Cover image for The Indians' new south : cultural change in the colonial southeast
The Indians' new south : cultural change in the colonial southeast
Axtell, James.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, [1997]

Physical Description:
xiv, 102 pages : illustrations, map ; 24 cm.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E78.S65 A97 1997 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



In this study, James Axtell depicts the range of transformations in southeastern Indian cultures as a result of contact, and often conflict with European settlers in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. Stressing the dynamism and change in native cultures while showing no loss of Indian identity, Axtell argues that the colonial southeast cannot be fully understood without paying particular attention to its native inhabitants before their large-scale removal in the 1830s.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Using a wide variety of sources and ethnohistorical insights, Axtell offers a broad synthesis of Native American cultural change in the southeastern US. The initial chapter paints a bleak picture of 16th-century Spanish entradas into Florida by Ponce de Leon, Hernando de Soto, and others. This conquistador generation came for gold, slaves, and forced tribute, predictably leaving behind a legacy of hatred and demographic disaster from epidemics. Yet early contact also set in motion an accelerated rate of change for the Florida tribes and initially brought them some economic and technological benefits. The second chapter examines life in Florida's Spanish missions, especially the Indians' willingness to accept cosmetic conversions while gaining some material advantages and simultaneously maintaining the heart of their traditional cultures. The conversions often led to further Spanish victimization of native peoples, frequently produced bloody factionalism between "traditionals" and "converts," and made the tribes more vulnerable to English attack from Virginia and the Carolinas. The final chapter traces the growing dependency of these tribes on the expanding fur trade, the broadening alliances with the French in Louisiana, and Native American modification of technological goods to fit their own needs. All levels. M. L. Tate; University of Nebraska at Omaha