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The Lost Colony Research Group

Genealogy ~ DNA ~ Archaeology

Newsletter

June  2012


  

Does CRO = Chowan?

By Roberta Estes 

A few months ago, Fletcher Freeman, one of our members, e-mailed me and asked me a simple question, which, as simple questions often do, let to a much more detailed discussion. Fletcher is descended directly from John Freeman who was closely allied with the Chowan Indians. It is thought that John's wife, Tabitha, was or may have been the daughter of Chowan Chief, John Hoyter. 

The Chowanoke Descendants Community have a lovely website at this link: http://www.chowanoke.webs.com/ 

On the website, they also feature a blog where members interact. One of their members had a question or theory, and Freeman was interested in whether it had any validity. 

   "The theory was that the letters “CRO” carved in the tree by the Lost colonists represented the words “Chowan River Ohanoke” and was a clue to their    

    destination. Ohanoke was the principal town of the Chowan Indians. Thus the belief that the Lost Colonists flew to the home of the Chowans where they 

    settled and melded with the tribe. John Smith later reported that the Chowans lived in houses similar to the English and there were stories of whites    

    working in copper among the Chowan." 

 

My first question back to Fletcher was whether the Chowan River had always been called the Chowan River. It turns out that Fletcher has written a lovely piece about the history of the Chowan Indians, and he had kindly given us permission to reprint it here. Before getting to Fletcher's article, the CRO theory certainly deserves some consideration. My first thought was that it seemed to conflict with the second engraving, which was "Croatoan" and which John White clearly knew, or thought he knew, how to interpret. 

There are some who embrace the theory that the colonists split up. It's true that 100+ people were a lot to feed and a lot of people to incorporate into any tribe. That was the size of many tribal groups. On the other hand, there is safety in numbers, and the colonists did have leverage - guns and metal objects like swords and knives. They had an advantage, which would both encourage collaboration and also attacks. We certainly welcome any thoughts and commentary on this topic or Fletcher's article.

 

 

CHOWAN INDIANS

By Fletcher Freeman 

A 1585 Map of Virginia drawn by Theodore de Bry designates several Indian tribes, one of which is the CHAWANOK. They are shown with at least five towns, being Chaunoock, Rannoushowog, Movatan, Metocuuem,and Tanduomuc. Also reflected are the SECOTAN and WEAPEMEOC Tribes. The SECOTAN area reflects 12 towns and the WEAPEMEOC area reflects 8 towns. 

The 1647 map of Virginia drawn by Robert Dudley reflects several Indian tribes living along the Virginia/North Carolina eastern seaboard. One of these tribes was the CHAWONS located just south of the Chesapeake Bay near Nansemund. 

The 1651 map of Virginia drawn by John Farrer prominently displays the CHAWANOKE RIVER, probably named for the Chawan Indians who lived along it.

 

William Byrd's Map showing the Boundary lines of 1663 and 1665 between Virginia and North Carolina likewise prominently shows the Chowan River and Chowan Precinct, likewise named for the Chowans. 

The Mosley Map of 1733 showing North East North Carolina shows Chowan Town just East of the Chowan River and south of Bennets Creek in Chowan Precinct of Albemarle County. 

According to THE COLONIAL RECORDS OF NORTH CAROLINA by Saunders: 

 

In 1707, the Chowanoke Indians own land on the South side of the Maherine ( Meherrin) River which they received from the Yawpin Indians sometime prior to 1675. It is called Chowanoke Town. 

In 1715 a missionary spent 5 months in Chowan Town and learned the language. 

In 1718, John Hoyter is mentioned as the "King" of the Chowan Indians. In 1720, Captain John Hoyter of the Chowan Indians complains about someone not paying for a slave and John Hoyter, Chiefman of the Chowan Indians complains about white trespassers to the North Carolina Council. 

 

In 1734, Thomas Hoyter, James Bennet, Charles Beazley and Jeremiah Pushing, Chief Men of the Chowan Indians sell land to JOHN FREEMAN, Thomas Garret, and 8 other white men. 

In 1754, JOHN FREEMAN, John Bennet, and John Robins ( 2 headmen of the Chowan Indians) sell 200 acres of Chowan Indian land to RICHARD FREEMAN for 20 pounds. 

January 4, 1755, there are 7 Chowan Indians left--2 men, 3 women, and 2 children. 

