Native Study Website

native study

I recently came across the Native Study website.

This site has several books of transcribed original records.  For the most part, records deal with the following tribes:

  • Cherokee
  • Chickasaw
  • Choctaw
  • Creek
  • Seminole
  • Blackfeet
  • Delaware
  • Hopi
  • Navajo
  • Sioux

However, a second set of records, Native American Will and Probate Records, deals with a different set of tribes and records.  The website states:

“In accordance with federal statutes enacted in 1910 and 1913, the Law and, subsequently, the Probate Divisions of the Bureau of Indian Affairs were responsible for determining the heirs of deceased Indian trust allottees.  Ultimately, Native Americans submitted more than 2,500 pages of wills and probate records to the Bureau. These records span the period 1911 to 1921 and, with a few exceptions, pertain to Indian families living in the Plains and several western states.”

For information about Indian Trust Allotments and the division of tribal land, visit this link:

Posted in Blackfoot, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, Delaware, Hopi, Navajo, Seminole, Sioux | Leave a comment

Carolina Indian Boy for Sale in Boston – 1713

Indian for sale

“A Carolina Indian Boy about 11 years old, to be sold, inquire as the post office in Boston.”

In 1713, the Boston News-Letter carried this advertisement for a “Carolina Indian Boy” to be sold as a slave. The boy had, presumably, been captured during the Tuscarora War.

Hat tip to Derek for this article.

It’s sad to see this in print.  I surely wish we knew more about who this young man was, who he was sold to and what happened to him.  Most of the captives from the Tuscarora War were taken south and sold in South Carolina or into the West Indies.  I wonder how he came to be found in Boston.

Posted in North Carolina | 2 Comments

Cameron’s Letter Regarding Survey of 1763 Proclamation Line

I want to thank our friend Mavis again for finding this wonderful document.  She says she reads Documenting the American South every morning over coffee.  I, for one, am very glad that she does.  Keep up the good work Mavis.

Today’s find is a letter from Alexander Cameron, Indian Agent, regarding the surveying of the Cherokee boundary.

Given the dates of this letter, and the followup research on the locations, this had to be the survey of the Proclamation line of 1763.

Proclamation 1763 map

Letter from Alexander Cameron to [John Stuart]

Cameron, Alexander

May 10, 1766

Volume 07, Pages 207-213

[B. P. R. O. A. & W. I. Vol. 269.]
Fort Prince George 10th May 1766.


Agreeable to your Instructions to me, I set out the 21st ultimo, to see the Cherokee boundary line surveyed, I was accompanied by the Prince of Chote, Jud’s Friend, Tiptoe Emy and the Wolf, with thirty young men, and we arrived at Dewis’s Corner on the 24th following.

Mr Wilkinson was appointed Commissioner by the Governor and Council, to see the line run, and Mrf Pickens, the Surveyor, attended us. We began the line at Dewis’s Corner and proceeded southwest 50 miles to Savannah River, the Indians blazed the Trees as we went, and made the Boundary very clear and strong as they term it.

I could not learn that we took in any land, that had been surveyed by any white man before, but there is one Atkins, settled

——————– page 208 ——————–

within four miles of the Line, near to Savannah. The distance from Dewis’s Corner to the River (as near as we could make it) is 27 miles; The course of the Line, from Dewis’s Corner to Reedy River where the Line terminates, is N. E. 50 miles[?] and the distance 18 miles. About Saludy there are several houses within four miles of the Line, and one House within one mile of it.

On the North Carolina side of Reedy River there are three or four families settled: and even if the Indian boundary be run a north course, these settlements will fall five or six miles above it.

One William Turner on Saludy, below Ninety six, has settled a Cowpen and Plantation on the above Indian Lands, altho’ he very well knew, that, Mr Wilkinson by Governor Bull’s order, removed a settlement off the same tract of Land last year. I have sent a warning to remove without loss of time, otherwise I should take upon me to drive them off, & distribute part of their cattle among the Indians as a Tax belonging to them, &c.

The Cherokees propose running the line from where it terminated a straight course, to Colonel Chiswell’s Mines, which I believe will be north, as nigh as I could make it; They say, that it must be very evident, that as they have given all their claims of Lands in Virginia, below Chiswell’s Mines, and in South Carolina, below Dewis’s Corner, that a straight line, from Reedy River to the Mines, must consequently cut off a great deal of their land in North Carolina; that part of their Hunting Ground lies 40 miles eastward of where they now nominate their boundary; but they do not love disputing with the White People concerning a trifle, therefore they made them a present of it.

