Christian Gottlieb Priber

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Christian Gottlieb Priber
Born March 21, 1697
Zittau, Germany
Died 1744
Frederica, Georgia

Christian Gottlieb Priber (March 21, 1697 - 1744) was a German immigrant with legal training who immigrated to the British Colonies of North America[when?] with a vision of establishing a utopian commonwealth among Cherokee and other Native Americans living in the Southeast. Viewed by the Cherokee as a "beloved man", Priber fell afoul of the ruling British for his vision against the envisioned commonwealth holding private property, and his support for their providing sanctuary to runaway slaves and debtors. After the colonial authorities demanded his surrender, British-allied Creeks captured him in 1743, and he died during his imprisoned by the British in Frederica, Georgia.[when?]

Early life and education[edit]

Christian Gottlieb Priber was born on March 21, 1697 in Zittau, Electorate of Saxony to Friedrich Priber, a linen merchant and beerhouse owner, and Anna Dorothea Bergmann. Priber studied law at Erfurt University where, in October 1722, he would publish his dissertation: The Use of the Study of Roman Law and the Ignorance of that Law in the Public Life of Germany.[1]

Utopian activity in America[edit]

Priber's activity in America involved the Cherokee people, who, at the time, occupied a powerful position in southeastern colonial America.[2][verification needed] The Cherokee accepted Priber as a "beloved man" because of his affection for Native American culture and his opposition to, as he viewed it, a thoroughly corrupt European culture.[2]

Priber sought the Cherokee out in particular, because he viewed them as an ideal people to actualize his utopian vision.[citation needed] Working in their community, he advocated a communal society, the idea of which he based on Plato's Republic;[citation needed] he envisioned that a united confederation made up of all the native tribes in the region could play off the different colonizers, Spain, France, and England, and strengthen their hold on tribal land.[citation needed]

Priber held a positions against private property, and supporting refuge for runaway slaves and debtors in Cherokee territory as a part his utopian vision.[citation needed] His surrender was demanded by the British authorities in 1739.[citation needed] The British-allied Creeks captured him en route to New Orleans in 1743, and he was handed over to the British colonial authorities and imprisoned in Frederica, Georgia.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Priber wed Christiane Dorothea Hoffmann, the daughter of a merchant, printer, and Senator, in November 1722; they would have five children.[1]

Priber died during his imprisonment, in Frederica, Georgia.[when?][citation needed]


  1. ^ a b Mellon, Jr., Knox (1973). "Christian Priber's Cherokee "Kingdom of Paradise"". The Georgia Historical Quarterly. Georgia Historical Society. 57 (3; Fall): 319–331. ISSN 0016-8297. 
  2. ^ a b Nash, Gary (1992). "Wars for Empire and Indian Strategies for Survival [Ch. 10]". Red, White, and Black. Prentice Hall. pp. 237f. ISBN 013769878X. 

Further reading[edit]

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