American Indians and History

To Intermix With Our White Brothers: Indian Mixed Bloods in the United States from Earliest Times to the Indian Removals


Thomas Ingersoll

"I think that I or any of my brethren have a right to choose a wife for themselves as well as the whites, and as the whites have taken the liberty to choose my brethren, the Indians, hundreds of thousands of them, as partners in life, I believe the Indians have as much right to choose their partners among the whites if they wish."--William Apess, An Indian's Looking-Glass for the White Man, 1833

In this groundbreaking study, Thomas Ingersoll argues the Jacksonian American Indian removal policy appealed to popular racial prejudice against all Indians, including special suspicion of mixed bloods. Lawmakers also perceived a threat to white Americans' transatlantic reputation posed by the potential for general racial mixture, or "amalgamation." Beginning in the 1780s, and for the ensuing half-century, alarmed government officials attempted to separate full blood and mixed-blood Indians into enclaves in the Far West, to isolate them from white migrants out of the eastern states and prevent the rise of a new, genuinely alternative mixed society.

Ingersoll begins by examining the origins and early history of mixed bloods in North America. He follows with the lives of individual mixed bloods, an exploration of how the growing mixed population informed racial thought in the Early National Period, and the role of mixed-blood chiefs in opposing the Indian Removal Act of 1830.


ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS

Thomas N. Ingersoll is associate professor of history at Ohio State University.


6 x 9 in. 472 pages 13 halftones