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Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

5 Native American Communities Who Owned Enslaved Africans

Stories about Black and Native American connections are rarely told within the narrow historical context shared in classrooms, history books and around family tables, but there are some details that reveal a more complete story of enslavement in the Americas.

In the 1830s, the enslavement of Blacks was established in the Indian Territory, the region that would become Oklahoma. By the late 19th century, when over half a million Africans were enslaved in the South, the southern Native American societies of that region had come to include both enslaved Blacks and small numbers of free Black people.

Though the harsh treatment of enslaved Africans largely paled in comparison to that of white slaveholders,  Blacks still were treated as an underclass among Native Americas. The Five Civilized Tribes even established slave codes that protected owners’ property rights and restricted the rights of Blacks.

Here are the Five Civilized Tribes who held Black people as slaves.

 

Photo:

Photo:

Chickasaw

It is no surprise that the Native Americans knew the land well. Their knowledge became a lucrative business, especially for the Chickasaws who had keen navigation skills. They were hired by white slaveholders to traverse the terrain to capture Blacks who had escaped slavery.

The Chickasaw also held enslaved Africans of their own, and the system they established closely approximated that of white slaveholders on cotton plantations.

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Comments

  1. Everyone owned black slaves

  2. Hajar Hagar says:

    When we start loving ourselves and stop wanting what others have, we will have our own identities and then we could be free.

  3. Hajar Hagar says:

    When we start loving ourselves and stop wanting what others have, we will have our own identities and then we could be free.

  4. How did Sittling Bull end up in a picture with Chickasaws?

  5. Thought that was Sitting Bull

  6. Excuse me but the Native Americans did not even have any rights or land in the 1800's and they were mostly wiped out. In fact many tribes were shipped off as slaves as far back as the 1600's. I think that someone needs to do a little background check on historical fact. What is the purpose of this? To put Native Americans and African Americans at odds?

  7. Lenise Mobley-El says:

    The native americans protected alot of the freed black slaves & took them into their tribes. I KNOW FOR A FACT FROM MY GREAT GREAT GREAT GRANDPARENTS OF THE SOUTH IN WILLACOOCHEE GEORGIA # Dont believe the hype for hate #Slavery has always existed no matter

  8. Please remove the photo of Sitting Bull! This is an important history to tell, but it is outrageous to implicate Sitting Bull by using this photo to headline this article. Native nations are not interchangeable.

  9. Lenise Mobley-El says:

    When the Black civilization fell due to the European invasions they erased destroyed the truth, strength, & intellect & stole the ways of our ppl out of fear & control. TO PUT SO MUCH ENERGY IN ERASING THE VERY EXISTANCE Of A POWERFUL PEOPLE IS ADMITTING YOU ARE INFERIOR!!!

  10. The photos are as off base as the article. Sitting Bull was Lakota and died in 1890. The Indian Removal Act began in 1830. Forced marches at bayonet-point to relocation settlements and removal of the Five Civilized Tribes — the Choctaws, Creeks, Chickasaws, Cherokees, and Seminoles. The victor writes history and this is a sick alibi to erase the genocide done to Native Americans and bring people of color against each other

  11. Whomever chose this picture to represent the Cherokee has missed a few chapters in our history. The feathered headdress shown was from a period of time in the early to mid 20th century when some of us "dressed up" for the tourists who insisted on our "looking Indian." This was not and is not an accurate depiction of the "real Cherokee." It should be replaced. This was a postcard for tourists.

  12. It is my understanding that the main tribes removed from the southeast to the eastern half of what is now Oklahoma were given fee simple title to the area they were assigned and settled in (they also owned the land in the southeast which they relinquished upon removal). There are many good books that give a good account of this era and it is usually pretty well taught in Okahoma history classes. It is also my understanding that in most cases African Americans were given a choice of whether to move with the tribes to the west or stay in the southeast. Most stayed with the tribes and relocated. Some of the wealthier Natives, usually mixed white/Indian blood,who were the only Natives to own slaves,might have taken some with them but the TRIBE never owned slaves, only individuals. Most of the main five tribes currently have a large number of enrollees and enjoy a LOT of contributions and influence in Oklahoma politics today. Hope this is helpful.

  13. By the way, at the time of removal, at least the Creeks refused to decide for the Blacks whether they would relocate or not. They told the government that the Blacks had their own leaders and could decide for themselves about removal.

  14. Tyler, if you are a student at Concordia University, you have too many facts all wrong. You need to look at a reputable history book and challenge your professor if he/she is teaching you the things you wrote above.

  15. Kevin, where did you get this information? I don't believe everyone, even in the south, owned black slaves,.

  16. Eulala Pegram Every race of people…

  17. You're funny Eulala. Actually I graduated two universities and I've read history written by Native and African American scholars and of course the White version of history is always very interesting although fictional. It may be you who has the wrong "facts". In the end it doesn't matter since what does matter is that there is acknowledgement and repentance for the genocide and the Residential Schools and doing what they did to the first people. Then there can be healing.

