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Columbus Meets Pocahontas in the American South

From: Southern Cultures
Volume 3, Number 1, 1997
pp. 4-21 | 10.1353/scu.1997.0006

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Columbus Meets Pocahontas in the American South
Theda Perdue

Theda Perdue is professor of history at the University of Kentucky. She is author of Slavery and the Evolution of Cherokee Society, 1540-1866 (1979), Native Carolinians (1985), and The Cherokee (1988). She has edited, among other books, Nations Remembered: An Oral History of the Five Civilized Tribes (1980) and Cherokee Editor: The Writings of Elias Boudinot (1983). Most recently, she coedited with her husband, Michael D. Green, The Cherokee Removal (1995). Her book, Cherokee Women: Gender and Culture Change, 1700-1835 is forthcoming from the University of Nebraska Press.


1. Samuel Eliot Morison, Admiral of the Ocean Sea (Little Brown and Company, 1942); Grace Steele Woodward, Pocahontas (University of Oklahoma Press, 1969); J. A. Leo Lemay, Did Pocahontas Save Captain John Smith? (University of Georgia Press, 1993); Philip Young, "The Mother of Us All," Kenyon Review 24 (1962): 391-441. See also Rayna Green, "The Pocahontas Perplex: The Image of Indian Women in American Culture," Massachusetts Review 16 (1975): 698-714.

2. Marvin Lunenfeld, ed., 1492: Discovery, Invasion, Encounter (D.C. Heath and Company, 1991), 133, 161-64; S. E. Morison, ed., Journals and Other Documents in the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus (The Heritage Press, 1963), 212.

3. John Smith, The Generall Historie of Virginia, New England and the Summer Isles . . . (London, 1624), Book 3: 67.

4. Woodward, 5; Robert F. Berkhofer, The White Man's Indian: The History of an Idea from Columbus to the Present (Knopf, 1978), 7-9.

5. Paul Leicester Ford, ed., The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, 10 vols. (G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1892-99), 3: 154-55.

6. George W. Corner, ed., The Autobiography of Benjamin Rush: His Travels Through Life, Together with His Commonplace Book [1789-1813], Memoirs of the American Philosophical Society, vol. 25 (Princeton University Press, 1948), 71.

7. Louis-Philippe, Diary of My Travels in America, tr. Stephen Becker (Delacorte Press, 1977), 84-85.

8. Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, (1787; reprt. Matthew Carey, 1794), 299.

9. Samuel Stanhope Smith, An Essay on the Causes of the Variety of Complexion and Figure in the Human Species, ed. Winthrop D. Jordan (1810; reprt. Harvard University Press, 1965), 128; John Lawson, A New Voyage to Carolina, ed. Hugh T. Lefler (University of North Carolina Press, 1967), 37-38.

10. Bernard Romans, A Concise History of East and West Florida (1775; reprt. University of Florida Press, 1962), 40-43; Lawson, 194; James Adair, Adair's History of the North American Indians, ed. Samuel Cole Williams (The Watauga Press, 1930), 152-53.

11. Lawson, 41; Louis-Philippe, 72.

12. Romans, 40-43.

13. Jedidiah Morse, The American Universal Geography; or a View of the Present State of All the Kingdoms, States, and Colonies in the Known World (Thomas and Andrews, 1812), 105.

14. Lawson, 193; Alexander Longe, "A Small Postscript of the Ways and Manners of the Indians Called Charikees," ed. D. H. Corkran, Southern Indian Studies 21 (1969): 30.

15. Morse, 575-76; Albert Gallatin, "Synopsis of the Indian Tribes Within the United States East of the Rocky Mountains," vol. 2 of Archaeologia Americana: Transactions and Collections of the American Antiquarian Society, (Folson, Wells, and Thurston, 1836), 112-13.

16. Lawson, 57; Cadwallader Colden, History of the Five Indian Nations of Canada which are Dependent on the Provinces of New York, 2 vols. (1747; reprt. Allerton Books, 1922), 1: xxxiii; Alexander Moore, ed., Nairne's Muskogean Journals: The 1708 Expedition to the Mississippi River (University of Mississippi Press, 1988), 33, 45.

17. Seymour Feiler, ed., Jean-Bernard Bossu's Travels in the Interior of North America, 1751-1762 (University of Oklahoma Press, 1962), 131-32; Lawson, 40.

18. Adair, 244.

19. Alice Schlegel, Male Dominance and Female Autonomy: Domestic Authority in Matrilineal Societies (Yale University Press, 1972), 87-88.

20. William K. Boyd, ed., William Byrd's Histories of the Dividing Line Betwixt Virginia and North Carolina (The North Carolina Historical Commission, 1929), 147-48; William L. McDowell, ed., Journals of the Commissioners of the Indian Trade, Sept. 20, 1710-Aug. 29, 1718 (South Carolina Archives Department, 1955), 4, 37; McDowell, Documents Relating to...