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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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Negotiation, Manipulation, and Alliance-Building

Negotiation, Manipulation, and Alliance-Building

(p.89) 5 Negotiation, Manipulation, and Alliance-Building
Engines of Diplomacy

David Andrew Nichols

University of North Carolina Press

Between 1807 and 1812 the factory system reached institutional maturity, with a dozen posts serving Indian communities from the southern Appalachians to the Missouri Valley. These trading houses continued to serve the local agendas of Native American chiefs and hunters, as well as several different federal imperatives: diplomacy, land-acquisition, and the Indian “civilization” program. Some generated considerable business and revenue through sales of high-demand items like lead and small furs. Some provided acculturating Indians like the Wyandots with agricultural hardware and sophisticated consumer goods, encouraging their “civilization.” Some benefited only well-connected chiefs or private traders to whom the factors extended credit. One (Tellico) used factory debts and bribes to secure land cessions, but at the cost of a political revolution among the Cherokees. The trading houses became centers of dialogue between American national policies and local Indian socio-political aspirations, the latter of which, more often than not, prevailed.

Keywords:   Debts, Diplomacy, Gifts, Hatters' Furs, Indian Civilization

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