Cover

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Half Title, Series Info, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

I had thought that I’d finished with Alabama’s frontier many years ago when I published the book that sprang from my dissertation. I’m grateful that Walter Nugent and Malcolm Rohrbough invited me back into those waters and that they proved to be so patient as they waited for me to make good on that invitation. ...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-6

In early September of 1540, Hernando de Soto and hundreds of armed and armored Europeans, along with enslaved Africans, captured Indian porters, and a menagerie of horses, dogs, and pigs, marched down from the Appalachian highlands along the Coosa River and passed across an imaginary line that, far in the future, would demark the boundary of the state of Georgia. ...

Part One: Beginnings

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1 • La Florida and the Center of the World

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pp. 9-34

By the time he met Chief Tascaluza in the town of Atahachi, somewhere near the confluence of the Coosa and Tallapoosa Rivers, in October 1540, Hernando de Soto knew how to use the rituals of diplomacy and threats of violence to get what he wanted. Since early spring, when his forces left their winter camp in Florida and pushed north, de Soto’s entrada had passed through numerous towns, ...

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2 • The Indians’ Frontier

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pp. 35-58

In the summer of 1560, twenty years after Hernando de Soto and his soldiers marched out of Coosa to rendezvous with Tascaluza, another group of some two hundred Spaniards made their way up the Coosa River toward that celebrated chiefdom. They were a contingent of a much larger force under the command of Tristán de Luna y Arellano, which had left New Spain in 1559 ...

Part Two: The Imperial Frontier

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3 • The Birth of the Creeks

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pp. 61-90

Two groups fleeing past lives came to Mobile in the summer of 1704, one crossing the Atlantic to bolster that fledgling outpost on the margins of the French Empire and the other traveling overland to seek refuge from the ravages of imperial warfare. The women arrived first, in July, disembarking from the Pelicán at Massacre Island, later called Dauphin Island, ...

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4 • Trade and the Search for Order

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pp. 91-124

When violence once again descended on the traders in the Upper Creek towns forty-five years after the Yamasee War, life and death depended on luck and on the power of personal relationships. John Ross had neither that day in May of 1760 as he loaded his packhorses with deerskins at his storehouse in Sugatspoges, a village offshoot of the larger town of Okfuskee. ...

Part Three: The Settlers’ Frontier

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5 • Ordering Alabama’s Frontier

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pp. 127-162

The delegation of almost thirty Creeks led by Alexander McGillivray caused quite a stir when they journeyed from their towns along the Tallapoosa, Coosa, and Chattahoochee Rivers to meet with George Washington in New York City in the summer of 1790. Colonel Marinus Willett, the president’s personal envoy, accompanied the traveling party, ...

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6 • Settlements and Transformations

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pp. 163-208

When Alexander McGillivray and the other Creek headmen traveled back to their homeland in 1790, Major Caleb Swan accompanied them, sent by Secretary of War Knox to report on the character and mood of the Creek nation. This time the delegation sailed from New York City, arriving at the mouth of the Saint Mary’s River in Georgia in mid-August and then journeying overland, ...

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7 • The Creek War

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pp. 209-247

In the summer of 1813, Samuel Mims’s plantation, one of the largest in the Tensaw settlements, became a fort. The frame house with two porches, built in the “creole” style popular on the Gulf coast, shared grounds with three horse stables, a blacksmith shop, and a number of other outbuildings, all testaments to the economic success of the old Indian trader. ...

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8 • The Cotton Frontier

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pp. 248-278

Newton Cannon, a Tennessee congressman, traveled through territory west of Madison County in 1816 and visited many homesteaders, squatters who had “been driven there from different parts by the failure of their crops.” The Chickasaws had just ceded their hunting territory in the Tennessee Valley when the families began arriving. ...

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Epilogue

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pp. 279-296

Years after he first arrived in Barbour County in 1837, John Horry Dent sketched out a familiar pioneering tale of deprivation and opportunity when he recalled his migration to Alabama. The young South Carolinian and his family had “embarked in a life of hardship” in “a Wild unsettled” land devoid “of accustomed comforts and habits.” While his “prospects ahead were dark and gloomy,” ...

Index

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pp. 297-310

About the Author

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