Early American History Seminar: Christopher Vernon, University of Warwick

Early American History and Culture Seminar
Thursday, November 11, 2010

5:30 pm to 7:00 pm

Scholl Center Seminar papers are pre-circulated electronically.  For a copy of the paper, e-mail the Scholl Center at scholl@newberry.org.  Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.

“War By Other Means?: Violence and the Power of Rumor in the Colonial Southeast”
Christopher Vernon, University of Warwick

This paper will explore the role of rumor between British settlers and Cherokee Indians from the 1740s to the Cherokee War of 1759-61. In the backcountry of the southern British colonies, where conflicts often resulted in small scale but brutal violence and no single group had a monopoly on military power, rumor was a vital factor in conflict. A rumor of impending attack could send settlers or Indians streaming away from the perceived threat straining resources in nearby areas and creating havoc. Rumor was used by both Indians and whites in peace and war to attain their ends.