The Tuscarora War

The Tuscarora War

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In 1710, a group of Germans and Swiss established a settlement on the Neuse River in an ancestral area of the Tuscarora people. New Bern rapidly became a prosperous community, but the natives became enraged by encroachment on their lands as well as frequent unfair trading practices.On September 22, 1711, the Tuscarora under Chief Hancock attacked New Bern and other settlements in northern Carolina. It was not until 1713 that the settlers regained control, when Captain James Moore, supplemented by Yamasee warriors, defeated the Tuscarora at their village of Neoheroka.Some of the captured Tuscarora were sold into slavery to help defray war costs, while the remainder was forced out of Carolina.Eventually the Tuscarora ended up in New York and later became the sixth nation in the Iroquois Confederation.

See the Yamasee War in South Carolina.
See also Indian Wars Time Table.

The Tuscarora War - History

Together the class will examine primary source documents and secondary sources to answer the questions who, what, when, where and why about the Tuscarora War.

(There is a second lesson in which the students examine documents and secondary sources related to the Culpepper's Rebellion with the expectation that they complete the same activity independently.)

Grade Level 4th grade

  • Use primary source documents to find specific information about a specific colonial conflict
  • Be able to identify
    • who was involved in the Tuscarora War
    • what the war meant to the colonial people and Tuscarora
    • when the war occurred
    • where the war happened
    • and why there was a war

    45 minutes

    • Chart paper
    • Projector / or overhead of primary source documents
    • Suggested Secondary sources: Colonial North Carolina
      • Social studies textbook
      • North Carolina (From Sea to Shining Sea) by Nan Alex
      • Strange New Land: Africans in Colonial America by Peter H. Wood
      • North Carolina: The History of North Carolina Colony, 1655-1776 (13 Colonies) by Roberta Wiener and James R. Arnold
      • The colony of North Carolina by Susan Whitehurst
      • North Carolina by Teresa Hyman
      • North Carolina by Andrea Schulz
      • NC Colonial Records
          • Explains how the war started as well as where and when it happened. The entire document is explicit in its description of the cruelty. An excerpt is provided at the end of the lesson plan.
            • Details the motives and causes of the Indian War
              • Discusses the peace treaty created at the end of the war

              Ask the students if they have ever witnessed a conflict. (It would be best if the majority of children had seen the same incident, or as a teacher you could have a colleague pretend to come in and argue.) Have the students think about who was involved in the conflict, what the conflict was about, why it occurred, where it happened and when. Explain that these are important questions to investigate when exploring a conflict.

              Today we are going to explore a colonial conflict between a Native American tribe and the colonists. We are going to use different sources to answer who, what, when, where and why. Some of the best sources to explore events are primary sources because they were written by people actually engaged in the event. The North Carolina Colonial records are a compilation of documents detailing the earliest inhabitants of North Carolina. Secondary sources can also help fill in missing information.

              On chart paper write who, what, when, where, and why providing space to record answers for each. You may also want your students to record on their own paper. Using an overhead or a projector, display one of the documents on the screen. Together with the students read through the document. While reading, help the student paraphrase what the document is saying. Also remind them that words were spelled differently and not to get stumped by the unusual spelling. While reading, remind the students of the questions they are trying to answer. If the document provides an answer to a certain question record it on the chart paper. Continue to read through each of the primary documents. If after using the three documents there are still unanswered questions refer to the secondary sources. In North Carolina the fourth grade social studies textbook has a few paragraphs about the Tuscarora War.

              This lesson is designed as a whole class activity to help students learn to find important information within primary sources. The second lesson will provide for assessment because the students are expected to take what they learned today and apply it to the second lesson. The extension activity could be used as an assessment of today's lesson.

              Supplemental Information

              There are several graphic organizer that include who, what, when, where and why which could be integrated into this lesson.

              The students could practice reading the newspaper having them look for who, what, when, where and why in the different articles.

              Extension activity
              The students could write a newspaper article about the Tuscarora War using their notes recorded today.

              NC curriculum alignment
              4th grade Social Studies

              3.01 Assess changes in ways of living over time and determine whether the changes are primarily political, economic, or social.

              3.02 Identify people, symbols, events, and documents associated with North Carolina's history.

              3.05 Describe the political and social history of colonial North Carolina and analyze its influence on the state today.

              4.05 Identify and assess the role of prominent persons in North Carolina, past and present.

              This is an excerpt from a document. An excerpt is provided because the entire document is very explicit in regards to the ways the colonists were killed at the hands of the Tuscarora.

              In September, 1711, occurred a terrible massacre of the colonists on the Neuse and Pamplico by the Indians, the Tuscaroras being the chief instigators thereof, that, with the Indian war that followed, blighted the colony for years, and would have destroyed it entirely but for the prompt and generous action of South Carolina in coming to its assistance. Governor Spotswood of Virginia made a very eloquent speech to his Legislature, appealing to its members by all the considerations of humanity, kinship, neighborhood and self-interest for help for their brethren in Albemarle, and succeeded in getting an appropriation of £1,000 in their behalf but the appropriation was not expended, the security required by Governor Spotswood for repayment being such as the North Carolina authorities said they could not give. The security required by Governor Spotswood was a mortgage upon the territory north of the Roanoke, that is to say, the inhabited part of the territory, then in dispute between the two colonies. South Carolina voted £4,000 and sent troops at once, without asking for a mortgage, or other security for repayment.

