The Estelusti Bookstore

Featuring Books on Indian Territory and African-Native American Histories 

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  Black White and Indian. Race and the Unmaking of an American Family. by Claudio Saunt. This work tells the history of a family in the Muskogee Creek nation that is sitting on a secret hoped that the world will never know, they they, like many others in the Creek Nation have blacks in their family line.  This is a story of how of the federally recognized tribes, that also was a slave owning tribe, has systematically participated in a long established practicing of racial intolerance that permeates throughout many layers of the tribe to this day.

  The Ties that Bind, The Story of an Afro-Cherokee Family in Slavery and Freedom. by Tiya Miles. This is the story of Morrison Shoe Boots, and his slave, the African woman named Doll. They eventually lived together as man and wife and shared a life together. They were man and wife, master and slave, and shared children, grandchildren, and the unfolding of Indian Territory throughout their lives. Doll's life was reflected through her status as a woman purchased through slavery, her life having lost children, and other dimensions when she petitioned for the pension of her master/husband, father of her children as his widow.  This book opens eyes for many unfamiliar with the practice and embracement of black chattel slavery by the Cherokee Nation, as well as other nations of Indian Territory.

Black, Buckskin and Blue, by Art T. Burton  Although Oklahoma is not the exclusive setting for the book, a great deal of the historical incidents contained in it did occur in Oklahoma. For instance, Black, Buckskin, and Blue: African American Scouts and Soldiers on the Western Frontier is thought to be the first book to discuss the role of black soldiers stationed in Indian Territory and their involvement in the Creek Nation tribal rebellion known as the Green Peach War of 1882. Divided into three sections, Burton's book begins with a number of profiles of little known African-American frontier scouts. Among these is Frank Grouard, a black man who the author credits as being the person most responsible for the death of Indian Chief Crazy Horse.

Black, Red, and Deadly, by Art T. Burton   This is one of the first books looking at the much overlooked history of the black US Deputy Marshalls who served on the western frontier.  Among the persons featured in this extensive book is that of the illustrious Bass Reeves, who like others, rode Indian Territory for Judge Parker the noted "hanging judge". Reeves was the quintessential marshal who always got his man, was never wounded in the quest for an outlaw, and left a legacy untouched by anyone.  Other figures are featured in this work, including the little mentioned black and Indian lighthorsemen.  Reeves pointed out the fact that many of the Indians of the Five tribes of Indian Territory had many persons who were of mixed, Black and Indian ancestry. It is therefore no surprise that the some of the lighthorsement were also "Black Indians".

    The Black Seminoles by Kenneth Wiggins Porter This is the critical book by the noted historian Kenneth Wiggins Porter. He looks at the history of the Seminoles from their origins in Florida, to their arrival in Indian Territory and the remarkable escape of the Seminoles to Mexico, under the guidances of John Horse, and Wild Cat.  This is a critical work for any student of Indian Territory life before the Civil War.

 Africans and Seminoles by Daniel F. Littlefield This work by scholar Littlefield looks at the history of the breakaway band from the Lower Creeks, who shared their fate in Florida with maroons, runaway slaves and free blacks who shared alliances and struggle together before removal to the west.  Another piece by the most prolific writer on the history between Africans and Indians of the southeast.

The Chickasaw Freedmen by Daniel F. Littlefield The work of Daniel F. Littlefield is well known. Particularly is his noted scholarship on the Freedmen of Indian Territory. This work looks at much the woes of a people disenfranchised by their own people, in the Chickasaw Nation. These former slaves, were welcomed by a wealthy tribe of slave owning Indians, the wealthiest of the so called "civilized" tribes, but welcomed only as slaves.  As free people, the nation struggled for decades to expel the black Chickasaws upon whose back their wealth was built. The struggles of this nation, never adopted by their nation, are highlighted in this work. 

