Did any of you know that there were 5 Native tribes that owned slaves before the civil war? I was watching Mr. Gates, who has a program called Faces on PBS last night. He is the man that got into the fight with the police man and had a beer with him at the White House. In any case, he said that the Chickasaw Nation was one of the 5 tribes. After the Civil War this Nation refused to free their slaves until 5 years after the war was ended. The peoples that chose to stay with the Tribe were not considered Chickasaws and were not allowed to become Am. citizens, because they lived with the Tribe. The 1800's were definitely an interesting era in history. Sunshine
Post by Spirit of the Owl Woman on Feb 23, 2010 13:27:35 GMT -5
That may be true or not. The Sioux took captives and they were treated like slaves and so too, did other tribes who warred against one another who took captives. And they did not necessarily relinquish these captives so readily. They were the spoils of war. Also, it would do to look into history as Indians were sold into slavery by white men. The metis were put into slavery by the French if they were indebted until their debt was paid. Like a debtors prison. I suspect that either John or Louis Benoist and wife, were in such a position. I forget just exactly which one but one of those two couples. It is on my research to do list.
The Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, and Seminole all kept black slaves. The type of chattel slavery they practiced was similar to that of the Americans, and is one of the reasons they were considered "civilized." Strangely, the Seminole tribe was formed from a mixture of Creeks and runaway slaves, yet they still practiced slavery. Like their white counterparts, it was usually only the elite, wealthy people in these societies that could afford to own slaves.
Some other tribes had slaves, but these were usually Indian captives taken in raids from other tribes, but every once in a while they were Mexicans, whites, or blacks, depending on who was around. Not to excuse it, but the slavery practiced by these tribes was very different from American and European style of slavery. Often the slave status was temporary and usually didn't extend to their children. For these Indians, slavery wasn't based on race.
It should also be remembered that many Indians were enslaved by all of the European powers in North America. In fact, Indian slaves were the norm in many places until African slaves began to be more heavily imported in the 1700s. Even after the Civil War, many California Indians were forced into indentured servitude, essentially a form of slavery. It took another decade or two after the Civil War for the laws in California to catch up and finally end the practice.
Post by Spirit of the Owl Woman on Feb 25, 2010 0:35:59 GMT -5
Jimmy, thank you so very much into this insight and history that I had not known before. I always knew that captives were treated as slaves or spoils of war and sooner or later married into the tribe, if not released to return to their people. What I did not know is what you have explained and I appreciate your elucidation/enlightenment on the subject.
I have been researching in this area the last few weeks. There is a lot on it. I did not know that Columbus and his bunch captured 500 natives and took them back with them. Also that when the first black slaves came over that the settlers would trade as manyas three natives for one black. They were trying to clear the area of natives as they were afraid of them and were scared that if natives were close that any blacks that broke free would join them. I am trying to find more on the 500, Lots and lots more reading and looking to do.
If you need info on Yellow Cloud info, contact me. Click on my name to view profile.
I just had to comment on this one. Myself being Navajo and Sisseton-Wahpeton and one who grew up in South Carolina (my dad was Navajo and Dakotah Sioux and my mom was from South Carolina). I can tell you first hand that this very issue brings up the issue of racisim in the Carolina's
The history here was as follows: the slaves who were not free but who ran away could find safety among the Native Americans and this resulted in many mixed marriages. After 1836 many Native American tribes here in the Carolina's who chose to stay (and not be relocated west of the Mississippi) recieved ownership of land and "full Southern Citizenship" in exchange for giving up treaty rights and tribal rights and no longer being recognized as Indians, they then became people of color, colored or mulatto. Many communities were established afterward where "people of color" lived together seperate from the white population. Of course many of these lands were sold out from underneath the feet of the "people of color" and no one owned these land's afterward (some of these lands were sold by the Farm Bureau in Washington DC).
