Assarigoa's line: Anglo-Iroquois origins of the Virginia frontier, 1675--1774
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Stephen Saunders Webb
Anglo-Iroquois, Virginia, Frontier, Alexander Spotswood, William Gooch
History | United States History
"Assarigoa's Line" argues that the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century expansion of the Virginia backcountry was a function of Anglo-Iroquois treaty councils conducted once every generation by the Iroquois Grand Council and the governors of Virginia. The province's expansion was an orderly process driven by the desire of both Virginia's governors and Iroquois sachems to control interethnic violence on the trans-Appalachian frontier. Anglo-Iroquois diplomats convened each generation to negotiate a boundary line between Virginia and the Iroquois League and its tributaries based on defensible backcountry geographical features in an attempt to separate European settlers from Iroquois warriors. By the mid-eighteenth century, however, Virginia had stabilized and matured politically, while the Iroquois League struggled for survival. Virginia's governors turned Iroquois weakness to their own advantage as they converted their decades-old alliance into a mechanism through which to secure large western land grants. Through such manipulation, Virginians created a virtual empire that stretched from the Atlantic to the Ohio and Tennessee rivers by the outbreak of the American Revolution.
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Rhoades, Matthew Lawson, "Assarigoa's line: Anglo-Iroquois origins of the Virginia frontier, 1675--1774" (2000). History - Dissertations. Paper 20.