THE AMERICAN INDIAN IN NORTH CAROLINA recounts an August 1585 exploration by Gov Lane which visited the Chowans: 

"The Chowan Indians lived along the river bearing their name. One of their villages, called Ohanoak, situated on high land with good cornfields adjacent, was probably in Hertford County. The chief village, Chawanook, was not far from the junction formed by Bennett's Creek, on the east side of the river. Lane estimated the number of warriors of this town to be seven hundred, certainly an exaggeration. The chief of the tribe, Menatonon, was described as being " a man impotent in his limbs, but otherwise for a savage a very grave and wise man." He gave Lane directions for travel by river and overland to Chesapeake Bay. His description of the abundance and fineness of the pearls of that region sounded alluring to the governor, to whom he presented a string of black beads, probably the dark colored shell beads called wampum. His son, Skyco, was retained by Lane as a prisoner and proved to be a valuable hostage." 

The book 500 NATIONS, AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF NORTH AMERICAN INDIANS says that the Chowanocs, Weapemeocs, and Secotans were allied Algonquin nations. The book mentions that Gov. Lane seized Chief Menatonon of the Chowanocs and held him for ransom following which he kidnapped the Chief's son and took him to Roanoke in leg irons to insure the obedience of the tribe. 

A member of the Lane exhibition was an artist named John White. He painted 76 watercolors of the region and many are in the books referenced above. While none show the Chowans themselves, there are quite a few of the Secotan and Pomeoke who were close neighbors to the Chowans. There is a drawing in the book of the Town of Secotan which is south of Chowan Town and hence is probably similar to Chowan Town. It shows that the Indians raised corn and tobacco and lived in Quonset style huts. 

Lane also drew a map of Carolina which shows the Town of Ohanoke located on the western side of the Chowan River. This map would date to 1585.

 

The book The AMERICAN INDIAN IN NORTH CAROLINA, has another section on the Chowan Indians as follows: 

" The Chowan Indians, whose name signifies "Southerners" were still a strong tribe when settlers began to move in the Albemarle region about 1650. Their name was well known, as the following reference from early records of Virginia indicate. 

On August 27, 1650, a Virginia exploring party set out from Fort Henry to reach the Tuscarora settlements. The company included Edward Bland, Abraham Wood, Sackford Brewster, Elias Pennant, two white servants, and an Appamattox Indian guide. On the way the secured a Nottoway Indian guide named Oyeocker. Some distance west of Meherrin River they came to an Indian trail. 

Their narrative states: 

   "At this path our Apamattuck Guide made a stop, and cleared the Westerly end of the path with his foote, being demanded the meaning of it, he shewed  

   an unwillingness to relate it, sighing very much. Whereupon we made a stop until Oyeocker our other Guide came up, and then our Appamattuck journied 

   on; but Oyeocker at his coming up cleared the other end of the path, and prepared himselfe in a most serious manner to require our attentions, and told 

   us that many years since their late great Emperour Appachancano came thither to make War upon the Tuscarood, in revenge of three of his men killed, 

   and wounded, and brought word of the other three murthered by the Hocomawananck Indians for lucre of the Roanoke they brought with them to trade for 

   Otter skins. There accompanied Appachancano severall petty Kings that were under him, amongst which there was one King of a town called Pawhatan,  

   which had long time harboured a grudge against the King of Chawan, about a young woman that the King of Chawan had detayned of the King of 

   Pawhatan: Now it happened that the King of Chawan was invited by the King of Pawhatan to this place under pretence to present him with a gift of some 

   great vallew, and there they med accordingly, and the King of Pawhatan went to salute and embrace the King of Chawan, and stroaking of him after their 

   usual manner, he whipt a bowstring about the King of Chawans neck, and strangled him; and how that in memoriall of this, the path is continued unto this 

   day, and the friends of the Pawhatans when they passe that way, cleanse the Westerly end of the path, and the friends of the Chawans the other. And 

   some two miles from this path we come unto an Indian Grave upon the East side of the path,: Upon which Grave there lay a great heape of sticks 

   covered with greene boughs, we demanded the reason of it, Oyeocker told us that there lay a great man of the Chawans that dyed in the same quarrell, 

   and in honor of his memory they continue greene boughs over his Grave to this day, and ever when they goe forth to Warre they relate this, and other 

   valorous, loyall Acts, to their young men, to animate them to doe the like when occasion requires." 

 

Around 1610-1611, William Strachy, Secretary of Jamestown, was told by an Indian, Machumps, that seven survivors of Powhatan’s massacre of the colonists from Roanoke, (four men, two boys, and one young maid) had fled up the river of Choanoke and had taught the Indians in two villages how to build two-story houses and were working copper for the Chief of the Chawanoc tribe. 

