Documentary Editing, Association for


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Documentary Editing: Journal of the Association for Documentary Editing, Volume 30, Fall and Winter, Numbers 3 and 4: 2008-2009 ISSN 0196-7134


© 2009 The Association for Documentary Editing. Used by permission.


Noted historian William G. McLoughlin once observed that in addition to mirroring U.S. political structures, the nineteenth-century Cherokee Nation shared two other trends with the young Republic: slavery and Christianity.1 Indeed, even as Cherokee people fought to retain their eastern lands in the first decades of the nineteenth century, they often adopted the ideologies of the land-hungry Americans they tried to resist. Few sources document this complex and contradictory process more vividly than The Moravian Springplace Mission to the Cherokees. Rarely do Cherokee, Christian, and slave histories appear in such intimate relation to one another. In the secondary works on this era, these topics are routinely treated separately. But the Springplace diaries make clear that such an approach drastically underestimates the intricate interplay of Indian, outsider, and slave experiences in the early national U.S. South.