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Allegories of EncounterColonial Literacy and Indian Captivities$
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Andrew Newman

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469643458

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469643458.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

Silent Books, Talking Leaves

Silent Books, Talking Leaves

Chapter:
(p.138) Chapter Five Silent Books, Talking Leaves
Source:
Allegories of Encounter
Author(s):

Andrew Newman

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469643458.003.0006

The watershed for the scholarship on A Narrative of the Lord’s Wonderful Dealings with John Marrant, a Black (1785), is Henry Louis Gates’s influential essay on “The Trope of the Talking Book.” But the widespread classification of the episode in which John Marrant presents his Bible to a Cherokee “king” and his eldest daughter as an instance of an Anglo-African “trope” ignores the narrative’s Cherokee ethnohistorical context. This chapter reads Marrant’s account, despite questions about its reliability, as a reflection of the encounter between evangelical literacy practices and Cherokee beliefs about witchcraft and European literacy.

Keywords:   captivity, Cherokees, evangelicals, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., literacy, John Marrant, talking book, trope, witchcraft

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