Master of Arts (M.A.)
Joshua A Piker
“Killing the Cattle, Hogs, and Fowls”: Creek Indians and Domesticated Livestock, 1700-1814 During the Red Stick War of 1813-14, the Creek Indian faction known as the Red Sticks killed the majority of cattle and hogs in Creek Country. The rejection of these animals was a purposeful tactic that carried great significance for the Red Stick movement, and was closely tied to Creek discourses concerning identity, autonomy, and community organization. By the early nineteenth century, Creeks already had a century-long history of experience with livestock, and the historical trajectory of those experiences is crucial to understanding Creek actions during the Red Stick War. Feral cattle and hogs, as well as domesticated horses, were a significant presence in Creek Country by the 1720s, but it was not until more than fifty years later that some Creeks began to individually own large herds of livestock. This paper will explore the changing ways in which Creeks dealt with livestock in the century preceding the Red Stick War, and will explore the ecological, economic, and political implications of large-scale cattle and hog ownership that ultimately led Red Stick Creeks in the nineteenth century to reject the presence of these animals in their communities. Stories of Osceola: American Myth-Making from Removal to Abolition This paper focuses on the stories circulated in the American press about the Seminole Indian Osceola in the mid-nineteenth century. Although Osceola did not occupy an especially prominent position within Seminole society at the time, his much-publicized capture during the Second Seminole War (1835-1842) and his subsequent death made him into a national celebrity in the mid-nineteenth century. Osceola’s relative insignificance before this moment allowed his murky past to be deployed in the service of numerous ideological pursuits. Popular writings about Osceola in the United States flourished primarily in two periods: first in the years immediately following his death in the late 1830s and early 1840s during the Second Seminole War; and then again in the 1850s during the Third Seminole War. These writings were often highly imaginative elaborations on partial-truths or, at times, outright fabrications, but they also reflected the concerns and anxieties of Americans in the particular historical moments in which they were produced. In the national reaction to the Second Seminole War, the myths circulating aboutOsceola were shaped by debates over Indian removal and were heavily inflected with “noble savage” and “vanishing Indian” tropes. A decade later, stories about Osceola were resurrected during the Third Seminole War in the 1850s and refashioned to fit debates over the future of African slavery in the United States, mobilized in particular by northern abolitionists who used the story of Osceola as anti-slavery propaganda.
© The Author
Vickory, andrew Stephen, "“Killing The Cattle, Hogs, and Fowls”/stories of Osceola" (2016). Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects. William & Mary. Paper 1499449843.