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Saponi/Tutelo (Yésah)
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Yésah Indians

Cape Fear, Catawba, Cheraw, Eno, Keyauwee, Saponi, Shakori, Sissipahaw, Waccamaw, Wateree, Waxhaw, Woccon, Appomattox, Monasukapanough, Occoneechee, Totero, Saponi, Stukena, Monacan, Cheraw, Sissaphaw, Metiponski, Saxapaha, Sutaree, Sugah, Pedee, Quiawae, Chacee, Nahyssans, Manahoacs.

Below is info from the Tutelo video documentary, Mecklenburg County history book Life on the Roaring Roanoke and the book Brunswick County VA 1720-1975 and other named sources:

When you read something with Saponi history pass it on. Some of the reports may not have as good sources as we'd like. However, as we piece together this puzzle even these may play an important role.

Located somewhere near Lynchburg. Earliest known settlement is on the banks of the Rivanna in Albemarle County, just north of the University of Virginia. I believe the above is in reference to the Saponi.

On September 1, 1661 Thomas Batts and Abraham Wood led an expedition from Fort Henry to Totero town. They headed due west from Fort Henry which I believe was near Petersburg. Four days into the trip they came to a Saponi Village. This would put Saponi Town near Appomattox County VA. On Sept 9 they came to Totero Town located where present day Salem Va. is located.

The Saponi tribe also known as the Monasukapanough tribe. Between 1650 and 1660 they moved southwest to the Otter Creek area. (((The Saponi tribe also known as the Monasukapanough tribe. In 1670 they were visited by Lederer and in 1671 by Thomas Batts. After this they moved with the Tutelo to the junction of the Staunton and Dan Rivers, where each occupied an island on the Roanoke River in Mecklenburg County. In 1701 they again moved south to present day Salisbury, North Carolina, both moves were to prevent attacks from the Iroquis. They again moved, this time toward the white settlements establishing themselves 15 miles west of Windsor North Carolina. A little while later Governor Spottswood placed them and the Tutelo and other tribes near Gholsonville in Brunswick County. Most of the Indians moved north into Pennsylvania after the Iroquis signed the Albany Treaty. One band as late as 1756 remained in North Carolina, it comprised only 14 men and 14 woman, it was later adopted by the Iroquis. Those that had left for Pennsylvania remained there until 1778, locating themselves on the upper waters of the Susquehanna River. Most of the tribe then moved north to Ithaca New York, before moving on to Canada.)))) VaHistory75@CS.com http://virginiahistory.hypermart.net/American_Indians/Saponi.htm

In 1672 the Saponi and Tutelo banded together and moved to Clarksville Va with the Occaneechi on islands adjacent to Occaneechi Island. (Video) The Tutelo were on the island above the Occaneechi and the Saponi was on the Island below the Occaneechi. (P22 Life by the Roaring Roanoke)

[additional source] After this they moved with the Tutelo to the junction of the Staunton and Dan Rivers, where each occupied an island on the Roanoke River in Mecklenburg County. http://virginiahistory.hypermart.net/American_Indians/Saponi.htm

1675 Bacon rebellion

At some point after the Bacon battle the Occaneechi moved to Hillsborough NC on the Eno river.

1680 – Nine tribes signed the Treaty of Middle plantation making them tributary Indians dependant upon the king of England.

1681 Seneca Indians had a battle with the Occaneechi on Occaneechi Island and lost the Island to the Seneca (P22 Life by the Roaring Roanoke)

1682 Occaneechi seen North of Occaneechi Island and planning to move again this year (P22 Life by the Roaring Roanoke)

In 1700 the Saponi and Tutelo moved North of Emporia VA to the Fort on Three Creeks on the Merrhin River. (video)

1701 The John Lawson visits the Occaneechi on the Eno river near Hillsborough NC. (P22 Life by the Roaring Roanoke)

1701 The Saponi and Tutelo were on the Yadkin River. (P22 Life by the Roaring Roanoke). The Saponi and Tutelo moved to Salisbury NC on the Yadkin river. (video)
In 1701 they (Saponi and Tutelo ) again moved south to present day Salisbury, North Carolina, both moves were to prevent attacks from the Iroquis. http://virginiahistory.hypermart.net/American_Indians/Saponi.htm

Some Saponi (Sapponys, the Occaneches, and Steukenhocks) moved to Cliffs of the Neuse in Wayne Co NC. “This People is now made up of the Remnant of Several other Nations, of which the most considerable is the Sapponys, the Occaneches, and Steukenhocks, who not finding themselves Separately Numerous, enough for their Defence, have agreed to unite into one Body, and all of them go under the name of Sapponys.” http://www.oldekinstongazette.com/clifneus.htm

1701 Douglas Rights notes in his volume "The American Indian in North Carolina," that in 1701, the Saponi and Tutelo, seeking strength in number, had moved together to Bertie County, a farther reach of Tuscarora territory. http://www.oldekinstongazette.com/clifneus.htm

They again moved, this time toward the white settlements establishing themselves 15 miles west of Windsor North Carolina. http://virginiahistory.hypermart.net/American_Indians/Saponi.htm The Occaneechi, Saponi and Tutelo moved to Saponitown near Winsdor NC (Indian Woods).

In 1708 the Saponi moved South of Emporia VA to Unotie. In 1711 the Occaneechi joined them and in 1712 the Tutelo joined them as well.

