Yamasee War

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Yamasee War
Part of the American Indian Wars
DateApril 14, 1715—17
Location
Result

Colonial government victory

  • Power of the Yamasee was broken
  • South Carolina colonists establish uncontested control of the coast
  • The Catawba become the dominant tribe in the interior
Belligerents
Colonial militia of South Carolina
Colonial militia of North Carolina
Colonial militia of Virginia
Catawba (from 1715)
Cherokee (from 1716)
Yamasee
Ochese Creeks
Catawba (until 1715)
Cherokee (until 1716)
Waxhaw
Santee
Commanders and leaders
Charles Craven

The Yamasee or Yemassee War (1715–1717) was a conflict between British settlers of colonial South Carolina and various Native American tribes, including the Yamasee, Muscogee, Cherokee, Catawba, Apalachee, Apalachicola, Yuchi, Savannah River Shawnee, Congaree, Waxhaw, Pee Dee, Cape Fear, Cheraw, and others. Some of the Native American Indian groups played a minor role while others launched attacks throughout South Carolina in an attempt to destroy the colony.

Province of Carolina Colony in North America

The Province of Carolina was an English and later a British colony of North America. Carolina was founded in what is present-day North Carolina. Carolina expanded south and, at its greatest extent, nominally included the present-day states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi, and parts of modern Florida and Louisiana.

Native Americans in the United States Indigenous peoples of the United States (except Hawaii)

Native Americans, also known as American Indians, Indigenous Americans and other terms, are the indigenous peoples of the United States, except Hawaii. There are over 500 federally recognized tribes within the US, about half of which are associated with Indian reservations. The term "American Indian" excludes Native Hawaiians and some Alaska Natives, while Native Americans are American Indians, plus Alaska Natives of all ethnicities. Native Hawaiians are not counted as Native Americans by the US Census, instead being included in the Census grouping of "Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander".

The Yamasee were a multiethnic confederation of Native Americans who lived in the coastal region of present-day northern coastal Georgia near the Savannah River and later in northeastern Florida.

Contents

Native Americans killed hundreds of colonists and destroyed many settlements. Traders "in the field" were killed throughout what is now southeastern United States. Abandoning settled frontiers, people fled to Charles Town, where starvation set in as supplies ran low. The survival of the South Carolina colony was in question during 1715. The tide turned in early 1716 when the Cherokee sided with the colonists against the Creek, their traditional enemy. The last of South Carolina's major Native American foes withdrew from the conflict in 1717, bringing a fragile peace to the colony.

Southeastern United States Region

The Southeastern United States is broadly, the eastern portion of the Southern United States, and the southern portion of the Eastern United States. It comprises at least a core of states on the lower Atlantic seaboard and eastern Gulf Coast. Expansively, it includes everything south of the Mason-Dixon line, the Ohio River and the 36°30' parallel, and as far west as Arkansas and Louisiana. There is no official U.S. government definition of the region, though various agencies and departments use different definitions.

Charleston, South Carolina City in the United States

Charleston is the oldest and largest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina, the county seat of Charleston County, and the principal city in the Charleston–North Charleston–Summerville Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city lies just south of the geographical midpoint of South Carolina's coastline and is located on Charleston Harbor, an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean formed by the confluence of the Ashley, Cooper, and Wando rivers. Charleston had an estimated population of 134,875 in 2017. The estimated population of the Charleston metropolitan area, comprising Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties, was 761,155 residents in 2016, the third-largest in the state and the 78th-largest metropolitan statistical area in the United States.

The Yamasee War was one of the most disruptive and transformational conflicts of colonial America. It was one of the American Indians' most serious challenges to European dominance. For over a year the colony faced the possibility of annihilation. About 7% of South Carolina's white citizenry was killed, making the war a competitor for the title of bloodiest war in American history in terms of percentage of population killed. [1] The geopolitical situation for British, Spanish, and French colonies, as well as the Indian groups of the southeast, was radically altered. The war marks the end of the early colonial era of the American South. The Yamasee War and its aftermath contributed to the emergence of new Indian confederated nations, such as the Muscogee Creek and Catawba.

Colonial American military history military record of the Thirteen Colonies from their founding to the American Revolution in 1775

Colonial American military history is the military record of the Thirteen Colonies from their founding to the American Revolution in 1775.

Southern United States Cultural region of the United States

The southern United States, also known as the American South, Dixie, Dixieland, or simply the South, is a region of the United States of America. It is located between the Atlantic Ocean and the western United States, with the midwestern United States and northeastern United States to its north and the Gulf of Mexico and Mexico to its south.

