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      No Useless Mouth : Waging War and Fighting Hunger in the American Revolution 

      Cherokee and Creek Victual Warfare in the Revolutionary South

      edited_book
      Cornell University Press

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          Abstract

          This chapter focuses on the victual warfare that prevailed in the southern colonies and then states. Three periods of bad food diplomacy, victual warfare, or a combination of the two methods of communication—during 1775–1778, 1779, and 1780–1782—illustrate how confused policy, hunger, and violence became intertwined. The first time span reveals inadequate food diplomacy and changes in victual warfare. Indians'—Cherokees and Creeks—behavior shifted from killing and maiming animals to stealing, butchering, and eating them. During the second period, previous changes, in combination with the death of John Stuart—the southern agent for British Indian Affairs and a key official among the Creeks—disrupted Anglo-Indian alliances. This was characterized by extreme confusion caused by shoddy British food diplomacy, and by increased American attempts to create Native hunger, which they did by intensifying their victual warfare and circumscribing food-aid distributions. From 1780 to 1782 power relations were hard to predict. As British military leaders deprioritized Indian diplomacy, American states grew more likely to use the threat of victual warfare to try to create hunger and control people. At the same time, the states' Indian policies became inconsistent. Ultimately, unsuccessful food diplomacy had three results: it created confusion, it made white Americans reluctant to distribute food aid, and it forced people to associate victual warfare with famine creation, famine prevention, and violence.

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          Book Chapter
          November 15 2019
          May 21 2020
          : 65-86
          10.7591/cornell/9781501716119.003.0004
          faae425c-7809-4068-994f-5aba17b1eace
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