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Guarding the Frontier

Guarding the Frontier: A Study of Frontier Defense, 1815-1825

EDGAR BRUCE WESLEY
Copyright Date: 1935
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 232
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5749/j.cttts8c5
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  • Book Info
    Guarding the Frontier
    Book Description:

    “For almost a century the defense of the frontier was the chief consideration in the military policy of the United States,” Dr. Wesley observes. His book is the first detailed historical study of the military policy of the United States in the years immediately following the War of 1812, the period during which its policy was becoming clearly defined. The political, military, and economic factors lying behind the establishment of that policy are all given thorough treatment by the author, who discusses the various methods of defense evolved against the British to the north, the Spaniards in the south and west, and the Indians everywhere. The author demonstrates the importance of Indian affairs, of the factory system, and of the fur trade as elements in the westward expansion of the United States.

    eISBN: 978-1-4529-3617-8
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-xii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  3. CHAPTER I THE PROBLEMS OF FRONTIER DEFENSE
    (pp. 1-5)

    The westward expansion of the American people involved a threefold struggle: the mastery of the difficulties of nature, the subjection of the Indians, and the contest with foreign powers, whose subtle machinations threatened to destroy American control of the West. After the War of 1812 the menace of foreign powers gradually lessened, but the Indian problem was ever present. Before the frontiersman could clear the forests or plow the fields, he had to safeguard himself against attack. Individual settlers could not overcome the opposition of determined tribes, and whole settlements were sometimes unable to do so. Under such circumstances the...

  4. CHAPTER II THE PACIFICATION OF THE TRIBES
    (pp. 6-15)

    The Indian situation in 1815 required immediate attention. The pacification and control of those who had been hostile in the War of 1812 and the maintenance of friendly relations with the loyal tribes were primary objects of the frontier policy of the government. The Indians who had fought against the United States included those on the northern frontier, those on the western frontier as far south as the Missouri River, and the Creeks on the southern frontier. The friendly and neutral Indians included those in the Southwest, many along the southern frontier, most of the tribes between the Missouri and...

  5. CHAPTER III INDIAN AGENTS
    (pp. 16-30)

    As international relations call forth the diplomat, the commercial agent, and the soldier, so the problem of frontier defense produced the Indian agent, the factor, and the frontier soldier. The Indian policy of the United States was fourfold: diplomatic, commercial, humanitarian, and military. Each of these aspects constituted an integral part of the general plan of frontier defense. The making of treaties and the removal of tribes to more remote lands lessened friction and helped to insure peace on the frontier. The regulation of traders, the operation of the factory system, and the awarding of annuities and presents were means...

  6. CHAPTER IV THE FACTORY SYSTEM
    (pp. 31-54)

    The United States government developed an Indian policy that included annuities, presents, removals, agents, and frontier garrisons for restraining obstreperous braves and aggressive whites. In addition it undertook to protect the Indians against the exploitation of private traders by setting up government stores where the Indians could buy dependable goods at fair prices. These stores were called factories and the man in charge of each was called a factor.¹

    The factory system lasted from 1795 to 1822 and included a total of twenty-eight stores. Since the system exerted a great influence upon the Indians, frontier defense, the fur trade, and...

  7. CHAPTER V THE FUR TRADE
    (pp. 55-64)

    One of the most important factors in the development of the frontier was the fur trade.¹ The term in its broad sense includes the trade not only in furs but in hides, skins, buffalo robes, tallow, beeswax, maple sugar, and all the products of the forest that the Indians could exchange for the commodities of the trader. But the Indians were not skilled enough in hunting and trapping to be able to supply the demand for furs. The trader’s efforts were quickly supplemented by the trapper and hunter, who in many cases made it unnecessary to depend upon the Indian...

  8. CHAPTER VI THE NATIONAL MILITARY POLICY
    (pp. 65-99)

    For almost a century the defense of the frontier was the chief consideration in the military policy of the United States. Some theorists opposed any standing army whatever, and the militarists, ignoring actual requirements, advocated a large one. Neither group had its way. The defense of the frontiers necessitated the maintenance of an army of moderate size. The resulting policy slowly weakened, but did not destroy, the longstanding prejudices against a standing army. While international dangers occasionally threatened the peace and safety of the country, their effects were temporary. Such crises called forth volunteers from the entire nation, whereas the...

