How Indigenous Americans and colonial settlers negotiated the meaning of independence in the Revolutionary era

On July 4, 1776, two hundred miles northwest of Philadelphia, on Indigenous land along the West Branch of the Susquehanna River, a group of colonial squatters declared their independence. They were not alone in their efforts. This bold symbolic gesture was just a small part of a much broader and longer struggle in the Northern Susquehanna River Valley, where diverse peoples, especially Indigenous nations, fought tenaciously to safeguard their lands, sovereignty, and survival.

This book immerses readers in that intense, decades-long struggle. By intertwining the experiences of Indigenous Americans, rebellious colonial squatters, opportunistic land speculators, and imperial government agents, Christopher Pearl reveals how conflicts within and between them all set the terms and ultimately shaped the meaning of the American Revolution. In the crucible of this conflict, memories, histories, and animosities collided and converged with tremendous consequences. Declarations of Independence delves into the racial violence over land and sovereignty that suffused the Revolutionary Age and helps restore Indigenous peoples to their central position at the founding of the United States.
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