Catawba people Native American tribe

The Catawba, also known as Issa, Essa or Iswä but most commonly Iswa, are a federally recognized tribe of Native Americans, known as the Catawba Indian Nation. They live in the Southeastern United States, on the Catawba River at the border of North Carolina, near the city of Rock Hill, South Carolina. They were once considered one of the most powerful Southeastern Siouan-speaking tribes in the Carolina Piedmont, as well as one of the most powerful tribes in the South as a whole.

The origin of the war was complex. Reasons for fighting differed among the many Indian groups who participated. Commitment differed as well. Factors included land encroachment by Europeans, the trading system, trader abuses, the Indian slave trade, the depletion of deer, increasing Indian debts in contrast to increasing wealth among some colonists, the spread of rice plantation agriculture, French power in Louisiana offering an alternative to British trade, long-established Indian links to Spanish Florida, the vying for power among Indian groups, as well as an increasingly large-scale and robust intertribal communication network, and recent experiences in military collaboration among previously distant tribes.

Slavery among Native Americans in the United States Native Americans owning, and being, slaves

Slavery among Native Americans in the United States includes slavery by Native Americans as well as slavery of Native Americans roughly within the present-day United States. Tribal territories and the slave trade ranged over present-day borders. Some Native American tribes held war captives as slaves prior to and during European colonization, some Native Americans were captured and sold by others into slavery to Europeans, and a small number of tribes, in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, adopted the practice of holding slaves as chattel property and held increasing numbers of African-American slaves.

Rice cereal grain and seed of Oryza sativa

Rice is the seed of the grass species Oryza sativa or Oryza glaberrima. As a cereal grain, it is the most widely consumed staple food for a large part of the world's human population, especially in Asia. It is the agricultural commodity with the third-highest worldwide production, after sugarcane and maize.

Plantation long artificially established forest, farm or estate, where crops are grown for sale

A plantation is the large-scale estate meant for farming that specializes in cash crops. The crops that are grown include cotton, coffee, tea, cocoa, sugar cane, sisal, oil seeds, oil palms, rubber trees, and fruits. Protectionist policies and natural comparative advantage have sometimes contributed to determining where plantations were located.

Background

Overview map of the Yamasee War YamaseeWarMap01.png
Overview map of the Yamasee War

The Tuscarora War and its lengthy aftermath played a major role in the outbreak of the Yamasee War. The Tuscarora, an Iroquoian-speaking tribe of the interior, began attacking colonial settlements of North Carolina in 1711. South Carolina settlers mustered armies and campaigned twice against the Tuscarora, in 1712 and 1713. These armies were made up mainly of allied Indian troops. The Yamasee had been strong military allies of South Carolina colonists for many years. Yamasee warriors made up the core of both Carolina armies. Other Indians were recruited over a large area from diverse tribes that in some cases were traditional enemies of one another. Tribes that sent warriors to South Carolina's armies included the Yamasee, Catawba, Yuchi, Apalachee, Cusabo, Wateree, Sugaree, Waxhaw, Congraree, Pee Dee, Cape Fear, Cheraw, Sissipahaw, Cherokee, and various proto-Creek groups. [2]

The Tuscarora War was fought in North Carolina from September 22, 1711 until February 11, 1715 between the British, Dutch, and German settlers and the Tuscarora Native Americans. The Europeans enlisted the Yamasee and Cherokee as Indian allies against the Tuscarora, who had amassed several allies themselves. This was considered the bloodiest colonial war in North Carolina. Defeated, the Tuscarora signed a treaty with colonial officials in 1718 and settled on a reserved tract of land in what became Bertie County.

Tuscarora people ethnic group

The Tuscarora are a Native American tribe and First Nations band government of the Iroquoian-language family, with members today in North Carolina, New York, and Ontario. They coalesced as a people around the Great Lakes, likely about the same time as the rise of the Five Nations of the historic Iroquois Confederacy, also Iroquoian-speaking and based then in present-day New York.

Iroquoian languages language family

The Iroquoian languages are a language family of indigenous peoples of North America. They are known for their general lack of labial consonants. The Iroquoian languages are polysynthetic and head-marking.

This military collaboration brought Indians of the entire region into closer contact with one another. The Indians saw the disagreements and weaknesses of the British colonies, as South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia bickered over various aspects of the Tuscarora War. [3] Essentially all of the tribes that helped South Carolina during the Tuscarora War joined in attacking settlers in the colony during the Yamasee War, just two or three years later.