In 1663 the Chowans entered into a treaty with the English and "submitted themselves to the Crown of England under the Dominion of the Lords Proprietors." This treaty was faithfully observed for a decade, but in 1675 the Susquehanna War broke out in Virginia. Through incitement of the Indians of Virginia the Chowan violated their treaty. This became known as the Chowanoc War of 1675-1677. A year of warfare followed with serious loss to the settlers. Later the Chowan were forced to surrender all of their land on the south side of Meherrin River and were assigned a reservation on Bennett's Creek in what is now Gates County. Here they struggled along for a hundred years. Many petitions were made to the council for a survey, but nearly fifty years passed before the request was granted. Their lands gradually dwindled from twelve square miles, as first assigned, to six square miles about 1707. At this time they had only one town with about fifteen fighting men. 

They were allied with the Colonists during the Tuscarora War. Chief John Hoyter petitioned the Council in 1714 for a survey of the six-mile reservation, stating that the Indians had been fighting on " Eight Expeditions agt the Indyan Enemy of this province and during the time they were in ye Countys Service they Suffered Considerable loss in their Plantations & Stocks loosing Seaventy five head of hoggs a Mare & Colt their Corne destroyed by all wch & ye wearing out of their clothes they are reduced to great poverty", and asked that some allowance be made for their services and losses. 

In 1712 Missionary Giles Rainsford of the English Church wrote: 

"I had several conferences with one Thomas Hoyle King of the Chowan Indians who seem very inclinable to embrace Christianity and proposes to send his son to school.... I readily offered him my service to instruct him myself.... where I lodge being but three miles distant from his Town. But he modestly declined it for the present till a general peace was concluded between the Indians and the Christians. I found he had some notions of Noahs flood which he came to the knowledge of and exprest himselfe after this manner--My Father told me I tell my Son." 

Three years later Rainsford reported: "I have been five months together in Chowan Indian Town & made myself almost a Master of their language." In this same letter he offered to serve as missionary among them. 

In 1718 and 1720 petitions were filed by Chief Hoyter complaining that the settlers were continually intruding upon the lands of the Indians and that the limits of the territory had never been determined. In the former petition he also asked for payment due one of his tribesmen by a settler for an Indian slave of the Core Sound region. In 1723 a reservation of 53,000 acres was laid out for the Tuscarora and the Chowan. 

By the year 1731 the tribe had dwindled to less than twenty families. Two years later, in 1733, the council gave them permission to be incorporated with the Tuscarora at Indian Woods Reservation in Bertie county. In 1752 Bishop Spangenberg wrote from Edenton, "The Chowan Indians are reduced to a few families, and their land has been taken away from them." A report of Governor Dobbs in 1755 stated that the tribe consisted of two men and five women and children who were "ill used by their neighbors." 

In 1997 a Meherrin Indian historian provided the following information to me about the Chowans: 

The Chowan Reservation originally lay in what is now Gates County, on the banks of Catherine's Creek and Bennet's Creek, It seems to have consisted mainly of swamp land, roughly 17 square miles in 1729. The land was sold off steadily through the 1700's until by 1790 the tribe had been reduced to nothing. In 1782 a Mr. Henry Hill gave 30 acres of land to the remaining Chowanokes. This tract, which came to be known as Indian Town, lay north of the old reservation. It appears to have been in the immediate vicinity of Old Chapel Crossroads, south of Mintonsville. The area of the old reservation is now called Indian Neck. At about the same time that they received the land from Henry Hill, several of the Indian boys were ordered bound out as apprentices to local whites. The following appear to be the bulk of the apprentice records dealing with Chowanokes: 

May 25, 1781, Benjamin Robbins, Indian, 17 years of age bound to Jethro Meltear 

May 25, 1781, Elisha Robbins, Indian, 11 years of age, bound to Jethro Meltear 

February 10, 1781, Josiah Bennett, Indian, 12 years of age, bound to Edward Briscoe. 

February 10, 1781, George Bennet, Indian, 13 years of age, bound to Henry Booth. 

February, 1785, Jacob Robbins, Indian, 10 years of age, bound to Jethro Lassiter 

February, 1787, Samuel Robbins, illegitimate son of Lucy Robbins, bound to Jethro Miller Lassiter. 

The 1790 census of Gates County shows the following households which are probably the bulk of the Chowanoke population at that time. 

