Historian Alejandra Dubcovsky tells a story of war, slavery, loss, remembrance, and the women whose resilience and resistance transformed the colonial South. In exploring their lives she rewrites early American history, challenging the established male-centered narrative.
Dubcovsky reconstructs the lives of Native women—Timucua, Apalachee, Chacato, and Guale—to show how they made claims to protect their livelihoods, bodies, and families. Through the stories of the Native cacica who demanded her authority be recognized; the elite Spanish woman who turned her dowry and household into a source of independent power; the Floridiana who slapped a leading Native man in the town square; and the Black woman who ran a successful business at the heart of a Spanish town, Dubcovsky reveals the formidable women who claimed and used their power, shaping the history of the early South.
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