  9. CHAPTER VII ARMY ADMINISTRATION
    (pp. 100-117)

    The national military policy was determined by Congress and the president, who had the advice of the secretary of war. The laws prescribed limits to the size and cost of the army, but the numerous details of administration were worked out by the War Department, and the task of carrying out the policy fell upon the officers and the rank and file. The reduction of the army, the selection of officers, the organization of military units, the formation of defense plans, the location and erection of forts, the allocation of troops, the establishment of rules of procedure, and the supplying...

  10. CHAPTER VIII THE NORTHERN FRONTIER
    (pp. 118-132)

    The wisdom of the military policy and the efficiency of army administration were tested on the frontiers. Pride in the vast extent of the country as well as a consideration of the exposed frontiers caused some congressmen to support the establishment of 1815. The proximity of the British and Spaniards and their Indian policies affected both the formation of the policy and its administration. The location, number, and disposition of the Indians had a more immediate effect upon army administration Each frontier presented its particular difficulties and dangers. The northern frontier¹ received attention first.

    The War of 1812 could not...

  11. CHAPTER IX THE MISSISSIPPI-MISSOURI FRONTIER
    (pp. 133-143)

    The war of 1812 came to an end with reasonable promptness on the northern frontier, where the British predominated, but the situation was quite different on the Mississippi-Missouri frontier,¹ where the Indians had been the chief combatants against the Americans. The news of peace spread slowly, and when it did arrive the Indians received it with sullen acquiescence or open hostility. On March 22 Governor William Clark of Missouri Territory wrote a note to the British officer on the Mississippi enclosing a copy of theNational Intelligencercontaining the news of peace. Three days later Colonel William Russell, commandant at...

  12. CHAPTER X THE NORTHWESTERN FRONTIER
    (pp. 144-165)

    The rapid settlement of the northern and western frontiers facilitated the military occupation of more remote regions. The United States government endeavored to protect the fur traders wherever they went and to counteract foreign influence over the Indians by substituting American control. The fur traders operated far beyond the settled areas and traded with remote tribes. The carrying out of the government policy thus necessitated the establishment of a military frontier in advance of settlement. Such a frontier was established by the erection of posts at the mouth of the Minnesota and at Council Bluffs on the Missouri.

    James Monroe,...

  13. CHAPTER XI THE FLORIDA FRONTIER
    (pp. 166-175)

    Because of Indian disturbances and international complications the Florida frontier required special attention in the period after the War of 1812. The dissatisfied Creeks who had fled across the border and the Seminole of Florida presented a problem that was made more difficult by the fact that they were the subjects of a foreign power. The conflicting claims of Spain and the United States to West Florida influenced the allocation of troops.¹ The running of the Creek line in accordance with the Treaty of Fort Jackson² required the presence of troops, and the removal of Indians and the restraint of...

  14. CHAPTER XII THE SOUTHWESTERN FRONTIER
    (pp. 176-186)

    The defense of the southwestern frontier had two Phases: the control of the Indians and the maintenance of order along the Louisiana-Texas border. Both phases continued throughout the decade, though the supervision of the border was not adequately performed until 1819 and the troops required for the control of the Indians were not sent in any considerable numbers until the termination of the Florida troubles. From 1815 until 1819 such forces as were in the Southwest were occupied with the control of the domestic tribes. After that, troops that had been stationed on the Florida frontier were available, and the...

  15. A. List of Indian Agents and Sub-Agents, 1815–25
    (pp. 189-191)
  16. B. List of Factors, 1795–1822
    (pp. 192-192)
  17. C. Indian Peace Commissioners, 1815–25
    (pp. 193-193)
  18. D. Secretaries of War, 1815–25
    (pp. 194-194)
  19. E. Strength of the Army, 1815–25
    (pp. 194-194)
  20. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 195-204)
  21. INDEX
    (pp. 205-217)