The History Book Club discussion


Comments Showing 1-8 of 8 (8 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
This is the thread to discuss the Yamasee War.

Wars and Battles, 1715-1718

The Yamasee Indians were part of the Muskhogean language group. Their traditional homelands lay in present-day northern Florida and southern Georgia. The advent of the Spanish in the late 16th century forced the Yamasee to migrate north into what would become South Carolina. Relations between the tribe and English settlers in that region were generally positive during the latter half of the 17th century.

Not surprisingly, problems between the races developed. The continuing influx of white settlers put pressure on Indian agricultural and hunting lands. The relationship was further complicated in that the tribe had become dependent on English firearms and other manufactured items, and had incurred a large debt, typically payable in deerskins. White fur traders acted on their displeasure by enslaving a number of Yamasee women and children to cover portions of the outstanding debt.

In the spring of 1715, the Yamasee formed a confederation with other tribes and struck at the white settlements in South Carolina. Several hundred settlers were killed, homes burned and livestock slaughtered. The frontier regions were emptied; some fled to the relative safety of North Carolina and others pushed on to even more secure Virginia. Charleston also received large numbers of frightened settlers.

At the height of the fighting, it appeared that the tribal confederation's overwhelming numerical superiority would end in the white settlements' complete destruction in the region. This would have been a virtual certainty if the confederacy had successfully drawn the Cherokee into their cause. Instead, the Cherokee gave in to the lure of English weapons and other goods, and chose to aid the Carolinians. In a further stroke of good fortune, the besieged settlers also managed to gain support from Virginia — an event not assured in this age of intense colonial rivalries.

The tide turned against the Yamasee, who were slowly pushed south through Georgia back into their ancestral lands in northern Florida. There, the tribe was virtually annihilated by protracted warfare with the Creeks, but some members were absorbed by the Seminole.

The Yamasee War took a heavy toll in South Carolina. Such terror had been instilled in the minds of the frontiersmen that it would take nearly 10 years for resettlement to occur in many areas. The warfare also brought a sharp change to the region's economy. Originally, farming had been the settlers' primary occupation, but the livestock supply had been so drastically depleted that many farms disappeared. In their absence, enterprising South Carolinians turned to the forests as a source of naval stores (tar, pitch and turpentine) and soon developed a lucrative trade with England. Later, the economy would develop rice and indigo as its primary products.

Source: United States History

message 2: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new)

Jerome | 4375 comments Mod
The Yamasee War: A Study of Culture, Economy, and Conflict in the Colonial South

The Yamasee War A Study of Culture, Economy, and Conflict in the Colonial South by William L. Ramsey by William L. Ramsey (no photo)


William L. Ramsey provides a thorough reappraisal of the Yamasee War, an event that stands alongside King Philip’s War in New England and Pontiac’s Rebellion as one of the three major “Indian wars” of the colonial era. By arguing that the Yamasee War may be the definitive watershed in the formation of the Old South, Ramsey challenges traditional arguments about the war’s origins and positions the prewar concerns of Native Americans within the context of recent studies of the Indian slave trade and the Atlantic economy. The Yamasee War was a violent and bloody conflict between southeastern American Indian tribes and English colonists in South Carolina from 1715 to 1718. Ramsey’s discussion of the war itself goes far beyond the coastal conflicts between Yamasees and Carolinians, however, and evaluates the regional diplomatic issues that drew Indian nations as far distant as the Choctaws in modern-day Mississippi into a far-flung anti-English alliance. In tracing the decline of Indian slavery within South Carolina during and after the war, the book reveals the shift in white racial ideology that responded to wartime concerns, including anxieties about a “black majority,” which shaped efforts to revive Anglo-Indian trade relations, control the slave population, and defend the southern frontier. In assessing the causes and consequences of this pivotal conflict, The Yamasee War situates it in the broader context of southern history.

message 3: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new)

Jerome | 4375 comments Mod
A Colonial Complex: South Carolina's Frontiers in the Era of the Yamasee War, 1680-1730

A Colonial Complex South Carolina's Frontiers in the Era of the Yamasee War, 1680-1730 by Steven J. Oatis by Steven J. Oatis (no photo)


In 1715 the upstart British colony of South Carolina was nearly destroyed in an unexpected conflict with many of its Indian neighbors, most notably the Yamasees, a group whose sovereignty had become increasingly threatened. The South Carolina militia retaliated repeatedly until, by 1717, the Yamasees were nearly annihilated, and their survivors fled to Spanish Florida. The war not only sent shock waves throughout South Carolina's government, economy, and society, but also had a profound impact on colonial and Indian cultures from the Atlantic Coast to the Mississippi River.
Drawing on a diverse range of colonial records, A Colonial Complex builds on recent developments in frontier history and depicts the Yamasee War as part of a colonial complex: a broad pattern of exchange that linked the Southeast’s Indian, African, and European cultures throughout the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. In the first detailed study of this crucial conflict, Steven J. Oatis shows the effects of South Carolina’s aggressive imperial expansion on the issues of frontier trade, combat, and diplomacy, viewing them not only from the perspective of English South Carolinians but also from that of the societies that dealt with the South Carolinians both directly and indirectly. Readers will find new information on the deerskin trade, the Indian slave trade, imperial rivalry, frontier military strategy, and the major transformations in the cultural landscape of the early colonial Southeast.

