Angela Pulley Hudson
Creek Paths and Federal Roads
Indians, Settlers, and Slaves and the Making of the American South
University of North Carolina Press 2010
Most historians have understood Native American history through the use of the “middle ground” metaphor. Notably, historian Richard White used this metaphor to explain the social relationships between Native American with European Americans in the Great Lakes region in the seventeenth- and eighteenth-centuries. Increasingly, more studies have also emerged to explain such encounters between Native Americans and African Americans, particularly in the Southeast. Angela Pulley Hudson, Assistant Professor of History at Texas A&M, is firmly engaged within this wide body of literature in her first published monograph, Creek Paths and Federal Roads: Indians, Settlers, and Slaves and the Making of the American South (University of North Carolina Press, 2010). She vividly describes the history of Creeks and their ideas about encounters with outsiders of their land along the geographic borders of Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee from the early national era to the Indian Removal Act of 1830. Her work not only contributes to the analysis of contested borderlands in American history, but also complicates our understanding about the intersections of racial, gender and kinship boundaries in an eloquent way that makes for a great read.