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Read PDF The House on Diamond Hill: A Cherokee Plantation Story

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Moreover, the book includes rich portraits of the women of these various communities. Vividly written and extensively researched, this history illuminates gender, class, and cross-racial relationships on the southern frontier. For more information about Tiya Miles, visit the Author Page. Slavery helped prove to the United States government that they [Cherokees] had acculturated and thus had become 'civilized.

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Miles intends for this project to contribute to slavery studies with a picture of black life in an Indian nation that is closely linked to U. To do this, she engages two principal arguments found in the historiography of black slavery in American Indian nations. Halliburton and Theda Perdue offered an interpretation of Indian masters as more lenient than their white southern counterparts, which resulted in an easier life for the enslaved. This argument suggests that blacks owned by natives, and in some cases related to natives, sought and attained cultural likeness with their indigenous owners.

The enslaved were faced with an unpredictable master who committed and condoned harsh punishments and unthinkable cruelty. In her recreation of the lives of four slave women, Miles illuminates the slave community and culture of Diamond Hill that reveals the cultural persistence of African folkways.


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The slave community on Diamond Hill was diverse; some slaves came from Africa, some from the United States, and some were born in Cherokee country. Chapter 4 looks at Cherokee women within the plantation household and the rise in violence in the Cherokee Nation, including domestic violence.


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Miles chronicles the life of Peggy Vann, which is the first sustained historical portrait of Cherokee women of the slaveholding class. She illuminates the life of Peggy in an effort to show how race, class, and gender shaped the individual experience, interactions between groups, and new social patterns. In the midst of a Cherokee traditionalist spiritual revival of , Peggy became the first Cherokee convert to Christianity baptized at Springplace Mission on August 13, The large number of slaves and the various enterprises he operated represent a picture of the life of elite Cherokees in the early nineteenth century.

The House on Diamond Hill: A Cherokee Plantation Story

Overall, the book fulfills its ambitious goals and ties together Native American, African American, southern, and gender history quite well. Miles offers a nuanced picture of Cherokee responses to U. She successfully connects black slavery in Indian nations to broader themes of cultural persistence found in studies of slavery in the United States. Readers might like more information on the white overseers employed at Diamond Hill. Still, Miles has produced an excellent book that enriches the historical picture of slavery in Indian nations.

The third appendix to the book is a Moravian memoir that details the conversion of Peggy Scott Vann Crutchfield. It is enlightening in its revelation of the mindset and biases of the Moravian, Anna Rosina Gambold, who recorded the information. We learn through prolonged concentration on the intertwined biographies of a small set of Diamond Hillians that external challenges, internal struggles, incredible strengths, and heartbreaking failures shaped the people who made our history.

I cannot think of a better way to summarize this historical treasure, and fortunately, Miles shares her attention to the biographies with us in a style that is refreshing for historical research findings in its readability and touching in its display of the humanity of the players involved.

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Purvis on Miles, 'The House on Diamond Hill: A Cherokee Plantation Story' | H-AmIndian | H-Net

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Diamond Hill 1/28/2017