Queen Anne's War was an English struggle in Europe, against France and Spain, manifested in America by mayor conflicts between Indians allied with the English, French and Spanish. Generally speaking, the Algonquians sided with the French, and the Iroquoians sided with the English. In this conflict the Siouans preferred to remain neutral, but were drawn in on both sides in the Southeast; while the Muskhogean nation played both ends against the middle, often in cahoots with the Spanish, and counted the Algonquian Shawnees and the Iroquoian Cherokees (as well as the nationally, racially and linguistically polyglot Seminoles) as members, in much of their political reckoning.
Queen Anne's War was officially concluded by the Treaty of Utrecht in 1714. Out of Queen Anne's War had come the Tuscarora War. Out of this era came the brutal murders, by Indians, of three of America's most colorful frontier characters, John Lawson, Price Hughes, and Thomas Nairne. Lawson we all know. Hughes was a Celtic romantic, a Welsh dreamer and political schemer, whose hopes of revival of Wales in America were doomed by the English, whose Hudson Bay Company operations in the Far West were threatened by his proposals.
Thomas Nairne was a social, economic and political success in South Carolina at the turn of the 18th century. Some of his dealings with the Indians got him accused of treason. He subsequently got those charges dropped, but his association with Price Hughes must have left him suspect. He was murdered by "incineration," as was John Lawson, by Yamassee Indians in
Thomas Nairne was a successful enslaver of Indians, and as such would have been a direct competitor against the Yamassees, who were particularly active against the Siouan peoples of North Carolina. Alexander Moore found journals of his activities among the Indians of the Southeast in The British Public Record Office, which had not been previously made public, except for citation in 1819 in a history of the United States by David B. Warden. In 1988 the University of Mississippi Press published them as Narnes's Muskhogean Journals, The 1708 Expedition to the Mississippi River. This material complements the work of James Adair in ethnographic content, without the bias of Adair's thesis of the Jewish origin of the Indians, except for a few allusions that are indicative of the general pervasion of Bible references in the thought of the time..
Nairne wrote to Robert Fenwick, 13 April 1708, after leaving the Yuchi on the Chattahoochee and crossing the Coosa, west of the present Montgomery, Alabama, among Chickasaws:
"...When the camp was placed the usual diversion of the hunter was either to look for bear, fire a ring for deer or go to the clay pits and shoot buffaloes, for you must observe that in the Spring and all Summer these cattle eat abundance of clay. They find out such places as are salty, which they lick up in such quantities as if some hundreds of thousands of bricks had been made out of them (sic), and the paths leading to these holes are as many and well-trod, as those to the greatest cowpens in Carolina...."
This may explain the pits at the Cliffs of the Neuse, which have cochina shell rock in their bottoms, that may have been on the Old Buffalo Road that extends from the Piedmont, through Hillsboro, Raleigh and Smithfield to the coast. Nairne goes on to explain that at that time of year the bulls were not good to eat, but were very fat and good in May, June and July. He notes the cows and heifers were best in the Fall and Winter. He said, "The tongues of these creatures are extraordinary fine atasting (sic) like marrow, and that causes the death of many hundreds of them."
There is a good record of the clearing of the buffalo from the Atlantic Seaboard. David Dary has written a scholarly and comprehensive study of the American bison, appropriately entitled The Buffalo Book, published by Swallow Press/Ohio University Press, 1989. Dary notes that the first published account of an Englishman seeing a buffalo was when Capt. Samuel Argall saw them in 1612 where Washington, D.C., now stands. Argall praised the flavor of buffalo meat, and noted that buffaloes were not as wild as other animals in the area.
Dary cites many other sources to indicate the early widespread presence of the buffalo in early America, such as this reference to Col. William Byrd's Journal of October 1729: "A survey party under Colonel Byrd's command were determining the boundary line between North Carolina and Virginia when, after Virginia, they met three buffalo on Sugar-Tree Creek, about 155 miles from the coast. Byrd's party were very curious about the animals. They probably had never seen buffalo before. Since the party had a good supply of meat, none of the animals was killed, instead Byrd and his men stopped and observed them. This is perhaps the first instance of white men's not trying to kill wild buffalo when seeing them for the first time. However, several weeks later, as Byrd and his men were returning to the coast, they found a young buffalo bull drinking from Sugar-Tree Creek. Needing meat they killed the animal."
Dary notes that Byrd later noted that the buffalo they killed was alone when they found it, "tho Buffaloes Seldom are." On the Yadkin River in North Carolina Daniel Boone hunted buffalo until they became scarce "by the late 1760's," according to Dary. We need to note that prior to Boone's time this was Siouan country, land of the Saponis and the Catawbas.
In June of 1769 Boone found buffalo in abundance on the western slopes of the Appalachian Mountains, "numbering up in the thousand - at one lick a hundred acres were densely massed with these bulky animals," Boone noted. In The Forty-Second Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, for the years 1924-1925, there is an article entitled "Indian Trails of the Southeast," by William E Myer. It identifies and describes the system of Indian trails that became the highways of the Southeast. The main point made in this article is that the buffalo was the great road builder of ancient Eastern America.
