The Eno, Shoccoree, and Adshusheer Indians

As these tribes are usually mentioned together they may be treated in the same manner. It is doubtful if they, or at least the Eno and Shoccoree, were of Siouan stock, as they seem to have differed in physique and habit from their neighbors; but as nothing is left of their language, and as their alliances were all with Siouan tribes, they cannot well be discriminated. Little is known of them, for they disappeared as tribal bodies about 1720, having been incorporated either with the Catawba on the south or with the Saponi and their confederates on the north.

The Eno and Shoccoree are first mentioned by Yardley in 1654. Writing from his Virginia plantation he says that a visiting Taskarora had described to him, among other tribes in the interior, “a great nation called Cacores,” of dwarfish stature, not exceeding that of boys of 14 years, yet exceedingly brave and fierce in fight and extremely active in retreat, so that even the powerful Tuskarora were unable to conquer them. Near them was another “great nation” whom the Tuskarora called Haynoke, by whom the northern advance of the Spaniards was valiantly resisted. 1 From this it appears that the Eno were then at war with the Tuskarora, and that the Spaniards had advanced from the gold regions of the southern Alleghanies central North Carolina.

The next mention of these two tribes is by Lederer, who found them in 1672 living south of the Occaneechi about the heads of Tar and Neuse rivers. The general locality is still indicated in the names of Eno river and Shocco creek, upper branches of these streams. In the name Shoccoree, the name proper is Shocco, ree or ri being the demonstrative suffix of the Catawba and closely cognate languages, the same that appears in Usheree, Uharee, and Enoree, the last-named river perhaps taking its designation from the Eno tribe.

Lederer found the villages of the two tribes about 14 miles apart, the Eno the farther eastward. The Eno village was surrounded by large fields cleared by the industry of the Indians, and was itself built around a central field or plaza devoted to an athletic game described by the traveler as “slinging of stones,” in which “they exercise with so much labor and violence and in so great numbers that I have seen the ground wet with the sweat that dropped from their bodies.” He agrees with Yardley as to their small size, but not as to their bravery or other good qualities, stating that “they are of mean stature and courage, covetous and thievish, industrious to earn a penny, and therefore hire themselves out to their neighbors who employ them as carryers or porters. They plant abundance of grain, reap three crops in a summer, and out of their granary supply all the adjacent parts.” The character thus outlined accords more with that of the peaceful Pueblos than with that of any of our eastern tribes, and goes far to indicate a different origin. Their house building also was different from that of their neighbors, but resembled that of the mountain Indians. Instead of building their houses of bark, like the Virginia and Carolina Indians generally, they used branches interwoven and covered with mud or plaster. Some huts were built of reeds (canes) and park. They were usually round instead of long as among the coast tribes. Near every house there was a smaller structure, somewhat resembling an oven, in which they stored corn and nuts. This is identical with the unwatali or provision house of the Cherokee. In summer they slept under leafy arbors. The government was democratic and patriarchal, the decisions of their old men being received with unquestioning obedience. The Shoccoree resembled the Eno in their general customs and manners. 2)

In 1701 Lawson found the Eno and Shoccoree, now confederated, with the addition of the Adshusheer, in the same location. Their village, which he calls Adshusheer, was on Eno River, about 14 miles east of the Occaneechi village, near the present Hillsboro. This would, place it not far northeast of Durham, in Durham county, North Carolina. Eno Will, a Coree by birth, was the chief of the three tribes. He entertained the party in most hospitable fashion at Adshusheer, singing them to sleep with an Indian lullaby, and afterwards guided them from the Occaneechi to near the white settlements on Albemarle Sound. Lawson describes him as “one of the best and most agreeable temper that ever I met with in an Indian, being always ready to serve the English, not out of gain, but real affection.”

They kept poultry, but, so Lawson thought, largely for the purpose of sacrifice to the devil. They had not forgotten their old game mentioned by Lederer, which may now be recognized as the universal wheel-and-stick game of the eastern and southern tribes; for Lawson says in his narrative that they were ” much addicted to a sport they call Chenco, which is carried on with a staff and a bowl made of stone, which they trundle upon a smooth place like a bowling green, made for that purpose.”

At this tune the Shoccoree seem to have been the principal tribe. They had some trade with the Tuskarora. Later (about 1714), with the Tutelo, Saponi, Occaneechi, and Keyauwee, together numbering only about 750 souls, they moved toward the settlements. Lawson includes Eno in his list of Tuskarora villages at this period, and as the Eno lived on the Neuse adjoining the Tuskarora, it is probable that they were sometimes classed with them. 3 In 1716 Governor Spotswood, of Virginia, proposed to settle the Eno, Sara, and Keyauwee at Eno Town, on what was then “the very frontiers” of North Carolina; but the project was defeated by North Carolina on the ground that all three tribes were then at war with South Carolina. 4 From the records it cannot be determined clearly whether this was the Eno Town of Lawson in 1714, or a more recent village nearer the Albemarle settlements.

