Important Dates in North Carolina Indian History

1524
Italian navigator Giovanni da Verrazzano is the first European explorer to visit the Indians of North Carolina. He lands at Cape Fear and the Outer Banks.

1540
de Soto and his expedition visit Indian communities in Western North Carolina on his march north from Florida.

1566
A Spanish expedition led by Juan Pedro visits the Catawba, Wateree, and Saxapahaw tribes of Carolina .

1584
Sir Walter Raleigh’s first expedition visits the Indians of Roanoke Island.

1585
English colony is established at Roanoke Island under direction of Sir Walter Raleigh Colony fails the following year.

1587
John White ‘ s colony is established on Roanoke Island.

1590
Disappearance of John White’s colony is discovered . Henceforth this colony is called the “Lost Colony. ”

1650
The beginning of a steady stream of white settlers moves into Indian lands along the coastal sounds and rivers of North Carolina.

1664
Clarendon County Colony from Barbados is established in Cape Fear region. Several years of Indian-white conflict ends the colony.

1670
German doctor John Lederer visits the tribes of coastal North Carolina .

1675
The first Indian “war” in North Carolina erupts between the Chowan and white settlers in Virginia .

1701-1711
Surveyor John Lawson visits the tribes of eastern North Carolina. He is killed by the Tuscarora in 1711.

1711
Tuscarora War begins.

1713
Tuscarora War ends. The majority of the defeated Tuscarora seek refuge with the Five Nations of the Iroquois in New York State.
First English trader, Eleazar Wiggan, arrives in Cherokee territory.

1715
Peace treaty with remaining North Carolina Tuscarora is signed. Tuscarora, Coree, and Machapunga are placed on reservation established in Hyde County near Lake Mattamuskeet. By 1761, the reservation has ceased to exist.

1730
Cherokee leaders visit London, confer with the king of England and pledge eternal friendship to the British.

1732
Lumbees Henry Berry and James Lowery are granted land on the Lowry Swamp east of the Lumbee River.

1738-1739
Smallpox epidemic decimates Indian population in North Carolina.

1755
Proposal to establish an Indian academy in Sampson County is approved by the colonial governor.

1775
Cherokee cede large tract of land in central and western Kentucky, southwestern Virginia, and parts of north and northwestern Tennessee in the “Henderson Purchase.”

1776
Cherokee side with the British during the American Revolution. The Coharie and Lumbee fight with the Americans.

1785
Cherokee sign the Treaty of Hopewell which delineates the boundaries of Cherokee Territory.

1791
Treaty of Holston is signed by Cherokee. Cherokee are forced by treaty to cede 100 mile tract of land in exchange for goods and annuity of $1,000 per year.

1802
Cherokee National Council is established.

1808
Cherokee establish a law code and the “Light Horse Guards” to maintain law and order.

1810
Cherokee abolish clan revenge as a mechanism for social control.

1812-1814
Cherokee fight on side of Americans to put down Tecumseh’s effort s to drive out whites.

Several Lumbee serve in American forces during the War of 1812.

1817
Cherokee cede land in exchange for land on the Arkansas River and 2,000 Cherokee move West.

1820
Cherokee establish judicial administration and eight districts.

1821
Cherokee National Council approves the Cherokee Syllabary invented by Sequoya between 1809 and 1821.

1822
Cherokee National Supreme Court is established.

1825
New Cherokee capital is established at New Echota .

1828
Cherokee approve a new tribal constitution.

First edition of the Cherokee Phoenix, a newspaper printed in Cherokee and English, is released.

1830
Passage of the Indian Removal Act by the U. S. Congress.

1835
Cherokee Removal Treaty is signed.

1838- 1839
Cherokee are removed to Oklahoma on the “Trail of Tears.”

1840
North Carolina General Assembly passes law prohibiting Indians from owning or carrying weapons without first obtaining license.

1848
Catawbas at Cherokee request Bureau of Indian Affairs to appoint an official to organize their removal to the West.

1862-1872
Lumbee Henry Berry Lowry and his tri- racial band wage “war” against the white establishment in Robeson County for injustices to Indians.

1868
New North Carolina Constitution is passed which restores voting rights to Indians.

1885
Indians in Robeson County are recognized as the “Croatan” by the North Carolina Legislation also provides for separate schools for the Croatan.

1887
Normal School for the Indians of Robeson County is established one mile west of Pembroke and is given an appropriation of $500 by the North Carolina General Assembly.