The Yamasee, while often described as a tribe, were an amalgamation of the remnants of earlier tribes and chiefdoms, such as the Guale and groups originating in the provinces of Tama and Ocute in interior Georgia (Worth 1993:40–45). The Yamasee emerged during the 17th century in the contested frontier between South Carolina and Spanish Florida. At first allied with the Spanish, the Yamasee moved north in the late 17th century and soon became South Carolina's most important Indian ally. They lived near the mouth of the Savannah River and around Port Royal Sound. [4]

For years, the Yamasee profited from their relation with the British. By 1715, they found it difficult to obtain the two trade items most desired by the British—deerskins and Indian slaves. Some historians have suggested that when the British took a census of their people that year, many feared their own enslavement at British hands. With demand for deerskins rising over an ever-larger region, deer had become rare in Yamasee territory. In addition, after the Tuscarora War, the Yamasee found slave-raiding opportunities to be limited. The Yamasee became increasingly indebted to the British traders, who supplied them with trade goods on credit. By 1715 rice plantations had begun to thrive in South Carolina and be exported as a commodity crop. Much of the accessible land good for rice had been taken up. The Yamasee had been granted a large land reserve on the southern borders of South Carolina, and settlers began to covet their land, which they deemed ideal for rice plantations. [5]

Historians have not determined if the Yamasee were leaders in fomenting Indian unrest and plans for war. The Ochese Creeks (later known as the Lower Creeks) may have been more instrumental in gaining support for war. Each of the Indian tribes that joined in the war had its own reasons, as complicated and deeply rooted in the past as that of the Yamasee. Although the tribes did not act in carefully planned coordination, the unrest increased, and intertribal communication began about the possibility of war. By early 1715 rumors of growing Indian support for war was troubling enough that some friendly Indians warned colonists of the danger. They suggested the Ochese Creek were the instigators. [6]

Summary of the war

Pocotaligo massacre

When the warnings about a possible Ochese Creek uprising reached the South Carolina government, they listened and acted. The government sent a party to the main Upper Yamasee town of Pocotaligo (near present-day Yemassee, South Carolina). They hoped to obtain Yamasee assistance in arranging an emergency summit with the Ochese Creek leaders. The delegation's visit to Pocotaligo triggered the start of the war.

The delegation that visited Pocotaligo consisted of Samuel Warner and William Bray, sent by the Board of Commissioners. They were joined by Thomas Nairne and John Wright, two of the most important people of South Carolina's Indian trading system. Two others, Seymour Burroughs and an unknown South Carolinian, also joined. On the evening of April 14, 1715, the day before Good Friday, the men spoke to an assembly of Yamasee. They promised to make special efforts to redress Yamasee grievances. They also said that Governor Craven was on the way to the village.

During the night, as the South Carolinians slept, the Yamasee debated over what to do. There were some who were not fully pledged to a war, but in the end the choice was made. After applying war paint, the Yamasee woke the Carolinians and attacked them. Two of the six men escaped. Seymour Burroughs fled and, although shot twice, raised an alarm in the Port Royal settlements. The Yamasee killed Nairne, Wright, Warner, and Bray. The unknown South Carolinian hid in a nearby swamp, from which he witnessed the ritual death-by-torture of Nairne. [7] The events of the early hours of Good Friday, April 15, 1715, marked the beginning of the Yamasee War.

Yamasee attacks and South Carolina counterattacks

The Yamasee quickly organized two war parties of several hundred men, which set out later in the day. One war party attacked the settlements of Port Royal, but Seymour Burroughs had managed to reach the plantation of John Barnwell and a general alarm had been raised. By chance, a captured smuggler's ship was docked at Port Royal. By the time the Yamasee arrived, several hundred settlers had found refuge on the ship, while many others had fled in canoes.

The second war party invaded Saint Bartholomew's Parish, plundering and burning plantations, taking captives, and killing over a hundred settlers and slaves. Within the week, a large Yamasee army was preparing to engage a rapidly assembled South Carolinian militia. Other Yamasee went south to find refuge in makeshift forts.

The Yamasee War was the first major test of South Carolina's militia. Governor Craven led a force of about 240 militia against the Yamasee. The Yamasee war parties had little choice but to join together to engage Craven's militia. Near the Indian town of Salkehatchie (or "Saltcatchers" in English), on the Salkehatchie River, a pitched battle was fought on open terrain. It was the kind of battle conditions which Craven and the militia officers desired and the Indians were poorly suited for.

Several hundred Yamasee warriors attacked the 240 or so members of the militia. The Yamasee tried to outflank the South Carolinians but found it difficult. After several head warriors were killed, the Yamasee abandoned the battle and dispersed into nearby swamps. Although the casualties were about equal, 24 or so on each side, the practical result was a decisive victory for South Carolina. Other smaller militia forces pressed the Yamasee and won a series of further victories.

