Colony Research Group
Genealogy ~ DNA ~ Archaeology
CRO = Chowan?
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,
Chowanoke Descendants Community have a lovely website at this link: http://www.chowanoke.webs.com/
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
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."
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.
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
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
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
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
"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
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
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
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
Bashford Robbins, 1 white male, 2 free persons of
George Bennet, 1 free person of color Hardy
Robbins, 1 free person of color
James Robbins, 1 white female, 15 free persons of
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
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
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
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
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."
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
and Thomas Hoyter, the Chowan Indian Chiefs
Fletcher Freeman with intro by Roberta Estes
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.
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.
want to thank Fletcher for his contribution of these records and his
permission to print them.
26, 1694 - November 30, 1694 Minutes of the General Court of North
“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
– 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
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.
28 1702 North Carolina Historical and Genealogical Register, Hathaway, pg
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.”
Petition to Council
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
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.
In Behalfe of himself and Rest of the
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.
25, 1712 Rev. Giles Rainsford’s Letter to the SPG
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.”
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
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.
of the North Carolina Governor’s Council November 22, 1717
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.
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
of the North Carolina Governor’s Council July 31, 1718
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
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.
of the North Carolina Governor’s Council April 04, 1720
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
Ordered that the sd James Sitterson attend this Board at the next Sitting
without fail and that Willowby attend likewise.
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
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.
1730 Chowan County North Carolina County Court Minutes Pleas & Quarter
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.
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
Indian Tribe. (Chowan Deed Book W-1, p. 216) Thomas Hoyter was the
second signatory to this deed as a Chiefman of the Chowans.
of the North Carolina Governor’s Council January 15, 1735—January 30,
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
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.
a Deed of Sale from Thomas Hoyter James Bennet, Charles Beazley and
Jeremiah Pushing Chief Men of said Chowan Indians to Jacob Hinton for
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.
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.
Deed of Sale from James Bennet, Thomas Hoyston, Charles Beazley and
Jeremiah Pushing Chief Men of the said Chowan Indians to James Brown for
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.
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.
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
Governour by and with the advice and consent of his Majestys Council was
pleased to allow and approve of the said Deed.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
and all others concerned By Order
Description of King Hoyter by John Brickell in The Natural History of
“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
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
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
“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
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
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.