Brothers of Coweta
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In Brothers of Coweta Bryan C. Rindfleisch explores how family and clan served as the structural foundation of the Muscogee (Creek) Indian world through the lens of two brothers, who emerged from the historical shadows to shape the forces of empire, colonialism, and revolution that transformed the American South during the eighteenth century.

Although much of the historical record left by European settlers was fairly robust, it included little about Indigenous people and even less about their kinship, clan, and familial dynamics. However, European authorities, imperial agents, merchants, and a host of other individuals left a surprising paper trail when it came to two brothers, Sempoyaffee and Escotchaby, of Coweta, located in what is now central Georgia. Though fleeting, their appearances in the archival record offer a glimpse of their extensive kinship connections and the ways in which family and clan propelled them into their influential roles negotiating with Europeans. As the brothers navigated the politics of empire, they pursued distinct family agendas that at times clashed with the interests of Europeans and other Muscogee leaders.

Despite their limitations, Rindfleisch argues that these archives reveal how specific Indigenous families negotiated and even subverted empire-building and colonialism in early America. Through careful examination, he demonstrates how historians of early and Native America can move past the limitations of the archives to rearticulate the familial and clan dynamics of the Muscogee world.



Publié par
Date de parution 28 juillet 2021
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781643362045
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 1 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,1500€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


