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Thread: Saponi or Sappony? and Advice

  1. #1
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    Question Saponi or Sappony? and Advice

    Hi all,

    I am new to this site. I am a currently a senior with at Jacksonville University in Florida and I am in need of a bit of advice. My name is Kevin Ross Stuart; I have been able to trace my family line through my father, Mark Paul Stuart Sr., back to my grandfather, who you can see in my small profile picture. My grandfather’s name is Leamond Cooper Stuart Sr. and he is full-blooded Indian. Saponi I think. But, I’m even confused between Saponi and Sappony; what’s the difference? Spelling only?

    Secondly, I went to the website www.sappony.org to gather more information and came to find out that I believe that my Surname Stuart, also spelled Stewart, is one of the founding families for the tribe. I know this because of where my dad and Grandfather told me where they grew up, and my grandfather had a connection with the Calvary Baptist church mentioned in its history. However, I was told by my father that I was part of the “Cherokee Pawatan” Tribe, and he even had a tribal card to prove it. I examined the card and found out that it was signed by Dorthy Crowe and Otis Martin. Well, those are the same people who are now tending to the Sappony tribe affairs. So, that is just confusing, but what was wandering is, has anyone heard of this “Cherokee Pawatan” group?

    Lastly, my grandfather is still alive and I have the opportunity to visit with him in about a week. I did not have many opportunities to talk with him growing up, but now I have more interest in my family than anyone I know that is in my immediate or extended family. This could be the last time I get to see him, although I hope not. His mind is extremely sharp and he is highly educated, last time I went to see him he know more about the war in Iraq than I did. What I wanted to know is what types of questions I should ask him to get the best information to understanding my past and family history. Any suggestions?

    -any help is appreciated,

    -Kevin

  2. #2
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    Kevin,
    May I c&p your post into an email to Patrick Stewart? He handles the Stewart/Stuart family history for the High Plains Sappony. They have been called many different names through the years. ;-)

  3. #3
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    Dreaminghawk,

    Of course, I just don't know where to post or who to ask. Thanks for the help.

    -kevin

  4. #4
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    Indians of Person County to change official name to ‘Sappony’

    State House OKs request from
    Indians of Person County to change official name to ‘Sappony’

    The Indians of Person County are one legislative vote and the governor’s signature away from being recognized under North Carolina law as the "Sappony" tribe.

    And those next two steps aren’t likely to prove more than formality, after the House this week passed a bill effecting a formal name change for the Indians of Person County, who have been officially known by that name for the past 90 years.

    The legislation was introduced earlier this month by Rep. Gordon P. Allen, D-Person, and Rep. Ronald Sutton, D-Robeson at the request of the High Plains Indians Inc. on behalf of the Indians of Person County. The measure also had the support of the North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs, which adopted a resolution to that effect on Jan. 10, and also made the name change as part of the commission’s legislative goals for 2003.

    Section 1. G. S. 71A-7 of state law that officially recognizes the Indians of Person County by that name is effectively rewritten by the Allen-Sutton bill, which simply supplants "Indians of Person County" in the language of the measure with "Sappony."

    As passed by the House this week, on Tuesday, March 25, the statute reads: The Indian Tribe now residing in Person County, officially recognized as the Indians of Person County by Chapter 22 of the Public-Local Laws of 1913, who are descendants of those Indians living in Person County for whom the High Plaints Indian School was established, shall, from and after February 3, 1913, be designated and officially recognized as Sappony, and shall continue to enjoy all their rights, privileges, and immunities as citizens of the State as now or hereafter provided by law, and shall continue to be subject to all the obligations and duties of citizens under the law.

    In addition, the House similarly amended the section of state law establishing membership of the State Commission of Indian Affairs so as to replace "Indians of Person County" with "Sappony," thereby assuring Sappony recognition by and a representative seat on the state commission.

    The measure now goes to the Senate, where it is expected to win approval and be passed on for Gov. Mike Easley’s signature, thus becoming law.

    The legislation stems in large measure from an extensive research project conducted by the Indians of Person County, with the help of a federal grant, into the tribe’s history and identity. The research confirmed the Person County tribe as Sappony, the spelling of which also was authenticated, according to tribe officials.

    The Sappony have resided for centuries in what became known as the High Plains Community, which straddles the North Carolina-Virginia border now separating northeastern Person County and southeastern Halifax County, Va. The Sappony represent the remnants of a much larger tribe, the majority of which moved north to join the Iroquois or south to join the Catawba, according to tribe leaders.

