TUSCARORAS AT NORTH CAROLINA
In tracing the history of the Tuscaroras that migrated to the north and joined themselves with the Iroquois, we would not forget those few who remained with King James Blunt, a Tuscarora Chief, in North Carolina, who had a tract of land allotted to them on Pamplico river. The smallness of their number disabling them from resisting the attacks of the southern Indians, Governor Charles Eden, of North Carolina, and the council, on the 5th day of June, 1718, entered into a treaty, by which the land on Pamplico river was abandoned by the Tuscaroras and another tract granted to them, on Roanoke river, in the present county of Birtie, in consideration of which they relinquished all claims of any other land in the province, butted and bounded as follows, viz.: Beginning at the mouth of Quitsnoy swamp, running up the said swamp four hundred and 35 poles, to a scrubby oak near the head of the swamp, by a great spring; then north ten degrees east, eight hundred and fifty poles, to a persimmon tree on Raquis swamp; then along the swamp and Pacosin main course north fifty-seven degrees west, two thousand six hundred and forty poles, to a hickory tree on the east side of the Falling Run, or Deep creek, and down the various courses of the said run to Morattock; then down the river to the first station.
In the administration of the Governor, Gabriel Johnson, Esq., at a General Assembly held at New Bern on the 15th day of October, 1748, by virtue of an act, this same limit of land above was confirmed and assured to James Blunt, Chief of the Tuscarora Nation, and the people under his charge, their heirs and successors forever, any law, usage, custom or grant to the contrary notwithstanding.
At the time the Tuscaroras migrated to the north, King James Blunt was the Sachem of those that remained, and his successor in office, as we see in an act of the General Assembly of North Carolina, in the year 1778, was Whitmell Tuffdick. The last Sachem, or Chief, of that part of the Tuscaroras--Samuel Smith--expired in the year 1802, at which time Sacarrissa and Solomon Longboard, both being Sachems of the northern Tuscaroras, migrated the residue of the Tuscaroras from North Carolina to their Reservation in Niagara county, State of New York, where they were again blended together in one nation.
Concerning the land allotted to the Tuscaroras in Birtie--they have leased it several times; and I have selected a few of the laws of North Carolina that are now in force, concerning the Tuscaroras in that state, namely:
"A. D. 1748. Vol. I. Chapter 43, page 174; by Potter, Taylor and Yancy, Esqs. Anno Regni Georgii II, Vicessinio second.
"Gabriel Johnson, Esq., Governor.
"At a general assembly held at New Bern, the fifteenth day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and forty-eight."
"An Act for ascertaining the bounds of a certain tract of land formerly laid out by treaty to the use of the Tuscarora Indians, so long as they, or any of them, shall occupy and live upon the same, and to prevent any person or persons taking up lands, or settling within the said bounds, by pretense of any purchase or purchases made, or that shall be made, from the said Indians.
"1. Whereas, complaints are made by the Tuscarora Indians, of divers encroachments made by the English on their lands, and it being but just that the ancient inhabitants of this Province shall have and enjoy a quiet and convenient dwelling place in this their native country, wherefore,
"_Bounds of the Indians' lands confirmed_.--2. We pray that it may be enacted, and be it enacted by His Excellency Gabriel Johnson, Esquire, Governor, by and with the advice and consent of his majesty's council, and general assembly of this province, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same that the lands formerly allotted the Tuscarora Indians by solemn treaty, lying on Morattock river, in Birtie county, being the same whereon they now dwell. Butted and bounded as follows, viz: Beginning at the mouth of Quitsnoy Swamp, running up the said swamp four hundred and thirty-five poles, to a scrubby oak, near the head of the swamp, by a great spring; thence north ten degrees east, eight hundred and fifty poles, to a persimmon tree, on Raquis swamp; thence along the swamp, and Pacosin main course, north fifty-seven degrees west, two thousand six hundred and forty poles to a hickory on the east side of the falling run or deep creek, and down the various courses of the said run to Morattock river, then down the river to the first station; shall be confirmed and assured; and by virtue of this act, is confirmed and assured, to James Blunt, chief of the Tuscarora Nation, and the people under his charge, their heirs and successors, forever, any law, usage, custom, or grant, to the contrary, notwithstanding.
