25 October 2015

The Yamasee in Beaufort District

People often wonder about the Native Americans who once lived in this area. 

According to Dr. Chester DePratter, the Yamasee tribe moved into the Port Royal Sound area around 1683 and resided here only for 30 to 35 years. They allied themselves with the English attacking Spanish-allied Indians throughout Florida. Captured Indians were then sold as slaves in Carolina or transported to other British colonies. The Yamasee were critical in a general uprising of Native Americans against the British traders and settlers of the Carolinas beginning with the Good Friday Massacre 1715 at Pocotaligo. For decades the Yamasee were on the run. Many Yamasee survivors eventually relocated to Cuba with the Spaniards in 1763 at the end of the Seven Year’s War.  However, some Yamasee descendants still reside across the Southeast.  [Source: “The Yamasee Indians in South Carolina” by Chester B. DePratter, Legacy, vol. 19, no. 1, July 2015, pp. 14 – 16.]

The Yamasee War is the topic of this year's Archaeology Month poster from the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology (SCIAA).  Please drop by any of our library locations to pick up your free copy while supplies last. The verso has lots of delicious information about the conduct of the war. 

I updated our list of Recommended Resources about this area's Native Americans just in time for Archives Month.  Here are the ones most relevant to the topic of the war: 

975.702 MCI Indians’ revenge: including a history of the Yemassee Indian War: 1715-1728 by William McIntosh, III, 2010, c2009. (BDC, HHI, LOB) [Other SCLENDS has copies that can be checked out]

973.25 RAM The Yamasee War: a study of culture, economy, and conflict in the colonial South by William L. Ramsay, c2008. (BDC, BEA, BLU, HHI, LOB) [Other SCLENDS has copies that can be checked out]

SC 975.7 HIS “An Account of the Breaking Out of the Yamassee War, in South Carolina extracted from the Boston News, of the 13 th of June, 1715,” Historical Collections of South Carolina; embracing many rare and valuable pamphlets, and other documents, relating to the History of that State, from its first discovery to its independence, in the year 1776. Compiled, with various notes, and an introduction, by B. R. Carroll. In two volumes. Vol. ii. New York: Published by Harper & Brothers, 1836, pp. 569 -572. (BDC) http://bit.ly/1O53EDJ

Beaufort County Historical Society Paper #14.“John Barnwell and the Tuscaroras” by Rebecca DesChamps McDowell. Presented before the Beaufort County Historical Society on June 29, 1954.

Beaufort County Historical Society Paper #59.“The Yamassee War in the Beaufort and Port Royal Area, 1601-1715” by Larry Ivers. Presented before the Beaufort County Historical Society, no date.

Take a look at digital images of Yamasee artifacts from the Altamaha archaeological site.  

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