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Santee traditional territory: Along the middle course of the Santee River (modern Orangeburg, Calhoun, and Clarendon counties)
Santee today: Santee, Orangeburg County, South Carolina (see below for contact information)
NOTE: the publication date for the source information contained in the following article was 1920.
Contributed by: Paul R. Sarrett, Jr. Aug. 11, 1998 (email@example.com) Santee tribe. - Named according to Speck (1935), from iswan'ti, "the river," or "the river is there." Also called: Seretee, by Lawson (1860). Santee Connections. - No words of the Santee language have come down to us, but there is little doubt that they belonged to the Siouan linguistic family. Santee Location. - On the middle course of Santee River. Santee Villages. - The only name preserved is Hickerau, on a branch of Santee River. Santee History. - The Santee were first encountered by the Spaniards during the seventeenth century, and in the narrative of his second expedition Captain Ecija places them on Santee River. In 1700 they were visited by John Lawson, who found their plantations extending for many miles along the river, and learned that they were at war with the coast people (Lawson, 1860). They furnished Barnwell (1908) with a contingent for his Tuscarora campaign in 1711-12, but are said to have taken part against the Whites in the Yamasee War of 1715. In 1716 they were attacked by the Etiwaw and Cusabo, acting in the interest of the colonists, and the greater part of them were carried away captive and sent to the West Indies. The remainder were probably incorporated with the Catawba. Santee Population.- The number of Santee was estimated by Mooney (1900) at 1,000 in 1600. In 1715 an Indian census gave them 43 warriors and a total population of 80 to 85 in 2 villages. Santee Connection in which they have become noted.- The name Santee has been given permanency chiefly by its application to the Santee River, S. C., but it has also been applied to a village in Orangeburg County, S. C. Sewee tribe. - Significance: perhaps, as Gatschet suggested, from sawe', "island." Santee Connections.- No words of their language have survived, but the Sewee are regarded as Siouan on strong circumstantial grounds, in spite of the fact that they are sometimes classed with the Cusabo. Santee Location.- On the lower course of Santee River and the coast westward to the divide of Ashley River about the present Monks Corner, Berkeley County. Santee Villages. - In Lawson, writing about 1700, mentions a deserted village in Sewee Bay called Avendaughbough which may have belonged to them (Lawson, 1860). The name seems to be still preserved in the form Awensdaw. Santee History.- Possibly Xoxi (pronounced Shoshi or Shohi), one of the provinces mentioned by Francisco of Chicora, an Indian carried from this region by the Spaniards in 1521, is a synonym of Sewee. The name is mentioned by Captain Ecija in 1609. They may have been the Indians first met by the English expedition which founded the colony of South Carolina in 1670, when they were in Sewee Bay. They assisted the English against the Spaniards, and supplied them with corn. Lawson (1860) states that they were formerly a large tribe, but in his time, 1700, were wasted by smallpox and indulgence in alcoholic liquors. Moreover, a large proportion of the able-bodied men had been lost at sea in an attempt to open closer trade relations with England. Just before the Yamasee War, they were still living in their old country in a single village, but it is probable that the war put an end to them as a distinct tribe. The remnant may have united with the Catawba. Santee Population.- Mooney (1900) gives an estimate of 800 Sewee for the year 1600. In 1715 there were but 57. Santee Connection in which they have become noted.- At an earlier period this name was applied to the body of water now called Bulls Bay. There is a post hamlet with this designation in Meigs County, Tenn., but the name is probably of independent origin.
MORE ABOUT THE Santee:
The Santee is an active tribe seeking federal recognition.
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