- By "native theory" Verdery is referring to a social order, not
referring to the concept of aboriginal or native people. Native theories are
ordering principles or ideas, what we might also call norms or codes of behavior
that structure the relation between people, things and places. For a more
economic theory of norms or codes of behavior, see Douglass North, Institutions,
Institutional Change and Economic Performance, Cambridge 1990.
- The idea of resistance through manipulation, both positive and negative,
is what Sally Engle Merry develops in her concept of cultural resistance through
law, also cited here.
- See Carolyn Ross Johnston, Cherokee Women in Crisis: Trail of Tears, Civil
War and Allotment, 1838-1907. University of Alabama Press, 2003. Johnston
argues that there is a great deal of cultural continuity in the Cherokee Nation,
from the pre-republic era to the present. Her revisionist feminist history
of the Cherokee people documents the drastic changes in gender roles and limits
to women's political and social leadership with the adoption of the republic
or liberal Cherokee constitution and subsequent "American" political
- As William Sturtevant and Richard Persico both argue, the Cherokee National
Council had long maintained an active foreign policy and trade negotiation
with the British, French and Spanish governments before the American Revolution.
Shortly thereafter, Sturtevant documents how Cherokee men, with British and
Creek partners, allied with King George III on a secret mission to Haiti after
the French Revolution, in an effort to secure British trade access there.
The island of Haiti was in revolt in 1791 and the Colonial Assembly requested
British help to restore order from neighboring Jamaica. The Cherokee ambassadors
to London in 1791 found themselves in the middle of a war between empires
on two fronts, as Britain worked to keep the Spanish from settling the west
coast of America (the Nootka crisis) and the French fought to keep Haiti from
British influence. The Cherokee were an experienced nation in diplomatic and
foreign affairs, despite Georgia's best efforts to subvert its own national
laws and international treaties to its state interests. See William Sturtevant,
"The Cherokee Frontiers, the French Revolution and William Augustus Bowles"
and V. Richard Persico, "Early Nineteenth-Century Cherokee Political
Organizations", both in The Cherokee Indian Nation: A Troubled History,
ed. Duane King, University of Tennessee Press, 1979.
- See Joshua Conrad, "The Cherokee Cases: Motivation and Morality"
unpublished manuscript, 2001 Loyola University.
Norgren documents these intimation methods by the Georgian police and militia,
as Cherokee sought local legal action before advancing their claim to the
high courts. Local legal actions resulted from alleged assault encounters,
Cherokee men arrested for digging the Cherokee gold mines, murder, debt actions
and the arresting of a Cherokee judge for holding court proceedings after
Cherokee land was "de-nationalized" by Georgia. (Norgren 1992: 276-77)
- Cherokee Nation v. State of Georgia, opinion delivered by Chief Justice
John Marshall, 1831. For an online reference of court decisions see: https://www.ukans.edu/carrie/docs/texts/cherokee.htm
- Also see John Hutchins, "The Trial of Reverend Samuel A. Worcester,"
Journal of Cherokee Studies 2, No. 4, 1970.
- See The Removal of the Cherokee Indians from Georgia, 1827-1841, p. 102.
Governor William Lumpkin, first edition 1907, Wormsloe. Interestingly, Lumpkin
was later appointed Commissioner of the Cherokee during the removal to the
Oklahoma territories by President Andrew Jackson.
- The most relevant acts to consider are the Dawes Act of 1887 and the Curtis
Act of 1898. The Dawes Act was "an act to provide for the allotment of
lands in severalty to Indians on the various reservations, and to extend the
protection of the laws of the United States and the Territories over the Indians."
The Act aimed to impose civility through the power of private property, according
to its founder, Congressman Henry Dawes. The General Allotment Act (Dawes
Act) instituted a policy to divide tribal lands among members in 40-, 80-,
and 160-acre parcels. It created individually held land trusts, the proceeds
of which are monies held in trust by the U.S. government. The U.S. government
has used these lands for mining, oil and timber investments in trust to original
- Because the Cherokee had such a powerful lobby in Washington, they were
excluded from this act, along with the other four so-called "Five Civilized
Tribes" of the Southeast. The Curtis Act, a decade later, extended the
land allotment policy to the remaining tribes, including the Cherokee. The
Curtis Act, named for the first and only Native American Vice President and
majority leader of the Senate, abolished tribal courts and established the
legislative machinery for the dissolution of the Five Civilized Tribes, making
a path for Oklahoma statehood. Curtis believed in assimilation of Native peoples
through property ownership and ceding separate land settlements in favor of