              What was the character of the previous intercourse between the colonists and the Indians does not fully appear, though it was doubtless much like that between other colonists and Indians. We know that there was an Indian invasion in Albemarle in the early fall of 1666 of sufficient magnitude to prevent the transmission of the act of Assembly of that year for the cessation of tobacco-planting to Maryland by the last of September, the time agreed upon for it to be there, and from the common use of the term "enemy Indians," it would seem that hostilities with the Indians were not infrequent.

              But even if there had been an unbroken peace hitherto, the massacre of 1711 was horrible enough to make the Indian annals of Albemarle of the bloodiest and cruelest kind. One hundred and thirty people were massacred in the space of two hours.

              1701-1711: Tensions & A Warning Strike

              Just after the turn of the century, around 1701, Virginia began tolerating the process of whites pushing into Native American land west of the Blackwater River of Southeastern Virginia. This change dissolved the line drawn at the Chowan River, but an understanding was struck up instead.

              The Upper Towns of the Tuscarora, under the leadership of Chief Blount, had established profitable relations with the settlers and struck up a deal to adapt to the new situation so long as they were not directly threatened. The Lower Towns led by Chief Hancock did not take kindly to the adjustment though and grew angry with the harassments of white settlements from Bath to New Bern from 1701-1711.

              These Lower Towns carried out a surprise attack on the Cape Fear River in September of 1711, intended as a warning strike to their adversaries. This attack, plus the capture and killing of settler John Lawson, triggered a swift and brutal response that developed into a war considered to be the bloodiest colonial war in North Carolina.

              The Tuscarora War: Indians, Settlers, and the Fight for the Carolina Colonies

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              The Tuscarora War - History

              Wherever the Tuscarora found themselves, it seems that trouble was just around the corner. Not long after many of the Tuscarora had relocated from North Carolina to New York, sponsored by the Oneida tribe, the Revolutionary War was upon them by 1780. The British attempted to recruit the Native tribes, generally relatively successfully, by promising them that if they won, they would stop the tide of European settlement.

              Lyman Draper (1815-1891), a historian, interviewed a great number of people across the country about the Revolutionary War. He also collected and preserved letters and other papers dealing with that event and the surrounding people and timeframes.

              Among the documents he found was a transcript of a document drawn up in November and December of 1794 relating the losses of the Oneidas and Tuscaroras during the “late war”.

              The Oneidas in the document were divided into 3 clans: Wolf, Bear and Turtle. The Tuscarora were not noted as such. There were only 8 Tuscaroras, so perhaps they didn’t need to be listed by clan.

              There were a total of 79 Oneida claims, 8 Tuscarora claims and 8 “additional claims paid” that list no tribal affiliation.

              This document differs somewhat from the War of 1812 veterans list, because in this case, sometimes both the Native name and the European name of the claimant were listed. Of the 79 Oneida claims, 53 listed Native names, 31 listed European or at least Anglicized names. Twelve listed both and of those 12, 6 or 7 listed literal translations that may have become surnames.

              One listed a translated name, but I’m sure the specific translation did not become a surname. In this case, the literal translation was given as “Let us go and bathe.”

              Only 16 men had fully developed anglicized names, meaning both a first and last name that were clearly recognizable as that, such as Henry Smith. The man named Silversmith clearly had an anglicized name, and I counted it as a surname, but it not a fully developed name, as no first name is given.

              The names with translations include:

              • Cornelius Augh-ne-onh/Big Bear
              • Hlau-istany/Silversmith
              • Paulus Onons-honty/Flying Arm
              • Cornelius tow-ce-ny/Otter
              • Thomas Sauhetaugeaulaus/Whitebeans
              • Mary Da-wau-taw-wangh-hau/Let us go and Bathe
              • This last name may not be a translation, but a description – Paulus Tegaug-swe-aun-gau-lolis (a young hereditary sachem)

              There were only 8 Tuscarora in total. Five had Native names, 2 had fully developed English names, and one I couldn’t tell for sure.

              Some people were listed by their translated names only, such as the Widow Grasshopper, Beech Tree’s widow, Leah Whitebeans, Elizabeth of Oriska, Mary, widow of Pine Splitter, Widow Warmweather, Big Bear and John Frenchman.

              Following this list of individuals who sustained losses were individualized accounts of those losses which tell us a great deal about how these people were living during this transitional period in their history.

              Very popular among the items lost were horses and items relating to horses, then livestock such as cattle and hogs. We also find many claims for things like axes, kettles, guns, hoes, traps, ammunition and such.

