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First
People of Tennessee
First
People of Tennessee





Please excuse our dust as we refine and define the First American Tribes and Nations listed below.
Consider this page Under Construction.


So, who are, or were,
The First People of the American Southeast?

First People.       During the federal period of Indian land cessions in the American Southeast (1785-1835), only these First People ceded land to the United States. Appalachicola, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole. Of course, there were earlier pre-federal cessions and accommodations, those made to the British colonial governments, and potentially, colonial Spanish and French colonial governments.
      Still, there are too many people listed above that are not covered by the cessions and that causes us to ask, “where have they gone?”
      Many First People were devastated by imported European diseases, some were wiped out by warfare with the colonials or with other tribes. The Natchez were almost destroyed by warfare with the French (1729). The Shawnee were driven from the Cumberland River basin to north of the Ohio River by a temporary confederation of the Cherokee and Chickasaw (1714-1715).
      Some tribes were greatly damaged by enslavement. In the Carolinas, the colonials, often with the help of other tribes, enslaved the Indians and sold them into slavery to be shipped off to Caribbean for plantation work.
      Many tribes were later absorbed by other tribes, becoming totally assimilated. Others joined other tribes, The Yuchi were driven from the Great Valley of the Tennessee by the Cherokee. They affiliated with the Creek Nation and so, the Yuchi became silent party to Creek cessions.
      Some First People “intermarried with the white traders, trappers, and packmen, who joined their tribes. Some of these men even had white wives back in the colonial settlements but they also had their Indian families back in the frontiers. There are few true southerners who do not have traces of Indian blood in their veins though many are not aware of it as our ancestors did not want people to know there was Indian blood.”* (*Gloria Holback)
      Often, the First People would hold slaves, both from other tribes, and later, African-American slaves. Some slaves would also escape from white plantations and seek protection by joining with Indian Nations. There they would intermarried with the Indians.
      The First People who have otherwise disappeared may still have a genetic connection to white, Indian, and/or African-American families.

Also See:
Federally Recognized Tribes / First Nations with Historical ties to Tennessee





Accohanoc, member of the Powhatan Confederacy, Accomao and part of Northampton Counties, Virginia, and probably extending slightly into Maryland. (JS)

Accomac (Accomàcks), member of the Powhatan Confederacy, southern part of Northampton County, Virginia. (JS)

Acuera;
Adai;
Ais;
Akokisa;

Alabama (Ma’-mo an-ya-di, Ma’-mo han-ya, Oke-choy-atte), upper waters of the Alabama River, Alabama. LF: Muskogean.

Alibamous;
Appalachee;
Appalachicola;

Appomattoc (Appamàttocs), member of the Powhatan Confederacy, Bermuda Hundred area, Chesterfield County Virginia. (JS)(TJ)

Arrohattoc (Arrowhàtocs), member of the Powhatan Confederacy, Henrico County. Chesapeake, in Princess Anne County. (JS)(TJ)

Atasi;
Atkapa;
Avoyel;
Bayogoula;
Bidai;
Biloxi;

Blackfoot (see Sissipaha).

Cahinnio, a Caddo tribe connected with the Kadohadacho confederacy.

Calusa;
Catawba;
Chatawhatchee;
Chatot;
Chawasha;
Cheraw, (Saraw, Sara, Xula);
Cherokee (Ani-Yun’ wiya, Tsalagi); Chèsapeaks;
Chiaha;
Chiakanessou;

Chickahominy, (Chickahòminies), member of the Powhatan Confederacy, Chickahominy River, Virginia. (JS)(TJ)

Chickasaw (Chicasa);
Chilucan;
Chine;

Chiskiac (Chìskiacs), member of the Powhatan Confederacy, York County Virginia.

Chitimacha;
Chkchiuma;
Choctaw;
Choula;
Chowanocs, North Carolina, LF: Algonquian;
Congaree;
Coosa;
Coree (Coranine);
Cosapuya;
Coweta;

Creek (Muscogee), during historic times, most of the Muscogee population was concentrated into two geographical areas and became known under the names the English applied to them. The Muscogee people occupying the towns on the Coosa and the Tallapoosa Rivers became the Upper Creeks, and those to the southeast, on the Chattahoochee and Flint Rivers, became the Lower Creeks. LF: Muskogean.

