On Racial Frontiers : The Function of Race in America, 1800-1860
Nelson, Hayden L.
Geniusz, Wendy Makoons
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Historians have noted that the idea of race begins to become entrenched in the minds of white Americans beginning in the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. This paper focuses on the duality of race as a function in the United States and its borderlands between 1800 and 1860. Instead of being a monolithic idea that swept across the entire nation, the life of the Afro-Ojibwe fur trader, George Bonga, and others in the Great Lakes Region, contradicts that notion and shows the flexibility of racial categories in this area. Therefore, my research seeks to answer the following question: Why, in an era of greater proliferation of racialist and racist ideas, do we see this flexibility of racial categories on the American borderlands?
Great Lakes Region (North America)