Algonkian Ethnohistory of the Carolina Sound, Part 3


by Maurice A. Mook

Part 3

In some respects the best-known Carolina Algonkian group, at least the one with which the Roanoke colonists had the most numerous contacts, was the so-called Secotan. This tribe's domain extended from Albemarle Sound to lower Pamlico River and from Roanoke Island to the west-central region of present Beaufort County. Western Beaufort County and the river region above the present city of Washington, as will be seen, seem to have belonged to another tribe (the Poumouik). The northeastern section of the peninsula between the Pamlico and Neuse Rivers was also a part of Secotan territory. Secotan distribution thus included the present counties of Washington, Tyrrell, Dare, and Hyde, the greater part of Beaufort, and the northern part of Pamlico. The native inhabitants of the off-shore islands were geographically, and perhaps also culturally and politically, closer to the Secotan than to any other Algonkian group.

Because of proximity to Roanoke the English colonists had closer contacts with the Secotan Indians than with any other tribe of the Carolina coast. Barlow's Wingandacoa is usually identified with Secotan (106), and most of the Indians whom he mentioned by name - Wingina, the chief, Granganimo, his brother, Wanchese and Manteo, the natives whom he took to England with him - were inhabitants of this area. Other persons and places referred to in his narrative are known by the relation of Secotan informants. Hariot stated that most of his ethnological information pertained particularly to the coastal area in the vicinity of Roanoke, and White's pictures of Indian scenes and subjects dealt largely with the towns of the Secotan tribe. He claimed that there were minor differences in native customs between towns in this territory, but such differences are to be expected among towns spread over an area as large as the one above indicated.

There is no information on the size of this group in 1586 (107), but that it was not the largest and strongest tribe of the region may be deduced from the facts of aboriginal history that are recorded in the narratives. For example, when Pemisapan (Wingina) planned his conspiracy against the English he called upon the northern tribes (Weapemeoc, Chowanoc, and Moratoc) for help and seems to have been but indifferently supported by the mass of his own people. Lane stated that the Chowanoc were the strongest tribe of the area, and Hariot reported that native towns on the Secotan coast were small and not numerous. When Barlow visited Roanoke Island the native town on it had but nine houses, and White's drawings of the towns of Pomeiock and Secotan show them to have been small settlements (108). Yet the territory of the Secotan was greater in area than that of any other Algonkian group of the Carolina seaboard. Eight Secotan villages are known by name, the locations of some of which can be determined more accurately than is possible for most of the settlements previously considered. There were two villages in northern Secotan territory south of Albemarle Sound, two in the eastern area on Pamlico Sound, and four in the southern section west of Mattamuskeet Lake. It is possible to locate the first four of these more accurately than the others, in spite of the fact that there are several accounts of the colonists' southern exploration, because White's (and De Bry's) map is geographically more accurate for the northern than for the southern area. The reason for our better knowledge of the native geography of the northern area is that the English "new Fort in Virginia" was established at the northern end of Roanoke Island (109) and that in their explorations by water the colonists usually sailed northward into Albemarle, rather than southwestward into Pamlico Sound. The Croatoan Indians lived south of Roanoke Island, and at least one historian has suggested that their consistent friendliness toward the English was due to their more distant southern location, in an area farther removed from and less molested by the English and therefore less threatened by the prospect of dispossession (110).

Grenville's relation of the Second Voyage (111), as well as Lane's Account of the particularities of the imployments of the English men left in Virginia, gives an account of the colonists' first exploration to the mainland after arriving in America. The towns visited were Pomeiok, Acquascogoc, and Secotan, and this was the order of their location from east to west. The voyage was made from the island of Wococon (Ocracoke); the ships sailed westward to the mainland (Hyde and Beaufort Counties), entered the Pamlico River, and then returned to Wococon. The towns can be located as follows:

White's map locates Pomeyoc between Lake Paquippe (Mattamuskeet) and Pamlico Sound, and the text accompanying White's drawing of "A Chiefe Herowans wife of Pomeoc" (112) states that "about 20 miles from the Iland [Roanoke], neere the lake of Paquippe; ther is another towne called Pomeioock hard by the sea." White's map shows the town on the bank of the lake rather than on the shore of the Sound, but that it was located on the Sound is indicated by Barlow's reference to "the great River called Occam (Pamlico Sound) . . . on which standeth a towne called Pomeiock" (113). De Bry's map places Pomciock between Lake Paquuyp and the Sound, and Smith's map is again but a copy of De Bry's in this location. The site of the town on a modern map could be either Gibbs Point or the northern shore of Wyesocking Bay, probably the former. Both Mooney and Hawks placed it at the mouth of Gibbs Creek, at or near the present town of Engelhard in eastern Hyde County (114). The town was drawn by White and is represented as a small, circular, palisaded village of 18 houses (115). The Secotan town of Pomeioc is not to be confused with the tribe of Pomouik, which was also AIgonkian and which bordered Secotan territory to the west and southwest.

