Information on mid-18th century Saponi lands in present-day Wayne County. Includes Cliffs of the Neuse State Park (est. 1945.)
Research by CCIC in recent weeks has yielded some surprising, and very interesting information about Saponi territory in eastern North Carolina. At present, we’re unsure whether the areas outlined below are traditional Saponi territories, or if they are only territories that Saponis filtered into after the Tuscaroras were cleared out due to the Tuscarora War.
The entries below were found when one of our staff members was researching an ancestor who had been granted land in what was then-Johnston County:
3598 pg 384 WILLIAM MACKINTOSH 13 October 1749 200 acres in Johnston County on the S. side of the Neuse River on a place called Powells run near Sapony Camps, joining near the sd. run.
(from Patent Book 5 – abstracted Colony of NC 1735-1764 Abstract of Land Patents (Vol. I) by Margaret Hoffman)
Another book yielded information on where exactly “Powells run” was in Johnston County, although in the book cited here, it’s called “Powell’s Branch.” Please keep in mind that Johnston County was formed in 1746 from Craven County, but other counties were later carved out of it:
Johnston – 1746, from Craven
Dobbs – 1758, from Johnston. Became Glasgow & Lenoir in 1791
Wayne – 1779, from Dobbs
The entries that follow are from Dobbs County, North Carolina Entries and Warrants 1741-1757. William L. “Bill” Murphy. © 1987.
Powell’s Branch – Wayne County – a tributary of Sleepy Creek on the southside of Neuse River named for John Powell whose plantation was here.
Mrs. Powell’s Branch – Wayne Co., south side of Neuse River between Sleepy Creek and Hwy 111
Sapona Land – Wayne County, plantation of John Powell between Sleepy Creek and Seven Springs, named for the Saponi Indians who inhabited the area. Cliffs of the Neuse State Park, established 1945, now occupies a portion o fthe site.
Sapony Landing – Wayne, north side of Neuse River on the west of Whitehall Bridge south of Piney Grove
Sleepy Creek – Wayne Co., rises near the junction of Secondary Roads 1120 and 1932 and flows east across Secondary Road 1933, 1983 and 1915 and then north into the Neuse River. The Saponi Indians lived along its banks and tradition says the used it as a medicine stream. Sick Indians would drink the water of make a medicine from the clay and lie on the banks to sleep, thence the name.