Saturday, May 9, 2015

Finding John Brown

Dad used to tell a little story about a cousin of his named “Euness Hankins”, a daughter of Great Aunt Bea. They were always friends when young. They had also both heard family stories of being Cherokee. Well Dad heard she had found out something new about our Indian heritage, and so he asked her what she found. Now dad told me this story, because I asked him about our Indian heritage at some point. He said Eunice replied to his query; “Oh, you just want that Indian money.” Well this so embarrassed Dad that he just let the topic go. I am not sure if Dad ever spoke to her after that. But that little story made me think there might be proof of our Indian heritage, somewhere, is some document, somewhere.
I have written quite a bit about our Gist/Guess ancestors in my blog, but haven't touched much upon my Brown's. Recently we have had a huge breakthrough, and I wanted to share it. I'd like to start with Aunt Lorena's letter. Most of Dad's brothers and sister's had passed on, but I remembered Aunt Lorena. I knew she and mom were best friends growing up, and they still talked all the time on the telephone. So I wrote her a letter asking her about our Indian ancestry. She wrote me a letter and here is a small section of it.:
I remember more about what our mother told us than grandmother Richey. We
had a wonderful grandmother and I suppose she talked more about Sequoyah to the
boys than to us girls. Alpha was almost 6 years older than I. She was a Brown before
she married grandfather Richey. Her mother was a Guess before she married great
grandfather Brown. I think mama said she was a niece of George Guess, “Sequoyah”.
Well, today I will cover the “Brown” part. The person she called “grandmother Richey” was my great grandma, and her maiden name was Josephine Brown. Her father, David B. Brown, appears in a tax list in 1847 in Walker County, Alabama with his father, John Brown. In 1848 David appears on a tax list in Lawrence County, Arkansas with the following family: Tracing them before 1820 when John Brown married Polly [Mary] Black has been difficult. Now family story says they were Cherokee but we can't prove it. And do you know how many Cherokees there were named “John Brown” who were alive during his lifetime? We have found three on the Reservation Rolls, alone! And I suspect there were others NOT on the Reservation Rolls. Also, while researching our family, I have found several other people, who are not federally enrolled as well, who claim to descend from a Cherokee named “John Brown”, and NONE of them were OUR John Brown. So I really got discouraged. How can I determine which John Brown is which? I really let it slide.
Here is much of what we know, at present.
In Alabama. John Brown married Polly Black. Dec 23, 1820 in Lawrence County, Alabama.
This marriage is found in early Lawrence County, Alabama marriage records. John
Brown was married in Lawrence County, Alabama in 1820. 1830 census Lawrence County, Alabama
John Brown 111000001, 2112001. Three males fifteen or under, 2 females five or under, 2 females between 5 and 15 years of age, and 2 females between 15-20. Mary 40-50, and there is no male the age of OUR John Brown, but there is an elder male 60-70 years old. He would have been the head of household, and his name was John Brown. They live near the Emanuel McNutt household where John’s son, David’s future wife lives. There is also a William McNutt nearby. Is he Emanuel’s father? Both William McNutt's and John Brown's appear on documents mentioned pertaining to Rachel [Havens] Gist/Guess's father, James Havens. There is also the head of a household named “David Black” living nearby as well, perhaps his wife’s relations. By 1840 they are on Walker County, Alabama’s census (10120001,0110101). On this census there IS a John Brown, 50-60 years old. If the elder John Brown were still in the household he is not mentioned. He is probably deceased, and he would have been 70-80 years old, at least 20 years older than the John Brown presently in the household. On 1847 tax records John Brown is still alive. A second John Brown is already deceased and his wife Hannah is mentioned. David Brown is on the same tax records. So after marrying Harriet in Shelby County, Tn (the Memphis area) in 1841, he has returned to the place of his birth. Marriage problems? Did she go with him? They had no children during those years. Perhaps we will never know.By 1850 census, my John’s widow Mary, is head of household in Walker County, Alabama,so he seems to have died between 1847 and 1850. Nothing is known of him before his marriage to “Polly” [Mary] Black. There was a “Brown’s Ferry” on the Lawrence/Limestone county lines across the Tennessee River. Melton’s Bluff is nearby. We have Gist relations who knew Jason Cloud, who knew a Cherokee named John Brown of the other Brown’s Ferry near what is today Chattanooga, Tennessee. But we have hit dead ends at this point. Maybe one day we will find more. Once we thought it was impossible to discover our branch of the Gist’s, but we have with the help of others. Maybe what is needed is for all the Brown’s to get together and compare notes. Perhaps something else. Maybe we’ll never know. (1).

Our Brown's, 1850 census, Lawrence Co., Arkansas
David B. Brown 29 farmer Ala
Harriet Brown 33 Ala
Nancy I. Brown 7 Tenn
Thomas McNutt 16 farmer Ala
Nancy A. Loony 6 Ala
Thomas Opdych 61 physician Ohio
In 1860 this family looked like this:
Thomas McNutt 26 laborer Ala
Orlena McNutt 25 Ala
James McNutt 21 Arkansas
Betsy A. McNutt 3/12 Ark
“ — next door is – “
David B. Brown 37 Al
Harriet Brown 43 Tn
Nancy I. Brown 17 Tn
Nancy A. Brown 15 Al
John Brown 8 Ar
Josephine Brown 6 Ar
Sarah A. Brown 3 Ar
Amanda Brown 1 Ar
Notice “Nancy A. Loony” has become “Nancy A. Brown”. It isn't mentioned here, but Nancy I. Brown was not the name of another daughter, either. Her real name was Nancy I. Joiner. I cover there things in my book, “Finding Our Indian Blood”.Nancy Joiner's parents were Thomas Joiner and Cynthia McNutt. Cynthia McNutt was Harriet [Guess/Gist's] Brown's half sister, sharing the same mother. Thomas McNutt was also Harriet's half sibling. Thomas had married a girl named “Orlena”. Just who is “Orlena”? This brings us to another family who had just moved to Lawrence County, Arkansas.

1860 census, Lawrence County, Arkansas
:Mary Brown 59 NC
Nancy J Brown 19 Ala
Martha L. Brown 16 Ala
(next door)
Malinda JOHNSON 34 AL Laborer
Nancy “ 13 AL
Levi “ 12 AL
David “ 10 AL
Thomas “ 1 AR
Now, who are these Brown's? Are they related to ours? Well, to answer that, we have to keep searching.
1850 Walker County, Alabama census
Mary Brown 49 NC
Linday Brown 25 Ala
Elizabeth Brown 16 Ala
Orleny Brown 15 Ala
Alfred Brown 13 Ala
Nancy Brown 10 Ala
Martha Brown 8 Ala
Syntha Brown 4 Ala
Nancy Brown (inmate) 5 Ala
Levy Brown (inmate) 3 Ala
David Brown (inmate) 1/12 Ala

How does this family compare to the 1840 census? Lets check.
1 – 0-5 Alfred Brown would have been 3
0 – 5-10 no mention
1 – 10-15 no mention. One researcher mentions a Nehemiah Brown who would have been 11 years.
2 – 15-20 Our David would have been one of these, abt. 17.
0 – 20-30
0 – 30-40
1 – 40-50 John Brown, would have been 70-80. He is not on the 1840 census, but another John Brown IS on the 1840 census, in the same household, who would have been 40-50 years old..

