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By Maurice Winternitz

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209 Considering the historical circumstances, the relationships between Indians and persons of African descent was much more extensive and enduring than even perhaps most contemporary observers acknowledged. 212 The colonists’ fears were not without basis. ”216 A 1759 insurrection plot in South Carolina was of particular note. It was inspired by Philip Johns, a free mulatto, and coordinated among the Cherokee, the Mvskoke and local blacks. ” 219 Various mechanisms were developed throughout the colonies to drive a wedge between the imported African and the indigenous Americans.

186 Soon, even the Cherokee would become an object of the slave trade. 190 In the early 1760s, the Cherokee Nation allied with the French against the British in the French and Indian War. They did so in exchange for protection from their traditional enemies, the Iroquois and the Mvskoke, as well as their newfound enemy, the British colonists. 191 The conflict lasted two years until an army of Carolina Rangers, British light infantry, and Royal Scots set out against the Cherokee. In applying a scorched earth policy against the Cherokee, they decimated the people, burning crops and towns as they moved west.

224 Slave codes began to distinguish among the peoples of different races. 227 The policy of fostering hatred among the races became an enduring element in the relationships among the varied peoples of the South. ”228 The Europeans brought with them a vision of America that distinctly contrasted with the “old ways” of the indigenous peoples. In the early stages of colonial history, many resisted the tendency to engage in the commerce of human commodity. The Cherokee consistently refused to negotiate contracts and treaties with whites that required them to return runaway slaves and 28 Slavery in the Cherokee Nation even when they did sign them, they seldom lived up to the agreement.

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