Lord Dunmore's War — or Dunmore's War — was a 1774 conflict between the Colony of Virginia and the Shawnee and Mingo American Indian nations.
The Governor of Virginia during the conflict was John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore — Lord Dunmore. He asked the Virginia House of Burgesses to declare a state of war with the hostile Indian nations and order up an elite volunteer militia force for the campaign.
The conflict resulted from escalating violence between British colonists, who in accordance with previous treaties were exploring and moving into land south of the Ohio River (modern West Virginia, Southwestern Pennsylvania and Kentucky), and American Indians, who held treaty rights to hunt there. As a result of successive attacks by Indian hunting and war bands upon the settlers, war was declared "to pacify the hostile Indian war bands." The war ended soon after Virginia's victory in the Battle of Point Pleasant on October 10, 1774.
As a result of this victory, the Indians lost the right to hunt in the area and agreed to recognize the Ohio River as the boundary between Indian lands and the British colonies.
Although the Indian national chieftains signed the treaty, conflict within the Indian nations soon broke out. Some tribesmen felt the treaty sold out their claims and opposed it, and others believed that another war would mean only further losses of territory to the more powerful British colonists.
When war broke out between the colonials and the British government in 1776, the war parties of the Indian nations quickly gained power. They mobilized the various Indian nations to attack the colonists during the Revolutionary War.