              Surprisingly, of the 91 people making claims, 71 people lost at least one house or dwelling. Some lost more than 1. These weren’t vacation homes. People tended to live in nuclear family groups. Looking at the rest of these lists for the people who lost homes, they look to have lost just about everything else they had too. This suggests that their village was burned and it’s confirmed that at least some structures burned by a couple of notes within the document. Later interviews by Lyman Draper confirm that the Indian village of Oriskany was burned.

              • Of the 71 people who lost homes, a total of 79 structures were lost. Of those we find the following breakdown:
              • Log homes: 1 large, 1 small, 1 with 2 floors, 1 with 3 fireplaces and one noted as “poor” for a total of 5.
              • Bark or Indian houses: 2 large, 5 small and the rest not further described for a total of 46.
              • Framed houses: 5 large and 20 not further described for a total of 25.
              • Barns: 2, one described as large. These barns were valued about the same as bark homes.
              • One wigwam.

              Looking at their list of belongings, the loss of 4 brass sugar kettles tells us that they made maple syrup. A few people reported the loss of sleighs. One man noted that he lost 60 dollars in silver armbands “as they buy them of the traders.” This was a great amount of money at that time. A hewed log house was only valued at 20 dollars. One man noted that he had a bark house, but that it was roofed, framed and sealed inside with board nails which cost him 5 dollars. That house was only worth 8 dollars altogether, even with his $5 worth of nails. One bark house had 2 plank beds and 2 fireplaces.

              One lady, Good Peter’s widow listed 4 sitting chairs, 2 large brass kettles and 30 table pewter spoons, a set of knives and a fork. This lady was very well to do, comparatively speaking.

              John Sken-en-do had a very large framed house with a chimney at each end, painted windows and a large framed barn that was not yet finished. This house was worth $44 and the barn, $15. He also lists 2 large pewter dishes, a pewter basin, 2 rugs and a large looking glass. Also noted on his list as National Property were half a peck of wampum given at Philadelphia. On the bottom of his list it was also noted that the large meeting house was burnt. In the Draper interviews, he is noted as a Tuscarora Chief.

              Hon-ye-ry’s widow complained of losing 4 pieces of calico and 1 piece of linen, 6 coverlets and 6 blankets. She was the only person listing sugar, and she lost 200 pounds of it. We know this property burned because it says that the corn was burnt in the house. Interestingly, this list also included 10 pair of leggings and 10 pair ear-bobs. Were those earbobs worn by men or women?

              Losses noted by other people include a framed house “made by white people about 18 or 20 feet square – gave a horse and a cow for the frame and outside work.” One “pole house” was noted as having “plained beems.”

              Many lived in houses noted as bark or Indian houses. One noted that their bark house had “good door things.” Some “Indian houses” were noted as being small, but some apparently were not. One Indian house had 3 fireplaces.

              Peter S-hau-lu-tau-gau-wau’s children note that he lost a pewter teapot and 6 cups and saucers. Not hardly the picture of Native people from that time period we carry around in our minds.

              Christian, Senior lived in a small bark house that was “well furnished” and the most remarkable item he lost was a large brass kettle. Aside from that, his only possessions were a small brass kettle, a broad axe, 2 small axes, 2 hoes, a bake pan and a hand saw. His presumed son, Christian, the Younger, is listed next and is the only person living in a wigwam. However, in his wigwam, he had a large brass kettle, 4 hoes, 3 axes, 2 pewter basins and 2 swine. I’m thinking that the swine might not have lived in the wigwam with him. Whoever heard of pewter in a wigwam? There has to be a story in here someplace yearning to be told.

              One man who didn’t lose his house lost instead 6 silver breastplates, 5 armbands and 2 pair of leggings, one of which was scarlet, along with 2 new blankets and 3 shirts.

              The Oneida Chief in 1780 was Lodwick Gaghsaweda and his list was quite interesting. He too lost his frame house and household items such as kettles and tongs. However, he also lost a pleasure sleigh in addition to a burden sleigh. He is the only person to have listed 2 candlesticks and those were valued at $8 so I’m presuming that they were pewter. He also listed a brass headed shovel and tongs, probably for the fireplace. Some other households listed tongs, but none were brass.

              Another man says that his house was well furnished, partly in the English manner. Only one person listed a prayer book. Two people, both women, each listed half of a framed house, which makes me wonder if they were co-owners. They are not listed together.

              One man listed his set of door hinges. Another man apparently forgot a few things the first time, like his red leggings and his 15 pairs of door hinges when he filed a second lit.

              The widdow of Peter Thanyentayen notes that she had a “well finished frame house and store with a cellar walled with stone.” Another widow who also had a framed house listed separately 10 panes of window glass.

              Paul Tehonwatase notes the things he lost and then demands compensation for his “part and activity in the late war,’ stating he has a “wife and 3 children whom expects to be clothed.”

              Opportunists apparently existed then as well. A note exists that one claimant was a “young fellow who could have had no property” and that he “came here 2 years before the war ended.” His list of claimed losses is then shown and is extensive, including 100 broaches and 15 ear bobs. He also claims to have lost 3 belts of black wampum, 3 fingers wide and very long.

