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|Colonial militia of North Carolina
Colonial militia of South Carolina
|Commanders and leaders|
Col. John Barnwell
Col. James Moore
Chief Tom Blunt
The Tuscarora War was fought in North Carolina during the autumn of 1711 until 11 February 1715 between the British, Dutch, and German settlers and the Tuscarora Native Americans. A treaty was signed in 1715.
The first successful and permanent settlement of North Carolina by Europeans began in earnest in 1653. The Tuscarora lived in peace with the European settlers who arrived in North Carolina for over 50 years at a time when nearly every other colony in America was actively involved in some form of conflict with the American Indians. However, the arrival of the settlers was ultimately disastrous for the aboriginal inhabitants of North Carolina.
There were two primary contingents of Tuscarora at this point, a Northern group led by Chief Tom Blount (pronounced Blunt) and a Southern group led by Chief Hancock. Chief Blount occupied the area around what is present-day Bertie County on the Roanoke River; Chief Hancock was closer to New Bern, North Carolina, occupying the area south of the Pamplico River (now the Pamlico River). While Chief Blount became close friends with the Blount family of the Bertie region, Chief Hancock found his villages raided and his people frequently kidnapped and sold into slavery. Both groups were heavily impacted by the introduction of European diseases, and both were rapidly having their lands stolen by the encroaching settlers. Ultimately, Chief Hancock felt there was no alternative but to attack the settlers. Tom Blount did not become involved in the war at this point.
The Southern Tuscarora, led by Chief Hancock, worked in conjunction with the Pamplico Indians, the Cothechneys, the Cores, the Mattamuskeets and the Matchepungoes to attack the settlers in a wide range of locations in a short time period. Principal targets were the planters on the Roanoke River, the planters on the Neuse River and Trent River and the city of Bath. The first attacks began on September 22, 1711, and hundreds of settlers were ultimately killed. Several key political figures were either killed or driven off in the subsequent months.
Governor Edward Hyde called out the militia of North Carolina, and secured the assistance of the Legislature of South Carolina, who provided "six hundred militia and three hundred and sixty Indians under Col. Barnwell". This force attacked the Southern Tuscarora and other tribes in Craven County at Fort Narhantes on the banks of the Neuse River in 1712. The Tuscarora were "defeated with great slaughter; more than three hundred American Indians were killed, and one hundred made prisoners." The prisoners were largely women and children, who were ultimately sold into slavery.
The English offered Chief Blount control of the entire Tuscarora tribe if he assisted the settlers in defeating Chief Hancock. Chief Blount was able to capture Chief Hancock, and the settlers executed him in 1712. In 1713 the Southern Tuscaroras lost Fort Neoheroka, located in Greene County, with about 950 people killed or captured by and sold into slavery in the Caribbean or New England by Colonel Moore and his South Carolina troops, consisting of 33 white men and more than 900 Indian allies, mostly Yamassee and Cherokee.
At this point, the majority of the Southern Tuscarora began migrating to New York to escape the settlers in North Carolina.
The remaining Tuscarora signed a treaty with the settlers in June 1718. It granted them a tract of land on the Roanoke River in what is now Bertie County. This was the area already occupied by Tom Blount, and was specified as 56,000 acres (227 km²); Tom Blount was recognized by the Legislature of North Carolina as King Tom Blount. The remaining Southern Tuscarora were removed from their homes on the Pamlico River and forced to Bertie. In 1722 the colony chartered Bertie County. Over the next several decades, the remaining Tuscarora lands continually diminished as the tribe sold off land in deals which speculators designed to take advantage of them.
The support of the Catawba and other "southern" tribes for the colonists led to a thirty-year war of vengeance against them by the Iroquois Confederacy. This was one of the most brutal and overlooked conflicts in recorded history.
- Wars of the indigenous peoples of North America
- American Indian Wars
- List of conflicts in British America and North America prior to 1783
|Library resources about
- North Carolina Archaeology: FORT NEOHEROKA
- A People and A Nation, Seventh Edition, 2005
- NC Historic Sites: Historic Bath: The Tuscarora War, 1711-1715
- "Tuscarora War", The Way We Lived
- Nooherooka 300th Commemoration, www.neyuheruke.org
- David La Vere. The Tuscarora War: Indians, Settlers, and the Fight for the Carolina Colonies (University of North Carolina Press; 2013) 272 pages;