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Engines of DiplomacyIndian Trading Factories and the Negotiation of American Empire$
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David Andrew Nichols

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469626895

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469626895.001.0001

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Local Agendas and National Goals

Local Agendas and National Goals

(p.35) 2 Local Agendas and National Goals
Engines of Diplomacy

David Andrew Nichols

University of North Carolina Press

The first U.S. Indian factories, opened at Coleraine, Detroit, Saint Stephens, and other locations, served the southeastern and Great Lakes Indian nations. The War Department instructed the factors to charge low prices for manufactured goods and avoid alienating their Indian trading partners. These instructions allowed Native Americans to turn the trading houses to their own ends, using them as hospitality centers, general stores, dumping points for unsaleable peltries (such as deerskins), and sources of credit for elites, like the Chickasaws' Colbert family. Concurrently, however, the United States used the factories to pursue its own secondary, lower-profile agendas: increasing its influence in contested borderlands, undermining foreign traders, and persuading some Indian nations to exchange factory debts for land cessions.

Keywords:   Dearborn, Factors, Hospitality, Local, Merchandise, Southeastern Indians

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