Brief Tuscarora History

There have been articles published that depicted the Tuscarora as bloodthirsty savages

this was an unfair description of a mighty people who farmed and took care of the land they dwelled upon. FIERCLY PROTECTIVE - YES - and that may be real truth in their rebellion against some they called friend, although there were many who did not participate in these "wars", they too suffered and had to suffer the consequences as well as those who did participate.

But archeologists have found no trace of "weapons of war" in the Tuscarora territories that we are aware of, and "Scalp Bounty" was a practice started by the white politicians and military people, who actually put a code on each Indian scalp that indicated whether it was man, woman or child, and these codes told the worth of the scalps themselves.

There have been numerous suppositions on why the Tuscarora Rebellion began, no doubt there is a piece of truth in all tellings, so there's really no way to know for sure - Indians didn't keep written memos, and while an unpleasant thought to many, the white man's notes were flawed at times. In this day and age there has been a movement to try and regain most of the truths, however this may never be totally accomplished, records have been lost, stolen, altered and even hid. But while this movement is active, perhaps some more will be able to find their ancestors to pass on to future generations.

The Rebellion

After years of harsh treatment, land encroachments, loss of hunting and fishing lands, kidnapping of women and children to be sold into slavery, broken treaties, raping of the Tuscarora women and children, beating and/or murdering the men.

And on July 8, 1710 the Tuscarora Confederacy even sent 8 wampum belts to Penn. at Conestoga begging for a cessation of the hostilities and atrocities committed against them.

But NC Government sent an unfavorable letter condemning the Tuscarora and the Tuscaroras pleas were denied, and the wampum belts were sent to 5 Nations from Conestoga. The Seneca made a place for some of the Tuscarora to dwell and they were added to the cradle board of 5 Nations. To this day the stragglers that went there are still on the cradle board. 250 families migrated north out of 800 families in NC, Of those Tuscarora who remained in NC they signed yet another treaty with VA. It too was broken, the grievances continued until the Tuscarora finally rebelled against the settlers September 22, 1711. The rebellion lasted three days and resulted in the settlers raging a three year war against them to eradicate them from this land. The upper Tuscarora led by a half-breed Tuscarora named Tom Blount turned on the lower Tuscarora led by Chief Hancock and took many scalps of men women and children for their pay for killing their kinsmen and women. Blount set Chief Hancock up and turned him over to the settlers who hung him.

April 13, 1713 Tom Blount was given land because of his faithful service to the English, but his "people" slowly left away from him, from under his dictatorship. Meanwhile some 3000 Tuscarora still hid out in the swamps on NC/VA creeping back at times to see their homeland, with enemies everywhere they had to hide out many years to save their families.