Bashford Robbins, 1 white male, 2 free persons of color 

George Bennet, 1 free person of color Hardy Robbins, 1 free person of color 

James Robbins, 1 white female, 15 free persons of color 

Joseph Bennet, 1 free person of color 

The Chowanoke population may have been as high as 30 at this time. James Robbins appears to have been the most well to do of the Chowanokes, aided in part by his pay from having served as a soldier in the Revolution. 

In 1782 Henry Hill sells the 30 acres to Nancy, Elizabeth, Darkis, and Christina Robbins, all identified as Indians. Apparently by the time the sale took place, the tribe had left the area of their old reservation and had sold or otherwise conveyed it to neighboring whites. The actual deed of sale is dated April 12, 1790 and is between "James Robbins, Benjamin Robbins, George Bennett, and Joseph Bennett, Chief Men and representatives of the Chowan Indians Nation of Gates County and William Lewis and Samuel Harrell". Shortly thereafter the Bennetts disappear from the history of the tribe, never living on the thirty acres with the Robbins. In October 1790 the Chowanokes are described in a petition to the State from William Lewis and Samuel Harrell as "several freemen and women of mixed blood which have descended from said Indians." Obviously in April, 1790 it was to Harrell and Lewis' advantage to have the Robbins and Bennetts being in a position of authority in the tribe so they could sell the tribal land to them. After the sale was complete, however, it then became better for the white purchasers that the Indians became "free men mixed with Negroes" in case they might ever want to reclaim the land. The State confirmed the sale of the land in 1791 effectively disposing of the last reservation land although legally the sale should have been approved by the U.S. Congress as well.

 

By the time of the 1800 Gates County Federal Census, the number of Chowan Indian Families is as follows: 

George Bennet, free colored, 4 in household 

James Robbins, free colored, 3 in household with 1 white female 

Sara Robbins, free colored, 2 in household 

Dorcas Robbins, free colored, 6 in household 

Ann Robbins, free colored, 4 in household 

In 1810 the following families are listed in Gates County: 

George Bennett, free colored, 5 in household 

Darcus Robbins, free colored, 4 in household

Sally Robbins, free colored, 4 in household 

Lewis Robbins, free colored, 3 in household 

Nancy Robbins, free colored, 5 in household 

Jacob Robbins, free colored, 5 in household 

James Robbins, free colored, 2 in household 

Lewis Robbins, born in 1790 and apprenticed in 1800, is never called an Indian in any of the written records, but it is logical that he is a child of one of the Chowanoke families listed in 1800. 

The Chowan Indian settlement is noted on the 1808 Price-Strother map of North Carolina in roughly the same area where they had been granted the reservation. This would suggest that they still maintained some form of recognizable community in the area. 

In 1819, the Chowanokes living on the 30 acres of land they had acquired from Henry Hill faced a new threat in the form of efforts by a prominent white neighbor to buy them out. On February 23, 1819, John Walton bought the interest of Christian Robbins, who at the time was living in Perquimans County, in a "certain piece or parcel of land at a place called the Indian Town, joining the lands of Nancy Robbins, Elizabeth Robbins, Sara Robbins, and the said John Walton containing by estimation 5 acres." Then in May, 1820, Walton bought out Judith Robbins, who had moved to Chowan County. She owned one acre more or less, "at a place called & known by the name of the Indian Town ...that descended to me from my mother Patience Robbins." Then in 1821 through some fancy legal maneuvering, Walton sued Sara Robbins and obtained an execution upon her land to pay the judgment. This land was in the vicinity of what is now Waltons Crossroads in Gates County. 

After this last loss of tribal lands, the Chowanokes dispersed throughout the surrounding area and it is thought married into or otherwise merged with the Meherrin Tribe. 

There is a Robbins family on the Meherrin tribal roll who trace back to a Noah Robbins, born 1803. There is also a group in Perquimans County known as the "Lassiter Tribe" who moved into that area around 1820 and are probably Chowanoke descendents. 

Dr. Richard Dillard has described a shell mound in the former Chowan region: 

"One of the largest and most remarkable Indian mounds in Eastern North Carolina is located at Bandon on the Chowan, evidently the site of the ancient town of the Chowanokes which Grenville's party visited in 1585 and was called Mavaton. The map of James Wimble, made in 1729, also locates it about this point. The mound extends along the riverbank five or six hundred yards, is sixty yards wide and five feet deep, covered with about one foot of sand and soil. It is composed almost exclusively of mussel shells taken from the river, pieces of pottery, ashes, arrowheads and human bones.... Pottery and arrowheads are found in many places throughout this county, especially on hillsides, near streams, etc."

