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Usage note: Lord Dunmore's battle against the Shawnee and Mingo needs a good action verb. The original "eradicate" is too much an overstatement, but "punish" seems a bit of historical revisionism. Thoughts?
SwissCelt 03:30, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I agree that the original "eradicate" is unsatisfactory: it's not only an overstatement, it's inaccurate. Dunmore brought two armies to the Scioto and was in the position to inflict much more destruction, yet he instead forced the Indians to come to terms. Genocide was not on his mind; securing Kentucky lands was. He seems not to have been an Indian hater; he may have disliked Americans -- particularly those ungovernable American frontiersmen -- more than he disliked Indians. He lamented that racist American settlers refused to honor treaties made with the Indians. (And it's interesting to remember that a year later Dunmore would be offering freedom to black slaves who fought against the American revolutionaries.) An elitist like Lord Dumore was no civil rights activist by any stretch, but eradication was probably not on his agenda.
The verbs Dunmore used to describe his invasion of Shawnee Ohio included "chastise," "impress", "distress." (As related in White's "Middle Ground" and Downes's "Council Fires".) "Punish" is a pretty good synonym for "chastise," but if that doesn't quite ring true for you, perhaps "subdue" or "subjugate" works better. --Kevin Myers 04:37, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I used the original "eradicate". To be honest, I didn't give it much thought, as I was doing minor rewording from http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/publications/geo/route23/stake.html . There, the source makes the claim, "The Indian nations wished peace, to which Dunmore agreed, much to the chagrin of Col. Lewis and many of the troops, who were bent upon destroying the Indians." This seemed over the top to me at the time, so I changed it to "eradicate" which, of course, is synonymous (but sounds a bit more clinical).
Ideally, I'd like a word that implies a more neutral stance between the perspective of Lord Dunmore and that of Cornstalk. Maybe "subdue"? SwissCelt 03:38, 1 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Yeah, "subdue" does the trick. I guess the key is that Dunmore & Lewis probably had rather different agendas. As I understand it, Lewis was angry, having just lost his brother in battle, and ready to inflict some serious damage (maybe not "destroying the Indians," but certainly "destroying their villages"), while Dunmore was satisfied with negotiating a treaty with the Shawnees. (An irony -- with Dunmore forced out of power the next year, it would be Lewis et. al. conducting the formal treaty in 1775 at Fort Pitt with Cornstalk et. al.)--Kevin Myers 05:22, 1 Oct 2004 (UTC)