Cherokee and African American Relations
From the beginning of time there has always been a concept of slavery practiced throughout most of the world. “Despite the voluminous literature treating black slavery in America, significant omissions remain. Areas that have not been adequately investigated include the ownership of slaves by several tribes of American Indians, including the Cherokees.” My research is based on the relationships between Cherokee Indians and African Americans from the origins of black slavery to post-Civil War. Since the time frame is so broad and the material is so scarce, this pathfinder serves the purpose of narrowing down research if you are trying to answer these questions: What were the relations like between Cherokee and African Americans? What was inter-marriage like between Indians and Negroes? How did the Cherokee treat their slaves? How could Blacks gain Cherokee citizenship? How were the freeman treated within the Cherokee Nation post-Civil War?
NOTE: Not to get confused, I will be using different terms for both Cherokee and African Americans throughout this pathfinder due to the continuous change in documentation throughout history. For example: different names for Cherokee could be used as Indians, Native Americans, and Cherokee, land owners, plantation owners, and slave holders. And for African Americans I may use names like Negroes, African Americans, blacks, freedmen, and slaves or ex-slaves. I also may use terms like Black-Indian, Afro-Cherokee, and mixed-blood for the bi-racial mixture between African American and Cherokees.
What the Negro was Thinking During the Eighteenth Century: Essay on Negro Slavery
The Journal of Negro History , Vol. 1, No. 1 (Jan., 1916), pp. 49-68
- I found this source very useful because it includes various handwritten letters in the minds of numerous black slaves. It gives you a non-biased view of how the slaves actually felt when they were being enslaved by white, mixed-bloods, and Cherokees. Even though it contains other information I only used the information pertaining to Indian relations.
-This looks into the interactions between Native Americans and Black men on the frontier. The book gives a detailed story of a young black boy named John Marrant, who encountered a Cherokee Indian, and the process he went through to gain acceptance with the Cherokee.
-Mainly describes Black-Indian relations in Mexico, but also gives references to relations in the U.S. There is also a great use of quotes from articles and treaties with the Cherokee Indians. The bibliography provided in the back of the book was a great resource for primary documents.
-This book was the best source of information that I found. I used this source because it showed that black slavery existed for more than 15o years. It provided me with detailed information on the origins of black slavery, life on Cherokee plantations,
-This book provided detailed information about the lives of the freedmen after the Civil War. It included sections on advantages the citizen freedmen had like schooling for their children, voting, jobs, homes, and their feelings on how the Cherokee treated them within the Cherokee Nation.