In the Southwest Borderlands, marronage and insurrection defined the long war against slavery and empire waged by Indigenous peoples and African Americans following the Texas Revolution of 1835–36. The egalitarian politics and militarized commerce of Native societies empowered marginalized communities by providing the spatial, material, and ideological resources for emancipatory struggles. Allied with Mexico, multiethnic bands of warriors, fugitives, and renegades built fortified villages, planted provision grounds, raised livestock, and recruited outsiders. These efforts culminated in uprisings by Tejanos and enslaved African Americans, as well as an attempt to establish a Pan-Indian buffer state north of the Rio Grande. With their combined force, these cohorts posed grave problems for the Anglo-Texan slave state and made its independence tentative and vulnerable. Taking seriously the aspirations of maroon communities, this article shifts our understanding of emancipation and sovereignty from a racialized and nationalist framework to a more fluid terrain that reveals how the dispossessed galvanized new methods of renewal.


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pp. 36-61
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