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Class Year

2018

Abstract

This analysis examines writings left behind by missionaries living among the Cherokees in the early nineteenth century to tease out the missionary perceptions of their Indigenous neighbors. This approach includes a heavy emphasis on decoding the white lexicon employed to discuss Native Americans to elucidate the broader cultural/racial intellectualism of the time. The utilization of this approach deconstructs a conventional “friend or foe” binary viewpoint of the missionaries, conversely constructing a greater complexity within the interracial and intercultural dynamics of the Early Republic, thereby providing a more layered and broader understanding of early America and, by extension, America overall.