The constitution of the United States reads; "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

In the 1830ís, there existed a deep division among the nationís white population reguarding Native Americans. In their dealings with Native Americans, the first white settlers adopted policies that were shaped by their own European worldview and experience. When the United States became a nation, the new government built on this European foundation, but over time adapted its Native American policy to changing perspectives and needs- mainly the desire for more land and wealth. Eventually the Native Americans were regarded as an anachronism irreclaimable savage by those west of the Appalachians and redeemable savages by eastern philanthropists and humanitarians.

To the whites settlers in the trans-Appalachian frontier that ran from the mid-west to the southern states, Indians were considered a threat that had to be exterminated.

Believers in Native American reform were largely from the industrial and commercial centers in the Northeast where few Indians lived.

With the arrival of twenty Negroes aboard a Dutch man-of-war in Virginia in 1619, the face of American slavery began to change from the tawny Indian to the blackamoor African; a period of transition lasting from between 1650 to 1750. Though the issue is complex, the unsuitability of the Native American for the labor-intensive agricultural practices, their susceptibility to European diseases, the proximity of avenues of escape for Native Americans, and the lucrative nature of the African slave trade led to a transition to an African-based institution of slavery. In spite of a later tendency in the Southern United States to differentiate the African slave from the Indian, African slavery was in actuality imposed on top of a pre-existing system of Indian slavery. In North America, the two never diverged as distinctive institutions.

Indian slaves were considered to be sullen, insubordinate, and short lived, A.B. Hart quoted in Sanford Wilson, Indian Slavery in the South Carolina Region, Journal of Negro History 22 (1935): 440. The article further describes Native American slaves as not of such robust and strong bodies, as to lift great burdens, and endure labor and slavish work. Native Americans were not without some commercial value. They were often seized throughout the South and taken to the slave markets and traded at an exchange rate of two for one for African Americans. An interesting spin on the story comes from Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Dubois who, even in agreement with the positions stated above, stated that The Indian refused to submit to bondage and to learn the white man\'s ways. The result is that the greater portion of the American Indians has disappeared, the greater portions of those who remain are not civilized. The Negro, wiser and more enduring than the Indian, patiently endured slavery; and contact with the white man has given him a civilization vastly superior to that of the Indian. (Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Dubois, The Negro in the South: His Economic Progress in Relation to His Moral and Religious Development (Philadelphia, George W. Jacobs and Company, 1907), 14.) Washington reiterates this point by quoting Dr. John Spencer, who in discussing the collapse of indentured servitude and Indian slavery, stated In each case
it was survival of the fittest. Both Indian slavery and white servitude were to go down before the black man\'s superior endurance, docility, and labor capacity. (Dr. John Spencer quoted in Booker T. Washington, The Story of the Negro: The Rise of the Race from Slavery.


During this transitional period, Africans and Native Americans shared the common experience of enslavement. In addition to working together in the fields, they lived together in communal living quarters, began to produce collective recipes for food and herbal remedies, shared myths and legends, and ultimately intermarried. The intermarriage of Africans and Native Americans was facilitated by the disproportionate numbers of African male slaves to females (3 to 1) and the decimation of Native American males by disease, enslavement, and prolonged war against the colonists.

As Native American societies in the Southeast were primarily matrilineal, African men who married Native American women often became members of the wife\'s clan and citizens of the