It would be very necessary that a Surveyor should first sight the Line, from Reedy River a north course, in order to know where it will terminate in Virginia, and whether or not, it will take away any of the settlements.

Your Express, George Redd, arrived at Dewis’s Corner the 6th inst. as we returned from marking the Line; I read to the Indians what part of your Dispatches concerned them, for which they return you their thanks; they likewise return you thanks, for your trouble and assiduity, in having their Boundary Line fixed, as they are very sensible, it is of great importance to them, they were however chagrined, that Governor Bull had sent no presents, for the Lands they ceded to the Province of South Carolina; and more especially, as they were a poor People, & prevented from Hunting, by the numerous

——————– page 209 ——————–

parties of their enemies, that lurk continually about them. Inclosed you have a Talk from the head beloved Man Kittagusta dictated to him, by many men & warriors of his Nation. I inclose you likewise, an instrument, certifying their being present, as well as myself, at the surveying of the division Line of South Carolina as already mentioned.

I have distributed most part of the Ammunition among the Indians, for their Defence, as well as the greatest part of the other presents you have sent them.

I would be glad that you would renew the Indian Commissions which I conveyed to you, and send them, with the Medals, by the first opportunity, as they are at present much wanted to be given, as a memorial of our Friendship toward the Cherokees which the Creeks endeavour to depreciate, as much as possible. One dozen Medals is the least that is necessary for them, and if you think proper to be distributed as follows, to Ononnastotah, Kittagusta, Attacullahcedlah, Willnianwah, Otassatch, of the Overhills; Moitoy, of the Valley; the Mankiller of Miccassie who now lives in little Ohoteh, to the southward of the Valley, Tiptoe, Emy, Saludy and the Wolf lower Towns, and Tugooloo.

In my letter of the 2nd of April, I informed you that Emy, or the old warrior of Estatoe, was ready to set out to war against the Norwards, with a party of Cherokees and twenty Creeks; upon their march on the frontier of North Carolina, they met two white Beaver Hunters, and it was with great difficulty Emy prevented the Creeks from Hatcheting them; but after a strong and long talk from him to the Creek Head Man (the Buck) he prevailed upon them to return the white men their Guns, which they had taken from them; Emy told them that he would proceed no further with them, as they determined to bring him into a scrape: and that he could not be present at shedding the blood of any of his Brothers the English; he instantly returned home and the Creeks followed.

Mr Price and I shook hands with and thanked Emy, at a Public Meeting for his behaviour, and made him small presents; I however explained to him that he did no more than his duty, for his own Interest, and the good of all his Nation.

Tiptoe had pretty good success in his expedition: he routed the enemy in two different engagements, he brought home 3 scalps, skulls and all, in the first skirmish, the Seed of Settico was wounded, of which he died in six nights after; Tiptoe relates that when he

——————– page 210 ——————–

received his wounds, he told them he should die in six nights and desired they would not think it troublesome to carry him so long. On their arrival in Camp, after the sixth days march, the Seed told them he was now going to die, that he was a man and warrior, that he did not die like a woman, in bed, that he died in war, but, said he, you must not bury me under the ground, to be smothered, tye me up with vines to a pretty high tree, where the enemy cannot find my scalp, but I can see them when they are going to war against you, and if I can do no more, I shall bring you intelligence thereof; One more of the party was killed & three wounded, one of which died since.

The Cherokees were surprised in Camp, and most of them ran away; but upon Tiptoe’s animating them by a strong and bold speech, throwing off all his cloaths, & Killing the Head Warrior on the first onset his party rallied and beat off the enemy.

Mr Taylor writes me from over the Hills that the rogue Mankiller, and his Brother Trennilitah are employed as Ambassadors between the Mortar of the Creeks, and Onomastotah; and that the Mortar engages to reinforce the Cherokees with 700 on one days warning, provided they will go to Virginia and fall on the back settlements &c.

The following is an extract of a letter from Mr Alexander Boyd of Virginia, to me, dated Tenassie 2d April 1766.

“The Great Warrior & Attacullabiculla, want to see the Great King, and seem extremely desirous to embark from Virginia, and were they to solicit our Governor and Council for leave (as they seem inclined to do) they would undoubtedly obtain it, adding their Agents and your concurrence thereto; for there are none of the murderers, that killed a party of their People, yet apprehended, neither can they without imminent danger, for the whole body of Crackers, to a man, have unanimously declared, publickly, that they will espouse their cause at the expense of their lives, so that Proclamations and great rewards answer no purpose. And should these head men be allowed to take a voyage, the expence of conducting them to, and from England, would not exceed the premiums offered for bringing the other villains to justice. Our Colony is now about building and fixing a large store at the great Island on Houlston, for carrying on an extensive Trade and supplying them on the most reasonable terms possible; and at their request to our Governor and Council, they design to make overtures of peace, to the northern Tribes, in their behalf; which, if they can effect, great influence

——————– page 211 ——————–

will be used with those living on the Ohio, to bring their commodities also to this grand Magazine, and be supplied with clothing &c. All this is possible but I fear their views are too sanguine.

