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Mississippi's American Indians$
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James F. Barnett

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781617032455

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617032455.001.0001

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. 1685–1715: The Era of the Indian Slave Trade

. 1685–1715: The Era of the Indian Slave Trade

(p.67) Chapter 3. 1685–1715: The Era of the Indian Slave Trade
Mississippi's American Indians

James F. Barnett

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter shows how the Indian slave trade initiated by the Carolina English triggered intertribal violence across the Southeast. Human slaves and deerskins became the currency that pulled the Mississippi Indians into the Atlantic market economy, the source of a seductive new material culture that included guns, ammunition, gunpowder, blankets, metal tools, liquor, and European clothing. During this volatile period, the French followed up La Salle’s adventure by establishing a colonial foothold on the Gulf Coast, setting the stage for sixty years of competition with England for control of the Mississippi region. Positioned between these two European powers, the Indians of the Southeast incorporated the ensuing client warfare into their social and political traditions and found ways to profit by playing the colonial administrations against each other. In addition to the human loss through fighting and enslavement, the slave trade helped to spread the Southeast’s first documented smallpox epidemic from Virginia across to the Mississippi River.

Keywords:   Mississippi, slaves, slavery, French, English, Southeast Indians, smallpox epidemic

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