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Race, Removal, and the Right to Remain
Migration and the Making of the United States
Cloth: 978-1-4696-6481-1 ($34.95)
University of North Carolina Press
Since the founding of the United States, lawmakers have funneled enormous energy into policing and confining the mobility of Native and Black people while casting free movement as white privilege. Against these fantasies, Indigenous people crafted powerful arguments to claim sovereignty and territory, while African Americans mobilized to remain in communities they called home. Seeley brings a much-needed perspective to these interconnected histories of race, rights, and migration.
Positing removal as a foundational concept in American life, Seeley radically expands its meaning and traces its impact beyond the discrete moment of the Trail of Tears and the Indian Removal Act. This is pathbreaking work, a significant intervention in early American historiography.
By intertwining the migrations—forced, voluntary, and in between—of white, Black, and Native people in the early Republic, Samantha Seeley makes us see the long era of removal in an entirely new way. A revolutionary book and a model for telling all our histories together.