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  • Saponi descendants not allowed membership in NC

    I guess this is the best place to put this since it is a native issue.

    However as some people may or not be aware but currently there is a large amount of Saponi Descendants which are NOT being allowed membership to the state recognized tribes in NC which use the Saponi name.

    So what I encourage people to do if they wish is to research all the information on the Saponi tribe. Study the names which are attached to these documents which was recorded back in the 1700's.

    Personally I feel it is a great injustice which is going on. Maybe the descendants have been quite for too long.

    To start your research I suggest some writeings by Robert K Thomas. Robert K. Thomas, who died in 1991, was an anthropologist, professor, and Cherokee
    Indian. The main writing I will suggest is:

    "Cherokee Communities of the South" which was written by Mr. Thomas in the mid-70's. It includes a hand drawn map at the end and appears to be a result of some of Mr. Thomas' survey work in the southeastern United States during the summer of 1978. It was submitted to the Consortium of American Indian Title IV Programs of Southeastern Michigan in 1979.
    You should be able to find the entire writings online if you google the book name.

  • #2
    I guess I'll add a few document statements from the 1700's to add to this as well in a timeline fashion.

    Febuary 27th 1713 Treaty made with Saponi.

    1714 Saponi attened Fort Christana and become Christianized.

    Febuary 20th 1719
    George II. To all know ye that for diverss good causes & considerations but more specialty for and in consideration of diverss services performed toward making the new settlement for the Saponi Indians at Christ Anna persuant to a treaty with that Nation We have given granted and confirmed and by these presents for us our heirs and successors do give grant and confirm unto Richard Smith of Isle of Wight County one certain tract or parcel of land containing three hundred and ninety acres lying and being on the south side of the Meherrin River in the county aforesaid (and being part of that tract of land whereon the said Indians lately dwelt and which they have surrendered to us in exchange for a like quantity of land which we have assigned them at the aforesaid place of Christ Anna) and bounded followeth, to wit,

    Beginning at a pine in the Sapone old field a corner of Edward Brantley...In witness & witness our trusty and beloved Alexander Spotswood out Lt. Governor at Williamsburgh under the seal of our said Colony the twentieth day of February one thousand seven hundred and nineteen in the sixth year of our Reign.

    A. Spotswood

    Oct 30 1727 Edenton NC

    The Mehrrin indians being at no very great distance from me, when I received your favour of the 23rd past, I detained your Mefenger (messanger?) 'till I got them to me, and this morning I have had a conference with all their great men upon the subject of your letter. They all in general utterly that they have no querral with the Nottoway indians, or ever suspected them of having any hand in the attack that was lately made upon their Nation and Captain Rogers who is their chief man says he has no doubt of the Nottoways friendship, having his mothers sisters and several of her children grown up, now living with these people. They lay the whole blame upon the old Occaneechy King and the Saponi indians, who as they are yout tributaries, they ask justice from you on the offenders. They had twelve persons killed, and a boy belonging to one of their great men, named Robin King taken prisoner, who they desire may be restored to them, and the like number of Sapponies as they have lost, delivered to them to be put to death- Whether if this is practicable, I must leave to you, but I think some recompence be thought on, to prevent all these Dangers you seem to apprehend from the Savages taking their own revenge one upon the other- On Thursday next my council and I meet and as soon as poffible afterwards I shall send your excelly: an ACC of our Comffioners---
    I'm Sr
    Your most Ob
    Humble Serv
    To the Honourable William Gooch Esq his Majestys' Lieutenant Governour and commander in chief of the colony and Dominion of Virginia----
    Reference: Calendar of Virginia state Papers and other Manuscripts.

    27 Sept 1728
    The 27th of September John Carter brought Negro Cofey to my house, as he says, by your orders, for me to examine concerning what the Saponys have told him about the white people, which I have done, and he tells me: that Great George told him that John Sauano and a fellow called Ben Harrison was gone to the Cotobers to fetch one hundred of them to come and see why their Indians was put in prison, and if Capt. Tom was hanged they would carry their wives and children over the Roanoke River and then they would drive the white people and negros as far as James River, and he says that Tony Mack told him that if Pyah was hanged he and the Cotobers would come and take revenge of the English, and he says that Sapony Tom told him if his son Harry Erwin was hanged they would kill you and three or four more Gentlemen and then go off," The original document is held by the Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, VA and will give you a copy of the original.

