Blood in the Water

© Jonathan Rex, 2020

Adult Historical Non-Fiction

Within the Declaration of Independence there is a sentence that has gone largely undiscussed in which the founders accused King George III of unleashing upon the inhabitants of “their frontiers” a race of fiendish monsters. Referring to them as “merciless Indian savages” the Virginians painted a picture of red-skinned devils which haunted U.S. history for the following 200 years. Their deliberate use of propaganda to make themselves out to seem heroic figures while invading Indian Territory inspired genocidal massacres across the country, hundreds of ghost stories, thousands of dime novels, and countless racist Hollywood stock characters. Little has been written about who the unnamed villains were that Americans were actually referring to . . . until now.

In 1775, three months before the Americans declared their independence from Great Britain, a man named Dragging Canoe declared war on the rogue Virginians who were attempting to illegally purchase Kentucky for the Transylvania Land Company at the Treaty of Sycamore Shoals. Defecting from the Cherokee Nation he relocated to Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, rallied thousands of warriors to him from over fourteen different Indian Nations, and began diplomatically organizing a Pan-Indian Kingdom with all of the leading war chiefs east of the Mississippi at the time following him. Coordinating George Washington’s most humiliating defeat as President in 1791 he successfully established his union, hand-picked his successors, and stepped aside as War Chief at the age of 60 to operate behind the scenes as an elder and advisor. The young men who followed him into battle went on to become some of Native America’s greatest legends. This is his story.

Back to Top