There is some belief among the descendants of JOHN FREEMAN mentioned earlier, that his wife "Tabitha" may have been a Chowan Indian and the daughter of either Thomas Hoyter or John Bennet, Chowan headmen. John was born in or near Chowan Indian town and probably married Tabitha around 1733. He was the reader at the Indian Town Chapel of the Anglican Church which presumably was where the Christianized Chowans attended church.(Remember that in 1712 Giles Rainsford was a missionary to the Chowans and indicated that Chief Thomas Hoyle/Hoyter was inclined to embrace Christianity)

 

John and Thomas Hoyter, the Chowan Indian Chiefs

By Fletcher Freeman with intro by Roberta Estes

 

Fletcher Freeman during the process of his research on the Chowan Indians has compiled all of the information existent on the Chowan Indian Chief, John Hoyter or Hiter as well as his successor, Thomas Hoyter, possibly his son. These documents provide us with a very rare glimpse of Native life across a 50 year window, half of a century, and certainly, a half century that marked dramatic change for the Native people of North Carolina as Virginians streamed across the border and settled in North Carolina.

 

John Hiter is first mentioned by name in his 1703/1705 petition to council on which he complains that the Chowan Indians have been confined on a narrow strip land too poor for them to support themselves. He appears in numerous records, the last of which is in 1730 where he is one of a number of men to convey Indian land. On the next deed, in 1733, John is absent as he is thereforth, probably having died, and instead we find Thomas Hoyter acting as one of the Chief men and referred to as King on some documents. Thomas is initially found in the records in 1712 and is subsequently found until 1745/46 when he too disappears from all records.

 

We want to thank Fletcher for his contribution of these records and his permission to print them.

 

November 26, 1694 - November 30, 1694 Minutes of the General Court of North Carolina,

 

   “Upon complaint of the Chowan Indians that they are much injured by the English seating soe near them

 

   Ordered that no more entry or settlemt of land be made hi her then the plantac ons weh are alreddy seated above the old towne Creeke and yt wt entries are already   

   made and not yett settled shall be void.”

 

1695 – In the "Scolding Houses": Indians and the Law in Eastern North Carolina, 1684-1760, by Michelle LeMaster. (North Carolina Historical Review, April 2006, Volume LXXXIII, Number 2) 

 

By order of the General Council, Indians in North Carolina had "liberty to hunt on all wastelend that is not taken up and liberty to pass through the lands that are seated in their goeing to and from the said Wasteland." but only if they conduct themselves "sivilly and doeing noe injury." This is a victory for the Indians as it meant they were not restricted to their reservations for hunting, and could travel to unclaimed land to hunt, theoretically without trouble from their white neighbors. It is doubtful, however, that the local whites were well respecting of the council's order.

 

March 28 1702 North Carolina Historical and Genealogical Register, Hathaway, pg 152 

Benjamin Blanchard John Campbell Thos Spivey Francis Rountree Robt Rountree Robert Lassiter Georg Lassiter and Nicholas Stallings lived on Bennett's and Gariett's Creek in Chowan now Gates Co They had a dispute with the Chowan Indians who had their hunting quarters upon some of their land The Indians occupied about 11,000 acres of land between Bennett & Catharine Creek ranted by the Government.” 

1703/1705 Petition to Council 

North Carlin Silliset

 

          To the onerable Councel the humble pitison of John hiter Engon for that your pitesor under Stand that by order of his Exelency and onerebell Councell he had 6  

   mill Squar granted him of Land to which it was not Sorvaid accordin to order for which Resen your pitisenor prays A order It may be sorved again and that he may have 

   his Land Layd out accordin to order or other wese ther He cannot Subsist for he is Soo Upprest with Catell and hogs of other mens and the Ground is Sow pore that He 

   cannot make Corne to Ceep him for it was sorved upon A naro Nek of pinny Land that will not bar Corn and further your pititioner prays he may be considerd that he is 

   not a strangr nor a foriner but in his one Netev ples and ther for prays he may have Ground to work upon ther for I Rest and pray that your pitisner may find fever In 

   your presences and as in duty bound Your pitesner Shall pray

John Hiter

 

1707/1708 Petition to President and Council

 

   North Carolina ss To the Honorable President and Councill

 

       The Humble Petition of Jno. Hoyter and Rest of the Chowan Indians in all Humble Maner Complaineing and shewing

   That whereas upon the Humble Petittion of the said Indians to the Honorable Board in the time when the Honorable Henderson Walker Esqr. was President of the 