Alexander MacKay, experienced with Indian war, led a force south. They found and attacked a group of about 200 Yamasee who had taken refuge in a palisade-fortified encampment. After a relatively small Carolinian party made two sorties over the walls of the fort, the Yamasee decided to retreat. Outside the fort, the Yamasee were ambushed and decimated by MacKay and about 100 men.

A smaller battle took place in the summer of 1715, becoming known as the Daufuskie Fight. A Carolinian boat scout crew managed to ambush a group of Yamasee, killing 35 while suffering only one casualty. Before long, the surviving Yamasee decided to move farther south to the vicinity of the Altamaha River.

Traders killed

While the Yamasee were the main concern within the colony's settlements, British traders operating throughout the southeast found they were caught up in the conflict. Most were killed. Of about 100 traders in the field when the war broke out, 90 were killed in the first few weeks. Attackers included warriors of the Creek (the Ochese, Tallapoosa, Abeika, and Alabama peoples), the Apalachee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Catawba, Cherokee, and others.

Northern Front

During the first month of the war, South Carolina hoped to receive assistance from the northern Indians, such as the Catawba. But the first news from the north was that the Catawba and Cherokee had murdered British traders among them. The Catawba and Cherokee had not attacked traders as quickly as did the southern Indians. Both tribes were divided over what course to take. Some Virginian traders were accused of goading the Catawba into making war on South Carolina. Although the Catawba killed traders from South Carolina, they spared those from Virginia.

By May 1715 the Catawba sent war parties against South Carolina settlers. About 400 warriors from the Catawba, Wateree, and Sarraw tribes, joined by about 70 Cherokee, terrorized the northern parts of the colony. The Anglican missionary Francis Le Jau stated that on May 15th South Carolinian force of 90 cavalry under Captain Thomas Barker, many of them Le Jau's parishioners, went north in response. They were guided by a former Native American slave who had been freed by Captain Barker's father-in-law Col. Jame Moore. Le Jau was of the opinion that the freed slave named Wateree Jack [8] purposefully led Barker and his men into an ambush on May 17, laid by a force that he said contained a "Body of Northern Indians being a mixture of Catabaws, Sarraws Waterees &c. to Number of 3. or 400". [9] In the ambush the Northern Indian war party managed to kill 26 of them including Barker, ten of which were Le Jau's parishioners.. The defeat of Barker prompted the evacuation of the Goose Creek settlement leaving it entirely abandoned but for two fortified plantations. [10] Le Jau noted that, rather than press their advantage, the Northern Indian war band stopped to besiege a makeshift fort on Benjamin Schenkingh's plantation. The fort was garrisoned by 30 defenders, both white and black. Ultimately the attackers feigned a desire to have peace talks. When they were allowed in they set about killing 19 of the defenders. After this, South Carolina had no defenses for the wealthy Goose Creek district, just north of Charles Town.

Before the northern forces attacked Charles Town, most of the Cherokee left, as they had heard about their own towns being threatened. The remaining Northern Indians then faced a rapidly assembled militia of 70 men under the command of George Chicken, Le Jau's own son being among them. On June 13, 1715, Chicken's militia ambushed a Catawba party and launched a direct assault upon the main Catawba force. In the Battle of the Ponds, the militia routed the Catawba. The warriors were not used to such direct confrontation. After returning to their villages, the Catawba decided on peace. By July 1715, Catawba diplomats arrived in Virginia to inform the British of their willingness to not only make peace, but to assist South Carolina militarily.

Creek and Cherokee

The Ochese Indians had probably been instigators of the war at least as much as the Yamasee. When the war broke out, they promptly killed all the South Carolinian traders in their territory, as did the other Creek, the Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Cherokee.

The Ochese Creek were buffered from South Carolina by several smaller Indian groups, such as the Yuchi, Savannah River Shawnee, Apalachee, and Apalachicola. In the summer of 1715, these Indians made several successful attacks on South Carolina settlements. Generally the Ochese Creek were cautious after South Carolina's counterattacks proved effective. The smaller Indian groups fled the Savannah River area.

Many found refuge among the Ochese Creeks, where plans were being made for the next stage of the war. The Upper Creek were not as determined to wage war had strong respect for the Ochese Creek. They might have joined in an invasion if conditions were favorable. An issue at stake was trade goods. The Creek people had come to depend on English trade goods from South Carolina. Facing possible war with the British, the Creek looked to the French and Spanish as possible market sources. The French and Spanish were more than willing to supply the Creek, but they were unable to provide the same quantity or quality of goods which the British had been providing. Muskets, gunpowder, and bullets were especially needed if the Creek were to invade South Carolina. The Upper Creek remained reluctant to go to war. Nevertheless, the Creek formed closer ties to the French and Spanish during the Yamasee War.

