The Tuscarora Tribe
Written and researched by Margaret Odrowaz-Sypniewska, B.F.A.

The Tuscarora Nation lived in the vicinity of Chesapeake Bay and Cape Hatteras. The Tuscarora became the Sixth Nation in the Iroquois Confederacy in 1722. Before the addition of the Tuscarora, the Iroquois Confederacy was composed of the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondaga, Cayugas, and Senecas. They were called the Five Nations.

Swiss colonist, Baron Christoph von Graffenried, drove the Tuscarora off a tract of land without payment in 1711. In retaliation, they killed 200 whites (80 of which were children). During one of their campaigns they captured the Baron. At the same time, a man named William Brice captured a Tuscarora chief and roasted him alive. Needless to say, this did not set well with the Tuscarora Nation. After this, other tribes, such as the Corees, united with the Tuscarora to fight against the white man. Meanwhile, North Carolina recruited South Carolina to help them. This escalated the battle which would be known as the Tuscarora Wars. The troops were aided by Indians - Yamasees, Cherokees, Catawbas, and various groups who were coalescing to become the Muskegeans or Creeks. This mix destroyed the Tuscaroran towns.

John Barnwell led 30 militamen and 500 Native American (many were the Yamasees) against the Tuscarora rebels. North Carolinians, in 1712, attacked the main Tuscaroran village where "King Hancock" lived. These troops were again led by Barnwell. Barnwell agreed to a treaty, which he broke (naturally) and Native American Indians were taken as slaves.

In 1713, Colonel James Moore with 1,000 Indian allies marched again into Tuscarora territory killing hundreds. The 400 prisoners were sold into slavery for 10 pounds sterling each. The survivors of Moore's campaign fled north and lived amoung the Iroquois and, in 1722, were recognized as the Sixth Nation in their league (only nine years later).

On July 1777, Joseph Brant agreed to an alliance with the British. The Oneida and the Tuscarora decided to unite with the Americans against the Loyalists of Brant. Samuel Kirkland, a Presbyterian missionary, and James Dean convinced them the allegiance with the British would only end in sorrow. For that day on, there was the shedding of Iroquois blood, brother against brother, cousin against cousin, resulting in civil war between the nations. Brant's men burned the village of Oriska, home of Oneida chief Honyery Doxtator. At this time, Joseph Brant's men operated out of Onondaga and supported the Loyalists.

Within my own Oneida family members, those captured by the British were "drawn and quartered" by their own uncle (a Loyalist). After this fray, the Loyalist Cryslers added an "h" to their name and became known as Chrysler. This was to set themselves apart from the "traitors."

Today the tribes of Joseph Brant live in Oshweken, near Brantford, Ontario, Canada, and their lands only are a small portion of what the British originally promised them. I often visit Oshweken for respite and the Cryslers, Chryslers, Burnams, Woods, and other surnames of my Loyalist cousins still live there.

The Oneida presently owns their own newspaper that they bought from the Rapid City publishers called "Indian Country Today." This newspaper has united the news of all tribes. The Oneida also used the revenues from their casinos to buy back their old tribal lands as they become available.


The Bear Clan - Table of Contents

View My Guestbook
Sign My Guestbook

You are the visitor since January 19, 2005

Webmaster and author: Margaret Sypniewska, B.F.A.
Owner: Raymond Sypniewski, B.S., M.A.
Email Margaret: Margaret
Email Raymond: Raymond

This page was last updated on January 19, 2005

This page is hosted by