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Legal Codes and Talking TreesIndigenous Women's Sovereignty in the Sonoran and Puget Sound Borderlands, 1854-1946$
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Katrina Jagodinsky

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780300211689

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300211689.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 28 November 2021

Nora Jewell “In Family Way”

Nora Jewell “In Family Way”

Washington, 1854–1910

(p.58) Chapter 3 Nora Jewell “In Family Way”
Legal Codes and Talking Trees

Katrina Jagodinsky

Yale University Press

This chapter examines how Indigenous women dealt with the challenges of economic and sexual vulnerability under settler-colonial laws by focusing on the case of Nora Jewell in territorial Washington during the period 1854–1910. Nora Jewell of San Juan Island lost her Salish mother and Danish father to unknown circumstances and became a ward of Washington Territory at the age of twelve. In 1880 she sued James F. Smith, her American guardian, for rape, accusing him of impregnating her. This chapter considers Jewell's sexual assault case against Smith, the putative father of her unborn child, in criminal court to highlight the gendered and racial contours of change and transformation that shaped Indigenous women's legal philosophies and their encounters with territorial legal regimes.

Keywords:   rape, Indigenous women, Nora Jewell, Washington Territory, San Juan Island, James F. Smith, sexual assault

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