2 – 0-5 Nancy would have been a baby, Orlena about 5.
1 – 5-10 Elizabeth would have been 6.
1 – 10-15 Malinda would have been 15
2 – 15-20 – unknown. Ten years later they would have been 25-30 years old – perhaps married.
0 – 20-30
0 – 30-40
1 – 40-50 Our Mary (Polly) would have been 39
The 1850 of Walker County, Alabama is the same family found in Arkansas in 1860! Notice “Orleny” and recall “Orlena” Notice “Malinda Johnson” and compare her to “Linday brown”. Notice children named Nancy, Levi, and David. Nancy and martha are also daughters of Mary Brown, but about 10 years older in 1860. These things are NO coincidence – it is the same family. Was Malinda's son David named after Malinda's older brother, also named David, MY ancestor, David Brown? It sure seems that way, but we need proof.
One name missing from the 1860 census in Arkansas is Alfred Brown. Where is he? Well, it just so happens that we have found Alfred Brown in Hopkins County, Texas in the 1860 census, is 22 years old, and says he was born in Alabama. In 1870 we have the following family in Lawrence County, Arkansas;

1870 Census Lawrence County, Ar
Alfred Brown 33 laborer Al
Nancy I. Brown 25 keeping house Tn
Mary J Brown 5 Ar
Louisa Brown 3 Ark
Alice Brown 2/12 Ark
Look at his wife – Nancy I Brown. This is the same girl who was daughter to Harriet's half-sister! Her real name was Nancy I Joiner, but was known as Nancy I. Brown. This ties the two brown families even closer. The final proof of the relationship between David and Alfred Brown can be found in the 1880 census. Per great uncle's Oscar Richey's interview for “Indian Pioneer Papers”, we find after Jeff Richey married Josephine Brown in 1872, they moved just inside India Territory borders near Fort Smith. However, by 1880, they had moved again to live in Denton County, Texas. Here is the census of 1880 Denton County, Tx;

1880 Census, Denton County, Texas
Jeffrey H. Richey, age 28, Ar, In, Ar
Josephine, 26, Ar, Al, Al.
Etta E., 2, Tx, Ar, Ar.
Swaney, 1, Tx, Ar, Ar.
Mandy Knight, 18, sister-in- law, Ar, Al, Al.
Mary J. Brown, 16, cousin, Ar, Al, Al.

Notice the “cousin” Mary J Brown, 16 years old and the census 10 years earlier of Alfred Brown with a daughter named Mary J Brown, 5 years old. Notice it says BOTH her parents were born in Alabama while she was born in Arkansas. She IS the daughter of Alfred Brown and Nancy [Joiner] Brown. Josephine is Mary's cousin if her father, David Brown, and Alfred brown, are BROTHERS! Thus I thnk we have made a pretty strong case that David Brown and Alfred Brown are brothers.
But still, I am trying to differentiate between my Brown's and others, to discover how they go back to the Cherokee, and if there are records that can prove it.
Is there a record in Lawrence/Winston and Walker Counties, Alabama, mentioning a “Brown” marrying a girl named “Mary”? David was born about 1822 so they were probably married before that date. And low and behold, John Brown married Polly (Mary) Black in Lawrence County, Alabama on the 23rd of December, 1820. Now we had discovered these things at lest 15 years ago, but got no further. There was a Cherokee John Brown, in fact there were TOO MANY John Brown's! Which is which? Was mine one of them? If so, which one? I thought I would NEVER find anything further. I stumbled onto a web site by accident, and one person said she'd look into it. I have no idea why. She is a federally enrolled Cherokee with a CDIB card! Within an hour she came back to me with the following --

John Brown, (Cherokee) in the U.S. House of Representative Private Claims, Vol. 1 Record Image Index-only record Report issue

Name: John Brown, (Cherokee) Nature of Claim: Compensation for improvement on lands relinquished

Congress: 23 Session: 1 Manner Brought:
Petition Journal Page: 50
Referred to Committee: Indian Affairs

This is the John Brown the records were connected to ........
John Brown Birth 1795 in Unknown Death 1855 in Walker County, Alabama, USA
Timeline Birth 1795 Unknown [1 Source]
Marriage to Mary Polly Black 1820 23 Dec Age: 25 Lawrence County, Alabama, USA
Alabama Marriage Collection, 1800-1969 - Its repeated 3 Times for each. 2 Sources
Residence 1840 Age: 45 Lawrence, Alabama, United States
Death 1855 Age: 60 Walker County, Alabama, USA

Wife and children
Mary Polly Black 1801 – 1885
David B. Brown 1822 – 1865
Malinda Amanda Brown 1828 – 1880
Nehemiah Brown 1829 –
Elizabeth A. Brown 1834 – 1922
Alfred L. Brown 1837 –
Nancy Y. Brown 1840 –
Martha L. Brown 1843 –
Orleny Brown 1845 – 1889
Cynthia Brown 1846 –

John Brown in the U.S. General Land Office Records, 1796-1907 Record Image View Add alternate information Report issue Name: John Brown Issue Date: 16 Oct 1835 Acres: 80.01 Meridian: Huntsville State: Alabama County:
Winston Township: 11-S Range: 7-W Section: 25 Accession Number: AL1300__.148 Metes and Bounds: April 24, 1820: Sale-Cash Entry (3 Stat. 566) Document Number: 6954

John Brown, (Cherokee) in the U.S. House of Representative Private Claims, Vol. 1 Record Image Index-only record Report issue Name: John Brown, (Cherokee) Nature of Claim: Compensation for improvement on lands relinquished Congress: 21 Session: 1 Manner Brought: Petition Journal Page: 318 Referred to Committee: Indian A

John Brown Jr in the U.S., War of 1812 Service Records, 1812-1815 Record Image Index-only record Add alternate information Report issue Name: John Brown Jr Company: COL. MORGAN, JR.'S, REG'T CHEROKEE INDIANS. Rank - Induction: PRIVATE Rank - Discharge: PRIVATE Roll Box: 27

Prisoner Of War David was listed on a roll of prisoners from Corinth, Mississippi at Provost Marshal's Office October 14, 1862. He was at the battle of Shiloh, Pittsburg Landing Tennessee; the Battle of Iuka, Mississippi on 19 September 1862, the battle of Corinth on the 3rd & 4th; Hatchie on the 5th and 6th of October.

FOLKS – THAT IS US!! Apparently there is a record from the 21st and 23rd session of Congress of our John Brown asking to be compensated for improvements on lands he'd relinquished, and the names of his wife and children are apparently mentioned. Some things are still not clear about this, so more work is needed to be done. Each time we find something, it leaves more questions than it actually answered . . . back to the drawing board, to seek more answers. And I wonder if this is what dad's cousin Euness found? -- that elusive proof . . .

I was able to contact someone at Congressional Archives who sent me the following information:
Dear Mr. Hawkins:

In looking at an index, I saw that your John Brown began petitioning in the 21st Congress, and in the 24th Congress a private law was enacted on his behalf.

The Library of Congress through its American Memory Project has placed online various Congressional-related publications at

Through it you'd be able to see the one-sentence references to his submissions of petitions in the 21st, 22nd, 23rd and 24th Congresses.  Those entries are in the House Journal.  For the 21st Congress, 1st session on page 318; for the 21st Congress, 2nd session on page 163; for the 22nd Congress, 1st session on page 387; for the 22nd Congress, 2nd session on page 79; for the 23rd Congress, 1st session on page 50; and for the 24th Congress, 1st session on page 96.

You'd be able to see the law in Volume 6 of United States Statutes at Large on page 692.

I'll put in the mail to you a copy of the law as well as a printed copy of House Report 73 of the 22nd Congress, 2nd session, to accompany bill H.R. 717 (that you'd also be able to see from the same site) on behalf of James Brown and John Brown.

Typically the same petition is submitted over and over again, which would explain why I didn't see a copy when I looked in appropriate places for the 21st, 22nd, and 23rd Congress.  From the 24th Congress I'll send you a photocopy of the letter on the back of which was written "James & John Brown - March 20 1837 - Papers sent as within requested"  The front of the letter from the 2nd Auditor's Office in the Treasury Department was the request:  "You will please send to the Department of the 2nd auditor all the papers relating to an act fro the relief of James & John Brown, half breeds, of the Cherokee Nation of Indians, passed the 3rd March 1837."

If you want to pursue a quest to locate the paperwork in question, send a new e-mail to  For the subject line put:  RG 217, 2nd Auditor request

In the body of the e-mail state that you're looking for the paperwork send from the House of Representatives to the Treasury Department's 2nd Auditor Office on March 9, 1837, in follow-up to a private law passed on March 3, 1837, "for the relief of James and John Brown, half breeds, of the Cherokee Nation of Indians."  Indicate that you're looking for the paperwork associated with John Brown.

