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 unfastened African Cherokees from the path of Tears to Oklahoma's access into the Union in 1907. conscientiously extracting the voices of former slaves from interviews and mining a variety of resources in Oklahoma, she creates an attractive narrative of the composite lives of African Cherokees. Naylor explores how slaves attached with Indian groups not just via Indian customs--language, garments, and food--but additionally via bonds of kinship.
Examining this elaborate and emotionally charged background, 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 prior romanticized principles of slavery within the Cherokee state. She additionally demanding situations modern racial and cultural conceptions of African-descended humans within the usa. Naylor finds how black Cherokee identities developed reflecting advanced notions approximately race, tradition, "blood," kinship, and nationality. certainly, Cherokee freedpeople's fight for acceptance and equivalent rights that started within the 19th century maintains even this present day in Oklahoma.
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Extra resources for African Cherokees in Indian Territory: From Chattel to Citizens
Spencer’s familiarity with other towns and cities, due to his previous experiences as well as his position as Murrell’s coachman, no doubt motivated him to believe his runaway attempt would be a successful one. While George Murrell prepared to visit John Benge, Spencer mapped out his strategy for this journey from slavery to freedom. As his owner visited with John Benge 39 On the Run at his home, Spencer proceeded to implement his plan in the most e√ective way possible. As George Murrell slept, he felt assured that his trusted coachman would greet him the next morning and return him home safely.
Consequently when conversing with negroes, seldom fails to enumerate the pleasures, &c. ’’∂≤ The advertisement noted that Spencer, when last heard of, was still in the vicinity of his home. However, having resided among Creeks in Alabama and ‘‘acquired a limited knowledge of their language,’’ it was possible that Spencer would abscond initially to the Creek Nation. ’’∂≥ From the details of the advertisement, Spencer seemed to have intimated his dissatisfaction or, at the very least, his frustration with his enslaved life on the Murrell plantation.
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.
African Cherokees in Indian Territory: From Chattel to Citizens by Celia E. Naylor