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chowanoke
Site Owner
Posts: 50

I have been very deep into research on the Chowanoke War, and stumbled across a few things that are leaving me guessing. I just came across it the past few days so I haven't had time yet to cross-reference or completely verify things yet. However:

 

There was a place in the 1600 era maps on the eastern side of Chowan near its mouth into the Albemarle Sound called Rickohocene. Today's Rocky Hock unincorporated community bears a form of its name. This town does not appear anywhere on John White's maps or described by any of the other initial explorers. It only appears in the mid 1600s as either a new community, or one that by chance was not mentioned earlier. This I had known about, actually from a post by site member Arianna who is researching some of her ancestors from this area. Anyways, since then I have wondered about this town. Where did it some from? Was is Chowanoke, Weapemeoc, or maybe something else?

 

My current research includes tracing the route of a few displaced Susquehanna Indians as they fled down the Meherrin River to the Chowan River. On this journey they were attacked by several Souian tribes. In researching these tribes I consulted Mooney's Souian Tribes of the East and happened upon a section in which Mooney talks about an invasion of 600 Cherokee who ravaged the outskirts of the Virginia Settlements in the 1650s. According to him, the Powhatan word for Cherokee was Rickohockan, which was spelled at the time as Rechehecrian. Later, when John Lederer travelled west, he actually met Rickohockan ambassadors at Occaneechi Island, and his map depicts the Rickohockans as living within the mountains that the Cherokee are known to have lived.  The Rickohockans are generally accepted to be Cherokee, though some recent opinions are that they were Erie.

 

And now, we find a town called Rickohocene on the Chowan River, in the mid 1600s, around the time of the Rockohockan foray into Algonquian territory. I am still reviewing all the maps and references I can to get a better idea of what the town of Rickohocene was, but I would relish someone else's opinion. Any thoughts? Am I crazy?

October 20, 2010 at 9:44 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Arianna
Member
Posts: 18

Well, there's this I found -


"1654: A village of 600-700 Rickahockan or Rechahecrian (as Cherokee were known by the Powhatan) had settled at the falls of the James River (Richmond, Virginia). With the assistance of the Pamunkey Indians, the Virginia Colony militia attacked the Rickahockan; but they were severely defeated. "

from http://www.sheilagibson.org/resrchtimeline.html


I also found the pages where Mooney references the name, in a search; it appears to be associated with the Fall of the James River (Richmond area) and also perhaps Peaks of Otter. It's a believable connection, especially based on the multiple places the name is found.

Also, the only travel paths that seem likely for Cherokee would be along the Roanoke (Moratoc) and James rivers, to get to Albemarle area.


October 24, 2010 at 9:36 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Arianna
Member
Posts: 18

it's also discussed on the Saponitown forum back in 2004:

http://www.saponitown.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-939.html


there are suggestions here that Rickohocken could have been -
a separate tribe, an early offshoot of Cherokee, 

Erie (who also could have been Mingo)

Shawnee

or, maybe mixed blood between these


and here's a page suggesting they were related to Lenape but also sharing village names with Cherokee and/or "Chorakee"

http://www.examiner.com/architecture-design-in-national/new-echota-national-landmark-the-first-capital-of-the-cherokee-nation-part-3

"Several Rickohocken town names are quite similar to those of the historical Cherokees. The principal town of the Rickohockens, Otari, was on a plateau near Bedford, VA. The word means “high place” in some Cherokee dialects. Otari is also the name of a town visited by Captain Juan Pardo in 1567 or 1568"






October 24, 2010 at 10:01 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Arianna
Member
Posts: 18

Thanks for this information, Lars!

So that there is a "Rockahock" on the Chowan and in a couple places along the James river including near Peaks of Otter (Bedford) and into the Ohio valley, and mentioned in multiple sources, you're probably not crazy.

you may have already listed information from some of the sites I just referenced. sorry about that.

So then what of the stories of "Cherokee" ancestry spoken of in family (hi)stories, including mine? do you, Lars, think there is any connection to this?


