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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.162) Nine Capture
Ties That Bind

Tiya Miles

University of California Press

This chapter studies the experience of blacks and Afro-Cherokees on the Cherokee lands of Indian Territory by comparing two events: the mass escape known as the Cherokee slave revolt of 1842 and the kidnapping of Doll and Shoe Boots' free granddaughters by slavecatcher-bandits in 1847. As geographical, social, and moral boundaries fluctuated, the task of making distinctions between Cherokees and blacks became important to Cherokee political leaders. There was a deepening acceptance of slavery as a justifiable and profitable institution. The chapter also shows how the horror of the kidnapped Shoeboots girls' experience was a reality shared by thousands of black slave women, despite them being freeborn and Cherokee by blood. Race maintained not only the division between the free and unfree, but also between the legitimate and nonlegitimate. The kidnapped girls straddled the dividing line between these categories, likely producing anxiety among their Cherokee peers.

Keywords:   Afro-Cherokees, Indian Territory, 1842 Cherokee slave revolt, Cherokee political leaders, slavery, black slave women, race

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