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Ties That BindThe Story of an Afro-Cherokee Family in Slavery and Freedom$
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Tiya Miles

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780520285637

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520285637.001.0001

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(p.13) One Captivity
Ties That Bind

Tiya Miles

University of California Press

This chapter examines the historical and symbolic meaning of intermarriage between Cherokee men and white women, and suggests that the evaluation of these relationships by white onlookers often included a hidden third element: the presence of black slaves. The majority of interracial marriages took place between white men and Cherokee women. In 1819 the Cherokee National Council mediated these relationships, passing a resolution requiring white men to legally marry the Cherokee women they called their wives and making it illegal for a white man to have more than one Cherokee wife. The government also had to address whether and by what means the children of white women would be considered citizens. In essence, the Cherokee government sanctioned marriages between white women and Cherokee men by promising their children an equal place in the nation.

Keywords:   intermarriage, Cherokee men, white women, black slaves, Cherokee women, white men, Cherokee National Council

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