Those particular records are extremely difficult to work with.  It could be that the archivist who responds will simply invite you or your designated research representative to come to the National Archives Building to attempt to locate the desired paperwork.  I don't know if that will be the case.  If it is, one option would be to contract with someone in the Washington area to undertake research on your behalf, with names on this list:

Rodney A. Ross
Center for Legislative Archives

So, someone assured me our family was the same John Brown mentioned in records found in Washington DC. I have found a Cherokee named John Brown about the same age as ours, but he at present, have no connection between that Cherokee family that ties them to our Brown's other than circumstance. I am hoping these Congressional records in Washington DC will fill up that void.

Well I have yet to find a connection between John Brown, Cherokee, and my family that descends from a "John Brown". But I did find a law mentioning John Brown, James Brown, and the United States Congress. It is dated 1833. They are to receive money for surrendering lands. The paperwork I was lead to said this law pertained to MY John Brown. I have no proof of that, though -- yet.

1.] From my book, Finding Our Indian Blood, Chapter 5.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Journal of John Fontaine, covering the years between 1710-1719

The Journal of John Fontaine, 1710-1719
This is said to be a pencil drawing of John Fontaine.

Here are some excerpts and comments on the Journal of John Fontaine.
First, a little about the Journal and the man, John Fontaine. John's father, Jacques, known as James Fontaine, was born in 1658 in Jenouille in Saintonge, France. Jacques father was also named Jacques, and he was a well known Huguenot minister of the United Churches of Vaux and Royan. They came from a long line of Huguenots that dated back to about 1535. In the 1680s, the french government's persecution of the Huguenots expanded, an many migrated elsewhere, for fear of their lives. Churches were torn down, their meetings were disrupted, and members of their congregations were thrown into jail until they recanted their faith, and returned to the Roman Catholic faith. In October of 1685, the French government revoked the Edict of Nanrtes, that had promised the French government would tolerate the Huguenots.
James Fontaine fled first to England and then to Ireland. Twice the Irish, who remained fiercely Catholic, provided French Privateers (another word for 'pirate' in those times).the location of the Fontaine household, which they attacked, with the Fontaine family barely escaping with their lives. Although James remained in Europe, some of his children came to America. One son, John, came to America, obtained land grands and land parcels from Virginia's Governor Alexander Spotswood, whom he got to know pretty well. They traveled to Fort Christanna together, and John Fontaine wrote of this trip in his journal (1). John eventually went back to Europe and settled in Wales, where he spend the remainder of his days on earth.
The version of the Journal I have in my possession waspublished by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, and distributed by the University Press of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia. It eas edited by Edward Porter Alexander, who also wrote the introduction.
More from Alexander's Introduction
Alexander's “Introduction” is lengthy, but he provides a lot of material about the Fontaine family that John Fontaine doesn't mention in is journal about his travels. Hen speaking about John's father, Jacques, referred to as James, he adds; “[James] bought a run down stone house on the St. Stephens green in Dublin and fixed it us as a combined home and grammar school.” Alexander continues; “His prospectus promised to take day students and to board 'Gentlement's sons', teaching them the French, Latin and Greek tongues; also history, geography and , . . . mathematics, especially Piety.' James was apparently offered to become the first professor of Philosophy and Mathematics at the College of William and Mary in Virginia. Alexander states this offer came because of the friendship of James' son, our John Fontaine, and Governor Spotswood of Virginia. In 1721, James wife passed away, and in September of that year James closed his academy. He remained in Ireland, declining the opportunity to move to Virginia where several of his children decided to live. However his school had been so successful for James, that he was able to graduate three of his sons, Peter, Francis and Moses, from Trinity College in Dublin. So this French Huguenot family that barely escaped France, became a well known and connected family (2).
You might wonder why I am talking about this family so much. Well, I am getting to that. Please be patient. In December 1714, John Fontaine, son of James, left Dublin bound for America. Bad seas forced his ship to return to Ireland. He left a second time on February 28, 1715, and landed in Virginia May 26th of that year. John remained in Virginia for four years. While on a trip with Governor Spotswood, Fontaine and party went to Germanna Colony, where it was said, he met his first Indians.
In April 1716 John Fontaine made another journey with Governor Spotswood, this time they visited Fort Christanna. Alexander writes that “Fort Christanna [was] on the south side of the Meherrin River near the North Carolina River.” Alexander writes; “Fontaines account of this journey is especially important because of the description of the Indians at Christanna. They were remnants of several Siouan speaking tribes – the Saponi, Occoneechi, Stenkanocks, Meipontski, and Tutelo.” Alexander adds that in the initial publication of Fontaine's journal, part of it had been edited out. The missing part was a list of 46 phrases and words in the Souan language. He states hor he spent a considerable time trying to find the original documents including these words. Alexander then poses some questions. Some of the words are Algonquin, some Siouan, some both, and some are Algonquin and Iroquoian. I suspect he spoke with some Indians of the various tribes that lived near the Saponi at that time, as both Algonquin and Iroquoian peoples lived nearby (3).
Alexander speculates as to how Fontaine obtained his list of Indian words. He suggests that Fontaine might have spoken with many Indians, and spelled out the words phonetically as best he could. He then adds; “He well could have obtained the words from Charles Griffin, teacher of the Indian school at Christanna. The Reverend Hugh Jones accompanied Spotswood on a visit to the fort a year later in April 1717, and he attributed most of what he learned about the Indians to Mr. Griffin.” (4)
Here is a map from Alexander's book about John Fontaine's Journal.

And the next part brings me to much of the reason I am choosing to share excerpts and ideas from John Fontaine's Journal. As many know, I reject the notion that the Melungeons descend from 'a band of Portugues Gentlemen Adventurers. Maybe one or two Portuguese did father a family at most, of people that eventually became ancestors of a couple of the Melungeons. But it is absurd to claim more than this.
However since the word “Melangeon” is of French origin, I was hoping to find a 'French connection' to the Saponi Indians at Fort Christanna. The Fontaine family is one such connection. Alexander mentions off hand a conversation our Fontaine family members has about mixed race people. Peter Fontaine, brother to John, moved to Virginia and stayed there, whereas John, author of the Journal, went back to Europe and settled in Wales. Peter Jr., in one letter to his uncle John in Wales, speaks how his family settled in Halifax County. The American and Welsh descendents of this Huguenot family continued to write back and forth long after their were separated from one another by the vast Atlantic Ocean.They proceed to have a conversation about slavery, and part of that conversation concerns mixed race people (5).
Alexander continues; “Not often did the two groups of correspondents have a difference of opinion. Once however, John and Moses Fontaine asked the Reverend Peter (Sr.) two pointed questions – whether colonial breaches of Indian treaties had caused the Red Men to join the French in warring upon the frontiers and whether 'enslaving our fellow creatures was a practice agreeable to Christianity.' Peter replied to his brother, Moses, March 30, 1757, that the colonists had not broken their treaties, but he argued that they ought to have intermarried with the Indians so as to obtained their lands while converting them to Christiaity. He held the home authorities responsible for frowning on such unions and even threatening to half John Rolfe for marrying Pocahontas. How much better it would have been to have had Indian children as white at birth as White as Portuguese or Spaniards . . .” Reverend Peter Fontaine then makes some comments, that I wanted to leave out at first, but on second consideration, I will post. I don't want the last part of this sentence to negate the idea behind the first half. I need to continue on to the topic of slavery just a little, and so I need to include it. He continues from the last quote . . . “rather than the colonists pollute or smut their blood pollute their blood by copulating with Negroes and and producing a swarm of mulatto bastards.”
Alexander continues, “The economic facts of life in Virginia, Peter thought, required slave labor as long as that stinking and in itself useless weed – tobacco, continued the staple crop.” Alexander then quotes Reverend Peter Fontaine again. Rev. Fontaine then states the following about slavery, “It is a hard task to do our duty toward them [the slaves] as we ought, for we run the hazard of temporal ruin if they are not compelled to work hard on the one hand – and on the other, that of not being able to render an account of our stewardship in the other and better world, if we oppress and terrorize over them. (6)”
Rev. Peter Fontaine was typical for his day. They thought slavery was 'a necessary evil'. One way to justify ill treatment of others is to de-humanise them. 'They are NOT like us'. Even though he is a Christian Reverent, he tries to justify slavery, even though he knows it is wrong. There must have been many mulatto children or Rev. Peter would not have used such language. I believe the seeds of a small tri-racial group of families such as the Melungeons, can find its origins between the seventeen-teens, when as a young man John Fontaine befriended Gov. Spotswood, and the seventeen fifties when John, Moses, and Rev. Peter Fontaine are writing these letters back and forth across the Atlantic Ocean.
Having said that, and I don't want to understate his opinion in this, I still must also comment on the first half of that sentence, where Alexander quoted Rev Peter Fontaine, brother to John Fontaine, author of this journal, that quote being;
How much better it would have been to have had Indian children as white at birth as White as Portuguese or Spaniards . . .” Others have shown this DID happen! Mixed bloods DID EXIST! And some even later, out of fear of being counted as being mixed with Negro blood lood in a society where even Christian ministers consider mixing with Negroes as a 'pollution' of the gene pool, what could these people do? They could claim they were Portuguese. And that same minister who saw mixing with one race as 'pollution', had no problem with mixing with Indians as alright, because they would look like the Spanish or Portuguese. We have to understand why people said things to understand what they were saying. As each generation learns how to do things better, we must teach that which is better, and forsake that which is not.

