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Tracing Apache Captives from the
Over the course of the eighteenth century, Apache Indians from
Southwestern America could be found laboring in Montreal or
Natchitoches, Mexico City or Havana. Some had been transported by
Native traders hundreds of miles before being sold as slaves. Others
were exiled prisoners of war that Spanish officials distributed to
citizens who promised to educate and Christianize them. This
presentation will trace the fates of Apaches sent away from Southwestern
America in order to consider what captivesí experiences reveal about
race and slavery in distinct regions of eighteenth century North
America. It will also explore what the frequent displacement of men,
women, and children meant for life in the Southwest during this period.
While Natives and Euroamericans often took captives and incorporated or
exchanged them locally, the threat of being "sent away" also became a
recognized and feared fate for Apaches and others during the seventeenth
and eighteenth centuries. Apache communities responded to the persistent
threat of capture, enslavement, or displacement by honing strategies of
mobility and violence with which Anglo-Americans would become intimately
familiar in the nineteenth century.
Image from L. Simonin, Underground Life; or Mines and Miners (London: Chapman and Hall, 1869), 341.