              Other information emerging from this list is also interesting. There is an entry that says “Sken-en-do – money borrowed by Col. Pickering.” There are two very interesting pieces of information here. First, that Col. Pickering was borrowing money from an Indian and secondly, it appears that the later surname Shenandoah, Skenandoah, Scando and even Canada began as a Native name, Sken-en-do, and was never translated, simply smoothed out to something that would easily roll of English tongues.

              Naming patterns are not yet evident for the most part. Beech Tree’s Widow mentions her son Cornelius Shagoratharse and another son, Joseph Kagh-nyonaughque. We do find Christian, Senior, followed by Christian, the Younger, living in his wigwam. One might infer that “the Younger” is the son of “Senior,” but that’s surely not a given understanding that these tribes were maternal. We do know, thanks to the Draper interviews, that the sons of Jacob Doxtator, an Oneida Chief who was born about 1764, did take their father’s surnames.

              This list of items lost gives us a rare glimpse of their life on the reservation in 1780, just a few years after the majority of the Tuscarora tribe left North Carolina. Surprisingly, none of the Tuscarora noted in this document share surnames with the Tuscarora who signed deeds before leaving North Carolina in the 1770s.

              Tuscarora Language and Food

              Some elderly people are preserving the Tuscarora culture and language, though most speak English. Some youngsters are learning their ancestors’ tongue too.

              Chief Peters of the Tuscarora tribe in a traditional headdress that differs from the more elaborate Sioux tribes’ headdresses. ( Public Domain )

              Before the genocide, the Tuscarora were farmers, hunters and gatherers. They planted corn, beans, and squash and harvested wild herbs, berries, and roots. The website Big Orrin says Tuscarora women cooked and the men hunted deer and rabbits and fished in the numerous rivers in their region. They cooked soup, stew, and corn bread on stone hearths.

              The Tuscarora War

              By David La Vere

              272 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 4 halftones, 4 maps, notes, bibl., index

              • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-2990-2
                Published: August 2016
              • eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-1091-7
                Published: October 2013

              Buy this Book

              Awards & distinctions

              A 2015 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

              La Vere details the innovative fortifications produced by the Tuscaroras, chronicles the colony's new practice of enslaving all captives and selling them out of country, and shows how both sides drew support from forces far outside the colony's borders. In these ways and others, La Vere concludes, this merciless war pointed a new direction in the development of the future state of North Carolina.

              About the Author

              David La Vere is professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and author of Looting Spiro Mounds: An American King Tut’s Tomb, among other books.
              For more information about David La Vere, visit the Author Page.


              "Writing engagingly and accessibly, La Vere conveys a great amount of ethnohistorical detail to adult readers. This important work fills a significant niche in the literature on Colonial America."--Library Journal Starred Review

              La Vere does a remarkable job of re-creating a vanished 300-year-old world. . . . [and] gives his narrative a human face and the force of tragedy."--Wilmington Star-News

              “This book will be valuable to students of the colonial, military, and Native American history of the South.”--The North Carolina Historical Review

              “This beautifully written and accessible work represents the best current study of the Tuscarora War. . . . Highly recommended. All levels/libraries.”--Choice

              “La Vere’s volume will become the place to go for those interested in learning about this little-studied but important war.”--Journal of American History

              “A fascinating window into the complex world of colonial America.”--Journal of American Culture

              History: Slavery a factor behind the Tuscarora War

              It is one of those uncomfortable things to admit — that the Tuscarora War of 1711-15 was fought over slavery.

              It is one of those uncomfortable things to admit &mdash that the Tuscarora War of 1711-15 was fought over slavery.

              Yes, there were other important factors: anger over European intrusion, dishonest traders, and just-plain clashes of cultural lifestyle. But the thing that really grated with the Tuscarora elders and their allies was the kidnapping of their wives and children who were sent off as slaves to other colonies. In June, 1710, they sent the Pennsylvania assembly protesting enslavement by local settlers, and asked this bastion of Quakerism to refuse to purchase such slaves.

              We cannot cover the Tuscarora wars in one column, but I would like to take a couple of weeks to discuss the climactic ending battle of that war, for we have just passed its 303rd anniversary &mdash March 20, 1714.

              The Indians had wisely chosen the start of their war in September, 1711, when the colony was torn apart by political intrigue, disease and near famine. Weapons were few, and numerous Quakers in the colony refused &mdash as a religious tenant &mdash to take up arms in defense of the colony. To make a long story inadequately short, the Tuscarora opened the war with a surprise attack that left 140 men, women and children dead. Inadequate to itself, North Carolina turned to Virginia, which refused to help unless the colony surrendered land, and then to South Carolina, which sent Col. John Barnwell with an army of a few white men and several hundred friendly Indians. He fought the Tuscarora to a standstill and signed a truce in 1712. The war went on.

