This chapter provides an overview of the development of African slavery among the Cherokees, reprises the debate over the comparison of white and Indian slaveholding, and speculates about Doll's arrival in Cherokee country. Cherokee slaveholding was a flexible practice in comparison to slavery in the American South in the late 1700s, where controlling and brutal measures were deeply ingrained. However, at the turn of the nineteenth century, the ideology and enactment of antiblack prejudice would make slow but steady progress in Cherokee country, affecting African slaves, free blacks in Cherokee territory, and the children who were the products of African–Cherokee marriages. The combination of increasing white–Cherokee intermarriage, a growing slave population, and white racism against blacks negatively influenced Cherokee attitudes toward African people.
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