Pocomoke people

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Pocomoke people
Total population
Extinct as a tribe, population scattered, no formal recognition
Regions with significant populations
Eastern Shore of Maryland
Native religion
Related ethnic groups

The Pocomoke were an Algonquian tribe who live on what is now known as the Eastern Shore of Maryland along the banks of the Pocomoke River up to the area around present day Crisfield, Maryland. The Pocomoke and the Wicocomico were considered brother tribes and were both sub-tribes at the fringe of the Powhatan nation.[1]

In 1742, there was a planned rebellion among the Pocomoke against the colonial English white settlers and colonial government. Many of the Pocomoke disappeared from the Eastern Shore into the marshes in preparation of an uprising. Tipped off by their change in behavior, the English later learned that a number of chiefs had become involved in a plot for a general uprising, fomented by a Shawnee chief, Messowan. After the plot was revealed, the provincial government placed each of the Pocomoke towns directly under government rule and supervision. Thereafter, there was much pressure on the Pocomoke to leave the area, and by the end of the decade most of the tribe had moved to the Susquehanna River and become tributary to the Iroquois. This group moved slowly northward, and their descendants are now in Ontario, Canada. Of those who stayed in Maryland, one group lived on the Choptank reserve until 1798, when the State, purchased all but 100 acres of their land, and parceled out this remainder among the four or five families left. The last survivor of this group is said to have died some time in the 1840s. Another remnant of the tribe, retaining little of their Native culture, had survived near Indian River in Delaware until the mid-1800s.[2]

The present organization calling itself the Pocomoke Indian Nation is not a recognized Indian tribe by either the State of Maryland or the United States government.[3][4]


  1. ^ Maryland: A Colonial History. p.22
  2. ^ Hurley, Suzanne (2014). "The Assateague Indians: What Became Of Them". Ocean City Museum Society. Retrieved 27 April 2014. 
  3. ^ http://www.ncsl.org/research/state-tribal-institute/list-of-federal-and-state-recognized-tribes.aspx#State National Committee on State Legislatures. Retrieved: April 18, 2014
  4. ^ http://www.usa.gov/Government/Tribal-Sites/P.shtml Retrieved April 18, 2014

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