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Sign in the Old Burying Ground at Beaufort, NC is wrongBy Sara Whitford

If you’re ever in the Old Burying Ground in Beaufort, NC and see this sign, just know it’s wrong. 

The “Tuscarora War,” which was actually an Indian War that included militants from multiple tribes, wasn’t fought anywhere near the town of  Beaufort.

On September 22, 1711, a group of more than 500 men, comprised of Tuscarora, Bay (Bear) River, Machapunga, Neusioc and Coree Indians, fell upon settlers along the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers — not the town of Beaufort — and they killed more than 140 men, women and children, injured countless others, and took as many as 40 captive.

The fact that we know the Coree participated in that raid is telling, considering a couple of years later when John Lawson ventured through Coree territory, which he recorded in his book, A New Voyage to Carolina, variously as Connamox and Coranine, he recorded their population as follows:

 Connamox Indians, Towns 2, Coranine, Raruta, Fighting Men 25″

With that paltry number, it’s a near certainty that they sent most of those men to join in the attack on the Neuse and Pamlico rivers, and perhaps left just a few behind to watch their towns and keep their women, children and elders safe until the raiding party returned. 

It’s unclear why the Beaufort Historical Association has opted to keep this sign posted in their graveyard, as they have been contacted regarding its inaccuracy. When asked for a clear resource or reference for why the sign is there, they simply referred to a local historian who had at one time said it was so.

Individuals involved in the archaeology programs both with East Carolina University and the State of North Carolina have been contacted in regards to this sign, but they have said they are unaware of any archaeological studies done in the Old Burying Ground that suggest any Tuscarora Indian attack in Beaufort during 1711.

What are the ancient origins of the Indians of coastal North Carolina? Surprising DNA results…

March 25, 2014

By Sara Whitford “Moreover, several Customs are found in some Families, which others keep not; as for Example, two Families of the Machapunga Indians, use the Jewish Custom of Circumcision, and the rest do not; neither did I ever know any others amongst the Indians, that practis’d any such thing; and perhaps, if you ask […]

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A New Look at the Tuscarora War

March 24, 2014

Editor’s note: In 2013, a book was published by Dr. David LaVere, PhD, a professor of history at UNC-Wilmington, entitled The Tuscarora War. In his book, LaVere references an article that was originally posted at this site and written by Sara Whitford. Although Ms. Whitford’s article was originally published in 2007, when the site was […]

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Remembering John Crazybear ‘Papa Bear’

September 13, 2013

Earlier this week we lost a dear friend. For our family, and so many others whose lives were enriched by knowing his friendship, very special memories will endure. I recall my first having met John Crazy Bear, known to many as ‘Papa Bear,’ in the 90′s when I was teaching courses in American Indian studies […]

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The ‘Lost’ Colony and John White’s ‘Virgenia Pars’ Map: An Outer Banks historian provides some much-needed historical context

May 10, 2012

Editor’s note: As news trickled in late last week and over the weekend regarding the latest discovery beneath the patches on the John White ‘Virgenia Pars’ map, I immediately knew I wanted to speak to Scott Dawson, the most knowledgeable expert on the so-called ‘Lost Colony’ that I know. And let me be very clear […]

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Updated Algonquian Word List by Scott Dawson

May 7, 2012

Algonquian is not a tribe, nor a language, but a language family with at least 29 dialects. The following is a list of words used by the Croatoan compiled by Scott Dawson.

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Researching Indian Ancestry by Sara Whitford

May 7, 2012

One of the number one questions Coastal Carolina Indian Center gets via e-mail is how to find Indian ancestors, or how to determine the tribe of certain ancestors who were said to be Indian. This article was written to help people get started on finding those answers. If you are embarking on a search for […]

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John Lawson on the ‘Lost Colony’ of Roanoke

January 6, 2012

What follows is an excerpt from John Lawson’s A New Voyage to Carolina (p. 62)   First Colony of Carolina. The first Discovery and Settlement of this Country was by the Procurement of Sir Walter Raleigh, in Conjunction with some Publick-spirited Gentlemen of that Age, under the Protection of Queen Elizabeth; for which Reason it was […]

