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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...

Native Uprisings Against the Carolinas (1711-17)

In 1957 University of Georgia archaeologists, under the leadership of Dr. Joseph Caldwell, were working on several archaeological sites on the tributaries of the Savannah River that were to be flooded by Lake Hartwell.  The best known of these town sites are Tugaloo and Chauga. Because they were last occupied by Lower Cherokees in the early 1700s, the archaeologists assumed that excavation of their mounds would prove that the Cherokees built all the mounds in the Southern Highlands. The archaeologists were shocked to find that the Cherokee occupation of both sites was very brief and much smaller than the ancestors of the Creeks, who had actually built the mounds. The town had been burned and then abandoned by the Creeks.  Because radiocarbon dates for the oldest Cherokee occupation averaged in the 1720s, Dr. Caldwell publicly stated that the Cherokees could have captured the town any earlier than 1700 AD.   Particularly puzzling to him was the widespread presence of “Lameroid” pottery, which was typical of Georgia Creek towns in the early 1700s, just before they switched entirely to cooking in British-made iron pots. Despite the published archaeological report, still on file with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the State of Georgia erected historical markers on Lake Hartwell in the 1960s stating that Tugaloo was Georgia’s oldest Cherokee town and dated back to the 1400s.  Caldwell’s tests showed that the site was occupied at least as early as the 20 BC by ancestors of the Creeks. The conflict between professional archaeological work, professionally researched history and the popular history portrayed in most publications makes the task of discerning the factual...

Machapunga Tribe

Machapunga Indians (‘bad dust’; from matchi ‘bad’, pungo ‘dust’ (Heckewelder), or perhaps ‘much dust,’ from massa ‘great’, in allusion to the sandy soil of the district). An Algonquian tribe formerly living in Hyde county, north east North Carolina. In 1701 they numbered only about 30 warriors, or perhaps 100 souls, and lived in a single village called Mattamuskeet. They took part in the Tuscarora War of 1711-12 and at its conclusion the remnant, together with the Coree, were settled on a tract on Mattamuskeet lake, where the two tribes occupied one...

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