Bookmark and Share

Printer-friendly versionPDF version
Average: 3.9 (14 votes)

Pamlico Indians

by Ruth Y. Wetmore, 2006

"Indians Fishing", watercolor by John White, created 1585-86. Depicts a coastal Algonquian Tribe. Image courtesy of the Trustees of the London Museum.The Pamlico Indians lived south of the Pamlico River in present-day Beaufort and Pamlico Counties and were known as the Pomouik by members of the 1585-86 Raleigh expeditions. A smallpox epidemic in 1696 nearly destroyed the tribe. By 1709 John Lawson found the survivors living in a single village with 15 "fighting men." Lawson recorded a small vocabulary from their language, which confirms their Algonquian affiliation.

During the Tuscarora War (1711-13), the Pamlico were one of the smaller tribes that joined the Tuscarora faction. After the Barnwell expedition against Tuscarora strongholds in 1712, the smaller tribes (Coree, Bay River, and Pamlico) continued to attack settlers along the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers. In the treaty that ended the war, the Tuscarora agreed to destroy their former allies, including the Pamlicos, whom the colonists still considered dangerous. Any Pamlico Indians who survived were probably enslaved or incorporated into the Tuscarora tribe.

References:

Christian F. Feest, "North Carolina Algonquians," in Bruce Trigger, ed., Handbook of North American Indians, vol. 15 (1978).

Hugh T. Lefler, ed., A New Voyage to Carolina by John Lawson (1967).

Image Credit:

"Indians Fishing", watercolor by John White, created 1585-86. Depicts a coastal Algonquian Tribe. Image courtesy of the Trustees of the London Museum, accessed through the National Park Service. Available from http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/jamesriver/colonization.HTM (accessed May 23, 2012).

Origin - location: 

Add a comment

PLEASE NOTE: NCpedia will not publish personal contact information in comments, questions, or responses. Complete guidelines are available at http://ncpedia.org/comments.

Copyright notice

This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

Educator Resources on North Carolina American Indians

NC Humanities Council, 2009 - 2011. "Teaching about North Carolina American Indians." Online at Learn NC.

Grey Squirrel - Click me to return to the top of the page