The secession of southern states in the winter and spring of 1861-62 brought about a crisis for the Five Civilzed Tribes living in present-day Oklahoma, or Indian Territory. Forced out of the South thirty years earlier and relocated there, the Cherokees, Chickasaws, Choctaws, Creeks, and Seminoles had maintained a relationship with the United States through treaties and resident agents. Now the civil war that threatened the Union also called into question its relationship with the southern Indians, an influential minority of whom owned black slaves. In this volume, originally published in 1915 as the first of a trilogy on slaveholding Indians, Annie Heloise Abel explores the diplomatic manuevers of the Confederacy to secure alliances with these five Indian nations.
The negotiations were an important chapter in American diplomatic history, as Theda Perdue and Michael D. Green, professors of history at Dartmouth College, point out in their introduction to this Bison Book. They profile the English-born, Kansas-educated Annie Heloise Abel (1873-1947), a distinguished historical editor and writer whose works include The American Indian in the Civil War, 1862-1865, also a Bison Book.
"[Abel's] story is a tragic one, but leaving it untold would be a greater tragedy. Native American southerners shared the experience of the Civil War with other Americans, and their involvement in that upheaval had as profound an effect on their subsequent history. Abel's was the first serious telling of that story." --Theda Perdue and Michael D. Green.
"Take with a Grain of Salt and Call: Ms Abel's book The American Indian as Slaveholder and Secessionist is a good book for information on this subject. It appears that she did a great deal of research. Ms Abel's book is full of references and footnotes on her research into Indains as slaveholders. In my opinion the book is marred because of the obvious prejudice bent of her conclusions. She so much as said that any accomplishments made by the Indians was solely due to their mixture with white blood. Read this book with a grain of salt. It is beautifully footnoted and referenced. I give it a 3 for research." --Betty Love (Amazon user)
"Good Resource: I give Civil War lectures and I am always on the lookout for good reference books. I have all three of Annie Abel's books on Native American involvement in the war. While her writing style is a bit dry, more like reading a thesis than a book, her books are chock full of valuable information. A lot of footnotes that include original letters from the players of the time. A great book for someone looking for information in detail and has a good attention span." --Stephen W. Miller (Amazon user)
Available at the Family History Library.
Originally published: Cleveland: A.H. Clark, 1915, in series: The Slaveholding Indians ; v. 1. "A Bison book." Introduction to the 1992 Bison book edition by Theda Perdue and Michael D. Green.