Topic: Santee

Santee Burial Customs

Siouan tribes extended southward into the central portions of the present State of South Carolina, and the Santee were undoubtedly members of this linguistic family. One of their villages probably stood on the shore of Scott Lake, in the valley of the Santee about 10 miles southwest of Summerton, Clarendon County. Here, near the shore of the lake, is a conical mound of earth, and scattered over the surrounding area are many fragments of pottery and other traces of an Indian settlement, but the surface has been modified by the waters of the Santee during periods of flood, and consequently the greater part of the surface as it was at the time of Indian occupancy has been washed away or covered by alluvium. This site is, in a direct line, a little more than 60 miles northwest of Charleston, and the village may have been one visited by Lawson during the first days of January. 1701. The mound may have been the one referred to by Lawson, who, after mentioning his meeting with the Santee, continued: “Near to these Cabins are several Tombs made after the fashion of the Indians; the largest and chiefest of theta was the Sepulchre of the late Indian King of the Santees, a Man of (Treat Power, not only amongst his own subjects, but dreaded by the Neighboring Nations for his great Valour and...

Read More

Santee Indians

Santee Tribe: Named according to Speck (1935), from iswan’ti, “the river,” or “the river is there.” Also called: Seretee, by Lawson (1860). Santee Connections. No words of the Santee language have come down to us, but there is little doubt that they belonged to the Siouan linguistic family. Santee Location. On the middle course of Santee River. Santee Villages. The only name preserved is Hickerau, on a branch of Santee River. Santee History. The Santee were first encountered by the Spaniards during the seventeenth century, and in the narrative of his second expedition Captain Eçija places them on Santee River. In 1700 they were visited by John Lawson, who found their plantations extending for many miles along the river, and learned that they were at war with the coast people (Lawson, 1860). They furnished Barnwell (1908) with a contingent for his Tuscarora campaign in 1711-12, but are said to have taken part against the Whites in the Yamasee War of 1715. In 1716 they were attacked by the Etiwaw and Cusabo, acting in the interest of the colonists, and the greater part of them were carried away captive and sent to the West Indies. The remainder were probably incorporated with the Catawba. Santee Population. The number of Santee was estimated by Mooney (1928) at 1,000 in 1600. In 1715 an Indian census gave them 43 warriors and a total...

Read More

Wahpekute Tribe

Wahpekute Indians (wakhpe, leaf; kute, to shoot: shooters in the leaves’). One of the 7 primary divisions of the Dakota. Although the name Santee was originally applied only to the Mdewakanton, it was early extended to the Wahpekute, so closely were the two tribes connected, and eventually by the Teton also to the two other tribes of the eastern Dakota. Historic and linguistic evidence proves the close affinity of the tribes of this group. The Wahpekute were doubtless living in the vicinity of the Mdewakanton of Mille Lac, Minn., when first visited by the French (1678-1680), and were still so closely combined with them as to be included under the one term. In 1766 Carver met the Wahpekute somewhere on Minnesota river. They were in 1804, according to Lewis and Clark, on both sides of that stream below Redwood river, and numbered about 150 men. Pike (1806) spoke of them as the smallest band of the Sioux, residing generally between Mississippi and Missouri rivers, and hunting commonly at the head of Des Moines river. He characterizes them as “the most stupid and inactive of all the Sioux.” Long 1Exped. St. Peter’s River, 1, 386, 1824 says: “This tribe has a very bad name, being considered to be a lawless set of men. They have a regular hereditary chief, Wiahuga (‘the raven’), who is acknowledged as such by the Indian...

Read More

Santee Tribe

Santee Indians. A tribe, probably Siouan, formerly residing on middle Santee River, South Carolina, where Lawson in 1700 found their plantations extending for many miles. One of their villages was called Hickerau. While friendly to the white people, they were at war with the coast tribes. According to Rivers 1Rivers, Hist. S. C., 94, 1874 , they had two villages with 43 warriors in 1715, and were then settled 70 miles north of Charleston. Bartram (Tray., 54, 1791) tells us that in 1715 they sided with the Yamasee against the British, and that they were attacked and reduced by the Creeks, who were allies of the British. It appears from South Carolina colonial documents that the Santee and Congaree were cut off by the “Itwans and Cossabos,” coast tribes in the English interest,’ and the prisoners sold as slaves in the West Indies in 1716. Those that escaped were probably incorporated with the Catawba. Lawson states that their chief was an absolute ruler with power of life and death over his tribe, an instance of despotism very rare among Indians. Their distinguished dead were buried on the tops of mounds, built low or high according to the rank of the deceased, with ridge roofs supported by poles over the graves to shelter them from the weather. On these poles were hung rattles, feathers, and other offerings from the relatives...

Read More

The Sewee, Santee, Wateree, and Congaree Indians

The Santee and its branches, the Wateree and the Congaree, were held by the Sewee, Santee, Wateree, and Congaree tribes, whose territory extended to the neighborhood of the Waxhaw and Catawba. Nothing is known of their linguistic affinities, but their alliances and final incorporation were with the Catawba. Sewee Indians The Sewee occupied the coast and the lower part of the river below the Santee, extending westward to the divide of Ashley river about the present Monks Corner, in Berkeley county, South Carolina, where they adjoined the Etiwaw 1Rivers, W. J. A Sketch of the history of South Carolina to the revolution of 1719, with an appendix, p. 37. Charleston 1856. . Their name is preserved in Sewee Bay. Lawson, who met them in 1701, states that they had formerly been a large tribe, but, like the other tribes of Carolina, had been much wasted by smallpox and other diseases, and through the effect of liquor introduced by the whites. The great mortality always produced among them by smallpox was owing chiefly to their universal habit of plunging into the water at the critical stage of the disease in order to ease themselves of the feverish burnings. The destruction of the Sewee was the immediate result of the failure of a great trading scheme which they had elaborated, but which proved disastrous to the originators. Being dissatisfied with the...

Read More

Middle Slave Raid Period 1684-1706

Stark changes occurred during the mid-1680s in the Southeast. There were many movements of population as the intensity of attacks on the Spanish mission by the Westo, Chickmawka’s, Yamassee and pirates intensified. The Rickohockens were completely pushed out of their stronghold at the Peaks of the Twin Otter by Iroquois raids. The Iroquois had obtained firearms first from the Dutch, and now from the English. Many minor ethnic groups and villages in the Carolina’s had disappeared during the previous twenty years due to Rickohocken and Westo slave raids. Now African slaves were much more available, so the emphasis of the Native American slave raids shifted to the capture of youth to trade on the docks in Charleston, Port Royal and Georgetown for African slaves. The ratio was four Indians for one African. The American Indian slaves rarely lived past two harvest seasons on the sugar plantations of the Caribbean. They were so cheap as to be considered expendable. Basically, they were fed as little as possible, then worked to death. Many Southeastern indigenous tribes today think of themselves as pure descendants of ancient peoples – perhaps with a tad of European or African blood mixed in <chuckle>. However, it is clear from looking at the maps and reading the archives of the late 1600s, that Native American communities had become locations where remnant peoples assimilated. Somewhere between 90 and...

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 275 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