Saturday, July 30, 2011
The Mingo and Tuscarora Indians
I still don’t quite understand who really owns the land on Mt. Zion Road, the ancestral home of many of my relatives. Is it the Mingo Tribal Preservation Trust or the Tuscarora Ranch, LLC? Nevertheless, I became quite interested in the Mingo and Tuscarora Indians and their connection with Wilkes County, North Carolina. Therefore, I resorted to the Internet and hard-copy references for information. And this is what I learned…
I found that understanding the difference between the Mingo Indians and the Tuscarora Indians is complicated. As in much literature, different authors tend to have different interpretations of concepts and events. Therefore, my comments represent my assimilations and interpretations of what I have read from various sources.
The Mingo Indians were a small group of Native Americans who were related to the Iroquois Indians. By 1750 they had moved into Ohio and today are often referred to as the Ohio Seneca Indians. I haven’t found any reference to the Mingo Indians in North Carolina.
The Tuscarora Indians, an agricultural tribe that was also related to the Iroquois, inhabited the coastal plans of North Carolina along the Neuse River. As with most of the Native Americans, they were very much opposed to the western expansion of the white settlers. The Tuscarora Indians also developed a very lucrative trade serving as the middlemen in trading rum and other goods with the Indians in the Piedmont region. As a consequence of encroachment by the settlers into their land and mistreatment by the white settlers, a war between the Tuscarora Indians and the settlers erupted in September 1711 and continued through March of 1713 at which time the Indians were defeated. By 1722 many of the Tuscarora Indians returned New York to live with their northern relatives, the Iroquois. Again, I found no documentation of Tuscarora Indians in Wilkes County, North Carolina. Wilkes was inhabited by the Cherokee Indians during those early years.
The connection between the Mingo Indians and the Tuscarora Indians appears to be their blood relationship to the Iroquois Indians.
If any of my followers have additional information regarding these two groups, please comment. As always, I encourage your comments, suggestions, corrections, and information.