message 4: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig New Worlds of Violence: Cultures and Conquests in the Early American Southeast

New Worlds of Violence Cultures and Conquests in the Early American Southeast by Matthew Jennings by Matthew Jennings (no photo)


From the early 1500s to the mid-1700s, the American Southeast was the scene of continuous tumult as European powers vied for dominance in the region while waging war on Native American communities. Yet even before Hernando de Soto landed his expeditionary force on the Gulf shores of Florida, Native Americans had created their own "cultures of violence" sets of ideas about when it was appropriate to use violence and what sorts of violence were appropriate to a given situation. In "New Worlds of Violence," Matthew Jennings offers a persuasive new framework for understanding the European-Native American contact period and the conflicts among indigenous peoples that preceded it. This pioneering approach posits that every group present in the Southeast had its own ideas about the use of violence and that these ideas changed over time as they collided with one another. The book starts with the Mississippian era and continues through the successive Spanish and English invasions of the Native South. Jennings argues that the English conquered the Southeast because they were able to force everyone else to adapt to their culture of violence, which, of course, changed over time as well. By 1740, a peculiarly Anglo-American culture of violence was in place that would profoundly influence the expansion of England's colonies and the eventual southern United States. While Native and African violence were present in this world, they moved in circles defined by the English.

message 5: by Teri (new)

Teri (teriboop) Native History: Yamasee War Ends Native Slave Trade, Upcoming Conference
Christina Rose | 3/25/15

Few American Indian wars were more devastating to colonists and more influential on the development of the south than the Yamasee War of 1715. April 15 will mark the 300th anniversary of the start of that war, which ended with the death of 400 British. On April 16, the first conference to bring recognition of the war will be held in Saint Augustine, Florida, mere steps from Yamasee archaeology sites.

“The Yamasee as a people have been overlooked by the mainstream and only one book has been written about the war,” Denise Bossy, associate professor of history at the University of North Florida, said. Bossy is one of the co-organizers of the conference, entitled, “The Yamasee Indians: From Florida To South Carolina.”

“It’s a really important event in Southern and North American history, yet it is one of the least well known of wars compared with its importance,” she said.

The late 1600s and early 1700s were a time of great disruption and loss of lands, as colonization forced tribes to be on the move, Chester DePratter, archaeologist and co-organizer of the conference, explained. By the time the Yamasee made their way to Charles Town, South Carolina, (now Charleston) the Spanish had already been missionizing tribes in Florida for 100 years. The the British were involved in the slave trade throughout the Southeast and the Atlantic World, which included trade routes of importation and exportation of plants, goods, slaves, diseases, and all other items of colonization.

“Other Indians, like the Chickasaw, were making people move. The Erie had been forced out of Western Pennsylvania by the Iroquois, and as they moved south, they became known as the Westo. They pushed the Yamasee toward the Georgia coast. The Erie had traded for guns with the French and British, but in the south, the tribes were unarmed. The Spanish had been more interested in missionizing than trading with the Natives,” DePratter said.

According to him, arms could have been a major incentive for the Yamasee’s move up the coast to Charles Town. While there, they joined in the deerskin trade, however, DePratter noted, “They were also sent off to bring in Indian slaves. There is clear evidence that there was slaving,” he said.

Donald Grinde, Yamasee, Haudenosaunee scholar, and professor of Transnational/American Studies at SUNY Buffalo, will also be presenting at the upcoming conference. “For several years, white slave traders would come in and run up the Yamasee’s debts for pots and pans and guns,” he said. “When people couldn’t pay the debts, the traders would demand women and children and take them into Charles Town to sell them. This went on for 10 years, and then there was a revolt.”

The lifestyle of most the Natives in the region had deteriorated. A diplomatic meeting was called between the Yamasee and Lower Creeks to address the state of affairs. Bossy said that when the British heard about the meeting, they sent some of their own traders and diplomats. “Some of the traders tried to smooth things over, but one trader, John Wright, threatened the Yamasee, basically with enslavement and murder,” Bossy said. “The next day, the Yamasee were no longer eager to trade with them and that is the start of the war.”

In the book, “The Yamasee War,” author William Ramsey wrote, “Warriors from virtually every nation in the South, from the Catawbas and their Piedmont neighbors in the Carolinas to the Choctaws of Mississippi, joined together in one of the most potent Native coalitions ever to oppose the British in colonial North America.” The warriors surrounded Charles Town on every front but the sea, wrote Ramsey, who will also be a speaker at the conference.

