THE CAROLINA ALGONKIANS
(Photo courtesy of the University of Michigan Exhibit Museum)
When English explorers and colonists first arrived on the coast of North America, they encountered Algonkian-speaking peoples. The term Algonkian* isn’t a tribal name; but one of the largest group of linguistically related tribes in North America. Algonkian-speaking tribes lived in the area from coastal North Carolina to Canada, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Rocky Mountains. They were the peoples who met the English at Roanoke in 1584, at Jamestown in 1607, and at Plymouth in 1620, and they were among those who first met French explorers and colonizers in Canada. (*Also spelled Algonquin, Algonquian, Algonkin.)
The Algonkian, with whom we are concerned here, were relative newcomers to coastal North Carolina, having come in a series of migrations from the north. To some extent they retained cultural elements from their Northeastern Algonkian traditions, but there was also cultural borrowing from their neighbors as they adapted to the geographic and climatic conditions of the area. They were more water-oriented and placed more emphasis upon hunting, fishing, and gathering than did their neighbors. They lived in the coastal area of North Carolina from the Neuse River northward to the Chesapeake Bay. To the north they were bordered by the Virginia Algonkians; on the northwest and west by the Iroquoian-speaking tribes of the Tuscarora, Meherrin and Nottaway; and on the southwest by the Woccon and other Siouan-speaking tribes. The approximate 6000-square mile Carolina Algonqkian territory of northeastern North Carolina included the Chowanoke, Weapemeac, Poteskeet, Moratoc, Roanoke, Secotan, Pomuik, Neusiok, Croatan and possibly the Chesepiooc.
On this web site will be posted source materials by anthropologists, archaeologists and historians which deal with the Carolina Algonkian, and links to related sources already online. As the reader will note, the various authors offer different points of views on some issues. It will be up to the reader to discern these differences. I only wish to make these materials available to one and all.
Anyone aware of other source materials, new publications, or any field work being conducted concerning the Carolina Algonkian, please let me know. Comments and suggestions are welcome.
(Photo courtesy of the University of Michigan Exhibit Museum)
"Remnants of the Machapunga Indians of North Carolina," by Frank G. Speck, American Anthropologist 18 (1916): pp. 271-276.
"The Ethnic Position of the Southeastern Algonquian," by Frank G. Speck. American Anthropologist 26; (1924): 184-200.
"Algonquian Ethnohistory of the Carolina Sound," by Maurice A. Mook, Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences 34: 6–7 (1944) .
"Decline of the Coastal Tribes," Chapter IV, in The American Indian in North Carolina by Rev. Douglas L. Rights, Durham, NC: Duke University Press, (1947). Republished: Winston-Salem, NC: John F. Blair, 1957.
The Archaeology of Coastal North Carolina, by William G. Haag. Louisiana State University Studies, Coastal Studies Series No. 2. (1958), Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge.
"The Mattamuskeet Documents: A Study in Social History," by Patrick H. Garrow, Archaeology Branch, Division of Archives and History, (1975), Raleigh, North Carolina.
Additional deeds from: "By a Line of Marked Trees" Abstracts of Currituck County, NC, Deed Books , 1-2, and 3, pp. 1-122, by John A. Brayton, (2000), Memphis, TN.
"North Carolina Algonquians," by Christian F. Feest, in Handbook of North American Indians, Volume 15, pp. 271-281, Bruce Trigger, Ed., (1978), Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC.
"Archaeological Salvage Of An Ossuary At The Baum Site", by David S. Phelps, (1980). Archaeology Laboratory. Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology. East Carolina University. Greenville.
"Archaeology of the Tillett Site: The First Fishing Community at Wanchese, Roanoke Island", by David S. Phelps, (1984). Archaeological Research Report No. 6, Archaeology Laboratory, East Carolina University, Greenville.
"Archaeology of the Native Americans: The Carolina Algonkians: Final Report", by David S. Phelps, (1984), Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Economics, East Carolina University, Greenville.
"The Carolina Algonkians: Archaeology and History"; From: An America's Four Hundredth Anniversary Slide and Narrative Presentation, by David S. Phelps, (1984), East Carolina University, Greenville, NC.
"The Archaeology of 31HY43, "Pomeiooc" 1985-1986 Field Seasons", by Paul R. Green. (1987), America’s Four Hundreth Anniversary Publication, Archaeology Laboratory, East Carolina University, Greenville.
"Excavations at the Amity Site: Final Report of the Pomeiooc Project: 1984–1989", by Paul S. Gardner, (1990), Archaeological Research Report No. 7, East Carolina University, Greenville.
"Ancient Pots and Dugout Canoes: Indian Life as Revealed by Archaeology at Lake Phelps," by David S. Phelps, (1989). Brochure distributed at Pettigrew State Park, Creswell, NC.
A Sub-Surface Radar Exploration of Lake Phelps, North Carolina, September, 1992; (1993), by Donald G. Shomette. Report prepared for The North Carolina Division of Archives and History, Raleigh, NC.
Processes at the Broad Reach Site" by Mark A. Mathis, Office of
Archaeology and Historic Preservation Section, NC Division of Archives and History (1993/1999).
"Unearthing Clues to Lost Worlds: An archaeological dig on the Outer Banks... reveals evidence of the Croatan Indians..." by Nancy Gray, (1997). The ECU Report - Vol. 28, No. 2. ECU, Greenville, NC.
"Between 'Savage Man' and 'Most Faithful Englishman': Manteo and the Early Anglo-Indian Exchange, 1584-1590" by Michael L. Oberg, Volume XXIV (2000) Number 2. Itinerario, European Journal of Overseas History, Leiden University, The Netherlands.