Over buffalo trails Indian runners were able to move at full speed, in relays. They travelled literally thousands of miles, from one side of the continent to the other, bearing messages or goods to friends, or deadly warfare to enemies. Most of our early highways followed old Indian trails. The oldest and biggest Indian trails were made and maintained by the buffalo.
Movement of the buffalo was naturally determined by three factors: food, water and salt licks. Buffalo herds consumed prodigious quantities of vegetation, water and salty mud, as they migrated back and forth in America as herbivores still do today in Africa. The wandering Shawnee were the great intriguers and travellers, during pioneer days, "For example, Tecumseh, or his agents, covered the entire country from the Seminole of Florida to the tribes on the headwaters of the Missouri." This travel was over the old migration paths of the buffalo, while the Shawnee were belatedly and futilly trying to unite the Indian nations in resistance to White settlement of the frontier that was in his time the eastern side of the Mississippi.
But America's western frontier of European exploration and settlement was more like a net than a palisade. Little people flowed back and forth through the frontier without even noticing it, and without being noticed. It was only when governments become involved that frontiers have any clear limits, or political and economic meaning. The son of a White man and an Indian mother had much to learn about boundaries, territorial and cultural.
For the son of a White woman and an Indian man, there might be a whole different set of lessons to learn. A few people, White, Indian, and Black, learned to move with ease across all the boundaries. But the frontier culture was sharp and brittle on both sides of the border, and pain was a constant companion to the frontiersman, in one form or another. The frontier culture was always quite complex, and the traveler in the Southeast might have occasion to use several national languages in a day's travel, in order to accomplish his missions.
The Myers article goes on, "The Iroquois of New York were familiar with the country as far west as the Black Hills of Dakota, whence they returned with prisoners; the same Indians went from New York to South Carolina to attack the Catawba and into Florida against the Creeks..." These forays had precedences in the wars that created the linguistic and cultural mosaics that were the Indian nations of the times. The dynamics of the Indian national cultural evolutions must be understood, if we are to have a mature appreciation of what it means to be an Indian.
Historical European cultural and genetic elements began to come into Indian national cultures by the early 1500's. Pre-historic foreign elements impacting on America native peoples were many, and varied greatly in source and content. The Asian, North African, Irish, Viking, and Welsh influences, in that order, are prevalent in ancient and modern literature on the discovery and colonization of America. They provide Native American cultural enrichment that is real and affective, as the Greek and Caneanite myths respectively enrich the cultures of Britain and Ireland, and historically each other.
Unfortunately, a concerted effort has been made to deprive the Native American of a Pre-History and Mythology that culturally connects him with the nations that have sponsored his own national destruction through centuries of our past This relates to the philosophical polemic analyzed by Antonello Gerbi, in The Dispute of the New World, published by the University of Pittsburg Press in English in 1973, in which the Native American people and other phenomena are invidiously compared with those of the Old World. It was a dispute in which European anthropological authorities, like Buffon, contended that the Native American was an inferior sub-species of Man, and sold the idea to land-grabbers and exploiters, for whom the idea worked in the dispossession of the Indian of his land and life itself.
The conflicts between different groups of Indians played right into the hands of those who would exploit them. Conflicts over hunting grounds are the classic bases of the animosities between Indian groups. The antecedents of the historic Indian nations were migratory hunters. When the hunters were few, and the game was plentiful, good leaders could keep conflicts between their peoples to a minimum. But when the hunters began to compete for the same animals, nationalism was the next development. Nations are the leader's way to keep people organized to prosecute their competitive conflicts.
When the Woodland peoples migrated to follow herds, they supplemented their meat diets, as the bears do, with berries, nuts, and other vegetables, and a variety of fish, arthropods, shellfish, grubs, and so on, depending on their tastes and circumstances. Sometime around the year 1,000, coincidentally with the arrival of the Viking-, agriculture and metal crafts became important in the Ohio-MissisippiMissouri Basin (OMMB). About the year 1,200, coincidental with the myth of a Welsh sojourn in Mexico and their colonization of the Mobile Bay area, urbanization and obvious Aztec influences became marked in the OMMB.
According to official doctrine, the earliest hunter and agrarian peoples of America came to this continent from Asia. With urbanization, the people of the Adena and Hopewell cultures began to experience supply problems, particular where food was concerned. The Adena were broad-headed types, like orientals, who broadened their heads artificially to enhance the difference between themselves and long-headed interlopers, indicating their original dominance. The Hopewell were a long-headed people, like Europeans. Late in their culture the Hopewell people began to flatten their heads.
The artifactual evidences suggest an Aztec and Gulf Coast connection with the Hopewell culture. This tends to support the Madocian myth. But more important than the physical and cultural traits of the Adena and Hopewell peoples, is the matter of the massive conflicts that existed between the Indians nations when they were first identified. These conflicts were driven, in part, by the religious and economic Thirty Years War (instigated primarily between France and England by political ideologues), that denied Siouan access to the Coronaka (now Southeast USA).
