During the American Revolution, Daniel Brodhead served for a brief time period as the commander of Fort Pitt. A colonel in the Continental Army, Brodhead determined to break ties between the American Indians in the Ohio Country and their British allies in 1781. He led three hundred soldiers from Fort Pitt to Goshgoshgunk (modern-day Coshocton), a major settlement of the Lenape (Delaware). For most of the conflict, the Lenape had tried to remain neutral, but as an American victory appeared imminent, they began to ally more solidly with the British. The Delawares feared that an American victory would allow the whites to stream across the Appalachian Mountains and drive the natives from the region. Ever since the Proclamation of 1763, the British government had tried to prevent the colonists' entry into the Ohio Country.
Brodhead's men destroyed Goshgoshgunk, as well as numerous smaller villages in the vicinity. The Delawares put up minimal resistance and quickly fled the area. Most moved north to the Sandusky and Scioto Rivers. Brodhead's expedition against the Lenape illustrates the difficulties Ohio Country American Indians faced during the American Revolution. Both the Americans and the British hoped to secure American Indian allies in the region, but neither group could put a stop to the increased encroachment of Anglo-American settlers onto American Indian lands in the Ohio Country.
- Hurt, R. Douglas. The Ohio Frontier: Crucible of the Old Northwest, 1720-1830. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1996.