    In 1730, "William Bohannon came into court and made oath that about twenty-six of the Sapony Indians that inhabit Colonel Spotswood's land in Fox's neck go about and do a great deal of mischief by firing the woods; more especially on the 17th day of April last whereby several farrows of pigs were burnt in their beds, and that he verily believes that one of the Indians shot at him the same day, the bullet entering a tree within four feet of him; that he saw the Indian about one hundred yards from him, and no game of any sort between them; that the Indian after firing his gun stood in a stooping manner very studdy [steady] so that he could hardly discern him from a stump, that he has lost more of his pigs than usual since the coming of the said Indians; which is ordered to be certified to the General Assembly. " Orange county VA

    1737 "Saponi indian cabins" mentioned in Amelia County, Virginia Deed.

    Holland 1982

    1742 ""Alexander Machartoon, John Bowling, Manicassa, Capt. Tom, Isaac, Harry,
    Blind Tom, Foolish Jack, Charles Griffin, John Collins, Little Jack. Indians
    being brought before the court by precept under the hands and seals of Wm
    Russell & Edward Spencer, Gent. for terrifying one Lawrence Strother and on
    suspicion of stealing hoggs........"

    " The above put up security individually. It was ordered that their guns be
    taken from them till they are ready to depart out of this county, "they
    having declared their intentions to the Court to depart this colony within a
    week" (Orange Co..VA Order Book 3 1741-1743. 309) Orange Co Va Microfilm Reel
    31, Va
    Orange County [Virginia] Register of Deeds
    1741-1743 Order Book 3:308-309. Orange, Virginia.

    1742 (same as above) Indians Alexander Machartoon, John Bowling, Manicassa, Capt. Tom, Isaac, Harry,
    Blind Tom, Foolish Jack, Charles Griffin, John Collins, Little Jack
    were before Court for "terrifying" one Lawrence Strother, who testified that one of them shot at him, that they tried to surround him, that he turned his horse and rid off, but they gained on him till he crossed the run. Ordered, that the Indians be taken into custody by the sheriff until they give peace bonds with security, and that their guns be taken from them until they are ready to depart out of this Colony, they having declared their intention to depart within a week. They gave bond.
    Orange County [Virginia] Register of Deeds
    1741-1743 Order Book 3:308-309. Orange, Virginia.
    Last edited by ECSN; 05-19-2008, 11:19 PM.


    • #3
      "25 Jan 1745 Louisa County, Virginia Court: William Hall, Samuel Collins, William Collins, Samuel Bunch, George Gibson, Benjamin Brannum, Thomas Gibson, & William Donothan appear to answer an indictment for concealing tithables. Plead not guilty, Case continued."

      1751 near Orange county Va:
      A party of indians visit a Indian burial mound, Thomas Jefferson observed this in which he later dug into.
      "A party of Indians passing about 1751 where this barrow is, near Charlottesville, went through the woods directly to it, without any instructions or inquiry, and having staid about it some time, with expressions construed to be those of sorrow, returned to the high road, which they had left about six miles to pay this visit, and pursued their journey.""

      1755 Governor Dobbs reported in 1755 that 14 men and 14 women of the Saponi were in Granville county

      A 1761 report counted 20 Saponi warriors in the area of Granville County, NC


      • #4
        Fort Christina:

        "Fort Christanna, the first foothold of the white man in what is now Brunswick County, Virginia, was erected in 1714 during Alexander Spotswood's administration as Royal Governor. In August 1714, by authority of the General Assembly, Governor Spotswood established Fort Christanna on the rising ground above the banks of the southside of the Meherrin River. The fort was named in honor of Christ and Queen Anne, the English Queen.

        The purpose for the establishment of Fort Christanna was education, religion, commerce and military.

        Governor Spotswood appointed the Reverend Charles Griffin as schoolmaster to educate and christianize the Indian children in the first Christian Indian School in Virginia."


        • #5
          On april 1717 the South Carolina Catawba and their smaller allianced tribes showed up to Fort Christana. These tribes had engaged in the Yamasi war. These tribes were now at Fort Christana to conclude a peace and leave some of their children to be schooled (this is probally when the "Jeffreys" showed up at the school) as a pledge of good faith to their peace.

