The Oneida Indian Nation’s legacy of supporting the United States military dates back to the Revolutionary War, when Oneidas fought alongside the colonists in the battle against the British. The alliance was further cemented when a group of Oneidas travelled from Central New York to Valley Forge during the harsh winter and spring of 1777-78, carrying life-saving corn to feed Gen. George Washington’s starving soldiers.
Oneida heroine, Polly Cooper, taught the soldiers how to prepare the corn and remained in Valley Forge to aid the troops when the Oneidas left to return to their homelands. She would accept no payment for her services, but did accept a gift of a bonnet and shawl from Martha Washington. The shawl is still in existence today.
Since the American Revolution, Oneidas have fought in every American military conflict, memorializing their longstanding support, friendship and reverence for the United States and the values it holds.