1709 some of the Occaneechi, Saponi and Tutelo moved to Saponitown near Winsdor NC (Indian Woods). (Video ) Called Sapona on P22 Life by the Roaring Roanoke

1709 Some moved to Surry County Va (next county to the East of Petersburg) (P22 Life by the Roaring Roanoke)

By 1712 The Stukanox, Occaneechi, Saponi and Tutelo had moved to a tract of land on the Meherrin River east of Fort Christanna in Mecklenburg Co. or Brunswick Co. P22 Life by the Roaring Roanoke)

By 1712, North Carolina offered them terms to help fight the fierce Tuscarora, in return for a promised Albemarle relocation. [It seems that they helped defeat the Tuscarora at Fort Neoroka in Snow Hill NC. http://www.oldekinstongazette.com/clifneus.htm

1714 they became tributary Indians. (P22 Life by the Roaring Roanoke)

In 1714 the Occaneechi, Saponi, Eno, Stuckanocks, Totero (Tutelo) moved to Fort Christanna in Lawrenceville, Va. All Indian at Ft Christanna from this point on called Saponi. . (P23 Life by the Roaring Roanoke). (P 17Brunswick Co VA). In 1714 the Occaneechi, Saponi and Tutelo moved to Fort Christanna in Lawrenceville, Va. (Video) In 1720 some were still in the area. They moved with the Catawba to South Carolina and quickly came back to Ft Christanna.

The Nottaway and Meherrins had lands reserved on the North Side of the river but would not come.

1717 Eleven Catawba Indian children were sent to the fort to be educated.

1718 the Fort Closed. (P29 Brunswick Co VA)

In 1720 some were still in the area (video). For at least 15 years after the fort closed (until at least 1732) some Indians remained at FC. (P23 Life by the Roaring Roanoke).

1721 Chickasaw Indians from N. Mississippi visited the fort in Oct 1721

In 1722 there came peace with the Iroquois (Video). During this time they were being attacked by the Tuscaroras of NC. (P23 Life by the Roaring Roanoke).

They moved with the Catawba in South Carolina and quickly came back to Ft Christanna. Video

1727, October The Catawbas made hostile overtures and “designed to take position of the fort in which there were several Catawbas. . (P29 Brunswick Co VA)

1728 Indians still on FC land when Byrd sent huntsmen on the Dividing Line expedition. (P29 Brunswick Co VA)

1729 Moved to South Carolina with Catawbas. (P23 Life by the Roaring Roanoke)

1731 August four Saponi killed by Nottoway while working on Colonel Robert Munford's plantation in FC area. (Brunswick Co Book)

1732 Returned to Va and given the right to settle other lands (P23 Life by the Roaring Roanoke)

Around 1740 many Saponi and Tutelo went North. Occaneechi not mentioned (P23 Life by the Roaring Roanoke). (P30 Brunswick Co VA)

12 May 1742, Orange Co..Va, reference to "about twenty-six of the Saponi Indians that inhabit on "Colonel Spotswood's land. Charles Griffin had been a white man who taught school in the Saponi Indian town at Fort Christiana from January 1715 NS to the spring of 1718. From Linda's post.

Some individuals likely remained. (P23 Life by the Roaring Roanoke).

[additional source] Saponi and Tutelo moved North to Penn and many stayed in Brunswick Co. Video

The Great Occaneechi trading path shifted from Clarksville about 30 miles down stream to a place called Moniseep. (P23 Life by the Roaring Roanoke). Looking on a map this would be Roanoke Rapids. THIS COULD TIE INTO CRYSTAL'S COMMUNITY OR THE HALIWA-SAPONI.

1744 They were in Shomikin Penn.

Next they moved to Skorgori Village in Cataeissa Penn.

In 1753 some moved to Tioga Penn

Around 1753 John Yates/Yeatts built the first blockhouse in the Shenandoah Valley region of Virginia, now the Yates Tavern in Gretna, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This became a waystation on the much traveled Wagon Road to North Carolina, which corresponded with the Great Indian Warpath for much of its length. The blockhouse's purpose was to protect the Indians in nearby Saponi-Town and a nucleus of pioneer families of what became Pittsylvania County from hostile Indians, chiefly the Cherokee and Shawnee. Some of the surnames are Yates, Winn , Sizemore, Adkins, Shelton , Gregory, Tapley, etc. This documents that the Saponi had become "fort Indians" with many intermarriages with the Virginians and at least one of their towns was about ten miles NE of present-day Danville in the 1750s. In the courthouse records of Pittsylvania Co. you will find many taxpayers, slave owners and landowners who are also registered as "Indian" or "Free Colored." Most of these are likely Saponi. Submitted by Don Panther-Yates - dpanther@gasou.edu

1769 Some Indians still in the Fort Christanna area. (P30 Brunswick Co VA)

As late as the year 1775 the author James Adair reported that the Saponi Nation was still living in Southside Virginia.

The Fort Christanna Saponi-Occoneechee Indian Tribe has oral history and family genealogy, of Siouan Indian ancestry, going back to 1775 and before, with people still living on the reservation land, from that time until today.

Preliminary Conclusions: One thing that seems evident with so much movement is that there were bands of Siouan people moving about. This is as opposed to one single tribe moving about as implied in most of the reports.

-- Barry Carter