LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

Baron Christoph Von Graffenried's  drawing of himself, his servant, and John Lawson held captive by Tuscarora Indians.

Baron Christoph Von Graffenried’s drawing, The Death of John Lawson, depicts Von Graffenried, his servant, and John Lawson being held captive by Tuscarora Indians shortly before Lawson’s death. Drawing by Baron Christoph Von Graffenried. Image courtesy of North Carolina State Archives, Division of Archives and History. About the illustration

North Carolina was growing in the early eighteenth century, but its troubles continued. Not everyone was happy with the number of Quakers in the colonial government, and rebellion erupted over the issue of religious freedom. Disease swept the coastal plain.

The colonists’ problems, though, barely compared with those of the Indians they were rapidly displacing. European traders kidnapped Carolina Indians and sold them into slavery, while those who remained were dying of diseases like smallpox and slowly losing their hunting grounds to white farmers. In 1711, the Tuscarora attacked the colonists, but they lost the war that followed. By 1720, the native societies of the coastal plain and the Piedmont had nearly vanished.

In this chapter we’ll look primarily at the fate of the native peoples of eastern North Carolina. We’ll analyze their conflicts with colonists, hear the words of both sides, and learn what happened to them after 1720.