"A rising-star historian offers a significant new global perspective on the Revolutionary War with the story of the conflict as seen through the eyes of the outsiders of colonial society. Over the last decade, award-winning historian Kathleen DuVal has revitalized the study of early America's marginalized voices. Now, in Independence Lost, she recounts an untold story as rich and significant as that of the Founding Fathers : the history of the Revolutionary Era as experienced by slaves, American Indians, women, and British loyalists living on Florida's Gulf Coast. While citizens of the thirteen rebelling colonies came to blows with the British Empire over tariffs and parliamentary representation, the situation on the rest of the continent was even more fraught. In the Gulf of Mexico, Spanish forces clashed with Britain's strained army to carve up the Gulf Coast, as both sides competed for allegiances with the powerful Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Creek nations who inhabited the region. Meanwhile, African American slaves had little control over their own lives, but some individuals found opportunities to expand their freedoms during the war. Independence Lost reveals that individual motives counted as much as the ideals of liberty and freedom the Founders espoused: Independence had a personal as well as national meaning, and the choices made by people living outside the colonies were of critical importance to the war's outcome. DuVal introduces us to the Mobile slave Petit Jean, who organized militias to fight the British at sea; the Chickasaw diplomat Payamataha, who worked to keep his people out of war; New Orleans merchant Oliver Pollock and his wife, Margaret O'Brien Pollock, who risked their own wealth to organize funds and garner Spanish support for the American Revolution; the half-Scottish-Creek leader Alexander McGillivray, who fought to protect indigenous interests from European imperial encroachment; the Cajun refugee Amand Broussard, who spent a lifetime in conflict with the British; and Scottish loyalists James and Isabella Bruce, whose work on behalf of the British Empire placed them in grave danger. Their lives illuminate the fateful events that took place along the Gulf of Mexico and, in the process, changed the history of North America itself. Adding new depth and moral complexity, Kathleen DuVal reinvigorates the story of the American Revolution. Independence Lost is a bold work that fully establishes the reputation of a historian who is already regarded as one of her generation's best. Advance praise for Independence Lost: 'With deep research and lively writing, Kathleen DuVal musters a compelling cast to recover the dramatic story of the American Revolution in borderlands uneasily shared by rival empires, enslaved people, and defiant natives. She deftly reveals powerful but long-hidden dimensions of a revolution rich with many possible alternatives to the triumph of the United States'--Alan Taylor, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Internal Enemy; 'In a completely new take on the American Revolution and a riveting contribution to history, Kathleen DuVal explains how an unexpected cast of Gulf Coast characters fought for their own version of self-determination. The story is gripping, rife with pathos, double-dealing, and intrigue'--Elizabeth A. Fenn, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Encounters at the Heart of the World; 'Independence Lost is an extraordinary achievement. Kathleen DuVal brings to life a war for American independence that will be utterly new to most readers'--Daniel K. Richter, Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of Before the Revolution"-- Provided by publisher.
"In an entirely new, global perspective on the Revolutionary period, Kathleen DuVal reveals personal stories such as that of Irish trader Oliver Pollock, Scottish plantation owners James and Isabella Bruce, and Creek leader Alexander McGillivray for whom the American Revolution was more complicated than the issue of colonial independence. These individuals, their communities, and nations weighed their options, deciding based on personal interests whether independent states or loyal British colonies would best serve them as neighbors, let alone future rulers. DuVal explores how so-called American independence affected the lives of those living on the edges of British colonial America, such as slaves, Indians, women, and the colonists of other European nations and finds that the war left some much more free than others. For most of its duration, the outcome of the Revolutionary War was far from certain. DuVal brings us to a region on the edge of the war where it seems that everyone was hedging their bets--the Gulf Coast. As the British tried to hold onto the thirteen rebelling colonies that would eventually be the nascent United States, their loyal colony of West Florida was left vulnerable to Spanish invasion from the west. With the British stretched thin fighting two wars, the clashing empires found enemies and allies for whom loyalty was a calculation more than a feeling"-- Provided by publisher.