Arianna

October 24, 2010 at 10:24 PM Flag Quote & Reply

chowanoke
Site Owner
Posts: 50

Arianna,

   I appreciate everything you posted, I have seen some of it, but not all, that's good research! Cherokee stories are in my family as well. before I discovered the Chowan roots, my grandparents told me it was Cherokee. Being a similar-ish name and being both from North Carolina it is an easy mistake when passing the story from one generation to the next, especially since the Chowanoke are obscure compared to the Cherokee. As for our Rickohonan friends living on the Chowan river, I think we need more research before we can decide what kind of connections they had, who they really were, etc. For example, Righkahauk (I think spelled a little differently) was noted by Smith also as a Chickohominy town, who are Algonquian. So then, Rickohocan might not neccessarily only mean Cherokee. It is the Algonquian word for the Cherokee/Erie/Mingo. And also the word of a Chickohominy town. What could this mean? I think we need to figure out, if we are able, the actual definition of the word Rickohockan.

    One thing though, even if they were Cherokee, it seems that it was a short lived settlement that only stayed on the Chowan for a few decades. It appears on maps a few times in the mid 1600s (before major white settlement) and no longer appears at the time of white settlement, except as a place name for Rockahock creek. Based on this, its probably doubtful that there was too much intermarriage with the whites, however at this point I think we know too little to form a definite answer to our questions.

 

We'll just have to keep digging!

October 26, 2010 at 5:55 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Fred Hedgepeth
Member
Posts: 2

Arianna, I appreciate your diligence in your research.  I value this site as there seems to be some truthseekers here.

--

http://www.lifeflowcashflow.net

December 12, 2010 at 1:34 AM Flag Quote & Reply

chowanoke
Site Owner
Posts: 50

Looking at this a little more, John White actually did note Rickahocene on his map. DeBry didn't transfer it over when he created his engravings so I thought that it wasn't noted at all. But it is still curious that the similar word was used for both a chowanoke and Chicahominy town and and then also for the Cherokee. Gotta mean something.

January 15, 2011 at 5:50 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Arianna
Member
Posts: 18

Thanks, Fred - though Lars has still done much more research here than I have. This is certainly a place for truthseeking and root-harvesting.

Today I found another article on the Rickohockene here -

http://www.examiner.com/architecture-design-in-national/new-echota-national-landmark-the-first-capital-of-the-cherokee-nation-part-3

mentioning specifically the Rickohocken as a group of Algonquin people related to Lenape and from east of NE Tennessee, who blended with/in Cherokee. also even mentioned as "Rickohocken Cherokee"...

let me know if you have any more findings.

Arianna


February 22, 2011 at 9:43 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Arianna
Member
Posts: 18

http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:uJS6ewnkG1wJ:www.accessgenealogy.com/native/people/PDF-March-2010.pdf+rickohocken+algonquin&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESgTvo0JOBdX-3aXcz5I76Q1lQZqssGkuptmn7anXSKl31LqBJWAlfLPFuT1dTKmaMOjyEzU2Zn7Mw3_R-nHRWChHcN6GWLxlQfdEtwuyagvM7Z9ZRXxjUOp9QTHIpXv-oc5Xtqf&sig=AHIEtbRhgQkAXV6hiD9MFwaEdbhqY53BRA&pli=1


and here is another, with similar references and or info, "People of one fire"...

February 22, 2011 at 10:10 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Marjie
Member
Posts: 8

I just discovered this site, and want to say I really appreciate it!  Seems as if there are some true history buffs, and people who genuinely want to find out what happened when, how and why.  I just found out I am a Chowan descendent and am very interested in knowing their history so I can pass it on to my family.

One thing I have noticed is the common thread of "I was always told of the Cherokee in our family", and I am beginning to wonder if after a couple of generations or so, people began to confuse some of the tribal names and, since they knew about the Cherokee (who were, at least in my area, well respected and educated), they just said they were Cherokee.  Many people didn't register and therefore, their descendents didn't really know what they were.  Many of these groups lived close to each other and I think it was easy to become confused as people moved around.  I know I was always told I was Cherokee, but when I started looking up the words I could remember, they were Creek.  Just my thought.... Anyway, I look forward to learning from all of you!


--

Marjie

April 12, 2011 at 2:21 AM Flag Quote & Reply

DewaGolden Bee Healing Trail
Member
Posts: 2

Hi, my chowan history goes back on my grandmothers; side, she,was born in Mississippi, but her mom was born in North Carolinas, one of my descendants had the middle name Choctaw,Aley,

April 12, 2011 at 11:57 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Collins
Member
Posts: 8

The Rickahocans were Yuchi/Moneton and Erie Indians that were in alliance with the Monacan/Manahoac-Mahock/Saponi /Tutelo alliance. There was an old camp at Otter Peaks/Peaks of Otter.

