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Black Slaves, Indian Masters: Slavery, Emancipation, and Citizenship in the Native American South Hardcover – August 1, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

Review

In this new book readers will find the most detailed picture yet of the lives of enslaved peoples living in the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations.--Journal of American History



Such a rich and meaningful work from a significant era of national history that it could offer breadth and depth to any U.S. History collection, but especially library collections focusing on the pre-Civil War South, African American history, Native American history, 18th and 19th century history, and slavery and emancipation.--Tennessee Libraries



An important overview of the lives of African and African American peoples who played relevant, active roles in United States affairs, adeptly navigated tribal and United States federal bureaucracy, and effectively articulated their views on race and identity.--Ohio Valley History



Provides a wonderful context for those interested in more contemporary questions about Native people's right to define their own citizenry.--Journal of the Civil War Era



In this compelling study Krauthamer successfully demonstrates black Americans' struggle for their liberation and subsequent rights as citizens.--Southern Historian



Make[s] an important contribution to the literature on Indian slavery, the Civil War in Indian Territory, and Reconstruction.--American Historical Review



Krauthamer's study utilizes a wide variety of sources that weave together social, political, legal, racial, and indigenous history in important ways.--Journal of Interdisciplinary History



Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.--Choice

Review

A brilliant exploration of the entangled histories of African American slavery and Indian dispossession. Rich, superbly researched, and fascinating.--Stephanie M. H. Camp, University of Washington, Seattle

|In this powerfully written and carefully researched study, Barbara Krauthamer tells a wholly new story of slavery and emancipation. Her attention to the declining land and sovereignty of the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations in the context of their ownership of slaves complicates our understanding of the ways African Americans experienced and resisted bondage. The traditional historical landmarks along the road to the Civil War and its aftermath will never look quite the same.--Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, Harvard University

|Black Slaves, Indian Masters is a broad, lucid, robust study of Blacks in the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations from the period of slavery through emancipation. Barbara Krauthamer carefully asserts critical insights and tough arguments about the nature of slavery, racial hierarchy, and Black resistance in these communities. Her sharp analysis not only reveals variations in slaveholding practices and outcomes in Indian Territory, but also the integral links between an expanding U.S. cotton kingdom, Indian Removal, and Native slave ownership.--Tiya Miles, author of The House on Diamond Hill: A Cherokee Plantation Story

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 232 pages
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press; 1 edition (August 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1469607107
  • ISBN-13: 978-1469607108
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,243,455 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By R. Kelley, PhD on September 26, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Black Slaves, Indian Masters is a stunning achievement. It not only challenges the biracial interpretation of American slavery, but forces us to rethink the history of emancipation in the U.S.

Barbara Krauthamer's careful research makes several contributions to scholarship. First, she offers a whole new set of "slave narratives," if you will, that tell the story of bondage not in black and white terms nor in the common cultural terms we've come to recognize as plantation or even urban slavery. The motives, economic and otherwise, of Indian slaveholders were not the same as that of the planter class, especially given the extent of intermarriage and incorporation of Africans into their various nations. Second, her work engages current debates over the social and legal construction of identity, citizenship, race and racial hierarchies in 19th century America. African Americans in the Creek, Choctaw and Chickasaw nations saw themselves as "citizens" of these nations and identified themselves as Indians. And yet, by the latter half of the nineteenth century, as these same nations struggled to retain sovereignty in the face of white settlement, their leaders rejected newly freed people as Indian citizens. This compelled African American freedpeople in these territories to turn to the federal government in opposition to the Indian nations. What Krauthamer discovers, therefore, are politically savvy black communities caught between two national identities (though essentially enjoying full citizenship rights in neither). In short, she gives us a new perspective on struggles between Native American nations and the federal government over Indian sovereignty versus white settlement. African Americans and Native Americans played critical roles in the expansion of U.S.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Well written and researched this book explores an obscure but critical history of Slavery by Native Americans against African & African Americans that is now being thoroughly documented by the author and others. This book filled a large gap in my understanding of Native American and Black People in the 19th Century exposing ugly truths about slavery as practiced by Native Americans.
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Format: Paperback
This book covers new ground, and is full of information. Reader alert: the writing is quite academic in diction, vocabulary and style. For that kind of book, it is quite readable and the writing is quite good. There are a few interesting photos and a couple of maps. I'd recommend it if you have an interest in, well, black slaves and Indian masters.

There are many hundreds of books about slavery, but not much is available about Indian slave owners. This book concerns the Choctaw and Chickasaw, particularly after "Indian removal" to what is now Oklahoma. These two peoples had their own government, and were technically not US citizens until the early 1900s, when tribal governments were abolished. This meant some interesting legal wrinkles. Freeing the slaves did not at first apply to the Choctaw and Chickasaw, and slaves were not freed until 1866. They were denied citizenship in the Indian nations and were not US citizens, so their legal status was unusually complex--and Krauthamer covers this very well. The book also touches on earlier Indian slavery--groups such as the Choctaw selling Indian captives to whites, important until overwhelmed by the trade in enslaved Africans after 1720.

It would be nice to think that Native Americans were, because of their own experiences of discrimination based on color, were more sympathetic with their slaves, but that was not the case. Indian masters were just as ruthless in exploiting labor and, after emancipation, sometimes turned freed black people into the same kind of serf-like sharecroppers as in places like Mississippi. The Indian acceptance of slavery and of plantation styles of life dates to around 1800 and was well-established by the time of removal (some stayed in Mississippi).
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By anne on August 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have learned a lot from the information contained in this book. I am sad to say how hard it is to read: the presentation is repetitive and the organization weak. I find myself mentally editing for clarity and emphasis on every page.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Chanelle on December 24, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great for the collection!
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