              In 1714, Col. James Moore arrived from South Carolina, 33 whites and 900 Cherokee and Yamasee Indians in tow. By now the Tuscarora had built a significant fortress called Neoheroka along Contentnea Creek, near present day Snow Hill. It was palisaded, protected with upright log walls, and had access to the creek so that the Indians could better survive a siege. The fort also had houses and caves inside &mdash as well as a fairly elaborate tunnel system &mdash reminiscent, perhaps, of those tunnels our friends the Viet Cong were so fond of in the Vietnam War.

              Col. Moore&rsquos forces arrived on March 1 and prepared a siege. Unlike the days of 1711, the colonial forces were now well armed and their enemy worn down. The Tuscarora were facing a bloody and ironic end.

              Neoheroka was an impressive fort for its day, built by its Indian defenders from a tradition of older forts and some &ldquonew&rdquo technology learned from observing colonial fortresses. Archeological digs have determined the palisade wall was about 360 feet in length, and that the compound included 17 bunkers to shield its noncombatants during war.

              It held in the neighborhood of a thousand souls &mdash but most were women, children, and elders too aged to take part in a fight. Most of the men were armed with tomahawks, knives and arrows.

              For 20 days they had been besieged by Col. Moore&rsquos mixed-bag army of roughly 950 Indians, South and North Carolinians, all under the command of Moore. It was the 20th of March, and the final three-day battle was about to begin. These colonial forces were well-armed, well-supplied and determined.

              For days, the Europeans had been preparing for the fight: a trench had slowly zig-zagged its way toward the palisade walls. Under its protection, they constructed both a blockhouse and a battery &mdash both of which rose higher than Neoheroka&rsquos walls. They also dug a tunnel from the trench to the wall so they could have the option of blowing a hole there with explosives.

              To the sound of a trumpet, the battle began in earnest on March 20. It raged for three days. On March 23, the fort was breached and the slaughter in full began. Many were cornered in their bunkers and killed with grenades and musket balls. Moore ordered the fort fired, and numerous men, women and children were burned alive. Another 170 were killed outside the walls.

              A few Tuscaroras managed to escape using underground tunnels. Moore rounded up 400-odd survivors and sold them into slavery in South Carolina &mdash consigning the Indians to the very fate that was a primary cause of their going to war.

              The battle did not end the Tuscarora War &mdash it would hobble on until Feb. 11, 1715, when the Indians agreed to peace in exchange for a reservation at Lake Mattamuskeet.

              Today, the Fort Neoheroka site is private farmland and, as you may imagination, the Tuscarora are working to get it claimed and protected as a historic site. Its many victims lie buried, their skeletons preserved by the hardening of Col. Moore&rsquos fires, making it one of the largest mass burial sites of Native Americans in the nation.

              Tuscarora War

              The rapid encroachment of the whites on the lands of the Tuscarora and their Indian neighbors for a period of sixty years after the first settlements, although there was an air of peace and harmony between the two races, there were wrongs which dwarfed in comparison with the continued practice of kidnapping their young to be sold into slavery. This was the true cause of the so-called Tuscarora war in 1711-13. This phase of the question is overlooked or quite disregarded by most historians but years before the massacre of 1711, Tuscarora Indians were brought into Pennsylvania and sold as slaves, a transaction that excited grave apprehension in the minds of the resident Indian tribes. To allay as much as possible this growing terror among there, the provincial council of Pennsylvania enacted in 1705 that, ” Whereas the importation of Indian slaves from Carolina, or other places, hath been observed to give the Indians of this province some umbrage for suspicion and dissatisfaction,” such importation be prohibited after Mar. 25, 1706. This enactment was based solely on expediency and self-interest, since it was evident that the Indians to the southward were in a general commotion. During the Tuscarora war an act was passed, June 7, 1712, forbidding the importation of Indians, but providing for their sale as slaves to the highest bidder in case any should be imported for that purpose. It is known that the prisoners of Col. Barnwell and Col. Moore were all sold as slaves, even the northern colonies being canvassed for a market for them indeed, the Boston News Letter of 1713 contained an advertisement offering these very Indians for purchase.

              According to De Graffenried, Surveyor-General Lawson in 1709-10 settled his people, the Swiss and Palatines, on the south bank of Trent river, on a tongue of land called Chattawka, formed by the Trent and the Neuse in North Carolina, in a hot and unhealthful situation. De Graffenried bitterly complained that the Surveyor-General was dishonest for having charged him a “heavy price” for it, and for the consequences of his not knowing that Lawson had no title to the land and that the place was still inhabited by the Indians, although the Surveyor-General had attested that the land was free of encumbrance and unoccupied. This encroachment on the Indian lands was one of the fundamental causes of the so called Tuscarora war. It is well known that the Coree, together with their close allies, the hostile Tuscarora, in 1711 took vengeance on the Swiss and Palatines settled on Trent river, killing about 70 of them, wounding many others, and destroying much of their property. De Graffenried says that one of the several causes of the war was the “rough treatment of some turbulent Carolinians, who cheated those Indians in trading, and would not allow them to hunt near their plantations, and under that pretense took away from them their game, arms, and ammunition,” and that the despised Indians being “insulted, in many ways by a few rough Carolinians, more barbarous and inhuman than the savages themselves, could not stand such treatment any longer, and began to think of their safety and of vengeance. What they did they did very secretly.”