"Archeological History of Ohio" by Gerard Fowke

Pg. 444

"From the verbal traditions of Mr. Stand Watie [Cherokee Chief], the Cherokees anciently lived at the Otter Peaks in Virginia, *** and they were in the habit of crossing the Ohio with their war parties." --- Schoolcraft, Iroquois, 163.

'Otter Peaks" is the same as the present day Peaks of Otter located not too far from where Stoney Creek Church was located. The Cherokee may have had some hunting cabins in the far western portion of present day West Virginia, but I don't have my reference on that at the moment. Generally the Cherokee did not settle in Eastern Siouan territory and the majority of interior Virginia was Eastern Siouan territory. The Cherokee did have tradesmen that lived in Saponi/Tutelo/Sara trading towns. One such trading town, which was outside Virginia, but just barely, was located at Mulberry Fields near present day Wilkesboro, N.C.

Handbook of North American Indians

Vol. 14 Southeast, 2004 edition

Page 290

"About 1656 some 600-700 Indians identified by Lederer as Mahocks and Nahyssans (Saponi) came and settled near the falls (Bushnell 1930:16; Lederer 1958:16). In 1656 the Virginia government sent a military expedition under Col. Edward Hill, with a force of Pamunkeys, to confer with the newcomers. A bloody battle ensued, later blamed on Hill's misconduct, in which the English and their allies were defeated, and Totopotami, the Pamunkey chief, was killed. In 1670 Lederer (1958:20, 22, map) was told that the Mahocks were still on the James at Mohawk Creek, and he found the Nahyssans on the Staunton (Bushnell 1935:13-14)"

The next entry talks about the Mohetan, Tomahitan, Monyton, and the Yuchi all them being the same people. One of the locations of the main "Melungeon" communities was located on Newman's Ridge in Hancock County, TN. The Northern band of Yuchi were located on Newman's Ridge in Hancock County, TN. The Yuchi in this case did eventually move to the Eastern Cherokee reserve, but then left a year or so later to return back to Newman's Ridge. Many of the families that are listed as "Melungeon" would later on apply to the Eastern Cherokee for enrollment.

Hamilton McMillan and several others have stated repeatedly that the East Tennessee "Melungeons" were a band of the Croatan/Cheraw/Sara/Lumbee and we know from the historical accounts that some of the Sara/Cheraw left the Pee Dee River Settlement areas with the Saponi when they went back to Virginia in 1733 and established the town of Manx Nessoneicks just south and west of where Petersburg, VA is today and close by Fort Henry.

They associated with Abraham Wood and Peter Jones and all these Indian mixedblood families ended up on the New River area. From there they would move on to the Newman's Ridge and Clinch Valley and etc. If we keep in mind that the Mohetons and the Yuchi are the same then we can see the patterns of interaction by trade and close settlement together. The Yuchi/Richohokans/Tomihitans and the Moneton and Mohetan/Tomihitans had a trade relationship with the Saponi and Tutelo.

Yuchi language is a mixture of Siouan and Muskogal or Creek and the Yuchi did end up settling among the Creek in Oklahoma. I don't think it a stretch to conclude that the Yuchi, most likely, originally spoke a Siouan language and then through trade relationships with the Creeks developed their particular Uchean language which is often classed by itself. I would bet the Catawba language had a similar evolution. I further add that the Mohetan a.k.a. Tomahitan are probably of Creek derivation with Siouan aligned families.

If the Iroquois called "the Erie (also Erieehronon, Eriechronon, Riquéronon, Erielhonan, Eriez, Nation du Chat)"

Then it would be pretty safe to bet that is part of who they were. Are they the Mahocks as well? Possibly

The reason is because the Honiasont were a part of the Erie Confederacy. The Honiasont are also called Niasont and Nahyssans. The Nahyssans are the Tutelo.

How can this be?

The Monsopelea had 8 village sites along the Scioto River as late as 1660 to 1672-1684 time frame. (see the Franquelin Map of 1684, Jean Baptiste Louis Franquelin) You will also note the Akentazy, a.k.a. Occaneechi, Niasont or hoNiasont, etc. These are listed on the map of that time. The trade network for copper began at Monacan town were they mined copper from the mountians there. They also held a copper mine south at the Ononahorn area where they were noted as being called Mangoacs or Mangogs (a.k.a. Manahoac/Mahock/Monacan, etc.) The trade route going northeast had its beginings in Occaneechi town, a.k.a. Oconahowan, due northeast from Ononahorn again general area location of the southern copper mines of the these people. From Occaneechi town they left for Rasauweak or Rassawek the main Monacan village. From there they would take copper and other goods up north and east to Moneton village..."said to have been located in the vicinity of the early salt works at the mouth of Campbells Creek in Kanawha County, a few miles east of present-day Charleston, WV, just above the present-day location of Malden, WV."