    The State of North Carolina apparently first recognized the tribe as the Indians of Person County in 1911, in advance of the formal legislation to that effect in 1913, when the State of Virginia also recognized the Indians living in Halifax County, Va.

    Today, according to tribal leaders, the Sappony have about 850 tribal members, all of whom descend from the tribe’s seven main families. A representative from each of the seven family surnames – Stewart, Epps, Shepherd, Martin, Johnson, Talley and Colman – serves on the Sappony Tribal Council, which is led by a tribal chair and tribal chief.

    Dorothy Crowe is the current chair, Otis Martin, chief, and Dante Desiderio is the tribe’s executive director. Julia Phipps represents the tribe on the Commission of Indian Affairs.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A check of the NC General Assembly web site leads me to believe that the bill has passed and has been signed by the Governor. The following text is from http://www.ncleg.net/html2003/bills/...se/h355vc.html



    GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA SESSION 2003
    SESSION LAW 2003-87 HOUSE BILL 355

    AN ACT TO OFFICIALLY DESIGNATE THE INDIANS PREVIOUSLY RECOGNIZED IN THE GENERAL STATUTES AS THE INDIANS OF PERSON COUNTY AS SAPPONY.

    The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

    SECTION 1. G.S. 71A-7 reads as rewritten: "§ 71A-7. Indians of Person County; The Sappony; rights, privileges, immunities, obligations, and duties. The Indian Tribe now residing in Person County, officially recognized as the Indians of Person County by Chapter 22 of the Public-Local Laws of 1913, The Indians who are descendants of those Indians living in Person County for whom the High Plains Indian School was established, shall, from and after July 20, 1971, February 3, 1913, be designated and officially recognized as the Indians of Person County, North Carolina, Sappony, and shall continue to enjoy all their rights, privileges, and immunities as citizens of the State as now or hereafter provided by law, and shall continue to be subject to all the obligations and duties of citizens under the law."

    SECTION 2. G.S. 143B-407(a) reads as rewritten: "§ 143B-407. North Carolina State Commission of Indian Affairs - membership; term of office; chairman; compensation. (a)The State Commission of Indian Affairs shall consist of two persons appointed by the General Assembly, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Director of the State Employment Security Commission, the Secretary of Administration, the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources, the Commissioner of Labor or their designees and 21 representatives of the Indian community. These Indian members shall be selected by tribal or community consent from the Indian groups that are recognized by the State of North Carolina and are principally geographically located as follows: the Coharie of Sampson and Harnett Counties; the Eastern Band of Cherokees; the Haliwa Saponi of Halifax, Warren, and adjoining counties; the Lumbees of Robeson, Hoke and Scotland Counties; the Meherrin of Hertford County; the Waccamaw-Siouan from Columbus and Bladen Counties; the Indians of Person County; Sappony; the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation of Alamance and Orange Counties, and the Native Americans located in Cumberland, Guilford, Johnston, Mecklenburg, Orange, and Wake Counties. The Coharie shall have two members; the Eastern Band of Cherokees, two; the Haliwa Saponi, two; the Lumbees, three; the Meherrin, one; the Waccamaw-Siouan, two; the Indians of Person County,Sappony, one; the Cumberland County Association for Indian People, two; the Guilford Native Americans, two; the Metrolina Native Americans, two; the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation, one, the Triangle Native American Society, one. Of the two appointments made by the General Assembly, one shall be made upon the recommendation of the Speaker, and one shall be made upon recommendation of the President Pro Tempore of the Senate. Appointments by the General Assembly shall be made in accordance with G.S. 120-121 and vacancies shall be filled in accordance with G.S. 120-122."

    SECTION 3. This act is effective when it becomes law.