On White's map Aquascogoc is shown west of Mattamuskeet Lake on a body of water that is apparently meant to represent modern Pungo River. De Bry's map shows a similar location. The Indian town was probably situated at or near modern Belhaven, in eastern Beaufort County" Mooney believed it to have been on the east bank of the river and gave it a location in the vicinity of the present towns of Scranton and Makelyville, in western Hyde County (116). Hawks decided. that Aquascogoc was near the mouth of the Neuse River, "possibly somewhere about Broad Creek, perhaps not so low down" but he was led into error by confusing the tribe of Pomouik with the town of Pomeioc (117). Before the English had been in Carolina three weeks they burned the town and destroyed the corn fields of Aquascogoc because one of its inhabitants had stolen a silver cup (118). Thus began that enmity in the natives that led them to refuse to trade with the English, thereby depriving the colonists of food and contributing toward their decision to abandon the colony when Drake appeared with his ships in the spring of the next year.

Weapemeoc, Chowanoc, and Moratoc were not only tribal names but also the names of towns within their territories, and the same was true of Secotan. These towns were the residences of the tribal chiefs and therefore the political centers of the tribes. Secotan differed from the three northern tribes, however, in not having its principal town in the geographical center of tribal territory. According to White's map and Barlow's and Lane's accounts, the town of Secotan was in the southern part of the territory of this tribe. Lane placed it at "the uttermost place to the Southward of any discovery" and estimated that it was "four-score miles distant from Roanok." Barlow wrote that "Towards the Southwest foure dayes journey [from Roanoke] is situate a towne called Sequotan, which is the Southernmost towne of Wingandacoa, neere unto which ...[is] an out Island, unhabited, called Wocokon" (119). The eastern shore of the peninsula between the Pamlico and Neuse Rivers is approximately 80 miles from Roanoke Island and is also near the island of Ocracoke or Wococon (120). White's map is improperly oriented south of the Pungo-Pamlico River region, but when corrected for the confusion in directions his towns of Secotan and Secotaoc seem to be on the south bank of Pamlico River. The former is placed about halfway up the estuary, probably east of present Bonnerton in Beaufort County, while Secotaoc is put east of Secotan in the region of Hobuchen and Mesic in northeastern Pamlico County. Secotan's site was on the south bank of the Pamlico, apparently between Durham and South Creeks, while Secotaoc may have been on the north shore of Bay River. De Bry, however, placed Secota on the north bank of a river apparently meant for the Pamlico, and put Sectuoc on the south bank. Mooney, who used De Bry's map rather than White's, accordingly located Secotan "on the north bank of Pamlico river, in the present Beaufort county" (121). Hawks relied on the narratives rather than the maps in attempting to locate Secotan, and not realizing that there were two towns involved, could not decide whether to place Secotan "somewhere near ... Bay river" or "at the mouth of South Creek on Pamlico river, a half mile above Indian Island" (122). As a matter of fact, Hawks's alternative locations for the town of the narratives approximately correctly locate the two towns of the early maps. It is an interesting fact that whereas Secotan is one of the most frequently mentioned Indian villages in the Roanoke narratives, it is also one of the most difficult to locate specifically. This is due, of course, to the geographically indefinite references of the relations, plus the failure of White's map in this respect for the southern Secotan settlements.

In addition to Secota and Sectuoc, De Bry's map shows a town named Cotan on a stream flowing into Pamlico River from the north. The name does not appear on White's map, nor is it mentioned in the relations. Mooney identified it as "an Algonkian village in 1585 about Ransomville, Beaufort county" (123). Mooney based his location upon Smith's map; from De Bry's it would seem more likely that Cotan was situated at or near the historic town of Bath.

The relations mention but two towns in the northern part of Secotan territory, but White's map shows three and De Bry's map shows four. These were Roanoak on the island by that name, Dasamonquepeuc on the western shore of Croatan Sound, and west of Dasamonquepeuc and south of Albemarle Sound the two towns of Tramasquecoc and Mecopen. Mecopen is absent from White's map, but on De Bry's it is placed on the east bank of a stream flowing into the sound a short distance east of the mouth of Roanoke River. Mooney accordingly located the village south of the sound, near the Roanoke (124). The stream shown on the map, however, is clearly not a tributary of the Roanoke. It may have been meant for Scuppernong River, in which case the native town would have been in either eastern Washington or western Tyrrell County. It is shown on the map as somewhat inland from the sound, which may account for Lane's failure to mention it in his accounts of the trips made in exploration of the Chowan and Roanoke Rivers. It was apparently a small village; at any rate, Barlow had not heard of it in 1584.

White's map shows the town of Tramaskecooc at the head of a stream that, to judge from its size and location, was meant to represent Alligator River. Smith's map has Tamasqueack and De Dry's has Tramasquecoock on the west bank of the river. All maps show the town on the upper course of the stream. Gerard etymologized the name of the town as "people of the white-cedar swamps" (125) - a name ecologically appropriate for inhabitants of this region.

