A work of original scholarship and compelling sweep, Okfuskee is a community-centered Indian history with an explicitly comparativist agenda. Joshua Piker uses the history of Okfuskee, an eighteenth-century Creek town, to reframe standard narratives of both Native and American experiences.
This unique, detailed perspective on local life in a Native society allows us to truly understand both the pervasiveness of colonialism’s influence and the inventiveness of Native responses. At the same time, by comparing the Okfuskees’ experiences to those of their contemporaries in colonial British America, the book provides a nuanced discussion of the ways in which Native and Euro-American histories intersected with, and diverged from, each other.
Piker examines the diplomatic ties that developed between the Okfuskees and their British neighbors; the economic implications of the Okfuskees’ shifting world view; the integration of British traders into the town; and the shifting gender and generational relationships in the community. By both providing an in-depth investigation of a colonial-era Indian town in Indian country and placing the Okfuskees within the processes central to early American history, Piker offers a Native history with important implications for American history.