              In a letter of Maj. Christopher Gale to his brother, Nov. 2, 1711, he describes a condition, fairly representative of the times, as to the relations between the whites and the Indians around them. During an attack on one of the many small garrisons maintained for the protection of the settlements, “a number of Indian prisoners of a certain nation, which we did not know, whether they were friends or enemies, rose in the garrison, but were soon cut to pieces, as those on the outside repelled. In the garrison were killed 9 men, and soon after 39 women and children sent off for slaves.” This shows that for the purposes of slavery little distinction, if any, was made between one tribe and another.

              De Graffenried while a captive among the hostile Tuscarora, negotiated, subsequent to the execution of the unfortunate Lawson, a private treaty with them by offering to every one of the chiefs of the 10 villages of the hostiles a cloth jerkin, 2 bottles of powder, 500 grains of small shot, 2 bottles of rum, and something more to the head chief for his own ransom. Among other things he agreed to remain neutral during the continuance of the war, and that he, the “said Governor of the German colony promises to remain within his limits and to take no more lands from them without due warning to the king [head chief] and his nation.” Thus De Graffenried admitted taking Indian lands without consulting the Indians, although he says elsewhere, “It must be observed that it was neither I, nor my colony, who were the cause of that terrible slaughter or Indian war,” apparently overlooking the fact that the greatest massacre was among his own Swiss and Palatines, indicating that the Indians thus resented the wrongs committed by him and his people.

              In order to secure the aid of the Catawba (“Flatheads”) against the hostile Tuscarora, the Carolina authorities promised them that in the event of success in the war the Indians were to obtain goods “cheaper than formerly.” But after faithfully aiding the Carolinians in 1711-13 in dispersing the hostile Tuscarora, the Catawba were deceived as to the promised reduction in the price of goods sold to them, and from this misunderstanding arose the troubles leading later to the Catawba war in 1714-15 1 .

              The chiefs of the Five Nations, in conference with Gov. Hunter at Albany, Sept. 25, 1714, acquainted him with the fact that the Tuscarora Indians are come to shelter themselves among the Five Nations they were of us and went from us long ago, and now are returned and promise to live peaceably among us. And since there is peace now everywhere, we have received there. Do give a belt of wampum. We desire you to look upon the Tuscarora that are come to live among us as our children, who shall obey our commands and live peaceably and orderly” 2 This proposal, for it was practically such, was not yet accepted by the New York Government in 1715 3

              On June 23, 1712, Gov. Hunter, of New York, wrote to the Lords of Trade that “the war betwixt the people of North Carolina and the Tuscarora Indians is like to embroil us all,” and expressed the fear that under French instigation the Five Nations would fulfill their threat to join the Tuscarora (ibid., 343). Again, on Sept. 10, 1713, Hunter wrote to Secretary Popple that “the Five Nations are hardly to be diswaded from sheltering the Tuscaruro Indians, which would embroil us all,” and expressed regret that he had no funds with which to buy presents to be employed in dissuading them from forming an alliance with the Tuscarora.

              On Sept. 10, 1713, an Onondaga chief, in conference with commissioners from Gov. Hunter at Onondaga, said: “Brother Corlaer says the Queen’s subjects towards the South are now at war with the tus Carorase Indians. These Indians went out heretofore from us, and have settled themselves there now they have got into war and are dispersed. They have abandoned their Castles and are scattered hither and thither let that suffice and we request our Brother Corlaer to act as mediator between the English of Carrelyna and the tuskaroras that they may no longer be hunted down, and we assure that we will oblige them not to do the English any more harm, for they are no longer a Nation with a name, being once dispersed” 4 .

              In 1717 Gov. Hunter, of New York, informed the Five Nations that there were Virginia traders who still bartered with the Tuscarora, thus showing that, contrary to the common opinion, there were still a part of these Indians in Carolina and south Virginia.

              In a letter dated at Narhantes Fort, Feb. 4, 1712, Col. Barnwell gives a list of the various tribes of Southern Indians who composed his motley army. In his own spelling these were:

              • Yamasses
              • Hog Logees
              • Apalatchees
              • Corsaboy
              • Watterees
              • Sagarees
              • Catawbas
              • Suterees
              • Waxams
              • Congarees
              • Sattees
              • Pedees
              • Weneaws
              • Cape Feare
              • Hoopengs
              • Wareperes
              • Saraws
              • Saxapahaws