          The Catawba and their allianced tribes camped outside the Fort, they had given up their guns to the Commander of the fort. One night the Catawba was attacked by the Iroqious. 5 was killed, a number was taken prisioner which included the Catawba Chief. One Catawba prisoner escaped and told what the Iroqious had done and planned, the Iroqious planned to surprise the Saponi. The iroqious planned to return in a short time to massacre the entire Saponi tribe and any whites which have befriended them.

          when the English representives of Albany New York told the Iroqious to account for their outrageous actions they stated that the Catawba had in about the year 1714 killed 5 Iroqious as they slept the night after the treaty of peace had been signed. The Iroqious further stated that these southern indians had long been the enemy of the Iroqious and had even taken them prisoner out of Christian houses due to such hate. The Iroqious called the Catawba "Toderichroone".

          The Iroqious stated they had no intention to attack the Saponi nor the white allies, they declared the Catawba lied about this statement. The Iroqious told how they wished to be friends with those at Fort Christana and wish for a commision of VA come to Alabany and set up a firm and lasting peace treaty.

          On Sept 1722 a meeting was held in Albany New York.


          • #6
            Feb. 1897, U.S. Senate Document #144, entitled "The Catawba Tribe of Indians", the report says that "Dr. Joseph McDowell, of Fairmont, GA, under date of October, 1872, stated that the Indians referred to, and asking relief of the Government, were "Catawba Indians, and 81 in number." Dr. McDowell (who had married one of the Guy women and wrote at least two letters to the Indian Office on behalf of her people) also provided a list of the names and ages of the individuals whom he said wished the government to assist them in moving west to Indian Territory. The report further states that "William Guy, of Granville County, Ga (sic NC), and Simon Jeffries, of Bellville, Virginia, Catawba Indians, served five years in the Army and were honorably discharged, and these people are their descendants." He further states in his letter of October 1869, addressed to Eli Parker, U.S. Commissioner of Indian Affairs, that "I take the Liberty of addressing to you a few lines on behalf of a remnant of the tribe of Catawba Indians…Some 60 or 70 years since they left their tribe and went to Greenville County, Virginia, and then removed to Orange County, North Carolina…they sold out in Orange and moved to Macon County, N.C. where they purchased land and remained every since."

            So going by that document these families left their Catawba tribe in 1802-1812.


            • #7
              Now if we go to the granville records in the 1755 time era.

              Orange County was formed from Granville in 1753 the Flatt River area was in the new county. A 1755 Tax list of Orange County, NC.

              Gedion Bunch 1 tithe(mulatto) Micajer Bunch 1 tithe (mulatto) Thomas Collins 3 tithes (mulatto) Samuel Collins 2 tithes (mulatto) John Collins 1 tithe (mulatto) Moses Ridley (Riddle) 1 tithe & wife Mary (mulattoes) Thomas Gibson 3 tithes (mulatto) Charles Gibson 1 tithe (mulatto) George Gibson 1 tithe (mulatto) Mager Gibson 1 tithe (mulatto)

              Land Grants in Orange County, NC. 1756- To William Combs on Flatt River joins Thomas Gibson, Joseph Collins & John Wade. Chainbearers: Thomas Gibson Jr. and Moses Ridley.

              1761-700 acres to Thomas Collins on Dials Creek of the Flatt River. Chainbearers: George Collins and Paul Collins (mulattoes)

              Some of these old pioneers may not have known all the rules and did not obtain a deed, notice who lost their improvements in this deed. John Brown-Warrants 26 Dec 1760, 700 acres on the Flatt River, includes Bolins, Riddles and Collins Improvements. Surveyed 13 April 1761, deed 14 Oct 1761.

              Caswell County was formed from the northern part of Orange County, North Carolina in 1777 it included part of the Flatt River and part of that river remained in Orange County. 1777 tax list. Paul Collins 1 tithe, Martin Collins 1 tithe, Middleston Collins 1 tithe, Obadiah Collins 1 tithe, John collins 1 tithe.

              Thomas Collins Sr. may have died in Orange County NC around 1770 but, most of his children migrated to the New River area of Virginia and North Carolina. The Collins and Gibsons began selling their land on the Flatt River in 1767-70 and moved to the back woods sections of the New River where some were listed on tax records in Fincastle County, Va., as "living on Indian Lands"

              The deed records of Thomas Gibson land sale in Orange County NC, establishes him as the same Thomas who sold his land on the Pamunkey River in Louisa County in 1749 when he made his mark "T".

              Thanks goes out to Jack goins for that information.