    In the General Assembly read three times and ratified this the 19th day of May, 2003.

    s/ Marc Basnight President Pro Tempore of the Senate

    s/ Richard T. Morgan Speaker of the House of Representatives

    s/ Michael F. Easley Governor

    Approved 11:05 a.m. this 29th day of May, 2003
    [ top ]


    Posted by Saponi1

  5. #5
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    Resources on the Indians of Person County,

    A Bibliography of Resources on the Indians of Person County, North Carolina
    Prepared by the North Carolina Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    Books, Theses, and Government Reports
    Lougee, George. “Origin of the Person County Indians.” In Madeleine Hall Eaker, ed., The Heritage of Person County [Vol. 1]. Winston-Salem, N.C.: Hunter Publishing Co., 1981, pp. 5-7. C971.73 H54p

    Ross, Thomas E. American Indians in North Carolina: Geographic Interpretations. Southern Pines, N.C.: Karo Hollow Press, 1999. See chapter ten, “Indians of Person County,” pp. 189-198. C970.01 R826a


    Journal Articles
    "The Indians of Person County." The State, vol. 16 no. 37 (12 February 1949), pp. 3-4, 20. C917.05 S79


    Newspaper Articles
    Lougee, George. “Origin of Indians of Person County Still Veiled in Mystery.” Durham Morning Herald (Durham, N.C.), 24 April 1977. North Carolina Collection Clipping File, 1976-1989, reel 14, p. 246. CR917 N87

    Assis, Claudia. "Museum Documents Sappony's History / History Traces the Person County Native Americans to the Time of John Smith." Herald-Sun (Durham, N.C.), 13 May 2002. C071 D96h1



    Return to An Introduction to Resources on the History of Native Americans in North Carolina

  6. #6
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    INDIANS OF PERSON COUNTY Durham Morning Herald, March 21, 1948

    THE INDIANS OF PERSON COUNTY NORTH CAROLINA
    HISTORY OF A PROUD AND HANDSOME TRIBE OF INDIANS NEAR ROXBORO MAY BE CONNECTED WITH LOST COLONY MYSTERY; ABOUT 70 FAMILIES LIVE IN EXTENDED FARMING COMMUNITY
    By Tom MacCaughelty Taken from:
    Durham Morning Herald, March 21, 1948

    Straddling the North Carolina border in the secluded hills east of U.S. Highway 501 is a community of American Indians whose history has remained as much a mystery as the fate of the Lost Colony.
    Commonly termed a "mixed-blood" group, these proud people are probably the product of marriages long ago of whites and Indians, and, in fact, have a tradition among themselves which says they are remnants of the Lost Colony.
    In color they vary between blondes and even red-heads with grey or blue-gray eyes to tawny and sometimes swarthy brunettes with hazel, brown, or black eyes. Some have the straight black hair associated with pure Indian, while others have differing shades of brown hair, either straight or wavy.
    In general appearance they are well- dressed and clean. They are a handsome people.
    Their history is mysterious. As Indians, they never have been positively identified. Can they be, as their tradition holds, the long sought descendants of the friendly Indians who received the colonists of John White?
    Strangely enough, among the approximately 350 people in the scattered farming community, only six family names are represented: Johnson, Martin, Coleman, Epps, Stewart (also spelled Stuart), and Shepherd. Stranger still, three of these names correspond closely with those among the list of Lost Colonists: Johnson, Coleman, and Martyn. But theirs are common English names long familiar in North Carolina, and intermarriage with the proximity to whites would be expected to extend such names among them. (A seventh prominent name among this group is Tally.)
    As far back as anyone knows, these people have displayed the manners and customs of white settlers, but in this they don't differ from identified Indians.
    Unfortunately, as far as settling the question goes, not a single Indian word had been passed down to the present group. If their former manner of speech could somehow be resurrected, there would be a good clue to their identity; for then experts could judge with some degree of accuracy whether they indeed originated among the coastal Algonquin language tribes. If so, there would be a good argument for the Lost Colony theory. If their language were Siouan or some other branch of the inland tongues, the score would be against the Lost Colony tradition.
    Dr. Douglas LeTell Rights, author of "The American Indian in North Carolina," (published by Duke University Press in 1947) says that there is a possibility that the people, officially designated as Person County Indians, are descendants of the Saponi, originally a Siouan tribe. He notes that Governor Dobbs reported in 1755 that 14 men and 14 women of the Saponi were in Granville county. Person County was once a part of Granville county. ( Dr. Rights also suggests that these Indians in Person County may be a branch of, or have mixed with, the Indians of Robeson County. The people themselves deny being a branch of the Robeson County Indian, but say that there have been a few marriages between members of the two groups.)
    The Person County Indians, if they are of the Saponi, couldn't choose a more highly regarded tribe. (Col. William Byrd, in his History of The Dividing Line describes this tribe.)
    Whether a remnant of the Lost Colony, or of the proud Saponi, or of some other group, these people have lived in the rolling hills and high plains northeast of Roxboro for countless generations. No one knows how long.
    According to E. L. Wehrenberg, for 17 years principal of the community school, it was not until 1920 that they were officially recognized by act of the North Carolina legislature as Person County Indians. Before that, however, they had always insisted upon being treated either as Indians or whites. Back in the days of subscription schools, they hired their own white teachers; and under the present county school system have always had white or Indian teachers.
    Wehrenberg estimates that there are about 70 families in the group. and that about two-thirds of the people live in Person County and the rest across the line in Virginia. This proportion has changed from time to time he says.

