Black Slaves, Indian Masters

Barbara Krauthamer. Black Slaves, Indian Masters: Slavery, Emancipation, and Citizenship in the Native America South. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2013.






Prof. Barbara Krauthamer-Associate Professor of History and Graduate Program Director @ UMASS-Amherst

Degrees: B.A., Washington University, St. Louis (1994), M.A., Ph.D., Princeton (1996, 2000)

Fields of interest: US: Antebellum, slavery and emancipation, African American history, Native American history, critical race and gender theory

Research Interests
-       She has written a number of articles and book chapters on the subjects of slavery in Indian Territory, and African American/Native American intersections. Her work has been supported with funding from the NEH, Stanford University, Yale University, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and the Institute for Historical Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.
-       Professor Krauthamer co-authored Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery with Professor Deborah Willis of New York University. The book features 150 historical photographs of enslaved and free African Americans from the 1850s through the 1930s, and includes four essays that discuss the photographic representations of slavery, emancipation, and freedom. This book was published by Temple University Press in January 2013, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.
-       She is currently working on a study of runaway slave women that frames enslaved women as intellectual and political actors and examines the meanings and manifestations of freedom in their lives.

     Barbara Krauthamer examines chattel slavery and the lives of enslaved blacks in the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations. From the late 18th century through the end of the Civil War, the Choctaw and Chickasaw bought, sold, and owned African and African Americans as slaves. Indian participation in the institution of slavery continued after Indian removal from the Deep South into Indian Territory. Krauthamer dismisses the notion that Indians participated in slavery because they desired European and then American goods. Krauthamer argues that wealthy and influential members of both nations consciously decided to become slaveholders as a way to maintain political and cultural autonomy during American expansion. Although the Choctaw and Chickasaw adopted and adapted to Euro-American institutions such as chattel slavery and ideologies of black inferiority, such actions did not protect Indian people and their land from federal assault. By utilizing manuscript collections, government documents, and African American and Native American newspaper and magazines, Krauthamer studies the relationship between enslaved blacks and their Indian masters, the complex relationship among Indians and the United States government as well as the shift in gender roles among Indian women during slavery and after emancipation. By the end of the 19th century, ongoing battles among the Choctaw, Chickasaw, and the United States government left former slaves and their descendants without citizenship both in Indian Territory and in the United States. 

1). the purpose(s) for which each author writes:
·         Krauthamer aims to provide an overview of the history of blacks in slavery, emancipation, and citizenship in the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations in the context of domination and colonialism.
   
2). the key question(s) the author asks:
·         How did enslaved blacks resist slavery in Indian Territory?
·         In what ways were race and gender complicated by slavery before and after Indian removal?
·         How did gender roles shift among Indian women during slavery and after emancipation?
·         How did blacks and Indians define themselves and each other?

3). the author’s key conclusion(s):
·         Enslaved people worked to create durable and meaningful family and community ties with each other (2).
·         Although Indians adopted and adapted Euro-American institutions such as chattel slavery and black inferiority, this does not mean that Indians accepted white superiority or saw their interests as identical to those of white southerners (5).
·         Situating the histories of black people during slavery and freedom and Native American struggle for sovereignty in the larger context of domination and colonialism demonstrates a history of intersecting and overlapping contests for power and justice (154).

4). the evidence from which the author derives those conclusions:
·         Magazine, newspapers, slave narratives, government records, personal correspondence of Indian leaders such as diaries and letters, and official papers of the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations.

5). the perspective each author takes on his or her subject:
·         Indian Territory is not simply “the West” but “a site of slavery, emancipation, and struggles for meaningful freedom and citizenship” (153).

6). the concepts or ideas that informs the author’s approach:
·         Krauthamer states that past discussions have focused on Indians’ relationship to the American market economy. She has decided to shift the focus to enslaved people’s lives and their relationship with their Indian masters.

7). the author’s assumptions or unexamined beliefs (i.e. what does the author take for granted):
 This is the most difficult question to answer for any book.....

8). the larger implications of the author’s line of reasoning:
·         Krauthamer seeks to add to the ongoing conversation about race, gender, slavery, and freedom in the Americas.
·         She widens the terrain of black-Indian interactions by studying the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations; past studies have examined Cherokee and Creek nations in depth.

Chapter One: Black Slaves, Indian Masters: Race, Gender, and Power in the Deep South
                                    Purpose
i.                    Krauthamer examines the emergence of chattel slavery emerged in the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations in the 18th century. Indian participation in the antebellum market economy of buying, owning, and selling blacks, they became entangled in networks of commerce that reached across southern states linking the African Diaspora, Native America, and the Deep South.
Chapter Two: Enslaved People, Missionaries, and Slaveholders: Christianity, Colonialism, and Struggles over Slavery
                  Purpose
i.                    Krauthamer explores the religious lives of the enslaved, which were linked, to the churches and schools that were established by missionaries during the 1820s. Missionaries arrived in Mississippi with the purpose of civilizing and assimilating the Choctaw and Chickasaw people in an effort to prepare them for white settlement and U.S governance.    
Chapter Three:  Slave Resistance, Sectional Crisis, and Political Factionalism in Antebellum Indian Territory
                                    Purpose
i.                    Here she looks at the various ways enslaved people resisted their enslavement. The various methods of resistance and running away led to heightened fears between the two nations about insurrections and uprisings, which could potentially attract the attention of enslaved people in neighboring areas as well as the attention of white abolitionists.
Chapter Four: The Treaty of 1866: Emancipation and the Conflicts over Black People’s Citizenship Rights and Indian Nation’s Sovereignty
            Purpose
i.                    Here Krauthamer underscores the violence that was directed at emancipated blacks after the Civil War. The treaty of 1866 complicated the citizenship status and rights of blacks as well as Indian nations’ land claims.
Chapter Five: Freedmen’s Political Organizing and the Ongoing Struggles over Citizenship, Sovereignty, and Squatters
                  Purpose
i.                    She discusses how black men voiced their views and opinions publicly about the 1866 treaty and freedpeople’s citizenship status. Black men acted as intermediaries between Indian and federal lawmakers. Krauthamer states that “black men’s political participation in this context is especially noteworthy because of the ways they addressed the issues of race, land, and sovereignty” (120).  
Chapter Six: A New Home in the West: Allotment, Race, and Citizenship   
                                    Purpose

i.                    In this chapter, she explores how the final efforts of the federal government to terminate the Indian nations’ governments and land claims. After emancipation, the citizenship status of freed blacks in either of the Indian nations and the United States was unclear. Free black men established organizations and demanded full citizenship rights. They often formed relationships with black leaders and activists from the states who supported their campaign to secure citizenship, rights, and allotment.   

Popular posts from this blog

Black Berries Hanging from Trees: Accounts of Black Women Lynched in America

Interracial Relationships, Symbols of Hate, and Supreme Court Rulings

Stereotypes and Images of Black Women in the Media