Owing to the objection made to their settlement in the north the Eno moved southward into South Carolina. They probably assisted the other tribes of that region in the Yamasi war of 1715. At least a few of the mixed tribe found their way into Virginia with the Saponi, as Byrd speaks of an old Indian, called Shacco Will, living near Nottoway river in 1733, who offered to guide him to a mine on Eno river near the old country of the Tuskarora. 5 The name of Shocco (Shockoe) creek, at Richmond, Virginia, may possibly have been derived from the same tribe. The main body was finally incorporated with the Catawba, among whom the Eno still retained their distinct dialect in 1743. 6 The name of Enoree river in South Carolina may have a connection with the name of the tribe.

Eno Synonymy

Eené.-Adair, History of the American Inds., 1775, p. 224.
Enoc.-Lawson (1714), History of Carolina, reprint 1860, p. 97.
Haynokes.-Yardley (1654) in Hawks, North Carolina, 1858, vol. ii, p. 19.
Oenock (or (Enock).-Lederer, Discoveries, 1672, p. 15.

Shoccoree Synonymy

Cacores.-Yardley (1654) in Hawks, North Carolina, 1858, vol. ii, p. 19.
Shahor.-Ibid., map (misprint).
Shacco.-Byrd (1733), Hist. of the Dividing Line, 1866, vol. ii, p. 2.
Shackory.-Ibid., p. 15.
Shakor.-Lederer, Discoveries, 1672, map.
Shoccories.-Lawson (1714), History of Carolina, reprint, 1860, p. 97.

Adshusheer Synonymy

Adshusheer.-Lawson, ibid., p. 95.Citations:

  1. Hawks, F. L. History of North Carolina: with maps and illustrations, etc. Third edition, Yardles, 1654, vol. ii, p. 19. Two volumes. Fayetteville, N. C., vol. i, 1859, vol. ii, 1858.[]
  2. Lederer, John. The discoveries of John Lederer, in three several marches from Virginia to the west of Carolina, and other parts of the continent. Begun in March, 1669, and ended in September, 1670. Together with a general map of the whole territory which he traversed. Collected and translated out of Latin from his discourse and writings, by Sir William Talbot, baronet, etc. London, etc. 1672, p. 15. Map and 33 pages. (Copy in Library of Congress.[]
  3. Lawson, John. The history of Carolina, containing the exact description and natural history of that country, etc., pp. 95-101, 383-4. (Reprint from the London edition of 1714.) Raleigh, 1860.[]
  4. North Carolina. The Colonial Records of North Carolina, published under the supervision of the trustees of the public libraries, by order of the general assembly, North Carolina Council (1716) vol. ii, pp. 242-3. Collected and edited by William L. Saunders, secretary of state. 10 vols. Raleigh, 1886-1890.[]
  5. Byrd, William. History of the dividing line between Virginia and North Carolina, as run in 1728-’29, vol. ii, p. 2. Richmond, 1866. 2 volumes.[]
  6. Adair, James. The history of the American Indians, particularly those nations adjoining to the Mississippi, east and west Florida, Georgia, South and North Carolina, and Virginia, etc., p. 224. London, 1775.[]

History, Siouan,

Mooney, James. Siouan Tribes of the East. Bulletin 22. Washington: Bureau of Ethnology. 1894.

4 thoughts on “The Eno, Shoccoree, and Adshusheer Indians”

  1. Jock Tobias gibson

    INTERESTINGLY enough. Okay my comment is could cataba understood sarkiori language. If so that also means adursher Indian and occoneechee indian absorption went into BRADERFORD indian school 1700s .but these afore mentioned TRIBES I would like want more Info about the associations with the Spanish send me a blogg

  2. Ashley (Red Fawn)

    The Saponi, are not extinct. For I am just one of the tribal enrolled descendants of those you think are no longer. My tribe is the Eno Occanneechi Band of the Saponi Nation, THE YESAH.
    It is always better to state that you don’t know what happened to a people than to say we no longer exist. We are here, we’ve been here, and we are growing even stronger.

    1. Please see “Collection” on the page. It’s the United States Government that called you extinct, at least to their determination of what a tribe constitutes and whether that tribe has had relations with the Federal Government continuously.

    2. Do you know how to contact John Jeffries Blackfeather- We live on Denfield Street in Durham,N.C. Our property backs up to the planned Northern High School in Durham on Roxboro Road. We used phones in the Ochannechi village in Hillsboro and in our front yard in Durham- aApproximately 14 miles – 800 feet from Hanson Rock Quarry. According to Yardley 1654- Lederer and in 1701 from Lawson. Burial ground in Summer Meadow and Boxloads of arrowheads taken by land construction crew when developing sudivision. Born in 1953 and fished with grandparents on Penny’S Bend- lots of arrowheads in water but none on other side of Roxboro street at Eno River Park. The area is within 1-3 miles from end of Snow Hill Road at Old Oxford Road. HHHHEEEELLLP Diane Bartell e-mail

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