336 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 18 illus., 1 table, 4 maps, appends., notes, bibl., index
A Cherokee Plantation Story
2011 Erminie Wheeler-Voegelin Prize, American Society for Ethnohistory
2011 Lilla M. Hawes Award, Georgia Historical Society
2011 National Council on Public History Book Award
At the turn of the nineteenth century, James Vann, a Cherokee chief and entrepreneur, established Diamond Hill in Georgia, the most famous plantation in the southeastern Cherokee Nation. In this first full-length study to reconstruct the history of the plantation, Tiya Miles tells the story of Diamond Hill's founding, its flourishing, its takeover by white land-lottery winners on the eve of the Cherokee Removal, its decay, and ultimately its renovation in the 1950s.
This moving multiracial history sheds light on the various cultural communities that interacted within the plantation boundaries--from elite Cherokee slaveholders to Cherokee subsistence farmers, from black slaves of various ethnic backgrounds to free blacks from the North and South, from German-speaking Moravian missionaries to white southern skilled laborers. Moreover, the book includes rich portraits of the women of these various communities. Vividly written and extensively researched, this history illuminates gender, class, and cross-racial relationships on the southern frontier.
"The only comprehensive book about life on the Vann Plantation from the perspective of examining not only Cherokee history . . . but also black history, the roles of Moravian missionaries and white history."
--The Daily Citizen, Dalton, GA
"The fullest published portrait yet of slaves to the Cherokee."
--The Defenders Online
"Miles paints the most detailed picture yet published of the lives of the black slaves to the Cherokee."
--Bay State Banner
"Illustrates that Cherokee slavery differed significantly from that practiced by white Americans. . . . Slavery helped prove to the United States government that they [Cherokees] had acculturated and thus had become 'civilized.' Recommended."
"[Provides] rich detail from the newly translated diaries and letters of German missionaries."
"[Miles'] book is accessible and well written, its story important. Highly recommended."
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