Links to Primary Sources
Voyage of Giovanni do Varrazzano (1524), from The European Discovery of America. The Northern Voyages. A.D. 500-1600 by Samuel Eliot Morison. New York: Oxford University Press (1971)
The 1524 Voyage of Giovanni da Verrazano. [Adapted from a translation by Susan Tarrow of the Cellere Codex, in Lawrence C. Wroth, ed., The Voyages of Giovanni da Verrazzano, 1524-1528 (Yale, 1970), pp. 133-143]
Discourse of Western Planting, Written In the yere (1584) by Richarde Hackluyt of Oxforde at the requeste and direction of the righte worshipfull Mr. Walter Raghly [Raieigh] nowe Knight.
First Voyage To Virginia, by Arthur Barlowe (1584), co-captained the earliest voyage outfitted by Sir Walter Raleigh to North America. From Richard Hakluyt, The Principall Voyages, Traffiques, and Discourses of the English Nations (1600).
The Colony at Roanoke, by Ralph Lane, (1586); Account (abridged version) of the 1585-86 attempt at colonizing the New World . From Richard Hakluyt, The Principall Voyages, Traffiques, and Discourses of the English Nations (1600).
Return To Roanoke, John White (1590); John White's description of his return to Roanoke Island. From Richard Hakluyt, The Principall Voyages, Traffiques, and Discourses of the English Nations (1600).
A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia, by Thomas Hariot, (1590), London.
Travels in Virginia and North Carolina, George Fox, (1672). Discusses meeting with the Indians in the Albemarle area.
A New Voyage to Carolina, by John Lawson, (1709)
John Lawson's Journal of 1709
Language Families of North Carolina
The English in Virginia, from The Making of Virginia and the Middle Colonies by Samuel Adams Drake (1893)
The Indian Tribes of North America, by John R. Swanton; Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 145, (1953); Smithsonian Institution; North Carolina (Partial), Virginia (Partial).
Engravings from The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles, by Captain John Smith. London: Michael Sparks, (1624), Rare Book Division, Library of Congress.
Virtual Jamestown: an excellent web site with many primary sources, including John White Drawings and Theodor De Bry Engravings.
John White Drawings ~ Theodore De Bry Engravings
Close Encounters of the First Kind, 1585-1767 (Maryland State Archives)
John White Drawings / Theodor De Bry Engravings (Virtual Jamestown)
American Treasures of the Library of Congress
A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia (Engravings by De Bry)
Theodore DeBry Copper Plate Engravings (Cal State, Long Beach)
Town of Secotan Image / Text (New York Public Library)
The Town of Pomeiock (Hyde Co., NCGenWeb)
De Bry's Grand Voyages, Part I (1590)
Engravings from The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles, by Captain John Smith
Native American Links
Carolina's First Colonists: 12,000 Years Before Roanoke (NC State Archives)
The Prehistory of North Carolina: A Basic Cultural Sequence (NC State Archives)
Intrigue of the Past: North Carolina's First Peoples (University of North Carolina)
Native Americans and Settlers (ECU) (Mattamuskeet Field Station for Coastal Studies)
The Tuscarora Wars (State Library of North Carolina)
Historic Bath — North Carolina's First Town (NC Historic Sites)
The Tuscarora War, 1711-1715: The Indians Retaliate (Bath State Historic Site)
The Algonquin Indian Tribe (Tribal Histories)
Virginia Indians: The Powhatans (on the Algonquins of eastern Virginia.)
Cittie of Ralegh - Capital of America (Virginia Beach, VA)
Frisco Native American Museum
Town Creek Indian Mound
North Carolina Archaeology
Carolina Archaeology on the Web
North Carolina Archaeological Resources Protection
North Carolina Division of Archives and History
Outer Banks History Center
North Carolina Maritime Museum
North Carolina Historical Preservation Office
North Carolina Museum of History
The Southern Coastal Heritage Program
Research Laboratories of Archaeology, Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Wake Forest Univ. Archeology Laboratories
NC DOT Archaeology Division
Mattamuskeet Field Station For Coastal Studies
Buxton Dig Finds Possible Lost Colony Link
Dig! The Croatan Project
Buxton Finds Open New Look at Croatan
The Baum Site, Currituck Co., NC (1972)
Cape Island, Onslow Co., NC (1996)
Phelps Lake Canoes, Washington Co., NC (1992)
The Shelly Point Site, Carteret Co., NC (1993)
The Rhodes Site, Bertie Co., NC (1982)
The Uniflite Site, Onslow Co., NC (1977)
Prehistoric Fishweirs in Eastern North America
Roanoke Colony Links
English Settlement in the New World (State Library of North Carolina)
Roanoke Colonies Research Office (East Carolina University)
Fort Raleigh National Historic Site (National Park Service)
Roanoke Revisited (National Park Service)
Women in the 1587 Lost Colony (National Park Service)
The First Settlement of Roanoke (from Kids Info)
European Contact and Indian Depopulation: The Timing of the First Epidemics
Role of Drought in Disappearance of the Lost Colony
Early Maps of Coastal Carolina
of Raleigh's Virginia, 1585
John White's Maps of 1585
John White - Theodore De Bry Map of 1590
The Arrival of the English in Virginia, 1590
John Smith Map of Virginia, 1624
Cloppenburg Map of 1630 Mercator-Hondius Atlas (French Edition)
A New and Correct Map of the Province of North Carolina, 1733, by Edward Moseley
The Price - Strother Map of 1808: The Mattamuskeet Reservation
The Algonquin in North Carolina (Mook)
Eastern Virginia & North Carolina (Speck)
Carolina Algonquin Tribes and Villages (Feest)
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I wish to thank Kay M. Sheppard
and all who have helped with this project
with their contributions, assistance and suggestions.
Carolina Algonkian Project, All Rights Reserved