The Last trek of the Indians by Grant Foreman
Chapter XIX, Small Tribes
The Catawba are said to have been the most important of the [Eastern] Siouan tribes. They were at one time a powerful nation, living in South Carolina. . . .
P 317 –
. . . they were constantly at war with the Iroquois, Shawnee, Delaware . . . as well as with the Cherokee . . . the losses of the Catawba from ceaseless attacks by their enemies reduced their numbers steadily . . . before the close of the 18th century the great nation was reduced to a pitiful remnant. . . .
In 1738 smallpox raged in South Carolina . . . In 1759 it reappeared, and this time it destroyed nearly half of the tribe. In 1762 a small party of Shawnee killed the noted chief of the tribe, [King] Haiglar, near his own village. From this time on, the Catawba ceased to be of importance . . .
On the approach of the British troops in 1780, the Catawba withdrew temporarily into Virginia, but returned after the battle of Guilford Courthouse . . .
P 318 –
Because of their location among the White people, the Catawba tribe became largely intermingled with the Whites . . . Congress on July 29, 1848, appropriated $5,000 for the removal of the remnants of this tribe, “now in the limits of the state of North Carolina” to the Indian Territory (2). In his annual report for the following year the commissioner of Indian Affairs stated that a home for the Catawba of North Carolina had not been found west of the Mississippi. “They prefer a residence among the Chickasaws, to whom application was made to receive them, but to which there has been no answer.” (3) . . . but the commissioner said every effort would be made to carry out the law providing for their removal.
At a special session of the Chickasaw Council on September 4, 1850, it was resolved that the Chickasaw Nation decline to receive the Catawba whom the United States was trying to locate in their country. (4)
. . .
By reason of their dispersed condition, and their neglect by the federal government, the Catawba in the west did not benefit by the co-called “Allotment Act of 1887” and became scattered in and about the future Oklahoma, living in the manner of the White People, whose blood many of them possessed. In an effort to improve their condition, a convention of the Catawba was held in Fort Smith, Arkansas, on April 25, 1895, where efforts were made to organize and present to Congress their claims to allotments of lands. This convention was composed of representatives of 257 persons of Catawba blood living in the Creek and Choctaw nations and throughout Western Arkansas. Of those in attendance, 125 were from Arkansas. Greenwood in that state was the home of 44, the largest from any town; of the 132 living in Indian Territory, 17 claimed Checotah s their post office; and Starr was the home of34. Perhaps most conspicuous of these Catawba was “judge” Leblanche, who was among the Catawba Indians admitted into the Creek Tribe and who became a prominent merchant and cattleman living near Checota, Indian territory.
The Indians who assembled at Fort Smith set up a permanent organization, elected officers, and planned subordinate Catawba Associations in respective localities of members. (8) The main convention adopted a preamble, resolutions, and by-laws. Under the name of the “Catawba and Non-reservation Indians Convention,” with James Bain as chairman and George E. Williamson as secretary, the proceedings were incorporated in a memorial which was forwarded to Congress, whence in turn it was referred to the Secretary of the Interior for investigation and report. The Commissioner of Indian Affairs thereupon prepared the desired report, which the Senate, on September 23, 1897, ordered to be printed, and which became Senate Document 144 (54th Cong, 2d sess.) This report is exhaustive and contains all the history of these Indians within the knowledge of the Office of Indian Affairs at that time.
The Commissioner of Indian Affairs stated in his report that “no action on the question of their removal appears to have been taken by the government or any of the Indians on the question of their removal to the Choctaw or other country until 1872, when the Hon. J. C. Harper of the House of representatives from Georgia, brought to the attention of this office the question of the removal of certain Indians in North Carolina and Georgia. Presuming they were Cherokee, this office requested him, on the 13th of June, 1872, to furnish a list of the names and ages of said Indians.” In reporting the names, Mr. James McDowell of Fairmount, Georgia, in October 1872, stated that the Indians referred to, who were asking for relief of the government, were Catawba and eighty-four in number. Of this number, sixty-nine were named Guy – descendants of William Guy, of Granville, Georgia, who had served five years in the Revolutionary Army, along with Simon Jeffers, another Catawba Indian.
The Catawba Indians became widely dispersed, and on January 9, 1896, Senator H. M. Teller wrote the Commissioner of Indian Affairs and enclosed a letter from P. H. Head, a Catawba Indian of Sanford, Colorado, submitting a petition purporting to have been signed by himself and twenty-five others, embracing six Catawba families once resident in South Carolina but who were no longer recognized by that state, asking to be united with the Ute Indian Tribe living on the Uintah reservation in Utah. (9)
“1.” Handbook I, 213; reference is made to this authority for an extended account of Catawba history.
“2.” 9 U. S. Stat. 264.
“3.” Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1848, p. 949.
