Tuscarora War in North Carolina - Facts and Information

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The Tuscarora Indians were known as hemp gatherers because they produced rope and fiber. There homes were constructed of bark and wigwam. they planted corn, fruit trees and had a large network of villages. The Tuscarora were warlike and felt threatened by encroaching whites.

The English began to demand land and removal instead of trade.

The Tuscarora tried to relocate to Pennsylvania but failed so they started a war with the English. King Hancock was chief at the time and he convinced smaller tribes to join in the war. These Indian tribes that joined in the war included the Coree, Mattamuskeet, Machapared and Pamlico Indians.

The Tuscarora War stated when the tribe captured Baron Von Graffenried and John Lawson who were surveying the area in 1711. Both men were tried by the tribe. Lawson was arrogant during the trial. He was executed however the Baron was spared. After Lawson's execution, the Tuscarora attacked area white settlements, farms and towns along the NC coast including the towns of Bath and New Bern. This was the attack that started the Tuscarora War. The coastal area was desolated. During the raids, prisoners were taken. Some were executed. Slaves from local plantations escaped to join the Tuscarora.

South Carolina sent an English force led by Barnwell that was composed of Yemassee and Esaws Native Americans (eastern Siouan tribes - Catawba) who were the natural enemies of the Tuscarora.

In 1712, the English razed Tuscarora villages. The Tuscarora were so desperate, women were fighting.

The Cherokee joined the fight and the war ended in March 1713.

Most of the Tuscarora tribe left North Carolina and went to New York to join the Iroquois Confederation. They became the six tribe of the Iroquois League or Nation. A few stayed in North Carolina. By 1800, there were no Tuscarora found in NC that could be considered a tribe.

Native American Indian History