A fully annotated edition of a classic work detailing the cultures of five southeastern American Indian tribes during the Contact Period
James Adair was an Englishman who lived and traded among the southeastern Indians for more than 30 years, from 1735 to 1768. During that time he covered the territory from the Appalachian Mountains to the Mississippi River. He encountered and lived among Indians, advised governors, spent time with settlers, and worked tirelessly for the expansion of British interests against the French and the Spanish. Adair’s acceptance by the Creeks, Choctaws, Cherokees, and Chickasaws provided him the opportunity to record, compare, and analyze their cultures and traditions.
Adair’s written work, first published in England in 1775, is considered one of the finest histories of the Native Americans. His observations provide one of the earliest and what many modern scholars regard as the best account of southeastern Indian cultures. This edition adheres to current standards of literary editing, following the original closely, and provides fully annotated and indexed critical apparatus.
Kathryn E. Holland Braund is Associate Professor of History at Auburn University and editor of A Concise Natural History of East and West Florida, written by Bernard Romans.
“Dr. Braund’s impeccable scholarship and her thorough knowledge of the British colonial Southeast are evident in this new edition. At once authoritative and approachable by modern readers, her edition will introduce a new generation to this fascinating work and encourage fresh considerations of an all but forgotten masterpiece of colonial America.” —Gregory A. Waselkov, University of South Alabama
“This publication brings together an accomplished historical editor and acknowledged expert on the southern Indian trade with one of the most widely-cited, but least-available, contemporary texts on the subject. A very welcome new edition adhering to modern standards of documentary editing and providing a useful critical apparatus.” —Patricia Galloway, University of Texas
“Adair’s History is a crucial primary account of America’s southeastern Indian tribes—the Cherokee, Catawba, Creek, Choctaw and Chickasaw—during the 18th century. . . . Adair’s prose falls somewhere between Edward Gibbon’s and James Fenimore Cooper’s: by turns magisterial, windy and vividly concrete. . . . Braund, the editor of this fine edition, . . .has mined the archives to enlighten readers on Adair’s years as a major player on the Anglo-Indian frontier--roughly 1738 to 1768.” —Wall Street Journal