Topic: Trade

Choctaw Trade and Coexistence in the Nation

After the discovery of the new world, trade quickly became the most important interaction between the American natives and the colonists. For the Indians it was an extension and continuation of their inter-tribal practices. Reuben Gold Thwaites, an early nineteenth-century student of the American frontier, stated that “the love of trade was strong among the Indians,” and that they had a complex “system of inter-tribal barter.” 1Reuben Gold Thwaites, The Colonies: 1492-1750, Epochs of American History series, (New York: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1902), 17. This existing trade system allowed the Europeans to quickly establish their own trade with the...

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Trade Routes in the Lower Southeast

The memoir of French explorer, René Goulaine de Laudonniére state that the predominate flow of trade in the Lower Southeast in the late 1500s was north-south.  Greenstone, gold, ocher, mica, crystals, precious stones and silver that was mined in the Southern Highlands, were traded for salt, shells, grain, skins, furs, colorful clays, dried fish and dyes obtained from lower altitudes.  He emphasized that the desire to control the cargos of greenstone and gold from the mountains was the cause of many wars. A major trade route passed through Track Rock Gap, but it was not the most important one. The two most important trade routes ran through the Appalachian Valley in northwestern Georgia and the Savannah River Basin – Unicoi Gap – Dillard Gap in northeastern Georgia.  These were the only portals through the Southern Highlands that offered a reasonably level passage from one side of the mountains to the other.  The major trail paralleled the Savannah River up to the confluence of the Tugaloo and Seneca Rivers. One branch cut westward to the Nacoochee Valley and then northward through the Unicoi Gap to the Hiwassee River.  The other branch followed the Tugaloo River northwestward to the nearby source of the Little Tennessee River. It then went through Dillard Gap and followed the Little Tennessee all the way to the Tennessee River. The Great White Path or Etowah Trail...

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Indian Trade

“The moral condition of the Indians,” my commission states, ” will necessarily be very dependent on the character of the trade with them; and a subject so important will, of course, claim your attention. You will report such facts as may come within your knowledge, as will go to show the state of the trade with them, and the character of the traders, and will suggest such improvements in the present system of Indian trade, as in your opinion will render it better calculated to secure peace between them and us, and will contribute more efficiently to advance their moral condition.” On this topic, of primary importance, I shall simply state the information received in answer to my enquiries, and at the close make such suggestions as have occurred to my own mind, in reflecting on this information. 1It is considered proper to publish this part of the Report, as it was presented to the President and Congress, previously to the abolition of the Factor system, as it exhibits some important facts on this subject, which, whatever influence they may have had in producing the above anticipated measure, go to justify it, and to show the necessity of a radical change in the system of Indian Trade. Three alternatives, only, appear to present themselves to the the choice of the Government. Whether the present mixed plan of conducting trade...

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