Download African Cherokees in Indian Territory: From Chattel to by Celia E. Naylor PDF

By Celia E. Naylor

Forcibly faraway from their houses within the past due 1830s, Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, and Chickasaw Indians introduced their African-descended slaves with them alongside the path of Tears and resettled in Indian Territory, present-day Oklahoma. Celia E. Naylor vividly charts the studies of enslaved and loose African Cherokees from the path of Tears to Oklahoma's access into the Union in 1907. rigorously extracting the voices of former slaves from interviews and mining a number of assets in Oklahoma, she creates an attractive narrative of the composite lives of African Cherokees. Naylor explores how slaves hooked up with Indian groups not just via Indian customs--language, garments, and food--but additionally via bonds of kinship.

Examining this elaborate and emotionally charged historical past, Naylor demonstrates that the "red over black" dating was once not more benign than "white over black." She offers new angles to conventional understandings of slave resistance and counters past romanticized rules of slavery within the Cherokee country. She additionally demanding situations modern racial and cultural conceptions of African-descended humans within the usa. Naylor unearths how black Cherokee identities developed reflecting complicated notions approximately race, tradition, "blood," kinship, and nationality. certainly, Cherokee freedpeople's fight for reputation and equivalent rights that started within the 19th century maintains even this present day in Oklahoma.

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Additional info for African Cherokees in Indian Territory: From Chattel to Citizens

Example text

Although there were individual runaways who made the journey to Indian Territory without any family members en route, others like Harvey might have considered themselves fortunate to have kin who had also been relocated to Indian Territory, especially within the boundaries of the Cherokee Nation. Harvey might have absconded so that he could visit 41 On the Run with his father before he left the Cherokee Nation entirely; he might also have visited his father in an attempt to convince him, too, of running away in search of a free life.

Disorderly actions of runaways, however, not only heightened the tumultuous state of a√airs in the Cherokee Nation but also exposed an imbalance of power that had to be addressed within the Nation. Cherokee slave owners and, in some cases, those who did not own African Cherokees viewed runaways as troublesome emblems of the unruly times. ’’≥∞ At first his comments were of a general nature, later becoming more specific regarding the regulation of enslaved people by slave owners from inside and outside the Cherokee Nation.

As the enslaved arrivals became more aware of their duties in the new Indian country and their ongoing state of bondage, some also detected the intensity of discord permeating the Cherokee Nation in their new territory. Di√erences between warring sociopolitical sects became intense. Sensing this initial turmoil, enslaved African Cherokees living 25 On the Run in Cherokee communities sought to benefit from, and even contribute to, the unruly state of a√airs after arrival. Unlike free Cherokee citizens who engaged in the sociopolitical mayhem as a way of demolishing old adversaries, resolving conflicts, and solidifying the Cherokee Nation itself, enslaved African Cherokees capitalized on the political tensions in order to amplify the discord in Cherokee domestic a√airs and to achieve some distance from the boundaries of bondage.

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