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The First Carolinians: Native American Groups of North Carolina

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1 The First Carolinians: Native American Groups of North Carolina
Ch. 2, Sec. 2 The First Carolinians: Native American Groups of North Carolina Identify and describe American Indians who inhabited the regions that became Carolina and assess their impact on the colony.


3 The First North Carolinians
People have lived in North Carolina for several thousand years. The first of these native peoples lived as nomadic hunters and gatherers. Many artifacts or relics and objects of their existence have been left behind for archaeologists to study and examine. By 1492, there were an estimated 35,000 Native Americans living in the state and well over 34 different groups are known to have existed. These Native Americans depended on whatever nature or the land offered in order to survive.

4 The five major groups of North Carolina
Hatteras Chowan Tuscarora Catawba Cherokee




8 The Hatteras Indians Once occupied the sandbanks in the vicinity of Cape Lookout. The survivors of the Lost Colony may have been incorporated into this tribe. The Hatteras/Roanoke Indians were the first to come into contact with the Europeans and the first to decline in numbers. By 1700, only 16 fighting men were to be counted with a total population of 80.

9 Chowan Indians The Chowan were once a large and powerful tribe in the Albemarle region in the 1600’s, but by 1707, they had only one town left with 15 warriors. This loss of life and identity was because of interaction with the European colonists, disease, and war. In 1733, with only a handful of original members left, they were assimilated into the Tuscarora.

10 The Tuscarora The Tuscarora were a part of the Iroquoian Nation and were fierce and aggressive, unlike the weaker coastal tribes. Around 1700, there were approximately 1200 warriors and over 5000 in the tribe. They lived in the piedmont and inner coastal-plain. The Tuscarora War of 1711 broke their power and control in North Carolina. Many of the survivors of the tribe fled northward into New York where they joined their cousins, the Iroquois. Later on during the Revolutionary War, many Tuscarora fought against the British.

11 Chief Pelers of the Tuscarora Tribe

12 The Catawba Indians At one time, the Catawba were the largest and most important tribe in the entire piedmont region of the state. They lived along the banks of the Catawba River and were largely farmers. The Catawba were friendly to the white settlers and were the arch enemies of the Cherokee nation. During the American Revolution, several Catawba Warriors served with distinction in the American army in pivotal battles such as Guilford Courthouse in 1781. In the late 1700’s and early 1800’s, the tribe suffered significant decline from diseases and warfare. By 1944, only 280 full-blooded Catawba Indians were living. As of 2006, less than 3,000 Catawbas remain, the majority of which live in South Carolina.

13 The Catawba were once well-known throughout North Carolina for their pottery and hand-made baskets.

14 The Cherokee


16 The Cherokee Cherokee civilization may be as old or older than the Greek and Roman civilizations. Part of the Iroquois, the Cherokee have always inhabited the mountain regions of the southeast. At one time, the Cherokee numbered over 25,000. Today, there is an estimated 270,000 federally enrolled members. The Cherokee battled fiercely against white settlers and sided with the British during the Revolutionary War. Little by little, the Cherokee lost their ancient territory as the years progressed. Sequoyah (above) invented the Cherokee writing system. He never learned to read, speak, or write the English language.

17 The word “Cherokee” means, “Those who live in the mountains.”
One of the most shameful episodes in American History occurred when the Cherokee Indians were rounded up by the United States government in the 1830’s and forced to relocate west of the Mississippi River in what is today Oklahoma. This movement became known as, “The Trail of Tears.” This was due largely to gold being found on their ancestral lands and also because of the expanding white population. Thousands of men, women, and children died on the journey. During the War Between the States, several thousand Cherokee served gallantly in the Confederate Army with an outstanding battle record. Today, the Cherokee Nation continues to expand and grow.


19 The owner of the Tennessee Titans
Famous Cherokee The owner of the Tennessee Titans Will Rogers Jimi Hendrix Johnny Depp Burt Reynolds Wes Studi Elvis





24 The Impact of the Invasion of Europeans on North Carolina’s Native Americans
Severe depopulation through disease and warfare. Migration from ancestral lands and removal to reservations. Radical alterations of Native American culture and customs. Complete assimilation into white European culture.


26 ______________ are relics and objects left from the past.
From WEST to EAST, list the five major Indian groups of North Carolina. List the four major effects of European interaction upon Native Americans. Name the first Indian group that met European setters in the late 1500’s. Which Cherokee invented the tribe’s writing system and alphabet? Cherokee means ________________. The forced removal of thousands of Cherokee from their ancestral homes is called _________________.

27 Bibliography

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