Today alot if Native American's here do not want anyone to know they might have a "black ancestor". This very narrowmindedness has gotten in the way of many unsolved Native American issues here....300 full body skeltal remains (Native American) warehoused in South Carolina Sate Museums and some tribal members here do not want to repatriate them because they are afraid the world will find out some of them are "black". I have tried to work and assit on this issue considering the fact that our Dakotah ancestors may have migrated from the Carolina's. I have seen old maps of North Carolina whereupon (as of about the 1600 and 1700's) the only tribes remaining or mentioned were Tuscarora and Siouan. I know that at one time there was no definitive differentiation of North and South Carolina, it was just all one land. I know the North Carolina Cherokee owned slaves and the mixed marriages resulted in "Black Cherokee" and they have been at the core of a lawsuit whereupon the tribe does not want to recognize them. This is a heated issue and one even a full-blood Cherokee friend of mine does not take lightly.
Some of the Native American cummunities in North and South Carolina became what I call "closed communities". No one from the outside goes in and only recently have the insiders ventured outside of their communities of safety (these are in remote locations). Because of this you had and still do to this day closely related marriages. Some of the inhabitants of these closed communites look more Native American than do the well known Lumbee Indians.
The Natoinal Museum of the American Indian opened a new exhibit in November 2009 called "Indi-Visible". the exhibit adresses the racially motivated laws that were forced upon Native Americans, African Americans and "mixed heritage" peoples since Columbus. Even though this exhibit is far away from the Carolina's the very fact that the National Museum of the American Indian dared bring up this issue has left many Indinas in the Carolina's feeling angry.
I have the opportunity of having met alot of elders, of Native American and African American descent here. One issue stands out, there was a time, not too long ago, where here, it was safer to be a black person than to be an Indian. I have heard their stories about growing up here before the Civil Rights era and Indians (even those of mixed blood) were always the ones who were served last (at the back door of resturants) and were the ones who "got the worst beatings". One elder was still fearfull that she might be punished because she had an Indian grandmother.
Here in the past it was easier to forget about being Native American and assimilate because this gauranted your saftey as well as that of future generations. In other words it was better to be black than to be an Indian.
I used the terms Black and Indian here because this is what the elders use and the younger Native Americans use this also. This is a very complex and confusing issue and I think it is what gets in the way of progress for Native Americans here in the Carolinas. I am very vocal about this issue and everyone here knows how I feel about it.
Just wanted to confirm how I feel about this issue , I do not believe anyone should be judged by the color of their skin or religious preference. My father was an advocate for equal right's for all, he never told me how to be, he showed me by example. The issue of Native Peoples owning slaves in the South and the result of mixed marriages is considered a thorn in the side of many Native people here.
Thank you for your great information. I can definitely understand the complexities of this issue. I don't hink that any one has the right to stand in judgment of this situation, especially when it happened so long ago. These were people who were just trying to "stay alive" no matter what Nationality they were. I think that Jimmy was trying to do a thesis paper on the complexities of this interracial issue and possibly found it to be too complex? Am I correct in this Jimmy? Regardless of whether these bodies were of mixed blood, it is an important part of history, embarassing for some or not. I applaud your bold spirit in your attempt to deal with this happening.
