"The fate of the Chicora Nation is a strange blank place in our history. The Coree lacuna is an abscess that no one wants opened, since we have forgotten its origin and have become accustomed to the pain."
At the eastern end of the Neuse River, the Corees (the Cwarennocs of the Raleigh colonist, who were once masters of the entire Coree Land we now know as Currytuck and North Carolina's Outer Banks, through the Coronaka of South Carolina to the Savannah River) and the more inland Neusioks sept of these people prevented the military encroachment of the Tuscaroras to any great extent south of the Neuse or east of Bay River. In fact, the Tuscaroras found the coastal Coree resistance so formidable, they willingly entered into a treaty and alliance with the colonial government to restrict their territorial claims to the area between the Pamlico River and the Neuse River. That is, after the English-authorized colonists had claimed all the territory northeast of the mouth of the Pamlico, as indicated in Colonial Records of North Carolina 1713-1728, Vol. 2, p. 140.
The Core Indians were masters of the Albemarle, before the settlement of it by friends and relatives of the Lords Proprietors drove them southward, but their name was still used on the manuscript of the Wimble map of 1733, even though Core Tuck was changed to Currytuck on the printed map. At this time Anne was Queen of England, her cousin, Edward Hyde, was Governor of North Carolina, and Welsh conspirators, like Price Hughes and Thomas Nairne, were in serious trouble in America. Their Welsh colonization efforts were causing serious conflicts with the French, who were being appeased by Anne, because of England's European interests and involvements that were temporarily settled by the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713.
In North Carolina the anti-French Iroquois were in serious trouble, in the persons of the Tuscaroras who were allied with the English Lords Proprietors, represented here by Nathaniel Chevin, brother-in-law of
Thoroughgood Pate. Unauthorized Welsh colonists were pouring into the country, allying themselves with Indians like the Corees, and creating a class of independent people who threatened to create an Indian population capable of running the country, quite independent of English proprietorship.
It was a tense time, with things threatening to get out of English (and by extension royal European) control. It was seen by the English as a continuation of the centuries-long conflict between English (Continental French and German) royal interests and "British" (Welsh, Scotch and Irish) interests, that were essentially democratic and driven by an ethic religiously fundamentalistic.
My Grandfather knew something of this matter, relating primarily to the defeat of some of our Coree ancestors at the battle of Neoherooka (locally pronounced N'hookie), and the treasure they were supposed to have sequestered somewhere on Contentnea Creek. He knew it had been a dirty business, in which our people had been involved on both sides, and he took no pride in talking about it.
We tend to "put a decent face" on the brutal and sordid in human affairs. The Tuscarora War was a particularly ugly Indian civil war, that is not generally recognized as such. It was a part of Queen Anne's war against the native Americans (and not just those associated with the French), that has not been looked at closely in the face by most historians, and apparently few Native Americans.
Many of these natives were an historically poorly identified, racially mixed lot, whose white ancestors were poor and illiterate "West Countrymen" from the British Isles. They came unauthorized to these shores on unregistered vessels, and more or less peaceably intermarried with the aborigines. Their settlements were identified by James Lancaster on his map of the Cape Fear Valley simply as "Welsh Clanes."
Accumulated evidences, that I won't belabor, indicate that this Celtic "advance party" provided a wedge for the English, with which the American Indians were split, time after time, in the time-honored tradition of "divide and conquer," by Europeans who were masters of deceit and intrigue, that made the verb "to Welsh" synonymous with dirty dealings. The Welsh brought with them to America a reputation for cattle thievery depicted in this ancient Welsh limerick:
Taffy (David (also Dewi, Dewey in my family now) was a Welshman
Taffy was a thief
Taffy came to my house
And stole a leg of beef
The story of Jeremiah Pate's murder by Jim Coharie relates to the Welsh cattle claiming proclivities, that drove many Pates southwestward as cattlemen. See J.B. Pates history of the family, and more recent material by Dr. Jim Peacock, for more about the cattle business that began in the Rappahannock Valley and drifted with the buffalo to the Coronaka. Cowpens, S.C., is the present-day monument to this industry that supplied Cornwallis beef for his army, the significance of which is now forgotten.
