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The Transformation of the Southeastern Indians, 1540-1760

The Transformation of the Southeastern Indians, 1540-1760

Robbie Ethridge
Charles Hudson
R. P. Stephen Davis
Penelope B. Drooker
Patricia Galloway
Steven C. Hahn
Marvin D. Jeter
Paul Kelton
Timothy K. Perttula
Christopher B. Rodning
Helen C. Rountree
Marvin T. Smith
John E. Worth
Copyright Date: 2002
Pages: 408
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  • Book Info
    The Transformation of the Southeastern Indians, 1540-1760
    Book Description:

    With essays by Stephen Davis, Penelope Drooker, Patricia K. Galloway, Steven Hahn, Charles Hudson, Marvin Jeter, Paul Kelton, Timothy Pertulla, Christopher Rodning, Helen Rountree, Marvin T. Smith, and John Worth

    The first two-hundred years of Western civilization in the Americas was a time when fundamental and sometimes catastrophic changes occurred in Native American communities in the South.

    InThe Transformation of the Southeastern Indians, historians, anthropologists, and archaeologists provide perspectives on how this era shaped American Indian society for later generations and how it even affects these communities today.

    This collection of essays presents the most current scholarship on the social history of the South, identifying and examining the historical forces, trends, and events that were attendant to the formation of the Indians of the colonial South.

    The essayists discuss how Southeastern Indian culture and society evolved. They focus on such aspects as the introduction of European diseases to the New World, long-distance migration and relocation, the influences of the Spanish mission system, the effects of the English plantation system, the northern fur trade of the English, and the French, Dutch, and English trade of Indian slaves and deerskins in the South.

    This book covers the full geographic and social scope of the Southeast, including the indigenous peoples of Florida, Virginia, Maryland, the Appalachian Mountains, the Carolina Piedmont, the Ohio Valley, and the Central and Lower Mississippi Valleys.

    Robbie Ethridge is an assistant professor of anthropology and southern studies at the University of Mississippi. Charles Hudson is Franklin Professor of Anthropology and History at the University of Georgia.

    eISBN: 978-1-60473-955-8
    Subjects: History, Archaeology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-x)
    Robbie Ethridge
  4. Introduction
    (pp. xi-2)
    Charles Hudson

    Recent research on the expeditions of sixteenth-century Spanish explorers—Hernando de Soto (1539–43), Tristán de Luna (1559–61), and Juan Pardo (1566–68)—has made it possible to link up the historical experiences and observations recounted in the documents of these expeditions with the voluminous archaeological information that has been developed over the past half century by archaeologists. At least in a partial way, that linkage has now been accomplished.¹ We can now say with some confidence who lived where in the sixteenth-century Southeast, and we can also identify some rather large areas of land where no one lived....

  5. Aboriginal Population Movements in the Postcontact Southeast
    (pp. 3-20)

    It is generally accepted that contact with Europeans set into motion a series of population movements that radically altered Native American societies and their interrelations. This paper seeks to determine the underlying causes of such movements, while cataloging many of the major shifts in a series of maps. These results are very preliminary, but will, I hope, serve to stimulate further research on the subject. In synthesizing these movements, I have relied on the scholarship of many colleagues.

    It should be noted that the maps presented in this paper differ significantly from maps presented by John R. Swanton in 1946...

  6. The Great Southeastern Smallpox Epidemic, 1696–1700: The Region’s First Major Epidemic?
    (pp. 21-38)

    Smallpox infection is now eradicated from the world thanks to an effective global vaccination program, but people of an earlier time, especially American Indians, tragically experienced the virus’s destructive power. Smallpox was absent from the Americas before European contact, making indigenous peoples particularly vulnerable when Europeans introduced it. Without previous exposure that would have produced acquired immunity, Indian societies were in effect “virgin” populations, in which smallpox quickly erupted into catastrophic epidemics, producing immensely high death tolls. These “virgin soil epidemics” often struck all members of an entire village or tribe at one time, leaving no one able to fulfill...

  7. Spanish Missions and the Persistence of Chiefly Power
    (pp. 39-64)

    In the fall of 1728, fully a quarter century after the last Guale mission had been withdrawn to St. Augustine, an elderly Guale chief named Francisco Ospogue petitioned the king of Spain for an official military post from which he might draw a salary on which he and his descendants could live. Then approaching seventy years of age, the cacique Francisco based his petition on two primary facts: his more than forty years of active service in the Spanish militia (including a 1717 attack in which his wife and four children were captured and enslaved by English-allied Indians), and his...

  8. Trouble Coming Southward: Emanations through and from Virginia, 1607–1675
    (pp. 65-78)

    It has been common for scholars of the mid-Atlantic coast, myself included, to view the century before 1670 as a time of limited native movements and scant overland exploration by Europeans. We knew that Iroquoian-speakers variously called Massawomecks and Pocoughtraonacks were coming in from the northwest and causing consternation among the Chesapeake Bay peoples. We heard, through John Smith, that the man Powhatan had single-handedly built up his paramount chiefdom to cover most of eastern Virginia. We had Smith’s references to the Jamestown colony sending parties southward from Virginia in 1607–8 in search of survivors of the “Lost Colony.”...

