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Yuchi Indian Histories Before the Removal Era

Jason Baird Jackson

Publication Year: 2012

In Yuchi Indian Histories Before the Removal Era, folklorist and anthropologist Jason Baird Jackson and nine scholars of Yuchi (Euchee) Indian culture and history offer a revisionist and in-depth portrait of Yuchi community and society. This first interdisciplinary history of the Yuchi people corrects the historical record, which often submerges the Yuchi within the Creek Confederacy instead of acknowledging the Yuchi as a separate tribe.

By looking at the oral, historical, ethnographic, linguistic, and archaeological record, contributors illuminate Yuchi political circumstances and cultural identity. Focusing on the pre-Removal era, the volume shows that from the entrada of Hernando de Soto into the American South in 1541 to the Yuchis’ internal migrations throughout the hinterlands of the South and their entanglement with the Creeks to the maintenance of community and identity today, the Yuchis have persisted as a distinct people. This volume provides a voice to an indigenous nation that previous generations of scholars have misidentified or erroneously assumed to be a simple constituent of the Creek Nation. In doing so, it offers a fuller picture of Yuchi social realities since the arrival of Europeans and other non-natives in their Southern homelands. 

Published by: University of Nebraska Press

Title Page

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Copyright Page

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List of Illustrations

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pp. ix

List of Maps

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pp. x

List of Tables

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pp. xi

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Introduction: On Studying Yuchi History

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pp. xiii-xxxiv

The Yuchi (alternatively Euchee) are a native North American people with a compelling story to tell. Yuchi people today, in the twenty-first century, still speak their own unique indigenous language, one unrelated to any known language of the Americas. While many...

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1. Deep Time and Genetic Relationships: Yuchi Linguistic History Revisited

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pp. 1-31

Comparative linguistics is concerned with establishing groups of languages that share a genetic affiliation. Except in extreme cases where the speakers of one language have shifted to an unrelated language, such as the shift to English experienced by many indigenous communities...

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2. Enigmatic Origins: On the Yuchi of the Contact Era

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pp. 33-41

In the fall of 1567 Spanish explorer Captain Juan Pardo received testimony from an Indian in the town of Satapo along the Little Tennessee River in what is now eastern Tennessee regarding a widespread plot to ambush Pardo’s soldiers as they traveled toward the principal...

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3. Reconsidering Chestowee: The 1713 Raid in Regional Perspective

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pp. 43-71

One of the first substantive narrative accounts of a Yuchi community in the southeastern interior was documented in the South Carolina Board of Indian Trade’s May 1714 inquest into the Cherokee attack on the Yuchi town of Chestowee. Although Chestowee was...

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4. Yuchi in the Lower Savannah River Valley: Historical Context and Archaeological Confirmation

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pp. 73-99

As revealed in other contributions to this volume, along with other recent ethnographic, ethnohistorical, linguistic, and archaeological work, the complexity of Yuchi social and cultural history, especially before the removal era, is daunting. In some ways, previous scholarship is as...

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5. The Yuchi Indians along the Chattahoochee and Flint Rivers (1715–1836): A Synthesis

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pp. 101-122

The purpose of this chapter is to initiate a synthesis of the ethnohistoric and archaeological evidence for Yuchi Indian settlement along the Chattahoochee and Flint rivers. Given space constraints and the provisional state of research, this essay provides only a brief summary of that...

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6. “They Look upon the Yuchis as Their Vassals”: An Early History of Yuchi-Creek Political Relations

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pp. 123-153

Since the early eighteenth century, interlopers into the American Deep South have regarded the Yuchis — as the Yuchis have generally regarded themselves — as a subgroup closely affiliated with, yet in many ways culturally distinct from the tribes who made up the...

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7. Reconsidering Coalescence: Yuchi and Shawnee Survival Strategies in the Colonial Southeast

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pp. 155-187

In the first decade of the twentieth century an unnamed Yuchi informant told the ethnologist Frank Speck that the Yuchi, or coyaha, “came from the sun.” In contrast, “the Shawnee came from above. The Creeks came from the ground, [and] the Choctaws came from...

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8. To the Backcountry and Back Again: The Yuchi’s Search for Stability in the Eighteenth-Century Southeast

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pp. 189-213

There is an odd dichotomy in scholarly discussions of the Yuchi. On the one hand, when we talk about Yuchi relations with non-Yuchi, we emphasize instability and conflict. The Yuchi, we note, moved frequently; they had a host of enemies; their alliances were ephemeral...

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9. A Band of Outsiders: Yuchi Identity among the Nineteenth-Century Florida Seminoles

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pp. 215-231

The history of the Yuchi Indians in Florida is poorly known and not well understood. On the early end are seventeenth-century mentions of the Uchezes, on the later end we have Uchee Billy and Uchee Jack of Second Seminole War fame, with a long gap in between. The picture is no...

List of Contributors

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pp. 233


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pp. 235-246

E-ISBN-13: 9780803245419
E-ISBN-10: 0803245416
Print-ISBN-13: 9780803240414

Page Count: 280
Illustrations: 8 illustrations, 6 maps, 6 tables
Publication Year: 2012