Baron Christoph De Graffenried, (see von Graffenried, Christoph (Swiss, naturally) 1661-1743, Grnder der Stadt New Bern in Nordamerika, Bern: Burgerbibliothek (Adresse und Liste der Nachlsse - Adresse et liste des fonds - Indrizzo e lista degli fondi), Persnliche Papiere. Einzelstcke. Unpublizierte Findmittel (but published in English and German in the USA, as I've elsewhere indicated). Signatur: Mss. Ml. 466.) who was led by John Lawson to explore some of the lands of the Indians of eastern North Carolina, left us some touching glimpses of the affairs that led to the undoing of these people who had freely bred with the Welsh "factors" deposited by privateers like Drake, Hawkins and Morgan, to work a fur trade and to seek mineral wealth.
These people were tools in the hands of noble Europeans, alternately used and betrayed. Ultimately they were displaced, destroyed or absorbed into the European society of America (usually into its soiled and dirty fringe, but with some notable exceptions to this rule). Blounts and Pates were among the exceptions.
We who frequently see the monument to John Lawson on the front lawn of the Wayne County Courthouse learn nothing from it of the events that led to Lawson's bizarre murder. Baron De Graffenried was surprisingly candid, however, in his description of the drunken revelry that ultimately led to Lawson's "incineration" by the Indians, probably because he did not feel comfortable with the burden he bore in the matter. For his full exculpatory explanation you can read his account of his colonizing effort in America, edited and translated by Vincent H. Todd, published by Edwards and Broughton, Raleigh, 1920.
The Hatteras (who told John Lawson their ancestors were white people, who talked out of books), Corees and Neusioks were a mixed lot when historically encounterd by Europeans. They had an oral history full of contacts with Europeans (mostly Celts, of Welsh, Scottish, and Irish origins). They were the ancestors of the modern Lumbee and Coharie Indians of Robinson and Sampson Counties--and many other folks like myself, whose families have always taken pride in their Indian ancestry.
The Coree tradition was a proud history of alliance with the English of Walter Raleigh's Lost Colony. It was a driving force in colonization of North Carolina. The sons of Thoroughgood Pate roamed about among the descendants of the Croatan (also known as Cworonocs, or Coranocs) looking for the family of Lost Colonist John Chevin (of Sir Walter Raleigh's Roanoke Island venture), for whom John Pate (Peate, Welsh spelling (a son of Thoroughgood), who was a leader of friendly Indians in the Tuscarora War) was probably named. They found Chevins in what is now the Pembroke area, on the Lumber River.
The oral traditions of the Coree and their descendants, the Croatoan Indians, like the Lumbee and Coharie, is a history of alliances that has cursed their descendants as a native people. It is a history in which they learned a bitter lesson at Cartuca, the Indian town sold to the Palatines of Von Graffenried by John Lawson for the establishment of a European settlement. Graffenried's account shows Lawson to have been a tough and unprincipled--and cynical--scoundrel, whose daughter apparently eventually became the mistress of Major John Pate, who in his old age was the Yorktown ferryman--who left his house (still standing) to Joan Lawson.
Many Pate's have forgotten their maritime heritage. Phineas Pate designed the ships that defeated the Spanish Armada. My grandfather Taud (Daniel Floyd) Pate could sail and tie fishnets (and claimed Indians could tie them with their toes). Pates ran a boatworks at Hobucken until this century, which was operated by Pates associated with the Lumbees in Pembroke.
Cartuca was the capital of the people whose ancestors were known to Raleigh's colonists as Croatans. That the people of King Tom Taylor of Cartuca were descended from members of the Lost Colony may be concluded from the Congressional Report of 1914-1915, by Special Indian Agent O.M. McPherson. It precluded their classification as "Native Americans," with the benefits they would derive from this status. Hugh and Clement Taylor were both members of the Lost colony, but it is not known which, if either, was an ancestor of King Taylor.
