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Native American Research

donated by Roberta Estes


Tales and Traditions of the Lower Cape Fear 1661-1896 by James Sprunt (published in 1896)


P 54 – Cape Fear Indians – It is an interesting fact that the descendants of these Indians live in the same locality to the present day and illustrate an unusual condition – an amalgamation of white, black and Indian races. The Indian characteristics however predominate. The men are thrifty, industrious and peaceable; engaging principally in fishing during the shad season and in cattle raising upon the same range that was occupied two hundred years ago by their savage ancestors.

Large mounds of oyster shells, many pieces of broken wicker pottery, arrowheads and other relics of the red men are still found on the peninsula below Carolina Beach. During the late war these remains of an Indian settlement were frequently unearthed by the confederated engaged upon the entrenchments around Fort Fisher; and here are buried the last of the Corees, Cheraws and other small tribes occupying the land once inhabited by the powerful Hatteras Indians. They were allies of the Tuscaroras in 1711 and in an attack upon the English suffered defeat, and having now disappeared from the earth and their dialect is also forgotten. The Hatteras tribe numbered about 3000 warriors when Raleigh’s expedition landed on Roanoke Island in 1584 and when the English made permanent settlements in that vicinity 80 years later (RJE so in 1664) they were reduced to about 15 bowmen. The Cape Fear Coree Indians told the English settlers of the Yeamans colony in 1669 that their lost kindred of the Roanoke colony, including Virginia Dare, the first white child born in America had been adopted y the once powerful Hatteras tribe and had become amalgamated with the children of the wilderness. It is believed that the Croatans of the vicinity are descendants of that race.



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