The Native South: New Histories and Enduring Legacies

The Native South: New Histories and Enduring Legacies

The Native South: New Histories and Enduring Legacies

The Native South: New Histories and Enduring Legacies


In The Native South, Tim Alan Garrison and Greg O'Brien assemble contributions from leading ethnohistorians of the American South in a state-of-the-field volume of Native American history from the sixteenth to the twenty-first century. Spanning such subjects as Seminole-African American kinship systems, Cherokee notions of guilt and innocence in evolving tribal jurisprudence, Indian captives and American empire, and second-wave feminist activism among Cherokee women in the 1970s, The Native South offers a dynamic examination of ethnohistorical methodology and evolving research subjects in southern Native American history.

Theda Perdue and Michael Green, pioneers in the modern historiography of the Native South who developed it into a major field of scholarly inquiry today, speak in interviews with the editors about how that field evolved in the late twentieth century after the foundational work of James Mooney, John Swanton, Angie Debo, and Charles Hudson.

For scholars, graduate students, and undergraduates in this field of American history, this collection offers original essays by Mikaela Adams, James Taylor Carson, Tim Alan Garrison, Izumi Ishii, Malinda Maynor Lowery, Rowena McClinton, David A. Nichols, Greg O'Brien, Meg Devlin O'Sullivan, Julie L. Reed, Christina Snyder, and Rose Stremlau.


This collection of all original essays serves two main purposes. On one hand it provides a sampling of the latest work being done on the history of the Native South and Native peoples from the South. On the other hand, it honors two scholars who have done more to shape this field than anyone else: Michael D. Green and Theda Perdue.

When Michael Green and Theda Perdue published their first monographs (Perdue: Slavery and the Evolution of Cherokee Society, 1540–1866 in 1979 and Green: The Politics of Indian Removal: Creek Government and Society in Crisis in 1982), few historians focused on Indian people in the South. Throughout most of the twentieth century anthropologists dominated understandings of Indian people in and from the South. James Mooney (1861–1921) lived for years among the Eastern Cherokees in North Carolina as an anthropologist working for the Smithsonian Institution’s Bureau of American Ethnology in Washington dc. He learned the Cherokee language and conducted numerous interviews with Cherokees that led to important publications such as Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees (1891), Myths of the Cherokee (1900), and the posthumous The Swimmer Manuscript: Cherokee Sacred Formulas and Medicinal Prescriptions (1932). These works remain in print and have long served as a foundation for the scholarly understanding of Cherokee traditions.

John Reed Swanton (1873–1958), who spent most of his career employed by the Bureau of American Ethnology, still influences the Native South field with his Boazian-derived structuralist inter-

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