From Ohio History Central
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<p>Once the fur trade was well under way, American Indian groups competed against one another for hunting grounds in order to secure enough furs to develop strong relationships with French and British fur traders, the Shawnee being no exception. Starting in 1640, the Iroquois Confederacy, a confederation of five Iroquoian-speaking American Indian tribes, began a campaign referred to as the Beaver Wars during which they fought other American Indian groups, including those in the Ohio Country, in order to gain new access to fur-bearing game animals, especially beaver and deer. By the end of the 17th century, the Iroquois, who primarily traded with the British, drove the Shawnee, and other tribes with strong ties to French traders, out of the Ohio River Valley, who then settled in Georgia, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.</p>
<p>The Shawnee, and other tribes with claims to Ohio lands, could return in 1701 when the Treaty of Grande Paix ended the Iroquois’ campaign in the Ohio Country, but American Indians continued to struggle with other tribes against the colonies over land disputes. Throughout the 18th century, the Shawnee joined various American Indian alliances in attempts to defend their territories in Ohio and Kentucky. During the French and Indian War (1754-1763), the Shawnee supported the French, but the overwhelming British victory resulted in a loosely united American Indian rebellion, led by Pontiac, Chief of the Ottawa Tribe, which initiated a series of attacks referred to as Pontiac’s War or Pontiac’s Rebellion (1763-1764). Iroquois leaders relinquished American Indian rights to land south of the Ohio River by signing the Treaty of Fort Stanwix (1768) without consulting other tribes living in the Ohio Country, and settlers immediately moved into the area. The Shawnee and other tribes tried to push British colonists west of the Appalachian Mountains, which led to a group of British colonists killing eleven Seneca-Cayuga.
Chief Cornstalk of the Shawnee encouraged conciliation rather than retribution, but a later Seneca-Cayuga attack resulted in British retaliation and the destruction of several Shawnee villages in the Ohio Country. To avoid further bloodshed, some Shawnee agreed to the British’s terms and some also agreed to the Treaty of Fort Stanwix (1784), which ceded their rights to land east and south of the Ohio River. This was the first time American Indians who lived in Ohio agreed to relinquish some of their land.</p>
<p>The Shawnee continued to fight for their land by combating encroaching settlers, and joined an American Indian Alliance led by Little Turtle, Chief of the Myaamia Tribe, along with the help of Blue Jacket of the Shawnee, as well as warriors from the Lenape, Wyandotte, Ottawa, and Ojibwa tribes. Although the alliance aimed to thwart settlers’ attempts to take native lands by force, the Alliance was in no way a united body. Members of the Alliance struggled to abandon long-lasting conflict between tribes, which in some ways prevented the Alliance from campaigning as a seamless military and political entity. At the Battle of the Wabash (1792), however, the Alliance forces launched an exceptionally well-coordinated attack on the U.S. Army led by General Arthur St. Clair and thoroughly routed the much larger force.</p>