CORRESPONDENCE DOCUMENTS OF
CONTINENTAL CONGRESS MEMBERS
The documents do not portray specific references of the war and the violence but tend to be more on the academic side. The word "Congress" was used the most based on the word clout as it was used about 23,589 times. The links feature to see the connecting words for congress showed letter, president and papers. They give evidence of the policies and decision making that went on during the time of the massacre and how the president was a major component in propagating the policies. Once identified that documentation was the major source, the use of links again show strong connections of letter with books, dated and copy, further highlighting the academic nature of these documents. The main sources were letters and general papers used to propagate the conversations. The use of collocates confirm the importance of letters and papers based on the count values. The use of president appear on the lower side in terms of count which meant that even though these words were the most used in connection to congress it was more about the documentation and writing, crucial in deriving policies pertaining to the Native Americans and British.
CORRESPONDENCE DOCUMENTS OF
CONTINENTAL CONGRESS MEMBERS
The word "Indian" appeared in a consistently low frequency from 1776 to 1782, but appeared much more frequently in the correspondence between the congress members since 1782, the year of Gnadenhutten massacre, and continued to rise in the following years. Absence of words related to Indian and violence ("die") indicates the ignorance of the government to the constant conflicts between Anglo Americans and native Americans. According to Harper's and Sterner's "government ignorance" theory, the American government paid minimal attention to the conflicts between the Indians and the settlers, but focus more on drawing up treaties and acquiring land instead. Furthermore, there were many miscommunication between the Continental authorities and the militia on Indians affairs. The Gnadenhutten massacre was thus a prime example in which internal division among American settlers led to the massacre of innocent and peaceful Moravian Indians (Harper).
19TH CENTURY NEWSPAPERS
ON GNADENHUTTEN MASSACRE
The above graph shows the changing relative frequency of "Indian*" and "Moravian*" across the corpus of 19th century newspaper articles. It is clear that the trends of “Indian*” and “Moravian*” are inversely related to each other. This pattern indicates that while they sometimes collocate with each other, “Indian*” and “Moravian*” are used exclusively of each other a lot of times. The word the author uses to address the victims often reflect the author’s opinion on the specific identity of the massacred. According to Harper’s analysis, Gnadenhutten residents were killed because of their identity as either “Indian”, or “Moravian”, or “Christian”. The “Indian-hating” theory is the reason that most 20th-century historians proposed why the settlers massacred the Gnadenhutten residents, stating that the massacre reflects the settlers’ hatred on general Indians. The intensive conflicts between the natives and the colonists thus drove the militia to vent their anger of the natives who killed their fellows on these innocent neutral Indians. In this case, these Moravians are regarded as the same as other Indians by the militia. On the other hand, Harper proposed the "non-neutral" theory, that the natives were killed because of their “Moravian” identity, due to a suspect of their treachery since the Seven Years’ War. When the Moravians tried their best to play neutral by appeasing both sides, they would feed intelligence to the colonists at the same time when they would sustain the Indian raiders, thus giving both sides reason to hate and suspect them. Still, the native might also be killed because of their “Christianity”, which indicates their close relationship with the missionaries and incites the hatred of the settlers because of the ongoing Revolutionary War.
AMERICAN STATE PAPERS ON INDIAN AFFAIRS
Network graph displaying collocates for the key words: indian, indians, war, and peace.
Stacked bar graph displaying the relative frequency of key words across the corpus.
The primary collocates of “war” demonstrate the constant presence of the US Department of War in mitigating the executive actions that dictated the relationship of the US government with Native American. The network graph displays the primary collocates of the word “war” as “secretary” and “department.” One of the other collocates displayed references to William H. Crawford who served as Secretary of War from 1815 to 1816. The relative frequency of “war” in comparison to “peace,” war has higher relative frequencies and covers the entire corpus. The relative frequency of peace appears to peak at several early instances in the corpus documents but appears to be sequentially concentrated in the later half of the documents. The relative frequency values of “peace” appear to be concentrated in the later half of the documents. It is also important to note that there are several documents where the frequencies referencing to Native Americans occur alongside war more frequently than those discussing Native Americans and peace.
Examining the other collocates, the words “tribes” and “trade” are common for both “indian” and “indians.” The presence of the word “trade” indicates a concern over commerce connected or relying on Native Americans. All of the collocates produced from the four key words indicate technical concerns from the federal government over Native American communities, such as commerce or whether they are allied with enemies. Earlier attempts to search for words that directly relate to acts of violence that may have been directed towards Native Americans was unfruitful. Scholars have proposed varying arguments over the role of the federal government in relation to the violence in early western territories. Patrick Griffin has stated that the development of anti-Indian attitudes relies on the government’s administrative interference on western territories and reluctance to intervene with military support (Griffin, 2005). This in turn resulted in vigilante militia and settler initiated violence against Native Americans. Regardless of motive, this corpus demonstrates the ways in which early official government documents have failed to account or recognize the level of violence faced by Native Americans.