"Les Tionontatacaga" (Guyandottes), shown on Homann Johann Baptist's map of 1710, had taken refuge farther in West Virginia's hollows (after 1701) from the great heat of the Iroquois invasion, the Moneton's territory.[13] "Les Oniassoutlea", dialect variation Oniassontke, shown on the map are otherwise Black Minqua (Dutch) of the Upper Ohio Valley and Honniasontkeronon of the Middle Ohio Valley. Honniasontkeronon "infested the country above the rapids of the Ohio River" as the Seneca told La Salle in 1669. They were reported to be hereditary enemies to the Nation of Fire.[14] The Shattera's (Swanton's Toteras element of Tutelo) village is shown at Williamson (Tug Fork) according to a letter written to the Lord of Trade, New York, dated April 13, 1699. E.B. O'Callaghan M.D. also cited this source in his "Colonial History of the State of New York", published at Albany in 1856. There is uncertainty as which stream they migrated at first to near Salem, Virginia, either their Big Sandy (or the Logan site) or the Great Kanawha rivers.[15] The Big Sandy River, a border of West Virginia and Kentucky, was once known as the "Toteroy River" in their memory as shown on early maps.

These entries are fairly sound:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monacan_people

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moneton_people

http://www.wvexp.com/index.php/Moneton_Village

From this piont the Erie Confederacy tribes along with the Shawnee would pick up the goods and take them back to their towns to trade with the Six Nations. It was During the Beaver Wars that the 6 Nation Iroquois became jealouse of the trade routes and monopoly that the Erie Confederacy had along with the Southeastern Siouans that they attacked the Erie and almost destroyed them. They would have been pushed downwards through their trade routes and into Virginia via Moneton village and thence joining up with the Tutelo-Saponi and Manahoac/Mahocks being noted as the "Rickahockan". Also keep in mind that the Northern Band of Yuchi where in alliances with the Moneton and Mohetan/Tomahitan, and that the Cherokee were on the western side of the Northern Band of Yuchi. The Yuchi, along with the Moneton/Mohetan/Tomahitan, Tutelo-Saponi, Monacan, and Catawba traded the copper supply with the Cherokee.

April 13, 2011 at 4:42 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Collins
Member
Posts: 8

Most people that think the Rickohocans were Cherokee quote James Mooney, however there are a number of sources that say they were not Cherokee.

 

April 13, 2011 at 4:54 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Chief Don Spirit Wolf
Member
Posts: 13

Bezxon my new friends

I don't want to start a Word War but

1. there was no such people as "the Cherokee" before 1693 when the British started suing that term for All the villages that they had good relations with

2. I do not believe that the term Rickohaonan) or anything similar) had anything to do with the later Cherokee.

3. The Erie from along Lake Erie were composed of at least two groups of people, one was the Raccoon people, the LePetitie Chatte or LeChatte of the French, named such for the majority of the trade with them was for raccoon sikns (raccoon by the way is derived from the Algonquian name for our furry friend),

another group, a little lower along the lake were the Chalaiwa-Panther clan peole who were Algonquian

When the New York Iroquois, given firearms by the whites,  began their Slave Raids in the mid-1600's many of both these groups, mostly women & children, were taken away as slaves, while many of the men were simply killed and many melted away.

Many of the Chalaiwa moved deeper into Ohio, across Pennsylvania toward the Susquehhana, Chesapeake and Delaware and deeper into West Virginia where they wer absorbed into the Algonquian people in those places.

4. One group (remnants of both the Raccoon & Panther?) did goe further south, crossing the mountians, showing up in Virginia where, having obtained firearms of their own,  they attempted to duplicate the Iroquois sucessful slave business but suddenly moved further south to the Savannah River where they were kown as the Westos. For years I accepted the "common" info thet the westo were Irqoquoian but the friendliness they had with the Shawnee/Savannas/Shawanos of the south nagged at me. The only tribe present in the south that the Westo even allowed into their fortified village were the Shawnee, who seemed ot be long time firneds.