  7. #7
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    Thanks! that is great info,

    I have already read some of it, but there is some I did'nt know about too. I am trying to read as much as I can.

  8. #8
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    Hey kevin welcome to the forum, you may want to ask Bill in the genealogy section of this forum for some help with your family research, he's one of the best for this type research here, and is a good friend to the forum, a community leader at Saponi Town.!

  9. #9
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    Kevin, the best thing you can do is contact the tribe directly based on the information below". The High Plains Sappony are state recognized in NC, formerly known by several names (Person County Indians, Cubans, Cherokee Powhatan etc). As in the posts below the very same individuals that signed your father's tribal card as Cherokee Pawatan, are now the The High Plains Sappony you saw on the web-site. The tribe will have information on your family sense your father already has a tribal card; particulary because of the Stuart/Stewart connection.

    "Secondly, I went to the website www.sappony.org to gather more information and came to find out that I believe that my Surname Stuart, also spelled Stewart, is one of the founding families for the tribe. I know this because of where my dad and Grandfather told me where they grew up, and my grandfather had a connection with the Calvary Baptist church mentioned in its history.

    However, I was told by my father that I was part of the “Cherokee Pawatan” Tribe, and he even had a tribal card to prove it. I examined the card and found out that it was signed by Dorthy Crowe and Otis Martin.

    Well, those are the same people who are now tending to the Sappony tribe affairs. So, that is just confusing, but what was wandering is, has anyone heard of this “Cherokee Pawatan” group?"

    As far as your grandfather--speak from the heart, and listen alot, older people sometimes really want to tell their story.

    Saponi1
    aka Nahyssan

  10. #10
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    Welcome Kevin, thank you for sharing your family story. How long has your family lived in Kentucky? Where was your grandfather born? Is he from Person County?

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by Saponi 1
    what was wandering is, has anyone heard of this “Cherokee Pawatan” group?"
    This address is from a website dated 1995...
    Cherokee-Powhatan Indian Association
    P.O. Box 3265
    Roxboro, NC 27573
    No information available

    On Birmingham (Alabama) Genealogical Society's Website (http://www.birminghamgenealogy.org/p...t_speakers.htm), it lists one previous speaker as...
    February 28th [1998]- Rev. H. L. "Lindy" Martin will give his talk on the Cherokee indians in Alabama. Dr. Martin is the former Minister of the First Baptist Church of Vincent, Alabama, President of Personal Touch Consultant Services and Chairman of the Board of We The Jury. He is a retired Dean & Professor at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. Dr. Martin serves as the Cheif Exective of the Association of Cherokee Descendants, Principal Chief of the Cherokee-Powhatan Indian Association of Person County, North Carolina and Halifax County, Virginia. In the past he has served as Vice-President of the National Urban Indian Council and President of the Society for the Preservation of American Indian Culture. Dr. Martin, who holds a Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Sacred Theology, is a nationally known public speaker recognized by Toastmasters International as one of the best communicators in the world and has been named to membership in the National Speakers Association. The February meeting was a great success. Over 70 people attended, enjoying Dr. Martin's presentation.
    Here is an interesting message board post regarding the SAPONI Indian tribe and also mentioning Dr. Lindy Martin...
    http://homepages.rootsweb.com/~scroots/sc12101.htm


    Dreaminghawk previously posted a link to the High Plains webpage from Person County's Rootsweb website...
    http://www.rootsweb.com/~ncperson/high_plains.htm

    Stacey

  12. #12
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    Stacey23:

    quote:

    Originally posted by Saponi 1
    what was wandering is, has anyone heard of this “Cherokee Pawatan” group?"


    Actually this was an excerpt of a post by Kevin and quoted by me. I apologize, the quotations marks apparently did not show. Again, the Cherokee Pawhatan group are one in the same as the High Plains Saponey of Person County, NC and Halifax County, VA.

