Old Briton (American Indians Ready Reference)
Article abstract: Old Briton attempted to change Miami trading partners and allies from the French to the English in the mid-eighteenth century.
Frustrated by high prices and chronic shortages of French trade goods, Old Briton hoped to persuade his people to break ties with the French and open trade with the British. Having met British traders in his earlier travels along the lower Wabash and on the Ohio River, he understood that political relations with the British would be advantageous. In the fall of 1747, after participating in a failed uprising against the French, Old Briton led his followers east and founded a new village, Pickawillany, on the Great Miami River in western Ohio.
Old Briton sent a delegation to Pennsylvania, which signed a treaty of friendship and alliance and initiated the desired trading relationship. Despite repeated French efforts to persuade or intimidate Old Briton back into the old relationship, he diplomatically put them off. Pickawillany grew into a major western trading center, with Weas, Piankashaws, Kickapoos, and Mascoutens bringing their furs to the British. A small, ineffective French attack on Pickawillany in the summer of 1751 stimulated Old Briton to organize a general Indian war against the French, which included his execution of three French soldiers and mutilation of a fourth, who was then sent back to Canada.
Recognizing the threat Old Briton posed to their empire, the...
(The entire section is 330 words.)
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