Georgia Carley, Visiting Doctoral Student, "The 1730 Cherokee-British Treaty and the Confluence of Global British Treaty Practices

Activity: OtherTypes of External academic engagement - Hosting an academic visitor


Georgia Carley's account of her period at King's: From April 7 to August 7, 2012, I was enrolled at King’s College London as a visiting History Non-Award Research full-time student, under the supervision of Dr. Richard Drayton. The purpose of my term in London was to complete archival research for my doctoral dissertation “‘The Manner of Conferring and Treating with Them’: the 1730 Cherokee-British Treaty and the Confluence of Global British Treaty Practices,” which I am pursuing in the Department of History, Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada, under the supervision of Dr. E. Jane Errington and Dr. Sandra den Otter. In addition to my primary research, I maintained a connection to the secondary literature and academic environment while in London through extensive use of the KCL library, attendance at a number of seminars of the Institute of Historical Research, and meetings with Dr. Drayton. The primary focus of my archival research was the records of the Lords Commissioners of Trade and Plantations (the Board of Trade). This reflects my aim to place British-Native American treaties in the context of Britain’s broader treaty-making activities through an investigation of the treaty concluded in 1730 in London between Cherokee delegates and members of the Board of Trade. Therefore, the majority of my time was spent at the National Archives, Kew. There, I consulted the minute books of the Board of Trade (CO 391 series), the Board’s incoming and outgoing correspondence, especially that concerning the North American colonies and intra-European commercial treaties (CO 5, CO 323 and CO 324), as well as various papers in the CO 388 and CO 389 series. I also consulted relevant materials among the Treasury Papers (T1) and the State Papers Foreign (SP 36, SP 63 and SP 78). The date range for the materials I consulted was approximately from 1714 to 1735, to encompass the prior tenure on the Board of the four members who participated in the 1730 treaty (Paul Docminique was appointed earliest of the four in 1714) and to look for subsequent references to it. Outside the National Archives, I consulted the Cholmondeley (Houghton) Papers at Cambridge University Library. This collection of Sir Robert Walpole’s correspondence contains letters from relevant Board of Trade members as well as from Sir Alexander Cuming and Sir William Keith, who were likewise involved in the 1730 treaty. I also consulted materials of Cuming and Thomas Pelham held at the British Library. While further archival research remains for me to do, I anticipate this will involve mainly American-held sources (such as the colonial records of Keith’s tenure as governor of Pennsylvania) or those available digitally (from the 17th-18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers, for example). I believe that the work I completed during my research term puts me in good stead to begin writing my dissertation. During my time in London I also pursued research for a conference paper, “Cost, Commodity and Gift: The Board of Trade’s conceptualization of British-Native American gift-giving during Pontiac’s War” to be presented in April 2013. For this I again used the papers of the Board of Trade and of the Treasury, but with a focus on the dialogue surrounding the purposes and financing of British gifts to Native Americans between 1760 and 1766. I also attended a number of IHR seminars on subjects relating to my research, presented by the strands of “British History in the Long Eighteenth Century,” “Parliaments, Politics and People,” “Early Modern Material Cultures,” and the London Group of Historical Geographers. I also attended two seminars out of general interest, presented by the “Sport and Leisure History” and “Marxism in Culture” strands. As with my ongoing secondary reading, I tried to use this opportunity to expand my knowledge of British parliament and British society during the eighteenth century, as well as to explore approaches to transatlantic history.
PeriodApr 2012Jul 2012
Held atQueen's University at Kingston, Canada, Ontario