The Bloody Letter — Native American documents

“When you see this letter stained with the blood of my husband …”

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Of the 1,000 or so original documents and visual images preserved in the Southeastern Native American Documents, 1730-1842 collection, few evoke pathos for the Indians’ plight as “the blood-stained letter” – written by the widows of Creek leader William McIntosh – appealing to the U.S. government for help.

McIntosh was  killed by fellow Creeks opposed to the ceding of their sbiancamento denti land to the white settlers. In the letter, Peggy and Susannah McIntosh describe their dire situation and beg the officials to remember their pledge to assist and protect them. A description and transcription of the letter is available here, along with scans of the original.

Most of the documents, dated 1763 to 1842, are from the Cherokee tribe, but other tribes are represented, including Seminole and Creek. The documents include treaties,letters from tribal members,  letters to the tribes from state representatives, military orders regarding Native Americans and the first 18 months of the first newspaper published in a Native American language, the Cherokee Phoenix.

The significance of these documents extends beyond traditional political and diplomatic history into the daily lives of Native Americans and their new European neighbors. These collections testify to the richness and continued viability of Native American culture even as it was encroached upon and eroded by European settlement. Letters of complaint to white government officials from Native Americans demonstrate their ability to contend with European institutions with a resourcefulness that belies the commonly held stereotypes from that period of Indians as violent savages or helpless victims.

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The DLG has been busy

The DLG has recently completed some exciting projects. We thought we’d take a minute to catch you up.

The Atlanta Historic Newspapers Archive:

http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/atlnewspapers

The Atlanta Historic Newspapers Archive provides online access to fourteen newspaper titles published in Atlanta from 1847 to 1922. Consisting of over 67,000 newspaper pages, the archive provides historical images that are both full-text searchable and can be browsed by date. The site will provide users with a record of Atlanta’s history from its origins as an railroad terminus, through the devastation of the Civil War, to its eventual growth into one of the nation’s largest cities.

The archive includes the following Atlanta newspaper titles: Atlanta Daily Examiner (1857), Atlanta Daily Herald (1873-1876), Atlanta Georgian (1906-1911), Atlanta Intelligencer (1851, 1854-1871), Atlantian (1911-1922), Daily/Georgia Weekly Opinion (1867-1868), Gate-City Guardian (1861), Georgia Literary and Temperance Crusader (1860-1861), New Era (1869-1872), Southern Confederacy (1861-1864), Southern Miscellany, and Upper Georgia Whig (1847), Southern World (1882-1885), Sunny South (1875-1907), Weekly Constitution (1869-1882).

The Atlanta Historic Newspapers Archive is a project of the Digital Library of Georgia as part of the Georgia HomePLACE initiative. The project is supported with federal LSTA funds administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Georgia Public Library Service, a unit of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.

Other newspaper archives available through the Digital Library of Georgia include the Macon Telegraph Archive (1826-1908), the Columbus Enquirer Archive (1828-1890), the Milledgeville Historic Newspaper Archive (1808-1920), the Southern Israelite Archive (1929-1986), and the Red and Black Archive (1893-2006). These archives can be accessed at:

http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/MediaTypes/Newspapers.html

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