Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Douglas Biggs, Christopher Steinke
American Revolution;Backcountry;Creek;Georgia;Muscogee;Native Americans
Native Americans featured prominently in the letters and military communications of revolutionary Georgians. Georgians called them friends and brothers during treaty talks, “savages” in appeals to the Continental Congress, and honorable and virtuous people when discussing the Natives’ philosophical nature. Each name represented a specific purpose as the Georgians sought to invoke Native Americans in propaganda for the Whigs’ own advantage during the Revolutionary War. The double-talk that spilled forth created a confusing world in which Native Americans played both friend of liberty and “butcher” of innocent women and children in the minds of Georgia Whigs. Throughout the turbulent war years, the role of the Native Americans’ physical presence in the conflict varied between neutrality and outright hostility toward the rebellious Georgians; however, they consistently appeared in appeals to Congress for aid and in propaganda meant to turn the backcountry into Whigs. The use of Native Americans as scapegoats became a political trope, which Georgia mastered to the point of turning employing fearmongering Indian fighters bent on using the war to claim more land on the Georgia frontier. How to deal with the Indians ultimately rent Georgia Whigs into two camps between those in favor of Indian neutrality and those in favor of an outright Indian war. This thesis will show how the use of Native American-centered propaganda not only shaped military movements but should be valued because of how it molded the outcome of the war in Georgia and created a volatile world of confusion for both Native Americans and Georgians as they vied for independence from Great Britain.
Moore, Daniel Zane, "Friends, Brothers, and Murderers: Georgia’s Propaganda War during the American Revolution" (2021). History Theses, Dissertations, and Student Creative Activity. 7.