I particularly love to peek into the lives of our ancestors through the few written documents they have left for us. Recalling that there were no written Native languages until Europeans began speaking Native languages and vice versa, and the Europeans began translating and writing down the translated version of what the Native people said, it’s amazing that we have as much as we do.
William L. Byrd III wrote an incredibly useful book for North Caroline Native researchers titled “For so Long as the Sun and Moon Endure: Indian Records from the North Carolina General Assembly Sessions and Other Sources.” He does incredible research and has brought to us through his book records long buried in dusty boxes that would never otherwise have seen the light of day.
His book begins with an undated paper found among the articles of Assembly, presumably a draft of a treaty or articles agreed upon between the Tuscarora and the English. This document is probably from some time between the end of the Tuscarora War and the mid-1700s. The Tuscarora agree not to settle above the Morratuck (Roanoke) River. They were awarded their Indian Woods reservation in 1718 so an agreement not to settle above the River after 1718 seems a bit redundant. However, North Carolina really didn’t become North Carolina until South Carolina split off in 1729, so the date of this document is uncertain.
Regardless of the timeframe, I particularly love the opening paragraph, item 1, as follows.
“That there be a firm, perpetual and invioble peace to continue so long as the Sun and Moon Endure between all and every the Inhabitants and people of North Carolina and all the nation and people of the Tuscaroroe Indians.”
What a beautiful way to say forever…