              • #8
                Cate COLLINGS (COLLINS) , an "Indian Woman" servant of William GIBBS, Constable of Arrowmuskeet. March 1765 Hyde County NC Court Minutes and Orphans Book 2, on motion of Patrick GORDON ordered that Wm. GIBBS "shew" cause if he has any, why Cate COLLINGS (COLLINS) an Indian woman, now in his service should not be set free. June Court 1765 - ordered that Wm. GIBBS have timely notice that he show cause why Cate COLLINGS (COLLINS), an Indian woman be not set at liberty. [Minutes II:113]

                Only Collins variations found on the Census records for Hyde county are Collins and Collens. One name is a Suzanna Collens....she matches the same Susanna Collins found in Rutherford NC. Also only two variations of Collins in Rutherford are Collins and Collens.

                In the family bible of Rev Drury Dobbins...which is currently in a glass display as Sandy Run Baptist church in lists the name William Collins which died in rutherford in 1832 (only William collins on 1830 rutherford census is William Collens)...this bible also states Rev Drury Dobbins' mother was susanna Collins born in Granville NC in 1738...She also died in 1832. Drury's bible and a newspaper article in the 1800's NC states Drury Dobbins was born in York district SC in the year 1776 and attended Mount Zion church. It also states how Drury and his siblings all attened Old fields school (Old fields being a term which relates to indian land).

                Susanna's great grand kid Nancy Hollifield filed a guion miller application which stated specifically that Susanna's kids was native also states how the families came out of VA originally however she sated she did not know when the families came to NC from VA. The application was denied due to the areas stated was not Cherokee areas (they was Saponi and Catawba areas).

                We also know the Shawnee was the enemy of the Saponi and Catawba.

                battle of Point Pleasant against the Shawnee Indians. John Collins served 35 days; Micager Bunch served 29 days (1774. Soldiers of Fincastle County, Virginia by Kegley).

                We also have the Pigeon Roost Massacre, Not to go into too many details but the Shawnee put a hurting on the collings family. In 1904 the State of Indiana erected a monument as a lasting memorial to the massacred pioneers. Whether these was part of the same Collins family..or if they was mistaken as the same Collins family...either way the Shawnee saw them as a serious enemy.
                Last edited by ECSN; 05-19-2008, 10:53 PM.


                • #9
                  Mt. Zion Baptist Church, which was near Fort Prince in the Spartanburg District.

                  Spartanburg being the hunting ground for the Catawba...was also the buffer zone between cherokee and Catawba. Mt Zion was a "Upcountry" church.

                  Here is what was wrote about the UpCounty Churches in South Carolina. This was wrote 8 years before REv Drury Dobbins (Son of Susanna Collins of Granville NC) was born in Upcountry.

                  In August of 1766, Charles Woodmason became an itinerant minister for the Anglican Church (Church of England) to the Carolina Backcountry. He kept a journal of some of the years of his ministry. He was originally from the London area of England; came to South Carolina and was a planter and merchant; and then returned to England to be ordained prior to returning to the Colony to begin his ministry. In his journal, he described the living conditions of the people living in the Upcountry as follows: "In all these excursions, I am obliged to carry my own Necessaries with me - as Bisket - Cheese - a Pint of Rum - Some Sugar - Chocolate - Tea, or Coffee - With Cups Knife Spoon Plate Towels and Linen. So that I go always heavy loaded like a trooper. If I did not, I should starve. Never will I be out again from home for a month together to take the Chance of things -- As in many places have nought but a Gourd to drink out of; Not a plate knive or Spoon, a Glass, Cup, or any thing -- It is well if they can get some body linen, and some have not even that. They are so burthen'd with Young Children, that the Women cannot attend both House and Field -- And many live by hunting, and killing Deer -- There's not a Cabin but has 10 or 12 Young Children in it -- When the boys are 18 and girls 14 they marry -- so that in many cabins you will see 10 or 15 Children. Children and Grand Children of one Size -- and the mother looking as Young as the Daughter. Yet these Poor People enjoy good Health; and are generally cut off by Endemic or Epidemic Disorders, which when they happen, makes Great Havock among them." [entry January 1768]. Later he adds, "their poverty is so great, that were they to offer me a fee, my Heart would not let me take it." In September of 1768, he wrote: " It would be a Great Novelty to a Londoner to see one of these Congregations -- The men with only a thin shirt and pair of Breeches or Trousers on -- barelegged and barefooted -- The Women bareheaded, barelegged and barefoot with only a thin Shift and under Petticoat -- Yet I cannot break them of this -- for the heat of the Weather admits not any but thin Cloathing -- I can hardly bear the weight of Whig and Gown, during service. The Young Women have a most uncommon Practise, which I cannot break them off. They draw their Shift as tight as possible to the Body, and pin it close, to shew the fineness of their Breasts, and slender waists (for they are generally fine shaped) and draw their Petticoat close to their Hips to shew the firmness of their limbs -- so that they might as well be in Puri Naturalibus -- Indeed Nakedness is not censurable or indecent here, and they expose themselves often quite naked, without Ceremony -- Rubbing themselves and their Hair with Bears Oil and tying it up behind in a bunch like Indians -- being hardly one degree removed from them."


