Freedom of the Frontier, Vol 1: Selected Chrokee,

Type: African American History
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This first volume presents multiple stories from 52-family project documenting Freedmen families from Indian Territory. They were people who were once enslaved by the Five Civilized Tribes and who were living in what is now Oklahoma. Between 1866 and 1907, the year of Oklahoma statehood, they and their children were referred to as Freedmen of the Five tribes—the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole Nations. The stories of these 52 families were researched and presented throughout 2017 on my blog as part of an effort to document 52 families in 52 weeks.

The purpose of this undertaking was to bring to light the presence of the Indian tribal Freedmen and the rich legacy that they left upon Oklahoma soil. The Freedmen are among the most understudied, and under-represented in American history. Studies focusing on reconstruction after the Civil War never mention the adjustments that Freedmen from the five slave-holding tribes endured. Though the treaty of 1866 brought freedom to slaves from these five nations, they had many challenges ahead as they faced a new life on the western frontier. The Freedmen from these five nations faced their new life of freedom without the benefits of education, and guaranteed paid labor and some sought assistance from the Freedmen’s Bureau. They met many challenges of language, life, and culture. These families would not receive American citizenship until 1907, when Oklahoma became a state. However, more than 20,000 freedmen lived incredible lives on the frontier, contributing to their nations, and becoming part of the American historical landscape.

Only a handful of historians have explored the intersection of the lives of African and Native Americans. And until now, no one has looked at the details of the lives of the people who emerged from the yoke of slavery, and held in bondage by Native Americans. History has often overlooked the very presence of the Freedmen of Indian Territory. Angela Walton-Raji presents in two volumes the stories of ordinary people who lived extraordinary lives in the nations of Indian Territory. This first volume will provide family profiles of selected Cherokee, Chickasaw, and Choctaw Freedmen. The goal is to place these families back on the historic landscape where their lives unfolded seven decades before Oklahoma statehood. The second volume will present families from the Creek and Seminole Nations.

Neon CRM by Neon One
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