Tuscarora Identified by Land and Other Transactions – Part 12


An 1805 accounting shows two entries of interest:

Cash paid Joseph B. Littlejohn assistant for the Indians – $24

Cash Paid Esther Gibson the Indian – $10

Another accounting shows:

1805 – Cash paid J. C. Guion and Joseph Littlejohn – atty – $44

1807 – cash paid Esther Gibson at different time $40.14

Schooling of John Cain from July 1803-June 1808 – $312

Nov 29, 1808 – Cash Paid Sacarusa and William Printup

The receipt for the 1808 payment to the Indians was also signed by Nicholas Cusick.

The “atty” probably means power of attorney.


An 1808 letter from the Nicholas Slade papers at Duke University contains the following fragmentary quote “the whole or a part of the said Nation continued to live on the said land until the year 1802.”  He further notes that the Indians have now sold all of the undemised land and signs the letter as their agent.

This would suggest that any Native families remaining are not living on the Tuscarora lands.

In December 1808, Jeremiah Slade writes another letter which says that the Tuscarora lived on the lands in Bertie county “until July in the year 1803” and “the Nation having after the sale of their undemised lands all (except John Cain) removed to Niagara.”

An 1809 letter says the Indians feel they have been wronged.


An 1816 accounting in Williamston from Jeremiah Slade for John Cain as follows (without amounts):

4 yards drab cord

2.5 yards casimere (black)

1 rist patron

1 rist patron

3.5 yards homespon

2 doz mose

1 doz mose

5 skeins silk

2 s. twist



14 yards shirting

1.5 doz shirt buttons

1 pair shoes


In an 1816 letter from Jeremiah Slade to the Tuscarora, he states that he has not heard from them since December 1809 and he is concerned.  He mentioned that the Indian boy John Cain had stayed with him and that the chiefs were concerned about that.  In a very similar second letter that is partly missing, Slade says that he has furnished John Cain with clothes and money to make the trip to New York to deliver his letter in person.  The letter goes on to detail money matters regarding the leases and various lawsuits involved.

In November, a letter is returned by John Cain from the Tuscarora to Jeremiah Slade.  They gave John Cain a power of attorney to collect their back rents.  This letter is signed by Sacarusa and Nicholas Cusick.  Longboard appears to have died.  In December Slade writes to the Indians and asks about Longboard and Printhrop, if they have died.

Slade also says the he “has often pressed” John Cain “to settle with his friends and the Nation, but I fear that his attachments to the place of his Nativity is so strong that he never will quit it.  I shall however continue to urge him to settle with you.”


In the North Carolina Papers, vol 4 page 336-340, an opinion is given in the suit Sacarusa and Long Board vs William King’s heirs.  Apparently William King’s heirs said that the Indians, since they vacated the land, had in essence voided their ownership and the King’s heirs did not have to pay the sums called for in the leases.  The finding was in favor of the Indians.  Additionally, one paragraph states:

“Some of the Indians of the aforesaid tribe remained in actual possession of part of the land comprehended in the grant of June 5th, 1717 until June, 1803, when they finally removed from the said land to the state of NY, leaving one of their tribe in the county of  Martin (not on the lands granted to them) to attend to their concerns, receive their rests, and c.”

The above statement confirms that none of the Tuscarora who may have remained were living on the Bertie County lands.  Where did those “20 old families” live and who were they?  Why are they not mentioned in addition to John Cain.  We know that Esther Gibson is Tuscarora and remained.


From the William Slade papers at Duke

July 11, 1817

Know all men by these presents that we Saccarusa and Nicholas Cusick chiefs of the Tuscarora Nation of Indians residing in the County of Niagara and the State of New York by our Letter of Attorney bearing date some time in the year 1816 did make constitute and appoint John Cain one of he said Nation of Indians resident in the State of North Carolina our attorney for recovery of rents of land due to the said Nation from divers persons.  Know ye that we the said Saccarusa and Nicholas Cusick for that the said John Cain hath abused the authority by us in him reposed have revoked, countermanded, annulled and made void and by these presents to revoke, countermand and make void the said letter of attorney and all power and authority thereby given to the said John Cain.

Signed by Saccarusa and Nicholas Cusick and witnessed and filed in NY

The same day, the Chiefs, from Lewiston, NY, wrote a letter to Jeremiah Slade.

