Zamumo's Gifts
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Zamumo's Gifts
Indian-European Exchange in the Colonial Southeast

Joseph M. Hall, Jr.

248 pages | 6 x 9 | 12 illus.
Paper 2012 | ISBN 978-0-8122-2223-4 | $22.50s | £15.00 | Add to cart
Ebook 2011 | ISBN 978-0-8122-0214-4 | $22.50s | £15.00 | About | Add to cart
A volume in the Early American Studies series
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"An exemplary study."—Journal of American History

"A fascinating, well-researched, and extremely well-written volume that accomplishes a great deal. . . . This book will most certainly have immense and immediate impacts on historians, anthropologists, archaeologists, and others interested in the nature of exchange in the colonial Southeast."—American Historical Review

"Hall tells a complicated story with skill and insight. His exposition of the importance of the Mississippian world to the creation of the colonial world suggests that we ought to rethink what we mean by colonial."—American Indian Culture & Research Journal

"Zamumo's Gifts is a book with many gifts to bestow. Ranging widely across the centuries, going deeply into English, French, Spanish, and native sources, Joseph Hall reads the evidence with insight and imagination to shed important new light on America's 'dark ages,' a largely forgotten era when natives and newcomers contended for the Continent."—James Merrell, author of Into the American Woods

In 1540, Zamumo, the chief of the Altamahas in central Georgia, exchanged gifts with the Spanish conquistador Hernando de Soto. With these gifts began two centuries of exchanges that bound American Indians and the Spanish, English, and French who colonized the region. Whether they gave gifts for diplomacy or traded commodities for profit, Natives and newcomers alike used the exchange of goods such as cloth, deerskin, muskets, and sometimes people as a way of securing their influence. Gifts and trade enabled early colonies to survive and later colonies to prosper. Conversely, they upset the social balance of chiefdoms like Zamumo's and promoted the rise of new and powerful Indian confederacies like the Creeks and the Choctaws.

Drawing on archaeological studies, colonial documents from three empires, and Native oral histories, Joseph M. Hall, Jr., offers fresh insights into broad segments of southeastern colonial history, including the success of Florida's Franciscan missionaries before 1640 and the impact of the Indian slave trade on French Louisiana after 1699. He also shows how gifts and trade shaped the Yamasee War, which pitted a number of southeastern tribes against English South Carolina in 1715-17. The exchanges at the heart of Zamumo's Gifts highlight how the history of Europeans and Native Americans cannot be understood without each other.

Joseph M. Hall, Jr. is Associate Professor of History at Bates College.

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