In this Book

Paths to a Middle Ground
summary
Spanish imperial attempts to form strong Indian alliances to thwart American expansion in the Mississippi Valley.
 
Charles Weeks explores the diplomacy of Spanish colonial officials in New Orleans and Natchez in order to establish posts on the Mississippi River and Tombigbee rivers in the early 1790s. Another purpose of this diplomacy, urged by Indian leaders and embraced by Spanish officials, was the formation of a regional Indian confederation that would deter American expansion into Indian lands.

Weeks shows how diplomatic relations were established and maintained in the Gulf South between Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, and Cherokee chiefs and their Spanish counterparts aided by traders who had become integrated into Indian societies. He explains that despite the absence of a European state system, Indian groups had diplomatic skills that Europeans could understand: full-scale councils or congresses accompanied by elaborate protocol, interpreters, and eloquent metaphorical language.

Paths to a Middle Ground
is both a narrative and primary documents. Key documents from Spanish archival sources serve as a basis for the examination of the political culture and imperial rivalry playing out in North America in the waning years of the 18th century.
 
 
 

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page/Copyright
  2. pp. i-iv
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Maps and Diagrams
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Introduction: An Argument
  2. pp. 1-8
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  1. Part I
  2. p. 9
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  1. 1. Initial and Sustained Contacts in the Gulf South: From Violence to Diplomacy
  2. pp. 11-17
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  1. 2. Forging Diplomatic Paths: Native Participants
  2. pp. 18-24
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  1. 3. Forging Diplomatic Paths: Emergence of a Culture of Diplomacy
  2. pp. 25-44
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  1. Part II
  2. p. 45
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  1. 4. The Nogales Dispute, 1791–1792: Some Immediate Antecedents
  2. pp. 47-62
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  1. 5. Diplomacy of the Nogales Dispute, 1791–1792
  2. pp. 63-80
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  1. 6. Paths to Boukfouka and the Tombigbee,1792–1793
  2. pp. 81-102
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  1. 7. Tangled and Twisted Paths to Nogales
  2. pp. 103-117
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  1. 8. The Nogales Assembly, 1793
  2. pp. 118-125
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  1. 9. Paths—River and Other—from Nogales to San Fernando de las Barrancas
  2. pp. 126-142
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  1. Part III
  2. pp. 143-145
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  1. Diary of Gayoso’s Journey to Nogales, March 24–April 23, 1791
  2. pp. 146-149
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  1. Franchimastab
  2. pp. 150-151
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  1. Gayoso’s Response to Franchimastabé and Taboca, May 28, 1791
  2. pp. 152-153
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  1. Diary of Stephen Minor’s First Mission tothe Choctaws May 30 to June 13, 1791
  2. pp. 154-160
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  1. Gayoso on Minor’s Mission to the Choctaws, July 1, 1791
  2. pp. 161-169
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  1. Gayoso to Franchimastab
  2. pp. 170-171
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  1. Diary of Minor’s Second Mission to the Choctaws, March 13–April 3, 1792
  2. pp. 172-181
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  1. Franchimastab
  2. p. 182
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  1. Gayoso to Tascahetuca [Taskietoka], March 28, 1792
  2. p. 183
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  1. Gayoso’s Account of the Natchez Congress, May 1792
  2. pp. 184-200
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  1. Treaty of Natchez, May 14, 1792
  2. pp. 201-202
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  1. Gayoso’s Account of the Visit to Natchez of Cherokee Chiefs, December 1792–January 1793
  2. pp. 203-206
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  1. Treaty of Boukfouka, May 1793
  2. pp. 207-208
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  1. Gayoso’s Account of the Nogales Assembly, October 1793
  2. pp. 209-229
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  1. Treaty of Nogales, October 28, 1793
  2. pp. 230-232
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  1. Cession of the Barrancas de Marg
  2. pp. 233-235
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  1. Gayoso’s Account of a Meeting with the Chickasaw King at San Fernando de las Barrancas, August 1795
  2. pp. 236-242
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  1. Abbreviations
  2. pp. 243-244
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  1. Notes to Chapters
  2. pp. 245-274
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  1. Notes to Documents
  2. pp. 275-278
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  1. Essay on Sources
  2. pp. 279-284
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 285-292
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