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The Lost Colony Research Group

Genealogy ~ DNA ~ Archaeology

Newsletter

February 2001


 

 

Tuscarora Populations

“ Their true names, their true numbers only written now in God‟s own hand……”

Editor's Commentary

This document is the combined effort of many people. The compilers, to whom we are very grateful, wish to remain anonymous. Our many thanks for your efforts. The Tuscarora played a pivotal role in the development of North Carolina in many ways.

Overview

Tuscarora Historical location: VA and NC - villages were located along the Neuse and Roanoke Rivers. Estimated population precontact - 25,000; By 1700 that population was estimated to be roughly 5,000.

In early times the Tuscarora territory stretched from the Atlantic shores to the Shenandoah and Appalachian Mountains. They had as many as 24 large towns and could muster 6,000 warriors. Lawson wrote that in 1708 the Tuscarora had 15 towns and about 1,200 warriors. Perhaps a minimum estimate of the true number of their fighting men would be 1,200 persons and 6 towns.

In the 17th and early 18th-centuries, there were two main branches of the Tuscarora in NC and VA: a northern group led by Chief Tom Blount/Blunt, and a southern group led by Chief Hancock. Varying accounts circa 1708-1710 estimated the number of Tuscarora warriors from 1200-2000. Historical estimations put their total population at about three to four times that number.

As time went on, years of harsh treatment were endured by the Tuscarora. These included loss and encroachments of game and fishing lands along with broken treaties. Kidnappings, rape, beatings, murder and Native slavery finally culminated in The Tuscarora War.

Continued conflicts between Colonists and Tuscarora resulted in numerous deaths to the general population on both sides. The final straw seemed to be twofold; first the enslavement of Tuscarora children and secondly, the Tuscarora Village, Chattokka, was "given" by John Lawson to Barron DeGraffenreid for the town of New Bern. The caused the powder keg that had been simmering to explode, beginning the Tuscarora War.

 

Chief Hancock killed 120 colonists on Sept 22, 1711, took others captive, burned houses, and seized crops and livestock in Bath County. Then white settlers retaliated. The Tuscarora War was put into motion..... 

It is thought that about 3,000 Tuscarora survived the war of 1711-1713. Later however all but about 1,000 fled their villages and forts led by Chief Tom Blount.

Tuscarora Total population: 7,500+. Regions with significant populations are NY, NC, Ontario by 2008 statistics. 

Timeline 

1700 

The Chowanoc and Weapemeoc people gradually abandoned their lands. Some become slaves, indentured servants, and others migrate south to join the Tuscarora.

Only about 500 American Indians remain in the Albemarle region.

An escaped slave serves as an architect in the construction of a large Tuscarora Indian fort near the Neuse River. 

1701

Surveyor Gen John Lawson, identified 15 major Tuscarora towns along the North Carolina waterways.

Settlers begin moving west and south of the Albemarle area. 

1706

Bath becomes the first incorporated town in North Carolina. 

1709

In his book, “A New Voyage to Carolina,” published in 1709, but compiled over the prior decade, John Lawson describes the colony‟s flora and fauna and its various groups of American Indians. Lawson also publishes a map of Carolina.

 

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Copyright © 2008 Last modified: January 31, 2012

 

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