After the Seven Years’ War, the boundaries of English colonization spread westward as settlers eager to claim land and establish farmsteads poured into the Ohio Valley. For thousands of years prior, ancestors of the Shawnee, Cherokee, and Chickasaw, as well as the Osage, Delaware, and Miami to the north, claimed this territory.
In response to the encroachment of white settlers, Cherokee ambassadors sought to negotiate land rights directly with the British crown, and Shawnee envoys traveled throughout the Ohio Valley seeking to build a united confederacy of Native Nations. However, alarmed British officials worked to isolate and separate sovereign Native Nations, specifically negotiating treaties aimed at preventing the Cherokee from uniting with the Shawnee.
By the turn of the 19th century, intruding white settlement and coercive treaties decimated Indigenous lifeways, and Native occupants were slowly pushed out of Kentucky.