1889
Eastern Band of the Cherokee is incorporated under North Carolina law.

1907
Separate schools for the “Croat an Indians and Creoles of Cumberland County” are mandated by the North Carolina General Assembly.

1910
Coharie hold their first recorded community meeting and elect a tribal chief.

Shiloh Indian School is constructed in Sampson County. Operating funds for the school are secured from a monthly fee charged of each student. School closes in 1938.

1911
North Carolina General Assembly changes name of Croatans to “Indians of Robeson County.”

Croatan Normal School is renamed Indian Normal School of Robeson County.

High Plains Indian School for the Indians of Person County is established. School closes in 1962.

New Bethel Indian School is established for Indians in Sampson County. School closes in 1941.

1913
Indians of Robeson County are renamed “Cherokee Indians of Robeson County” by North Carolina General Assembly.

Indians living in Person County (formerly called “Cubans”) are officially designated as “Indians of Person County” by North Carolina General Assembly.

1925
Cherokee lands are placed in trust status with the federal government.

1933
Wide-Awake School for Waccamaw-Siouan is established in Columbus County. School closes in 1966.

1935
Act to provide for the preservation of Indian antiqu1t~es in North Carolina is passed by the North Carolina General Assembly. Citizens are “urged” to comply. No criminal penalties are set.

1937
North Carolina General Assembly empowers governor to set aside “some day” as “Indian Day.”

1940
First college degree is granted at Indian Normal School of Robeson County.

1941
Name of Indian Normal School of Robeson County is changed by General Assembly to “Pembroke State College for Indians.“

1942
East Carolina Indian School is established in Sampson County to serve Indians in seven surrounding counties. School closes in 1965.

1947
First Indian mayor of Pembroke is elected. Prior to this date, the governor of North Carolina appointed the mayors of Pembroke; all of whom were non-Indians.

1950
Founding of Cherokee Historical Association and first performance of outdoor drama “Unto These Hills.”

1952
Hawkeye Indian School for the Indians living in Hoke County is established. School closes in 1968.

1953
Lumbee (formerly called Cherokee of Robeson .County) are recognized by the State of North Carolina.

1954
Les Maxwell School for the Indians of Cumberland County is established. School closes in 1967.

1956
“Lumbee Bill” is passed by United States Congress. This bill recognizes the Lumbee as an Indian tribe but denies them services from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).

1957
Haliwa Elementary and Secondary School is established. School closes in 1968.

1958
Lumbee successfully thwart attempt of Ku Klux Klan to establish itself in Robeson County.

Haliwa receive state recognition as an Indian tribe.

1968
Lumbee Regional Development Association (LRDA) is chartered by the State of North Carolina.

1969
Pembroke State College for Indians becomes Pembroke State University and part of the University of North Carolina System .

1970
East Carolina Tuscarora Indian Association is established in Robeson County.

Waccamaw-Siouan Development Association (WSDA) is chartered.

Cherokee Civic Center is completed.

1971
Coharie and Waccamaw-Siouan tribes are recognized by the State of North Carolina.

North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs is established by the North Carolina General Assembly.

First Indian-owned bank in the United States – Lumbee Bank – is chartered.

1973
Carolina Indian Voice, an Indian-owned newspaper; begins operation in Robeson County.

Cumberland County Association for Indian People (CCAIP) is chartered.

Henry Ward Oxendine, a Lumbee from Robeson County; becomes the first North Carolina-born Indian to serve in the North Carolina House of Representatives.

1974
Haliwa Tribe, Inc., is chartered.

1975
Guilford Native American Association (GNAA) and the Coharie Intra-Tribal Council are chartered.

New multi-million dollar Cherokee High School opens.

1976
Metrolina Native American Association (MNAA) is chartered.

The outdoor drama “Strike At The Wind”, the story of Lumbee Henry Berry Lowry, opens in Robeson County.

1980
“Indian Heritage Week” is proclaimed by Governor James B. Hunt.

1981
Lumbee and Haliwa receive membership in the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI).

The Unmarked Human Burial and Human Skeletal Remains Protection Act” and the “Archaeological Resources Protection Ace’ are unanimously passed by the North Carolina General Assembly. Criminal penalties are set for violations, and involvement of Indian communities is mandated in decisions regarding treatment, analysis, and disposition of Native American remains.

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