History 1, Catawba
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Some Catawba History (Part 1.)
Native American Catawba Nation
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Extracted from: "A History of the Upper Country of South Carolina, Vol. II" 
By John H. Logan. orig. Pub. 1910, and p14-17: 
Joseph Habersham.  Historical Collections.      

CRAVEN COUNTY.--The District of country known as 
Fairfield, in South Carolina, was in early times an undivided 
part of Craven County, and parish of St. Mark's.  The County and 
the Parish, which were identical in limits, were three times as 
large as the present Alabama, extending from tide water in 
Carolina to the Mississippi River. [Pg14]

THE CATAWBAS.--The Catawbas, says tradition, were originally 
from the neighborhood of Montreal.  The French and Carmewaugas 
owed them most deadly hatred.  Determining to escape their 
powerful adversaries, they crossed the St. Lawrence, probably at 
Detroit, and moved on Southwest with their best speed.  The 
Carmewaugas gave them chase, and on the upper streams of the 
Kentucky (called in some old maps Katawba) came up with the 
fugitives.  Making a virtue, and a noble one, of necessity, the 
gallant Catawbas turned upon their pursuers, and gave them a 
terrible over-throw.  It was an Indian Hohenlinden.  At this 
point the little nation divided.  

One division took their way for the Mississippi, and was most 
probably absorbed in the greater tribes of Chickasaws or 
Choctaws.  About 1825, the steam-boat (Pg15) "Catawba" arrived from 
the West at Mobile, and it was said she was called after some 
stream in the far Southwest.  The other division turned from 
their battle-ground to the East, and settled for some years on 
"Catawba Creek", Bottetourt County, Virginia.  This division 
afterwards moved on South to "Catawba River", in South Carolina, 
where they encountered the jealous but magnanimous Cherokees, - 
arriving in Carolina about 1850.  Ramsey in his "History of South 
Carolina", makes a solemn appeal to the people to foster the 
remnant of that most deserving and magnanimous tribe.  How far 
this suggestion has been attended to, Carolinians may answer.  

The Catawbas never did shed one drop of white men's blood. 
It is true, they were crusty when the whites made their first 
encroachments upon the Catawba lands, but they were soon easily 

South Carolina never fell into any difficulty in which she 
did not find the Catawbas by her side. 

A company was with Barnwell in his expedition against the 
Tuscaroras; another was with Rhett, the year after; another with 
Col. Thomson (the old Ranger) when the British on Long Island 
threatened the rear of Fort Moultrie; another with Williamson, 
and afterwards with Pickens, in the Cherokee War, and always 
brave and faithful.

'General New River', 'Old Scott' and Catawba George' were 
renowned Catawaba warriors. The Catawbas were as remarkable for 
their honesty as for their bravery.  A party of them were accused 
of taking corn from a settler's crib on Toole's Fork of Fishing Creek.  
They repelled the charge indignantly, saying: "All is lost but 
our honor."  During the Revolutionary War the smallpox took off 
hundreds of Catawbas; and in after times fire-water precipitated 
their destiny. 

    In 1835, the noble little Catawaba nation numbered about one 
hundred of poor dispirited people, suffering for the commonest 
necessaries of life.  The Indian can not work.  He has with all 
the colored races throughout the world a lack of foresight and 
perseverance, and when brought into contact with the Anglo-Saxon 
race perish he must.

     (P16) A reconciliation was apparently effected between the 
Catawbas and their Northern enemies about 1760, at Albany.  The 
Catawba King and six of his warriors accompanied Lieut. Gov. Bull 
to that city, where Royal Governors and Indian Chiefs were 
appointed to meet for a general pacification.  Mr. Bull had the 
precaution to keep his Catawba friends closely concealed in the 
hotel until it could be ascertained whether the Connewaugas would 
bury the hatchet with them or not. 

They said for some time that they never would be friends with the 
Catawtawbas, whilst the grass grew or the water ran.  With much 
persuasion they at length relented, and then Mr. Bull brought out 
his Catawbas.  The King and his warriors advanced toward the 
place of meeting with the rim of their caps down, and chanting a 
national song.  On approaching the house, they threw up the rim 
of their caps, ceased their solemn melody, entered the house with 
a firm step and took the place assigned. They were admired by the 
white men as well as by the red, for their extraordinary grace 
and dignity. A universal peace was the result of the meeting.  

