Black Slaves, Indian Masters

Slavery, Emancipation, and Citizenship in the Native American South

By Barbara Krauthamer

232 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 11 halftones, notes, bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-2187-6
    Published: February 2015
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-0711-5
    Published: August 2013
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-8383-4
    Published: August 2013

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From the late eighteenth century through the end of the Civil War, Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians bought, sold, and owned Africans and African Americans as slaves, a fact that persisted after the tribes' removal from the Deep South to Indian Territory. The tribes formulated racial and gender ideologies that justified this practice and marginalized free black people in the Indian nations well after the Civil War and slavery had ended. Through the end of the nineteenth century, ongoing conflicts among Choctaw, Chickasaw, and U.S. lawmakers left untold numbers of former slaves and their descendants in the two Indian nations without citizenship in either the Indian nations or the United States. In this groundbreaking study, Barbara Krauthamer rewrites the history of southern slavery, emancipation, race, and citizenship to reveal the centrality of Native American slaveholders and the black people they enslaved.

Krauthamer's examination of slavery and emancipation highlights the ways Indian women's gender roles changed with the arrival of slavery and changed again after emancipation and reveals complex dynamics of race that shaped the lives of black people and Indians both before and after removal.

About the Author

Barbara Krauthamer is associate professor of history at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
For more information about Barbara Krauthamer, visit the Author Page.


"Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above." —Choice

“An important overview of the lives of African and African American peoples who played relevant, active roles in United States affairs, adeptly navigated tribal and United States federal bureaucracy, and effectively articulated their views on race and identity.” —Ohio Valley History

"Such a rich and meaningful work from a significant era of national history that it could offer breadth and depth to any U.S. History collection, but especially library collections focusing on the pre-Civil War South, African American history, Native American history, 18th and 19th century history, and slavery and emancipation." —Tennessee Libraries

“In this compelling study Krauthamer successfully demonstrates black Americans’ struggle for their liberation and subsequent rights as citizens.” —Southern Historian

“Krauthamer’s study utilizes a wide variety of sources that weave together social, political, legal, racial, and indigenous history in important ways.” —Journal of Interdisciplinary History

“In this new book readers will find the most detailed picture yet of the lives of enslaved peoples living in the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations.” —Journal of American History

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