An Introduction to Resources on the History of Native
Americans in North Carolina
A Bibliography of Sources Available in the North Carolina Collection,
Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
North Carolina Collection call numbers follow each citation.
William S. Powell, North Carolina : The Story of a Special Kind of Place.
Chapel Hill: Algonquin Books, 1987. pp. 27-44.
Thomas C. Parramore and Douglas C. Wilms, North Carolina: The History
of an American State. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1983.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Teaching
about North Carolina American Indians. [A "curriculum guide...designed for K-12 teachers to inform and enhance
teaching related to North Carolina's America Indian tribes."]
Thomas J. Blumer, Bibliography of the Catawba. Metuchen, N.J.:
The Scarecrow Press, 1987.
H.G. Jones, North Carolina History: An Annotated Bibliography.
Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1995.
This extensive bibliography contains sections entitled "Prehistory
and Archaeology"(pp.17-20) and "First Americans, From Then
Until Now" (pp. 21-37).
Britt Long, Appalachian State University, Native Americans of the
Southeast: A Bibliography, Spring 1997.
North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs. "American Indians of
North Carolina and the Southeast: Suggested Reading".
Research Laboratories of Archaeology, University of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill, Siouan Project – Selected Bibliography.
Primarily archaeological works.
Sampson-Livermore Library, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke,
Selected Bibliography, Indians of North Carolina. [December 2001].
Early accounts of Native Americans in North Carolina.
James Adair, History of the American Indians. First printed in
London, 1775. NCC has editions published in 1930, 1974, and 2005.
"An account of their origin, language, manners, religious and
civil customs, laws, form of government, punishments, conduct in War
and domestic life, their habits, diets, agriculture, manufactures, diseases
and method of cure, and other particulars . . .." Adair observed
the Indians' tribal distinctions and gave accounts of the different
tribes he encountered. He noted that "most of the pages were written
among our old friendly Chikkasah," but the Catawba, Cherokee, Muscogee,
and Choctaw tribes are also discussed. Despite a long and dubious section
entitled "Proof of the American Indians' being descended from the
Jews," this book provides many helpful observations.
Thomas Hariot, Description of Travels to the colony of Virginia.
1588. Companion volume with The True Pictures and Fashions of the
People in that Parte of America Now Called Virginia . . . ."
collected and drawn by John White, cut in copper and first published by
Theodore de Bry.
Available online through Documenting the American South at http://docsouth.unc.edu/nc/hariot/menu.html
Some scholars have cited this book as the first writing in English
on the subject of North America. Hariot relates his experiences in the
colony of Virginia (of which present-day North Carolina was then a part).
Most of the narrative consists of his descriptions "Of the nature
and manners of the people." He discusses the appearance, food,
clothes, towns, and language of the native Virginians. Hariot makes
an interesting observation when he writes, "Nowe only so farre
foorth, as that you may know, how that they in respect of troubling
our inhabiting and planting, are not to be feared; but that they shall
have cause both to feare and love us, that shall inhabite with them."
The illustrations by John White have been reprinted many times since
the original publication.
John Lawson, A New Voyage to Carolina. First printed in London,
Available online through Documenting the American South at http://docsouth.unc.edu/nc/lawson/menu.html
Contains a "Journal of a Thousand Miles, Travel'd thro' several
nations of INDIANS. Giving a particular Account of their Customs, Manners,
&c." This well-written, engaging account consists primarily
of Lawson's descriptions and observations of Native American physical
characteristics ("the Indians of North-America are a well-shap'd
clean-made People, of different Staturies as, as the Europeans are,
yet chiefly inclined to be tall."), games, dances, food, cooking,
traditions, religions, medicine, and some attempts to write down their
language. Some space is also given to accounts of the interaction between
the natives and the English traders. The North Carolina Collection holds
a facsimile of the original edition and a more recent edition.
John Lederer, The Discoveries of John Lederer, In Three Several Marches
from Virginia, To the West of Carolina, and Other Parts of the Continent.
First printed in London, 1672.
This 1966 facsimile of the original edition contains brief accounts of each
of the author's expeditions in which he expounds upon the customs, trade,
and towns of the Native Americans he encounters. These are very short
descriptions, but useful in that they show how impressions had evolved
since the writings of Hariot. Another edition (1958), containing modern type
and spelling and with additional information on Lederer, is available
Kim Sloan, A New World: England's First View of America.
Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 2007.
Beautiful reproductions of the famous British Museum collection of drawings
and paintings made by John White, "who in 1585 accompanied a group of English settlers sent
by Sir Walter Raleigh to found a colony on Roanoke Island, North Carolina." Includes
detailed depictions of the indiginous people of the area as well as Roanoke
environs. This volume also includes essays on White and the historical background of his visit.
Reference Books and General Accounts of Native Americans in North Carolina
William L. Byrd, III. For So Long as Sun and Moon Endure: Indian Records
From the North Carolina General Assembly and Other Sources. Westminster, Md.:
Heritage Books, 2006.
This volume offers transcripts of official records pertaining to American Indian peoples in North
Carolina. Sections cover Tuscarora records, General Assembly sessions, the
Governor's office, and North Carolina laws.
Richard Haithcock, comp., North Carolina Indian Census, Vol. 3.
[Beavercreek, Ohio : R.L. Haithcock, 2007.]
Produced on behalf of the 2006 Southeastern Native American Conference.
The first part of work is entitled "The History of the Saura/Cheraw and Neighboring
Tribes of the Catawba Confederacy." The work also includes selected data from the 1900
US Federal Census and North Carolina county-level census information. Includes
historical and genealogical information on Saponi, Tutelo, Catawba, and Monacan Indians.
