No Useless Mouth: Periodizing Native Americans’ War for Independence

Age of Revolutions

By Rachel Herrmann

When does your American Revolution class begin and where does it end? Relatedly, do you include Native American histories of the conflict in your syllabus? If you don’t teach, but enjoy reading histories of the American Revolution, what dates or events would you use to bound this era if you were describing it to someone unfamiliar with it?

It’s not like historians have agreed where the Revolution begins and ends, but I also think that the periodization of Native American history significantly expands our chronological bounding of that tumultuous era. A good place to start on the periodization of the American Revolution writ large is the “Writing to and From the Revolution” forum in the Journal of the Early Republic and the William and Mary Quarterly.[1] For Native American history, I take as my beginning point the fact that several decades ago, Colin Calloway argued…

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