Chickasaws and Presbyterians: What Did It Mean To Be Civilized?

Author(s): Matthew Rooney

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

In the decade prior to their removal, the Chickasaws allowed Presbyterian missionaries to set up a school on their lands to gain the benefit of a western education for their children and potential allies in the struggles they were inevitably going to have with the expanding United States. Here, native children were being exposed to missionary tactics to "civilize" them and convert them into idealized Anglo-American-like farmers. This meant exposure to developing capitalist ideas and practices regarding work and gender. It included removing young girls from agricultural work and ensuring that the young boys learned how to farm in addition to their traditional development as hunters. In some cases, missionaries also encouraged natives, with varying degrees of success, to forego their matrilineal kinship system and place more importance on patrilineal relations. Archaeological investigations were performed on this site, Charity Hall, for the first time last summer and will continue this year. I am using materiality theory to guide the excavation process and learn how the material world played a role in this contact situation as well as how students and missionaries may have used it for their own purposes.

Cite this Record

Chickasaws and Presbyterians: What Did It Mean To Be Civilized?. Matthew Rooney. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 449785)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -93.735; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -73.389; max lat: 39.572 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 25640