Christopher Arris Oakley. Keeping the Circle: American Indian Identity
in Eastern North Carolina, 1885-2004. Lincoln, Neb.: University of Nebraska
"Keeping the Circle presents an overview of the modern history and identity
of the Native peoples in twentieth-century North Carolina, including the Lumbees, the Tuscaroras,
the Waccamaw Sioux, the Occaneechis, the Meherrins, the Haliwa-Saponis, and the Coharies." Oakley
uses archival research and oral histories to explore questions of Native American identity in the
twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.
Theda Perdue, Native Carolinians. Raleigh: North Carolina Division
of Archives and History, 1985. 73 pp.
This popular history from the North Carolina Division of Archives and
History contains introductory chapters on the early history and archaeology
of Native Americans in North Carolina, and a discussion of Indian-White
relations. Perdue includes short histories of the Cherokee and Lumbee
Indians and a section on “Native Carolinians Today.” A “Timeline
of Important Dates in North Carolina Indian History” is added
as an appendix.
Eloise F. Potter and John B. Funderburg, Native Americans: The People
and How they Lived. Raleigh: North Carolina State Museum of Natural
Published "in Honor of the Year of the Native American,"
this book is written for a younger audience, though it contains information
useful for anyone researching Native Americans. There are great color
photographs, maps, and illustrations. An interesting chapter discusses
tribal government and its influence on what would later become the United
States government. A list of "Places to Visit in North Carolina"
is included at the end of the book.
Kevin Reynolds, Native North Carolina: The What, Why and Where of
Native American Place Names. [Boone, N.C.] : Parkway Publishers,
A guide to over 150 place names in the state that claim to derive
from Native American names or legends.
Douglas L. Rights, The American Indian in North Carolina. Durham:
Duke University Press, 1947.
Rights discusses relations between the Native Americans and the Spanish
and English settlers and also addresses many of the earlier writings
about the Native Americans. A fold-out map of the "Physiographic
Regions" of North Carolina is included.
John R. Swanton, The Indians of the Southeastern United States.
Washington: Government Printing Office, 1946.
This book, a publication of the Smithsonian Institution's Bureau of
American Ethnology, contains a thorough and detailed look at Native
Americans in North Carolina and around the Southeast. It contains a
brief description of all of the tribes of the region and a chart containing
the classification of tribes. Most of the book is devoted to descriptions
of the lifestyle of the Indians, including sections on food, clothing,
Ruth Y. Wetmore, First on the Land: The North Carolina Indians.
Winston-Salem, N.C.: John F. Blair, 1975.
Wetmore’s account of Native Carolinians contains a discussion
of the early history and pre-history of Native North Americans, a brief
account of 17th- and 18th-century Indian wars, and a catalog of both
historic and contemporary (ca. 1970s) North Carolina tribes. There are
longer sections on the material and social aspects of Native American
life, including descriptions of clothing, food, artifacts and weapons,
pottery, medicine, and festivals and funerals.
From a Native American perspective
Clarence E. Lowrey, The Invasion of America. Lumberton, NC,
Lowrey writes, "The history of the Indian nations in the New World
is a compilation of horrors almost unequalled in human annals."
This short account of Native American history does not mention North
Carolina Indians specifically but it does touch on the travels of John
White and John Lawson, early explorers who wrote about native North
Paths Toward Freedom : A Biographical History of Blacks and Indians
in North Carolina by Blacks and Indians. Raleigh: The Center for
Urban Affairs at North Carolina State University, 1976.
The first part of this book contains several short essays on Native
American history. These discuss Indian religion, arts and crafts, education,
and other aspects of life both historical
and contemporary. Other important sections of the book include "Representative
Biographical Sketches of Notable Native Americans in North Carolina"
(pp. 114-127) and "A Selected Bibliography on Native Americans
in North Carolina" (p. 127).
Indians of North Carolina
C970.01 I39 (3 volumes)
These newspaper articles about North Carolina Indians through 1975
have been collected since the 1920s, though some articles may date back
farther. These are primarily from North Carolina newspapers. Many of
the articles are arranged by tribe. Articles from 1976-1989 are bound
in with general subject clippings (CR917 N87). Recent articles (1990
through present) are available at the reference counter.
Publications focusing on history and anthropology, which often feature
articles on Native Americans in North Carolina.
Bulletin of the Archaeological Society of North Carolina. vol.
1 - 4, 1934-38.
Nearly all of the articles in this journal discuss Native Americans
in North Carolina -- particularly Indian artifacts. Also includes site
reports from excavations led by the society.
Southern Indian Studies, vol. 1, 1949 - present.
This journal, published once a year by the North Carolina Archaeological
Society, contains "information pertaining to the life and customs
of the Indians in the Southern states, both prehistoric and historic."
It deals largely with archaeological matters -- studies of artifacts
and reports on recent excavations. There are, occasionally, some articles
that approach the subject from a more historical perspective.
Tar Heel Junior Historian, vol. 1, 1961/62 - present.
The first story in the first issue of this magazine was entitled "Indians
in North Carolina." Tar Heel Junior Historian, published twice
a year by the North Carolina Museum of History, contains short, informative
articles on North Carolina history and famous North Carolinians. Pieces
on Native Americans are often included.
Tips for Further Research
In the UNC Libraries online catalog (http://search.lib.unc.edu/search.jsp?tab=advanced),
most materials on Native Carolinians are listed under the following subject
INDIANS OF NORTH AMERICA--NORTH CAROLINA
NORTH CAROLINA – INDIANS
Please note that many of the North Carolina Collection’s holdings
are cataloged only in the library’s card catalog. General sources
are listed under the subject NORTH CAROLINA – INDIANS, while publications
on specific tribes are listed under the name of the tribe. The following
tribes are listed separately in the North Carolina Collection’s
Return to An Introduction to Resources on the History
of Native Americans in North Carolina