West of the Revolution: An Uncommon History of 1776 (W.W. Norton, 2014)

West of the Revolution explores nine American places in 1776 and invites readers to extend their bounds and discover the continent beyond the British colonies.

History Book Club main selection, July 2014; Military Book Club; Scientific American Book Club; Book-of-the-Month Club 2; Available on

Reviewed in the American Scholar, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, Kirkus, Los Angeles Times, New York Post, New Yorker (online), Newsweek, Publishers Weekly, Raleigh News and Observer, Sacramento Bee, San Jose Mercury, Seattle Times, Sunset Magazine, True West, Wall Street Journal, and The Washingtonian.

Black, White, and Indian: Race and the Unmaking of an American Family (Oxford University Press, 2005)

Black, White, and Indian tells the story of a Native American family with a long-kept secret: one branch is of African descent. Focusing on five generations from 1780 to 1920, the book illustrates how Indians disowned their black relatives to survive in the shadow of the expanding American republic.

Winner of the 2005 Clements Prize for the best non-fiction book on southwestern America, awarded by the Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University.

A New Order of Things: Property, Power, and the Transformation of the Creek Indians, 1733-1816 (Cambridge University Press, 1999)

A New Order of Things explores a dramatic transformation that overturned the lives of Creek Indians and remade the Deep South in the 1700s. It vividly describes the changing world of the Creeks, showing how growing divisions between the wealthy and poor, powerful and powerless, ultimately destroyed their communities. This critical but unknown chapter in the creation of the American Republic cleared the way for the expansion of plantation slavery into the region.

Winner of the 2000 Charles S. Sydnor Award for the best book in Southern history, awarded by the Southern Historical Association, and the Wheeler-Voegelin Award for the best book in Ethnohistory, awarded by the American Society for Ethnohistory.

Selected Popular Articles

Selected Academic Articles

  • "The Age of Imperial Expansion," The Oxford Handbook of American Indian History, ed. Frederick Hoxie (Oxford University Press, 2016), 77-92.
  • "Mapping Space, Power, and Social Life," Social Text 33 (Dec. 2015): 142-47.
  • "Twenty-First-Century Perspectives on the Eighteenth: Comments on the American Revolution Reborn," Common-place 14 (Spring, 2014).
  • "'My Medicine is Punishment': A Case of Torture in Early California, 1775-1776," Ethnohistory 57 (2010): 679-708.
  • "The Native South: An Account of Recent Historiography," Native South 1 (2008): 45-60.
  • "Go West: Mapping Early American Historiography," The William and Mary Quarterly 65 (Oct. 2008): 745-78.
  • "Telling Stories: The Political Uses of Myth and History in the Cherokee and Creek Nations," The Journal of American History 93 (Dec. 2006): 673-97.
  • "'Our Indians': European Empires and the History of the Native American South," in The Atlantic in Global History, 1500-2000, eds. Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra and Erik R. Seeman (Prentice Hall, 2006), 61-76.
  • Reprinted in Francis G. Couvares et al., ed., Interpretations of American History (eighth ed., Bedford, 2009).

  • "The Graysons' Dilemma: A Creek Family Confronts the Science of Race," in Powhatan's Mantle: Indians in the Colonial Southeast, eds. Peter H. Wood, Gregory A. Waselkov, and M. Thomas Hatley (Second edition, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2006), 503-520.
  • "Rethinking Race and Culture in the Early South," Ethnohistory 53:2 (spring 2006): 399-406. (Coauthor)
  • "The Paradox of Freedom: Tribal Sovereignty and Emancipation during the Reconstruction of Indian Territory," The Journal of Southern History 70 (Feb. 2004): 63-94.

    Winner of the 2006 Green and Ramsdell Award for the best article published in The Journal of Southern History in 2004 and 2005.

  • "Taking Account of Property: Social Stratification among the Creek Indians in the Early Nineteenth Century," The William and Mary Quarterly 24 (Oct. 2000): 733-760.
  • Reprinted in Peter C. Mancall and James H. Merrell, eds., American Encounters: Natives and Newcomers from European Contact to Indian Removal, 1500-1850 (second ed., Routledge, 2006).

  • "'The English has now a Mind to make Slaves of them all': Creeks, Seminoles, and the Problem of Slavery," American Indian Quarterly 22 (1998): 157-181.

    Winner of the 1999 Bolton-Kinnaird Award for the best journal article on Spanish borderlands history. Given by the Western History Association.

  • Reprinted in James F. Brooks, ed., Confounding the Color Line: The Indian-Black Experience in North America (University of Nebraska Press, 2002).

  • "'Domestick...Quiet being broke': Gender Conflict among Creek Indians in the Eighteenth Century," in Contact Points: North American Frontiers from the Mohawk Valley to the Mississippi, 1750-1830, eds. Fredrika J. Teute and Andrew R.L. Cayton (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, 1998), 151-174.