JOURNAL OF THE EARLY REPUBLIC (Winter 2013) to give to the Indians, who in turn granted him land. Croghan next sailed to London to vindicate those land titles, getting shipwrecked along the way, and later he converted a bloody marchland attack, complete with a hatchet blow to his skull, into a commercial and diplomatic coup. Like the empire he embodied, George Croghan covered an immense span of territory, actually controlled little of it, and relied on surprising reserves of trust. Unlike most imperial agents, he tried to join the Revolution but was never fully welcomed and died alone, in debt. The American victors strove to clear up the messy world he and the other imperial agents left behind: their land titles as well as the empire's claim to the eastern third of the continent. Notwithstanding the ambiguities of federalism, bold new American conceptions of sovereignty had little place for the wily marchland compromises of imperial agents like Croghan and Johnson--and little conceptual space for Native American nations at all. Da niel J. H uls ebos ch is the Charles Seligson Professor of Law at New York University School of Law and the author of Constituting Empire: New York
Journal of the Early Republic – University of Pennsylvania Press
Published: Nov 18, 2013
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