  18. You're funny Eulala. Actually I graduated two universities and I've read history written by Native and African American scholars and of course the White version of history is always very interesting although fictional. It may be you who has the wrong "facts". In the end it doesn't matter since what does matter is that there is acknowledgement and repentance for the genocide and the Residential Schools and doing what they did to the first people. Then there can be healing.

  19. Ever read Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee?

  20. There I'm opening this up to my friends, many of them who are Native American and many who are African American and also Kevin Annett who has been a spokesperson for the Native Americans in Canada and speaking out on the atrocities done to them

  21. There I'm opening this up to my friends, many of them who are Native American and many who are African American and also Kevin Annett who has been a spokesperson for the Native Americans in Canada and speaking out on the atrocities done to them

  22. Native Americans and Native People of the earth are black. In the beginning God created Male and Female created them on the Sixth Day (Blacks) the Natives of the earth. Adam and Eve's children created murder and slaves sometime later.

  23. Also please let me know of any plantations, with deeds to show that Choctaw owned plantations. That's pretty implausible. White people hate Indians more than they hate anyone else and you are going to tell me that Choctaw in the 1800's would have been allowed to own a plantation? Really? They couldn't even vote..

  24. Tyler, I have lived the facts my whole life. The site where you made your comments is new to me, and it looks and reads like random, undocumented, unsubstantiated remarks couched in terms far to broad to have any validity. To say that the southeaster tribes had no land is simply not true. They owned and occupied that region and upon removal received fee simple title to that land. It is not even worth arguing about that because it is totally without merit. I hope to do some research on the site where these comments (and other suspicious statements) should be easy to repudiate. I will not respond to other comments on this subject because they are far beyond the pale of even an iota of believability.

  25. Tyler, I have lived the facts my whole life. The site where you made your comments is new to me, and it looks and reads like random, undocumented, unsubstantiated remarks couched in terms far to broad to have any validity. To say that the southeaster tribes had no land is simply not true. They owned and occupied that region and upon removal received fee simple title to that land. It is not even worth arguing about that because it is totally without merit. I hope to do some research on the site where these comments (and other suspicious statements) should be easy to repudiate. I will not respond to other comments on this subject because they are far beyond the pale of even an iota of believability.

  26. Tyler A. Chase Your comments that precede this entry are too ridiculous to even defend. I will be investigating the educational institution where you are apparently taking courses and if it is truly legitimate, I will be communicating with them about your remarks you have made about this particular part of history. By the way, the photo with Sitting Bull looks suspiciously like it has been doctored.

  27. The facts expounded upon in this article are basically true!To argue that during the Trans-Atlantic African Slave Trade/Holocaust that Native Americans and Native Africans who also enslaved and sold their own and then became victims were only somewhat or "kind of "involved is like saying someone is "kind of pregnant"!To truly learn from history we have to accept all of it,not just the parts we want to hear.

  28. So much misinformation, where do I start?

  29. Barbara Botting says:

    I thought that was Sitting Bull too.

  30. Denise Addison says:

    Sorry Tyler, African Americans and Native Americans are already at odds. I bought that "We are the world" BS most of my life. Until, the Seminole nation so unceremoniously kicked their African descended sisters and brothers out a few years ago. Thus denying them access to the money from the Seminole settlement with the government.

  31. Denise Addison says:

    Sorry Tyler, African Americans and Native Americans are already at odds. I bought that "We are the world" BS most of my life. Until, the Seminole nation so unceremoniously kicked their African descended sisters and brothers out a few years ago. Thus denying them access to the money from the Seminole settlement with the government.

  32. Bridget Paley says:

    Look at the Native American slaves that Columbus brought back from the New World to Spain as well

  33. A little ramble on that other preamble

    The Preamble to The Bill of Rights

    Congress of the United States begun and held at the City of New-York, on Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.

    THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

    RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.

    ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    As plain as day. The Bill of Rights exists solely to more specifically limit the power of the federal government. That’s its job.

    ~“free speech zones” are an abridgement of freedom of speech, and thus violate the First Amendment. The Constitution does not stop applying when on campus, or when on BLM lands.
    ~Any and all gun control laws, except those prohibiting criminals convicted of sufficiently serious crimes from possessing arms, are an infringement, and thus violate the Second Amendment.
    ~Spying on the citizenry by taping all telephone conversations and reading all emails is not only an abuse of free speech, it is a violation of “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects”, and thus violates the Fourth Amendment.
    ~The act of storing prisoners at Gitmo forever, with no charges brought against them, when the nation is not actually in a bona fide war, really splits hairs down to the sub-atomic quantum level as to whether this violates the Seventh Amendment.
    ~The implementation of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, is a gross violation of the Tenth Amendment. So is Common Core, for the exact same reason: the power to regulate both health insurance and public education has always belonged to the States.

    I could go on and on. These are just the tip of the iceberg. Sometimes even the Supreme Court gets it wrong; the Kelo v. New London decision severely weakened your right to own property, even though it seems to be a reiteration of 1945’s Berman v. Parker. Just one of many. So far, about the only right that hasn’t been violated is the Third Amendment, the forced quartering of troops in your home.

