Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. iii-iv

Contents

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pp. vii-vii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xiii

The staffs at the following libraries and archives guided me while I researched this project: the Hampton University Archives in Hampton, Virginia; the Oklahoma History Society in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; the Western History Collection at Oklahoma University in ...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-20

In the early months of 1920, Nannie Wolfe lost the farm in Chewey, Adair County, Oklahoma, that had been her home for thirty-four years. She was then sixty-eight years old. Nannie had done nothing wrong; the decisions leading to this outcome were not hers. This process began in 1905 ...

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CHAPTER ONE. Arriving

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pp. 21-39

The story of the Cherokee people begins with a family undergoing tremendous change. In the version of “Origin of Corn” that ethnologist James Mooney learned while researching among the Eastern Band of Cherokees during the late nineteenth century, the central characters are ...

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CHAPTER TWO. Belonging

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pp. 40-68

In the early 1880s, two boys approached a farmhouse on the Niescoop Prairie in Goingsnake District. They were brothers whose family had been traveling for days and was camped at nearby Tyner Creek. Exhausted and low on supplies, the parents sent their sons to a neighboring farm to buy ...

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CHAPTER THREE. Debating

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pp. 69-104

In 1896, Samuel Houston Mayes wrote an impassioned letter in which he described his countrymen as the quintessence of virtuous, modern manhood. He used evocative words with strong connotations to convey his pride: these men were “sober,” “industrious,” and “independent.” He ...

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CHAPTER FOUR. Enrolling

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pp. 105-126

In 1902, as summer aged into autumn, Simon Walkingstick scoured the rugged terrain of Goingsnake District for Cherokees who had not enrolled with the Dawes Commission. This was no easy task. Residents of this area clustered their farms in valleys shielded by ridges. For millennia, water ...

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CHAPTER FIVE. Dividing

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pp. 127-148

Rosanna Mounce was flustered. The Dawes commissioners were asking questions about her former lovers and ex-husbands, and they expected her to answer them in this public place, the enrollment office. It was the fall of 1902. Having sent her current husband, Joe, to speak on her ...

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CHAPTER SIX. Transforming

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pp. 149-179

In early November 1902, Birch Anderson claimed allotments for himself, his wife, Lizzie, and their infant daughter, Willie Mae. Birch’s selections exemplify how familial relationships shaped the ways that Cherokees picked the land that they would own as individuals. Rather than ...

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CHAPTER SEVEN. Adapting

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pp. 180-214

In 1910, Stan and Tinna Gibson bought forty acres of land from Dennis and Bertha Sixkiller for $485. Over the next few years, the Gibsons built a three-room house and a barn, dug a well, tilled fields, and put up a fence. In short, they made a home. In 1915, a field clerk working out of the office for ...

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CHAPTER EIGHT. Sustaining

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pp. 215-239

Between 1967 and 1972, J. W. Tyner crisscrossed northeastern Oklahoma documenting Cherokee life after allotment as part of the American Indian Oral History Project, commonly known as the Doris Duke Collection after the foundation that sponsored this massive ...

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Conclusion

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pp. 241-244

The community of Chewey and the Cherokee families who lived in the area survived allotment. When anthropologist Albert L. Wahrhaftig conducted his research there during the 1960s, Chewey remained a stable community that still exhibited communitarian ethics.1 In the decades ...

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Afterword

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pp. 245-247

After what seemed like a hundred turns down country roads—my queasy stomach feeling every one of them—we arrived at the edge of a field. The scene reminded me of the county fair that I loved as a girl when I would visit my grandma back in the small farm town in Illinois that my dad ...

Appendix: Note on Sources

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pp. 249-251

Notes

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pp. 253-299

Bibliography

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pp. 301-311

Index

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pp. 313-320