The native village of Roanoke, situated on the northern shore of Roanoke Island, was the first one visited by Englishmen in the New World and is the only one that is specifically described in the relations of the colony. Barlow described it as a small village of nine houses fortified with a palisade of sharp posts (126). It was the residence of Granganimo, a brother of the chief of the Secotan tribe, while Wingina, the chief, seems to have lived at both Roanoak and Dasamonquepeuc. The latter was a village on the mainland across the sound from Roanoke. White spoke of Roanoke as "the Island directly over against Dasamongwepeuk," and Lane referred to "Dasamonquepeio in the maine, within two leagues over against" the English settlement on the island (127). That Wingina lived at either Roanoak or Dasamonquepeuc is indicated by Lane's statements that "the King. .. sow[ed] his ground, not onely in the Iland, but also at Dasamonquepeio" and that "Pemisapan [Wingina] went of purpose to Dasamonquepeio see his grounds there broken up and sowed for a second crop" (128).

Shortly after the colonists built their settlement on the island, the native village and the entire island seem to have been abandoned by the Indian inhabitants. This was done probably after the death of Granganimo and his father, Ensenore, both of whom were friendly to the English. Wingina then became full chief, in fact as well as in name. At that time he changed his name to Pemisapan and thereafter adopted the policy of opposing the English at every turn. He gathered about him certain confederates, such as Osacan, Tanaquiny, Wanchese, and Andacon, and chose the town of Dasamonquepeuc as the operating base for his plan of destroying the English settlement. There was no native town on the island when Governor White established his group there in 1587, or when he returned to the place in 1590. By 1587 the island was only visited by natives who came over from the mainland to hunt and fish. In that year George Howe, one of White's assistants, was slain by "divers Savages which were come over to Roanoak, either of purpose to espie our company and what number we were, or else to hunt Deere, whereof [there] were many in the Island" (129).

Both White's and De Bry's maps carry the symbol of a native settlement at the northern tip of the island of Roanoke, and Barlow stated that the village stood "neere unto the waters side" (130). None of the relations mention more than the single village, although superficial archeological reconnaissance conducted 50 years ago uncovered evidence of four sites of aboriginal occupancy (131). The excavation at that time was neither systematic nor adequate, and the investigator failed to describe both the number and the characteristics of the artifacts discovered. The island of Roanoke and the entire eastern area of the Carolinas await scientific study by trained archeologists. The early work at Roanoke revealed the possibilities of archeological studies in this region, and it is to be hoped that scientific excavation may someday be accomplished, for only by careful investigation of the native sites of occupation, such as those revealed by the contemporary narratives and early maps, can the complete history or native cultural development in this area be discovered.

In some instances tentative suggestions as to prehistoric migrations and cultural relations can be extracted from the meaning of native words, and the word Roanoak itself has been analyzed from this point of view. The modern spelling of this word is an adaptation of the native term Roanoak, or Roanoac, as it is invariably spelled in the early narratives. Gerard claimed that in the Eastern Algonkian languages the word signified "northern people" or "northerners," and suggested that the name of this people may have derived from their location on the northern end of the island they inhabited, but more probably that it was in reference to a current tradition that they had originally migrated from an ancestral home in the north (132). That the Algonkian tribes of Virginia and Carolina came from an earlier home in the general area of the Great Lakes is the consensus of students of prehistoric migrations in eastern native North America (133).

Whereas the island of Roanoke is known to have had a native village on it at the time of the arrival of the English, it is difficult to determine which of the other islands were inhabited and which were not. White's map designates most of the larger sandbank islands by native names, but this in itself is no indication of aboriginal residence. The only island location on his map that shows the symbol of an Indian village is the northern end of Roanoke. De Bry's map shows a village here and also three towns on the island of Croatoan (134). Ocracoke Island (Wococon) was uninhabited, as was also the land near the inlet Barlow entered in 1584 (135). White found both Roanoke and "Hatorask" uninhabited in 1587. Inasmuch as there are a number of references in the relations to the mainland people crossing Pamlico Sound on hunting and fishing excursions, it is possible that the island villages were temporary settlements seasonally occupied for these purposes. On the other hand, White stated that Manteo "had his mother and many of his kindred dwelling" on Croatoan Island and referred to it as "the place where Manteo was borne and the Salvages [are] ...our friends" (136). The proximity of the larger islands to Secotan suggests that the Indians who frequented them were members of that tribe. However, Manteo and his people were sufficiently independent of the Secotan of the mainland to refuse to join Pemisapan's conspiracy against the colonists in 1586. It is impossible to decide whether the inhabitants of Roanoke and Croatoan Islands were separate local groups, with their own tribal organization, or whether they were divisions of the Secotan tribe of the mainland. If parts of a single larger tribal territory, the distance separating the inhabitants of Roanoke Island, Cape Hatteras, and the lower Pamlico River may be assumed to have resulted in some local political autonomy and perhaps also in a degree of general cultural differentiation. However, the information embodied in contemporary accounts is too sparse to prove or disprove this theory of regional specialization.

