Posted By:Gerald Adams
Subject:Re: Native Americans in Bladen County
Post Date:March 13, 2007 at 11:05:11
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Forum:Bladen County, NC Genealogy Forum
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If the term "Blackfoot" was ever used to describe Indians in Bladen County it must have been a misprint or mistake.The "Blackfeet" (a.k.a. Arikara) were a western tribe located in present-day Montana and Canada.
The Tuscarora lived in in present-day Craven and surrounding counties. After campaigns against them by white settlers and SC Indian allies they migrated to NY state where they were protected by the Iroquois Federation, with the one exception of a small remnant band which "hid out" on the Alligator River in northeastern NC.
The Cherokee may have traded with tribes in the Bladen vicinity prior to European settlement, but there is no evidence of residence.
The Waccamaw tribe lived along the Cape Fear River and Lake Waccamaw area("Waggamaw" in early maps and documents), but they intermarried and were absorbed into mainstream culture once the area was settled.
Some speculative but lucrative evidence suggests possibility of the pre-settlement presence of Cheraw Indians along Drowning Creek, but these too intermarried and were absorbed into mainstream culture.
An interesting entry was made by Col. John Rutherford of the Bladen Militia when he made a survey of Bladen County (then encompassing present-day Bladen, Robeson, Hoke, and Columbus Counties)in 1754. In a report to Governor Dobbs he stated "No arms stores or Indians in the county", but he also noted "..Drowning Creek on the Head of Little PeeDee, 50 families, a mixt (sic) Crew, a lawless People, filleth the Lands without patent or paying quit rents. Shot a surveyor for coming to view vacant lands being enclosed in great swamps..."