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Catawba Indian Reservation -- Pineville NC
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Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz
N 35° 00.000 W 080° 00.000
17S E 591253 N 3873499
Quick Description: In 1772 the Catawba Indian Reservation in South Carolina was surveyed and its boundary line was drawn at the border with North Carolina
Location: North Carolina, United States
Date Posted: 11/20/2017 11:19:35 AM
Waymark Code: WMX371
Views: 18
Waymarks Created From This Uncategorized Waymark:
 Catawba Indian Reservation -- Rock Hill, SC - posted by NCDaywalker

Long Description:
The waymark coordinates are for the 1772 boundary line for the Catawba Indian tribal reservation land grant near the border with South Carolina.

Catawba Indians, the only federally-recognized tribe in South Carolina, were like so many other Indian tribes, forced to give up their tribal homelands for white settlement. However, unlike other Indian tribes, the Catawbas were relocated to remote unpopulated lands in the same region, not completely removed on the Trail of Tears to the Oklahoma Indian Territory, as other southeastern Indian tribes were.

Today the historic Catawba reservation line is marked by a North Carolina State historic marker in NC State highway 51, at the South Carolina state line.

From the Catawba tribal website: (visit link)

"The Catawba Nation is the only federally recognized tribe in the state of South Carolina. We show that we are proud of our past by embracing our culture and sharing it with others. We presently have a wide variety of programs and services available to enhance the lives of our citizens. And we are preparing for the future of the tribe through education, economic development, and planning.

Early History

We are Proud of our Past

The Catawba Indians have lived on their ancestral lands along the banks of the Catawba River dating back at least 6000 years. Before contact with the Europeans it is believed that the tribe inhabited most of the Piedmont area of South Carolina, North Carolina and parts of Virginia.

Early Catawbas lived in villages which were surrounded by a wooden palisade or wall. There was a large council house in the village as well as a sweat lodge, homes, and an open plaza for meetings, games, and dances. The homes were rounded on top and made of bark. The dwellings were small with extended families living in a single structure. Catawbas were farmers. The planted crops like corn and squash along the banks of the river. They also fished and hunted. The Catawbas were a large and powerful group and waged war with neighboring tribes, especially the Cherokee.

First contact with the Catawbas was recorded in 1540 when the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto marched his troops through the Piedmont while headed west looking for gold. There was little contact between the tribe and early settlers because the new colonies were barely surviving. Once the Virginia colony of Jamestown and the Carolina colony of Charles Town became more established this changed.

The tribal people called themselves yeh is-WAH h’reh, meaning “people of the river.” The colonists who came to trade began calling all the tribes along the Catawba River Valley by the name Catawba. By the late 17th century, trade began having a major impact on the Catawba society. The Catawba traded deerskins to the Europeans for goods such as muskets, knives, kettles and cloth. The Catawba villages became a major hub in the trade system between the Virginia traders and the Carolina traders.

Settlers began to move into the Piedmont during the 18th century. The tribe always carried a philosophy of brotherly love and peace when it came to the settlers. This did not serve them well though because the settlers brought disease with them. In 1759, smallpox swept through the Catawba villages for a fourth time in a century bringing the population of the tribe to less than 1,000 by 1760. Colonists believed the tribe was dying out.

Catawba warriors were known as the fiercest in the land. The tribe claimed at least eleven other tribes as enemies. Leaders of the state of South Carolina knew this and kept relations with the tribe friendly. King Hagler was chief from 1750 to 1763. He is remembered as a friend to the English but also a firm defender of the rights of his people. The tribe’s friendship with the English helped both sides. The colonist received protection from other tribes that may try to threaten them and the tribe received supplies that aided in their survival. In 1763 the Catawbas received title to 144,000 acres from the King of England. It was hard for the tribe to protect the land from colonists and eventually they began renting land to settlers. The first tenant was Thomas Spratt who leased several thousand acres of farmland.

Eventually the settlers who had leased land from the tribe wanted the land for themselves. They put pressure on South Carolina to negotiate with the tribe. This was during the Removal Period when many tribes were being moved west. In order to avoid this, the tribe and South Carolina negotiated the Treaty at Nations Ford. The treaty stipulated that the Catawbas relinquish to the State of South Carolina their 144,000 acres of land. In return, South Carolina promised the tribe a new tract of land in a less populated area and to pay the Catawbas money. By 1847, South Carolina Governor David Johnson said, “They are, in effect, dissolved.” However, that was not the end of the Catawbas.

Catawba Today

Of the 566 federally recognized tribes in the United States, the Catawba Indian Nation is the only one located in the state of South Carolina. The modern day tribal lands are located in York County, South Carolina. There are currently over 2800 enrolled members of the Nation. The tribe has a long history and a rich culture that lives on today.

Path to Recognition

During the Franklin Roosevelt administration the federal government tried to improve conditions for tribes. Under the Indian Reorganization Act, the tribe created a constitution in 1944 to help them govern themselves. Government policy toward tribes changed in the 1950’s and many tribes were asked to terminate their federal status. In 1959 the Catawba tribe was terminated in the eyes of the federal government. After some time the tribe determined that they preferred to be seen as a community and decided to fight another battle…that to regain federal recognition.

In 1973, the Catawbas filed their petition with Congress for federal recognition. They also updated and adopted their constitution in 1975. The Catawbas had a strong argument in this fight. The Treaty at Nations Ford with South Carolina was illegal because it was not ratified by the federal government. The federal government should have protected the rights of the tribe. It took 20 years, but on November 20, 1993, the land claim settlement with the state of South Carolina and the federal government finally came to an end. The Catawbas agreed to give up claims on land taken from them by the state of South Carolina. In return, the Catawba Indian Nation received federal recognition and $50 million for economic development, education, social services, and land purchases.

Tribal Government Operations

The Catawbas have many thriving programs provided for tribal members and the surrounding community. The administrative offices are located on the Reservation. This building houses the Executive Committee of the tribe as well as staff working in departments such as Accounting, Economic Development, Real Estate, Social Services, and Transportation. The administrative office has over 40 employees. The tribe also has a successful housing program, several child care facilities, a seniors program, computer lab, and transit services. There is a clinic on the reservation that is run through Indian Health Services. The tribe has helped support many tribal members in their pursuit of an education through the Scholarship and Job Placement & Training programs. The Catawba Cultural Center provides a link to the rich culture of the Nation.

The tribe participates in several York County boards and committees including Economic Development, RFATS, and the Catawba Regional Council of Governments. Tribal leaders are always looking for opportunities to contribute to the community through economic development, helping forward the goals of the county, and sharing the culture with others. The Catawbas have proven again and again that they will continue to thrive against all odds.

Catawba Cultural Center

The mission of the Catawba Cultural Center is to preserve, protect, promote and maintain the rich cultural heritage of the Catawba Indian Nation through efforts in archives, archeology, tribal historic preservation, native crafts, cultural education, and tourism development.

Visit the Cultural Center:

The Cultural Center provides an overview of the rich culture and history of the Catawba Indian Nation. There are exhibits that can be seen at no charge and a member of the staff will be happy to answer any questions that you have. There is also a craft store in the center that features crafts from many of our native artisans.

1536 Tom Steven Road
Rock Hill, SC 29730

Hours of Operation:
Monday through Saturday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, closed Sunday
Phone number:
(803) 328-2427


For more on this tribe, see Wikipedia: (visit link)

Type of Nation: Native American Indian Reservation
Tribe: Catawba
Address of main entrance: SC SH 691 at Tom Steven Dr, Rock Hill SC
Land area: not listed
Date established: 1/1/1847
Number on the reservation: 841
Open to the public
website: (visit link)
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