“4.” Grant Foreman, Five Civilized Tribes, p. 122. [A called session was held September 4, 1850 where it was resolved that the Chickasaw Tribe decline to receive the Catawba Indians living in North and South Carolina, whom the government was trying to locate in their country.]
“5.” Ibid., p. 76. [from ”Five Civilized Tribes”, Foreman: Among the recent arrivals in the Choctaw Nation was a party of Catawba Indians who left South Carolina in December, 1851, and after six had died on the way, the surviving nineteen reached the Choctaw agency in February following. They were peaceable and inoffensive people and begged to be admitted into the Choctaw Nation (31). They had recently made similar application to the Chickasaw Nation and had been refused. On November 9th, 1853, the Choctaw Council passed the necessary legislation admitting to the tribe as members the following Catawba Indians: William Morrison, Thomas Morrison, Sarah Jane Morrison, Molly Redhead, Betsey Heart, Rebecca Heart, Phillip Keggo, and Cynthia Keggo, Rosey Ayers, Betsey Ayers, Juliana Ayers,, Mary Ayers, Sopronia Ayers, and Sally Ayers. (32)].
“– (31) – [in reference to"One Hundred Red Men" Dec.6, 1849,OIA, Choctaw File] Drew to commissioner of Indian Affairs, September, 23, 1853, ibid., D 418.
“– (32) – [in reference to"One Hundred Red Men" Dec.6, 1849,OIA, Choctaw File] Cooper to commissioner of Indian Affairs, January 4, 1854, ibid., D 504.
“6.” Choctaw Laws (1869 ed.), p. 125.
“7.” Ibid., p. 153.
“8.” They had previously met at Rocky Ridge and Ault’s Mill, Arkansas (Fort Smith Elevator, August 16, 1839, p. 3, col. 6).
“9.” These were probably part of a delegation that removed to Colorado and New Mexico in 1890, some of whom joiner the Mormon Church. See an interesting article, “The Catawba Nation and Its Neighbors,” North Carolina Historical review, Vol. XVI, No. 4.
Catawba Indian Genealogy by Ian Watson
Catawba Indian Genealogy by Ian Watson.
Department of Anthropology
State University of New York at Geneseo
Geneseo, New York 14454
Series Editor: Russell A. Judkins
A very few additional printed copies of this book are still available for $20 postpaid from the Department of Anthropology, SUNY Geneseo, Geneseo, N.Y. 14454. Checks should be made payable to the Geneseo Foundation.
from P 83 of the book, which is P 95 of the *.pdf file --
The Catawbas and the Cheraws
The Catawbas, as mentioned in the Introduction, are really an amalgamation of a number of South Carolina Indian tribes which merged during the early to mid-1700s. At one point, observer James Adair noted, there were over twenty different dialects spoken in the Catawba Nation, each apparently representing a different group which had become wholly or partially a member of the Catawba Nation (see Hudson 1970, 47-48). At least one larger tribe sent a migrant to the Catawbas: one Catawba, living in 1780 and 1792, was known as Chickesaw Jammy (M02; G1792). Prominent among the smaller South Carolina Indian tribes associated with the Catawbas were the Cheraw (also Sara) Indians. They formed perhaps the largest ethnic minority among the Catawbas. In 1759 they were described as “a Nation of Indians incorporated with the Catawbas” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, S.C., 2 June 1759, copy courtesy Wesley D. White); Steven G. Baker (1975, table 1) notes that fifty or sixty Cheraws were living with the Catawbas in 1768. Three Catawba surnames can be associated with the Cheraws. We know of a man named Cheraw George (see Brown 1966, 249), and of a man named Cheraw Robin (McDowell 1955, 145). We also know that the Harris family was of Cheraw origin (see Brown 1966, 218, 249). Interestingly, we find records to connect all three of these surnames. The odd forename Pinetree belonged to two Catawbas: Pinetree George and Pinetree Robin (M02; G1792). It could have been a forename peculiar to Cheraws. And in the Plat Book, the George and Harris families were associated (see PB, 135, 202, 203, 302, 303). Similarly, the George and Harris families were prominent in Catawba affairs during the mid-1700s, but became less important during the late 1700s and early 1800s. Starting in the 1840s, both families became increasingly important in Catawba history, becoming probably the two largest families on the Reservation in the late 1800s. The continued association between the George and the Harris families, both probably of Cheraw origin, leads me to conclude that ethnic diversity continued to divide the Catawbas into factions long after the Catawbas were nominally unified.
[note 1: Surnames mentioned – Blue, Brown, Canty, Clinton, Cook, Gordon, Harris, Heart, Joe, Kegg, Kennedy, Morrison, Mursh, Nettles, Owl, Patterson, Sanders, Stephens ,Wahoo (Screech Owl), Williams. At the bottom of the *.pdf file are a couple of dozen other surnames, not mentioned above.]
[note 2: a list of great source material is found in this *.pdf file, I have left a link to it at the top of this posting.]