Shawnee People

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Shawnee People

Origin and History

The Shawnee people (literally “southerners”) are an Algonquian-speaking group of Native Americans. They initially inhabited a territory in Southern Ohio West Virginia and western Pennsylvania. Around 1660, during the Beaver Wars, the Iroquois Confederacy drove them out of these territories and they migrated to South Carolina, eastern Pennsylvania, and southern Illinois, but mainly to the west of the Cumberland Mountains and centered around the valley of the Cumberland River in present-day Tennessee.

At the beginning of the XVIIIth century, the Shawnee people gradually returned to their initial territories on the Ohio River and Tennessee rivers. They also established temporary villages in present-day South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama; in the western parts of present-day Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York; and the southern parts of present-day Indiana and Illinois.

During the French and Indian Wars (1689-1763), the Shawnee people were initially allied with the French, but some bands began to trade with the British at Pickawillany on the Ohio River. Other bands became subjects of the Iroquois Confederacy and fought on the side of Great Britain.

In 1763, most Shawnee warriors joined Pontiac in his rebellion, which was finally quenched by the British.

In 1774, the Shawnee people fought the Virginians in what is known as the “Lord Dunmore’s War,” but were finally forced to cede some territory to the British settlers.

During the War of the American Independence, the Shawnee people sided with Great Britain. After the war, they took part in other rebellions against the government of the United States and in the War of 1812.

In the 19th century, the Shawnee people were gradually displaced to present-day Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas ans Texas, before being relocated to Oklahoma.

Role during the War

At the beginning of the Seven Years’ War, the Shawnee people was allied with the French.

In 1758, the Shawnee people made peace with the British colonies at the Treaty of Easton.


N. B.: We have been unable to find more descriptions of the dress of this Native American people that would distinguish them from other peoples. If you can suggest sources documenting such characteristics, please do not hesitate to contact us with your suggestions.


Sulzman, Lee: Shawnee History

Waldman, Carl: Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes, Revised Edition, pp. 222-225

Wikipedia – Shawnee