Impact Of Native American Slavery

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Often over looked in the history of colonial slavery is the impact of Native American slaves. Consequently, the most widely perceived view is Native slaves proved to be a less profitable endeavor than African American slaves, and therefore had little impact on the institution. Evidence points to the contrary. The use of Native Americans as slaves was an important part of the slave trading history of the Americas and deserves to be told. Examining the works of two historians who composed books on the Native American slave trade, it is easy to see just how varied and complex the use of Native slaves in the western hemisphere was. As a result, there is no uniformly accepted narrative available from which to tell, therefore no story is told. …show more content…
This essay is aimed at highlighting two of those attempts. Dr. Brett Rushforth endeavors to tell one version of Native American slavery by focusing on Native Americans and French colonialist in the Pays d’en Haut. Dr. Rushforth, an associate professor at the University of Oregon, specializes in early American history. His book, Bonds of Alliance: Indigenous & Atlantic Slaveries in New France, is an examination of slaveries impact on these people. According to Rushforth, Native Americans accepted French traders in Native controlled land in hopes of establishing trade and gaining military alliance. At the same time, French colonist partook in the slave trade to maintain these connections. Subsequently, trading of slaves formed an important part of those interactions. Mutual engagement in the slave market formed an important part of their dealings for decades. At the same time, French and Natives in the Pays d’en Haut were forming these relationships circumstances were different in other parts of the western …show more content…
Rushford describes French settlements in New France as ones based on the fur trade. The climate was not conducive on the agricultural based colonies as found in the British colony of Virginia. Dr. Gallay details British need to control and clear land, which in turn dictated their policy towards natives. As a result, constant conflict dominated their relationship over the course of their intertwining histories. Whereas the French originally had little desire to expand their land holdings, the British found themselves in constant need of expansion. Under these circumstances the English came to believe they had a right to shape relations with the Natives. French and Native relations in the Pay d’en Haut were determined via treaties and alliances that tied them together both politically and economically. The initial use of Native Americans as colonial slaves had their roots in these two different

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