In 1829-1830 Catharine Beecher, Lydia Howard Huntley Sigourney, and numerous white women across the Northeast and Midwest launched a successful petition campaign against Indian removal that has been called the first organized political action undertaken by American women. This article repositions the New England women’s campaign within a longer trajectory of American women’s activism, namely, Cherokee women’s political organizing. In the early 1800s, Cherokee women recognized the threat of removal and rose in defense of themselves and their communities. The Cherokee women’s antiremoval campaign was not only impressive at the time, but it also was likely to have had an impact on the New England women’s later effort. This story introduces Margaret Ann (Peggy) Scott Vann Crutchfield—a Cherokee nationalist, Christian convert, slaveholder, and activist—as a complex yet important figure in Cherokee history, Native American women’s history, and U.S. women’s history.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 221-243
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.