March 2021 (vol. 11, no. 1)

March 2021 (vol. 11, no. 1)

Volume 11, Number 1
March 2021


Editors’ Note
Kate Masur and Gregory P. Downs

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Guest Editor’s Note: “An Unholy Union: Southern and Western History”
James Brooks

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Andrew Shaler

The Cherokee and Wyandot Companies on the Overland Trails to California: Histories of Indigenous Migration and the Settler Gaze, 1849–1856

The popular memory of the nineteenth century American West has long fixated on the thousands of trail emigrants who famously crossed the North American continent in search of wealth, adventure, and new lives.  Historical and scholarly narratives have explored the ways that these massive overland migrations threatened, altered, and devastated Native American societies of the West. Often neglected in these historical narratives, however, are the many Native Americans who participated in these migrations, founded their own overland companies, and blazed some of the most important trail routes across the continent.  Among the most numerous were several companies of Cherokee and Wyandot people who left Indian Territory for California, where they would participate in the Gold Rush.  This article explores the complex histories and memories of these Indigenous migrants and settlers, from their journeys across the trails, their experiences in Gold Rush California, and their relations with other Native and settler communities.

Keywords: Cherokee, Wyandot, California, Trails, Migration, Removal, Inter-tribal Relations, Gold Rush

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Max Flomen

The Long War for Texas: Maroons, Renegades, Warriors, and Alternative Emancipations in the Southwest Borderlands, 1835–1845

In the Southwest Borderlands, marronage and insurrection defined the “long war” against slavery and empire waged by Indigenous peoples and African-Americans following the Texas Revolution of 1835-1836. The egalitarian politics and militarized commerce of Native societies empowered marginalized communities by providing the spatial, material, and ideological resources for emancipatory struggles. Allied with Mexico, multi-ethnic bands of warriors, fugitives, and renegades built fortified villages, planted provision grounds, raised livestock, and recruited outsiders. These efforts culminated in uprisings by Tejanos and enslaved African-Americans, as well as an attempt to establish a Pan-Indian buffer state north of the Rio Grande. With their combined force, these cohorts posed grave problems for the Anglo-Texan slave state and made its independence tentative and vulnerable. Taking seriously the aspirations of maroon communities, this article shifts our understanding of emancipation and sovereignty from a racialized and nationalist framework to a more fluid terrain that reveals how the dispossessed galvanized new methods of renewal.

Keywords: Borderlands; Texas; Native Americans; African-Americans; emancipation; slavery; bandits; maroons; Cherokee; Comanche

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Lance R. Blyth

War Waits: The Southwest Borderlands in the Civil War Era

War waits for any scholar of the Civil War Era who ventures into the North American West or Southwest Borderlands. It is, however, an error to simply interpret any conflict encountered as the Civil War. Rather a borderland ‘ethic’ is encouraged that privileges the local over the national. It is explored through the deeper histories surrounding the Battle of Apache Pass in Arizona in 1862 between California Volunteers and Chiricahua Apaches and the Massacre at Fort Fauntleroy in New Mexico in 1861 by New Mexico Volunteers on Navajos. Both of these engagements had far more to do with local borderland conditions, particularly raiding for captives and livestock, than the national Civil War. Scholars thus need to incorporate the national into the local.

Keywords: Borderlands, Civil War, Apache Pass, Fort Fauntleroy, Raiding, Captives, Livestock

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Angela Pulley Hudson

Removals and Remainders: Apaches and Choctaws in the Jim Crow South

In 1887, more than three hundred Apache prisoners of war were incarcerated at Mount Vernon Barracks, a U.S. Army post just north of Mobile, Alabama, where they would remain for seven years. This essay considers how the Apache presence influenced perceptions of “Indianness” in the Jim Crow South. It suggests that local and touristic interest in the Apache internees contributed to the erasure of southern Indigenous communities, most notably a group of Native people (known today as the MOWA Choctaws) who lived in the immediate vicinity of the barracks. The essay argues that the Apaches’ imprisonment and relocation contributed to white perceptions of their authenticity as Indians, while MOWA avoidance of removal hindered their community’s assertions of indigeneity. The essay also encourages historians interested in both the South and the West to reverse their gaze by considering westerners in the South, not just southerners in the West.

Keywords: Indian removal, incarceration, Alabama, Jim Crow, U.S. Army, Indian scouts, Mount Vernon Barracks, Native South

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