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Surnames Database Project

December 23, 2011

Below are full name/surname lists based on associations with particular tribes or special areas of research. Please keep in mind that just because someone is of a particular surname associated with a particular tribe DOES NOT NECESSARILY mean that the person was of that tribe. It is necessary to establish a “preponderance of evidence” before […]

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2011 Outstanding Fourth Grade Teachers & Students Award

December 15, 2011

Coastal Carolina Indian Center is pleased to announce that for the first time in the history of the Great Salt Water Educational Outreach Enrichment Program, four schools across the state of North Carolina are being acknowledged for CCIC’s Outstanding Fourth Grade Teachers and Students Award. Fourth grade class enrollment size varies amongst these schools, but the one standout attribute each fourth grade class demonstrated […]

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The First Description of an Iroquoian People: Spaniards Among the Tuscaroras before 1522

December 15, 2011

by Dr. Blair A. Rudes. ABSTRACT: It is widely accepted that the first documented encounter between Europeans and the Iroquois occurred in 1534 when the French explorer Jacques Cartier encountered the Laurentians. The Iroqouis, however, say that they had met Spaniards before the French arrived. A re-examination of a document pertaining to early Spanish explorations […]

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Giving Voice to Powhatan – Dr. Blair Rudes

December 15, 2011

by Dr. Blair A. Rudes. This paper was shared with us by Dr. Rudes in 2006 as part of an ongoing dialogue we had with him about his work with the Algonquian language on the film The New World. In the paper, he explains the process he underwent to reconstruct the language of the Powhatan’s […]

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Chief Elton Greene’s Tuscarora Dictionary

December 15, 2011

Although not produced by Dr. Rudes, this word list was the first publicly available Tuscarora language dictionary available until Dr. Rudes completed his thorough and accurate Tuscarora-English/English-Tuscarora dictionary. This particular dictionary was published by the late F. Roy Johnson. The Tuscarora translations of English words are not exactly correct in their phonetic pronunciations, but considering […]

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Tuscarora Place Name Etymologies

December 15, 2011

by Dr. Blair A. Rudes – Translations of several Tuscarora place names.

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Croatoan Word List by Scott Dawson

December 15, 2011

The following was submitted by Scott Dawson (Hatteras). The extended definitions first four words were provided by Dr. Blair A. Rudes.

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Coastal Algonquian Language Sampler

December 15, 2011

The following is a sampling of the Coastal Algonquian language that was translated by Dr. Blair A. Rudes at the request of Coastal Carolina Indian Center in 2006. We’re thankful to Dr. Rudes for his assistance with this project. We are saddened by his unexpected passing in 2008 — not only by the loss of […]

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The Algonquian Language Reborn: An Interview with Blair Rudes

December 15, 2011

CCIC: How did you get into studying indigenous languages? Dr. Rudes: When I first entered graduate school to study for my Master’s degree at the State University of New York at Buffalo, I was primarily interested in the Celtic languages, in particular Irish Gaelic, since my mother’s side of the family comes from Ireland. I […]

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Memorial: Remembering Our Friend, Blair A. Rudes – Linguistics Advisor to CCIC

December 15, 2011

Blair A. Rudes – 1951-2008 28 March 2008 It is with much sadness that we report the news that our dear friend and linguistics advisor, Blair Rudes, passed away from a heart attack on March 16th. Any regular visitors to our website or listeners to our lectures should be well-familiar with Dr. Rudes’ name, as […]

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Tuscarora Ascendancy

December 15, 2011

This article which appeared in the October 1982 issue of The North Carolina Historical Review, was written by Dr. Thomas Parramore (former Meredith College professor and one of the most knowledgeable and thorough historians to have ever written about the Indians of eastern North Carolina.) This piece is frequently cited for its in-depth information on […]

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“Death of a Reservation”

December 15, 2011

Excerpt from The Tuscaroras, Vol. 2 by F. Roy Johnson. This excerpt from a chapter in Johnson’s book discusses the demise of the Tuscarora reservation in Bertie County at Indian Woods, and the exodus from the reservation by Tuscaroras to the north and other areas of North Carolina.

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