Before we consider other original Algonkian groups of this area the relationship of the modern so-called "Croatan Indians" to the Croatoan of the sixteenth century deserves a word of mention. Among the present "Croatan" of Robeson and adjacent counties in North and South Carolina (137) there has been a persistent tradition of Indian ancestry. It has also been argued, notably by McMillan and by Weeks, that they are descendants of Governor White's "lost colonists," who are supposed to have taken refuge with the Croatoan Indians in the area of Cape Hatteras (138). In 1709 Lawson reported that some of the Hatteras Indians, as the Croatoan were known by that time, had gray eyes and that they then had a tradition of white ancestry and "value[d] themselves extremely for their affinity with the English." It was Lawson's opinion that White's settlement had miscarried, either through the want of supplies from the English or through the treachery of some of the natives, and that "in process of time they conformed themselves to the manners of their Indian relations" (139).

Lawson's theory is as reasonable as any proposed since his time, but it is an unproved hypothesis and must remain so in the nature of the case. If the Croatoan-Hatteras had absorbed their ancestral white blood as completely as Lawson suggested by the early eighteenth century, the theory of the Croatoan ancestry of the modern Croatan must be held to with temerity. The connection between the Hatteras and the ancestors of the modern Croatan is still unsubstantiated, and therefore the hypothesis of Croatan descent from either the lost colony or the early Croatan must be regarded as quite baseless. In a recent reconsideration of the anthropological aspects of the problem, Swanton has concluded that "it is not improbable that a few families or small groups of Algonquian... connection may have cast their lot with" the modern Croatan, but that "contributions from such sources must have been relatively insignificant" (140). Without denying the present "Croatans" their possible Indian ancestry, we may conclude that that ancestry was almost certainly not Algonkian. From the point of view of their probable history they are legally Indians, but not ethnically Algonkian.

South of the Secotan of 1585 were the Pomouik and Neusiok tribes. The only reference to the existence of these people during the earliest historic period is in a paragraph of Barlow's First Voyage. I quote the passage inasmuch as it is the only information available in contemporary accounts:

The passage is of interest for a number of particulars: it establishes the fact that Manteo and Wanchese, "these men which we have brought with us to England," were Secotan tribesmen. Manteo's home village was on the island of Croatoan, which is thus indicated as apart of the Secotan tribe. Barlow also stated that the Neusiok tribe lived on the Neuse River and that the Pomouik "adjoined" the territory of the Secotan, presumably between the latter and the Neusiok. This suggests western Beaufort and northern Craven Counties as the location of the Pomouik. Their western neighbors -- the "next king adjoyning towards the setting of the Sunne" -- are not mentioned by name, but tribal distribution in this area suggests they may have been the Woccon, a tribe of Siouan speech (142). Piamacum's town is not named, but in the location of Pananaioc on De Bry's map we may have this tribal capital. On both De Bry's map and Smith's it is placed on the south bank of the Pamlico River toward the western end of the estuary. Mooney, who considered Pananaioc the principal tribal village of the Pomouik, located the tribe "on Pamlico river, west of the Secotan, in what is now Beaufort County" (143). However, Barlow's location of the Pomouik and Neusiok implies that these tribes "adjoined Secotan to the south, rather than to the west, and it was the "next adjoining" tribe, the group neighboring the Pomouik and Neusiok, which was "towards the setting of the Sunne." Hawks suggested that Pomouik territory was "the tract lying between the head of Bay river and Newbern", (144), and Speck thinks the Pomouik were "possibly identical with [the later] Pamlico" and locates the latter between the Pamlico River and Neuse River estuary (145). Pomouik tribal territory may be put down as including the western part of present Beaufort County, extending southward into the western and southern portions of the peninsula formed by the Pamlico and Neuse Rivers. The northeastern part of this peninsula was the southern part of Secotan territory.

The southern neighbors of the Pomouik were the Neusiok and the Coree, both of which tribes inhabited the area south of the lower Neuse River. White's map shows two native villages near the river -- Newasiwac, on the south bank of the lower estuary, and Marasanico, located at the western end of Bogue Sound, perhaps at the mouth of present Whiteoak River. Correspondingly located towns on De Bry's map are Neuusiooc and Cwareuuoc. Mooney at one time regarded both of these towns as belonging to the Neusiok, but later he considered Cwareuuoc to have been a Coree settlement (146). Unless the latter assumption is permitted the first mention of the Coree tribe was by Governor Archdale in 1707. He described them as "a bloody and barbarous People," most of whom had been "cut off by a neighboring Nation" sometime previous to 1696 (147). Lawson named two Coree towns in 1709, with 25 fighting men, or a total population of less than 100 (148). A Coree town was located 10 miles from New Bern at the time of the founding of that settlement in 1710. Von Graffenried described it as "very well situated" on the Neuse River, but he did not state whether it was below or above his own community. He stated that there were "two chiefs in the village... the first an enemy of the English and the other... a friend" (149). He referred to this village as "Core Town" and in another communication mentioned Coram and Corutra as Indian villages on the Neuse River above New Bern (150). Their names suggest that they were Coree villages (151), and, if so, the tribe's location at this period is established as northern Craven County. Its location was somewhat farther northwest but had not changed much from that in 1585.

