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Tyler Boulware

Adjunct Associate Professor

Teaching Fields

  • Early America
  • Native Americans
  • Frontiers/Borderlands
  • Colonial and Mountain South


  • Ph.D. University of South Carolina, 2005
  • MA, University of South Carolina, 2000
  • BA, Presbyterian College, 1997

Research Interests

Dr. Boulware's first book centers on the Cherokee people of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. In  Deconstructing the Cherokee Nation (2011), he explores the localism and regionalism of Cherokee life during the eighteenth century. For much of the colonial period, Cherokees from different towns and regions encountered varying geopolitical circumstances, situated as they were on the different “frontiers” of Cherokee country, and accordingly safeguarded their own interests by pursuing diplomatic, military, and economic agendas that could often be at variance. At the same time, however, Cherokees demonstrated an ethnic awareness, grounded in kinship, that strengthened through increased interactions with non-Cherokee peoples. As these cross-cultural exchanges became more volatile, Cherokees were forced to confront powerful adversaries which demanded a more unified response. Much of his book therefore examines how border conflict, especially during the Seven Years’ War and American Revolution, altered Cherokee conceptualizations of community. The result, he argues, was that while town and region remained important markers of Cherokee identity and sociopolitical organization, a broader ethnic and national awareness crystallized in response to these dramatic events, which laid the foundation for the emergence of an institutionally-based Cherokee Nation in the early nineteenth century.

HIs second book manuscript, currently titled  Next to Kin: Native Americans and Friendship in Early America, explores the concept of friendship among Native peoples from contact to the removal era (c. 1500-1840). His initial research shows that Native Americans attached deep and varied meanings to friendship, and these ideas, customs, and obligations influenced both informal and formal relationships within Native communities and between Indians, Europeans, and Africans. He is especially concerned with how the cultural meanings of friendship – both Indian and European – influenced Native American and Euroamerican understandings of diplomatic alliances and treaties. Ultimately, his manuscript reveals how native and newcomer solidified personal relationships and inter-group alliances, and how ideas about friendship and its obligations contributed to the violence that erupted between individuals and communities.


Deconstructing the Cherokee Nation: Town, Region, and Nation among Eighteenth-Century Cherokees (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2011).

“ ‘skilful jockies’ and ‘good sadlers’: Native Americans and Horses in the Southeastern Borderlands,” in A. Glenn Crothers and Andrew K. Frank, eds ., Borderland Narratives: Exploring North America's Contested Spaces, 1500-1850 (forthcoming, University Press of Florida).

” ‘it seems like coming into our Houses’: Challenges to Cherokee Hunting Grounds, 1750-1775,” in Kristofer Ray, ed.  Before the Volunteer State: New Thoughts on Early Tennessee History, 1690-1800 (Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 2014), 65-81.

”’Our Mad Young Men’: Authority and Violence in Cherokee Country,” in Bruce Stewart, ed.,  Blood in the Hills: A History of Violence in Appalachia (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2012), 80-98.

”’We are MEN’: Native American and Euroamerican Projections of Masculinity During the Seven Years’ War,” in Thomas A. Foster, ed.,  New Men: Manliness in Early America (New York: New York University Press, 2011), 51-70.

“The Effect of the Seven Years’ War on the Cherokee Nation,”  Early American Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Vol. 5, No. 2 (Fall 2007), 395-426.

“Native Americans and National Identity in Early North America,”  History Compass, Vol. 4 (5), August 2006, 927-932.

“The Woodlands Culture,” in Rodney P. Carlisle and J. Geoffrey Golson, eds.,  Native America from Prehistory to First Contact (Santa Barbara, CA: Abc-Clio, Inc., 2006), 103-122.

”’Bound to live and die in defence of their country’: Conflict and Community in Cherokee Country,” Journal of Early American Wars and Armed Conflicts, Vol. 1, No. 1 (November 2005), 2-21.

”’A Dangerous Sett of Horse-Thieves and Vagrants’: Outlaws of the Southern Frontier during the Revolutionary Era,”  Eras, 6th Edition, November 2004.

Grants and Awards

Eberly College Outstanding Researcher Award, 2012-13
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship, Library Company of Philadelphia and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania 
W.B.H. Dowse Fellowship, Massachusetts Historical Society
Ballard Breaux Visiting Fellowship, Filson Historical Society
Fletcher Jones Foundation Fellow, The Huntington Library 
Phillips Fund Fellow, American Philosophical Society 
Archie K. Davis Fellowship, North Caroliniana Society
Price Visiting Research Fellowship, The William L. Clements Library 
West Virginia Humanities Council Fellowship

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