1.] The above is mentioned in the introduction to “The Journal of John Fontaine, 1710-1719”.
2.] Introduction, page 6
3.] Introduction, page 12
4.] Introduction, page 13
5.] Introduction, page 27
6.] Introduction, page 28

Addendum to the Article

While researching this information, I came across information that Peter Fontaine, John's brother, also wrote something about the family, and his writings mentioned mixed race people. Although Alexander quoted this in part, I wanted to find the original source if possible. Part of it is found online at That website does have a lot of good information on it. They cite their material as follows – Fontaine, Peter. "Letters of the Rev. Peter Fontaine of Westover, Virginia": p. 233-355. Maury, Ann. Memoirs of a Huguenot Family: Translated and compiled from the original autobiography of the Rev. James Fontaine, and other Family Manuscripts; Comprising an original Journal of Travels in Virginia, New York, Etc, in 1715 and 1716. New York. Geo. P. Putnam & Co. 1853. 512 pgs. 

...Now, to answer your first query - whether by our breach of treaties we have not justly exasperated the bordering nations of Indians against us, and drawn upon ourselves the barbarous usage we meet with from them and the French? To answer this fully would take up much time. I shall only hint at some things which we ought to have done, and which we did not do at our first settlement amongst them, and which we might have learnt long since from the practice of our enemies the French. I am persuaded we were not deficient in the observation of treaties, but as we got the land by concession, and not by conquest, we ought to have intermarried with them, which would have incorporated us with them effectually, and made of them stanch friends, and, which is of still more consequence, made many of them good Christians; but this our wise politicians at home put an effectual stop to at the beginning of our settlement here, for when they heard that John Rolfe had married Pocahontas, it was deliberated in Council, whether he had not committed high treason by so doing, that is, marrying an Indian Princess; and had not some troubles intervened which put a stop to the inquiry, the poor man might have been hanged up for doing the most just, the most natural, the most generous and polite action that ever was done this side of the water. This put an effectual stop to all intermarriages afterwards. Our Indian traders have indeed their squaws, alias whores, at the Indian towns where they trade, but leave their offspring like bulls or boards to be provided for at random by their mothers. As might be expected, some of these bastards have been the leading men or war-captains that have done us so much mischief. This ill-treatment was sufficient to create jealousy in the natural man's breast, and made the Indians look upon us as false and deceitful friends, and cause all our endeavors to convert them to be ineffectual. But here methinks I can hear you observe, What! Englishmen intermarry with Indians? But I can convince you that they are guilty of much more heinous practices, more unjustifiable in the sight of God and man (if that, indeed, may be called a bad practice), for many base wretches amongst us take up with negro women, by which means the country swarms with mulatto bastards, and these mulattoes, if but three generations removed from the black father or mother, may by the indulgence of the laws of the country, intermarry with the white people, and actually do every day so marry. Now, if, instead of this abominable practice which hath polluted the blood of many amongst us, we had taken Indian wives in the first place, it would have made them some compensation for their lands. They are a free people, and the offspring would not be born in a state of slavery. We should become rightful heirs to their lands, and should not have smutted our blood, for the Indian children when born are as white as Spaniards or Portuguese, and were it not for the practice of going naked in the summer and besmearing themselves with bears' grease, &c., they would continue white; and had we thought fit to make them our wives, they would readily have complied with our fashion of wearing clothes all the year round; and by doing justice to these poor benighted heathen, we should have introduced Christianity amongst them. Your own reflections upon these hints will be a sufficient answer to your first query. I shall only add that General Johnson's success was owing, under God, to his fidelity to the Indians, and his generous conduct to his Indian wife, by whom he hath several hopeful sons, who are all war-captains, the bulwarks with him of the five nations, and loyal subjects to their mother country...
Interesting food for thought.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Information gleaned from Richard Heathcock's Compilation of Information about the Saponi bands (Northern) of the Catawba

Some information about the Saponi, and other Northern Bands of the Catawba
The Saponi are firsr found near presentday Lynchville Roanoke, and Charlottesville, Virginia. The bands that united with the Saponi eventually included the following; The Saponi proper, Tutelo,Ocaneechi, Stukenoke/Enoke/Eno, Keyauwee, Miepontski, Stegaraki/stegarski.(1).

Notice the Monacan and Mahook in the far north. To their south are “Sapon” and “Nahyssan” If you get rid of the “Nay” you have “Yssah”, very similar to “Yesaw”, which was what these people called themselves, and is verysimilar yo Esaw/Yssaw/Isaw; what the southern branch of the Eastern Siouan people's called themselves. The “Akenatzi”mentioned have got to be the “Occoneechi”.
Heathcock, talking about Lederer's witings, states “These parts, (the Piedmont of Virginia), were formerly possessed by the Tacci, alisas, Dogi, but they are extinct; and the Indians now seated here, are distinguished into several Nations of Mahoc, Nuntaneuck, alias Nuntaly, Nhayssan, Sapon, Monagog, Monquoack,Akenatzi, and Monakin, and one language is common to them all (2)
In 1676, the Tutelo, Saponi, and Occoneechi were living on islands on the Roanoke River, when they were attacked by Nathaniel Bacon as part of “Bacon's Rebellion. In 1680, the treaty of the Middle Plantation was signed, by the Saponi between may and June of that year, Mastegonoe was tribal chief and Tachapoake was headman. In 1701 John Lawson found the Saponi dwelling on the Yadkin River in North Carolina near the present town of Salusbury, North Carolina. Haithcock next mentions that the Saponi had moved by 1711 to a place called “Sapona Town,” a short distance from the Roanoke River, 15 miles westt of Windsor, Bertie County, North Carolina. This was apparently, before the Tuscarora War of that same year. Haithcock mentions one Saponi took the name “Johnson”, after a settler named John Johnson, who lived at Sapona Town. In 1713 Virginia's governor, Alexander Spotswood, established some lands for the Eastern Siouans. Elements of the following bands were reported to have gone there, to a place called “Fort Christanna”; Saponi, Tutelo, Occoneechi, Meiponstky, Monacan, and the Stegarsky. These all came to be called the Saponi Nation. Tanhee Soka, Saponi, signed his mark at Fort Christanna. (3).
So the Northern Catawban bands (which included the Saponi and othrs) were almost constantly on the move from the 1670s until they arrived at Christanna in 1713. That's between 40 and 50 years. During this time their numbers decreased drastically. They were apparently enslaved, died of disease, and in the slave wars, often instigated by South Carolina traders. More on this later.
John Lawson visited the Saponi town when it was located on the Yadkin River in 1701., near the present town of Salisbury. Per Haithcock, they then moved to Bertie County, North Carolina with the Tutelo. He states that the Saponi, Tutelo, and Occoneechi, had moved to a 'new town', called Sapona Town, 'evidently', before the Tuscarora War. He states their town was east of the Roanoke River, about 15 miles west of the present day town of Windsor, Bertie County, North Carolina. He mentions an 'Indian surnamed Johnson, and there was a Caucasian named 'John Johnson' living at the town of Sapona. In 1713 Virginia Governor Alexander Spotswood invited these Saponi, Tutelo, Occoneechi, along with the Eno/Stuckenock, Meiponponstky, Monocan and Stegarsky Indians became the Saponi. These Indians were invited to live at Fort Christanna in Southeastern Virginia. All of these people were Northern and Eastern bands of the Catawba Nation. Haithcock speaks often of how these Indians had lived on or near the Ohio River before being pushed back east and south, and points to the names of rivers in the area as evidence. My opinion is yes, this is evidence, but I don't think this evidence constitutes proof. Others say these Eastern Siouan peoples had lived in the Carolina's and portions of Virginia from the distant past. My personal opinion is that this void was filled by Algonquin peoples, the Shawnee, the Miama (also called Twigtwees), the Shawnee, and others. Also many people forget that each tribe lived in a small region, yet also controlled vast regions which they considered their 'hunting grounds'.