The Coree fought against the colonists in the Indian wars of 1711-1715 (152), and Coree stragglers were reported roaming the Neuse River frontier after peace was signed in 1715. In September of that year the Governor's Council was informed that "the Core Indians [had] made a Revolt and Dangerously wounded one of his Majtes Subjects." A small garrison was ordered established on the river "to Range upon ye Frontiers" in an attempt to effect the "Entire Destruction of ye Said nation of Indians as if there had never been a peace made with them" (153). The known history of the tribe ends with this threat of extinction. What survivors remained may have joined the Tuscarora in their migration northward to the Iroquois, by whom they were adopted into the League of the Five Nations (154).

The postcontact history of the Neusiok is similar to that of the Coree. By the later colonial period their Algonkian tribal name had been Anglicized to Neus or Neuse, and they were located somewhat westward of their situation in 1585. Maps of the early period located them on the south bank of the Neuse River near its mouth, but by 1710 they inhabited the eastern part of the area between the Trent and Neuse Rivers. In 1709 Lawson stated that they lived in two towns, Chattooka and Rouconk. Von Graffenried wrote that Chatooka was "the old name of the town of Newbern," and Rouconk is believed to have been located nearby on the Neuse River in present Craven County (155). Lawson gave the two towns but 15 warriors -- approximately half a hundred people -- in 1709, but Von Graffenried claimed "about a score of families" inhabited Chatooka alone. When Von Graffenried bought the site of New Bern from the Indians the natives are said to have removed to "another place... upon the same river not far from" New Bern. The Neuse joined the Tuscorora in the war of 1711-1712, in which the smaller tribes suffered more heavily than did the Tuscarora themselves. In September, 1712, Pollock wrote that colonial troops had "killed 40 or 50 Cores, Bare River, River Neuse and Matamusket Indian men, and took near upon 200 of their women and children, yet in all the time... not above 30 Tuskarora Indians were killed that we can hear of, the others being small nations not able of themselves to hurt us" (156). At the end of the war Neuse survivors probably lost their tribal identity by incorporation with the Tuscarora. Subsequent to 1715 the history of the Neuse, Coree, and Pamlico Indians is the history of their stronger native ally in the previous war against the colony. Those that were not exterminated by war, disease, and dispossession of their tribal lands found more friendly dwelling places among Iroquoian hosts in New York and Ontario. Unlike the Tuscarora and Tutelo, however, the smaller North Carolinian tribes did not survive the numerical decline and general cultural disintegration incident to their forced northward migration (157).

The Pomouik of 1585 and the Pamlico of the later colonial period lived in the same territory, and from the coincidental situation of the two it has been inferred that the latter were descendants of the former. This assumption was held by Mooney and has been accepted by Speck (158). Archdale wrote that the "Pemlicoe" had been reduced in number by a "great Mortality," perhaps smallpox, previous to 1696 (159). Lawson reported that the adult fighting men of the "Pampticough" numbered but 15 -- a total population of about 50 -- in 1709; he said they lived in one town on an island of the river, which may have been Indian Island at the mouth of the Pamlico, in eastern Beaufort County (160). The tribe fought in the Tuscarora War and suffered the fate of the smaller tribes of eastern Carolina in that struggle -- tribal disorganization, resulting in ultimate disappearance. The only definite statement in the sources concerning Pomouik-Pamlico population is Lawson's figure of 15 warriors in 1709. Mooney's figure of 1,000 for the Pomouik of 1585 (161) is an estimate based upon the persistence of the tribe for more than 100 years and upon population estimates, which are little more than conjectural approximations, for neighboring tribes. Mooney's estimate is probably too high.

The linguistic position of two of the three tribes just discussed has been made the subject of a great deal of speculation. Lawson's vocabulary of 37 Pamlico words has been deemed sufficient to classify the Pomouik-Pamlico as Algonkian. To the nonlinguist, however, one of the most striking characteristics of Lawson's Pamlico vocabulary is its lack of correspondence with the words with which it can be compared in the Virginia Algonkian vocabularies given by Smith and Strachey (162). There is also Barlow's statement that the Pomouik and Neusiok had "mortall warre" with the chief of the Secotan (163), a condition that would more likely, but not necessarily, obtain between groups of different linguistic stocks than between two tribal groups of the same stock. If the Pomouik were Algonkian and were at war with the Secotan in the precontact period, it is the only instance of one Carolina Algonkian group fighting another of which there is any record in the early narratives (164). Until better evidence to the contrary is presented, however, the Pomouik may be classified as Algonkian.

The Neusiok and Coree inhabited an area in which Algonkian, Siouan, and Iroquoian languages met, and students are thereby deprived of geographical location as an indication of possible linguistic affiliation. In 1894 Mooney classified the Neusiok as probably Algonkian, on the basis of their "alliance with the Pamlico," but in 1910 he characterized them as "an unclassified tribe, perhaps of Iroquoian stock." Speck classifies them as Algonkian, stating that "Mooney ... subsequently followed Swanton in accepting an Algonkian conviction." In a recent essay, however, Swanton refers to the Neusiok and Coree as "two small tribes on the lower course of Neuse river, [which]� were perhaps of Iroquoian lineage," and on his map of the linguistic stocks of the Southeast both tribes are shown in the Iroquoian area of the Tuscarora (165). The name Neusiok is Algonkian, with the characteristic terminal suffix -ok for "people," but it is possible that this was an Iroquoian-speaking tribe known only by the name given them by their Algonkian neighbors to the near-north.