    I’m sure you can find violations of most of the other Amendments, and violations of other sections of the Constitution. When you come right down to it, many or most of the departments of the federal government shouldn’t even exist. The whole idea of constitutionally severely limited central government seems to have been forgotten a long time ago.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Trying George Zimmerman for the murder of Trayvon Martin without sending the case first to a grand jury was NOT a violation of his Fifth Amendment rights. Florida law

  34. So lets see who gave money to whom by state. This is so cool.
    From the federal to state to local government, the Books are Open… Search salary, pension and spending databases by state.

    http//:www.openthebooks.com/

    I's Luv's your commit. "Let me say this about that." Your president has a few flaws. Lets see … ~The O-man, Barack Hussein Obama, is an eloquently tailored empty suit. No resume, no accomplishments, no experience, no original ideas, no understanding of how the economy works, no understanding of how the world works, no balls, nothing but abstract, empty rhetoric devoid of real substance. … ~He has no real identity. He is half-white, which he rejects. The rest of him is mostly Arab, which he hides but is disclosed by his non-African Arabic surname and his Arabic first and middle names as a way to triply proclaim his Arabic parentage to people in Kenya . Only a small part of him is African Black from his Luo grandmother, which he pretends he is exclusively. … ~What he isn't, not a genetic drop of, is 'African-American,' the descendant of enslaved Africans brought to America chained in slave ships. He hasn't a single ancestor who was a slave. Instead, his Arab ancestors were slave owners. Slave-trading was the main Arab business in East Africa for centuries until the British ended it. … ~Let that sink in: Obama is not the descendant of slaves, he is the descendant of slave owners. Thus he makes the perfect Liberal Messiah.

  35. Kevin Smith ??????

  36. Mohammed Shakur says:

    They also helped the dutch enslave blacks, especially the Cherokees

  37. Juliana K'abal Xok says:

    because they consider all Native Americans to be the same, that we're all interchangeable. Notice how this article conveniently leaves out the importance of Native people to the Underground Railroad… which kind of exposes the bias of the writer of the piece.

  38. Jonathon Potskin says:

    I personally don't know much about the topic of Slavery in America but as a Native Canadian I have to say the grouping of all Native Americans to ownership of slaves to these 5 tribes is not very culturally sound . There are over 500 distinct tribes in America, so to put this up as a Native American thing is very uncalled for. It is like putting all of the African people as one.

  39. Denise Baldwin says:

    I posted this yesterday and was pissed off from the group page I got it from. Yes its true some tribes had slaves. Some Natives wers slaves, some tribes in Africa had slaves. What was upsetting was when I read the comments and people were grouping these tribes with white slave masters. I read this article and I'm convinced the woman who wrote this did not do enough research. It's just perpetuating racism in my view. That's about all I have to say about that… :)

  40. Eve Richardson says:

    I think Kevin is, broadly speaking, correct. I suspect that any culture that developed different status and wealth levels had slaves at some point. I'm sure, for example, that any person (like myself) of European descent not only had slave-owning ancestors, but ancestors who were slaves. In many parts of the world slavery was the norm until relatively recently in human history. Of course, there are variations on its form. And although illegal, it still exists. I would argue that the role of women in some cultures today is tantamount to slavery, although not called that.

  41. Jonathon Potskin says:

    I know. When it comes to academia people have to find a form of conflict to make their point come across. I find that this person tries to differentiate the Native American and African Experience in a way that would put African Americans on a lower platform of civil rights then Native Americans. All I have to say is there has now been an African American President, where is the Native American one? But more serious note, Most African Americans and Native Americans do share a lot of blood lines, your family shows that through your Your dads heritage of being of African Descent and Native American Descent then there is your Mothers First Nations descent and whatever else that I don't know. Our experiences within North American history may look different but we were not and still are not given that civil privilege that is mostly granted to people of lighter skin tones.

  42. Nathan Miller says:

    right

  43. Yes Denise, same with most tribes, people who are of mixed blood are excluded. OK OOlala or Eulala, which seems odd. You go right ahead and find out about the Universities being illegitimate. lol

  44. Lorraine Susan Matthews says:

    Most tribes took people in battle back to their lands to be slaves all over the Americas. And the Seminoles, Crees and especially the Cherokee had African slaves. The question of nationality of slaves in the Oklahoma territories last well into the 20th century. Here is a pretty good article about slavery in the OK Territory. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/655380/posts

  45. I think this is a pile of horse manure inasmuch as you're speaking of the 1800's when the real tribes were decimated and brutality rampant.Treachery on all sides and the White man in charge. There is a failure to mention the Buffalo soldiers didn't hesitate to capture and kill the last Native's people who were not on reservations already. It was the price of freedom from the white man but that freedom never happened. The Native American peoples are still the poorest in America

  46. Billy Stanford says:

    My Great Grandmother was a slave. Bought from a trading post in North Carolina. She was an American Indian, not a black. Slavery was not all blacks, but many Native Americans.

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