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New Perspective on Conquests of the Native South

September 12 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

$10.00 – $15.00

Last spring, we explored the less-referenced Spanish link in early American history with author Kevin Kokomoor. As a follow-up, and on his suggestion, we look forward to hosting Evan Nooe, Assistant Professor of History and historian for the Native American Studies Center at the University of South Carolina Lancaster, on his 2022 McMillan Prize reinterpretation of coalescence and its role in the American South. For Indigenous people, coalescence generated shared histories, inherited traditions, creation stories and legends that knitted together once-disparate groups. Kokomoor notes that “if this was how many of the Native people of the Southeast came into being, then so it was with its white population, too. More specifically, combined memories of violence at the hands of Natives cut across regional and socioeconomic lines, unifying Southerners through a collective (if not largely fabricated) heritage of suffering. While this framework does not perfectly describe the complexities of southern identity, it does as good a job with white experiences as it does Native ones.” The narrative in Aggression and Sufferings complements important and influential studies by Peter Silver, Patrick Griffin, and others, though it is the first to focus on the South by examining the long struggle between settlers and Creeks, from the Creek Red Stick War to the Seminole Indian Wars. Nooe will share insights as well as frame his lecture specifically exploring Charleston’s relationship to the start of the Second Seminole War (1835-1842) in Florida and the legacy of violence left behind for Native peoples in Florida and Southerners in South Carolina.

If you are unable to attend the event, but would like to purchase one or more signed copies, please visit Buxton Books here.

About the Book

A bold reconceptualization of how settler expansion and narratives of victimhood, honor, and revenge drove the conquest and erasure of the Native South and fed the emergence of a distinct white Southern identity. In 1823, Tennessee historian John Haywood encapsulated a foundational sentiment among the white citizenry of Tennessee when he wrote of a “long continued course of aggression and sufferings” between whites and Native Americans. According to F. Evan Nooe, “aggression” and “sufferings” are broad categories that can be used to represent the framework of factors contributing to the coalescence of the white South. Traditionally, the concept of coalescence is an anthropological model used to examine the transformation of Indigenous communities in the Eastern Woodlands from chieftaincies to Native tribes, confederacies, and nations in response to colonialism. Applying this concept to white southerners, Nooe argues that through the experiences and selective memory of settlers in the antebellum South, white southerners incorporated their aggression against and suffering at the hands of the Indigenous peoples of the Southeast in the coalescence of a regional identity built upon the violent dispossession of the Native South. This, in turn, formed a precursor to Confederate identity and its later iterations in the long nineteenth century. Geographically, Aggression and Sufferings prioritizes events in South Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama. Nooe considers how divergent systems of violence and justice between Native Americans and white settlers (such as blood revenge and concepts of honor) functioned in the region and examines the involved societies’ conflicting standards on how to equitably resolve interpersonal violence. Finally, Nooe explores how white southerners constructed, propagated, and perpetuated harrowing tales of colonizers as both victims and heroes in the violent expulsion of the region’s Native peoples from their homelands. This constructed sense of regional history and identity continued to flower into the antebellum period, during western expansion, and well through the twentieth century.

About Evan Nooe

F. Evan Nooe is an Assistant Professor of History and historian for the Native American Studies Center at the University of South Carolina Lancaster. His book Aggression and Sufferings: Settler Violence, Native Resistance, and the Coalescence of the Old South examines how the violent dispossession of the Indigenous South remade the region and white Southerners. The book won the 2022 McMillan Prize for best manuscript in Southern history from the University of Alabama Press. Nooe has also published numerous journal articles and essays on on the US South, Native American history, tourism, and foodways. His work has appeared in academic journals such as EthnohistoryThe Southern QuarterlyNative South, and the Journal of Tourism History.


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September 12
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
$10.00 – $15.00