American Indians and the American Revolution by Collin G. Calloway
The Declaration of Independence accused King George III of unleashing "merciless Indian Savages" against innocent men, women, and children. The image of ferocious warriors propelled into action by a tyrannical monarch fixed in memory and imagination the Indians' role in the Revolution and justified their subsequent treatment. But many Indian nations tried to stay out of the conflict, some sided with the Americans, and those who fought with the British were not the king's pawns: they allied with the Crown as the best hope of protecting their homelands from the encroachments of American colonists and land speculators. The British government had afforded Indian lands a measure of protection by the Royal Proclamation of 1763 which had attempted to restrict colonial expansion beyond the Appalachian Mountains, and had alienated many American colonists. Indians knew that the Revolution was a contest for Indian land as well as for liberty.