A law of blood; the primitive law of the Cherokee nation.
John Phillip Reid is widely known for his groundbreaking work in American legal history. "A Law of Blood," first published in the early 1970s, led ... Show synopsis John Phillip Reid is widely known for his groundbreaking work in American legal history. "A Law of Blood," first published in the early 1970s, led the way in an additional newly emerging academic field: American Indian history. As the field has flourished, this book has remained an authoritative text. Indeed, Gordon Morris Bakken writes in the foreword to this edition that Reid's original study "shaped scholarship and inquiry for decades." Forging the research methods that fellow historians would soon adopt, Reid carefully examines the organization and rules of Cherokee clans and towns. Investigating the role of women in Cherokee society, for example, he found that married Cherokee women had more legal authority than their counterparts in Anglo-American society. In particular, Reid explores the Cherokees' revolutionary attitudes toward government and the unique relationship between the members of the tribe and their law. Before the first European contact, the Cherokee Nation had already developed a functioning government, and by the early nineteenth century, the first Cherokee constitution had been enacted.