little surprise. But Britons were shocked to read about the extensive territory embraced by the United States. The press reported that the new boundary separating Britain’s remaining North...

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1 “You Damn Yankee What Brought You Here?”

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pp. 15-46

The British garrison of Fort Niagara received some uninvited guests on the morning of August 1, 1783. The fort’s commander, Brigadier Allan Maclean, expressed his “great surprise” at the arrival of “three Batteaux’s... from Schnectady Loaded with Rum to trade at the Upper posts.”1 The traders, who had successfully slipped past Major John Ross, the commander of Fort Oswego, presented Maclean with papers and certificates from U.S. general Philip Schuyler, New York governor George Clinton, and the mayor of Albany requesting safe passage to Detroit and Michilimackinac....

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2 “It Shall at All Times Be Free to His Majesty’s Subjects ”

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pp. 47-77

At daybreak on the morning of November 4, 1791, the confederates launched their attack on the slumbering American forces camped on both banks of the Wabash River. The attacking army was a multi-ethnic body, with representatives of numerous nations from the Great Lakes and the Ohio River Valley under the command of Blue Jacket, Little Turtle, and Buckongahelas, the leading war captains of the Shawnees, Miamis, and Delawares. The confederates began their assault with a chilling cry before concentrating their musket fire on the militiamen, who made up the majority of U.S. general Arthur St. Clair’s army. The militia broke....

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3 “To Guard the National Interest against the Machinations of Its Enemies ”

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pp. 78-103

General James Wilkinson declared martial law in Detroit on July 12, 1797, a year and a day after the United States occupied the town. “To guard the National Interests against the Machinations of its enemies, secret or ouvert, Foreign or Domestic,” Wilkinson resolved to treat “all persons resorting to or residing within the limits” of Detroit as “followers of the army.” Wilkinson’s proclamation received the support of the magistrates and sheriff of Wayne County, who entertained “disagreable apprehensions from the dangers that at present MENACE its tranquility from an approaching Ennemy, as well as from internal and increasing factions.”1...

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4 “The Equivocal Attributes of American Citizen and British Subject”

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pp. 104-134

Troubling news arrived in Montreal from Michilimackinac in February 1803. Forsyth, Richardson & Company and Parker, Gerrard, Ogilvy & Company sent an urgent memorial to Lieutenant-Governor Peter Hunter of Upper Canada to complain of the actions of David Duncan, the new collector of customs for the port of Michilimackinac. They “learnt with infinite concern” that Duncan “had set out from thence for Saint Marys, with an intention of seizing a quantity of Merchandise” worth five thousand pounds belonging to the New North West Company (better known as the XY Company). The collector claimed that the...

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5 “We Ought to Have the Trade within Our Awen Country ”

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pp. 135-162

The New York merchant John Jacob Astor made his way north to Montreal in September 1808. This was a familiar journey for Astor, who had regularly attended the town’s annual fur auctions for over twenty years. This trip was different, for the New Yorker meant to purchase more than furs. He intended to buy the Michilimackinac Company. Keen to court the favor of the Jefferson administration, Astor wrote Albert Gallatin about his negotiations in terms of economic nationalism. In Astor’s telling, he was not merely offering to buy the company’s furs; he was brokering a deal that would see the “Boundarys of 1783” mark a territorial division...

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6 “When the American Stripes Alone Protect the Western Hemisphere”

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pp. 163-191

The London Morning Chronicle broke the news of the new British-American commercial treaty in October 1815. While both governments had ratified the peace treaty concluded at Ghent on Christmas Eve 1814, the commercial convention marked the final conclusion of the broader diplomatic settlement ending the War of 1812. As the Morning Chronicle had feared, the British negotiators had proved no match for their American counterparts: the commercial agreement abandoned the king’s Indians to “the mercy of their neighbours” and left the British Empire “on worse ground than when we began the war.” 1...

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7 “British Subjects Are Always Black Sheep ”

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pp. 192-202

In the winter of 1818, John Lawe poured his desperation into a letter to fellow trader Thomas Anderson. Reflecting on his declining fortunes and health, Lawe wrote, “This is three years nearly Dear Tommy since peace has been made and I have been in Hell ever since.” Constantly harassed by the American government’s “Hell Hounds,” Lawe lamented the loss of his youthful vigor, replaced by graying hair, a worn body, and an “agitated” mind—and all for being a British subject. Lawe estimated that U.S. agents at Green Bay had cost him at least two thousand pounds by throwing “every Obstacle” in the way of his trade “since these doodles has taken possession...

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Epilogue “The Gallant Champions of British Influence”

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pp. 203-208

Samuel R. Thurston, the delegate from Oregon Territory, presented a memorial of fifty-six U.S. colonists to the U.S. House of Representatives on December 26, 1850, praying that Congress would confirm their land titles in Oregon City. The Donation Land Claim Act passed by Congress the previous September had set aside portions of Oregon City to help provide revenue to establish a university in the territory. The memorial’s subscribers had all purchased lots in Oregon City before Congress had reserved them for the use of the territorial legislature, and they were naturally worried that they would lose their homes and investments....

Notes

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pp. 209-244

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 245-258

Index

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pp. 259-268

Early American Histories

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pp. 269-274