The Ochese Creeks had other connections, such as the Chickasaw and Cherokee. But the Chickasaw, after killing their English traders, had been quick to make peace with South Carolina. They blamed the deaths of the traders in their towns on the Creeks—a lame excuse that was gladly accepted by South Carolina. The Cherokee's position became strategically important.

The Cherokee were divided. In general the Lower Cherokee, who lived closest to South Carolina, tended to support the war. Some participated in Catawba attacks on South Carolina's Santee River settlements. The Overhill Cherokee, who lived farthest from South Carolina, tended to support an alliance with South Carolina and war against the Creek. One of the Cherokee leaders most in favor of an alliance with South Carolina was Caesar, a chief of a Middle Cherokee town.

In late 1715, two South Carolinian traders visited the Cherokee and returned to Charles Town with a large Cherokee delegation. An alliance was made, and plans for war against the Creek developed. But in the following month the Cherokee failed to meet up with South Carolinians at Savannah Town as planned. South Carolina then sent an expedition of over 300 soldiers to the Cherokee, arriving in December, 1715. They split up and visited the key Lower, Middle, and Overhill towns, and quickly saw how divided the Cherokee were. During the winter the Cherokee leader Caesar traveled throughout the Cherokee towns, drumming up support for war against the Creek. Other prestigious and respected Cherokee leaders urged caution and patience, including Charitey Hagey the Conjurer of Tugaloo, one of the Lower Towns closest to South Carolina. Many of the Lower Town Cherokee were open to peace with South Carolina, but reluctant to fight anyone other than the Yuchi and Savannah River Shawnee.

The South Carolinians were told that a "flag of truce" had been sent from the Lower Towns to the Creek, and that a delegation of Creek headmen had promised to come. Charitey Hagey and his supporters seemed to be offering to broker peace talks between the Creek and South Carolinians. They convinced the South Carolinians to alter their plans of war. Instead, the South Carolinians spent the winter trying to dissuade Caesar and the pro-war Cherokee.

Tugaloo Massacre

On January 27, 1716, the South Carolinians were summoned to Tugaloo, where they discovered that the Creek delegation had arrived and that the Cherokee had killed 11 or 12 of them. The Cherokee claimed that the Creek delegation was in fact a war party of hundreds of Creek and Yamasee, and that they had nearly succeeded in ambushing the South Carolinian forces. It remains unknown exactly what happened at Tugaloo. That the Cherokee and Creek met in private without the South Carolinians present suggests that the Cherokee were still divided on whether to join the Creek and attack South Carolina or join the South Carolinians and attack the Creek. It is possible that the Cherokee, who were relatively new to trade with the British, hoped to replace the Creek as South Carolina's main trading partner. Whatever the underlying factors, the murders at Tugaloo probably resulted from an unpredictable and heated debate which, like the Pocotaligo massacre, ended in an impasse resolved through murder. After the Tugaloo massacre the only possible solution was war between the Cherokee and Creek and an alliance between the Cherokee and South Carolina.

The Cherokee alliance with South Carolina doomed the possibility of a major Creek invasion of South Carolina. At the same time, South Carolina was eager to regain peaceful relations with the Creek and did not want to fight a war with them. While South Carolina did supply the Cherokee with weapons and trade goods, they did not provide the military support that the pro-war Cherokee had hoped for. There were Cherokee victories in 1716 and 1717, but Creek counterattacks undermined the Cherokee's will to fight, which had been divided from the start. Nevertheless, the Creek and Cherokee continued to launch small-scale raids against each other for generations.

In response to The Tugaloo massacre and the Cherokee attacks, the Ochese Creek made a strategic defensive adjustment in early 1716. They relocated all their towns from the Ocmulgee River basin to the Chattahoochee River. The Ochese Creek had originally lived along the Chattahoochee, but had moved their towns to the Ocmulgee River and its tributary, Ochese Creek (from which the name "Creek" came), around 1690, in order to be closer to South Carolina. Their return to the Chattahoochee River in 1716 was thus not so much a retreat as a return to previous conditions. The distance between the Chattahoochee and Charles Town protected them from a possible South Carolina attack.