“I have been interrogated by several of the Warriors, why the Governor and his beloved men, did not catch the rogues, and hang them that killed their People; and indeed of late, rumours prevailed here of some of the disaffected having been busy sowing bad talks among them, and they are threatening revenge for their losses; therefore, your presence here is much wished for.”

We had accounts some time ago that Mr Boyd was killed, going into Virginia, but I am glad to understand that our information was groundless.

Numerous are the fearful & dreadful stories, the Traders report of the Cherokees, and the continual attempts of the Creeks upon them, to alienate their minds from us, and sow the seed of contention among us, if possible, but I am not afraid of settling everything in its proper channel, & making all straight.

I must observe to you, that should the great Warrior and Attacullahculla be allowed to go to England from Virginia, and pay his passage backward and forward, it would never be a sufficient acknowledgement to the relations of the Indians that had been murdered, but if the perpetrators of the murder cannot by any means be brought to justice, then they must send large presents for the Relations of the murdered and endeavour to make up matters that way; I am informed the whole Body of them intend to pay me a visit on my arrival as I had been all along promising them satisfaction, I am upon my word affraid of them, but I hope to be able to waive the affair still longer.

I think Sir, it lies with you, to send home the great Warrior, and little Carpenter, as it would be of the greatest service to the Public, I do not in the least doubt but they will be sent home from Virginia, (unless you will suppress them) as I am convinced the Carpenter will leave no stone unturned to effect it.

In an engagement between the Northwards and the Hunting Party of Cherokees down the Tenassie, four of the former were killed, and three of the latter, and several wounded on both sides; the Cherokees threw themselves into a Block House (made by the Carpenter last Winter for his own defence) which prevented their being mostly cut off, as the enemy were much superior in number.

——————– page 212 ——————–

A few days after, a Norward Indian came close to the Island Town and snapt his gun three times at a Cherokee Indian that was cutting of wood, the former ran up to the Cherokee with his Tomahawk and made a stroke at him which the latter partly parried, they grasped each other but the Norward oversett his antagonist, upon which the Cherokee called out, and a wench, that was nigh to them, ran to her friend’s assistance oversett the Norward in his turn, tied him neck and heels and brought him in. His trial soon came on and Attacullahculla who was Chief Justice, ordered him to be burnt after cutting off some of his Members, which orders were soon executed, the fellow behaved with great undauntedness, and smiled at his torture.

On the 21st ult. Old Welsh, daughter (whom Mr Wilkinson keeps) & grand child were going to. Tugooloo, and were met by six Norward Indians; Welsh had his grandchild in his arms, and his daughter coming behind he shook hands with the Indians, & asked what Country, but he finding them seizing of him, and making up to his daughter, knew they were enemy, and called to her to make her escape: upon which, she turned her horse about and gave him the whip, the enemy flung two spears at her, and wounded her in the side, and arm; Welch, and Wilkinson’s child, were both killed, and their brains knocked out with a war club, which was left by them with shame signs upon it; No Trader will venture into this Nation, if the enemy are permitted to kill white People, as well as red.

Mr Wilkinson notwithstanding his good economy, expended to the amount of £600 currency in making small presents to the Indians, and supplying them with provision, altho’ I bore a part of the expence, I am however well convinced, that no man in the Province of South Carolina, could have done it at so little expence.

The Traders with one voice join and request, that you would apply to Sir William Johnson in order to suppress the insolence of the Norward Indians, contrary to the last treaty of Peace; the consequence of that breach of theirs will be, that the Cherokees will follow their example, & knock up as many of their Traders as they can, which they already begin to insinuate.

His Highness the Prince shakes hands with you, and begs that you’ll send up an Union Flag to be displayed on particular occasions, in the head beloved Town of Chotch Ottassatch as Jud’s Friend, holds you fast also, and desires, that you would give a strong talk, to Henry Young at the Forks of Edisto, concerning three Negroes of his, who were taken in the time of war by some of the

——————– page 213 ——————–

Cherokees, who were going with them to the French in order to sell them; when Jud’s Friend spoke, and said, that altho’ they were at war with the English at present, they would have a peace with them by and by and that he would not suffer the Negroes to be sold to the French, that he himself would purchase them, and give him 3001bs of leather for them; they were afterwards sent down here, and the Jud left it to his own generosity what to give, but he never had a farthings worth, a couple of cows would satisfy them.