Here is a map showing the Saponi at the location near what is today Salisbury, North Carolina, about 1701, when visited by Lawson.Notice how the Tuscarora control most of Eastern North Carolina.

Here is a map of the same region AFTER the Tuscarora war. Notice most of Eastern North Carolina, prviously controlled by the Tuscarora, has been cleared of Indians. There were also a couple of bands of the Siouan peoples that are also gone from this region. Thwy either fled south to the Catawba are in the location located on the map as “Saponi Peoples” just to the west of the Meherrins. This was the location of Fort Christanna, founded by Virginia Governor Spotswood as a refuge for the last remnants of the Saponi and the bands that associated with them. It wasn't until the strength of the Tuscarora had been shattered that most of North Carolina became widely settled. Within a few more years, the power of the Catawban peoples, which consisted of most of the rest of the bands in South Carolina, would be shattered in the Yamassee War, opening the way to the settlement of much of South Carolina.
In 1714, Tanhee Soka and Hoontsky are mentioned as Chiefs of the Saponi at Fort Christanna.
The last surviving man who spoke the Tutelo language, Horation Hale, was said to have stated the people called all the Eastern Siouan peoples the “Yesah'. James Mooney stated the Catawba name for their own people was the 'Esaw'. Esaw and Yesah are practically identical, and is proof these people were all ONE NATION, at one time (4).
Per Haithcock, 300 Saponis were brought to Fort Christanna in March of 1715. In March 1716, it was reported some 60 Saponi warriors went on a war party against the Genito Indians. These are probably the Seneca. At this time they were ruled by twelve elders, and one a single chief. It was said that they would not treat with the English but in their own language. This probably means no tribal members spoke English fluently at that time.
In 1722, a treaty was signed between the Seneca and the colonies and Indians of Virginia, and both Carolinas. The following Saponi men were mentioned in a letter by Virginia Governor Gooch; Great George, John Sauano, Ben Harrison, Captain Tom, Pyah, Saponey Tom, Pyah, Tony Mack, Harry Irvin, and Dick. After the killing of a Nottaway Indian, four Saponi wee sent to jail. They were Chief Tom, Chief Mahenip, Harry Irvin and Pryor. I suspect Captain Tom and Chief Tom are the same people. I also suspect Pyah and Pryor are the same person.
In 1732 some Saponi returned to Fort Christanna from the Catawba. They returned to Fort Christanna. They were also allowed to settle along the Appomattox or Roanoke Rivers.
In 1733 the Saponi and Nottaway wanted a treaty between themselves, and wanted to include the Tuscarora.
In February of 1739, there was mention of 'a Saponi Camp' on the south side of the Nuese River in Craven County, North Carolina.
Probably about 1740, the Tutelo went north, stopping at Shamokin, Pennsylvania. These eventually went up to join with their ancient enemy, the Six Nations.
In 1742, eleven Saponi men are mentioned in the records of Orange County, Virginia. Their names are given as Maniassa, Captain Tom, Blind Tom, Foolish Zach, Little Zach, John Collins, Charles Griffen, Alexander Machartoon, John Bowling, Isaac, and Tom. It is interesting that 'Captain Tom' is mentioned both in 1722 at Fort Christanna and in 1742 in Orange County, Virginia. There are two other interesting names that time the Melungeons of Southwestern Virginia and Northeastern Tennessee early in the 19th century to the Saponi of Fort Christanna. We have John Collins and Charles Griffen in 1742 in Orange County, Virginia. We also have the Collins family, claiming a mixed-Indian origin in NE Tn. We also have a teacher named Charles Griffen who tought the Indians at Fort Christanna, and an Indian by that same name in Orange County, Virginia 3 decades later.
In 1749 in Johnson County, North Carolina, on the south side of the Nuese River, at a place called Powell's Run, a 'Saponi Camp' is mentioned at that location (5).
In 1753, the Tutelo joined the Six Nations, formerly their mortal enemies.
In 1755, there is mention of 14 men and 14 women living in Person County, North Carolina, who are Saponi Indians.
On April 19th, 1755, John Austin, a Saponi Indian, and Mary, a Susquehanna Indian, applied for a pass to the Catawba Nation.
In 1757, a party of Indians from the North Carolina/Virginia border region, visited Williamsburg, Virginia, and met with Virginia's governor. Some were Saponi. Here I wish Haithcock had elaborated more. If “some” were Saponi, what tribe were the rest?
There are dry spells where the Saponi aren't mentioned much. Haithcock mentions some who had earlier gone north to the Six Nations, in the 1760s and 70's. Unfortunately Haithcock mentions nothing more about those Indians that fought for the Brittish in the French and Indian War. He does mention some Saponi mized bloods who are mentioned on militia rosters in 1777 during the American Revolution. He lists their surnames as Riddle, Collins, Bunch, Bollins, Goins, Gibson, and Sizemore.
Haithcock says a group of Saponi, Nansemond, and Tuscarora peoples organized together in the 1780s, and they formed what is today known as the Haliwa Saponi, around a place known as “the Meadows”. They are called Haliwa because they live in both Halifax and Warren Counties, in North Carolina.
In 1784, some old Saponi families are still living in Brunswick County, Virginia, near the location of the former Fort Christana. Their surnames are Robinson, Haithcock, Whitmore, Carr, Jeffreys, and Guy. Many of these families are also found in Hillsborough County, North Carolina (6).
Hathcock mentions the following, “The Saponi/Christanna Indians by 1827 were being documented or recorded as Catawba by their friends, neighbors and officials in the Department of the interior. He provides 2 quotes. I.] “If descended from Indians at all, they were likely Catawba and lived in Eastern North Carolina.” and ii.] “It is a region much more likely to have been occupied by Indians from Virginia or by the Catawba Indians who ranged from South Carolina up through North Carolina into Virginia.” He mentions the surnames of these families; Hathcock, Dempsey, Jefferies, Guy, Johnson, Collins, Mack, Richardson, Lynch, Silvers, Mills, Riddle, Austin, Hedgepath, Copeland, Stewart, Harris, Nichols, Shepherd, Gibson, Coleman, Martin, Branham, Johns Taylor, Ellis, Anderson, Tom, Ervin, Bowling, Valentine, Goens, Sizemore, Bunch, Coker, Rickman, Whitmore, Mullins, Perkins, Harrison, Holley, Pettiford. Haithcock them implies these families were recognized by the state of North Carolina as the Haliwa Saponi Indians in the latter third of the twentieth century. Haliwa stands for the two counties where they mainly lived, Halifax and Warren Counties in North Carolina (7).
Heathcock mentions some 79 Saponi names. Some are full names, some are just given, and some are just surnames. Here is that list:Chief Mastegonoe, Chief Manehip, Chief Chawka, Chief Tanhee, Seko, Chief Tom, Chief John Harris, Captain Harrry, Captain Tom (Chief Tom and Captain Tom are perhaps the same person), Ned Beqarskin, Ben Bear Den, Pyah, Pryor (probably the same), Manniassa, Dick, Harry (perhaps the same as Captain Harry), Isaac, Tom (perhaps the same as captain or Chief Tom), Lewis Anderson, Thomas Anderson,Isham Johnson, Will Matthews, Isaac White )perhaps the same as 'Isaac'), John Hart, Carte Hedge Beth, Sepunis, Cornelious Harris, John Collins, Lewis Collins, Mullins, Charles Griffin, Absalon Griffin, Hannah Griffin, John Sauano, Saponey Tom,Alexander Marchartoon, John Bowlinig, Ben Harrison, Tony Mack, Great George, Little Zach, Blind Tom, Foolish Zach, Hary Irwin, Tom Irwin, John Austin, Sr and Jr, Richard Austin, Tutterow, Dempsey, Miles Bunch, William Thims, Chritopher Thims, John Head, Isaac Head, Heathcock, Jeffryes, Guy, Whitmore, Robinson, Carr, Ford, Long, Rickman, Coker, Jones, Richardson, Mills, Stewart, Going, Jackson, Thore, Williams, Branham, Johns, and Coleman. Now these are in adition to some of those already mentioned that are not mentioned here (8).
So recapping, first reports have the Monacan and Manahoac first being mentioned by John Smith to the west of the Jamestown Colony in 1607. In 1670 John Lederer has the Saponi and their allies along the eastern slope of the Appalachians in Virginia and Nprth carolina, indicating a movement southward. Lawson finds them near the present site of Salisbury, North Carolina. They flee again to live not far from the Tuscarora even before the Tuscarora War of 1722, only to flee again, to Fort Christanna by invitation of the Governor of Virginia, Alexander Spotswood..about 1714. Some flee with the Tuscarora up to Six Nations, but most remain in Virginia and the Carolinas whereover time, they become a mixed race minority in their own homelands. They were constantly being attacked prompting a treaty in 1722 with the Six Nations. Heathcock suggests a remnant fled north about 1740 to live with the Six Nations.

