Three hundred years ago this week, European colonialists in what is now eastern North Carolina fought a battle that devastated an American Indian tribe. A symposium at East Carolina University marks the anniversary of the 1713 battle, in which European settlers attacked a stronghold of the Tuscarora tribe called Fort Nooherooka. Nearly a thousand Tuscarora Indians were captured or killed, forcing the remaining tribe members to migrate to New York.
“The colonials really wanted the Tuscarora to be gone,” says Larry Tise, a history professor at ECU. Tise also says that North Carolina currently has a larger Indian population than any state east of the Mississippi River. “It has thousands of people who, until recently, did not even identify themselves as Indians.”
Tise says the battle was a turning point in how the culture of North Carolina would develop. Members of today's Tuscarora tribe will dedicate a monument at the fort this weekend before walking 600 miles to the Tuscarora reservation in New York.
To see photos of the Tuscarora Monument being constructed, click through the slideshow, above.