We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Bonds of Alliance

Indigenous and Atlantic Slaveries in New France

Brett Rushforth

Publication Year: 2014

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, French colonists and their Native allies participated in a slave trade that spanned half of North America, carrying thousands of Native Americans into bondage in the Great Lakes, Canada, and the Caribbean. In ###Bonds of Alliance#, Brett Rushforth reveals the dynamics of this system from its origins to the end of French colonial rule. Balancing a vast geographic and chronological scope with careful attention to the lives of enslaved individuals, this book gives voice to those who lived through the ordeal of slavery and, along the way, shaped French and Native societies.

Published by: The University of North Carolina Press

Series: Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, Virginia

Title Page, Copyright Page

pdf iconDownload PDF (65.5 KB)
pp. i-vi

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (50.3 KB)
pp. vii-x

It is a pleasure to acknowledge the many people whose time, insight, and support made this book more than I could have made it on my own. But I do so with some apprehension, knowing that my debts are too numerous to name and that no acknowledgment is equal to any of the obligations I have...


pdf iconDownload PDF (27.1 KB)
p. xi-xi

Illustrations and Tables

pdf iconDownload PDF (41.5 KB)
pp. xii-xiii

Abbreviations and Short Titles

pdf iconDownload PDF (43.7 KB)
pp. xiv-2

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (770.7 KB)
pp. 3-14

In the collections of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation rests an unusual relic of early modern slavery: a hand-crafted American Indian slave halter. It was fashioned in the mid-eighteenth century by a Native woman living near the Great Lakes, destined for a warrior in her village. The artisan...

read more

Chapter One: I Make Him My Dog / My Slave

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.8 MB)
pp. 15-72

On April 12, 1680, a Belgian monk-turned- missionary named Louis Hennepin tinkered with a canoe on the banks of the Mississippi River. As two French servants boiled a wild turkey for his lunch, Hennepin surveyed the strange and beautiful country before him. His party had traveled the Mississippi...

read more

Chapter Two: The Most Ignoble and Scandalous Kind of Subjection

pdf iconDownload PDF (4.7 MB)
pp. 73-134

About 1690 a slave trader known only as Captain Bernard sailed to the French Caribbean with a cargo of African captives. He sold nearly all of them to colonial buyers, but kept one, named Louis, to serve him on his return to France. Louis attended Bernard for a year or two before he was sold...

read more

Chapter Three: Like Negroes in the Islands

pdf iconDownload PDF (902.7 KB)
pp. 135-192

Rumor spread quickly in the French Atlantic. Hundreds of people circulated regularly between the Caribbean and the Saint Lawrence in the early eighteenth century, and sharing news was among the first things merchants, officers, and sailors did when they arrived at port. No document survives to...

read more

Chapter Four: Most of Them Were Sold to the French

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.8 MB)
pp. 193-252

In 1742 a small group of Sioux leaders accepted the invitation of Paul Marin, a French trader and minor colonial official, to negotiate an alliance with his governor in Montreal. French-Sioux relations had been turbulent over the previous half century, cycling rapidly from friendship to antipathy and...

read more

Chapter Five: The Custom of the Country

pdf iconDownload PDF (1019.1 KB)
pp. 253-298

In the rustic mission church at Michilimackinac, a small group gathered on July 11, 1745, as the Jesuit priest Pierre Du Jaunay baptized two Indians. The first was an Ojibwa woman whose late sister had been married to a voyageur named Charles Hamelin. The second was Hamelin’s slave, a...

read more

Chapter Six: The Indian Is Not like the Negro

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.2 MB)
pp. 299-368

Louis-Antoine de Bougainville was not known for his keen understanding of Indians. Although often a brilliant synthesizer of colonial knowledge, which he avidly consumed during his two-year tour of North America, Bougainville had something of a tin ear when it came to the continent’s Natives...

read more

Epilogue: Of the Indian Race

pdf iconDownload PDF (99.9 KB)
pp. 369-382

The alliances that allowed French expansion into the Pays d’en Haut in the 1660s brought indigenous and Atlantic slaveries into a dialogue that would shape Native and French colonial societies for a century. French losses in the Seven Years’ War drew them apart. Forced to cede Quebec in 1759 and...

Appendix A

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.1 MB)
pp. 383-392

Appendix B

pdf iconDownload PDF (48.6 KB)
pp. 393-396

Appendix C

pdf iconDownload PDF (44.8 KB)
pp. 397-398


pdf iconDownload PDF (67.2 KB)
pp. 399-406

E-ISBN-13: 9781469601359
E-ISBN-10: 1469601354
Print-ISBN-13: 9781469613864
Print-ISBN-10: 1469613867

Page Count: 424
Illustrations: 22 halftones
Publication Year: 2014

Series Title: Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, Virginia