Topic: Catawba

North America Indian Names of Places in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Louisiana

The Indians all over this continent had names, traditions, religions, ceremonies, feasts, prayers, songs, dances all, more or less, with symbolism and allegory, adapted to circumstances, just as all other races of mankind. Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. choose a state: Any AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE DC FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY INTL Start Now But the world has become so familiar with the continued and ridiculous publications in regard to everything touching upon that race of people that a universal doubt has long since been created and established as to the possibility of refinement of thought and nobleness of action ever having existed among the North American Indian race, ancient or modern; and so little of truth has also been learned regarding the real and true inner life of that peculiar and seemingly isolated race of mankind, that today only here and there can one be found who, from a lifetime association and intimate acquaintance, is well versed in Indian thought, feeling and character, and able to unfold and record the solution of that imagined mystery known as “The Indian Problem,”...

Read More

Life and travels of Colonel James Smith – Indian Captivities

James Smith, pioneer, was born in Franklin county, Pennsylvania, in 1737. When he was eighteen years of age he was captured by the Indians, was adopted into one of their tribes, and lived with them as one of themselves until his escape in 1759. He became a lieutenant under General Bouquet during the expedition against the Ohio Indians in 1764, and was captain of a company of rangers in Lord Dunmore’s War. In 1775 he was promoted to major of militia. He served in the Pennsylvania convention in 1776, and in the assembly in 1776-77. In the latter year he was commissioned colonel in command on the frontiers, and performed distinguished services. Smith moved to Kentucky in 1788. He was a member of the Danville convention, and represented Bourbon county for many years in the legislature. He died in Washington county, Kentucky, in 1812. The following narrative of his experience as member of an Indian tribe is from his own book entitled “Remarkable Adventures in the Life and Travels of Colonel James Smith,” printed at Lexington, Kentucky, in 1799. It affords a striking contrast to the terrible experiences of the other captives whose stories are republished in this book; for he was well treated, and stayed so long with his red captors that he acquired expert knowledge of their arts and customs, and deep insight into their character.

Read More

Catawba Indian History

A recent publication of the Smithsonian Institution (” Siouan Tribes of the East,” by James Mooney) asserts that the origin and meaning of the word Catawba are unknown. In 1881, the Bureau of Ethnology collected a vocabulary of 10,000 words from the tribe of Indians bearing this name, and, after critical examination by experts, their language was pronounced unmistakably of Siouan stock. The home of the Sioux family is believed to have been at one time in the upper Ohio valley, from whence one branch migrated east and the other west, and Mr. Mooney says that linguistic evidence indicates that the Eastern tribes reached the Atlantic slope long before the Western reached the plains. The historian, Schoolcraft, in his “Indian Tribes of North America,” gives the full text of a traditionary account of the Catawba Indians which he found in an old manuscript, preserved in the office of Secretary of State of South Carolina. This document claims that the Catawbas were originally a Canadian tribe that was driven from its home by the Connewango Indians and the French about the year 1650; after telling of temporary settlements of the tribe in Kentucky and Virginia, it finally brings them to the Catawba River (Eswa Tavora) in South Carolina, where they engage in a fierce battle with the Cherokees, each side losing about 1000 men. After the battle peace is declared,...

Read More

Catawba Indian Treaty of 1843

“A treaty entered into at the Nation Ford, Catawba, between the Chiefs and Headmen of the Catawba Indians of the one fart and the Commissioners appointed under a resolution of the Legislature, passed December, 1839, an acting under Commissions from his Excellency Patrick Noble, Esq., Governor of the State of South Carolina, of the other part; “ARTICLE FIRST. The Chiefs and Headmen of the Catawba Indians, for themselves and the entire nation, hereby agree to cede, sell, transfer, and convey to the State of South Carolina, all their right, title, and interest to their Boundary of Land lying on both sides of the Catawba River, situated in the Districts of York and Lancaster, and which are represented in a plat of survey of fifteen miles square; made by Samuel Wiley and dated the twenty-second day of February, one thousand seven hundred and sixty-four, and now on file in the Office of Secretary of State. “ARTICLE SECOND. The Commissioners on their part engage in behalf of the State to furnish the Catawba Indians with a tract of land of the value of $5000.00; 300 acres of which is to be good arable lands fit for cultivation, lo be purchased in Haywood County, North Carolina, or in some other mountainous or thinly populated region, where the said Indians may desire, and if no such tract can be procured to their satisfaction,...

Read More

Catawba Indian Condition

Scarcely more than one hundred years ago the hoof prints of the buffalo became scarce in South Carolina, and it would, perhaps, have been well for the Catawba Indian had he followed him to the distant West; for the exterminating greed of the white man has almost driven him, too, from the boundless regions in which he used to roam, cruel legislation has allowed his lands to be sold and his money squandered, and, after all, he is in not much better condition morally, socially, or financially than when he was a savage in the woods, with God-given ability to live with less struggle than he has today. Many a red man fell at the crack of the pioneer’s rifle; the rest fled inward as though retreating before some angry waters, which slowly began to surround them and threatened to break over their heads. With no avenues of escape, the Catawbas have been driven in and corralled, not unlike the buffalo before them, and whose fate our boasted civilization may yet force them to share. The 225 square miles of land, which was confirmed to the tribe as a reservation in 1764, has been curtailed until now they are huddled together on the meager allowance of only 800 acres! It remains to be seen if they will be still further crowded and encroached upon until they give up in...