Haithcock's Compilation
1.] 1., Introduction
2.] page 4, The History of the Saponi Tribe and the Saponi Nation compiled by Richard Haithcock
3.] page 5
4.] page 5
5.] page 6
6.] page 7
.7] page 10.
8.] page 11

Saturday, February 7, 2015


The Saura/Cheraw

I am almost done now, with this blog enty. Hopefully I'' be finished with this entry about the end of Feburary.

De Soto spoke of the Xuala Indians. Pardo spoke of the same tribe, calling them the Joara.

Notice from this map shows the location of Xuala in Western North Carolina. Now when the think of the Cherokee of North Carolina, we consider their home, and call it “Qualla”. It is also in western North Carolina. Hmmm . . . do the two words have the same origin? I suspect they do.

Also notice the map above. It includes many of the state recognized, as well as federally recognized tribe, in Virginia, both of the Carolinas, and Florida.

Next, let us consider the Pardo expedition. There are people who who claim the Melungeons descend from a group of “Portuguese adventurers”. These same people use the Pardo expedition and say some troops were left behind, and forgotten. This is rediculous. Read “The Juan Pardo Expeditions” by Charles Hudson> If you look at a map from Hudson's book showing the city of Joara (p. 24), it is in the same location as Xuala per de Soto's accounts. Compare that to a map of the location Cherokee Reservation today, and it is what, maybe 40-50 miles to the west of Xuala, and Joara.

Notice the Xuala or de Soto, and Joara of Pardo, are one and the same. This location is just a little to the north east of the modern day lands of the North Carolina Cherokee, known as the "Qualla Boundary".

Juan Pardo departed December 1566 and returned March 7, 1567. He left a handful of soldiers under the command of Sargeant Moyano. The map shows the route of their expedition against the neighboring Indians in the spring of 1567.These men did help the people of Joara attack a few communities in the mountains.(map found on page 24). The following is taken from "The Juan Pardo Expeditions" by Charles Hudson. Hudson states, "The next place they came to was Joara, a very important town near resent day Marion, North Carolina. at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains . . . this was the same town De Soto chroniclers called Xuala." (18) Hudson goes on to say Pardo remained at Joara two weeks, and when he left, he left about 30 men at a Fort they called San Juan at Joara. under the command of Sargeant Hernando Moyano de Morales. It goes on to say he provisioned them with supplies for their matchlock guns. Plase note that according to Hudson, Pardo rturned to Santa Elena by a different route than he had taken, and that he had no problem at all getting back to their Spanish base at Santa Elena on March 7, 1567.

Sergent Moyano

Per Hudson, "Sergeant Moyano did not see Pardo again for about nine months, although the two of them exchanged letters carried by messengers.". Does this sound like they got lost and forgotten by the Spaniards? No, it doesn't. In early April, Pardo received a letter from Moyano saying they had fought a battle against the 'Chicsa' Indians.Could that be the 'Chicasaws'? Hudson guesses at the location of the Chicsa town and says Moyano attacked it with 15 men, but he says the exact location is unknown. The next part is very important, as to the conspiracy that these Spanish men were lost, and later became the forefathers of the Melungeons. The following is proof this did NOT happen. Hudson writes, "When Juan de Ribas, one of Pardo's soldiers, was questioned in 1602, he said that Moyano had helped an Indian chief defeat a rival. To have known this Ribas must have been one of Moyano's men, and he was living with the Spanish in 1602, and was NOT lost in the Southern Appalachians. 

Hudson provides one more such proof in the next paragraph. He states, "Moyano's involvement in aiding one interior chief against another is confirmed by Jaime Martinez, who served as an accountant in Florida from 1571 to about 1579. During this time, Moyano told Martinez about his exploits . . ." (19). So Moyano DID REAPPEAR in Spanish Florida! If the leader of the expedition reappeared in Florida, presumably so did his men. There is no reason to assume otherwise.These Spaniards that Pardo left behind returned to Spanish dominions.

 Moyano's men would have run out of ammunition and they would have had to have been resuplied. But there were roads, trails, often called traces, that went from the interior, going through the lands of the Eastern Siouan peoples, back to where the Spanish lands were, and the Spanish town of Santa Elena. They could have just traveled down the river, with the flow of the river taking them back to the Atlantic Ocean. We know they helped the Indians fight their enemy in the Mountains, so they should have been on friendly terms. Had that changed, the Indians would have killed them. And remember, Monayo and his men were Spanish, not Portuguese!

The above map is of the movements of many of the Southern bands of the Eastern Siouan bands rfom the times of the Spanish until much later times. It shows the Xuala/Joara in 1670 as being in the same location as the Guatari  wre in the 1560's. next we see or hear of the Saura they are on the Dan River, in two towns, Upper and Lower Saura Towns. As "Gua" in Spanish is  pronounced "Wa" in English, this is the same tribeal band as the "Wateree". We have a problem with this map however, as the Saura abandoned their two towns on the Dan River about 1700. It is possible they abandoned the region of the former Wateree about 1670, and at that time moved to the Dan River. They might have abandoned their town at Xuala/Joara long before. Since this is the only map I have at present showing this location (beside Guateri), this map is placed here. 

All American Indian males were trained as and considered warriors, and I suspect when Pardo's men attacked those towns to the west, it started a chain of events forcing their removal later. The people they attacked (possibly the Cherokee), of course, had to gain their revenge, and they may have harmed the Xoara/Saura so badly, they were forced to remove  further east. After the Spanish abandoned them, they were no longer there to protect them with their superior technology. 

About 1700 they fled to the Southeast towards Ylasi on the Pee Dee River, which the Yadkin becomes further downstream. They are still in South Carolina, but right on the NC/SC line, in what was to become the Cheraw District of the state of South Carolina. 

The above map is dated 1733. It shows the locations of various bands associated with the Catawba, including the “Saraw”. This map shows them in the North side of the Pee Dee River, not the south side. Near the Catawpa and the Sataree. Just north of the Saraw and the Keawee, just to the east of the Yadkin River. The Waxaus are just to the South of the Sataree, and on the opposite side of the river are the Wateree. Notice how far east the Saura have fled. But also notice the year – 1733. The Waxhaw who were supposed to have disappeared from history after the Yamassee War, are still on the map, as are the Yamassee. Notice the “ee” ending. As far as I know, no one has ever has ever said the Yamassee were Eastern Siouan. That “ee” ending makes one wonder . . . Also recall the map of state recognized tribal units in the carloinas and Virginia, shown earlier. The location of the Lumbee on that map is very close to the map here showing the Keowee and the Saraw.

