Page:Henry Adams' History of the United States Vol. 3.djvu/28

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Ch. 1.

officials in Canada, and in case of a war between the United States and England they were likely to enter into a British alliance. In this case unless the United States government could control Lake Erie, nothing was more certain than that Detroit and every other post on the Lakes beyond must fall into British hands, and with them the military possession of the whole Northwest. Whether Great Britain could afterward be forced to surrender her conquests remained to be seen.

Even in Kentucky the country between the Tennessee River and the Mississippi still belonged to the Chickasaws; and south of the Tennessee River as far as the Gulf of Mexico, and east to the Ocmulgee, all belonged to Cherokees, Creeks, and Choctaws, who could not boast, like the Chickasaws, that "they had never spilt the blood of a white man." These tribes maintained friendly relations with the Spanish authorities at Mobile and Pensacola, and, like the Shawanese and Northwestern Indians, dreaded the grasping Americans, who were driving them westward. In case of war with Spain, should New Orleans give trouble and invite a Spanish garrison, the Indians might be counted as Spaniards, and the United States government might be required to protect a frontier suddenly thrust back from the Floridas to the Duck River, within thirty miles of Nashville.

The President might well see with relief every new step that brought him within nearer reach of his remote military post and his proconsular province