    Saponi1

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    I wonder if the fact that they are known as Cherokee has anything to do with those of us who have the story of Blackfoot Cherokee?

    Techteach

  14. #14
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    Great question tech, I looked at this and wandered if any of our group connects up with this community, perhaps way back. Also we know that from time to time Indian community groups have changed thier names from one to another, evetually getting the research down to support thier claim, I think that is what is happening here.

  15. #15
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    The Cherokee Connection to the High Plains Saponey

    I was told years ago by one of the then Cherokee Powhatan (High Plains Saponey) their connection was to Joseph Martin, you see below, Joseph Martin was born in Virginia and died in Henry County, VA (next door to Pittsylvania County). Joesph Martin was an Indian agent who 'married' the daughter of Nancy Ward.

    The Martin name has long been associated with Indian traders and Indian families.


    Elizabeth WARD, born on c1759 at Cherokee Nation (now TN).

    She married, first, to Joseph MARTIN, born on 18 September 1740 at
    Albemarle county, VA; died on 18 December 1808 at Henry county, VA at 68
    years of age; buried at Belle Mont, Henry, VA; son of Joseph MARTIN and
    Susannah CHILDS; and married, second, to (Bernard?) HUGHES.

    Children of Joseph MARTIN and Elizabeth WARD were as follows:

    14. i. Nancy MARTIN, born 1778?; married Michael HILDERBRAND.

    ii. James MARTIN, born on 1780 at Chittiko, Cherokee Nation
    East (now TN).

    General Joseph Martin, who was born in Albemarle County, September 18, 1740. Later he went to Pittsylvania County, now Henry County, where he was a Lieutenant in Captain Abram Penn's company, which fought the Shawnee Indians in 1774. The Battle of King's Mountain marked the turning point of the Revolutionary War, and it seems the credit for victory hinged on the Indian agent, General Joseph Martin.

    http://www.rootsweb.com/~vawise/HSpub3.htm


    The most climactic event in Martin's life occurred on November 3, 1777 when Governor Patrick Henry appointed him superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Commonwealth of Virginia. (30) The appointment specified that martin was to take up his residence in the Indian nation, yet he preferred to remain close to his holdings in Powell's Valley. He used an ingenious method to solve his dilemma, establishing residence on the Long Island of Holston, presumably on the lower,
    more fertile, end of the thousand acre Island. He added to the residence, for his comfort, an Indian "wife" having at the same time his lawfully wedded wife, Sarah Lucas Martin, at home in Henry County. It is likely that some of Martin's neglect by his contemporaries and by posterity is due to this irregular act. Yet, with the exception of his son, William, none of the family in Henry County was in the least outraged by this act. There is strong evidence that this connection not only saved
    Martin's life, but that of the entire lower settlements on a number of occasions, for his Indian "wife" was no ordinary person, but the daughter of Nancy Ward, herself perhaps the most famous Indian woman at the close of the eighteenth century. Nancy Ward was the niece of the "Little Carpenter," or Attacullaculla, the "emperor" of the Cherokees. Colonel William Martin has left an excellent defense of his father's conduct in a letter of July 7, 1842 to Lyman C. Draper. (31)


    Sarah Lucas Martin died in 1782 and Joseph married Susanna Graves in 1784, all the while retaining Betsy Ward, the Indian "wife" - a fact he did not at all withhold from Miss Graves. Just before his second marriage, Martin became involved in the questionable matter of the lands of the "Great Bent" of the Tennessee with two men he rather unwisely trusted - John Sevier and William Blount. Although his scheme failed, Blount had the effrontery to urge Martin to open a land office at his Indian Agency on Long Island. Martin, a man of honor refused. By Christmas of 1785, he was in Tugaloo, GA, and seems at that time, although a citizen of Virginia and Indian Agent for that state, as well as a member of the North Carolina Legislature, to have been elected to the Georgia Legislature! In 1787, on the resignation of Evan Shelby as brigadier for upper western North Carolina (now East Tennessee), Martin was appointed Brigadier General of the
    Militia. He was also made Indian Agent for North Carolina the same year. (37)


    I would also say it is possible Cherokee made it into VA through war with the Catawba who also captured and sold Cherokee, later some Catawba are known to have lived with the Cherokee.


    Saponi1

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