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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.85) Five Christianity
Ties That Bind

Tiya Miles

University of California Press

This chapter discusses the founding of abolitionist Protestant missions in the Cherokee Nation, and addresses the impact this new presence had on Cherokee communities, black slaves within those communities, and the Shoeboots family in particular. The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) was an interdenominational evangelical society with abolitionist leanings, headquartered in Massachusetts. With one major mission site called Brainerd already established in the Cherokee town of Chickamauga, the missionaries were looking to expand. Historian Adriane Strenk argued that Shoe Boots' support of missionary education did not necessarily mean that he considered himself a Christian. Rather, he was a pragmatist who wanted the children in his community to be best prepared for any test. The United States and its citizens were plotting to snatch Cherokee lands, and the best defenses against such activities seemed to be literacy in English and technical competency.

Keywords:   abolitionist Protestant missions, Cherokee Nation, ABCFM, Brainerd, Christianity, Cherokee lands, English literacy, Adriane Strenk

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