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Tuscarora War

The Tuscaroras, related to the Iroquois, lived in north Carolina, where they maintained friendly relations with the colonists. The post-contact era Tuscarora may have used the Sandhills area, at least for travel, hunting, and trade, prior to their defeats by the British-led armies of Barnwell and Moore (which were comprised of about 80% Native Americans from other groups and 20% European soldiers). The Tuscarora population between the Roanoke and Neuse Rivers (northeast of the Sandhills area) is estimated to have been at least 8,000 individuals.

In 1710, a group of Germans and Swiss established a settlement on the Neuse River in an ancestral area of the Tuscarora people. New Bern rapidly became a prosperous community. Trouble began when the white settlers began to take advantage of the Tuscaroras, encroaching on their farmland, cheating them in trades, and in some cases kidnapping and selling their children into slavery. On September 22, 1711 , the Tuscarora under Chief Hancock attacked New Bern and the surrounding countryside. John Lawson, surveyor-general of North Carolina in the early 1700s, suffered an untimely death as the first casualty in the Tuscarora War. Hundreds of settlers were killed and their homes and crops destroyed as Tuscarora warriors under Chief Hancock, raided white villages in 1711. The Siouan-speaking Cape Fear Indians were driven south by battles with Iroquoian groups such as the Seneca and the Tuscarora who were angered by the Cape Fear groups' alliances with English colonists during this phase of the Tuscarora War. Barnwell's treaty with the Tuscarora in 1712 specified that the Tuscarora were no longer to make use of the land between the Neuse and Cape Fear Rivers.

The war quickly escalated, and ultimately resulted in the dispersion, fragmentation, and a partial northern migration of this Iroquois group. The second phase of the Tuscarora War of 1712-1713, when the British defeated the Tuscarora residing along Contentnea Creek near present-day Snow Hill in Greene County, In a final standoff, Colonel James Moore led his men, aided by Yamasee Indians, into the Tuscarora village of Neoheroka in 1713, killing and capturing one thousand inhabitants. Many were then sold into slavery to finance the war effort.

The surviving Tuscaroras migrated to New York, where in 1722 they became the sixth nation in the Iroquois League. The Tuscarora tribe, originally from the Carolinas, moved northward, after the Tuscarora war in 1711-1713. An English map from 1721 clearly shows a Tuscarora village at the mouth of the Monocacy River on the Frederick County side. The tribe, of course, also gave its name to the creek flowing to the south of the present-day park. Like other eastern tribes during the difficult eighteenth century, the Tuscarora only briefly made Maryland their home before moving westward.

The federally-recognized Tuscarora Nation now reside in New York State, while those who sided with the British in the Revolutionary War received a reserve in Ontario, Canada. The descendants of those individuals of Tuscarora heritage who did not migrate north to the US and Canadian reserve regions became disenfranchised. Thus they are recognized neither by the official Tuscarora groups nor by the US government despite any biological or ethnic heritage claims they can make.

Historical reports suggest that late seventeenth century Tuscarora may have traded with Cape Fear coastal Siouan Indians or other Iroquoian Indian groups residing in the highlands of western Carolina, as well as with Siouan groups in the Piedmont and coastal Algonkians.

African Americans served in every major American conflict. The contributions made by blacks in colonial times were mainly as individuals integrated into militias and as laborers. In this capacity they were especially helpful in such wars as the Tuscarora War in North Carolina in 1711, and in the Yamasee War in South Carolina from 1715 to 1718.



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