Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis




College of Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Woody Holton


In the early 19th century, the Arkansas River Valley existed as a borderlands region of powerful Indian nations and immigrant Euro-American and Native American settlers. In the resulting contests over settlement, Cherokee chiefs recreated the Arkansas Cherokees' ecological identity from hunters to agrarians to differentiate themselves from their Osage and white rivals. During the 1820s, Cherokee chiefs expanded on their agrarian rhetoric by appropriating American scientific systems in order to stymie white settlement. By the end of the 1820s, Arkansas Cherokee chiefs had infused their arguments of preferred agricultural lands, appropriate survey methods, and accurate cartography into the debates over the contours of cultural settlement in the region. With the treaty of 1828, Arkansas Cherokees helped to determine the boundaries of sovereignty in the Southern borderlands.