   Councill An Order was past that the Surveyor Generall or Deputy should Lay out a tract of Land for the said Indians of six miles Square. And also another Order in the   

   time of the Honorable Landgrave Robt. Daniel Esqr. Pursuant to the former Order

      In pursuance of the aforesaid Orders the Deputy surveyor Viz,Capt. Luten Came and undertook the said survey and by various Courses Did Lay out a tract of Land 

   for the said Indians but wholly Contrary to the Intent and meaneing of the said Order for the Petitioners are very Confident that the Intent of the Councill was that such 

   Land should be layd out for them as would produce Corn for theire Support aqnd the petitioners Do say and are Ready to Averr that no part or parcel of the said Land in 

   the said tract Layd out will produce Corn being all pines and sands and Deserts so that they have not theire Land according to the Intent and meaneing of the Honorable 

   Board Neither for quality nor quantity it being not near six miles Square. 

     Wherefore Your Humble Petitioners Do humbly Pray your Honors to take our Distressed Condition into your serious Consideration that your Petitioners may have  

   Releife in the Premises Least they perish for Breaqd.

   And Yr. Petitioners shall Ever Pray etc.

John Hoyter

 

   In Behalfe of himself and Rest of the Nation

 

Colonial Records, Vol 1, p 432 Prior to 1712

 

          Upon complaint of the Chowan Indians that they are much injured by the English seating soe near them

          Ordered that no more entry or settlemt of land be made higher than the plantations wch are alreddy seated above the old towne Creeke and yt wt entries are already made and not yet settled shall be void.

 

July 25, 1712 Rev. Giles Rainsford’s Letter to the SPG 

“I had several conferences with one Thomas Hoyle, king of the Chowan Indians, who seems very inclinable to embrace Christianity and proposes to send his son to school to Sarum to have him taught to read and write by way of foundation in order to further proficiency for the reception of Christianity. I readily offered my service to instruct him myself, and having the opportunity of sendin him to Mr. Garratt’s, where I lod e, being but three miles distance from his town. But he modestly declined it for the present till a general peace was concluded between the Indians and the Christians. I found he had some notion of Noah’s flood, which he came to the knowledge of and expressed himself after this manner, “My father told me, I tell my son.” But I hope to give the society a better account of him as well as of those peaceable Indians under his command.”

August 11, 1714 Records of the Executive Council 

          “Upon petition of Jno. Hoyter on behalfe of himselfe and the rest of the Chowan Indyans therein setting forth that the said Indyans had granted to them in the Administration of Governor Archdale for their settlement a tract of Land on the Eastern side of Bennets Creek including the Meherrin Neck of Twelve Miles Square which not being laid out according to the direction of the Order of the Councill they aplyed themselves to the Honorable President Glover and the Councill then being to have the Same laid out upon which it was ordered that a tract of Six Miles square within those bounds shoud be laid out for their settlement which yet hath not been done And further that most of the said Indyans have been upon Eight expeditions against the Indyan Enemys of this province and during the time they were in the Country Service they suffered Considerable loss in their plantations and Stocks looseing Seaventy five head of Hoggs a Mare and Colt their Corne destroyed by Horses and Catle their fences burnt and fruit trees destroyed by all which and the weareing out of their Clothes they are reduced to verry reat poverty. And pray’s that their Land may be laid out accordin to the intent of the Grant and that they may have Some allowance made for their Services and Llosses Etc. And this board having Considered the whole matter

          It is ordered that Colonell Wm. Maule doe examine the former survey made by Colonell Moseley and See whether the Same be made pursuant to the former order of the Councill and whether it Conteyns the Quantity and make his report therof to this Board. 

Minutes of the North Carolina Governor’s Council November 22, 1717 

Upon a complaint made by John Hoyter King of the Chowan Indyans that Ephraim Blanchard and Aaron Blanchard had settled upon those Indyans Lands without their leave. 

It is ordered by this Board that the said Blanchards do attend the next Council to Shew Cause for their so doing and that in the mean time they desist from doing anything further on their settlements 

Minutes of the North Carolina Governor’s Council July 31, 1718 

Upon a Complaint of Cap John Hoyter, king of the Chowan Indians that the neighbourhood intrude upon him and his people and take away their lands

 

Ordered that the Surveyor General or his sufficient Deputy at ten day s notice attend ffred Jones Esqr up to the said Indian Towne and follow his directions in laying out sd Indians Lands and that the Secty or his Deputy send him Coppys of all orders passed relating to grants made to the aforesaid Indians as soon as possible.

