Slavery And Evolution Of Cherokee
In this well-written book by Theda Perdue, he discloses much of the history of
slavery among the Cherokee people and their evolution during this 326 year
period. He begins with their abduction by the Spanish. Perdue gives a remarkable
comparison of the two very different views of slavery experienced by two very
different cultures. He states that even though the Spaniards captured the

Cherokee for use as slaves, they misunderstood that the Indians had an
egalitarian social system. The Cherokee system also included distribution of
power and labor. Thus, the Cherokee accepted their slavery as a natural part of
domination by the strongest. The Cherokee misunderstood the Spanish form of
slavery which was one of cruelty. During the first years of contact with the

Europeans and the African people, the Cherokee were only peacefully inquisitive.

The Indians need for European trading goods grew. Because of this need, the

Cherokee began waging war to supply slaves to the Europeans in return. Thus,
corrupting the Cherokee lifestyle. Theda Perdue tells of the destruction of
tribal ways due to the embracing of a belief foreign to the Native American way
of life. According to Perdue, the U.S. government, after the Civil War, decided
that cheating the Cherokee for any reason was justified because of genuine or
imagined betrayals.