Top Menu

Crooked Deals and Broken Treaties: How American Indians Were Displaced by White Settlers in the Cuyahoga Valley


Long before the smokestacks and factories of industrial Akron rose from Ohio’s Cuyahoga Valley, the region was a place of tense confrontation. Beginning in the early 19th-century, white settlers began pushing in from the east, lured by the promise of cheap (or free) land. They inevitably came into conflict with the current inhabitants, American Indians who had thrived in the valley for generations or had already been displaced by settlement along the eastern seaboard. Here, on what was once the western fringe of the United States, the story of the country’s founding and development played out in all its ignominy and drama, as American Indians lost their land, and often their lives, while white settlers expanded a nation.

Historian and novelist John Tully draws on contemporary accounts and a wealth of studies to produce this elegiac history of the Cuyahoga Valley. He pays special attention to how settlers’ notions of private property—and the impulse to own and develop the land—clashed with more collective social organizations of American Indians. He also documents the ecological cost of settlement, long before heavy industry laid waste to the region. Crooked Deals and Broken Treaties is an impassioned accounting of the cost of “progress,” and an insistent reminder of the barbarism and deceit that fueled the rise of the United States.

Praise for Crooked Deals and Broken Treaties:
Author John Tully masterfully achieves a well-researched, in-depth case study of one site of United States’ settler colonialism, in the Cuyahoga Valley region, which gave birth to the settler city of Akron, Ohio. The violence and ethnic cleansing involved in this early 19th century colonial project previewed the later ethnic cleansing of Native nations and communities from all the territory east of the Mississippi River. This work is a model for detailed local studies of United States settler-colonialism.

—Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author, An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States

Praise for Silvertown:
Tully is a committed author with a fine ear for the apt and evocative phrase, whether it be from Bertolt Brecht, Jack London, or Karl Marx … Tully does a fine job of making the issues accessible to non-experts on both sides of the Atlantic, and situating the strike within the context of the political struggles of the day. Highly recommended.


John Tully is Honorary Professor, College of Arts, Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia. He is the author of several works of history, including Silvertown: The Lost Story of a Strike that Shook London and Helped Launch the Modern Labor Movement and The Devil’s Milk: A Social History of Rubber, as well as three novels.

Format Clear
SKU: mrp5663 Categories: , , , Tags: ,
Topics: History Places: Americas United States

Publication Date: December 2015

Number of Pages: 134

Paperback ISBN: 9781583675663

Cloth ISBN: 9781583675670

eBook ISBN: 9781583675687