Cusabo;

Cuttatawomen, member of the Powhatan Confederacy, King George County Virginia. (JS)(TJ)

Deadose;
Doustioni;
Eno;
Eufaula (Yufala);
Eyeish (Ha-ish);
Fresh Water (Agua Dulce);
Fus-hatchee;
Gingaskin;
Grigra (Gris);
Guacata;
Guale;
Guasco;
Hainai;
Hassinungaes;
Hatteras;
Hilibi;
Hitchiti (also see Seminole).
Houma;
Ibitoupa;
Icafui;
Ioquois (Nottaway);
Jeaga (Hayaga);
Kadohadacho;
Kan-hatki;
Kaskinampo;
Kealedji;

Kecougtans (Kecoughtáns), member of the Powhatan Confederacy, Elizabeth City County area, Virginia. LF: Algonquian.

Keyauwee;

Kiskiack, member of the Powhatan Confederacy, Chesapeake Bay region, Virginia. LF: Algonquian.

Koasati;
Kolomi (Kulumi);
Koroa;

Lumbee (Cheraws); North Carolina.

Macapirs, (Macapiras);
Machapunga;
Manahoac (Mannahoacs);

Mandoag (Manadoak), not a nation but an epithet employed by Algonquian speakers to designate foreign, generally enemy, nations. (LM)

Massinacacs;

Mattoponis (Màttapomènts Mattapony), member of the Powhatan Confederacy, Mattoponi River area, King William County, Virginia. LF: Algonquian. (JS)(TJ)

Meherrin (Maharinect);
Mikasuki;
Mobile;
Mococo (Mucoco);
Mohemenchoes;
Monacans;
Monahassanoes;
Monasiccapanoes;
Moneton;
Monocan;
Moratok;

Moraughtacund (Moràughtacuttds), member of the Powhatan Confederacy, Moratico River area, Lancaster and Richmond Counties Virginia. (JS)(TJ)

Mummapacune, York River area, Virginia. (JS)

Mugulasha (Quinipissa);
Muklasa;
Muskogee (see Creek).
Nabedache;
Nacachau;
Nacanish;
Nacogdoche;
Nacono;
Nahyssan;
Nanatsoho;
Nansamònds;
Nantaughtacunds;
Napochi (Nabochi);
Nansemond (Nansamònds), member of the Powhatan Confederacy, Nansemond County, Virginia. (JS)

Nasoni;
Natasi;

Nantaughtacund , member of the Powhatan Confederacy, Essex and Caroline Counties, Virginia. (JS)

Natchez;
Natchitoches;
Nautaugue;
Nechaui;
Neche;
Neusiok;
Nittagwwga;
Notowega, a Band of Chickamauga Creek.
Nottoway;
Ocale;
Occaneechi, North Carolina.
Ocita (Ucita);
Oconee;
Ofo;
Ofogoula;
Okchai;
Okelousa;
Okmulgee;
Onatheaqua;
Onawmanient (Onaumanìents), member of the Powhatan Confederacy, Westmoreland County. (JS)(TJ)
Ontponies;
Opelousa;
Opillako;
Osochi;
Pakana;
Pamlico;

Pamunkey (Pamùnkies), member of the Powhatan Confederacy, Chesapeake Bay region, King William County, Virginia. LF: Algonquian.

Pascagoula;

Paspahegh (Paspahèghes), member of the Powhatan Confederacy, Charles City and James City Counties Virginia. (JS)(TJ)

Patiri;
Pataunck, member of the Powhatan Confederacy, Pamunkey River Virginia. (JS)

Patôuvomekes;
Pawokti;
Payagrave;nkatanks;
Pedee;
Pensacola;
Piankatank, Piankatank River, Virginia.

Pissasee (Pissasecs), member of the Powhatan Confederacy, King George and Westmoreland Counties, Virginia. (JS)

Piscataway (Pitcataway, Conoy);
Pithlako, Pohoy, Pooy, Pojoi (Posoye);
Potano;

Potomac, member of the Powhatan Confederacy, Stafford and King George Counties, Virginia. (JS)

Powhatan, Powhatàn. Powhatan Confederacy, the name is applied to the tribe (Henrico County) as well as to the group and also to its leader, Wahunsonacock. Chesapeake Bay region and Potomac River area, Virginia. LF: Algonquian.

Quapaw;
Quinipissa;
Quiocochànocs;

Rappahannock (Rappahànocs), member of the Powhatan Confederacy, Richmond County Virginia. (JS)(TJ)

Saluda;
Santee;
Saponi;
Saturiwa;
Sawokli;
Secacawoni (Secacaonics), member of the Powhatan Confederacy, Northumberland County, Virginia. (JS)(TJ)

Secotan, North Carolina, LF: Algonquian.