I have one more map mwntioning the Cheraw -- 

"Charraw Town" is mentioned on this 1756 map, and they are shown as living with the Catawba.  Did they return to the NC/SC border region near the Pedee River, after this date? What became of them? This report is NOT complete -- will continue to work on it for a while, yet.

From “History of the Old Cheraws” by Alexander Gregg

From Gregg's account, he says there were no less than 28 Indian tribes in South Carolina (1). They did not realize many of these “tribes” were actually just 'bands' or a small part of a greater nation. I am interested in those who were of Eastern Siouan origin. Notice on the map below beside Camden, South Carolina, which is on the left edge of the map, half way from top to bottom is written “Indian Town”. We now know this was the location of what the Spanish called “Confitaquechi” (sp?)

Notice to the right of Camden and up a little is written “Cheraw's Precinct”. This was named for the Cheraw Indians.. As we have seen from previous maps, these are another name for the “Saura” Indians. Here is what Gregg says abut them. “Of the tribes which dwelt upon the Pedee and its tributaries. The Saras, or Saraws, as they were first called, afterwards the Charrows, Charraws, and Cheraws – occupied the region still identified by the name, Their territory extending thence to the coast, and along the coast from the cape Fear to the Pedee.
. . . upon the middle and lower parts of the river, the Winyaws. The Kadapaws were found on Lynche's Creek” You will find “Lynche's Cerek” east of Camden, and also east of the “Indian Town” beside it. The “Kadapaw” Indians are the “Catawba” Indians. Gregg seems to think the Cheraw or “Sara” Indians had lived in this region quite some time, but we know they were recent arrivals from the Spanish records of an earlier time. The Indian town near Camden was once a great city, and the capital town of the Eastern Siouans, oof which the Cheraw/Saura were but one band or region (2). Gregg continues to write as though the Catawba and the Cheraw were two distinct tribes, not realizing they were two bands of one greater nation. He speaks of the other tribes on the Pedee, and says they were absorbed by the greater tribes around them, in this instance meaning the Catawba. In reality however, they were ALWAYS one people, and if they moved together, it was for strength, as their numbers were dwindling. He says by 1743, twenty dialects were being spoken by the Catawba, saying “Cherah” was one of them. Per Gregg, the Cheraw were first mentioned by John Lederer, who travelled through the area between March 1669 and September 1770. Gregg suggests for a full story of Lederer's travels, we refer to Dr. Hawk's “History of North Carolina”, vol 11 pp. 43-63, with maps annexed. (3) He says Lederer calles them “Sara's or “Saraw's.” He quotes Lederer: “I departed from Watere the one and twentieth of June, and keeping a west course for nearly thirty miles, I came to Sara. . . . From Sara I kept a southwest course until the five and twentieth of June, and then I reached Wisacky. He speaks of nearby Indians called “Usheries”.There is no such tribe. I wonder it they mean “Uchee's? Gregg goes on to say these directions make no sense, and the tribes of his time never lived where Lederer's description puts them.However the map on page 20 shows this exact measure. The wateree later moved south to live nar the Catawba, while the Saura moved due north to live on the Dan River. I suspect however, that map has it worng, as other sources say they left the Dan River about 1700. Then might have hyst arrived in their location when Lederer met them. They could have then, just travelled down the river at leisure to get where they were later discovered in northeastern South Carolina, in the “Cheraw District”.Gregg, by assuming the description of the Saura of his time as living in the Cheraw District, get's hopelessly lost in geography. He concludes the Wateree and Waccamaw are the same people. Gregg confesses “Lederer's itenerary presents difficulties which we confess w can not satisfactorially solve. (4)”
There was one comment that caught my eye. Gregg said, “If, as is here conjectured, lederer passed through Robeson County, into South Carolina . . . it brings to light the fact never before suggested or imagined . . . that the Pedee, in the earlier days of aboriginal history, was known as “Sara”. And by 1732 there were Indians known as the Pedee Indians On December 15th, 1732, here is mention of the murder of a Pedee Indian, by the Upper House of the South Carolina Assembly (5). The man suspected of committing the murder was William Kemp.Gregg says; “concerning the fact of an Indian fellow being killed, named Corn-White-Johnny, His excellency issued the following order. On the 17th January, 1733, in council, upon hearing this day the information of William Kemp, relating to the death of of Corn White Johnny, and the affidavit of Thomas Burton, it is ordered that King Harry,, Captain Billy, George and dancing Johnny, and some of the relations of the deceased be and appear before me, the second Wednesday of February next ensuing, to give an account of what they know of the death of the said Indian, and that Wm. Kemp do attendat the same time. Likewise that Mr. John Thompson, Jun., is desired to acquaint the said Indians of the order. (6)”
The South carolina Gazette, dated June 30-July6, 1739sayd “On Saturday last . . . arrived at this town (Charleston, S. C.) eleven of the chief men among the Catawba and Cheraw Indians, who came to pay a tribute to his Honor, the Lieutenant Governor and inform him that some time since a party of their people went out to war . . .”(7).
In the Council Journal, no. 11, p. 133, dated March 2, 1743, we have; “his Excellency, the Governor, signed the following order . . . to provide for the Pedee Indians now in town . . .
“ . . . In Council, 25th of July, 1744, the governor admitted 4 Pedee Indians . . . who informet his excellency that 7 Catawbas had been killed by the Notchee Indians, who live among them. Governor Glen had the Notchee and Pedee Indians move closer to settlements, for safety, as the Catawbas were seeking revenge.
Several Catawba leaders are mentioned 2 years later. On the 27th of April, 1746, several Catawba leaders are mentioned as meeting the governor at the Congarees. The headmen mentioned are Yenabe Yalangway, the King. The old leader, Captain Taylor, Nafkehee, and some others, no names given, unfortunately. During this meeting, there is mentioned a Mr. Brown, who trades amongst the Catawba's. According to Gregg, Brown reported the following to the Governor. Gregg's accoount says, “Brown (who trades among the Catawba's) acquainted him that some of the Pedees and Cheraw's (two small tribes who have long been incorporated with the Catawbas) intended to leave them, which might prove of dangerous consequences at a time when they were so closely attacked by their enemies, the Northern Indians. Mr. Brown therefore entreated that if possible, such a separation might be prevented.” The governor then gave a speech to the Pedee and Cheraw Indians, advising them of he wisdom of remaining united as one. Gregg adds, “After this, they all promised to continue together” (8). Although Gregg says these Indians remained with the Catawba all their remaining history, King Haigler (the same Nafkehee mentioned last page. He seems to have been the next king) later wrote a letter to Governor Glen dated Nov. 21, 1752, asking the Pedee Indians to return. It is difficult to understand how and just who these Pedee Indians were, and what was their relationship to the Cheraw/Saura Indians (8).
The Pedee's are again mentioned August 30, 1748. Michael Welch, an overseer on Uchee Island on the Carolina coast line, sold an Negro slave to King Billy. It then goes on to say the Catawba Indians came and took the slave. He then escaped from the Catawba. So the Catawba still held sway over the Pedee Indians. The attitude of this Catawba King who took this slave might shed some light as to why these Indians wanted to leave the Catawba. I do not know if this is speaking about King Haigler or his predecessor. The earliest I have found, so far, mentions King Haigler in 1751.But I have only seen a few references (9).

An effort was made on the part of the Catawba to have the Pedee Indians move in with them. These Pedee Indians are not mentioned by that name earlier in their history. I suspect they were members of several groups that had dwindled to such a small number that they agreed to unite under a new name. Here is what the King of the Catawba said to Gov. Glen of South Carolina.. It is dated November 21st, 1752. There are a great many Pedee Indians living in the settlements that we want to come and settle amongst us. We desire for you to send for them, and advise for them to this, and give them this string of wampum in token that we want them to settle here, and will always live like brothers with them. The Northern Indians want them to settle with us; for as they are now at peace. They may be hunting in the woods or straggling about, killed by some of them, except they join us, and make but one nation, which will be a great addition of strength to us The (his [x] mark) King (10). Haigler was king of the Catawba at this time.

