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Indians in the Family: Adoption and the Politics of Antebellum Expansion by Dawn Peterson (review)

Indians in the Family: Adoption and the Politics of Antebellum Expansion by Dawn Peterson (review) 170 � JOURNAL OF THE EARLY REPUBLIC (Spring 2019) Indians in the Family: Adoption and the Politics of Antebellum Expansion. By Dawn Peterson. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2017. Pp. 432. Cloth, $39.95.) Reviewed by J. M. Opal It is easy to remember one of the central insights of Second Wave Femi- nism: “the personal is political.” It is much harder to put those words into historical practice. After all, the sources on which historians rely reflect an older configuration, in which politics and statecraft inhabit one plane of importance and visibility, while family life and intimate relations carry on more discreetly. Only in the past generation have scholars found ways beyond, around, or simply through the usual dichotomy. Dawn Peterson’s new book is an impressive case in point. Centering on adoption in both a literal and metaphorical sense, Indi- ans in the Family reconsiders the efforts by Choctaws and other southern Indian nations to cope with U.S. expansion from the 1790s to the 1830s. That timeframe began with Federalist efforts to “civilize” those nations and ended with the more naked aggression of the Jacksonian period. Peterson lends that chronology a generational rhythm and a human face. Both native http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the Early Republic University of Pennsylvania Press

Indians in the Family: Adoption and the Politics of Antebellum Expansion by Dawn Peterson (review)

Journal of the Early Republic , Volume 39 (1) – Feb 28, 2019

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Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
Copyright
Copyright © Society for Historians of the Early American Republic.
ISSN
1553-0620

Abstract

170 � JOURNAL OF THE EARLY REPUBLIC (Spring 2019) Indians in the Family: Adoption and the Politics of Antebellum Expansion. By Dawn Peterson. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2017. Pp. 432. Cloth, $39.95.) Reviewed by J. M. Opal It is easy to remember one of the central insights of Second Wave Femi- nism: “the personal is political.” It is much harder to put those words into historical practice. After all, the sources on which historians rely reflect an older configuration, in which politics and statecraft inhabit one plane of importance and visibility, while family life and intimate relations carry on more discreetly. Only in the past generation have scholars found ways beyond, around, or simply through the usual dichotomy. Dawn Peterson’s new book is an impressive case in point. Centering on adoption in both a literal and metaphorical sense, Indi- ans in the Family reconsiders the efforts by Choctaws and other southern Indian nations to cope with U.S. expansion from the 1790s to the 1830s. That timeframe began with Federalist efforts to “civilize” those nations and ended with the more naked aggression of the Jacksonian period. Peterson lends that chronology a generational rhythm and a human face. Both native

Journal

Journal of the Early RepublicUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: Feb 28, 2019

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