Seminole.
     “ ... In the dishonorable record of our dealings with the Indians there is perhaps no blacker chapter than that relating to the Seminole people. These are a Muskhogean tribe, originally made up of emigrants from the Lower Towns on the Chattahoochee river who moved down into Florida after 1700; at first classed with the Lower Creeks, about 1775 they began to be known as Seminole, meaning ‘separatist’ or ‘runaway.’ They consisted chiefly of descendants of Muskogee (Creeks) and Hitchiti, with a considerable number of refugees from the Upper Creeks together with Yamasee and other conquered tribes, Yuchi, and a large negro element from runaway slaves ... ” (GF)

Sewee, Santee River area, South Carolina. LF: Siouan.

Shackakonies;
Shakori;
Shawnee (Shawano, Shawanese, Shawanoe, etc.);

Sissipaha (Sissipahaw), Haw River area, North Carolina. LF: probably Siouan. Some descendants of mixed blood have been known as Blackfoot - not to be confused with the recognized Blackfeet of the U.S northern great plains and Canada, nor the unrecognized Blackfoot of Montana.

Soacatino (Xacatin);
Stegarakies;
Sugaree;
Surruque (Horruque, Surreche);
Tacatacuru;
Taensa;
Tamathli;
Tamali;
Tangipahoa;
Taposa;

Tauxenent (Tauxenents), member of the Powhatan Confederacy, Fairfax County, Virginia. (JS)(TJ)

Tauxitanians;
Tawasa;
Tegninaties;

Tehahnahmah, a migratory people, currently the main group is located in Tennessee and a small band is located in Florida. LF: unknown, an “isolate.”

Tekesta (Tequest);
Thome;
Timucua group;
Tiou;
Tobcobaga;
Tukabahchee;
Tunica;
Tuscarora;
Tuskegee;

Tutelo, North Carolina, a Monocan subtribe. LF: Siouan. (LM)

Utina (Timucua);
Waccamaw;

Wacoma (Lumbee); Drowning Creek, Lumbee River, North Carolina

Wakokai;

Warrasqueoc (Warraskoyak, Wàrrasqeaks), member of the Powhatan Confederacy, Isle of Wight County, Virginia. LF: Algonquian.

Washa (Quacha);
Washita (Quachita);
Wateree;
Waxhaw;
Weanoe, member of the Powhatan Confederacy, Charles City County Virginia. (JS)

Weapemeoc, North Carolina, LF: Algonquian.
Wènocs;

Werowcomoco, member of the Powhatan Confederacy, Gloucester County, Virginia. (JS)

Wèrowocograve;micos;
Whonkenties;
Wicocomoco, member of the Powhatan Confederacy, Northumberland County, Virginia. (JS)

Wighcocòmicoes;
Winyaw;
Wiwohka;
Woccon;
Yadkin;
Yamasee;
Yatasi;
Yazoo;
Yeopim (Weapemeoc);
Yfera;

Youghtanund, member of the Powhatan Confederacy, Pamunkey River, Virginia. (JS)

Ystaga (Hostaqua);
Yuchi (Euchee, Uchee);
Yui (Spanish: Ibi;

(From an original list by Donald Panther-Yates,  Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia, and with a great many additions from Gloria Holback.)

Sources:

(GF) Foreman, Grant,  Indian Removal, (Vol. 2 - The Civilization of the American Indian series) University of Oklahoma Press, 1932, 1953.

(TJ) Jefferson, Thomas,  Notes on the State of Virginia, 1784, New York; M. L. & W. A. Davis, 1801

(LM) Miller, Lee,  Roanoke, Solving the Mystery of the Lost Colony, Acade Publishing, New York, first American edition, 2001, ISBN: 1-55970-584-1.

(CR) Royce, Charles C.,  Indian Land Cessions in the United States, Powell, J. W., (director),  “Eighteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology - 1896-‘97”, Vol II.

(JS) Swanton, John Reed,  Indian Tribes of the Lower Mississippi Valley, Bureau of American Enthology, Bulletin 43, 1909.

(JS) Swanton, John Reed,  The Indian Tribes of North America, Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 145, 1953.

(JS) Swanton, John Reed,  The Indians of the Southeastern United States. , Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 137, 1946.

Bio: John Reed Swanton, 1873-1958. Born Gardiner, Maine. Graduated Harvard University, 1896, received his Masters Degree the following year. Employed by the Bureau of American Ethnology where he worked as editor of the American Anthropologist and as president of American Anthropological Association. He authored many more books than what we listed above.








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This page last updated on  Monday, January 20, 2014

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