Immediately afte this, Gregg mentions a treaty between the Northwards Indians and the Southern Tribes. that is dated before Haigler's letter; on May 24th, 1751. He mentions tried living among the settlers, and says, "All the tribes . . . that live amongst our settlements, such as the Charrows, Uchees, Pedees, Notches, Cape Fears, and other Indians." (11).So there were numerous groups that had virtually been exterminated, but were still in existence, in pockets, in South Carolina.

Gregg continues his commentary. His next reference is dated 17th of October, 1755. He mentions a John Evans making a visit to the Catawbas by order of Governor Glen. From Evans journal, dated 17th of October, Evans mentions that during the summer, some Cherrakees amd Notchees had killed some Pedees and Waccamaws in the White peoples settlements (12). So we have mention now, of the Waccamaw as well, living in the White Peoples settlements. And we have the Catawba wanting them to move in with them, to strengthen their numbers. We have King Haigler trying to strengthen his people in numbers, by trying to get all these other bands, to move in with him and his Catawba.Our map previously listed dated 1756 shows some of the results of his efforts.

Continuing with this account, we have the following dated October 22, 1755. Evans says, "I set out from the Catawba Nation homeward, and at night came to a camp of Pedees. I aquainted them with my trip to the nation, and desired them to let me know who it was that killed and scalped the Pedee women and carried their boys away. Lewis Jones, their chief, answered, . . . he went down from the nation to the settlements . . . to inquite what harm was done . . . He met a Pedee Indian named Prince who lived in the settlements, and Prince told him that a day or two before the mischief was done, here was five Cherokees and one Notchee . . .and Lewis John said, he did believe they scalped the women and carried the boys away. (12)" There are a couple of points about this account. First Evans might be a figure to remember in the future. He sounds like an interesting fellow. Second, both Evans and Pedee Chief Lewis Jones/John 'left the Nation'. By nation, they mean the Catawba Nation. Third, these Pedee Indians are also found 'in the settlements', menaing the White settlements. They seem to be equally at home with the catawba, and in White settlements. And lastly fourth, the Pedee Chief is named Lewis Jones in one place, and next he is called 'Lewis John'. 'Johns' is a well known name of one modern band of the Catawba, the Monacans. This might be a coincidence,and maybe I am reaching at straws. But there it is, none the less.

Gregg mentions a later event. He says "In the South Carolina Gazette of June 2nd, 1759, this account was given; On Tuesday last, 45 Charraws, part of a Nation of Indians incorporated with the Catawbas, arrived in town, headed by King Johnny, brought him the scalp of a French Indian . . . taken . . . during the whole expedition against Fort DuQuesne . . ." (14).

There is another map dated 1750 shows another map of the Catawba homeland.

Notice the Catawba town is called Nasaue Town. Also we have Sugar Town (the Sugaree), Wateree Town living with the Chicisaw (Chickasaw). Waxaha Town is further down the river, and the location of the Congaree Fort is also shown even further south down the river, even though other records say it was abandoned decades earlier. Also some records suggested the Waxsaw were destroyed during the Yamasee River, there is still a Waxaha Town. If we see the 1756 map, perhaps Noostie town is Natchee Town, or where the Notchee (Natchez) took refuge. Nassaw and Nasaue town are probably one and the same, on the two maps.

So we have some Indians associated with the Catawba "living in the White Settlements", and we have the Catawba and rmnants of various tribes also living with the Catawba. But we also have a third band of these remnant's eastern Siouan Peoples, the Saponi and other wasted bands, that have taken refuge in Southeastern Virginia, that we haven't discussed. I will discuss them, later. Another, a fourth  band of these Eastern Siouans, the Tutelo who had been with the Saponi, will flee to the Six Nations of Canada and New York. Other groups of the Saponi that were once at Fort Christanna split into even smaller groups. These form some of the state recognized tribes of today. It is possible some never went to Fort Christanna, but were absorbed into the local population. And there are the people called Melungeons, who have since erroneously been called many things. By the 1750s, this is the state of the Eastern Siouans. They are mostly a group of refugees, with an uncertain future.

This writing is about the Saura/Cheraw. They are found in the 1750s, living with the Catawba, but they had also been living near the North Carolina/South Carolina border, on the Pedee River, and were living in what was once called "The Old Cheraw's" section of South Carolina.

Small Pox
The final destruction of these Indians is hinted at in the next paragraph. "In the Gazette of December 8th-15th, 1759, was this sad account of its [small pox] ravages; it is pretty certain that the small pox has lately raged with great violence among the Catawba Indians, and that it has carried off near one half of that nation . . . This distemper has since appeared among the inhabitants at the Charraws and Waterees." Immediately after this, Greggs says "The small pox went through the province in the year 1738." He continues "So distructive . . . had been this disease among the Indians . . .that its appearance brought on a spirit of . . . desperation." Later in the same paragraph we have; "About the time of the Revolution, some of the Catawba Warriors having visited Charleston, there contracted the disease again, and returning communicated it to their Nation." We have a last account mentioning the Charraws. Gregg says, "It was after this, having been sorely thinned by disease, that they we advised by their friends to invite the Charraws to move up and live with them as one tribe. here spoken of by the writers of the day, must have been a part of the tribe which had maintained its independence probablyin the region lower down the Pedee or on the coast, where they lead a proud but feeble existence." (15) Gregg goes on to say this small remnant of the Cherraws went to live with the Catawba, s ahad their brethren before, thus disappearing from history.

So we have three late outbreaks of small pox, one in 1738, one in 1759, and a last, a third, about the time of the Revolutionary War -- no date is given. Of the second outbreak, it was said that the small pox carried away half of the Catawba Nation. We have the entire Cherraw Tribe disappearing from history. But today, there is are a people called the "Lumbee" tribe of Indians living where the Cheraws had been observed living as late as the Revolutionary War. re the modern Lumbee that last remnant of the Cheraws? I don't know, but I don't think I have to go too far out on a feeble limb to say "maybe".

Gregg continues to write about tribes in the "Old Cheraws" region of South Carolina. He mentions the Pedee Indians, and says they were first called Pedee's about the year 1731-2, saying there is no mention of them before that date (16).  If one suggests they were members of wasted tribes, and took the name Pedee so they might be named after the Pedee River, one is then left pondering how the river got that name. Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Gregg spends many pages discussing possible spiritual beliefs of these Indians. Since all he does is speculate, ad that speculation is based on events that occurred in the Indian cultural background as seen through the prism of Christian beliefs, it is possible none of his observations have any validity at all. Also I am not comfortable discussing these things. I am more comfortable discussing history than culture.Gregg even alludes to this, saying "They seemed to have been unwilling, for the most part, to give any account of their customs, particularly those of a religious character" (17).When they died out, so did all the intimate knowledge of their religious beliefs. He does mention in passing the "annual Sacred fire" on page 23, making me thing they might have had some similarities with other tribes in the Southeast which are NOT Soiuan, the Cherokee and Muscogeean peoples. Most of the rest of the book speaks of the White settlers of the region. Gregg mentions the Scots-Irish settlers, and mentions a Welsh settlement as well.

A Little More Research to Do
Gregg does mention Gideon Gibson and a group of Mulatto, Mustee and others who move into the area of the Pedee from the Virginia/North Carolina border. Later research mentions these families and associated them with the Lumbee. I had hoped I might be able to tie the Cheraw to the Lumbee, but all I find are the Cheraw leaving the area and the Lumbee moving in about the same time. I will add these bits when I have them better organized.

History of the Old Cheraws by Alexander Gregg

  1. page 1
  2. page 2
  3. page 5.
  4. pages 6-7
  5. page 8
  6. page 9
  7. page 10-11
  8. page 11-12
  9. page 13
  10. page 13-14
  11. page 14
  12. page 15
  13. page 16
  14. page 16
  15. page 16-17
  16. page 20
  17. page 27
  18. page 25, The Juan Pardo Expedition by Charles Hudson
  19. pages 26-27 ditto