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Indian Stream Republic
Settling a New England Frontier, 1785-1842
Daniel Doan

1997 • 287 pp. 2 tables. 4 maps. 6 x 9"
New England History

$27.95 Paperback, 978-0-87451-768-2

A tale of struggle, survival, and independence in a disputed northern New England frontier.

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, while governments, politicians, and entrepreneurs argued about the boundary between northern New England and British Canada, a group of hardy individuals were otherwise occupied, carving a life in the wooded frontier that would come to be known as Indian Stream. The Treaty of Paris ending the American Revolution set the US boundary at "the northwesternmost head of the Connecticut River," but with three streams feeding into that head, conflict was inevitable.

For nearly 60 years residents of this wild northern outpost were caught in a dispute that ren-dered both land titles and international boundaries uncertain. As squabbling increased among the US, Canada, New Hampshire legislators, and two companies claiming land rights, the settlers decided to take matters into their own hands. In 1832, they declared themselves the independent Indian Stream Republic, establishing a constitution, a bicameral legislature, courts, laws, and a militia. But New Hampshire and Canada were not impressed. The state tried to enforce its laws, the jurisdictional battle escalated, the Indian Stream militia "invaded" Canada, and blood"though only a trickle -- was shed.

Reviews / Endorsements

“Fifty-five years after General John Stark admonished his troops to 'live free or die,' the stalwart northern frontiersman of the Indian Stream Republic adopted their own constitution and declared their independence from both Great Britain and the United States. Doan's meticulous chronicle brings to life this dramatic episode of Granite State history.”—Hugh Gregg, former Governor of New Hampshire

“A fascinating account of how a few ornery, cussed farmers and woodsmen put together their own nation against a backdrop of raw politics, greed, and international controversy. It also captures the human side of subduing the forest, harnessing the streams, and battling the brutal winters, and gives us a valuable portrait of an obscure but intriguing piece of American history.” —Steve Taylor, Commissioner, NH Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food

“Scrupulously researched and beautifully written, this is a wonderful study of a little-known American frontier and the incomparable individualists who decided to establish and defend their own government there.”—Howard Frank Mosher, author of Where the Rivers Flow North

Daniel Doan, whose books about the White Mountains are premier guides, combines a woodsman's perceptions, a naturalist's eye, and a novelist's craft into a lyrical tale of settlers whose attempt at an impossible independence comes dangerously close to precipitating war between two nations.

Jere R. Daniell is Professor of History at Dartmouth College and author of Colonial New Hampshire (1981) and Experiment in Republicanism: New Hampshire Politics and the American Revolution, 1741 - 1794 (1970).

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 11:55:14 -0500