"_Persons having grants to enter on desertion of the Indians_.--3. Provided, always, That it shall and may be lawful for any person or persons that have formerly obtained any grant or grants, under the Lord's proprietors, for any tract or parcels of lands within the aforesaid boundaries, upon the said Indians deserting or leaving the said lands, to enter, occupy and enjoy the same according to the tenor of their several grants.
"_Indians not to pay quitrents_.--4. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That it shall not nor may be lawful for the Lord Granville's receiver to ask, have or demand any quitrents for any of the said tracts or parcels of land taken up within the said Indian boundaries, as aforesaid, until such time when the Indians have deserted the same and the patentee be in possession thereof, and only for such rents as shall from thence arise and become due, any law, usage or custom to the contrary notwithstanding.
"_Penalty on persons purchasing lands of the Indians_.--5. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That no person, for any consideration whatsoever, shall purchase or buy any tract or parcel of land claimed or in possession of any Indian or Indians, but all such bargains and sales shall be, and are hereby declared to be null and void, and of no effect; and the person so purchasing or buying any land of any Indian or Indians shall further forfeit the sum of ten pounds, proclamation money, for every hundred acres by him purchased and bought, one-half to the use of the public, the other half to him or them that shall sue for the same, to be recovered by action of debt, bill, plaint or information, in any court of record within this Government, wherein no possession, protection, injunction or wager of law shall be allowed or admitted of.
"_Persons settled on the Indian lands to remove, and no others to settle there under a penalty_.--6. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That all and every person and persons, other than the said Indians who are now dwelling on any of the lands within the bounds above mentioned to have been allotted, laid out and prescribed to the said Tuscarora Indians, shall, on or before the twenty-fifth day of March next ensuing the ratification of this act, remove him or herself and family off the said lands, under the penalty of twenty pounds, proclamation money; and if any shall neglect or refuse to move him or herself and family off the said lands, on or before the said twenty-fifth day of March next, and if any person or persons, other than the said Indians, shall hereafter presume to settle, inhabit or occupy any of the said lands hereby allotted and assigned for the said Tuscarora Indians, such person or persons shall forfeit the further penalty of twenty shillings, proclamation money, for each and every day he, she or they shall inhabit or occupy any lands within the said Indian bounds after the said twenty-fifth day of March next, the said penalties to be recovered and applied in the same manner as the penalty in this act above mentioned.
"_Surveyor's fee for laying out the Indians' lands_.--7. And whereas, The said lands belonging to the said Tuscarora Indians have been lately laid out and newly marked by George Goulde, Esq., Surveyor General, at the request of the said Indians; therefore, be it enacted, that the said George Goulde, Esq., have and receive for the trouble and expense he hath been at in laying out and marking the Indians' lands aforesaid, the sum of twenty-five pounds, proclamation money, to be paid by the public, out of moneys in the public treasury.
"_Penalty of persons ranging stock on the Indians' lands_.--8. And whereas, the Indians complain of injuries received from people driving stock, horses, cattle and hogs, to range on their lands, for remedy thereof, Be it enacted, That persons driving stock to range, or stock actually ranging on the Indians' lands, shall, and are hereby declared, to be liable and subject to the like penalties and forfeitures, and may be proceeded against in the same manner, and subject to the same recoveries, as by the law of this province stock driven or ranging upon any white people's land are liable and subject to; and the said Indians shall and may enjoy the benefit of the laws in that case made and provided, in the same manner as the white people do or can, any law, usage, or custom, to the contrary notwithstanding."
LAWS OF NORTH CAROLINA. A. D. 1878, CHAPTER 136, PAGE 359, VOL. I. BY POTTER, TAYLOR & YANCEY.
"An Act for quieting and securing the Tuscarora Indians, and others claiming under the Tuscaroras, in the possession of their lands.
"_Indian lands secured to the Indians_.--1. Be it enacted, &c., That Whitmell Tuffdeck, Chief or head man of the Tuscarora nation, and the Tuscarora Indians now living in the county of Birtie, shall have, hold, occupy, possess and enjoy, all the lands lying in the county of Birtie aforesaid, whereof they are now seized and possessed, being part of the lands heretofore alotted to the Indians aforesaid by solemn treaty, and confirmed to them and their successors by act of assembly, in the year one thousand seven hundred and forty-eight, without let, molestation or hindrance, clear of all quit-rents, or any public demands by way of tax whatever, to them the said Tuscarora Indians, and their heirs and successors: and that they, the said Tuscaroras, and their heirs and successors, shall forever be clear and exempt from every kind of poll tax.