Grinde and Ramsey both described the Yamasee War as one of the bloodiest in colonial America. “There is a reason why it hasn’t been talked about much—because we almost won,” Grinde said. “Almost 10 percent of the white population in South Carolina were killed and almost all of them were slave catchers.”

After the devastating loss of lives and the destruction of outlying settlements, North Carolina and South Carolina ended the Native slave trade by the British, though slavery among some of the tribes continued. While those already enslaved were not freed, the British turned exclusively to trading African slaves.

After the war, “South Carolina kind of retracted into itself and the south was completely reshaped in a number of different ways,” Bossy said. It was more than a decade after the war before resettlement began. “As for the Indian communities, many coalesced and committed to being confederacies. One of the things you can take from this war is that Indians brought an end to the slave trade of Indians.”

In the following years, the Yamasee dispersed to safety in several different locations. Grinde said many Yamasee relocated to Georgia, which was not yet settled. Others went with the Creeks, and still others joined the Guale in Saint Augustine, DePratter reported.

The Yamasee became known as a refugee tribe, picking up people from different groups along the way. Grinde said that after the war, those who relocated to Georgia were safe from slave catchers, no matter their race or heritage. “That explains the rise of our multi-racial heritage. Black slaves who ran away from South Carolina knew if they could make it across the Savannah River they would be free. They could join us in the same way they later went into Florida to join the Seminoles. Georgia wasn’t founded until 1733.”

St Augustine, Florida will celebrate 450 years since the arrival of Ponce De Leon on September 4-8, 2015. With the conference, this group is reminding St. Augustine that there are other anniversaries to think about.
(Source: Indian Country)

The Laurel Token A Story of the Yamassee Uprising (Classic Reprint) by Annie Maria Barnes by Annie Maria Barnes (no photo)

message 6: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (last edited Feb 07, 2016 11:26AM) (new)

Jerome | 4375 comments Mod
This Torrent of Indians: War on the Southern Frontier, 1715-1728

This Torrent of Indians War on the Southern Frontier, 1715 1728 by Larry E Ivers by Larry E Ivers (no photo)


The southern frontier could be a cruel and unforgiving place during the early eighteenth century. The British colony of South Carolina was in proximity and traded with several Native American groups. The economic and military relationships between the colonialists and natives were always filled with tension but the Good Friday 1715 uprising surprised Carolinians by its swift brutality. Larry E. Ivers examines the ensuing lengthy war in This Torrent of Indians. Named for the Yamasee Indians because they were the first to strike, the war persisted for thirteen years and powerfully influenced colonial American history.

While Ivers examines the reasons offered by recent scholars for the outbreak of the war--indebtedness to Anglo-American traders, fear of enslavement, and pernicious land grabbing--he concentrates on the military history of this long war and its impact on all inhabitants of the region: Spanish and British Europeans, African Americans, and most of all, the numerous Indian groups and their allies. Eventually defeated, the Indian tribes withdrew from South Carolina or made peace treaties that left the region ripe for colonial exploitation.

Ivers's detailed narrative and analyses demonstrates the horror and cruelty of a war of survival. The organization, equipment, and tactics used by South Carolinians and Indians were influenced by the differing customs but both sides acted with savage determination to extinguish their foes. Ultimately, it was the individuals behind the tactics that determined the outcomes. Ivers shares stories from both sides of the battlefield--tales of the courageous, faint of heart, inept, and the upstanding. He also includes a detailed account of black and Indian slave soldiers serving with distinction alongside white soldiers in combat. Ivers gives us an original and fresh, ground-level account of that critical period, 1715 to 1728, when the southern frontier was a very dangerous place.

message 7: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Thank you Jerome and Teri

message 8: by Teri (new)

Teri (teriboop) This book as a section on the Yamasee War

The Southern Frontier 1670-1732

The Southern Frontier 1670-1732 by Verner W. Crane by Verner W. Crane (no photo)


A classic resource on the struggle for dominance in southern North America during the colonial period.

This volume recounts the clashes and intrigues that played out over the landscape of the Old Southwest and across six decades as the Spanish, French, British, and ultimately Americans vied for control. Rivalry began soon after initial discovery, mapping, and exploration as the world powers, particularly England and France, competed for control of the lucrative fur trade in the Mississippi valley. The French attempted to establish trade networks stretching from the Atlantic Ocean inland to the Mississippi River and northward from ports on the Gulf of Mexico to the Ohio River. But they found the British already entrenched there.

Verner Crane guides us through this multinational struggle and navigates the border wars and diplomatic intrigues that played crucial roles in the settlement of the South by Euro-Americans. In his new introduction, Steven Hahn places the work in the context of its time, sketches its publication history, and provides biographical information on Crane.

back to top