“Many books have attempted to trace the history of these remarkable Indians; but nearly all, even those that express the opposite aim, have been restricted to their external relations, to what was done to the Cherokees. This one tells the story from the inside. . . . [Malone] has become familiar with sources never explored before. . . . His research is a model of completeness.”
—Mississippi Valley Historical Review
First published in 1956, this book traces the progress of the Cherokee people, beginning with their native social and political establishments, and gradually unfurling to include their assimilation into “white civilization.” Henry Thompson Malone deals mainly with the social developments of the Cherokees, analyzing the processes by which they became one of the most civilized Native American tribes. He discusses the work of missionaries, changes in social customs, government, education, language, and the bilingual newspaper The Cherokee Phoenix. The book explains how the Cherokees developed their own hybrid culture in the mountainous areas of the South by inevitably following in the white man’s footsteps while simultaneously holding onto the influences of their ancestors.
Henry Thompson Malone had a long teaching and administrative career at Georgia State University. He was a consultant on Cherokee history for the Georgia Historical Commission and a member of the advisory committee for the New Echota-Cherokee Foundation.