There has been similar disagreement among students with respect to the linguistic affiliation of the Coree. In an early essay Mooney stated that "the Coree, on the coast lands south of the Neuse, may have been a tribe of the same stock" as the Tuscarora, and on his tribal map of the region he put them in the coastal Iroquoian area. In a later statement, however, he considered them as "possibly Algonquian" (166). Speck excludes the Coree from his "Carolina group" of Southeastern Algonkian, having elsewhere pointed out that "-re terminations in proper names and place names [are]... suggestive of Siouan affinity" (167). On the basis of this item of evidence the Coree might be regarded as presumptively Siouan; Speck does not suggest that they were, however. Swanton has presented "one fragment of evidence" bearing on the linguistic affinity of the Coree. He quotes Lawson who said that "I once met with a young Indian woman that had been brought from beyond the mountains [i.e., from the west]... She spoke the same language as the Coramine [Coree] that dwell near Cape Lookout, allowing for some few words which were different, yet no otherwise than that they might understand one another very well." Swanton doubts that a theory of the linguistic relationship of the tribe should be built upon Lawson's incidental statement but points out that tribes of Iroquoian speech were the western neighbors of the Coree, while those of Siouan language were their neighbors to the south, and adds that Lawson's reference "seems to exclude the Siouan connection and point to Iroquoian relationship" (168).

From the point of view of the distribution of linguistic families in this region the Pomouik, Neusiok, and Coree all inhabited in interstitial area between tribes that were definitely Algonkian, Siouan, and Iroquoian. Evidence is too inadequate to permit of the classification of the tribes without a large margin of uncertainty. As a tentative formulation, however, it is perhaps not too much to suggest that the Pomouik were probably Algonkian, that the Neusiok were possibly Algonkian, while the Coree were almost certainly affiliated with a non-Algonkian stock. The evidence is nonhistorical however, and the safer position is to consider the tribes themselves as of doubtful linguistic position.


(106) HAI 2: 495, 1173.

(107) Mooney's figure of 1,200 persons for the "Wingandacoa of 1585" is an estimate deduced from the size of remnant bands of the Secotan (Machapunga, Hatteras, etc.) in the later colonial period, i.e., c. 1700 (Aboriginal Population North of Mexico: 6, 1928). The Roanoke records give no information whatsoever on Secotan population in 1585.

(108) Lane, p. 142; Hariot, p. 186; Barlow, p. 127. For White's drawings see Bushnell, 1927, pls. 7, 8, opp. pp. 428, 429, or Binyon, 1925, pls. 24, 27.

(109) White's Fifth voyage, Hakluyt, p. 221.

(110) Edward Channing, History of the United States 1: 130, 1905. On the other hand, Croatoan was frequently visited by the colonists when watching for the arrival of their expected supplies from England.

(111) The voiage made by Sir Richard Greenvile, for Sir Walter Ralegh, to Virginia. in the yeere 1585, Hakluyt 6: 132-139. I ascribe authorship to Grenville, rather than to Lane, inasmuch as the narrative deals with events up to and including Grenville's return to England; however, both "our Generall Sir Richard Greenevil" and "our Lieutenant Master Ralph Lane" are referred to in the third person, as if neither were the author. The account is in the form of a daily journal and must, therefore, have been written by a member of the expedition.

(112) Misprint for Werowan's; in De Hry this picture is entitled " A chieff Ladye of Pomeioc" (De Hry, pI. 8; for original see Bushnell, 1927, pl. 4, opp. p. 425, or Binyon, p. 28-b).

(113) Hakluyt 6: 129.

(114) Mooney, HAI 2: 276; Hawks, History of North Carolina I: 85, 237, 238. Tarbox is entirely incorrect in saying that "Pomeiok ... seems to have been the chief town of the Indians called the Newsioks, [and] was on or near the Neuse River ...[near] the spot where now stands the town of Newbern" (op. cit.: 140n.)

(115) Bushnell, 1927, pl. 7, opp. p. 428 (also in Amer. Anthrop. 9(1): opp. p. 32, 1907); Binyon, pl. 27-a.

(116) HAI 1: 71.

(117) History of North Carolina I: 101. Here Hawks made the mistake that he warned his readers against in another connection: "The district of Pomouik must therefore not be confounded with the town of Pomeiock" (p. 85). Tarbox repeated Hawks's error in placing Aquascogoc "on the Neuse River, some little way up from its mouth" (Sir Walter Ralegh's colony: 140n). Tarbox gave Hawks credit for doing ''as much perhaps as anyone to find and fix the places covered by the Indian names" of the Roanoke relations, and throughout his own book repeated Hawks's erroneous locations.

(118) Grenville, in Hakluyt 6: 137-138.

