Beginnings of the Tuscarora War

A map showing the conflicts and military installations associated with the Tuscarora War. Image from the Office of Archives & History.

On September 22, 1711, Tuscarora Indians attacked settlers along the Neuse, Trent and Pamlico Rivers, beginning what would become known as the Tuscarora War.

The conflict, which erupted initially between Native Americans and Swiss colonists, was fought mostly because of colonial encroachment on native lands and because of mistreatment of the Indians by colonists. It came after colonists continually ignored treaties signed by their government and the Tuscarora.

A drawing of an early conflict between European settlers and the Tuscarora. Image from the State Archives.

After unsuccessfully requesting military aid from Virginia, colonial Governor Edward Hyde asked South Carolina for help. Neighbors to the south sent Colonel James Moore, who marched his combined force of North and South Carolina militia and allied Indians to Nooherooka in Greene County. He had been informed that the Tuscarora had placed its largest concentration of warriors at a fort there.

The fort fell in March 1713, signaling the end of concerted Indian resistance to colonists in eastern North Carolina. By the end of the Tuscarora War, approximately 200 whites and 1,000 Indians were killed, with an additional 1,000 Tuscaroras sold into slavery and more than 3,000 others forced from their homes.

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