Read More

Catawba Indian Reservation

The reservation of the Catawba Indians was at one time in the remotest backwoods of South Carolina, but within the last twenty years the signs of civilization have been rapidly creeping toward it. Since the South began to draw Northern capital a few years ago, the development of this section of Carolina has been phenomenal. The nearest town of consequence to the reservation is Rock Hill, nine miles distant. Fifteen years ago there were scarcely half a dozen farm houses in the town today, Rock Hill is an important city with a number of cotton factories and a population of about ten thousand. However, the* peaceful stillness of the forests on the reservation is yet undisturbed, and here the woodman’s axe has left the Indians a noonday shade. I first visited the reservation in the spring of 1893. I set out from Rock Hill early in the morning and went on horseback that I might more easily make a tour of the grounds. The limit of the Indian land is about one mile from the principal highway through that section. Mistaking the road, it happened that I entered the reservation from the southwest corner. Here the trees and undergrowth were so thick that it was with much difficulty I made my way, until I found a path along the banks of a small stream. Following the path for half...

Read More


Perhaps, after the Catawbas have become extinct, some one might ask who was responsible. Let us not wait until then to place the responsibility where it belongs. If it is South Carolina’s duty to cherish and guard with a fostering care the last vestige of her aboriginal inhabitants; if she owes anything to her earliest benefactors; if she owes anything to a disinterested people who have fought her battles a people who were courted when they were strong, but are now scorned because they are weak; if she owes anything to a people whose territory she has absorbed without due compensation; if it is her duty to uplift degraded humanity within her borders: then South Carolina is responsible; and if she does not soon do something for the Catawbas, her escutcheon will bear a stain which time cannot erase. It is time for the people of South Carolina to compel their representatives in the State and General Government to do something for these much-wronged and down-trodden people. On account of our neglect of duty toward the Indians this century has justly been termed a “Century of Dishonor.” Since its beginning the appeals made in behalf of the Catawbas have all fallen on stony ground; at its close will humanitarians still turn a deaf ear to their claims for more merciful treatment? Fifty years ago, William Crafts, the celebrated statesman,...

Read More

Catawba Indians

Catawba Tribe: Significance unknown though the name was probably native to the tribe. Also called: Ani’ta’guă, Cherokee name. Iswa or Issa, signifying “river,” and specifically the Catawba River; originally probably an independent band which united early with the Catawba proper. Oyadagahrcenes, Tadirighrones, Iroquois names. Usherys, from iswahere, “river down here”; see Issa. Catawba Connections. The Catawba belonged to the Siouan linguistic family, but Catawba was the most aberrant of all known Siouan languages, though closer to Woccon than any other of which a vocabulary has been recorded. Catawba Location. In York and Lancaster Counties mainly but extending into the neighboring parts of the State and also into North Carolina and Tennessee. Catawba Subdivisions. Two distinct tribes are given by Lawson (1860) and placed on early maps, the Catawba and Iswa, the latter deriving their name from the native word meaning “river,” which was specifically applied to Catawba River. Catawba Villages. In early days this tribe had many villages but few names have come down to us. In 1728 there were six villages, all on Catawba River, the most northerly of which was known as Nauvasa. In 1781 they had two called in English Newton and Turkey Head, on opposite sides of Catawba River. Catawba History The Catawba appear first in history under the name Ysa, Issa (Iswa) in Vandera’s narratives of Pardo’s expedition into the interior, made in 1566-67....

Read More

The Catawba Indians

The origin and meaning of Catawba are unknown. It is said that Lynche creek hi South Carolina, east of the Catawba territory, was anciently known as Kadapau; and from the fact that Lawson applies the name Kadapau to a small band met by him southeast of the main body of the tribe, which he calls Esaw, it is possible that it was originally applied to this people by some tribe living in eastern South Carolina, from whom the first colonists obtained it. The Cherokee, having no b in their language, changed the word to Atakwa, or Anitakwa in the plural. The Shawano and other tribes of the Ohio valley made the word Cuttawa. From the earliest period the Catawba have also been known distinctively as the ” river [Catawba, iswa people,” from their residence on what seems to have been considered the principal river of the region, Iswa, ” the river,” being their only name for the Catawba and Wateree. The name appears in the Issa of La Vandera as early as 1569, in the Ushery (iswa-here, “river down there”) of Lederer, and hi the Esaw of Lawson. They were also called Flatheads (Oyadagahroene) by the Iroquois, a name which leads to some confusion, as it was also frequently applied by the same people to the Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Cherokee. The name was properly applicable to the Choctaw, who practiced...

Read More


Subscribe to Website via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this website and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3,629 other subscribers

It takes a village to grow a family tree!
Genealogy Update - Keeping you up-to-date!
101 Best Websites 2016

Recent Comments

Pin It on Pinterest