In 1716 and 1717, as no major Cherokee-British attack materialized, the Lower Creek found themselves in a position of increased power and resumed raiding their enemies—British, Cherokee, and Catawba. But, cut off from British trade, they began to experience problems in the supply of ammunition, gunpowder, and firearms. The Cherokee, on the other hand, were well-supplied with British weaponry. The lure of British trade undermined anti-British elements among the Creek. In early 1717 a few emissaries from Charles Town went to the Lower Creek territory, and a few Creek went to Charles Town, tentatively starting the process that would lead to peace. At the same time other Lower Creeks were looking for ways to continue to fight. In late 1716 a group representing many Muskogean Creek nations traveled all the way to the Iroquois Six Nations in New York. Impressed by the Creek's diplomacy, the Iroquois sent 20 of their own ambassadors to accompany the Creek back home. The Iroquois and Creek were mainly interested in planning attacks on their mutual Indian enemies, like the Catawba and Cherokee. But to South Carolina, a Creek-Iroquois alliance was something to be avoided at all costs. In response, South Carolina sent a group of emissaries to the Lower Creek towns, along with a large cargo of trade good presents.

Frontier insecurity

After the Yamasee and Catawba had pulled back, South Carolina's militia reoccupied abandoned settlements and tried to secure the frontier, turning a number of plantation houses into makeshift forts. The militia had done well in preemptive offensive fighting, but was unable to defend the colony against raiding parties. Members of the militia began to desert in large numbers during the summer of 1715. Some were concerned for their own property and families, while others simply left South Carolina altogether.

In response to the militia's failure, Governor Craven replaced it with a professional army (that is, an army whose soldiers were paid). By August 1715 South Carolina's new army contained about 600 South Carolinian citizens, 400 black slaves, 170 friendly Indians, and 300 troops from North Carolina and Virginia. This was the first time the South Carolina militia had been disbanded and a professional army assembled. It is also notable for the high number of black slaves armed (and their masters paid) to wage war.

But even this army was not able to secure the colony. The hostile Indians simply refused to engage in pitched battles, using unpredictable raids and ambushes instead. In addition, the Indians occupied such a large territory that it was effectively impossible to send an army against them. The army was disbanded after the Cherokee alliance was established in early 1716.

Resolution

Since so many different tribes were involved in the war, with varying and changing participation, there was no single definitive end to the conflict. In some respects the main crisis was over within a month or two. The Lords Proprietors of the colony believed the colony was no longer in mortal danger after the first few weeks. For others it was the Cherokee alliance of early 1716 that marked the end of the war. Peace treaties were established with various Creek and other Muskogean peoples in late 1717. But some tribes never agreed to peace, and all remained armed. The Yamasee and Apalachicola had moved south, but continued to raid South Carolina's settlements well into the 1720s. Frontier insecurity remained a problem.

Consequences

Political change

Although it took several years to accomplish, the Yamasee War led directly to South Carolina's overthrow of the Lords Proprietors. By 1720 the process of transition from a proprietary colony to a crown colony had begun. It took nine years, but in 1729 South Carolina and North Carolina officially became crown colonies. South Carolinians had been discontented with the proprietary system before the Yamasee War, but the call for change became shrill in 1715, after the first phase of the war, and only grew louder in the following years. [11]

The Yamasee War also led to the establishment of the colony of Georgia. While there were other factors involved in Georgia's founding, it would not have been possible without the withdrawal of the Yamasee. The few Yamasee that remained became known as the Yamacraw. James Oglethorpe negotiated with the Yamacraw in order to obtain the site where he founded his capital city of Savannah. [12]

Indian aftermath

A c. 1724 English copy of a deerskin Catawba map of the tribes between Charleston (left) and Virginia (right) following the Yamasee War. Indians NW of South Carolina.jpg
A c.1724 English copy of a deerskin Catawba map of the tribes between Charleston (left) and Virginia (right) following the Yamasee War.

In the first year of the war the Yamasee lost about a quarter of their population, either killed or enslaved. The survivors moved south to the Altamaha River, a region that had been their homeland in the 17th century. But they were unable to find security there and soon became refugees. As a people, the Yamasee had always been ethnically mixed, and in the aftermath of the Yamasee War they split apart. About a third of the survivors chose to settle among the Lower Creek, eventually becoming part of the emerging Creek confederacy. Most of the rest, joined by Apalachicola refugees moved to the vicinity of St. Augustine in the summer of 1715. Despite several attempts to make peace, by both South Carolinians and Yamasee individuals, conflict between the two continued for decades. The Yamasee of Spanish Florida were in time weakened by disease and other factors. The survivors either became part of the Seminole or the Hitchiti.

