Sally Ainse and the Intersection of Black-Indigenous Histories in the Thames River Valley, 1780–1865



Sally Ainse was an Oneida woman who purchased a large property in the Thames River Valley in the late eighteenth century. Ainse also owned enslaved peoples, including a Black man named Frank, who, along with Josiah Cutten, were included as part of the transactions when Ainse sold plots of her land to European American settlers. The intersecting stories of Ainse, Frank, and Cutten along a newly formed international border complicate narratives of settler colonial development. They highlight the complex relationships between settler expansion and racialized violence that help explain the region’s shifting political landscape from 1780 to 1865, and, by doing so, illustrate the importance of local identities to settler colonialism.

Author Biography

Emily J. Macgillivray, Northland College

Emily Macgillivray is an Assistant Professor of Native American Studies at Northland College.