  9. The Mother of Necessity: Carolina, the Creek Indians, and the Making of a New Order in the American Southeast, 1670–1763
    (pp. 79-114)

    On May 27, 1715, a small boat carrying four Indian men arrived in St. Augustine, the epicenter of power in Spanish Florida. On board were Alonsso and Gabriel, two Yamasee chiefs, and Istopoyole and Brave Dog, two Creek Indians, who hinted that they had come to “renew” their obedience to the king of Spain. Eager to behave amicably with their Indian guests, Spanish officials feted them with food and drink later that evening.¹ This was, as it turned out, a remarkable occurrence, because the Creeks had not paid Spanish officials a friendly visit in more than twenty years. Quite the...

  10. The Ohio Valley, 1550–1750: Patterns of Sociopolitical Coalescence and Dispersal
    (pp. 115-134)

    Before the middle of the eighteenth century, the Ohio River valley was known to Europeans almost entirely through statements by Indian informants. Through the mid-1670s, these accounts depict a populous, prosperous region. After that, the record is extremely fragmentary, but the area appears to have been significantly depopulated until the 1720s, when Shawnees, Delawares, Senecas, and others began to move there from Pennsylvania and western New York.

    From the archaeological record, we know that such movements were not without precedent. During the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, there were major population shifts in the region.¹ Large areas previously dotted with villages...

  11. The Cultural Landscape of the North Carolina Piedmont at Contact
    (pp. 135-154)

    In late December 1700, John Lawson and a party of six Englishmen and four Indians set out from Charles Town to conduct a reconnaissance survey of Carolina for the colony’s Lords Proprietors. By the time he arrived at the English settlement on Pamlico Sound almost two months later, Lawson had traversed some six hundred miles through the Carolina back-country, describing the natural and cultural geography he encountered along the way. During the first leg of his journey, along the Santee and Wateree rivers, he visited villages of the Santee, Congaree, and Wateree Indians. Next, he entered the territory of the...

  12. Reconstructing the Coalescence of Cherokee Communities in Southern Appalachia
    (pp. 155-176)

    Several distinct groups of Cherokee towns formed within different areas of southern Appalachia during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries (fig. 1). Several of the Lower Towns along the headwaters of the Savannah River were located at or near mounds that may have been community centers from the eleventh through sixteenth centuries¹—during the 1700s, many people abandoned these towns because of conflicts with Creek and European groups.² The relationship between people in the Overhill Towns along the lower Little Tennessee River and earlier chiefdoms in the region before the sixteenth century is unclear³—during the 1700s, these settlements...

  13. From Prehistory through Protohistory to Ethnohistory in and near the Northern Lower Mississippi Valley
    (pp. 177-224)

    This chapter will begin with a discussion of general problems in correlating archaeological and ethnohistorical data. I will then scrutinize the terminal prehistoric to early historic situations in and near the northern portion of the Lower Mississippi Valley (LMV), with emphasis on the intervening protohistoric processes of sociocultural change, continuity, and discontinuity, as indicated by my readings of the relevant literature. I will close with critical summaries of several competing “scenarios” for relating the archaeological record to the ethnohistorical data, concluding with two compatible scenarios which I think have several important points in their favor.

    Protohistoric or ethnohistoric archaeology involves...

  14. Colonial Period Transformations in the Mississippi Valley: Dis-integration, Alliance, Confederation, Playoff
    (pp. 225-248)

    It took me a long time to get started on this paper, because it was not entirely clear what would be left for me to say once my colleagues had finished dealing with their topics: disease, population movements, and the influences of the Spanish in Florida and the English from colonies along the eastern seaboard would already have been dealt with. But as I looked over the list of papers, I saw that French colonial contacts had not been covered, nor did it seem apparent that anyone else would be concerned with the Indian view of events. As a result,...

  15. Social Changes among the Caddo Indians in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries
    (pp. 249-270)

    Along with other native populations of the southeastern United States,¹ the Caddo Indian peoples who lived in what is now northeast Texas, northwest Louisiana, eastern Oklahoma, and southwestern Arkansas have withstood disease and demographic loss, colonization, and acculturation, the centuries-long and continuing interaction with Europeans.² They survived and apparently thrived at critical times amidst the onslaught of European and American empire-building on lands the Caddo had considered their own from time immemorial.³ In this paper I focus on the period from about 1530 to 1715, that time between prehistory and history “for which few written records are available, and for...

  16. Notes
    (pp. 271-322)
  17. Bibliography
    (pp. 323-360)
  18. Contributors
    (pp. 361-362)
  19. Index
    (pp. 363-369)