I am Sir &c


Note that Chiswell’s Mines, mentioned in the document above, are located today near Shot Tower State Park in Virginia, shown below.

chiswell's mines

Posted in Cherokee, Creek, Maps | Leave a comment

Broken Tennessee Treaties

One of our subscribers, Don, spotted this great site provided by the Tennessee State Museum.  Thanks Don.

On the site itself, there is additional information, but what struck me was the visual representation of what happened to the Indian lands in Tennessee in the short time between 1770 and 1835 when the Indians were forcibly removed on the Trail of Tears.  That is only a total of 65 years from complete ownership to forced removal via 12 broken treaties.

The first treaty actually preceeded 1770 by 7 years. The Proclamation of 1763 reserved all of Tennessee for the Indians, as shown below.

1763 map

The slippery slope of land cession began in Tennessee in 1770 when the Proclamation of 1763 was broken.

So, without further words, just look for yourself.  Land owned by the Indians is orange, land owned by the settlers is blue and land being ceded in this treaty by the Indians to the settlers is green.

1770                Treaty of Lochabar

Broken 1

1775                Treaty of Sycamore Shoals

broken 2

1777                Treaty of Long Island of Holston

broken 3

1785                Treaty of New Hopewell

broken 4

1791                Treaty of Holston

broken 5

1798                First Treaty of Tellico

broken 6

1805                Third Treaty of Tellico & Chickasaw Cession

broken 7

1806                Treaty of Washington

broken 8

1817                Jackson and McMinn Treaty

broken 9

1818                Jackson Purchase

broken 10

1819                Calhoun Treaty

broken 11

1835                Treaty of New Echota

broken 12

Thank you to the Tennessee State Museum for creating the maps and allowing noncommercial, educational use.

Posted in Cherokee, Maps, Tennessee, Treaty | 8 Comments

Memoirs of Henry Timberlake – Cherokee Emissary

Timberlake map from bookI love digitization projects.  They bring history, especially long out-of-print documents to all of us.  The Memoirs of Henry Timberlake is one of these documents and it’s downloadable through the Internet Archive.

Henry Timberlake (1730 – September 30, 1765) was a colonial Anglo-American officer, journalist, and cartographer. He was born in Virginia in 1730 and died in England. He is best known for his work as an emissary to the Overhill Cherokee during the 1760s.

Timberlake’s account of his journeys to the Cherokee, published as his memoirs in 1765, became a primary source for later studies of their eighteenth-century culture. His detailed descriptions of Cherokee villages, townhouses, weapons, and tools have helped historians and anthropologists identify Cherokee structures and cultural objects uncovered at modern archaeological excavation sites throughout the southern Appalachian region.

During the Tellico Archaeological Project, which included a series of salvage excavations conducted in the Little Tennessee River basin in the 1970s, archaeologists used Timberlake’s “Draught of the Cherokee Country” to help locate major Overhill village sites.

The University of Pittsburg digitized this book, described thus:

The memoirs of Lieut. Henry Timberlake : (who accompanied the three Cherokee Indians to England in the year 1762) ; containing whatever he observed remarkable, or worthy of public notice, during his travels to and from that nation ; wherein the country, government, genius, and customs of the inhabitants, are authentically described ; also the principal occurrences during their residence in London ; illustrated with an accurate map of their Over-hill settlement, and a curious secret journal, taken by the Indians out of the pocket of a Frenchman they had killed (1765).

They note that the map is missing, but it isn’t. It’s actually in the first images, and above.  The Frenchman’s Secret Journal is missing, however.  Interesting how the words “secret journal” make you want to see it in the worst of ways:)

So here you go….download and enjoy.

Hat tip to Min for finding this document.

Posted in Cherokee | Leave a comment

Mary Richardson, Born Free of Indian Parents

From Lisa Henderson’s blog, we find the following record about Mary Richardson.

Headquarters Bureau Refugee Freedmen and Abandoned Lands SC

Charleston SC Aug. 11th 1866

Major General O. O. Howard



I have the honor to present the case of Mary Richardson an aged half breed now living in Manningsville this state.