This narrative of the Albany meeting is taken from Mr. Bull's 
beautiful and graphic letter to the Colonial Government, recorded 
in the Indian Book preserved in the Secretary of State's Office 
at Columbia.

     The assassination of King Hagler was a dreadful shock to the 
Catawbas, from which they never recovered.  About 1766, seven 
Shawnees secretly invaded the Catawba territory.  The old King 
was residing some distance from the chief town, to allow his 
young men a better chance to hunt, and his women to manufacture 
pottery.  His country residence was a sort of San Souci.  

The lurking Shawnees picked the opportunity and murdered the 
venerable and most beloved chieftain.  Six of them were tracked 
out by an unbarking dog, an captured.  The seventh made his 
escape by swimming the river.  Arriving in safety on the wester 
(shore), he flourished the scalp of old Hagler in barbarous 

     (Pg17)A tragedy deeper than ever described followed.  In the 
Catawba council the six captives were sentenced to death by 
whipping.  As all work but hunting and war was assigned to the 
women, so he women on this dreadful occasion were appointed the 
executioners.  One after another the captives were pinioned by 
one hand to a stake.  The victim was furnished with a small 
(-----?) containing pebbles.  So soon as the lash was applied, he 
commenced rattling his gourd, and chanting his death song.  Life 
lasted under this flagellation from sun-rise to sun-set.  When 
the sixth Shawnee was tied to the stake, and the female furies 
were about to commence their infernal operation, a beautiful 
Catawba girl named Bettie rushed in to his rescue.  She said she 
loved him, and claimed him for her husband.  The occurrence 
struck all present forcibly.  A council was immediately called to 
determine on what was proper to be done on an occasion so novel - 
and interesting.  The council said that in an ordinary case the 
claim of Betty would have all its effect, but the crime charged 
on the prisoner, the killing of the King, was altogether 
unpardonable.  They decided the sentence of death should be 
forthwith executed.  The executioners were about addressing 
themselves to the work of death.  Betty rushed in a second time, 
and with a hatchet clove his skull, and he fell dead instantly.  
She declared aloud that if she could not have him for her 
husband, the nation should not have the satisfaction of seeing 
his bleeding body torn by the scourge.  Betty afterwards married 
an Indian of the name of Jackson; but in her extreme old age, 
when her beloved Shawnee was alluded to, she said with great 
feeling that she "loved him too much."  Such is the inexhaustible 
wealth of the genuine female heart.

End of File!

This file was contributed for use in USGenWeb Archives by: 
Paul R. Sarrett, Jr. Aug. 11, 1998                         ([email protected])

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                This information was sent to me by:
                Subj: Catawba, Native Americans
                Date: Aug. 11, 1998 06:10:29 EDT
                From: Jean W. STRINGHAM ([email protected])
                To:   Paul R. Sarrett, Jr. ([email protected])
                Jean, Rcd 7/97 from Bonnie George White
                Copied by zjs 8/3/97

Catawba - Index
NAI - Index
SFA - Index

Part of the SFA Native American Indian - Catawba Series! These records are part of the "History American Indian Profile©" by Volume - I. Sarratt/Sarrett/Surratt Family Profile©
Compiled and self Published in Jun. 29, 1993 by Paul R. Sarrett, Jr. with the assistance of my late mother
Mrs. M. Lucille (WILSON) SARRETT (1917-1987) The SFA "Work-Books" were compiled by "General, Languages, Tribes, Treaties, Wars, How to Research NA Ancestors, Bibliographies". In 1996 I started "Up-Loading" this material on the Sarratt/Sarrett/Surratt Families of America (SFA)© site. ..prs

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Text - Copyright © 1996-2007 Paul R. Sarrett, Jr.
Created: Dec. 01, 1996; Aug. 10, 2001;  Nov. 24, 2001;  Sep. 10, 2007;