The American Revolution was shaped by clashing ideas about the future of the West and who should control it. As the Stamp Act riled eastern seaports, frontiersmen clashed with the British Empire over another issue: Indian relations. When British officials launched a risky diplomatic expedition into Pennsylvania’s Allegheny frontier to open trade with the Indian warrior Pontiac, the Black Boys formed to stop it. Distrustful of native neighbors and suspicious of imperial aims, the Black Boys led an uprising that threatened the future of Britain’s empire. Patrick Spero discusses his 2018 book, Frontier Rebels: The Fight for Independence in the American West, 1765-1776, on this overlooked conflict and sheds new light on the origins of American independence.
Video courtesy of C-SPAN’s American History TV