Hunters and Explorers: Competing Interests in the Land:
In the years leading to and following the American Revolution, Kentucky was being explored and claimed by European land speculators. As they, along with hunters who preceded them, competed with the American Indians for control of the land, conflicts arose. These struggles often ended with a treaty between the American Indians and the Euro-Americans.
Virtually every treaty resulted in lost territory for the American Indians and additional land for the Euro-American settlers and westward-moving pioneers.
1763: The Proclamation Line of 1763 was issued by King George III after the Seven Years War. It was intended to pacify the frontier by preventing settlement west of the Appalachian Divide. The American Indians took it seriously; most land speculators ignored it.
1768: In the Treaty of Fort Stanwix, British purchased the land now known as Kentucky from the Iroquois. Although their homeland was in New York, the Iroquois claimed sovereignty over Kentucky. The Shawnee and Cherokee who also lay claim to the land, did not recognize the Iroquois claim. They were not party to the treaty and ultimately lost control of the land.
1775: At the Treaty of Sycamore Shoals, land speculator Richard Henderson traded food, clothing, weapons, and money with the Cherokee for 17 million acres of land including right of access to Cumberland Gap. Dragging Canoe, leader of the young Cherokee warriors who opposed land cessions, angrily protested the treaty.
Through the end of the 18th century, as American Indians continued to resist the expansion of the United States, they continued to lose their homelands and hunting grounds in the Ohio River Valley to westward moving American settlers.....