Ohio History Journal

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At the last meeting of the American Historical Association

(December, 1939) the chief of the General Staff of the United

States Army made some very critical remarks about the teaching

of military history in the United States. He expressed the wish

that teachers would tell and that text-books would relate the un-

complimentary and unvarnished truth about the ineptitude with

which the United States has conducted its wars.

The Maumee Valley, as we all know, was for centuries a

highway for traffic between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi

River. As such, France, Britain and the United States struggled

for it, among themselves, and with the Indians. When the valley

came under the jurisdiction of the United States, through the

Treaty of Peace of 1782-3, the Indians still held most of the

lands in the old Northwest Territory. By continued, and illegal

occupation of certain western posts, such as Detroit, the British

agents encouraged the Indians to resist the extension of the

power of the United States into the Maumee Valley. Three suc-

cessive efforts had to be made before the Indian power was


The first of these was the expedition of an army under

General Josiah Harmar, in the year 1790. At the Clements Li-

brary, University of Michigan, there are several thousand manu-

scripts which constitute the personal and military papers of Gen-

eral Harmar. They were acquired some years ago from a de-

scendant of General Hamar. In these we may trace, step by

step, the career of that officer, during his service in the American

Revolution, his trip abroad to carry back to Paris the final rati-

fication of the Treaty of Peace which ended that war, his ap-

pointment to service on the western frontier, first at Fort McIn-

tosh (Pennsylvania), then at Fort Harmar (Marietta, Ohio) and


* Summary.