(119) Hakluyt 6: 129 (Barlow), 141 (Lane).

(120) White's and De Hry's maps, and all subsequent maps based upon the latter, show that Wococon was the native name for modern Ocracoke Island.

(121) HAI 2: 295.

(122) History of North Carolina 1: 74, 101.

(123) HAI 1:352.

(124) H AI 1: 829.

(125) HAI 2: 801.

(126) Hakluyt 6: 127.

(127) Ibid.: 155 (Lane), 221 (White).

(128) Ibid.: 155, 156.

(129) Ibid.: 201 (White's Fourth voyage); 221- 222 (White's Fifth voyage).

(130) Ibid.: 127.

(131) Talcott Williams, "The Surroundings and Site of Raleigh's Colony," Ann. Rep. Amer. Hist. Assoc. for 1895: 54-60, 1896.

(132) W. R. Gerard, "Virginia Indian Contributions to English," Amer. Anthrop. 9(1): 106 1907; also HAI 2: 392. Gerard claimed that "Roanoke" as a name for the shell beads used by the natives as ornaments and as a medium of exchange was a misnomer, due to the colonists' mis-hearing of the original word, which Smith gave as rawrenock (Works, Arber, p. 46), and Strachey gave as rarenaw (Historie, p. 185). This word with the root rar meaning to "rub, abrade' smooth, or polish," according to Gerard's etymology, meant "smoothed shells" (HAI 2: 393). However, Lawson gave "ronoak" as the Pamlico word for "peak" in his short vocabulary of the tribe. (History, 1937 ed., p. 243). It is possible that by 1709 the Pamlico had accepted an English corruption of the original Algonkian word.

(133) D. I. Bushnell, Jr., "Tribal Migrations East of the Mississippi," Smithsonian Misc. ColI. 89(12): 2-3, maps 1-4, 1934; Kaj Birket-Smith, " A Geographical Study of the Early History of the Algonkian Indians," Internat. Archiv für Ethnogr. 24, 1918; idem, "Folk Wanderings and Cultural Drifts in Northern North America," Journ. Soc. Americanistes de Paris 22: 1-32, 1930.

(134) Croatoan is now usually identified as the land between Ocracoke Island and Cape Hatteras. Some have given it a more southern location, on the northern part of present Portsmouth Island (e.g., Mooney, HAI 1: 365).

(135) Hakluyt 6: 122-124, 130.

(136) Ibid.: 202, 223.

(137) For the number and present social status of this group see O. M. McPherson, Report on the condition and tribal rights of the Indians of Robeson and adjoining counties of North Carolina (Senate Doc. 677) : 7-40, 120-132, 223-252, 1915; and R. M. Harper "A Statistical Study of the Croatans," Rural Sociology 2(4): 444-456, 1937.

(138) Hamilton McMillan, Sir Walter Raleigh's lost colony, privately printed, Raleigh, 1907; idem, "The Croatans," North Carolina Booklet 10: 115-121, 1911; Stephen B. Weeks, "The Lost Colony of Roanoke: Its Fate and Survival," Papers Amer. Hist. Assoc. 5 (pt. 4) : 107- 146, 1891; idem, "Raleigh's Settlements on Roanoke Island, An Historical Survival," Mag. Amer. Hist. 25: 127-139, 1891. McPherson and D. L. Rights have reviewed the arguments for and against the Croatoan affiliation but are personally noncommital (McPherson, op. cit.: Rights, "The Lost Colony Legend," Bull. Arch. Soc. North Carolina 1(2) : 3-7, 1934).

(139) History of Carolina, 1937 reprint, .p. 62.

(140) J. R. Swanton, "Probable Identity of the 'Croatan' Indians," U. S. Department of the Interior, Office of Indian Affairs (typescript), p. 5, 1933. Swanton concludes that probably "certain Siouan tribes" of the Southeast mainly contributed to the Indian ancestry of the modern Croatan. "If the name of any tribe is to be used in connection with this body of...people, that of the Cheraw would, in my opinion, be most appropriate."

(141) Hakluyt 6: 130-131.

(142) Mooney, The Siouan tribes of the East: 65 and map opp. p. 5; idem, HAI 2: 967-968; Lawson, History (1937 ed.), frontispiece map.

(143) HAI 2: 277.

(144) History of North Carolina 1: 74.

(145) Amer. Anthrop. 26(2) : 188, 189 (map), 1924.

(146) HAI 1: 222 (Cawruuoc) ; 2: 60 (Neusiok) ; Aboriginal population of America North of Mexico: 6, 1928 (Neuse and Coree = Nusiok and Cawruuock).

(147) A new description of...Carolina (London, 1707), in A. S. Salley. ed., Narratives of Early Carolina: 286, 1911. Archdale refers to them as the "Coranine . . . Nation of Indians."

(148) History, 1937 ed., p. 255. Lawson calls them "Connamox" Indians, with Coranine and Raruta as the names of their towns.

(149) Y. H. Todd, ed., Christoph von Graffenried's account of the founding of New Bern: 376-377,1920.