The various proto-Creek Muskogean tribes grew closer after the Yamasee War. The reoccupation of the Chattahoochee River by the Ochese Creek, along with remnants of the Apalachicola, Apalachee, Yamasee, and others, seemed to Europeans to represent a new Indian identity, and needed a new name. To the Spanish it seemed like a reincarnation of the Apalachicola Province of the 17th century. To the English, the term Lower Creek became common.

The Catawba confederacy emerged from the Yamasee War as the most powerful Indian force of the Piedmont region, especially as the Tuscarora migrated away to join the Iroquois in the north. In 1716, a year after the Catawba had made peace with South Carolina, some Santee and Waxhaw Indians killed several colonists. In response the South Carolina government asked the Catawba to "fall upon them and cut them off", which the Catawba did. According to contemporaries, surviving Waxhaw then either joined the Cheraw or traveled south to Florida with the Yamasee. [13] There is another theory, originating with Robert Ney McNeely's history of Union County, published in 1912, that the Waxhaw continued on as an independent tribe until the 1740s but this seems to lack the backing of primary sources. Surviving Santee are reported to have married into the Ittiwan tribe [14] suggesting a possible merger. The Cheraw remained generally hostile for years to come.

In 1904 Annie Barnes novel "The Laurel Token: A Story of the Yamasee War" was published. [15]

See also

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Cheraw ethnic group

The Cheraw people, also known as the Saraw or Saura, were a Siouan-speaking tribe of indigenous people of the Southeastern Woodlands, in the Piedmont area of North Carolina near the Sauratown Mountains, east of Pilot Mountain and north of the Yadkin River. They lived in villages near the Catawba River. Their first European and African contact was with the Hernando De Soto Expedition in 1540. The early explorer John Lawson included them in the larger eastern-Siouan confederacy, which he called "the Esaw Nation."

The Westo were a Native American tribe encountered in the Southeastern U.S. by Europeans in the 17th century. They probably spoke an Iroquoian language. The Spanish called these people Chichimeco, and Virginia colonists may have called the same people Richahecrian. Their first appearance in the historical record is as a powerful tribe in colonial Virginia who had migrated from the mountains into the region around present-day Richmond. Their population provided a force of 700–900 warriors.

Tugaloo human settlement in Georgia, United States of America

Tugaloo was a Cherokee town on the Tugaloo River, at the mouth of Toccoa Creek, near present-day Toccoa, Georgia and Travelers Rest in Stephens County, Georgia.

Fort Neoheroka

Fort Neoheroka, or Nooherooka, is the name of a stronghold constructed in what is now Greene County, North Carolina by the Tuscarora tribe during the Tuscarora War of 1711–1715. In March 1713, the fort was besieged and ultimately attacked by a colonial force consisting of an army from the neighboring Province of South Carolina, under the command of Colonel James Moore and made up mainly of Indians including Yamasee, Apalachee, Catawba, Cherokee, and many others. The 1713 siege lasted for more than three weeks, from around March 1 to March 22, 1713. Hundreds of men, women and children were burned to death in a fire that destroyed the fort. Approximately 170 more were killed outside the fort while approximately 400 were taken to South Carolina where they were sold into slavery. The defeat of the Tuscaroras, once the most powerful indigenous nation in the North Carolina Territory, opened up North Carolina's interior to further expansion by European settlers. The supremacy of the Tuscaroras in the state was broken forever. Most moved north to live among the Iroquois. On July 17, 2009, the Fort Neoheroka Site was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

John Barnwell (colonist) American colonist

John Barnwell (1671–1724) emigrated to the Province of South Carolina in 1701. He led an army against the Tuscarora in 1711–1712. Later he served the colony as an official in talks with England in forming the government. He also worked to revive the relationship between the colony and its former allies the Yamasee.

The Congaree were a group of Native Americans who lived in what is now central South Carolina of the United States, along the Congaree River. They spoke a dialect distinct from, and not intelligible by, Siouan language speakers, the primary language family of the area.

The Cusabo or Corsaboy were a group of historic Native American tribes who lived along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean in what is now South Carolina, approximately between present-day Charleston and south to the Savannah River, at the time of European encounter. English colonists often referred to them as one of the Settlement Indians of South Carolina, tribes who settled among the colonists.

Henry Woodward, often referred to as Dr. Henry Woodward, was the first British colonist of colonial South Carolina. He established relationships with many Native American Indians in the American southeast. He initiated trade, primarily in deerskins and slaves, with many Indian towns and tribes.

