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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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Gold Rush

Gold Rush

(p.129) Seven Gold Rush
Ties That Bind

Tiya Miles

University of California Press

This chapter talks about the Cherokee gold rush of 1829, the resulting usurpation of the Cherokee government by the state of Georgia, and the ensuing turmoil that resulted in Cherokees and African American slaves. It explains that in Cherokee country, kinship mattered, even as racial designations wended their way into law. As scholar Rennard Strickland argues, Cherokees did not simply and wholly reproduce laws that originated in white culture. Instead, they shaped, interpreted, and enforced the laws in accordance to Cherokee values. One unexpected dimension of slavery in Cherokee country was the tendency of long-standing family norms to disrupt the legalized slave system. Native people in the Southeast viewed kinship, not freedom, as the antithesis of slavery.

Keywords:   Cherokee gold rush, Cherokee government, Georgia, African American slaves, kinship, Cherokee values, family norms, slavery

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