Red over Black: Black Slavery among the Cherokee Indians

By R. Halliburton Jr. | Go to book overview

great sensation among the Indians, who are apprehensive that it is only a prelude to other similar aggressions. Some of them, we understand, keep a close watch over their property, and declare their intention of protecting it with their lives; but we have not heard of their making any threats of endeavoring to retake the property which has been forcibly wrested from them.--They will demand its restitution of the government and if their claim is a just one, we hope and trust that the property will be restored to them. We know nothing of the validity of the adverse claim which has been set up to it but we are clearly of opinion, that whether it be valid or invalid, the step taken to get possession of it, is irregular and illegal. Measures, we understand, are in a train, for placing the property in safe hands, until such time as legal investigation shall adjudge it to its rightful owners.46

One week later the Gazette announced the final disposition of the matter: "We learn, by a gentleman who returned a few days since from Cantonment Gibson, that the Negroes who were recently forcibly taken from the Cherokee Indians . . . by a citizen of Crawford county, have been surrendered, and returned to the Cherokee nation."47 Nevertheless, Cherokees continued to be apprehensive about the security of their property and intruders remained a serious problem.

The numbers of black slaves constantly increased by natural proliferation, purchase, and immigration. On January 28, 1830, about two hundred emigrating Cherokees passed Little Rock on the steamboat Industry on their way up the Arkansas River. The party contained both Indians and slaves. The next day the steamboat Waverly passed carrying nearly the same number of immigrants and slaves.48


NOTES
1.
John P. Brown, Old Frontiers: The Story of the Cherokee Indians from Earliest Times to the Date of Their Removal to the West, 1838 (Kingsport, Tennessee: Southern Publishers, 1938), p. 460.
2.
Ibid.
3.
Ibid.

-46-

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Red over Black: Black Slavery among the Cherokee Indians
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • 1 - The Origins of Black Slavery in the Cherokee Country 3
  • Notes 16
  • 2 - Early Cherokee Planters and Plantations 20
  • Notes 29
  • 3 - Maturity and Westward Movement 32
  • Notes 46
  • 4 - The Last Decade in the East 50
  • Notes 59
  • 5 - The New Nation in the West 61
  • Notes 77
  • 6 - Great Runaway and Stricter Controls 80
  • Notes 91
  • 7 - Missionaries and Abolitionism 93
  • Notes 103
  • 8 - The Prewar Years 106
  • Notes 120
  • 9 - The Civil War 122
  • Notes 136
  • 10 - Conclusion 139
  • Appendix A 145
  • Appendix B 181
  • Appendix C - A Cherokee Adoption Rite 193
  • Notes 194
  • Bibliography 195
  • Index 209
  • About the Author 219
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