Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A Nation's Charge: Cherokee Social Services, 1835–1907
by Reed, Julie L., Ph.D., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2011, 185; 3477490
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation explores the development of social services within the Cherokee Nation between removal and allotment. The specific services included in this work are poor relief, care of orphans and the disabled, and the imprisonment of criminals. The introduction of state-mediated guardianship marked a shift from traditional practices in which matrilineal clans cared for their members. Culture change plus the upheavals of removal and the Civil War required the Cherokee government to begin providing social services for its citizens. Using the methodology of ethnohistory, this study moves beyond the interactions between federal and Cherokee Nation officials to examine the ways in which broad cross sections of Cherokee people understood the profound social changes taking place. It also explores the degree to which Cherokee people integrated these new institutions into a society that traditionally relied on family and community to provide material, medical, and familial protection to one another. The dissertation addresses the role of social services in defining citizenship, since these programs were available only to citizens. Finally, this project examines the role of these institutions as an expression of tribal sovereignty and the effect of their dissolution in 1907 on Cherokee national identity.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Perdue, Theda, Green, Michael D.
Commitee: Duval, Kathleen, Kidwell, Clara Sue, Lambert, Valerie
School: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Department: History
School Location: United States -- North Carolina
Source: DAI-A 73/01, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: American history, Native American studies
Keywords: Cherokee, Cherokee Nation, Disabled, Mentally ill, Orphans, Prisoners, Social services
Publication Number: 3477490
ISBN: 9781124941479
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