Brothers of Coweta
Brothers of Coweta
Kinship, Empire, and Revolution in the Eighteenth-Century Muscogee World
2021 University of South Carolina
Published by the University of South Carolina Press
Columbia, South Carolina 29208
Manufactured in the United States of America
30 29 28 27 26 25 24 23 22 21
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data can be found at .
ISBN 978-1-64336-202-1 (hardcover)
ISBN 978-1-64336-203-8 (paperback)
ISBN 978-1-64336-204-5 (ebook)
Front cover illustration: William Bonar s A Draught of the Creek Nation -the Creek Path and Coweta, courtesy of the National Archives
One . The Muscogee World, 1700-1730
Early Years: Family and Kinship, the Huti , and Creation Stories
From Boys to Men: Becoming Young Men in the Muscogee World
Two . The Tustenogy s World, 1730-1756
Coweta the Talwa , Sempoyaffee the Tustenogy
Sempoyaffee and the Politics of Talwas and Empires
Three . The Cherokee King s World, 1730-1756
The Cherokee King: The Intersection of Muscogee and Cherokee Worlds
Four . The Muscogee World and Imperial Crisis, 1756-1763
The Politics of the Huti and Talwa during the Seven Years War
The Treaty of Augusta, 1763
Five . The Muscogee World and Colonial Crisis, 1763-1775
1763-1773: A Decade of Crisis
The Second Treaty of Augusta and the Coweta Conflict
Six . The Muscogee World in the Revolutionary Crisis, 1775-1783
The Coweta Conflict and the American Revolution
FIG . 1 Sempoyaffee and Escotchaby s kinship tree
FIG . 2 Map of Muscogee territories, ca. 1763
FIG . 3 Map of the Creek Path and Coweta
FIG . 4 Map of Silver Bluff and the Creek Path
FIG . 5 Map of Cherokee territories
FIG . 6 Map of Muscogee territories and the Creek Path
Acknowledgments are hard. How can one thank all the people and institutions that have provided such invaluable support in the process of researching and writing a book? With that said, I do know where to start. As I promised, this second book is dedicated to Elliana. I love you so much, and you have been incredibly patient with me throughout this project. You are worth more than the world itself, I cannot imagine a day without your smile, your laugh, and your beautiful tantrums. And while I promise this book is yours, we have your mother to thank just as much for her support and patience throughout this process. I love you both so much.
The origins of this book are a somewhat funny story. I was in the middle of researching a different book when I ran across James Hill in Pittsburgh for a conference. James and I have known each other a long time, and our work intersects all over the place. So when he saw that I was presenting on the same ol Escotchaby and Sempoyaffee, he laughed and told me something to the effect of You re really getting a lot of mileage out of these guys. I laughed too, but then it dawned on me, James was onto something. There was a story here I wanted to tell, I just didn t know it until James pulled it out of me. Thanks, James!
I also need to thank my incredible group of friends who have listened more than enough about Escotchaby and Sempoyaffee and have provided invaluable support and love throughout my life. Jeff Fortney and Rowan Steineker (and now little Thaddeus!), you guys mean the world to me. Liz Ellis, Brooke Bauer, and Christian Crouch, I cannot imagine my world without you three. Cedric Burrows, Jenn Finn, Sergio Gonzalez, Alison Efford, Kristen Foster, Sam Majhor, Ben Linzy, Mike McCarthy, Sam Harshner, Karalee Surface, Lisa Lamson, Abby Bernhardt, Cory Haala, you are all a godsend to Marquette; may it be a better place because of you all. And Nadine Zimmerli, your enthusiasm and laughter make this world a better place.
As a scholar of the Native South, I extend my friendships and relationships to all the people in that circle. And while I list all your names, it does not do justice to how much you all mean to me and have been a critical part of my personal and academic life. Thank you so much to Josh Piker, Robbie Ethridge, Angela Pulley Hudson, Steve Hahn, Alejandra Dubcovsky, Hayley Negrin, Kathryn Braund, Dustin Mack, Fay Yarbrough, Andrew Frank, Tyler Boulware, Natalie Inman, Jamie Mize, John Juricek, Greg O Brien, Steven Peach, Jeff Washburn, Jason Herbert, Kris Ray, Nate Holly, Jeff Washburn, Gregory Smithers, Theda Perdue, Michael Morris, and Claudio Saunt.
I would also not be the person that I am today without my Bright Institute cohort. Your generosity and example, your challenges and love, have meant so much to me these past three years-I cannot put it into words. Thank you so much to Cate Denial, Monica Rico, Serena Zabine, Courtney Joseph, Carl Keyes, Cathy Adams, Tamika Nunley, Jonathan Hancock, Will Mackintosh, Doug Sackman, Angela Keysor, Lori Daggar, Bridgett Williams-Searle, Michael Hughes, and, again, Christian Crouch.
And I would be remiss if I did not thank all the scholars whose work has had a profound impact on me and to whom I owe so much: Jeanie O Brien, Erica Armstrong Dunbar, Ned Blackhawk, Jenni Monet, Sarah Deer, Jodi Byrd, Alyssa Mt. Pleasant, Daina Ramey Berry, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Julie Reed, Kathleen DuVal, Brett Rushforth, Michael Witgen, Lisa Brooks, Nick Estes, Michael Leroy Oberg, Helen Rountree, and so many others that the list honestly could go on forever.
A special thanks to Ehren Foley, my editor at University of South Carolina Press. He took a chance on me and this book, and I sincerely hope it pays off in some way or another, because this book would not have happened without him. Seriously . For any young scholar that is looking for someone to fight for you and to care for your project, talk to Ehren. Please .
To the institutions and archives that supported this project, thank you for also taking a chance on me. This list includes the incredible staff of the American Philosophical Society (special thanks to Linda Musumeci!), Huntington Library (Steve Hindle!), Filson Historical Society (LeeAnn Whites!), Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, South Carolina Historical Society, and the British National Archives. In addition, the Bright Trust at Knox College has been an invaluable source of financial support for my work.
In Milwaukee thank you to my incredible department chairs-James Marten and Lezlie Knox-and my mates Laura Matthew, Rob Smith, Jolene Kreisler, Tim McMahon, Dan Meissner, Phil Naylor, Fr. Steven Avella, Dave McDaniel, Chima Korieh, Mike Donoghue, Peter Staudenmaier, Alan Ball, Carla Hay, and Patrick Mullins. Special mention to Sameena Mulla, Jodi Melamed, Amelia Zurcher, Phil Rocco, Grant Silva, Amber Wichowsky, Paul Nolette, Gerry Canavan, Enaya Othman, Melissa Ganz, Steve Hartman Keiser, Theresa Tobin, and Darren Wheelock, whose teaching and research at Marquette inspire me every day.
To my family who has provided the most generous understanding, space, and love. Deb and Mark Hilstrom, this book would not have been written without your care for me and our family-that, and the use of your basement to write. To Brian, Paige, Amira, Vivi, Drew, Cass, Eliseo, and Mayahuel, I miss you all every day. Mom and Dad, thank you for making me who I am today.
To my other extended family, this book is indebted to Jacqueline Fontaine-Schram and Ron, Mark Powless and Eva Martinez-Powless, Doctor Mark Powless and Terri, and Bryan Maza Brookbank and family. Y all inspire me so much; I again cannot put it in words.
Finally, a quick shout out to my game group (you know who you are) and, even though it sounds weird, my neighbors/friends who have similarly heard way too much about this project, namely, Andy and Anna Kerr (and Johnny and Lincoln!) and Paul and Stephanie.
It is important to note that whenever possible, the author refers to eighteenth-century Creek peoples by their present-day spelling as Muscogee , in recognition of their nationhood and sovereignty today. While Europeans overwhelmingly referred to Muscogee peoples as Creeks in the past, it is far more important to recognize the sovereign status of Muscogee peoples-and the Muscogee nation-today. The author also considered using the spelling Mvskoke rather than Muscogee but made the conscious choice to employ modern-day spellings in accordance with the identity of the nation and its peoples today.
Meanwhile, the author employs the terms that Muscogee peoples would have used for themselves and their kinsmen, community, leaders, and ceremonies whenever possible. Such terms include huti for one s larger family or matrilineage, talwa for town/community, mico or tustenogy to identify specific leadership roles in eighteenth-century Muscogee society, and certain rituals or ceremonies such as the Busk or Boosketau, drinking cassina , among others.
Finally, when referring to the collective Indigenous Peoples of North America or the Native South, the author privileges capitalization and as often as possible utilizes Indigenous rather than Native.

Sempoyaffee and Escotchaby s Matrilineal Kinship Tree-their huti . (Bryan C. Rindfleisch)
In January 1760 Britain s superintendent for Indian affairs in the South, Edmond Atkin, sent a letter to Henry Ellis, the governor of Georgia, in which he reported on the state of affairs between the Muscogee (Creek) Indians and the English colonies. Writing from Cusseta, a Lower Mus

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