South Carolina Indian Tribes

The following tribes at one time are recorded in history as having resided within the present state of South Carolina. If the tribe name is in bold, then South Carolina is the primary location known for this tribe, otherwise we provide the tribes specifics as it pertains to South Carolina and provide a link to the main tribal page if available.

  • Catawba Indians
  • Cherokee Indians
    The extreme northwestern portion of the State was occupied by Cherokee Indians.
  • Chiaha Indians
    A part of this tribe lived in South Carolina at times.
  • Chickasaw Indians
    The Chickasaw territory proper was in northern Mississippi, at a considerable distance from the State under discussion, but about 1753 a body of Chickasaw Indians settled on the South Carolina side of Savannah River, to be near the English trading posts and to keep in contact with the English, who were their allies. Before 1757 most of them moved over to the immediate neighborhood of Augusta and remained there until the period of the American Revolution. In that war they sided against the colonists and their lands were confiscated in 1783.
  • Congaree Indians
  • Creek Indians
    In the time of De Soto, Cofitachequi, which seems to, have been either Kasihta or Coweta, and a few other Creek towns including perhaps Hilibi and part of the Chiaha Indians were in the territory of the present State of South Carolina near Savannah River. The Coosa of Coosawhatchie, Edisto, and Ashley Rivers may have been Creek in origin, and in later times Creeks constantly resorted to the provincial settlements in this area. (See Muskogee.)
  • Cusabo Indians
  • Eno Indians
    This tribe moved into the northern part of the state after 1716 and perhaps united ultimately with the Catawba. At some prehistoric period they may lived on Enoree River.
  • Keyauwee Indians
    They settled on the Pee Dee after 1716 and probably united with the Catawba.
  • Natchez Indians
    A band of Indians of this tribe lived for several years at a place called Four Hole Springs in South Carolina but left in 1744 fearing the vengeance of the Catawba because of seven of that tribe whom they had killed.
  • Pedee Indians
  • Saluda Indians
  • Santee Indians
  • Sewee Indians
  • Shakori Indians
    This tribe is thought to have moved south with the Eno after 1716 and to have united ultimately with the Catawba. At some prehistoric period they perhaps lived on or near Enoree River, and there is reason to think that they or a branch gave their name to the Province of Chicora.
  • Shawnee Indians
    In 1680, or shortly before, a band of Shawnee, probably from the Cumberland, settled on Savannah River, and the year following they performed a great service to the new colony of South Carolina by driving off the Westo Indians, whom I consider to have been Yuchi. These Shawnee appear to have been of the band afterward known as Hathawekela. They remained long enough in the neighborhood of Augusta to give their name to Savannah River, but by 1707 some of them had begun to move into Pennsylvania, and this movement continued at intervals until 1731, when all Teem to have been out of the State. The Saluda were perhaps one of these bands. In 1715, as a result of the Yamasee War, a body moved from the Savannah to the Chattahoochee, and thence to the Tallapoosa.
  • Sissipahaw Indians
    Possibly they were the Sauxpa mentioned by the Spanish officer Vandera, in 1569, and if so they may have been in South Carolina, a proposition considerably strengthened if Chicora is to be identified with the Shakori, since Barnwell (1908) equates these tribes.
  • Sugeree Indians
  • Waccamaw Indians
  • Wateree Indians
  • Waxhaw Indians
  • Winyaw Indians
  • Yamasee Indians
    The Yamasee Indians lived originally near the southern margin of the State and perhaps at times within its borders, but they are rather to be connected with the aboriginal history of Georgia. In 1687, having become offended with the Spaniards, they settled on the north side of Savannah River on a tract after-ward known as the Indian land and remained there in alliance with the colonists until 1715, when they rebelled and fled to St. Augustine.
  • Yuchi Indians
    The Yuchi probably did not enter South Carolina until after the year 1661. The Westo, whom I consider to have been a part of them, were driven away by the Shawnee in 1681, but there was a band of Yuchi higher up the Savannah River which did not move until 1716, and later another body settled between Silver Bluff and Ebenezer Creek. Hawkins says that they had villages at Ponpon and Saltkechers, but that is all the evidence we have of settlements so far east, and these probably belonged to the Yamassee. In 1729 the Yuchi began to move west to join the Creeks and by 1751 completed the evacuation.

Swanton, John R. The Indian Tribes of North America. Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 145. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office. 1953.

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