Act of October 15, 1748

Concerning the land allotted to the Tuscarora in Birtie they have leased it several times; and I have selected a few of the laws of North Carolina that are now in force, concerning the Tuscarora in that state, namely:

Gabriel Johnson, Esq., Governor.

At a general assembly held at New Bern, the fifteenth day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and forty-eight.

An Act for ascertaining the bounds of a certain tract of land formerly laid out by treaty to the use of the Tuscarora Indians, so long as they, or any of them, shall occupy and live upon the same, and to prevent any person or persons taking up lands, or settling within the said bounds, by pretense of any purchase or purchases made, or that shall be made, from the said Indians.

Article I. Whereas, complaints are made by the Tuscarora Indians, of divers encroachments made by the English on their lands, and it being but just that the ancient inhabitants of this Province shall have and enjoy a quiet and convenient dwelling place in this their native country, wherefore,” Bounds of the Indians’ lands confirmed .

Article II. We pray that it may be enacted, and be it enacted by His Excellency Gabriel Johnson, Esquire, Governor, by and with the advice and consent of his majesty’s council, and general assembly of this province, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same that the lands formerly allotted the Tuscarora Indians by solemn treaty, lying on Morattock river, in Birtie county, being the same whereon they now dwell. Butted and bounded as follows, viz:

Beginning at the mouth of Quitsnoy Swamp, running up the said swamp four hundred and thirty-five poles, to a scrubby oak, near the head of the swamp, by a great spring; thence north ten degrees east, eight hundred and fifty poles, to a persimmon tree, on Raquis swamp; thence along the swamp, and Pacosin main course, north fifty-seven degrees west, two thousand six hundred and forty poles to a hickory on the east side of the falling run or deep creek, and down the various courses of the said run to Morattock river, then down the river to the first station; shall be confirmed and assured; and by virtue of this act, is confirmed and assured, to James Blunt, chief of the Tuscarora Nation, and the people under his charge, their heirs and successors, forever, any law, usage, custom, or grant, to the contrary, notwithstanding.

Article III. Provided, always, That it shall and may be lawful for any person or persons that have formerly obtained any grant or grants, under the Lord’s proprietors, for any tract or parcels of lands within the aforesaid boundaries, upon the said Indians deserting or leaving the said lands, to enter, occupy and enjoy the same according to the tenor of their several grants.

Article IV. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That it shall not nor may be lawful for the Lord Granville’s receiver to ask, have or demand any quitrents for any of the said tracts or parcels of land taken up within the said Indian boundaries, as aforesaid, until such time when the Indians have deserted the same and the patentee be in possession thereof, and only for such rents as shall from thence arise and become due, any law, usage or custom to the contrary notwithstanding.

Article V. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That no person, for any consideration whatsoever, shall purchase or buy any tract or parcel of land claimed or in possession of any Indian or Indians, but all such bargains and sales shall be, and are hereby declared to be null and void, and of no effect; and the person so purchasing or buying any land of any Indian or Indians shall further forfeit the sum of ten pounds, proclamation money, for every hundred acres by him purchased and bought, one-half to the use of the public, the other half to him or them that shall sue for the same, to be recovered by action of debt, bill, plaint or information, in any court of record within this Government, wherein no possession, protection, injunction or wager of law shall be allowed or admitted of.

Article VI. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That all and every person and persons, other than the said Indians who are now dwelling on any of the lands within the bounds above mentioned to have been allotted, laid out and prescribed to the said Tuscarora Indians, shall, on or before the twenty-fifth day of March next ensuing the ratification of this act, remove him or herself and family off the said lands, under the penalty of twenty pounds, proclamation money; and if any shall neglect or refuse to move him or herself and family off the said lands, on or before the said twenty-fifth day of March next, and if any person or persons, other than the said Indians, shall hereafter presume to settle, inhabit or occupy any of the said lands hereby allotted and assigned for the said Tuscarora Indians, such person or persons shall forfeit the further penalty of twenty shillings, proclamation money, for each and every day he, she or they shall inhabit or occupy any lands within the said Indian bounds after the said twenty-fifth day of March next, the said penalties to be recovered and applied in the same manner as the penalty in this act above mentioned.

Article VII. And whereas, The said lands belonging to the said Tuscarora Indians have been lately laid out and newly marked by George Goulde, Esq., Surveyor General, at the request of the said Indians; therefore, be it enacted, that the said George Goulde, Esq., have and receive for the trouble and expense he hath been at in laying out and marking the Indians’ lands aforesaid, the sum of twenty-five pounds, proclamation money, to be paid by the public, out of moneys in the public treasury.

Article VIII. And whereas, the Indians complain of injuries received from people driving stock, horses, cattle and hogs, to range on their lands, for remedy thereof, Be it enacted, That persons driving stock to range, or stock actually ranging on the Indians’ lands, shall, and are hereby declared, to be liable and subject to the like penalties and forfeitures, and may be proceeded against in the same manner, and subject to the same recoveries, as by the law of this province stock driven or ranging upon any white people’s land are liable and subject to; and the said Indians shall and may enjoy the benefit of the laws in that case made and provided, in the same manner as the white people do or can, any law, usage, or custom, to the contrary notwithstanding.

Source: Laws of North Carolina, A. D. 1748. Vol. I. Chapter 43, page 174; by Potter, Taylor and Yancy, Esqs. Anno Regni Georgii II, Vicessinio second.

History, Tuscarora,

Bertie County NC,

Johnson, Elias. Legends, Traditions, and Laws of the Iroquois, or Six Nations and History of the Tuscarora Indians. Lockport, New York: Union Printing and Publishing Co. 1881.

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