I also appreciate your mentioning the possibility of the Santee people being from the Carolinas. In the beginning of my research, I noticed that there is a Santee River in that state and wondered if it was the original area of these peoples. If so, that opens up another area of research for the future. Does anyone else have any more imformation on this subject? Blessings to all, Sunshine
My father would tell me that our Dakotah ancestors migrated from the Carolina's. This was passed down within our family. It has been only within the last couple of years that I have found some evidence while researching my Dakotah family history furthur than I already knew. In an old issue of Wagon Wheels it is mentioned and it is in Ehanna Woyakapi about a westward migration from the Carolina's. And when I read "Remember This The Eli Taylor Narratives" fourth chapter "These I Heard Growing Up", I wondered if this was a westward migration he was talking about? The name of the Santee River here has always fascinated me (here Santee sounds like the a in sand). I know Lyle Rustad with Diversity Foundation has always been interested in this as well (he spent alot of time here during the Civil Rights era and he too would like to research it more.) I have had e-mailed to me copies of old North Carolina maps which show a certain territory as Siouan. I do firmly believe that the states of North and South Carolina keep documents away from Indians here and as of last year this was confirmed in a case of a group of Indians who were searching out their tribal past. This was one of the closed communities I mentioned earlier. They accidently found in the North Carolina's archives (with the help of the archivist, which put his job on the line if the state should findout) the original Land Patents that were issued to their ancestors from King George. Afterward someone from the closed community wondered about the lands (250 acres per person) and what happened to the land. They were able to confirm (after investigating) that this was sold out from under the descendents feet and sold by the Farm Bureau in Wasington DC to International Paper, where now sits the International Paper Company. This has only been within the past couple of years that this information was founded. I saw the photocopied orginals and the name's match the surnames from the Indian community. I have often wondered if it would take a Federal Recognized Tribe, like the Sisseton-Wahpeton to inquire about information (that the states of North and South Carolina withhold from local tribes who are not Federally Recognized) that may prove the westward migration to be true. Not that I doubt it, the migration that is.
I have often wondered if the Santee Indian Tribe, a South Carolina state recognized tribe, are related to the Santee (Dakotah) Sioux and how this would be determined? They are located in Holly Hill, South Carolina.
The Santee River is now known as Lake Marion and a burial mound is located there. South Carolina has only one person who is responsible for the protection and safety of the Indian burial mounds located within the state. He has asked, in the past, my assistence in trying to get some of the local tribes and leaders to form a protection group but many (not all) of the state recognized groups and tribes are not interested in anything other than politics. This allows many developers to take advantage of the situation. I know of one private land owner who has a burial mound on his property and does not want the local tribes or the state involved because of the lack of care and concern from both in regards to other sites. Maybe one day the Dakotah leaders and government west of the Mississippi would find this worth investigating. I have personally found that when you go outside of the Good Ol'e Boy Territory and go directly on a Federal level, they can not stop you.
Yes, the Santee River is the original area of these people, at least this is what I have always been told. I have just left a message with the South Carolina Santee Indian Tribe's leader asking if he would like to provide more information. I will keep you posted (as if I haven't done enough already today).
I knew that when I wrote about the slave situation, that I may well be stirring up a bees nest. But I think that it is important to embrace all of this history, without standing in judgement. Knowledge is power; just vowing to do better for our own lives for the future.
Navaho, if NC was SD, they would be all over those developers like a ton of bricks. I know the people in Pierre who do this kind of work, so if you want to contact me personally, I will give you their names. Maybe you can contact them and find out how to turn your situation around, or at least give them a good run for their money. That is just plain wrong!
Is anyone else sitting on a professional situation that you don't know how to deal with? Maybe if you share it here, as a group, we can help you figure out how to deal with it.
From what I've read, the treatment of African slaves by Natives was rather different from that of the European colonists and Euro-Americans. The Seminole situation may have been a bit different from the other of the 5 tribes too. The Seminole tribe was formed from people who choose to leave the English occupied areas and go to the Spanish Florida areas where they were supplied with guns and encouraged to stop English advancement. Runaway slaves were welcomed and were part of the tribe. As I understand it, a major cause of the Seminole wars was the unhappiness of Southern slave owners that their runaway slaves had a place of refuge. The Africans were a military asset in those wars because they had lived among the whites, knew their language and ways of thinking.
Groups of Seminoles that were captured and sent to Oklahoma had problems there and one was slavers who would kidnap African "slaves" and mixed tribe members. One group of these fled to Mexico until after the civil war when they returned and settled near Bracketsville, TX and worked as Indian trackers and were called "Buffalo Soldiers".
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