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Indian Reserve (1763)

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Indian Reserve (1763)

Indian Reserve
Territory of British America




Flag of British America

Union flag 1606

Location of British America
Indian Reserve west of Alleghenies in 1775, after Quebec was extended to the Ohio River. Map does not reflect border as most recently adjusted by Treaty of Camp Charlotte (1774) and Henderson Purchase (1775) that opened WV, most of KY, and parts of TN to white settlement.
 -  Royal Proclamation of 1763 October 7 1763
 -  Treaty of Fort Stanwix November 5 1768
 -  Vandalia (colony) December 27 1769
 -  Quebec Act January 13 1774
 -  Transylvania (colony) March 14 1775
 -  Treaty of Paris (1783) September 3 1783
Map of the Divides. The territory lay west of the Eastern Continental Divide.
Map of Rupert's Land. In Canada the land formed a small strip between the Great Lakes and Rupert's Land.

The Indian Reserve is a historical term for a largely uncolonized area in North America ceded by France to Britain following the French and Indian War, set aside in the Royal Proclamation of 1763[1] for use by American Indians, who already inhabited it.[2]

In present-day United States, it consisted of all the territory north of Florida and New Orleans that was east of the Mississippi River and west of the Eastern Continental Divide in the Appalachian Mountains that formerly comprised the eastern half of Louisiana (New France). In modern Canada, it consisted of all the land immediately north of the Great Lakes but south of Rupert's Land belonging to the Hudson's Bay Company, as well as a buffer between the Province of Quebec (1763–1791) and Rupert's Land stretching from Lake Nipissing to Newfoundland.

Most of the ceded territory had been claimed earlier by East Florida, West Florida, and Quebec. The rest of the expanded British territory was left to American Indians. The delineation of the Eastern Divide, following the Allegheny Ridge of the Appalachians, confirmed the limit to British settlement established at the 1758 Treaty of Easton, before Pontiac's War.

According to the royal proclamation, all European settlers in the territory (who were mostly French) were supposed to leave the territory or get official permission to stay. Many of the settlers moved to New Orleans and the French land on the west side of the Mississippi (particularly St. Louis), which in turn had been ceded secretly to Spain to become Louisiana (New Spain). However, many of the settlers remained and the British did not actively attempt to evict them.

In 1768, lands west of the Alleghenies and south of the Ohio were ceded to the colonies by the Cherokee at the Treaty of Hard Labour and by the Six Nations at the Treaty of Fort Stanwix. However, several other Indian nations, particularly Shawnee and Mingo, continued to inhabit and claim their lands that had been sold to the British by other tribes. This conflict led to Dunmore's War in 1774, ended by the Treaty of Camp Charlotte where these tribes agreed to accept the Ohio River as the new boundary.

Restrictions on settlement were to become a flash point in the American Revolutionary War, following the Henderson Purchase of much of Kentucky from the Cherokee in 1775. The renegade Cherokee chief Dragging Canoe did not agree to the sale, nor did the Royal Government in London, which forbade settlement in this region. As an act of Revolution in defiance of the crown, white pioneer settlers began pouring into Kentucky in 1776, opposed by Dragging Canoe in the Chickamauga Wars, which continued until 1794.


Early settlements

French and Indian War

  • 1754 – A French unit under Uniontown, Pennsylvania. Washington's militia ambush the French unit, and one account has it that Jumonville is killed by Seneca nation chief Tanacharison while in custody of Washington, igniting the French and Indian War.
  • 1754 – Washington surrenders to Jumonville's half brother Louis Coulon de Villiers in the Battle of the Great Meadows in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. It is the only time Washington is to ever surrender in battle. He signs a document taking responsibility for the assassination of Jumonville and is released. The document is to be used to widen the war into the global Seven Years' War.
  • 1762 – Following massive French defeats, the French secretly cede Louisiana on the west side of the Mississippi to its ally Spain in the Treaty of Fontainebleau (1762).
  • 1763 – France cedes all lands in modern Canada and all lands east of the Mississippi in the Treaty of Paris (1763). Terms call for religious tolerance in Quebec and unrestricted emigration from French Canada for 18 months.
  • 1763 – George III issues the Royal Proclamation setting aside the Indian Reserve and orders all settlers to leave the reserve and declares that the Crown rather than individual colonies has the right to negotiate settlements.[3]

Push to settle the territory

American Revolutionary War

See also


  1. ^ Royal Proclamation
  2. ^ Colin Gordon Calloway (2006). The Scratch of a Pen: 1763 and the Transformation of North America. Oxford University Press. p. 99. 
  3. ^ Derek Hayes (2008). Canada: An Illustrated History. Douglas & McIntyre. p. 80. 
  4. ^ Barbara Graymont (1975). The Iroquois in the American Revolution. Syracuse University Press. p. 297. 
  5. ^ Jeff Broadwater (2006). George Mason, Forgotten Founder. Univ of North Carolina Press. p. 61. 
  6. ^ Spencer C. Tucker; James Arnold; Roberta Wiener (2011). The Encyclopedia of North American Indian Wars, 1607–1890: A Political, Social, and Military History. ABC-CLIO. p. 83. 

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