 

Minutes of the North Carolina Governor’s Council April 04, 1720 

Capn Joh Hoyter a Chowan idien having produced to this Board an order from the Honble the Governor directed to James Sitterson requiring him the sd Sitterson to pay one Willowby an Indian Money due for an Indian Slave bought at Core Sound which order the sd Sitterson not having complied with 

Its Ordered that the sd James Sitterson attend this Board at the next Sitting without fail and that Willowby attend likewise. 

Complaint being made by John Hoyter hief man of the Chowan Indians that several of the white people are continually intrudeing upon their Land and the same hath never been so determinatly bounded and ascertained pursuant to the grants made to them by the Government 

Its therefore ordered by this Board that all the several grants made by the Government be laid before Frederick Jones Esqr and that he determinatly and finaly lay out and Asscertaine the bounds for the sd Indians without any reguard to survey or grants made to any other claimers since the first Grants to those Indians. 

October 1730 Chowan County North Carolina County Court Minutes Pleas & Quarter Sessions 

       John Hayter King of the Chowan Indians Jeremiah Pushin Thomas Hayter and James Bennet Great Men belonging to the said Nation came into Court and  

   acknowledged a Deed of Sale for ffifty acres of Land to Capt. Aaron Blanchard joining on the sd Blanchards Land and the Court thereupon examined the King and the  

   rest of the sd. Indians touching the consideration money mentd. In sd. Deed who likewise ackxnowledged they had recd. The sd money. 

August 3, 1733 John Freeman purchases 200 acres "on Catherine Creek Swamp, being part of Chowan Town" for 120 pounds current money from the Chiefmen of the   

Chowan Indian Tribe. (Chowan Deed Book W-1, p. 216) Thomas Hoyter was the second signatory to this deed as a Chiefman of the Chowans. 

Minutes of the North Carolina Governor’s Council January 15, 1735—January 30, 1735

 

Upon reading at the Board this day the Petition of Chowan Indians setting forth that they being possessed of a large parcel of Lands lying in Chowan Precinct and but   

few in number to cultivate the same or make any benefit thereby and praying leave to make sale of part thereof the same was accordingly granted.

 

Whereupon a Deed of Sale from Thomas Hoyter James Bennet, Charles Beazley and Jeremiah Pushing Chief Men of said Chowan Indians to Jacob Hinton for fifty   

Acres of Land was read and the consideration mentioned in the said Deed being fifty Pounds the said Indians were thereon interrogated who acknowledged they had received the money and was therewith content. 

 

Whereupon His Excellency the Governor by and with advice and consent of this Board was pleased to allow and approve of then said sale to Jacob Hinton. 

A Deed of Sale from James Bennet, Thomas Hoyston, Charles Beazley and Jeremiah Pushing Chief Men of the said Chowan Indians to James Brown for

one hundred acres of Land was read and the Consideration Money therein mentioned being twelve pounds the said Indians was thereon interrogated who declared they had received the full consideration money therein mentioned and were fully content and satisfyed therewith whereupon his Excellency the Governour by and with the advice and consent of this Board was pleased to allow and approve of the said Deed of Sale made by the aforesaid Indians to James Brown. 

A Deed of Sale from James Bennet Thos Hoyton, Charles Beaseley and Jeremiah Pushing Chief Men of the Chowan Indians to Richard Minchen for one hundred Acres of Land was read the consideration money therein mentioned being fifty pounds and the said Indians being interrogated thereon were therewith content whereupon his Excellency the Governor by and with the advice and consent of his Majesty's Councel was pleased to allow and approve of the said Deed. 

A Deed of sale from James Bennet Thomas Hoyter Charles Beasley, Jeremiah Pushing, John Robins, John Reading and Neuse Will Chief Men of the Chowan Indians to Thomas Garret for four hundred Acres of Land was read at the Board and the Consideration money therein mentioned being One Hundred and fifty pounds the said Indians declared that they had received part thereof and that they had the said Garrets obligation for the remainder and were therewith fully content whereupon his Excellency

the Governour by and with the advice and consent of his Majestys Council was pleased to allow and approve of the said Deed. 

A Deed of Sale from Thomas Hoyter, Jeremiah Pushing, Charles Beasley and James Bennet Chief Men of the Chowan Indians to Michael Ward for two hundred Acres of Land the Consideration Money therein mentioned being sixty pounds and the said Indians being interrogated thereon were content. Whereupon His Excellency the Governour by and with the advice and consent of his Majesty's Council was pleased to allow of the said Deed. 

