Information about the Catawba

The Catawba (also known as Issa or Esaw) are a tribe of Native Americans, once considered one of the most powerful eastern Siouan tribes, that traditionally lived in the Southeast United States, along the border between North and South Carolina. The Catawaba began settling in this region in the mid 17th century. It is a matter of some debate as to where the Catawba lived prior to European settlement, but the central and southeastern Great Lakes region is a generally accepted and much cited location.

Primarily involved in agriculture, the Catawba were friendly towards early colonists however they were at almost constant war with the Iroquois, Shawness, Delaware, and other tribes of the Ohio Valley.

Despite their small number, Catawbas served as patriots in the American Revolutionary War, fighting alongside other American revolutionaries against the British in battles such as Guilford Court House. Though their contribution to the Revolution was greatly appreciated in South Carolina, the population and land holdings of the Catawbas continued to dwindle as Americans settlers flourished around them.

Although the tribe had an estimated 5,000 living in North and South Carolina prior to the Revolutionary War, constant warfare and smallpox epidemics would eventually weaken the tribe to the extend they were forced to lease part of their reservation in 1826 and the remaining land in 1840. Although North Caroline refused to set aside land for the tribe, South Carolina granted 800 acres to them where the Catawba live today.

As of 1996, about 1,400 Catawbas remain, most in South Carolina, with smaller groups in Oklahoma, Colorado, and elsewhere. The Catawba State Reserve, located in York County, South Carolina, has a population of 124 (1990). The Catawba language, which is now being resurrected, is part of the Siouan language family. Most Catawbas today are members of the Mormon Church.

The Catawba River takes its name from the tribe.

The above includes excerpts from Wikipedia.org, the free encyclopedia:

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