The Cherokee Freedmen by Daniel F. Littlefield This work by Daniel F. Littlefield discusses the plight of the Cherokee Freedmen, former slaves of the Cherokee Nation. Freed by the Treaty of 1866, these Cherokee citizens were thrown against two worlds, neither of which wanted them, the Cherokee Nation that welcomed them as slaves and the United States, still dealing with the ramifications of reconstruction. This critical work of noted scholar Daniel F. Littlefield provides a unique glimpse into a life of struggle that continued for these seldom mentioned Cherokees and the challenges placed in their paths to live in dignity in the land of their birth.

The Chickasaw Rancher by Neil R. Johnson, C. Neil Kingsley   This reprint of a book published in 1960 provides an interesting glimpse into life in the cattle country of the Chickasaw Nation.  Some of those who worked on the land of this rancher from the Chickasaw Nation, were blacks who worked with the cattle, who were former slaves.  Their lives as well as the lives of the Montford Johnson family are depicted in this work.

Confounding the Color Line, by James Brooks This unique book consisting of 13 essays addresses an issue of identity, culture, history from many perspectives. The contributions come from historians, ethnographers, legal scholars, literary critics, and Native and ethnic studies scholars. The essays are organized into three broadly overlapping sections: "Forging Relations," "The Legacy of Slavery," and "Complicating Identities." A unique look into a growing subject from a variety of perspectives.

Creeks and Seminoles by J. Leitch Wright This work by the noted historian and scholar J. Leitch Wright, looks at the blended culture of the Creeks and Seminoles.  Originating from the same people, the histories of these two peoples is detailed thoroughly.  For scholars wishing to explore Muskogee history, this particular work is essential.

The Rise and Fall of the Choctaw Nation by Angie Debo This is the history and story of the most numerous branch of the Muskogean linguistic nations. Debo tells the story of the Choctaws from their origins in Mississippi, to their removal to the lands in the new Indian Territory, the issues confronting them with black slavery and life in post civil War Indian Territory. A good resource for students of Indian Territory history and culture.

Indian Removal: The Emigration of the Five Civilized Tribes by Grant Foreman and Angie Debo Originally published in 1932, on the date of the hundredth anniversary of the arrival in Oklahoma of the first Indians as a result of the United States government’s relocation of the Five Civilized Tribes, Indian Removal is considered the definitive book in its field. Although many of the circumstances affecting the slaves dragged along the same trail, are not discussed, the book does look at the affect of forced removal on the Indians.

My Life and Era. The Autobiography of Buck Colbert Franklin This autobiography of the attorney Buck Colbert Franklin, is a remarkable story of a man of the Chickasaw Nation. An educated attorney, B.C. Franklin describes his early years in Indian Territory with very unique and rich history, reflecting the life of the Black Indian community. The Freedmen had their struggles with their tribes and B.C. Franklin represented many of them in their quests to fight racism in a number of cases.  B.C. Franklin is the father of the nation's most prolific historian, John Hope Franklin. 

Nations Remembered: An Oral History of the Cherokees, Chickasaws, Choctaws, Creeks and Seminoles  1865 -1907 by Theda Purdue This work offers a view of Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek, Chickasaw, and Seminole life rarely glimpsed by the scholar or general public.... It is a well researched work and a quite readable document that will appeal to specialist and generalist alike.

Oklahoma Place Names by George H. Shirk This book provides quick reference information on the hundreds of towns and settlements of Oklahoma. Included are townships no longer in existence.

 Oklahoma & Mississippi Slave Narratives - The American Slave This edition of the slave narratives was published by Greenwood Press years ago. This volume is the edition containing the Oklahoma narratives, of former slaves of the Five Civilized Tribes, as well as the few narratives collected in the state of Texas during the collection efforts of the WPA.

 A Guide to Manuscripts at the University of Oklahoma Manuscript Western History Collections. This is useful for researchers of Western frontier history.  This rare users guide will assist the serious scholar in utilizing this excellent collection. 

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