Resilience and Revolution:
Native Peoples in 18th Century South Carolina

A new traveling exhibition debuting in August 2022

 

“Resilience and Revolution: Native Peoples in the 18th Century South Carolina” explores the struggles experienced by Indigenous peoples in South Carolina to retain their independence through the upheavals, unrest, and uncertainty following the establishment of the Carolina colony by the British. “The exhibit examines Indigenous cultures by exploring such topics as Relationship with Nature, Women’s Roles, Social and Governmental Structure, Trade, and Wars of the 18th century.  It highlights how colonization and subsequent formation of the United States impacted Indigenous peoples,” notes Project Director Alice Taylor-Colbert.

Prior to European arrival at least 29 distinct tribal communities had lived for centuries in what later became known as South Carolina.  Each tribe had its own political, economic, and social systems.  As Europeans colonized and threatened their existence, Indigenous communities fought back or accepted the changes to their worlds. The resilience of the Indigenous peoples will be a theme woven throughout the exhibit as it shares information about how war impacts societies, how the pursuit of freedom and happiness can take different forms, and how Native peoples of the 18th century and descendants today can shape our never-ending quest to strengthen our Union.

Engraving of Cherokee delegation by Isaac Basire of Cherokee that travelled to London in 1730, including young Attakullakulla at the far right. Image courtesy of Wikimedia.

Photo courtesy of Alice Taylor-Colbert, Project Director.

“Resilience and Revolution” attempts to illuminate why relationships with European leaders and colonists changed dramatically over the course of the 18th century, in part due to the enslavement of and aggression against various Indigenous peoples. Maps, documents, images, and reproductions in the exhibition illustrate the rich cultural life and values of the diverse Native peoples in the 1700s to allow visitors to better understand this era.  

For more information about the project, contact Dr. Alice Taylor-Colbert, consultant for SC Humanities, at atcolbert.consulting@gmail.com.

Where to see the exhibition:

For information about the Traveling Exhibit Program of the South Carolina State Museum and future booking of the exhibition, contact Timia D. Thompson, Collections Outreach Manager of the SC State Museum, at tep@scmuseum.org.

Exhibit Team, Sponsors, and Partners

Scholars who researched and wrote the content for the exhibit are noted with an *.  Professional team members were essential contributors to the project.

 

Randy Akers, SC Humanities

*Brooke Bauer, University of Tennessee Knoxville

*Julia Coates, Cherokee Nation

Stephen Criswell, Native American Studies Center, USC Lancaster

*Chris Judge, Native American Studies Center, USC Lancaster

Bruce Maggi, Coastal Carolina University

Paul Matheny, SC State Museum

Patrick McCawley, SC Department of Archives and History

*William Ramsey, Lander University

*Bryan Rindfleisch, Marquette University

*Maggie Spivey-Faulkner, University of Alberta (Canada)

*Alice Taylor-Colbert, Project Director

Brittany Taylor-Driggers, Native American Studies Center, USC Lancaster

Timia Thompson, SC State Museum

JoAnn Zeise, SC State Museum

The National Endowment for the Humanities initiative A More Perfect Union provided funding for the exhibit. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this exhibition, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation provided a grant for the exhibit. Additional funding came from South Carolina Humanities and other donors.

Thank you to our partner organizations: