Colonial South Carolina and the Catawba Indians

catawbaFor my archival research project I plan to study, in some capacity, the Catawba Indians.  The Catawbas are an indian tribe still in existence, with most of the members residing on a reservation in my hometown, Rock Hill, SC.  Aside from an intrinsic curiosity stemming from my proximity to this group, I find the early encounters of settlers with Native Americans quite compelling.  Knowing that, I chose to stick close to home and research something that I have genuine interest in.  Based on the documents I’ve found, I’ll likely research information regarding their political interactions with settlers and how that impacted their experience as natives.

For my first document, I’ve chosen a map of the Catawba Indian land following the Treaty of catawab1Augusta in 1763.  Created by Sam Wyly, the map shows the 144,000 acre plot designated to the Catawbas after their land was encroached upon by English settlers.  The map that I found is actually a copy of the original, and is housed at the South Carolina Historical Society.  Unfortunately, they are unsure of the whereabouts of the original version, but the copy is still really old and really neat.

My second document is the Report of the South Carolina Committee of Conference upon Indian Affairs. Located in the Addlestone Special Collections, the library description of the handwritten document explains that, “The committee reported on sending a delegation of Catawba Indians to New York to negotiate a treaty to end hostilities with their traditional enemies, the Six Nations of the Iroquois. The report is dated 17 May 1751, and it made recommendations on how to send the Catawba most quickly and safely. It also discussed how to pay the Catawba’s expenses.”

Lastly, I hope to find an exploration or encounter narrative in Thomas J. Blumer’s book, Catawba Nation: Treasures in History, published by History Press in 2007. I have not yet looked through the book, but I plan to in the days to come.

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