The Congaree

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NOTE: the publication date for the source information contained in the following article was 1920.

Contributed by: 
Paul R. Sarrett, Jr. Aug. 11, 1998                         (

Congaree tribe. -  Meaning unknown.

Congaree Connection.- No words of this language have been preserved 
but the form of the name and general associations of the tribe leave 
little doubt that it was a Siouan dialect, related most closely to 

Congaree Location.- On Congaree River, centering in the neighborhood 
of the present State Capital, Columbia.

Congaree Village. - The only village mentioned bore the same name 
as the tribe and was sometimes placed on the Congaree opposite Columbia, 
sometimes on the north side of the river.

Congaree History.- The Congaree are mentioned in documents of the 
seventeenth century as one of thc small tribes of the Piedmont region. 
In 1701 Lawson (1860) found them settled on the northeast bank of 
Santee River below the mouth of the Wateree. They took part against 
the Whites in the Yamasec War of 1715, and in 1716 over half of them 
were captured and sent as slaves to the West Indies. The remnant appear 
to have retreated to the Catawba, for Adair (1930) mentions their 
dialect as one of those spoken in the  Catawba Nation.

Congaree Population.- The Congaree are estimated by Mooney (1900) 
at 800 in 1600. A census taken in 1715 gives 22 men and a total population 
of about 40.

Congaree Connection in which they have become noted.- Congaree River 
and a railroad station in Richland County, S. C., preserve the name; 
Columbia, the State capital, was originally known as the Congarees. 
Creeks. In the time of De Soto, Cofitachequi, which seems to have 
been either Kasihta or Coweta, and a few other Creek towns including 
perhaps Hilibi and part of the Chiaha Indians were in the territory 
of the present State of South Carolina near Savannah River. The Coosa 
of Coosawhatchie, Edisto, and Ashley Rivers may have been Creek in 
origin, and in Inter times Creeks constantly resorted to the provincial 
settlements in this area. (See Alabama.)


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