A Deed of Sale from Thomas Hoyton, James Bennet Charles Bennet and Jeremiah Pushing Chief Men of the Chowan Indians to Jacob Hinton for two hundred acres of land was read and the consideration money therein mentioned being one hundred pounds the said Indians were thereon interrogated who declared therewith content whereupon His Excellency theGovernor by and with the advice and consent of this board was pleased to allow of the same. 

A Deed of Sale from James Bennet Thos Hoyter, Jeremiah Pushing and Charles Beasley Chief Men of the Chowan Indians to John Freeman for two Hundred Acres of Land was read and the consideration money therein mentioned being one hundred and twenty pounds the said Indians were thereon interrogated who declared that they were therewith satified whereupon his Excellency the Governor by and with the advice and consent of his Majestys Council was pleased to allow of the same. 

A Deed of Sale from Thomas Hoyter James Bennet and Charles Beasley Chief Men of the Chowan Indians to William Hill for one hundred Acres of Land was read the consideration Money therein mentioned being sixty barrels of Tar the said Indians on examination were therewith fully content Whereupon his Excellency the Governor by and with the advice and consent of his Majestys Council was pleased to allow and approve of the same 

A Deed of Sale from James Bennet Thomas Hoyton, Charles Beasley and Jeremiah Pushing, Chief Men of the Chowan Indians to Michael Ward for six hundred Acres of Land was read and the consideration Money therein mentioned being Eighty Pounds the said Indians on Examination was therewith fully satisfyed and content Whereupon his Excellency the Governor by and with the advice and consent of his Majestys Council was pleased to allow of the same. 

A Deed of Sale from Thomas Hoyter James Bennet Charles Beasley and Jeremiah Pushing Chief Men of the Chowan Indians to James Hinton for one hundred Acres of Land was read and the consideration Money therein mentioned being fifty Pounds the said Indians being examined thereon were therewith content whereupon his Excellency the Governor by and with the advice and consent of his Majestys Council was pleased to allow of the said Sale. Mr Attorney General Represented to this Board that Capt Aaron Blanchard had got into his possession and keeping a Patent belonging to the Chowan Indians for their Lands on Bennets Creek and that he had refused to deliver the said Patent to the Chief Men of the said Nation who prayed relief therein from this Board Whereupon his Excellency the Governor by and with the advice and consent of his Majesty's Council was pleased to Order that the said Aaron Blanchard do forthwith Lodge the said Patent in the Secretary's Office of this Province for the benefit of the said

Indians and all others concerned By Order

 

1737 Description of King Hoyter by John Brickell in The Natural History of North Carolina

 

          “Dinner bein ended the Glass went round very merrily and whenever they drank to the Governour they always stiled him by the Name of Brother These three Kings 

   speak English tolerably well and are very wary and cunning in their Discourses and you would be surprised to hear what subtile and witty Answers they made to each  

   Question proposed to them notwithstanding they are in general Illiterate People having no Letters or Learning to improve them King Blunt being the most powerful of these I 

   have    mentioned had a Suit of English Broadcloth on and a pair of Women's Stockings of a blue Colour with white Clocks a tolerable good Shirt Cravat Shoes Hat &c King  

   Durant    had on an old Blue Livery the Wastecoat having some remains of Silver Lace with all other Necessaries fit for wearing Apparel such as Shirt Stockings Shoes &c 

   made after the English manner. King Highter had on a Soldiers red Coat Wastecoat and Breeches with all other conveniences for wearing Apparel like the 

   former And it is to be observed that after their return home to their Towns that they never wear these Cloaths till they make the next State Visit amongst   

   the Christians.

          “After this manner appeared the three civilized Kings with each of them his Queen. The first of these Queens was drest with a Peticoat made after the European  

   manner and had her Hair which is generally long thick and Black tyed full of bits of Stuff such as Red Green Yellow and variety of other Colours so that to an European she 

   rather seemed like a Woman out of Bedlam than a Queen She likewise had a large Belt about her full of their Peack or wampum which is their Money and what they value 

   above Gold or Silver but to me it seem d no better than our common Snails or other ordinary Shells the other parts of the Body from the Waste upwards were all naked.

 

   “…except the civilized Kings who of late have Houses fashioned and built after the manner that the Christians build theirs.”

 

Minutes of the Governor’s Council March 14, 1745/46 

          Read the petition of James Bennett a Chowan Indian complaining of one Henry Hills having obtained a Deed of Sale for some of the Chowan Indian Land from some Indians who had no right to sell the same. 

          Ordered that Henry Hill be summoned to attend this Board at their next sitting, And that Thomas Hoyster and John Robin the two Indians who sold the Land to the said Hill to be summoned to attend at the same time.

 

 

 

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