Ties That Bind: The Story of an Afro-Cherokee Family in Slavery and Freedom

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University of California Press, Feb 11, 2005 - History - 306 pages
This beautifully written book tells the haunting saga of a quintessentially American family. It is the story of Shoe Boots, a famed Cherokee warrior and successful farmer, and Doll, an African slave he acquired in the late 1790s. Over the next thirty years, Shoe Boots and Doll lived together as master and slave and also as lifelong partners who, with their children and grandchildren, experienced key events in American history—including slavery, the Creek War, the founding of the Cherokee Nation and subsequent removal of Native Americans along the Trail of Tears, and the Civil War. This is the gripping story of their lives, in slavery and in freedom.

Meticulously crafted from historical and literary sources, Ties That Bind vividly portrays the members of the Shoeboots family. Doll emerges as an especially poignant character, whose life is mostly known through the records of things done to her—her purchase, her marriage, the loss of her children—but also through her moving petition to the federal government for the pension owed to her as Shoe Boots's widow. A sensitive rendition of the hard realities of black slavery within Native American nations, the book provides the fullest picture we have of the myriad complexities, ironies, and tensions among African Americans, Native Americans, and whites in the first half of the nineteenth century.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
BONE OF MY BONE SLAVERY RACE AND NATION EAST
9
Captivity
13
Slavery
25
Motherhood
44
Property
64
Christianity
85
Nationhood
100
Capture
162
Freedom
179
Citizenship
191
The Shoeboots Family Today
204
RESEARCH METHODS AND CHALLENGES
207
DEFINITIONS AND USE OF TERMS
214
CHEROKEE NAMES AND MISTAKE IDENTITIES
216
NOTES
219

Gold Rush
129
OF BLOOD AND BONE FREEDOM KINSHIP AND CITIZENSHIP WEST
145
Removal
149
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
273
INDEX
293
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Tiya Miles is Assistant Professor in the Program in American Culture, Center for Afroamerican and African Studies, and Native American Studies Program at the University of Michigan.

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