South Carolina

There's no need to slave away...that's an Indian's job

Deerskin, no. I'll take the Indian.

Deerskin was the leading trade commodity until the Westos, a native tribe housed in South Carolina became a leading tribe to offer Carolina traders an extremely valuable commodity; Indian slaves. By doing so, the Westos became increasingly powerful, gaining control and pushing out the Spanish, the French, and the Virginian settlers. With the Westos turning over other Indian tribes, the animosity and violence between the Natives grew.

A Settler's Note

The year was 1670 when my family and I took root in Charles Town, South Carolina; later named Charleston. We half thought we landed in paradise. There was a semitropical environment that reaped fertile soil and a growing season that lasted nearly a full year! We came to find out that this land was claimed by the Spanish and was inhabited by mission Indians. That made for good fur trade, which we depended upon initially and it allowed for good relations between us settlers, and the Natives; well some of them. Indian wars occurred which had some Europeans fighting against each other as they took sides with their allied Indians while Indians fought for European goods and Europeans fought to monopolize Native goods. A great turning point occurred when the Westos had an epiphany; to sell enslaved Indians of other tribes to us Europeans. A clever move on their part I might add for it caused many to relocate as the Westos took control of the entire Southeast. We had a way to take care of that though. We sent in our Indian allies to conquer the Westos and eliminate our Spanish rivals by destroying the mission towns in 1680. I suppose we later got a taste of our own medicine when the Yamasee War took place and obliterated 400 white South Carolinians. The Indian slave trade fell apart and colonies abandoned frontier settlements. Right now, it isn't the safest place to be for us settlers and Indians alike. Hopefully a brighter future is on the horizon.

Research taken from Of the People and...