Twenty years ago, when historians wrote of Native Americans in the early United States, they told a tragic but deterministic story of winners and losers. The War for American Independence spread devastation through Indian country, scorching towns, uprooting families, and splitting even distant Indian nations into factions. Almost immediately after that war ended, the new American republic embarked on a course of continental expansion and Indian expulsion. White Americans conquered two Indian confederacies in the Old Northwest, took southeastern Indians’ lands by bribery and force, purchased the vast province of Louisiana from a distracted Napoleon Bonaparte, invaded Florida, deported over 90,000 Indians from the eastern United States to western reservations, winnowed (inadvertently) the Plains and Pacific Northwest Indians with epidemic disease, colonized Texas, and seized the Southwest in the Mexican War. Nineteenth-century American officials and historians would characterize this as a peaceful process of expansion into uninhabited lands, whereby a divinely-favored republic pursued its destiny. Late twentieth-century scholars took a less favorable view of white Americans’ intentions, but they still portrayed the United States’ expansion as inevitable, and Indians’ resistance as doomed. 1