Blankets, Shirts, Boots, Powder and Shot

I’ve been working on the early Tuscarora records recently, and one item in particular really stood out. 

Bertie County NC, Deed Book M page 316, 1777, deed of lease, Indians to Pugh

Whitmell Tufdick, Wineoak Charles Jr., Billie Roberts, Lewis Tufdick, West Tufdick, Billie Blunt Sr., Billie Blunt Jr., John Rodgers, John Smith, Billie Pugh, Billie Baskit, John Hicks, Samuel Bridgers, John Owens, James Mitchell, Isaac Cornelius, Tom Tomas, & Walter Gibson, Chieftans of the Tuskarora Indians to Thomas Pugh, Willie Jones & William Williams. 2 Dec 1775.  For the yearly rent of 80 Duffield Blankets, 80 Oznatrig Shirts, 80 prs of boots, 50 pounds of powder & 150 pounds of shot. 2000 acres which was part of the land called the Indian Lands, joining Town Swamp, the old path that leads to Unarowick Swamp, James Wiggins, Unrinta Road, Quitana Swamp, Rocquist, Jones, Williams, Pugh, excepting 300 acres Watking now tends.

We know from other records that in 1767 about 104 Tuscarora lived on the Indian Woods Reservation in Bertie Co.  By 1775 This number of 104 seems to have dwindled to about eighty.  Sure enough, this deed pretty well confirms that estimate.  It seems that every family involved would receive a blanket, a shirt and a pair of books, plus some power and shot.  Not much for the yearly lease of 2000 acres.  I have to wonder if they actually received their payments.  These Indians were relocating to NY from NC.  UPS didn’t exist back them.  How did they deliver their annual payment of blankets, shirts, boots, powder and shot?

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About Roberta Estes

Scientist, author, genetic genealogist. Documenting Native Heritage through contemporaneous records and DNA.
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