When John Lawson and Baron De Graffenried conspired and contracted for the settlement of Palatines in the geographically strategic site of Cartuca--now New Bern--in 1710, the people of King Taylor were pleased at the prospect of European neighbors. Their king was maternally descended from Sir Manteo (knighted Lord of Roanoake and Dasamonguepeuk by Queen Elizabeth) and an english adventurer named Taylor, and they were pleased at the prospect of European neighbors.
The Palatines, from the border electorate of European kings, between France and Germany, had other plans, however. They had no intentions of allowing the Indians to remain in the area of the junction of the Trent and Neuse Rivers. The site controlled heavy freight traffic to the land's interior. With a few well-placed cannons De Graffenried could control shipping there as surely as his ancestors (cousins to the English royalty) controlled the junction of the Neckar and the Rhine.
The sale of Cartuca (Core Tucka, the new Currituck)was a momentous event for the Indians. They saw it as the beginning of a new way of life for them. What sort of a new way of life was soon to become clear to them as the mysterious Corees, who became extinct.
On the night of the celebration of the sale of Cartuca to the whites, it became clear to King Taylor that John Lawson had bargained away far more than Taylor ever intended to sell. His first awareness of the real extent of his peoples' loss brought from him an eloquent plea for brotherhood and cooperation between the whites and the Indians, in the English dialect of the Raleigh colonists.
The unaccustomed spectacle of a savage in European clothing, presenting an impassioned plea for unity with the Europeans, was more than one of the Palatines could take. Michel, a geologist and mining expert, raging drunk on raw rum, jumped on King Taylor and pummeled him mercilessly.
Such behavior on such an occasion was inconceivable to the Indians. To even interrupt a tribal chief was a capitol offense, at the chief's discretion. Michel's brutality ended the festivities for the natives of Cartuca. When Michel was pulled from the battered and bleeding Taylor, John Lawson delivered an ultimatum to the Indians. They must immediately leave Cartuca--and the surrounding area!
The shock to the Indians was profound. The loss to them was suddenly clear. Their home, with its wattled Welsh peasant style houses was no longer theirs. They were expected to vacate Cartuca immediately!
After his painful humiliation before the assembly of whites and his people, King Taylor raged in drunken indignation and disbelief in his own cabin. He rambled on about his white ancestry. He spoke of the nobility of his Indian ancestors, and the appreciation shown to them by the Virgin Queen. And he moaned his grief that John Lawson and the Palatines were such ungracious subjects of a sovereign who succeeded her.
As King Taylor rambled on, loudly and bitterly, English settlers and their friendly Tuscarora neighbors from the Albemarle, who had come to the celebration of New Bern's founding, continued to carouse around the big bonfire with the Palatines. Each outburst of rage and frustration from Taylor's house brought a roar of raucous laughter from the wild gang around the fire.
Loudly some wag in the crowd pointed out to Michel that his English was not nearly so fine as that of King Taylor! Another pointed out that the beating Michel gave him only served to sharpen Taylor's tongue! At this, Michel jumped up, kicked a shower of burning embers from the fire, and vowed to kick as many sparks from the Indian leader's arsch!
Michel ran to Taylor's house, followed by the drunken mob that roared its approval, and kicked open the door. King Taylor was astonished to find his privacy so violated. As he rose to protest, the enraged German pounced on him. Michel again pummeled Taylor mercilessly, knocking him down. When the Indian chief struggled to rise, Michel slammed a boot to his body that kicked him out the door. That was the way King Taylor left his home in Cartuca.
The Indian leader sprawled unconscious in the dirt, as Michel ordered the other Indians from their home. The women of the Taylor household were allowed to hastily gather a few belongings, as the young Indian men picked up their battered father and erstwhile spokesman, of whom they had always been so proud. Then they vanished into the darkness, the way Indians always do.
This was really the opening battle of the Tuscarora War, of which John Lawson was the first officially documented victim. This was the opening battle of the war that pitted the Iroquoian Tuscaroras of Roquis Pocosin, who allied themselves with their English neighbors, against a hodge-podge of Sioux, Algonquins and renegade Iroquois (mostly Tuscaroras)--who saw their destinies prefigured in the disgraceful beating Taylor took. King Taylor--who had so prided himself on his English ancestry...
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