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Rosemarie Stremlau
University of North Carolina, Pembroke (Pembroke, NC 28372-8699)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

[Grant products][Media coverage]

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2015 – 7/31/2015

Barbara Hildebrand Longknife (1828-1903): Southeastern Indian Diaspora in the Age of American Empire

Summer research and writing on Native American Studies and U.S. and Women's History.

Barbara Hildebrand Longknife was an ordinary nineteenth-century Cherokee woman who lived an extraordinary life. As a girl, she survived removal on the Trail of Tears. As a young woman, she went to California with a hope to find gold and return to Indian Territory as a woman of means. Instead, she worked marginal jobs until she left her abusive husband and traveled to Hawaii as a laborer. Throughout her life, Longknife wanted to go home. She never did. Instead, she wrote letters to her family. Some of these letters survive to provide an alternative perspective to those of the people who gained wealth and had power in the American West and Hawaii. Longknife's life was a bridge connecting the Atlantic World and the Pacific World, and my telling of her story will transcend the narrowly focused discussions of gender, labor, and culture in Southeastern American Indian history and connect them to the larger literature on American expansion and the many complex indigenous experiences of it.