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2 - Dispossession and Conscription

Euro-American Use of Native American Labor

from Part I - Labor in Ethnohistorical Settings

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 July 2022

David Griffith
Affiliation:
East Carolina University
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Summary

Early European colonization of North America relied heavily on Native American labor from the formation of the first colonies in New York well into the 20th century in places like the US Great Basin. Contrary to the view that Native Americans either refused wage labor or were an impediment to European settlement, in many places, Native Americans provided significant labor inputs in areas where many European workers refused to work, as on early winter, whaling ships off of Long Island. In many cases, Native Americans accessed wage labor on their own terms, often bringing their entire families with them to labor camps rather than agreeing to the separation of productive from reproductive labor.

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The Cultural Value of Work
Livelihoods and Migration in the World's Economies
, pp. 38 - 53
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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