Correspondence

South Carolina Historical Magazine, April 2000 | Go to article overview

Correspondence


INDEX TO NAMED INDIAN NATIONS

The South Carolina Historical Magazine has now published a trilogy of articles in the July 1993, January 1996, and October 1999 issues, that I have written indexing the newspapers of South Carolina for the first sixty years, 1732-1792, for named American Indian nations. Omitted are thirteen newspapers that began publication in 1783.

I took my notes for these articles entirely in the 1970s, up to about, as nearly as I can remember, 1977 or 1978. The major exception consists of the South Carolina and American General Gazette for 1791 and 1792; I took these notes very recently. First, I took the notes for the first and by far the longestrunning of these newspapers, the South Carolina Gazette. Peter Wilkerson, of the South Carolina Historical Society staff, tells me that this is fortunate, for otherwise, he says, I might "never have gotten around to the big one." A few of the South Carolina Gazette notes got scattered but turned up in time for the second article of the trilogy.

The purpose of this letter is to caution researchers that more may be in these newspapers on these aboriginal nations that I overlooked. Though having known this all along, I was rudely reminded of it lately when using the computer index to the South Carolina Gazette to research certain nonIndian individuals, mariners. In so doing, I was astonished to find two important citations that I had failed to see. One is to Yamacraw, in the South Carolina Gazette for May 11,1734, specifically identifying the people of that village (so important to the early history of Savannah, Georgia) as Creek Indians, a point not established otherwise except in an issue of that same newspaper precisely two weeks earlier (the tribal affiliation of Yamacraw has in the past been a point of some contention and speculation). The May 11,1734 issue also mentions the Cherokee, but the other important citation is in the South Carolina Gazette for June 12,1749. This is a proclamation from the Governor of South Carolina prohibiting the abuse of a tiny and dwindling nation of settlement Indians called the Cape Fears. My failure to notice this on the first go-around in the early 1970s is all the more ironic in that my motivation for attempting such an index was to find out more about South Carolina's settlement Indians.

My work, then, is not perfect. Perhaps, though, it will be of some help. In that connection let me note a typographical error in the October 1999 issue that altered the meaning of the text. That is, on page 325 the sentence in question should read, "Below is a list of those Indians [in the Federal Register] who appear in those newspapers, asterisks denoting those whose ancestors actually lived in South Carolina [not in the South] at one time or another, whether native to South Carolina or not." Also, an asterisk should have appeared by the name of the Absentee Band of Shawnee on page 325, and by that of the Yuchi (page 326, fn.), since their Shawnee and Yuchi ancestors did live in South Carolina at one time. Indeed, not only did the Yuchi once live on the South Carolina side of the Savannah River, but beautiful watercolor paintings of South Carolina's Yuchi residents, dating from the 1730s, appear in Von Reck's Voyage: Drawings and journal of Phillip Georg Freifrich Von Reck, Kristian Hvidt, ed. (Beehive Press, 1990).

Wes Taukchiray

88 Revels Road

Maxton, NC 28364

THE ORIGINS OF THE RUTLEDGE FAMILY

The origins of the Rutledge family, in contrast to their public life in South Carolina and America, have long been shrouded in mystery. …

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