Citizens Creek

Citizens Creek

Book - 2014
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Buying his freedom after serving as a translator during the American Indian wars, Cow Tom builds a remarkable life and legacy that is sustained by his courageous granddaughter.
Publisher: New York : Atria Books, 2014.
Edition: First Atria Books hardcover edition.
ISBN: 9781476753034
Branch Call Number: F
Characteristics: 420 pages ; 24 cm


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Mar 10, 2020

Tademy has written an engaging, multi-generational family saga that begins in the 1820s with patriarch Cow Tom, an African-American enslaved by a Muscogee Creek chief in the southeastern United States. Aiding the U.S. Army in the removal of Seminoles from Florida, Cow Tom and his family, along with all of the Creeks, are soon after likewise removed from their ancestral lands to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). After many years Cow Tom eventually accumulates sufficient funds to purchase/free himself, his wife and their children, and they opt to stay and remain citizens of the Creek Nation.

What actually enhanced this book from "okay" to "good" in my enjoyment was learning upon completion that it was based on a real historical figure. Also fascinating was learning about the practice of slavery among Native Americans. Recommended for fans of obscure/overlooked stories in history.

OPL_SchamarraS May 11, 2018

I picked this book up thinking it would be something interesting because the book is historical fiction, and Creek Nation (my personal heritage) and African Americans (also, my heritage).
I surprised myself by really enjoying this book, though I'm not really a fan of books set in early America, this book was captivating.

Aug 25, 2017

I was easily pulled into this easy read. What an amazing tale that so many with roots in Oklahoma can relate too.

Oct 25, 2016

my 85year old father cried reading this book

ChristchurchLib Dec 16, 2014

Born on an Alabama plantation in 1810 and sold to Creek Indian Chief Yargee shortly thereafter, Cow Tom - so called for his talents as hilis haya of the herd, a healer of cattle - also serves as his master's yatika, or interpreter, translating between the Mvskoke-speaking Creek and their Anglophone neighbors. Despite his relatively privileged status among the Creek, Tom yearns to be "paper-free," with a wife and family and land of his own. As in her previous novels, Cane River and Red River, author Lalita Tademy draws on aspects of her own family history to present a multi-generational, multicultural family saga that provides insight into lesser-known events in American history. Historical Fiction newsletter December 2014.


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