American Indians •  American West and History

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The Indian Frontier 1763-1846

Doug Hurt

This synthesis of Indian-white relations west of the Appalachians from the end of the French and Indian War to the beginning of the Mexican War is not simply a story of whites versus Indians. The term whites encompassed British, Spanish, and American settlers and governments, and the hundreds of Indian tribes who opposed them were no more unified than their European colonizers. The author focuses on relations among the British, the Spanish, the Americans, and Indian tribes in territories claimed by more than one of these groups, with particular emphasis on Indian tribes' pursuit of trade, peace, and guarantees of their land. Self-interest motivated all the players in these complex interactions, and when irreconcilable differences inevitably resulted these were settled by force.

The broad chronological and geographical scope of this volume encompasses British efforts to enforce new settlement policies after their defeat of the French, the Spanish system of missions and presidios, trade in the Columbia River basin of the Pacific Northwest, the Indian Removal Act and the Trail of Tears, and the establishment of a strong military presence to defend the trade routes of the Great Plains. The author's clear explanations of complex negotiations over trade, land, and policy among countless conflicting groups during a period of transition will be invaluable for students and for the interested general reader.


Howard R. Lamar is Sterling Professor Emeritus of History at Yale and a former president of that university.

Martin Ridge is a senior research associate in the Henry E. Huntington Library. He has taught at San Diego State University, Indiana University, and the California Institute of Technology. He is the former editor of the Journal of American History and the past president of the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association and Western History Association. He is the author of numerous scholarly and review articles dealing with the American West. He is the coeditor of Histories of the American Frontier.

David J. Weber is The Robert and Nancy Dedman Professor of History and the Director of the Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University.

R. Douglas Hurt is professor of history at Iowa State University. He is also the author of The Ohio Frontier: Crucible of the Old Northwest, 1720-1830.


"One of the best history books of the year, this well-written survey belongs in every academic library and most public libraries."


Library Journal

"Hurt demonstrates an admirable fluency with a wide literature. His chapters are broad ranging, accessible, and informative."


Montana Magazine

"Hurt has done an admirable job of synthesizing the complex history of Indian versus non-Indian in the US."


Book News, Inc.

"(Hurt's) richly informative account is no simple story of inevitable conquest. He recognizes causes and consequences, accomodations and repercussions. Hurt's commendable scholarly synthesis is clearly presented and engagingly written. A wide range of libraries and readers should acquire his book."


Arkansas Historical Quarterly

"Hurt's excellent account belongs in college classrooms and would make illuminating reading for the interested public as well."


New Mexico Historical Review

"Hurt's masterfully written synthesis should appeal to the general reader . . and prove invaluable to students and specialists in the field. The preface alone is worth the price of the book, and the chapters that follow live up to expectations. . . This admirable, nuanced survey of a complicated subject should find its way into classrooms and most academic libraries."


The Historian

6 x 9.25 in. 320 pages 36 halftones, 10 maps