Bad Fruits of the Civilized Tree: Alcohol & the Sovereignty of the Cherokee Nation
Bad Fruits of the Civilized Tree examines the role of alcohol among the Cherokees through more than two hundred years, from contact with white traders until Oklahoma reached statehood in 1907. While acknowledging the addictive and socially destructive effects of alcohol, Izumi Ishii also examines the ways in which alcohol was culturally integrated into Native society and how it served the overarching economic and political goals of the Cherokee Nation. Europeans introduced alcohol into Cherokee society during the colonial era, trading it for deerskins and using it to cement alliances with chiefs. In turn Cherokee leaders often redistributed alcohol among their people in order to buttress their power and regulate the substance’s consumption. Alcohol was also seen as containing spiritual power and was accordingly consumed in highly ritualized ceremonies. During the early-nineteenth century, Cherokee entrepreneurs learned enough about the business of the alcohol trade to throw off their American partners and begin operating alone within the Cherokee Nation. The Cherokees intensified their internal efforts to regulate alcohol consumption during the 1820s to demonstrate that they were “civilized” and deserved to coexist with American citizens rather than be forcibly relocated westward. After removal from their land, however, the erosion of Cherokee sovereignty undermined the nation’s ongoing attempts to regulate alcohol. Bad Fruits of the Civilized Tree provides a new historical framework within which to study the meeting between Natives and Europeans in the New World and the impact of alcohol on Native communities.
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Agent alcohol alcohol regulations American Board Annual Meeting April Arkansas August black drink Butrick Captain Rayd Cephas Washburn Cherokee Advocate Cherokee citizens Cherokee country Cherokee Nation Cherokee Phoenix Cherokee Temperance Society Cherokee women Christian Temperance Union Chronicles of Oklahoma Civilized colonial Commissioner of Indian Cong Creek crsc Indian Affairs December deerskin trade Demere to Governor Emphasis in original Executive Documents February federal Folder Georgia Gibson Governor Glen Governor Lyttelton Indian country Indian Territory intemperance Intercourse Act James Jeremiah Evarts July kegs liquor trade March McLoughlin Meigs Missionary Herald moral National Council National wctu November October Office Oklahoma City ok Perdue political prohibition Report Roll 79 Secretary September serial South Carolina sovereignty spirituous liquors Stapler statehood Statutes at Large Tahlequah temperance movement temperance reformers tion Treaty tribal Tribes U.S. District Court U.S. government U.S. marshal U.S. Statutes Union Signal United Vashon whiskey white-ribboners Willard William Woman's Christian Temperance