 My conclusion is that the Westo were at least mixed Algonquian/Shawnee-Iroquoian/Erie. After wreaking havoc on the southern frontier with their slave raids the Westo drew the ire of the whites who supplied and paid the Shawnee to lay seige to the Westo. The shawnee destoryed the Westo, killing the men and selling the women and children to the whites exactly like what had happened along the lake a generation before.

5. Within a few years the whites again became distressed, this time with the Sahwnee so gathering together all the disparate villages that they were nuturing trade relations with, they armed them, named them the Cherokee (actually the name of a single village of mixed Algonquian-Siouan-Iroquoian people) and began attacking the Shawnee.

there is more but I sadly have dived in at the wrong place for such a lengthy discourse.

 the jist is that trade in slaves was the great economic force all along the Atlantic coast in the 1600's and the structure of "tribes" that existed in 1700 came into place during that time and with that force driving them. More later.

April 23, 2011 at 9:23 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Leila
Member
Posts: 2

Chief Don Spirit Wolf at April 23, 2011 at 9:23 AM

Bezxon my new friends

I don't want to start a Word War but

1. there was no such people as "the Cherokee" before 1693 when the British started suing that term for All the villages that they had good relations with

2. I do not believe that the term Rickohaonan) or anything similar) had anything to do with the later Cherokee.

3. The Erie from along Lake Erie were composed of at least two groups of people, one was the Raccoon people, the LePetitie Chatte or LeChatte of the French, named such for the majority of the trade with them was for raccoon sikns (raccoon by the way is derived from the Algonquian name for our furry friend),

another group, a little lower along the lake were the Chalaiwa-Panther clan peole who were Algonquian

When the New York Iroquois, given firearms by the whites,  began their Slave Raids in the mid-1600's many of both these groups, mostly women & children, were taken away as slaves, while many of the men were simply killed and many melted away.

Many of the Chalaiwa moved deeper into Ohio, across Pennsylvania toward the Susquehhana, Chesapeake and Delaware and deeper into West Virginia where they wer absorbed into the Algonquian people in those places.

4. One group (remnants of both the Raccoon & Panther?) did goe further south, crossing the mountians, showing up in Virginia where, having obtained firearms of their own,  they attempted to duplicate the Iroquois sucessful slave business but suddenly moved further south to the Savannah River where they were kown as the Westos. For years I accepted the "common" info thet the westo were Irqoquoian but the friendliness they had with the Shawnee/Savannas/Shawanos of the south nagged at me. The only tribe present in the south that the Westo even allowed into their fortified village were the Shawnee, who seemed ot be long time firneds.

 My conclusion is that the Westo were at least mixed Algonquian/Shawnee-Iroquoian/Erie. After wreaking havoc on the southern frontier with their slave raids the Westo drew the ire of the whites who supplied and paid the Shawnee to lay seige to the Westo. The shawnee destoryed the Westo, killing the men and selling the women and children to the whites exactly like what had happened along the lake a generation before.

5. Within a few years the whites again became distressed, this time with the Sahwnee so gathering together all the disparate villages that they were nuturing trade relations with, they armed them, named them the Cherokee (actually the name of a single village of mixed Algonquian-Siouan-Iroquoian people) and began attacking the Shawnee.

there is more but I sadly have dived in at the wrong place for such a lengthy discourse.

 the jist is that trade in slaves was the great economic force all along the Atlantic coast in the 1600's and the structure of "tribes" that existed in 1700 came into place during that time and with that force driving them. More later.

Where is your website for the Appalachian Shawnee?

May 1, 2011 at 10:11 AM Flag Quote & Reply

chowanoke
Site Owner
Posts: 50

Maybe, but friendliness between Iroquoian and Algonquian peoples was not that uncommon as to be unusual.

1. In the failed Roanoke colony, the Chowanoke held council with the inland Mangoaks (Iroquois, but possibly Souian), and Wingina managed to forge an alliance with them against the English.

2. The Meherrin, thought to be Iroquoian, had a veru close relationship with the Chowanoke.

3. The Tuscarora managed to have several Algonquian Allies in the Tuscarora War, and a portion of the Chowanoke would merge with the Tuscarora. Later on, we see Chief Hoyter and Chief Blount sitting at the same table, both afraid of Seneca raids and asking the governor for help.

4. In 1677 a group of Shawnee went to live with the Susquehanna of New York, known Iroquois.

These are just a few examples, but people foten assume that just because they were Iroquoian and algonquian, they MUST be enemies, but history has shown this not to be true.

 

Lars

May 2, 2011 at 6:34 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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