Race, Property, and Cherokee Dispossession
Chapter 1 charts the historical relationship between Native dispossession and early city planning and development in downtown Chattanooga, to understand more deeply the complex relationship that many contemporary Chattanoogans have with the legacies of Cherokee dispossession that took place within their hometown’s borders. The chapter focuses on the construction of historical narratives of people and place during the pre-removal and Removal periods, and argues that a paternalistic, yet quasi-reverent and nostalgic, popular framing of Native culture and removal has profoundly impacted how many people today relate to, and represent, Chattanooga’s early history. Tracing the genealogy of race, property, and Native removal in the context of early city-building prepares the ground for later discussions of contemporary Native American placemaking activities along the Tennessee riverfront.
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