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The Indians' New WorldCatawbas and Their Neighbors from European Contact through the Era of Removal$
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James H. Merrell

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780807834039

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807838693_Merrell

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Indians Still: The Nation Endures

Indians Still: The Nation Endures

(p.226) 7 Indians Still: The Nation Endures
The Indians' New World

James H. Merrell

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter describes how the outside world saw the Catawba Nation in the late eighteenth century as a wasteland, but how the denizens of these depths could hardly have been worse off. On the eve of the Revolution they were already said to “live perhaps the meanest of any Indians belonging to the British American empire,” and fifty years later they remained “in a state of abject poverty.” Visitors were appalled. A traveler named John Smyth stayed overnight in 1772 and found his hosts “enveloped in filth and nastiness of person.” Though he liked the Indians and judged them happy enough, he had to confess that “their habitual nastiness, coarse fare, and rude accommodations” were “disgustful to me.”

Keywords:   outside world, Catawba Nation, wasteland, Revolution, British American empire, poverty

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