(150) Von Graffenried to Governor Hyde, Colonial records of North Carolina 1: 990.

(151) Hewitt listed Coram and Corutra as settlements of the Tuscarora (HAI 2: 852). They were located on the border of Tuscarora and Coree territory, and it is difficult to determine to which tribe they should be accorded.

(152) Colonial records of North Carolina I: 827, 868, 875, 934, 955, 990-992; 2: 24, 29, 39, 45, 62, 168 indicate Coree participation in the Tuscarora War. For this conflict as an aspect of the history of the colony see R. D. W. Connor, History of Carolina: 1 (ch. 7), 1919, and Archibald Henderson, North Carolina: The Old North State and the New 1 (ch. 4), 1941. For its ethnological aspects see J. N. B. Hewitt, "Tuscarora," HAI 2: 842-853, and C. W. Milling, Red Carolinians: ch.8, 1940.

(153) Colonial records of North Carolina 2: 200, 244.

(154) Mooney stated that "in 1715 the remnants of the Coree and Machapunga were assigned a tract on Mattamuskeet lake...where they lived in one village, probably until they became extinct" (HAI 1: 349). There is but one reference in the colonial records which suggests that the Coree were included in the Mattamuskeet reservation (Colonial records of North Carolina 2: 168). They more probably joined the Tuscarora remnant in its northward migration. (For the Tuscarora in North Carolina their migration northward, and their adoption by the Iroquois, see J. N. B. Hewitt, "Tuscarora," HAI 2: 842- 853.)

(155) History, 1937 ed., p. 255 and map (frontispiece) ; Von Graffenried, in Colonial records of North Carolina 1: 910, 933, 978; Mooney, HAI 1: 237; 2: 60, 397; V. H. Todd, op. cit.: 234, 373-374.

(156) Colonial records of North Carolina 1: 875; also pp. 843, 933-934, 955 for Neuse participation in the war.

(157) Approximately 400 Tuscarora today live on a reservation near Niagara Falls, N. Y., and Speck has found the tradition of Tutelo tribal identity preserved among half a hundred Tutelo mixed descendants who live among the Iroquoian Cayuga at Six Nations Reserve near Brantford, Ontario. (See map of Iroquoian reservations and settlements in 1940, W. N. Fenton, "Problems Arising from the Historic Northeastern Position of the Iroquois," in Essays in Historical Anthropology of North America, Smithsonian Misc. Coil. 100: 214-215, 1940. Also F. G. Speck, The Tutelo spirit adoption ceremony: v-xvii, 1-3, Pennsylvania Historical Commission, 1942.) There is no similar trace of Neuse, Pamlico, or Coree descendants among modern mixed peoples.

(158) Mooney, HAI 2: 277 (Pomouic); Speck, Amer. Anthrop. 26 (2): 188, 1924.

(159) A new description...of Carolina (London, 1707), in A. S. Salley, ed., Narratives of Early Carolina: 286.

(160) History of Carolina, 1937 reprint, p. 255.

(161) Aboriginal population of America north of Mexico: 6, 1928.

(162) Compare, for example, the words for the numerals from 1 to 10 given by these three authors (Lawson, History of Carolina, 1937 reprint, pp. 240-243; Smith's Works, Arber edition, pp. 44-46; Strachey, Historie: 183-196).

(163) Hakluyt 6: 130.

(164) The entrance of the English, of course, disturbed the native situation, and wars within linguistic stocks occurred; for example, one section of the Tuscarora tribe fought against the colonists while another fought with them in the wars of 1711-1715.

(165) Mooney, The Siouan tribes of the East: 7, 1894; idem, HAI 2: p. 60, 1910; Speck, Amer. Anthrop. 26(2): 187n, 188,189 (map), 1924; Swanton, "The Probable Identity of the 'Croatan' Indians," U. S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs: p. 2, 1933; idem, "The Southeastern Indians of History," Conference on Southern Prehistory: map no.1, opp. p. 98, 1932.

(166) The Siouan tribes of the East: 8, frontispiece map; HAI 1: 349.

(167) "The Ethnic Position of the Southeastern Algonkian," Amer. Anthrop. 26 (2) : 187-188, 1924; "The Possible Siouan Identity of the Words Recorded from Francisco of Chicora," Journ. Washington Acad. Sci. 14(13) : 303, 1924. Siouan tribes in the Southeastern area with the characteristic termination Dr. Speck alludes to were Shoccocree (Shakori), Sugaree, Wateree, Congaree (and Coree?). There were also the Saponi, Occaneechi, Keyauwee, Pedee, Santee, and Sewee. The terminations -i, -e, or -ee practically never occur in Eastern Algonkian proper names.

(168) J. R. Swanton, "Unclassified Languages of the Southeast," Internat. Journ. Amer. Linguistics 1: 3,1917.

Courtesy of Washington Academy of Sciences

"Algonquian Ethnohistory of the Carolina Sound" by Maurice A. Mook, American University. Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences, Vol. 34, No. 6 (June 15, 1944), pp. 181-196, pp. 213-228.

Copyright 2001
Carolina Algonquian Project