What we see, very obviously, is a split of the Algonquian peoples by the Iroquoian, before the centuries long conflict between the Iroquian and Siouan peoples, that bottled up a pocket of Nadiosioux in the eastern edge of the Carolina" and Virginia. Historically these people had an abundance of buffalo, before the Europeans began to systematically destroy the Indians and the buffalo.
The Muskhogean also had access to the buffalo, but they did not celebrate the buffalo culturally, as did the Nadiosioux. The buffalo was central to Southeastern Siouan culture and economy, until the system was upset by Europeans. The epitome of buffalo influence in Nadiosiouan culture was in that of the Mandans, people linguistically related to the Catawba, Saponi, Aconeechee, Tutelo, and other Siouans of the Southeast.
Lewis and Clark, in their Journals, and George Catlin, in his letters, indicate that the Mandans controlled the buffalo. In The Buffalo Book, Dary asks the question, "Did Indians herd buffalo much like cattlemen herd domestic cattle?" He quotes Father A. McG. Beede, who said, "They say that from the year 1864 onward till after the Sitting Bull-Custer battle they--the Western Sioux Indians--kept the Buffalo herded back into Montana or the extreme western part of the present North Dakota." This discussion goes on, to indicate that the Siouan Indians did indeed herd the buffalo, and, in fact, killed Indian buffalo rustlers, before the white man came into the area, according to old oral traditions.
This suggests an explanation of the sacred enclosures of the Adena and Hopewell peoples. Perhaps they were corrals, needed by urban people to effectively manage their meat supply. It's Just one mental step from this idea to the conclusion that such economic manipulations might stir the ire of envious neighbors.
It's axiomatic that economics is the basis of all major wars. Certainly the destruction of the Erie and Neutral nations was a major war. Maybe Erie control, or manipulation, of the buffalo caused the Iroquoian to react badly. The scattering of the Nadiosioux by the Iroquois (and the confederation of the Iroquoian tribes) may have been the Great Revolution of the Native American, comparable in its impact on the Indians to the impact of the Russian Revolution on the Soviet Union (now dis-union).
Some of the Saponis, Tutelos, Nahyssan, and the Occaneechee, who were split by the Tuscaroras from their Catawban relatives, made their way northward. They travelled west of the Alleghenies, taking the remnants of their buffalo herds with them. In the mid-1700's they were officially taken in as refugees from European aggression, by the Cayugas of the Iroquoian Confederation. The destruction of any remaining buffaloes were the key to White domination of the Iroquois.
The history of the buffalo in the East is a poignant tragedy. It ends precisely with the end of the 19th century, when the last buffalo were being moved by Siouan renegades to Iroquois country. Dary cites the story told by Flavel Bergstresser, published in 1915 as "A Pennsylvania Bison Hunt," by Henry W. Shoemaker, of this herd led by a bull known as "Old Logan."
The destruction of Old Logan's herd gives us insights into some of the problems encountered in herding buffalo. The buffalo is easily "spooked," and when excited is subject to become hysterically uncontrollable, and when attacked may be vengeful. Indian control and stalking of the buffalo was done by braves of tried steadiness and endurance, who moved with the herd disguised as wolves. As a familiar nemesis, wolves were respected, but not feared, by the buffalo.
Because of the recent settlement of the Middle Creek Valley of Snyder County, Pennsylvania, the Old Logan herd ran afoul of Samuel McClellan, who calmly shot four of the prime cows of the herd. This stampeded the herd, and infuriated Old Logan, who led the herd of some three hundred across the McClelland homestead in a stampede that destroyed haystacks, fences and a spring house, and headed straight for the McClelland cabin.
According to the story, "The pioneer (McClellan) rushed bravely through the roaring, crazy, surging mass, only to find Old Logan, his eyes bloodshot and flaming, standing in front of the cabin door. He fired at the monster, wounding him which so infuriated the giant bull, that he plunged headlong through the door of the cabin. The herd, accustomed at all times to follow their leader, forced their way after him as best they could through the narrow opening. Vainly did McClellan fire his musket, and when the ammunition was exhausted, he drove his bear knife into the beasts' flanks to try to stop them in their mad course. Inside were the pioneer's wife and three little children, the oldest five years, and he dreaded to think of their awful fate. He could not stop the buffaloes, which continued filing through the doorway until they were jammed in the cabin as tightly as wooden animals in a toy Noah's ark."
It goes on, "...When the cabin had been battered down, the bison, headed by Old Logan, swarmed from the ruins like giant black bees from a hive. McClellan had the pleasure of shooting Old Logan, but it was small satisfaction...The news of this terrible tragedy spread all over the valley, and it was suggested on all sides that murderous bison be completely exterminated."And the suggestion was carried out. The destruction of the buffalo herd, immobilized by deep snow, was a pitiable sight. It ended what was left of Indian independence east of the Mississippi River.