Monday, May 13, 2019

Native American Jacobites!

From Stephanie Mann:
From The Catholic Herald, a review of a new book from OUP about the Wabanaki confederation of what is now north-eastern USA and south-eastern Canada, highlighting their desire to aid the Catholic Stuarts:
It was 1715 and a tribal people were preparing to assist in restoring Britain’s exiled Royal House of Stuart, sharpening tomahawks, covering themselves in war paint and raising sails on ships built to the highest technical standards of the day.

No, I haven’t been drinking too much Bourbon. Nor am I confusing Scottish highlanders, American Indians and Caribbean pirates. I am writing about a combination of two facts – the amassing of a fleet of sailing ships by the Indian tribes of the Wabanaki confederation, and the role which those tribes played in the Jacobite movement – facts which are virtually unknown but which can be studied in Matthew Bahar’s book, Storm of the Sea: Indians and Empires in the Atlantic’s Age of Sail. . . .

From the time they learned of the “Glorious Revolution” until the 1760s, the Wabanaki supported the claims of the Stuart dynasty, making them some of the last adherents of the Jacobite cause. It was a position which contributed to their cooperation with the Jacobites’ French allies in colonial campaigns during the War of the League of Augsburg, the War of the Spanish Succession and the War of the Austrian Succession – cooperation of greater strategic significance than might be readily apparent.

The more that Indian aid could minimise France’s need to send men and supplies to North America, the more resources France could spare for a Stuart restoration. Conversely, British victories in the colonies would divert French resources from Jacobite efforts. In 1745, for example, the French colonial fortress of Louisburg fell to a New England army. Had the fortress held out, the army and fleet which Louis XV sent to recapture it the following year would have been ordered to support Prince Charles Edward Stuart’s Jacobite rising, even if it meant setting out on such a mission after the Battle of Culloden.

The Wabanaki also contributed to bleeding dry the House of Hanover’s ability to make war. One of the major props of the power of Hanover was naval supremacy. The British navy’s most important source of timber for shipbuilding was the Wabanakis’ homeland. . . .(Read more.)

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