Black Slaves, Indian Masters: Slavery, Emancipation, and by Barbara Krauthamer

By Barbara Krauthamer

From the past due eighteenth century in the course of the finish of the Civil conflict, Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians got, offered, and owned Africans and African american citizens as slaves, a incontrovertible fact that persevered after the tribes' removing from the Deep South to Indian Territory. The tribes formulated racial and gender ideologies that justified this custom and marginalized loose black humans within the Indian international locations good after the Civil battle and slavery had ended. in the course of the finish of the 19th century, ongoing conflicts between Choctaw, Chickasaw, and U.S. lawmakers left untold numbers of former slaves and their descendants within the Indian international locations with no citizenship in both the Indian countries or the us. during this groundbreaking examine, Barbara Krauthamer rewrites the background of southern slavery, emancipation, race, and citizenship to bare the centrality of local American slaveholders and the black humans they enslaved.
Krauthamer's exam of slavery and emancipation highlights the methods Indian women's gender roles replaced with the coming of slavery and adjusted back after emancipation and divulges complicated dynamics of race that formed the lives of black humans and Indians either sooner than and after removal.

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Extra resources for Black Slaves, Indian Masters: Slavery, Emancipation, and Citizenship in the Native American South

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35 Native men’s apparently excessive reliance on women’s productive labor, coupled with the absence of private property ownership, clashed with the early republican political discourse and ideology that linked the well-ordered patriarchal household to an orderly society governed by laws and reason. Choctaws and Chickasaws, like Creeks and Cherokees, were matrilineal, tracing descent and kinship through women’s male relatives rather than along the paternal line. Maternal uncles, not fathers, assumed leading roles in children’s lives, overseeing their nieces’ and nephews’ upbringing and bestowing upon them access to the status and prestige of their mother’s family.

Historian Jennifer Morgan has shown how the development of chattel slavery in the British colonies precipitated a monumental shift in the definition of “laborer” with the regular presence of enslaved African women working in rice, sugar, and cotton fields. ”69 In the southern Indian nations, by contrast, the critical shift in the gendered and racialized meanings of agricultural work occurred with the addition of enslaved black men to a predominantly female (Indian) agricultural workforce. Indian men and women who had the means and the opportunity purchased enslaved black men and women to cultivate subsistence and commodity crops and directed both to work in the fields.

They assessed their own ability to use the recovered captives to tip the balance of power in their trade and diplomatic relations with the French. Choctaw leaders thus held out for favorable ransoms before handing over the recaptured Africans. ” Alibamon Mingo, a prominent Choctaw leader of the Chickasawhay towns—the southernmost of the principal Choctaw divisions and one that had been battered by Chickasaw raiders—stood firm when demanding compensation. ”21 Caught up in the web of geopolitical alliances and enmities that linked Choctaws and Chickasaws to the French and British colonies, enslaved African women and men became valuable objects of exchange in Choctaw and Chickasaw trade and diplomatic relations with colonial authorities.

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