Join us throughout A Revolutionary Summer with exhibits, crafts, and activities for visitors of all ages. Plan Your Visit

Dismiss notification

On Jan. 28, 1777, Colonel John Bull of Pennsylvania wrote to General Thomas Wharton about preparations for a council with the Mohawk, the Cayuga, the Seneca, and the Muncie, Quinault, and Nanticoke people in the upper Susquehanna River Valley. Fighting to preserve their independence and land, both the British and the revolutionary governments pressured each American Indian nation to choose a side in the war. About 200 men, women, and children met in Easton, Pennsylvania, with representatives of the Continental Congress, like John Bull. They spent days professing neutrality in the conflict between Great Britain and the United States, and the American Indian leaders requested that illegal squatters be removed from their land. Anger over such encroachments, which Pennsylvania authorities ignored, led many Native Americans to side with the British in the Revolutionary War. Although the Oneida decided to support the Continental Congress, the council increased distrust between American Indian settlements and colonial settlers leading to continued fighting during the Revolutionary War.

Letter Details

  • Letter
    John Bull
    January 28, 1777
    Paper, Ink
    Museum of the American Revolution, 2003.01.113

Learn More

Image 102620 Press Oneida Nation Gallery 0
Museum of the American Revolution 

Meet the Figures: Oneida Nation Theater

At the Museum's Oneida Nation Theater, featuring six life-cast figures and a film, meet Oneida people in the midst of a debate about how they will engage in the Revolutionary War.
Read More
This image depicts the book cover of Forgotten Allies: The Oneida Indians and the American Revolution by Joseph T. Glatthaar and James Kirby Martin. The cover shows a sole Indian man in a canoe in the water. His back is toward the viewer and he is looking down. There is a 13-star American flag draped in the background of the cover.

Forgotten Allies

Read an excerpt from Joseph T. Glatthaar and James Kirby Martin's Forgotten Allies: The Oneida Indians and the American Revolution.
Read More
This image shows the book cover of The Divided Ground: Indians, Settlers, and the Northern Borderland of the American Revolution by Alan Taylor. At the top of the image are two illustrations: on the left is a settler and on the right is a Native American.

The Divided Ground

Read this excerpt from Alan Taylor that tells of an important ally in the American Revolution: the Oneida Nation, a nation of the Iroquois Confederacy.
Read More