"_No purchases to be made of the Indians, nor their lands cultivated_.--2. And whereas, the said Tuscarora Indians, by nature ignorant, and strongly addicted to drinking, may be easily imposed on by designing persons, and unwarily deprived of their said lands: Be it enacted. That no person, for any consideration whatever, shall hereafter purchase, buy or lease, any tract or parcel of land now claimed by, or in possession of the said Tuscarora Indians, or any of theirs; nor shall any person settle on or cultivate the said lands, or any part thereof, in his own right, or under pretence as acting as overseer for the Indians: and if any person shall hereafter purchase, buy or lease lands of the said Indians, or settle on or cultivate any part thereof in his own right or as overseer for the Indians, all such purchases, sales, leases or agreements shall be and they are hereby declared null and void; and the person so purchasing buying or leasing, settling on or cultivating such lands, or any part thereof, shall forfeit and pay the sum of three hundred pounds current money for every hundred acres by him so purchased, bought or leased, settled on or cultivated as aforesaid, one-half to the use of the Tuscarora Indians, the other to the use of him or her who shall sue for the same: to be recovered by action of debt, bill, plaint or information in any court having cognizance thereof. Provided that the said Tuscarora Indians may sell or dispose of their lands or any part thereof, with the consent of the general assembly first had and obtained.
"_Former purchases from the Indians under the sanction of the Assembly, secured_.--3. And whereas, the chieftains and head men of the Tuscarora Indians living in the county, did, on the twelfth day of July, in the year one thousand seven hundred and sixty-six, for the consideration of fifteen hundred pounds to them paid by Robert Jones, Jun., William Williams and Thomas Pugh, by indenture under their hands and seals, demise, grant and to farm let, unto the said Robert Jones, William Williams and Thomas Pugh, a certain tract of land lying in the county aforesaid, containing about eight thousand acres, more or less, bounded as follows, to wit: Beginning at the mouth of Deep creek, otherwise called Falling Run; thence running up the said creek to the Indian head line: thence by the said line south seventeen degrees east, twelve hundred and eighty poles: thence on a course parallel with the general current of the said creek to the Roanoke river and then up the river to the beginning, together with the appurtenances thereto belonging, to be held and enjoyed by the said Robert Jones, William Williams and Thomas Pugh their executors, administrators and assigns in serveralty for and during the term of one hundred and fifty years as may more fully appear by the said indenture, registered in the count of Birtie aforesaid and ratified by act of Assembly, passed at Newbern, in the year one thousand seven hundred and sixty-six: Be it enacted, That each and every of the persons entitled to claims under the demise aforementioned, or by grants from the persons claiming under the same, or either of them, and their heirs and assigns, shall and may have, hold, occupy, possess and enjoy the several shares, dividends or parcels of the said land to them belonging, in as full, free and absolute manner, and with the same legal privileges and advantages in every respect, and subject to the same taxes as if the said land had been originally granted to the said Robert Jones, William Williams and Thomas Pugh by Lord Granville or by this State.
"_Regulations in regard to former demises_.--4. And whereas, the said Tuscarora Indians, for good and sufficient reasons, and for valuable consideration, have, since the twelfth day of July, one thousand seven hundred and sixty-six, and previous to the first day of December last, demised, granted and to farm let sundry tracts or parcels of land lying in said county of Birtie to sundry persons, as by indentures duly executed may more fully appear: Be it enacted. That all the land contained in the last mentioned demises, if the said demises were fairly, _bona fide_ and without fraud, made by and obtained from the said Tuscarora Indians since the year one thousand seven hundred and sixty- six, and previous to the first day of December last past, shall not be deemed vacant lands, or be liable to be entered as such in the Land Office, unless the General Assembly shall hereafter so direct, but nevertheless shall be subject to the same taxes as other lands in this State are liable to.