“Brother, Your letter of June 18 we have received and the contents have been made known to the Nation, it is accepted.  Sire, as an additional evidence o the interest you have taken in our behalf – receive our most hearty thanks and through us the thanks of the Nation – although we are in extreme want of the money and anxiously await its arrival yet we are sensible you have done all you could co to expedite it.  We hope the Secretary of War will comply with your request – if he should not our situation would be deplorable – all you propose to the settlement of accounts we are satisfied with and hope to have the pleasure of seeing you the next fall or beginning of winter.  With respect to John Cain we wish him to return to us end request you to furnish him with the necessary means, if he refuses to return we wish to deprive him of the chance of receiving and expending the money belonging of right to the Nation and in order that you may do so we enclose you a revocation of the power of attorney we gave him.  We are sorry he has abused the trust reposed in him  – may the Great Spirit preserve your valuable life and afford you the means of doing good is the anxious prayer of your much oblidged friend.”

Signed by Sacarusa by his mark and Nicholas Cusick.

On Sept 20, 1817 a receipt from “we the Sachems and Chiefs” for money received from the War. Dept. from Jeremiah Slade.  Signed by Sacarusa, William Prantup and Solomon Longboard.  Witnesses were H.B. Potter, Young King (his mark), Colonel Pollard (his mark) and Horatio Jones.  The witnesses may or may not be Native.

In October 1817, the Tuscarora authorize Nicholas Cusick and Solomon Longboard, two principal chiefs, power of attorney to recover and receive funds from North Carolina.

Signed Sacarissa, Sachem

William Printup, Sachem

Thomas, Sachem

Abraham Chief Warrior

Paulus: War Chief

Obediah ditto

William ditto

Jacob War Chief

Big Fish Warrior

William ditto

David Cusick Warrior

Jacob ditto

George Lovedenny War Chief

John Mountpleasant ditto

Edward Johnson Warrior

Isaac Green ditto

Lewis ditto

Sam Patterson ditto

John Billy ditto

Solomon Longboard ditto

John Green ditto

Witnesses James Young – Teacher among the Tuscaroras

James C. Crany – Missny to Tuscaroras

Robert Fleming

Jasper Parrish – Sub-Agent to the Six Nations of Indians

Signed and file in Niagara County and in Buffalo.

A partial letter from Jeremiah Slade to the Tuscarora dated Feb. 4th, 1818 says that the Chiefs, Nicholas Cusick and Solomon Longboard arrived with the intention to apply to the legislature to modify the 1802 law to give them fee simple interest in the land in Bertie County after the leases expire in 1916 or some compensation in lieu of that and also to collect the monies due the Nation.


1818 – From the William Slade papers, Jonathan Slade’s Day Book

Feb 2 1808 – paid to Esther Gibson for the Indians  – Dr. (debit) to cash paid to Mr. Stone – $30.40

Board for 3 persons, 9 days – $27

Three horses, boy and chair – $20

Cash paid John Cain to go to Raleigh $15

June 8, 1818 to John Cain $5

Settled with John Cain for 7 months work – no amount listed

William L. Byrd III notes that John Cain may have been a shoemaker.


Deed Bk – CC, Bertie Co., NC- Nicholas Cusick et al to Alfred M. Slade – Nicholas Cusick, Solomon Longboard and William Chew, chiefs of the Tuskarora Nation of Indians appointed Aldred M. Slade of Martin Co., NC power of attorney…Feb. 2, 1827.  Witness William Slade, William Sutton, signed Nicholas Cusick, Solomon (X) Longboard and William Chew.


1828 – From the NC Governor’s papers, in a letter from Washington from P. B. Porter on November 12, 1828 to Gov. James Iredell it states that Cusack and Longboard, two principal chiefs, along with Cusack’s grandson are on the way to NC to “adjust some claim.”


About Roberta Estes

Scientist, author, genetic genealogist. Documenting Native Heritage through contemporaneous records and DNA.
This entry was posted in History, Tuscarora. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Tuscarora Identified by Land and Other Transactions – Part 12

  1. Pingback: Borderlands Deeds and the Cain Surname | Native Heritage Project

  2. The statement that all went north is a lie. The 1821 tax lists prove that Chief William Pugh’s heirs still held land in Indian Woods, and his lawyer was a “Slade”. The 1819 tax list confirms them still living there as well. 1821 tax list has several Butler, Mitchell, Thompson and Williams families that are all Tuscarora descendants of Butler and of the Tuscarora Tom and Lewis Whitmell, petition signers.

    What is more accurate is that those that stayed behind were given the opportunity to go north. There had already been some that returned from the north with tales of horrible winters. The chiefs even said that John Cain loved this place, so it is reasonable to think others did too. The chiefs denounced and disowned those left behind. As if they had authority to denounce Chiefs who stayed, but it worked.

    Project I am working on involve some of these on the 1821 tax list and their ties north of the Indian Woods and much further south to Maxton, especially the King.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.