                  • #10


                    • #11
                      Hopefully that will be enough information to strike people's interest into wanting to learn more about the historic SAPONI and what is really going on with some current tribes which use the Saponi name.

                      The truth has to be told and the denial of the Saponi descendants from certain tribes with the Saponi name has to stop.

                      Also this should be thought about....Saponi was recorded in Granville area in 1755.....there is a big difference between 1755 and 1790.....not naming names but there is certain people using a 1755 Saponi document for Granville NC area to say they are Saponi when they did not show up in the Granville area till 1790. Think about it. Thats like a person moving to Carroll county Ga and then saying they are Creek indian because Creek indians was recorded in Carroll county, Ga....that concept just does not work, a person is a certian tribe because their ancestors was...not because you live on land that a tribe once lived on.

                      Also why would a tribe that had been recieved by god and christianized in named as being christianized and recived by god in 1803??? The Saponi was Christianized and received by god in 1714 at Fort Christana...thats a good one to think about also.
                      Last edited by ECSN; 05-19-2008, 11:21 PM.


                      • #12
                        Where are you going with all this? These documents jump from Saponi in Virginia to Saponi in South Carolina.

                        Are you trying to keep someone out of being enrolled or are you being kept out of being enrolled?

                        This intrigues me because you're not saying what your motives are with thread.

                        And no, I don't have a blood connection to any of these people.

                        Why must I feel like that..why must I chase the cat?

                        "When I was young man I did some dumb things and the elders would talk to me. Sometimes I listened. Time went by and as I looked around...I was the elder".

                        Mr. Rossie Freeman


                        • #13
                          Also, are you referring to the Saponis in Hollister or the Ocaneechee
                          saponis, or whatever they're called now?

                          Why must I feel like that..why must I chase the cat?

                          "When I was young man I did some dumb things and the elders would talk to me. Sometimes I listened. Time went by and as I looked around...I was the elder".

                          Mr. Rossie Freeman


                          • #14
                            Well there was a trading path....which went from Charlottesville VA (original home of the monacan and Saponi...which neighbors Orange and Louisa counties)....and it goes down to Occaneechi town (the main traders town) which was at one time called granville nc...and then goes into york county SC (the catawba's home) and then into augusta ga.

                            The East Coast siouan tribes was 39 tribes....these 39 was bunched up into 3 bands...the catawba band, Saponi band, and monacan band (however the moancan and Saponi is basically the same since at one time the Saponi Broke off from the Monacan and the Monacan broke off from the Dakota which to this day they still share some words).

                            Ok no the Saponi would go visit the Catawba, and the Catawba would go visit the Saponi. However these being allianced and visited each other....they was two very different bands of tribe and their language was different forms of Siouan.

                            Thats where the Saponi going to the SC comes in..and where the catawba coming to VA and NC comes in.


                            • #15
                              The Saponi moved from time to it's the same tribe...just following them thru time with the time line and stuff above.

                              Where I'm going with it is like i stated in the first post.....Ther eis currently some tribes in NC right now using the Saponi name which are NOT allowing Saponi descendants matter how much documents and records the decsendants have.

                              It's almost as if all records on the Saponi have ben thrown out the window and some of the tribes are attempting to make up their OWN saponi records and history.

                              Why start a tribe using the Saponi name and refuse to allow documented Saponi descendants membership??

                              so what I'm getting at is....people need to do research on the "Historical" Saponi tribe and find out the truth.

                              People should also research the documents some of these "New" Saponi families have in the 1800's and 1700's....and see what tribes they claimed in the past and just how many different tribes they have claimed in the past. Also look at which tribe's lands their ancestors came from during the early 1700's when they was first recorded "Mullato" or "indian".

                              It's well past time that the Saponi descendants speak up about this injustice.


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