              Ft Narhantes, according to Barnwell, was the largest and most warlike town of the Tuscarora. It was situated about 27 miles below a former settlement of the Saxapahaw or “Shacioe Indians,” which these Indians had been forced to abandon along with others at the beginning of Feb. 1712, by the Narhantes Tuscarora who had fallen upon them and had killed 16 persons, owing to the refusal of the Saxapahaw to join the Tuscarora against the English. The Saxapahaw had just reached the Wattomas when Barnwell arrived there. After reaching Neuse river Barnwell numbered his men before crossing, and found that he had 498 Indians and 33 white men. He complained that there was a great desertion of the Indians that only 67 remained of Capt. Bull’s 200. On taking Ft Narhantes, “head Town of ye Tuscaruros,” on Jan. 30, 1712, he and his men were greatly surprised and puzzled to find within two log houses much stronger than the outer fort. After gaining an entrance, he says, while “we were putting the men to the sword, our Indians got all the slaves and the plunder, only one girl we gott.” This was the strongest fort in that part of the country. His loss was 7 white men killed and at least 32 wounded the Indian loss was 6 killed and 28 wounded the Tuscarora loss was 52 men killed and at least 10 women, and 30 prisoners. Barnwell was much chagrined at his great loss, “with no greater execution of ye enemy.” De Graffenried, in speaking of this encounter, says he “marched against a great Indian village, called Core, about 30 miles distant from Newbern, drove out the King and his forces, and carried the day with such fury, that, after they had killed a great many, in order to stimulate themselves still more, they cooked the flesh of an Indian ‘in good condition’ and ate it.” So it appears that Narhantes was a Coree village, whose King was called Cor Tom. Barnwell then advanced on Catechna, or King Hencock’s town, in which had taken refuge a medley of Indians from the Weetock, Bay, Neuse, Cor, Pamlico, and a portion of the Tuscarora tribe. After two assaults, which the Indians successfully repulsed, Barnwell, in order to save from massacre the white prisoners within the fort, induced the Indians to enter into a truce with him on condition that the white prisoners be liberated and he returned to Newbern with his small army for refreshment. Barnwell had hoped for great honors and gifts from North Carolina, but being disappointed in this hope, and wishing to return home with his forces with some profit, he lured, under pretence of peace, a large number of the Indians to the neighborhood of Cor village and then broke the truce by capturing them and carrying them away to be sold into slavery. This naturally incensed the Tuscarora and other Carolina Indians, and caused them to lose all confidence in the word of a white man. This change of affairs resulted in repeated raids by the Indians along Neuse and Pamlico rivers., and “the last troubles were worse than the first.”

              Solicitations by the North Carolina authorities were made to the Government of South Carolina for new aid, which was granted, under Colonel Moore, with a body of 33 white men and more than 900 Indian allies, who were probably re-enforced by North Carolina recruits. His objective point was the palisaded town of Catechna, or Hencock’s village. In a letter dated Mar. 27, 1713, to President Pollock of North Carolina, just after he had taken the palisaded town of “Neoheroka” in Greene county, N. C., which lay on his route to Catechna, he reported that the attack was begun on the 20th and that on the morning of the 23d “wee had gott ye fort to ye ground.” He states that the prisoners taken were 392, that the scalps taken in the fort numbered 192, that there were 200 killed and burned in the fort, and 166 persons killed and taken out of ye fort on ye Scout,” a total of 950. His own loss was 22 white men killed and 36 wounded the loss of his Indians was 35 killed and 58 wounded. This severe loss so awed the Tuscarora that they abandoned fort “Cohunche,” situated at Hencock’s town, and migrated northward toward the territory of the Five Nations.

              Prior to the arrival of Col. Moore, President Pollock had entered into an arrangement with Tom Blunt, the leading chief of the “Northern Tuscarora,” to seize chief Hencock, who was the reputed head of the hostile Tuscarora, and to bring him alive to the President for the purpose of adjusting their mutual difficulties and to negotiate peace. Blunt’s Tuscarora were to destroy the hostiles who had taken part in the massacre and to deliver hostages for their own good behavior-this arrangement was to continue only until the new year. After the defeat of the Tuscarora by Moore, another treaty was made with Tom Blunt and his Tuscarora, thus leaving as hostile only the small tribes of the Coree, Matamuskeet, and Catechna. All of Moore’s Indians except about 180 returned to South Carolina to sell their captives into slavery. With the remaining forces Moore soon reduced and drove away the few remaining hostiles.

