Slavery in the Cherokee Nation: The Keetoowah Society and by Patrick Neal Minges

By Patrick Neal Minges

Exploring the dynamic problems with race and faith in the Cherokee country, this article appears on the position of mystery societies in shaping those forces through the nineteenth century.

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Extra resources for Slavery in the Cherokee Nation: The Keetoowah Society and the Defining of a People 1855-1867 (Studies in African American History and Culture)

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176 By the late years of the seventeenth century, caravans of Indian slaves made their way from the Carolina backcountry to forts on the coast just as caravans of African slaves were doing on the African continent. 179 These “Indian wars” took their toll on the indigenous peoples of the Carolinas. 180 The English and the Indian allies reached far out into the Spanish empire in the South; some 10,000 to 12,000 Timicuas, Guales, and Apalachees were taken to Charleston, sold into slavery, and shipped throughout the vast English empire.

When threatened with death by the Cherokee king, Marrant witnessed to the Cherokee in their native tongue that he had learned from his companion, “I cried again, and He was entreated. He said, ‘Be it as thou wilt;’ the Lord appeared most lovely and glorious; the king himself was awakened, and the others set at liberty. A great change took place among the people; the King’s house became God’s house; the soldiers were ordered away; and the poor condemned prisoner had perfect liberty and was treated like a prince.

At the king’s bidding and with some fifty Cherokee accompanying him, he later set out on a mission to the “less savingly wrought upon” people of the Southeastern region. He spent some months among the Mvskoke confederation. 7 After repeated pleas, he was finally recognized and reunited with his family. Marrant returned to his place in colonial society. Shortly after leaving the Cherokee, John Marrant settled upon another mission. Being a “free carpenter,” he contracted to work on a plantation just outside of Charleston.

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