National Geographic : 1946 Jan
The National Geographic Magazine southern Plains, they must be considered in the main a typical Southeastern group. The Pawnee of Nebraska and the Arikara of the Dakotas, both of which adopted typical Plains culture, are offshoots of the Caddo. The Iroquoian language was represented in the Southeast principally by the important Cherokee tribe, which inhabited the southern Appalachians from northern Georgia and Ala bama to West Virginia, and by the Tuscarora confederation of North Carolina. The far-flung Siouan stock has a curious distribution. It was spoken by the Biloxi, a small tribe on the Gulf coast of Mississippi, and by a number of eastern tribes, such as the Cheraw and the Catawba of the Carolinas and several small tribes in central Virginia. Similarly, offshoots of the great Algonquian stock were found in Kentucky, northern Ten nessee, and southern Ohio. The Powhatan confederacy of Tidewater Virginia consisted of Algonquian-speaking tribes. The Yuchi of the upper Savannah River are a small tribe who spoke a language un related to any other. Along the lower Mississippi the Attacapan, Chitimachan, Tunican, and Natchesan have been set apart as small independent groups. Their linguistic diversity illustrates the mul tiple origin of the people inhabiting the South east. Population Shifted among Indians, Too In no section of the United States is it more difficult to deal with tribes geographically than in the Southeast, where continual and extensive shifts in population were taking place. Tribes amalgamated, split apart, or were exterminated. Others engaged in con tinuous and widespread wanderings. The Shawnee, for example, when first en countered were living in South Carolina. Some time later they were settled in Tennessee, still later in Pennsylvania, and then in Ohio. From here they crossed the Mississippi and estab lished themselves in Missouri, while another part of the tribe went to Indiana. By 1825 the Missouri Shawnee moved to a reservation in Kansas, but before this the ma jority of them had gone to the headwaters of the Sabine River in Texas, where they re mained until driven out in 1839. The Kansas Shawnee eventually settled on the Canadian River in Oklahoma. In 1869 the main body of the Shawnee in Oklahoma incorporated with the Cherokee Nation. This highly simplified account of the wanderings of the Shawnee, which in less extensive form is duplicated by the Yuchi and other tribes, shows why map makers get gray hairs when they try to locate Southeast ern tribes. The Seminole tribe (Plate III and page 55) did not exist before 1775, but about this date refugee Creeks, Hitchiti, and Yuchi from Alabama and Georgia were joined by a number of runaway Negro slaves. About the beginning of the 19th century they moved into Florida and began rapidly to overrun the peninsula, occupying the former territory of the important and populous Timucua and Calusa tribes, which had be come exterminated largely by diseases. The entire period of the Seminole migration into Florida was marked by a series of wars with United States troops, who pursued them relentlessly. The fighting culminated in the so-called Second Seminole War, when the majority of the group resisted the efforts of the Government to remove them to Oklahoma. This war began in 1835 under the leader ship of the celebrated Osceola and lasted for nearly eight years, ending in 1842. That war cost the Government $20,000,000 and the lives of 1,500 soldiers, but it resulted in all but a few of the Seminole being removed west of the Mississippi. In this war Maj. Francis L. Dade's command of 100 men was defeated by the Seminole. Only one man escaped with his life. A few Seminole evaded removal by fleeing into the swamps. Today their colorful de scendants live in the Everglades,* only re maining Southeastern group retaining a con siderable portion of their aboriginal culture. Seaboard Tribes Had Home Gardens Tribes of the southern Atlantic seaboard were agriculturists. Each household had its garden plot a hundred square feet or more. To weed and cultivate these gardens they used wooden hoes and planting sticks. They made clearings in the native forest by girdling the larger trees and felling the smaller ones with stone axes. Corn was the principal crop. Four varieties were planted. They also raised pumpkins, beans, squash, sunflower seeds, tobacco, and gourds from which many utensils were fashioned. Wild fruits, roots, and berries were eaten. This vegetable diet was supplemented by wild game and fish. Capt. John Smith states that during March and April the Indians lived principally on wild turkeys, fish, and squir rels. In May and June, the planting period, they fed on fish, acorns, and walnuts; or scat tered in small groups, gathering fish, game, * See "South Florida's Amazing Everglades," by John O'Reilly, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, January, 1940.