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Cheraw Indians

Cheraw Tribe: Significance unknown.¬† Also called: Ani’-Suwa’II, Cherokee name. Saraw, Suali, synonyms even more common than Cheraw. Xuala, Xualla, Spanish and Portuguese forms of the word, the x being intended for sh. Cheraw Connections. The Cheraw are classed on circumstantial grounds in the Siouan linguistic family though no words of their tongue have been preserved. Cheraw Location.-The earliest known location of the Cheraw appears to have been near the head of Saluda River in Pickens and Oconee Counties, S. C., whence they removed at an early date to the present Henderson, Polk, and Rutherford Counties. Cheraw Villages. The names given are always those of the tribe, though we have a “Lower Saura Town” and an “Upper Saura Town on a map dating from 1760. Cheraw History. Mooney (1928) has shown that the Cheraw are identical with the Xuala province which De Soto entered in 1540, remaining about 4 days. They were visited by Pardo at a later date, and almost a hundred years afterward Lederer (1912) heard of them in the same region. Before 1700 they left their old country and moved to the Dan River near the southern line of Virginia, where they seem to have had two distinct settlements about 30 miles apart. About the year 1710, on account of constant Iroquois attacks, they moved southeast and joined the Keyauwee. The colonists of North Carolina, being dissatisfied at the proximity of these and other tribes, Governor Eden declared war against the Cheraw, and applied to Virginia for assistance. This Governor Spotswood refused, as he believed the Carolinians were the aggressors, but the contest was prosecuted by the...

Cheraw Tribe

Cheraw Indians. An important tribe, very probably of Siouan stock, formerly ranging in central Carolina, east of the Blue ridge, from about the present Danville, Va., southward to the neighborhood of Cheraw, S. C., which takes its name from them. In numbers they may have stood next to the Tuscarora among the North Carolina tribes, but are less prominent in history by reason of their almost complete destruction before the white settlements had reached their territory. They are mentioned first in the De Soto narrative for 1540, under the name Xuala, a corruption of Suali, the name by which they are traditionally known to the Cherokee, who remember them as having anciently lived beyond the Blue ridge from Asheville. In the earlier Carolina and Virginia records they are commonly known as Saraw, and at a later period as Cheraw. We first hear of “Xuala province” in 1540, apparently in the mountain country southward from Asheville. In 1672, Lederer, from Indian information, located them in the same general region, or possibly somewhat farther north east, ” where the mountains bend to the west,” and says that this portion of the main ridge was called ” Sualy mountain ” from the tribe. This agrees with Cherokee tradition. Some years later, but previous to 1700, they settled on Dan river near the south line of Virginia, where the marks of their fields were found extending for several miles along the river by Byrd, in 1728, when running the dividing line between the 2 colonies. There seem to have been 2 villages, as on a map of 1760 we find this place designated...

The Sara Indians

While we know nothing positively as to the linguistic affinity of the Sara, all the evidence goes to show that, like most of the tribes of the central region of Virginia and Carolina, they were of Siouan stock. Their name is probably from the Catawba word sara, signifying a place of “tall grass or weeds” (Gatschet). While the Siouan tribes treated in the foregoing consolidated, after their decline, and joined the Iroquois in the north, most of the remaining people of that stock, including the Sara, migrated southward and merged with the Catawba tribe in South Carolina. The history of the Sara goes back to the earliest Spanish period. In 1540 De Soto, after leaving Cofachiqui (identified as Silver bluff on the Savannah, in Barnwell county, South Carolina), advanced along the border of the Chalaque (Cherokee) country, meeting several small villages of that tribe, and after traveling through a pleasant country for about 50 leagues, equal to about 150 miles, reached the province of “Xuala.” (In writing Indian names the early Spanish authors used x as the equivalent of sh; Xuala of the Spaniards is Suala of Lederer, Suali of the Cherokee, and Saura and Cheraw of later writers.) From the narrative of Garcilaso the Sara must then have lived in the Piedmont Region about the present line between South Carolina and North Carolina, southeast of Asheville, North Carolina. On the De l’Isle map “Chouala” is marked west of the upper Santee. From personal investigation among the Cherokee I learn that the correct name of the Swannanoa gap through the Blue Ridge, east of Asheville, is Suwali-Nunnahi, or “Stiwali...

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