2012 Student Research Conference:
25th Annual Student Research Conference

The Cherokee Freedmen: The Foundations of Legal and Social Conflict, 1866-1890
Melissa R. Poort
Dr. Kathryn Brammall, Faculty Mentor

This paper will examine the post-Civil War legal and social difficulties surrounding the Cherokee and the status of African freedmen within Indian territory. It will explore the Cherokee concepts of race and the struggle in adapting their former slavery-based culture to the establishment of abolition after the end of the Civil War, and their difficulty in deciding the status of freedmen in both a legal and social sense. The impact that this issue had on the development of the Cherokee Nation was extremely significant. The role of the United States in this issue will also be examined, due to their heavy involvement in the affairs of the Indian territories. The time frame that will be focused on is roughly from the 1860s to the 1890s, but primary documents (mostly court cases) from later years will also be used to examine the precedents on which those rulings were made.

Keywords: Cherokee, freedmen, race, citizenship, sovereignty, social issues, legal status, post-Civil War

Topic(s):History Senior Seminar
History

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 201-4
Location: VH 1236
Time: 10:15

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