She states that when she was about thirteen years of age and living with her parents in a village in North Carolina the name of which she has forgotten she was sent to a slave for articles and while there a stranger named Jacob Whitehead immediately caught her and placing her on a saddle with him carried her away against her will, riding all day and night crossing into SC, sleeping in the woods days and riding nights, in this manner until they arrived at his home in Manningsville SC. That Jacob Whitehead kept her as a servant in his house until she arrived at the age of puberty when he kept her as his mistress with the knowledge of his wife. After living with him for about seven years, she had a son born of him and the wife took charge of the child.

About ten years after the child was born the father Whitehead tried to sell her at auction in Charleston City SC but was unable to do so, she being free born of Indian parents and Whitehead being unable to show title.

Eight or ten years after this went the wife of Whitehead died and she (Mary) and Mr. W. were quarreling continually, and by some arrangement she was transferred to a Mr. John Reams of Manningsville, with whom she lived as a slave until Gen. Sherman went through.

She orates that her son is still living a man grown on the Santee River this state, but she has not seen him for many years nor has she heard anything of her parents since she was kidnapped. All of her repeated effort to learn of them and to tell them of her fate being intercepted before she began to grow old, by the post masters and others who were relatives and friends of Mr. Whitehead. After Mr. Whitehead sold or transferred her to Reams he married a second wife: Mr. W. died during the war and his widow now lives on the estate at Manningsville as does Nath’ Whitehead the son of the first wife of Jacob Whitehead.

She now asks that some measures may be taken to secure to her from Jacob Whitehead’s estate means of support in her old age as also to the son she had by Whitehead his just position and standing among his people.

I am General, very respectfully, your Obd. Servant

Brevet Major General, Asst. Com. SC

Records of Assistant Commissioner of the State of South Carolina; Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands; National Archives Microfilm Publication M869.

<End of record>

Manningsville is located near Sumpter and Mechanicsville in Sumter County, SC.  It is a historical location and I found it mentioned in testimony about the Civil War.

The 1870 census does not show an elderly Mary Richardson or even a Mary Richardson who is a person of color.  She may have passed away by then, used a different name or moved.  The 1860 slave census in Sumpter County shows several Reems that do in fact own slaves.  John C. Reems owns a young slave family, it appears, with both the male and female age 28.  The oldest female owned by any Reems family member is a 40 year old mulatto owned by Elizabeth Reems.  This does not seem to correspond to the testimony given in 1866 by Mary Richardson.

From age 13, Mary moved forward a few years to bearing a son, then 10 years later Whitehead tried to sell Mary, then 8-10 years later, his wife died, then she was sold to Reams where she lived until the Civil War.  So she had to be over age 40 and from the description of “aged,” I would think more like over 60.

It’s unfortunate that Mary didn’t remember the name of the village where she lived in NC nor did she give her son’s name nor did she state how she came by the surname of Richardson.  I wonder if the Freedmen’s Bureau has any additional information or if Jacob Whitehead’s estate would hold clues or evidence of some type of settlement.  I also wonder if Jacob sold his (and Mary’s) son or how the son was classified.  Generally, the child takes the status of the mother, so he was likely enslaved as well.

Posted in Captive, North Carolina, South Carolina | 3 Comments

Mob Raitously Assembled in Bladen County, 1773

On December 18, 1773 the Governor sent a message to the Assembly enclosing a letter from Archibald McKissack, a justice of Bladen County, “relative to a number of free negroes and mulattoes who infest that county and annoy its inhabitants.”


McKissack’s list  was enclosed.

mob list

It is titled “A list of the mob raitously assembled together in Bladen County October 13th 1773.”  Listed in order are those rogues, raitously assembled:

  • Captain James Ivey
  • Joseph Ivey
  • Ephraim Sweat
  • William Chavours Clark commonly called Boson Chevers
  • Richd. Groom
  • Bengman [Benjamin?] Deel also possibly Dees
  • Willm. Sweat
  • George Sweat
  • Benjamin Sweat
  • Willm Groom Senr
  • Willm, Groom Junr.
  • Gideon Grant
  • Thos. Groom
  • James Pace
  • Isaac Vaun
  • [torn] Stapleton
  • Edward Lockelear
  • Ticely Lockalear

Also listed are “Harbourers of the rogues as follows:”

  • Major Lockalear
  • Richer Groom
  • Ester Cairsey

At the bottom: “The above list of rogues is all free negroes and mullatus living upon the King’s land.”

General Assembly Sessions Records, December 1773

Students of North Carolina Native history will recognize a number of surnames associated with the current Lumbee and Carolina Tuscarora tribes.

Posted in Lumbee, North Carolina, Tuscarora | 8 Comments