I have a theory pertaining to my ancestors and their exodus from the Catawba Reservation in the time around 1825....
A 1773 report places the Catawba population at about 400..this number stayed about the same as it was reported in 1780 that they numbered about 490 souls. A report from 1784 placed their number at 250 and this corresponds to the fact that many of the women, children and elderly had travelled "up to Virginia" to seek shelter during the Rev War...it was subsequently reported that many of the Cheraw settled in a town on the Catawba Reserve after the War....
By 1822 the number of souls on the Catawba reverve was recorded at approx. 450...this shows an outstanding maintanence of population level, giving the natural decline by war, disease, etc.
In the 1820's almost every parcel of the Resrevation had been leased to whites, and the two towns of Indians were homeless. A report of David Ivey, the agent to the Catawba, puts their number in 1826 to be an incedible 110..thats a loss of over half of the population within 4 years! Agent Ivey did not report any disease epedemics during this time, and only reported that the Indians had began to wander due to having no place to live. (Catawba Indian Britton George went as far as Smith County Tennessee, where he applied for a Rev War pension in 1822 which was given a witness affidavt by David Ivey).
A "petition of the cheifs and Headmen of the Catawba Indians, 1825" which I am received from the SC Archives listed Jacob Scott, James Scott, and William Scott as leaders during that time (so, most likely, there were at least three Scott households among the Catawba at that time). The Scott and Ayers families were described as "large and well represented" among the catawba at the turn of the century, yet the Catawba Census taken by B.B. Massey in 1847 and 1854 reported that only one catawba male carried the Scott surname (John Scott, born 1824)...where had all the rest of this "large" Scott family gone? Massey went on to reveal that 5 catawba had gone to Charleston SC in 1851 (including one of the headmen named Kegg) and had not been heard from since, that 27 Catawba were living in Haywood Co. NC among the Cherokee, and that 15 catawba had gone to Arkansas "who moved out there in 1851 never to return."
That catawba (or Cheraw from the catawba reserve, as it may be) had made it as far as Florida is well documented....In 1853, a military report from Brig. Gen. G.B. Hall to Capt. I.C. Casey reveals that "a band of eighteen Indians, all of whom claimed to be Catawbas, was reported wandering near Stockton, Alabama. Their leader was named Taylor, and the band represented two families: Taylor and Houser....They said they came from Walton County, West Florida, and were enroute to Arkansas, but were stranded for lack of money." This was the family of Richard L.Taylor (who was censused in 1850 Walton County as a 'white' family and was censused in 1860 Baldwin County (Stockton Post Office) Alabama as an "Indian" family) who settled on the Poarch Creek Reservation and joined other Cheraw Indian families already living there (including the Hathcock, Payne, Gibson, and Dease families).
Copyright ©2005, Steven Pony Hill, all rights reserved.
Anyone with information on Native Americans in this area please contact me.
Copyright ©2005, Steven Pony Hill, all rights reserved. this document is copyrighted and may not be sold, nor given to anyone who may attempt to derive profit from same, without written permission of the author.