2019 William L. Proctor Award from the Historic St. Augustine Research Institute
The Yamasee Indians are best known for their involvement in the Indian slave trade and the eighteenth-century war (1715–54) that took their name. Yet their significance in colonial history is far larger than that. Denise I. Bossy brings together archaeologists of South Carolina and Florida with historians of the Native South, Spanish Florida, and British Carolina for the first time to answer elusive questions about the Yamasees’ identity, history, and fate.
Until now scholarly works have rarely focused on the Yamasees themselves. In southern history, the Yamasees appear only sporadically outside of slave raiding or the Yamasee War. Their culture and political structures, the complexities of their many migrations, their kinship networks, and their survival remain largely uninvestigated. The Yamasees’ relative obscurity in scholarship is partly a result of their geographic mobility. Reconstructing their past has posed a real challenge in light of their many, often overlapping migrations. In addition, the campaigns waged by the British (and the Americans after them) to erase the Yamasees from the South forced Yamasee survivors to camouflage their identities bit by bit.
The Yamasee Indians recovers the complex history of these peoples. In this critically important new volume, historians and archaeologists weave together the fractured narratives of the Yamasees through probing questions about their mobility, identity, and networks.