              The date of the adoption of the Tuscarora into the council board of the League of the Iroquois, through the Oneida, their political sponsors, is indefinite, judging from the differing dates, ranging from 1712 to 1715, given by various well informed writers. In their forced migration northward the Tuscarora did not all decamp at once. The hostiles and their most apprehensive sympathizers were most probably the first to leave their ancient homes in North Carolina. On the total defeat and dispersion of the hostile Tuscarora and their allies in 1713, the scattered fragments of tribes fled and sought an asylum with other tribes, among whom their identity was not always maintained. Although the Five Nations gave asylum to the fugitive Tuscarora, there is also abundant evidence that, for political reasons perhaps, the Tuscarora were not for many years after their flight from North Carolina formally admitted into the Council Board of the League of the Five Nations as a constitutive member. The fact is that the Tuscarora were 90 years in removing from their North Carolina home to more friendly dwelling places in the north, and there is no evidence that they were formally incorporated into the confederation of the Five Nations, as a coequal member, before Sept. 1722. On Sept. 6, 1722, Gov. Burnet held a conference with the Five Nations at Albany, at which Governor Spotswood of Virginia was present. For the purpose of preventing forays between the Five Nations and their allies on the one hand, and the Southern Indians on the other, Spotswood induced the Five Nations to consent to the running of a dividing line along the Potomac and the high ridge of the Allegany mountains. This agreement was made in the name of the Five Nations and the Tuscarora, indicating that the latter had become a factor in the councils of the League of the Iroquois. In closing the conference, it is stated that the Indians “gave six shouts-five for the Five Nations and one for the castle of Tuscarora, lately seated between the Oneidas and Onondagas.” The record continues that at the conclusion of this conference, on Sept. 13, the Five Nations sought a special interview with the Governor of Pennsylvania, and that on Sept. 14 the governor received “the ten chiefs of the Five Nations, being two from each, together with two others, said to be of the Tuscororoes.” This appears to be the first official mention of the Tuscarora as taking part in the management of the public affairs of the League. The Tuscarora mentioned here, however, did not include those who dwelt on the Juniata and on the Susquehanna at Oquaga and its environs, nor those still in North Carolina.

              In a petition of John Armstrong for land lying in Tuscarora valley on Juniata river, Pa., about 6 miles from the mouth of Tuscarora creek, the Indians living there at that time are called Lakens this land was taken up by Armstrong on Feb. 3, 1755. On the same day, George Armstrong obtained a warrant for land situated on the south side of Tuscarora creek, “opposite to the settlement of the Indians called Lackens.” It would thus appear that at this date this band of Tuscarora were known, at least locally, as Lakens or Lackens.

              Elias Johnson, in his Legends, says that it was the Seneca who first adopted the Tuscarora as a constituent member of the League. This, however, is at variance with the common but authentic traditions of all the tribes and with the official statement of Col. (afterward Sir) William Johnson to the Oneida, made at Mt Johnson, Sept. 8, 1753. He said, “Brethren of Oneida. My best advice is to have your castles as near together as you conveniently can with the Tuscarora, who belong to you as children, and the Scanihaderadighroones lately come into your alliance or families, which makes it necessary for me to fix a new string to the cradle which was hung up by your forefathers when they received the Tuscarora, to feed and protect.”

              Beaufort North Carolina History

              T he Cwar, Core or Coree Indian tribe once occupied the "Core Sound" area. Their territory included land south of the Neuse River in then Craven County , from Craney (Harker's) Island west, including what is now Carteret County.

              Cwareuuock shows an Algonquian ending -euuock, which roughly translated "people of" or "land of Cwar." (Blair A. Rudes, UNC Charlotte, The First Description of an Iroquoian People: Spaniards among the Tuscaroras before 1522)

              "The Coree. had been greatly reduced in a war with another tribe before 1696, and were described by Archdale as having been a bloody and barbarous people. John Lawson refers to them as Coranine Indians, but in another place calls them Connamox and gives them two villages in 1701, Coranine and Raruta, with about 125 souls. They engaged in the Tuscarora War 1711-15, and in 1715 the remnants of the Coree and Machapunga were assigned a tract on Mattamuskeet Lake, Hyde County, NC." (O.M. McPherson - Indians of North Carolina 1915, Documenting the American South)

              Lawson 's 1709 Map noted Coranine River and Coranine Sound near Topsail Inlet and Cape Lookout.

              Although the earli est settlers, Shackelford, Nelson and others, were relatively safe in their isolation in the Core Sound area, the circumstances of the time were not conducive to more settlement. For several years those south of the Albemarle and north of the Neuse River faced a period of not only political strife but conflict with the lower Tuscarora and Coree Indians.

              Al Pate described his Coree ancestors as a proud people who refused to return friendship “with every beating they took.” Pate wrote, “The Coree War is the Indian war that’s in the records, that history ignored and historians forgot.”

              The Coree War described by Pate as “a canoe warfare and pitiful delaying action,” started about eight years before the Tuscarora War and lasted another two years after the Tuscarora headed north.

              The Tuscarora, outraged over enslavement, land encroachment and the deceitful practices of the white intruders, were angered at being pushed off their land--the area of present-day New Bern. King Hancock and his braves, full of resentment and hatred, murdered Deputy Surveyor John Lawson and decided to declare war.

              In September of 1711, according to historian William Powell, King Hancock's warriors, joined by other tribes, including the Coree, "launched an all-out attack along the Neuse and Pamlico, including the town of Bath." The unsuspecting and untrained colonists, also weak from a poor drought-caused harvest, were stunned and frightened. Farnifold Green and others made out their wills.

              Watch the video: A Day In Tuscarora - Episode 1 - Lead Overseer (May 2022).