"_Method of trial for demises alleged to have been unfairly obtained_.--5. And whereas, it is suggested by the Tuscarora Indians, that unfair dealings have been used in obtaining one or more of the demises aforementioned, and that they, the said Indians have at present no mode of obtaining redress in such cases. Be it therefore enacted, that the commissioners herein mentioned or a majority of them, shall and may, upon complaint of the said Tuscarora Indians, in court or meeting assembled, that a person or persons has or have unfairly or fraudulently obtained any grant or demise for lands to them belonging since the year one thousand seven hundred and sixty-six, and previous to the first day of December last, summon the person or persons so complained against, or cause him or them to be summoned to appear before them on a certain day on the land in dispute (giving at best ten days' notice previous to the day in such summons appointed), then and there to answer the complaint of the Indians for having fraudulently or unfairly obtained a grant or demise of the land in question; and shall also summon, or cause to be summoned, a jury of twelve men, being freeholders in the county of Birtie and not resident on or owners of any lands purchased of the said Tuscarora Indians; and the said commissioners, or a majority of them, shall attend at the time and place appointed, with the jury aforesaid, and having first sworn the jury to try and determine fairly between the said Indians and the person or persons complained against, shall and may cause witnesses to be examined on both sides, receive the verdict of the jury and return the same, with the panel, to the next County Court of the said county of Birtie, to be entered upon the record; and such verdict shall be as good and effectual as if obtained in any court of record; and if the same be general the said commissioners, or a majority of them, shall and may appoint one or more persons to carry the same into execution; but if special, then the court shall decide thereon, and cause the Sheriff of the county to carry such decision into execution.
"_Commissioners for Indian affairs_.--6. And whereas the said Indians are often injured by horses, cattle and hogs, driven on their lands by white people, the said horses, cattle and hogs breaking into the enclosure and distroying their corn and other effects, and are also frequently deprived of their property, and abuses by ill disposed persons; for remedy whereof, and also for recovery of suits or demands now due, or which may hereafter become due and owing to the said Tuscarora Indians; Be it enacted, that William Williams, Thomas Pugh, Willie Jones, Simon Turner and Zedekiah Stone, be, and they are hereby appointed commissioners for the said Indians, and they, or any three of them, shall and may inquire into the complaints made by the said Indians, summon the persons complained against, before them, and award such restitution and redress as to them shall seem just and necessary; and may appoint an Officer or Officers to serve subpoena as, and to execute such awards and determinations as they shall or may make in regard of the premises; and the court of said county of Birtie, is hereby authorized and required to fill up, from time to time, by new appointments any vacancies which may happen among the commissioners by death or resignations; and upon complaint of the chiefs or head men of the nation, and the rest of the Indians, in court or meeting properly assembled, against any of the commissioners for misbehavior, may inquire into the conduct of the person or persons complained against, remove him or them if necessary, and appoint another or others in his or their stead.
"_Reversion of Indian lands_.--7. And be it further enacted, that the lands leased by the said Tuscarora Indians to Robert Jones, Jr., William Williams and Thomas Pugh, and to other persons, shall revert and become the property of the State, at the expiration of the terms of the several leases mentioned, if the said nation be extinct; and the lands now belonging to, and possessed by the said Tuscaroras, shall revert to and become the property of the State, whenever the said nation shall become extinct, or shall entirely abandon or remove themselves off the said lands, and every part thereof. Provided, that no person shall have any preference of entry to any of the said lands by virtue of any lease or occupancy whatever, since December, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-six, whenever the general assembly shall declare the said lands to be vacant."
Read three times and ratified in general assembly, the 2d day of May, A. D. 1778.
WHITMILL HILL, S. S.
THOMAS BENBURY, S. C.
LAWS OF NORTH CAROLINA, A. D. 1780, CHAPTER 167. PAGE 406, VOL. I, BY POTTER, TAYLOR & YANCEY.
"An Act to amend an act, entitled an act for quieting and securing the Tuscarora Indians, and others claiming under the Tuscaroras, in the possession of their lands.
"1. Whereas, By the said act there is no penalty imposed on the jurors or witnesses duly summoned, and failing to attend.
"Attendance of Jurors.--2. Be it enacted, &c., That the commissioners by the said act appointed, or any three of them, assembled for the purpose of holding a court, shall, and may inflict fines on jurors or witnesses so failing to attend, not exceeding one hundred pounds, at their discretion; and unless sufficient excuse be to them afterwards shown, cause the same to be levied and applied towards defraying the county expenses of Birtie; and witnesses and jurors who shall attend on the trial of any dispute between the said Tuscaroras and others, shall have and receive ten dollars per day for their attendance, to be paid by the party cost with all other cost: and such trials may hereafter be had on the part of the lands belonging to said Tuscaroras, Birtie County, which commissioners shall direct."
Read three times and ratified in general assembly, the 10th day of May, A. D. 1780.
ALEX. MARTIN, S. S.
THOMAS BENBURY. S. C.