The Waxhaw was a tribe native to what are now the counties of Lancaster, in South Carolina; and Union and Mecklenburg in North Carolina, around the area of present-day Charlotte. The Waxhaw were related to other nearby Southeastern Siouian tribes, such as the Catawba and Sugeree. It is speculated that they were culturally influenced by the Mississippian culture

The Cherokee people of the southeastern United States, and later Oklahoma and surrounding areas, have a long military history. Since European contact, Cherokee military activity has been documented in European records. Cherokee tribes and bands had a number of conflicts during the 18th century with European colonizing forces, primarily the English. The Eastern Band and Cherokees from the Indian Territory fought in the American Civil War, with bands allying with the Union or the Confederacy. Because many Cherokees allied with the Confederacy, the United States government required a new treaty with the nation after the war. Cherokees have also served in the United States military during the 20th and 21st centuries.

Cherokee history

Cherokee history is the written and oral lore, traditions, and historical record maintained by the living Cherokee people and their ancestors. The Cherokee people are those currently enrolled in one of the three federally recognized Cherokee tribes: The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, The Cherokee Nation, and The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, who live predominantly in North Carolina and Oklahoma. The Cherokee people have extensive written records, including detailed genealogical records, preserved in the Cherokee language, the Cherokee syllabary, and in the English language.

William Bull (governor) American politician, 1683-1755

William Bull was a landowner and politician in the Province of South Carolina.

Indian slave trade in the American Southeast

Native Americans living in the American Southeast were enslaved through warfare and purchased by English and French colonists throughout the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, as well as held captive through Spanish-organized forced labor regimes in Florida. Emerging colonies in Virginia, Carolina, and Georgia imported Native Americans and incorporated them into chattel slavery systems, where they intermixed with slaves of African descent, who would come outnumber them. Their demand for slaves affected communities as far west as present-day Illinois and the Mississippi River and as far south as the Gulf Coast. The trade in enslaved Native Americans sent tens of thousands of them outside the region to New England and the Caribbean as a profitable export.

Francis Le Jau was a missionary to South Carolina with the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (SPG). Born into a French Huguenot family in the La Rochelle region of France he later fled to England during the persecution of Huguenots after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. He subsequently converted to Anglicanism and eventually graduated from Trinity College, Dublin. In 1700 he moved to St. Christopher's Island where he served for 18 months at the request of Bishop Henry Compton. From 1706 until his death in 1717 Le Jau served as a missionary to South Carolina based in Goose Creek.

The Ittiwan people are a Native American tribe, who lived near present-day Goose Creek. Today, the Etiwan (Ittiwan) Tribe of the Wassamasaw Indian Nation of SC claims to be descended from the original Ittiwan people and is located approximately 30 miles NW of Charleston. South Carolina.

References

Citations

  1. Oatis, A Colonial Complex, p. 167.
  2. Galley, The Indian Slave Trade, 267–268, 283.
  3. Galley, The Indian Slave Trade, 276–277.
  4. "The Foundation, Occupation, and Abandonment of Yamasee Indian Towns in the South Carolina Lowcountry, 1684-1715", National Register Multiple Property Submission, Dr. Chester B. DePratter, National Park Service
  5. Gallay, Alan (2003). The Indian Slave Trade: The Rise of the English Empire in the American South, 1670-1717. Yale University Press. pp. 218, 330–331. ISBN   978-0-300-10193-5.
  6. Oatis, Steven J. (2004). A Colonial Complex: South Carolina's Frontiers in the Era of the Yamasee War, 1680-1730. U of Nebraska Press. pp. 124–125. ISBN   0-8032-3575-5.
  7. Oatis, A Colonial Complex, 124–125.
  8. Heitzler, Michael (2012). The Goose Creek Bridge: Gateway to Sacred Places. Bloomington, IN: Authorhouse. pp. 64–66. ISBN   1477255389.
  9. Le Jau, Francis (1956). The Carolina Chronicle of Dr. Francis Le Jau. Berkeley, CA: University of California. pp. 160–163.
  10. Le Jau, Francis (1956). The Carolina Chronicle of Dr. Francis Le Jau. Berkeley: University of California. pp. 158–159.
  11. Oatis, A Colonial Complex, 165–166.
  12. Oatis, A Colonial Complex, 288–291.
  13. Moore, P.N. (2007)World of Toil and Strife, p.16
  14. Hicks, T. M (1998). South Carolina Indians, Indian traders, and other ethnic connections beginning in 1670. Spartanburg, South Carolina: Reprint Company Publishers.
  15. Barnes, Annie Maria (3 June 2018). "The laurel token; a story of the Yamasee uprising". Boston, Lee and Shepard via Internet Archive.

Bibliography

Further reading