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Treaty of Lochaber


The 1770 Treaty of Lochaber secured for Britain, more specifically for its Virginia colony, Cherokee rights to the region of Western Virginia not covered by the 1768 Treaty of Hard Labor. The British settlers’ appetite for land was not quenched with the large territory made available by the Hard Labor treaty. Their demands placed a heavy burden on the government to provide more safe western land, free from attacks by Indians seeking to protect their territory.

The two sides gathered at Lochaber, South Carolina, in October 1770. The new Cherokee land cession extended the western border of British North America to the Kentucky River in eastern Kentucky and the Holston River in eastern Tennessee. Included in this cession was most of the region of present West Virginia southwest of the line established by the Treaty of Hard Labor, which ran somewhat west of and generally parallel to modern Interstate 77.

While the treaties of Hard Labor and Lochaber extinguished Iroquois and Cherokee claims to the regions involved, they did not address the strong Shawnee claims. The Shawnees, not surprisingly, disputed the treaties. They continued a running guerrilla war for many years, first with Britain and then the United States.

Written by Robert T. Anderson

Sources

  1. Sosin, Jack M. The Revolutionary Frontier, 1763-1783. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1967.